My child is sick. I took her to the doctor today, and then to get an X-ray and medication. Allow.
I messed up the yearly gingerbread recipe by substituting some whole wheat flour for all-purpose (don’t do it!), which makes for structurally unsound gingerbread house dough. I needed to remake the dough but I was out of ginger. Back to the store. Allow.
I cooked dinner while baking cookies and the dishes stacked up. Allow.
When entering the kitchen, I had a huge scare upon seeing my housemate, who I hadn’t seen for days. I collapsed on the floor and burst into laughter, and quickly to tears. Allow.
It’s the holiday season usual stress, I realized I forgot to make latkes for Hanukah, I’m in the last stages of finalizing our separation agreement, I have a new job that’s overwhelming me with feelings of imperfection and shortcomings, I haven’t wrapped my gifts, I miss my boyfriend, and I really, really just want to relax with my children and watch a movie. Allow.
Instead of trying to change what you are feeling, I will allow you to be who you are, and hold space for you, and see what feelings come up for me in that. What is it I am not comfortable with?
Rather than bully my own feelings into submission, especially the ones that feel icky or stupid, I will allow them, give them space, and maybe even exaggerate them a bit, just to see what happens.
Instead of telling myself I’m unworthy and undeserving, I will allow myself to want the things I want, and really enjoy getting them, too.
Or maybe I won’t change anything. Maybe I will keep allowing whatever is already there to be there. I will allow myself to want to change you, I will allow my self-bullying behaviours, and I will allow myself to feel unworthy. Or I won’t. At least I have a choice.
I need frequent reminders to allow myself to feel whatever is coming up for me. Sometimes I don’t want to feel jealous, so I push it down. Or I don’t like the intense feelings of anger, so I look to be grateful instead. Or if I am overcome with sadness and slowness and a feeling of sorrow, I want it to go away. Luckily, I have a wonderful partner in my life who not only reminds me to allow my feelings, but is willing to provide the space for them (for me) to be seen and heard.
I am also allowing myself to feel my feelings when I am on my own. Yesterday, I allowed my sadness. I wallowed a little, ate many cookies without giving myself a guilt trip, and lay in bed to rest and nap. Throughout my allowing, I still heard the voice that didn’t want to allow: “You should be outside”, “You’re not being productive”, “The kids will be mad that you ate all the cookies”. I allowed those voices to have their say, too, but I didn’t follow their orders.
It usually takes me a moment, or many, to realize I am resisting my feelings. I don’t want to feel angry, or ashamed, or jealous, or small, or too much, because I have a story (an old, old story) that I shouldn’t feel these things – that somehow, I would be a better person if I didn’t feel these things. I know that’s bullshit, and it’s a long process (or it seems to be) to let go of that story. Once I realize I’m resisting my feelings, then I am able to consciously allow them to be there, if I choose. Giving them a voice is the first step for me. Usually just telling someone how I feel will allow most of the feeling to dissipate. It’s like magic.
Movement is the key for me. It helps me to get unstuck when I am stuck in my stories. It gives me joy when I dance. It lessens my pain – in my back, in my heart, in my mind. It is what propels me to the next stage in my growth.
People speak of being rather than doing, to remember to allow what is happening to us to just be present, rather than feel the need to push through it, or do something about it. When I speak of movement, this is also what I’m referring to: the ability to move through my feelings, by allowing them to be there. Movement may sound like “doing”, but I’m referring instead to the opposite of stagnation and resistance. Instead of fighting what life brings me, I will keep on moving, feeling, and allowing (being).
I allow myself to feel pleasure.
I allow my feelings to be seen, heard, and felt.
I allow myself the space I need to be me.
I allow myself to speak my truth.
I allow myself time to figure out what I want.
I allow for change and give myself permission to change my mind.
I allow myself to be fully, unapologetically, and authentically me.
I entered two of my paintings to a juried art show and they were both rejected. This is the third year in a row that I have entered and failed to get in. After receiving the email with the news, I quickly moved on, and didn’t stop to check in with myself to see how I actually felt about it; I think I assumed my feelings wouldn’t be much different than previous years, so why bother to check them out? I moved on with my day, projected my lack of emotion on to others, and maintained my denial for a solid ten hours. Yay, me.
Now I am beginning to allow the feeling to settle in, to show itself. I’m starting to notice the rejection, the anger, the sadness, the blow to the ego and self-esteem. I can see how holding onto those feelings, without expressing them, causes them to seep out in other ways, such that I began to feel rejected by others today, for not very good reasons.
It is time to move.
It is time to express.
It is time to allow.
Yesterday I facilitated a wonderful 3-hour private painting session with Cindy. We both had a great time, and were pleased with the two paintings we each created. Cindy gave me a wonderful testimonial on Facebook, even.
So why am I judging myself today?
It’s the same old story and voices: “You don’t know what you’re doing”, “You didn’t do enough for her”, “You charge too much”, “You’ll never make a living this way”. For some reason, (likely due to perfectionism!) I have a belief that I can banish these stories forever. That if I can do the “right” work, they will disappear. It’s becoming more apparent to me (I get many opportunities to face my stories) that the voices and stories may never disappear; they are a part of me. What I can see, though, is that my reaction to them is changing. I am less likely to get attached to the story, which means the emotion doesn’t really have a chance to get a hold of me. I notice that the voices are there, and now I see the choice: I can choose to dive in, and really feel shitty, or I can choose to access my strengths and take note of what IS working in my life.
In short, I can allow the voices to be there, and I can choose how to react.
“Allow” 16″ x 20″
This painting, “Allow”, is now up for auction!
16″ x 20″
Starting bid: $100
Shipping not included. ($30 Canada, $40 US)
Please enter your bid in the comment section of this post. Bidding ends today at 11:59 pm M.S.T., Wednesday, December 3, 2014.
I’ve been a bad, bad blogger. But I have plans for posts that I still haven’t written yet. Now that the children are in school, I am committing to you to be a better blogger! I have been painting, though!
I finished this one today. It went through several stages in a few hours.
Hm, this needs something.
Black, that’s it. Lot’s of black.
Crap, now what?
I think I have forgotten how to paint.
Forget the final outcome, just work in the moment.
OK, that’s coming, but still missing something.
Add red – oh, yeah, that’s it!
I’m calling this one “Allow”. That’s what the painting process is all about, for me. Allowing myself to express whatever is coming up in the moment.