Do you live in a mine field or a garden? When we live in a minefield mentality, we explode with the weeds of worry, doubt, fear, lack and limitation.
-Rev Michael Bernard Beckwith
What are you CHOOSING to cultivate? Do you live in a minefield or a garden?
October is all about daring to dream. October is a month where we are sowing the seeds for our “springtime” (Read last week’s newsletter about why Fall is an ideal time for growth HERE). Our minds are fertile fields but they are fertile for whatever “seeds” we choose to plant, be those seeds of fear or seeds of faith. Reverend Michael Bernard Beckwith hits on this notion perfectly by asking if we live in a minefield or a garden.
So often when we think about what IT is we desire-dreams, goals, aspirations-we get caught in a mind spiral. We might find ourselves in the “What is MY dream?” spiral, not really knowing what we want and even questioning if we have a dream. Maybe we find ourselves in the “I don’t know if this is THE dream” spiral where we keep comparing one dream to another and in doing so, diminish every dream’s worth. Or, if we get to the point where we have exact clarity of our dream, we get caught in the “IF” spiral: IF I had done this sooner, IF I had more ________, IF I was ___________. Bottom line: mind spirals are minefields.
I found myself in a mind spiral last week. I wasn’t questioning if I had a dream. In fact I have three big ones:
- I AM the author of a best-selling, self-help book designed to provide women with lessons of their choosing in their quests for self-discovery and freedom.
- I AM free from my eating disorder and acknowledge that my worth is not defined by a number or perception; I AM worthy because I AM.
- I AM in a fulfilling, soul-relationship based on trust, commitment and courageous conversation; it is a relationship that is deeply spiritual but also playful.
You are probably wondering why or how I got myself in a mind spiral. Yes, I have exact clarity of my dreams. I also believe each dream has value individually and collectively in enabling me to step into my truth. However, I found myself in a mind spiral questioning IF I was Worthy.
The funny thing is the question of my worth wasn’t even brought up while directly thinking about or taking action toward any of these dreams. The question of my worth came up in a conversation with a dear friend and for me it was a pivotal breakthrough. If I don’t believe I have worth, how can I plant the seeds for my dreams? If I don’t believe I AM worthy, surely I also don’t believe I deserve or am capable of writing a book, being free from my ED or being in an amazing relationship, right?
I found myself on Saturday night, in this dear friend’s car and I was (as usual) making a comment on how I looked (read: fat) because I had just finished dinner. In essence, I was complaining about what I saw and how I felt. Being a bit of a spiritual guru herself, my dear friend refused to indulge in this (un)conversation (because really? Where would the conversation have taken us anyway?). Rather, she wanted to do an “exercise.” She invited me to participate in a series of affirmations and asked me to repeat after her.
I’ll spare you the exact details of the how this played out, but suffice it to say, I rolled my eyes, scoffed, laughed out loud at certain points and by the end, had a full blown breakdown.
Our words are THAT powerful. Especially when we experience disbelief in something we are saying. When we come up against THAT resistance, we can choose to resist the lesson present for our spiritual growth and understanding, or, we can fully embrace the resistance and let ourselves go. As much as I scoffed, I was still able to repeat, “I AM perfect.” As much as I might have laughed, I was still able to say, “I AM complete.” As much as I rolled my eyes, I was still able to say, “I AM whole.” The last affirmation she had me repeat was,“I AM worthy.” And those words hung heavy in air. Like a deer in headlights I felt unable to move. I suddenly became very uneasy. At first I couldn’t get that statement out. I got to “I AM…” and would stop. It made me laugh. It was so silly. I mean, why the hell couldn’t I say, “I. AM. Worthy.” ?? After multiple attempts, I finally uttered, syllable by syllable, “I…. AM…. worthy,” and a steady stream of tears fell down my face.
When we are up against our walls–what we believe to be our limitations, the words we find impossible to say or believe–we’ll find it’s even harder to cultivate that inner garden. The exact moments where we are living on the edge of freedom or greatness or bliss are the exact moments we come to that fork in the road: minefield or garden? The minute we engage in the fearful thoughts, the ones that fill us with worry or doubt is the minute we walk a minefield. But sometimes we need to hit a landmine, say what is uncomfortable. Sometimes, we need to have a breakdown in order to have that breakTHROUGH. Sometimes we need to move closer to the fears and those edgy feelings. Sometimes we need to uncover the quiet whispers of resistance. The key is not in never going into the mine field. The key is choosing not to LIVE there.
Affirmations offer us the opportunity to use our words in powerful ways. Affirmations hold the capacity to lift us up on our spiritual path, to support our dreams with I AM statements (see my dream statements above and write yours out in the same format). Affirmations also reveal to us the quiet whispers of our soul, the words we still don’t yet believe, so that we may believe them, repeat them, and cultivate our inner garden.
GET YOURSELF IN ACTION: Try repeating some of THESE affirmations. Say them out loud while looking in the mirror. Which ones are easy? Are there affirmations that are more difficult to say? Sit with those quiet whispers and repeat the ones that give you edgy feelings on daily basis.