“You’re allowed the ebb and flow of the ocean, just like everybody else.”
This statement hit me like a wave. My coach said this to me and it immediately rendered my inner critic quiet. “Ok, I’m listening,” she whispered. It’s absolutely something I would impart on anyone being too hard on themself, but in that moment I realized, it’s advice I can have an impossible time following myself.
Here’s the thing about me and the ebb and flow: frequently it’s the flow I struggle with most. Allowing myself the space and right to celebrate it, that is.
Aside from my close friends, who get plenty an earful on what’s going on in my life, I keep a lot to myself. I have a tendency to hold myself stoically still in an “I’ve got it all together” type of way. A bit of it is part of me finding my legs as I get more into the type of work that I do. I’m more likely to share how I’m working myself back to balanced when the seams start to stretch and come undone. But when things are good, I’m usually just hanging quiet. And when things are really good – I mean, really f’in good – aside from a brighter sparkle in my eyes, you may not know it at all.
I find myself keeping quiet when I could add value or contribute to a conversation on nutrition, health or transformation. Sometimes I segment the gifts I have – keeping the joy I gain from teaching yoga from the abundance I feel working with clients on lifestyle transformation, healing, nutritional consulting and cleanse programs.
Sometimes I don’t say how I can help at all.
Upon reflection, I see the irony: by definition, segmentation is not yoga. All of these pieces fit together into an extraordinary machine and each part guides my purpose.
I help people who yearn for a better life get there. I hold a safe, grounding space for people to see themselves, to see where they want to be and to build a bridge between the two. I do this work because it reflects the work I see as essential to my own evolution. My studies and my experiences have given me the tools to guide the evolution of others. But the flow starts with me.
We all have our inner gremlins. Mine likes to dart its eyes to what’s lacking and downgrade what’s abundant for fear that I might be seen as self-absorbed or that I may cause jealousy or resentment. She says things like “no one else wants to hear it” or “they already know what’s best,” “they know more”. My gremlin is TOTALLY winning that game. But I’m not mad at her – she’s trying to keep me safe in some way. Except when I do share, I’ve never received judgmental feedback. No one else speaks to me as harshly as my gremlin does. Others know information I don’t, but my experience inform my knowledge – and that in itself is a gift to share.
When I look around at my life, I can see: I’m with the flow – not against it. And things are pretty f’in great. And we’re all allowed to share when things are pretty great. We’re all allowed the flow.
What’s essential for playing a new game now is permission.
I give myself permission to enjoy the flow. To fully submerge in the tide and let it wash away the doubt or questions. To fully appreciate the abundance so I can soak it all in and carry it with me when the ebb inevitably rolls in.
We can enjoy the crash of the wave slightly more if we allow ourselves to rock out and love the ride up. To go with the flow, rather than against it. To dance in the rain. Surrender a bit more to the way things are and perhaps the essential essential gifts of abundance that exist even in a wipe out will become more visible.
So give yourself permission. Permission to see what’s abundant in your life. What’s flowing? What’s real? What feels so freakin’ good you feel aglow when you think of it? Share. Give your permission to share your abundance. Allow yourself the flow. Aspire to inspire, rather than to downgrade your gifts.