Archive for August, 2017

Follow Your Bliss: A Journey Inward

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 30, 2017 by tivaniam

For many years my idea of ‘following my bliss’ was very singular – becoming a writer. I spent two decades immersed in fear and wondering if I will be accepted because in my mind, there were countless writers who came before me, doing the same thing. I eventually got tired of my own shit and persistent internal longings and chose to live in my truth, because the idea to be a writer had nothing to do with recognition and everything to do with the sound of my own heart. So I did an excavation of my soul and actualised that longing, removed from ego.  And so I thought I had arrived. I followed my bliss and I am living it daily.

Then, over the last six months, I had a revelation that the concept of bliss is incredibly multifaceted and not exclusive to what I do, but rather about how I want to spend the rest of my days. And this is the biggest thing because it means that my authenticity has to be absolute and consistent.  For the last few years I felt like I could pride myself on my authenticity until recent events showed me how inconsistent I’ve been. Lessons are still repeating itself because of a deep-rooted belief that I’ve held on to and evidently NOT released  – the need for approval and acceptance, the desire to be LIKED because I’M A NICE PERSON.  Meaning, I am sort of ashamed of some truths because of how I may be received. Therefore, I am not completely and fully authentic. Well, fuck.

So, this is the thing. Until we learn, the lessons never end. And, they get harder. And when you learn the lessons, even more gets revealed – sort of like peeling an onion. Layers and layers of stuff get revealed that we are forced to look at – if we want to – or ignore and cause suffering to ourselves.

This was the biggest lesson for me in recent weeks. Letting go of the need to be chosen, the need to be accepted and liked, the need to be revered and validated – all of that stuff is the opposite of following my bliss. Following my bliss means being true to me. Only me. My own heart, my own dreams, my own passions, desires and happiness. It sounds selfish but it’s actually the biggest act of love. Love emanates from self-love first.

I wrote this piece because I felt like we all need to be freer. We could all use the release of this heavy pressure we place on ourselves where we hook our worth from our performances in this world. We need to learn how to re-centre our lives on grace for ourselves first without the desire to prove anything to anyone. I am learning with each new day what it means to be truly present. And that for me starts with being absolutely true to myself, without the fear of how that is perceived to others or whether I am liked. Now, following my bliss means doing whatever it takes to be well and truly happy. Imagine if all of us chose to live that way? A humanity that loves freely and fully and lives their lives to the beat of their own drum, the sound of their own heart…That for me is the divine spark we all need to intertwine our hearts – making us all that much more grateful and gracious. That is how we shift collective consciousness. THAT is the bliss we need more of. And yes, it starts with me.

 

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Ditching Shame and Guilt

Posted in Uncategorized on August 8, 2017 by tivaniam

Shame and Guilt: two bastard passengers who rode shotgun with me through the journey of my life. For over two decades they followed me everywhere, making my trips arduous and preventing me from sightseeing.

Then, 3.5 years ago, I tossed them out the car. Mid-drive, I opened my window, wind flying through my hair, and told them to fuck off. I was taking this trip alone. And so I did.

For a while it was great. I enjoyed the ride. I felt free and alive. And then recently, someone invited Shame into my life again. And I accepted the invitation, believing wholeheartedly that I missed the company.  Guilt followed soon after, without the invitation, knowing his presence was always welcomed.  I lost myself briefly, carrying the weight of two unwelcomed passengers until I had to learn the lesson again, this time in a more painful way. The all-familiar conversations happened in my head, as it used to, years before:

“Who do you think you are?”

 “You’ve been divorced twice, you’re not worthy”

“Look at you, failing again. Stupid”

“You’re a joke, a fake, a mistake”

This kind of behaviour can quickly become so entrenched, that who I really am, gets blurred even to me. But because I am a truth-teller inherently, I know when I’m not aligned to my purpose. Even if I lie to myself, my body tells me loud and clear when I am off-centre: insomnia, stomach issues, migraines, crying all the time, chest pain – all happening at once. I know that the minute I listen to the murmurings of other people, who don’t have my best interest at heart and who simply have an agenda, I end up getting physically sick, anxious and depressed. And that for me is too high a price to pay. I spent so many years being ashamed of myself for so many different things, it kept me from being the full expression of who I am. I was content to play it safe and remain small because the alternative was way too scary. Life had other plans for me though, and if I was going to use my lessons in service of others, I knew I had to start living in my own truth. I haven’t worked this hard for this long to go back to being asleep.  So I call myself out on my own shit, ditch the noise and reconnect to my truth. And then, obviously, share the lesson.

So here it is.

There is an epidemic in our culture. People are living in sacrifice because they choose the safety and seduction of living a lie and owning shame and guilt offered to them by others.  The ‘others’ I speak of – however well-intentioned – are people that serve to stifle you from your own growth because they’re too afraid to live their truth. Old constructs of thinking, handed down from generation to generation is another reason why people remain stuck. Removing shame and guilt is incredibly difficult. It means being vulnerable because telling the truth leaves you exposed and open to judgment and criticism. It can sometimes mean the end of relationships, severing family ties or friendships and going against the norm. For so many, this is an enormous thing to bear and therefore honesty and authenticity is unattainable.

For women: shame is a straightjacket, telling us to compete with society’s ideals of how we’re meant to be – thin, perfect, silent, smiling.

For men: don’t be weak, die on top of your white horse instead of falling down. Don’t show your emotions. Work is first. Pursue status.

This concept is flawed. Because, if you choose to live within the confines of shame and guilt, negating what is real and true for you and thinking you’ll be okay with the lie, your sadness, pain and suffering will transpose in another way: alcohol, drug or sex addiction; depression; binge eating or starving yourself; suicide ideations; physical ailments; or hopping from one meaningless relationship to another in order to seek validation.

The idea is not to set up residence with the shame – it’s to find a way through it. We have the most compelling reason to have these conversations – people are killing themselves because the pain is too consuming. When will we ever learn that the truth sets us free! Living a life of authenticity, ditching the shame and guilt for what we perceive as failure, IS a catalyst for massive growth. It’s the gift of freedom, peace and self-love. Every single person who made a difference in this world did so by being true to their own heart, by listening to their own voices and telling the truth. This meant owning their failures and many of the most formidable and inspiring people failed many times over. They had to experience failure in order to grow from it. There is no learning involved when things go smoothly. Ruin is where transformation begins. There is no shame or guilt in that.

The vulnerability needed to release shame and guilt and step into your own truth and your own voice is the single biggest act of courage. Today, I invite you to embrace the courage that lives inside you, and start being true. It will lead you toward a path of happiness and peace. There is nothing more important in this world, than that. The alternative is a slow death. This I know for sure.

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