A recent visit with my chiropractor unexpectedly morphed into an intense life-coaching session. It was my first appointment with this particular chiro, and though I knew he leaned towards the spiritual/energetic, little did I know he was a life coach, or that I’d leave our meeting with much more than an adjusted spine.
Through the course of our 40 minutes together, I became aware that as much as I feel I’m taking the steps to create the life I truly want, another part of me appears to be in deep resistance to this, and the tension is showing up in my body (most conspicuously in the form of clenched teeth and neck pain).
I’ve been really sitting with this for the past few weeks. Yes, I am ready for change. But am I really excited about it? Is there passion and energy behind my decision to open myself up to new adventures, find meaningful employment, learn new skills, and make new connections? Or is this process marked by underlying ambivalence?
It has become clear that I’ve been holding on to a lot of restrictive and limiting beliefs that aren’t supporting me on my quest for a life with more meaning, freedom, trust, surrender, and abundance.
My ego is all-to-happy to supply a list of reasons for why my dreams can’t be fulfilled. And by ego, I mean the energy of fear (and all that stems from it), which has infiltrated my individual – and our collective – psyche.
Some of the ego’s incessant chatter sounds like this:
- You don’t even know what your dream/passion is. How can you possibly hope to achieve it?
- You can’t get paid for the things you love to do.
- Life is hard…it is not meaningful without struggle and suffering.
- You need lots of money for this.
- Living your dreams is such a self-indulgent, western concept. Why not be satisfied with all you already have? (My ego is particularly fond of this one!)
- It’s not in your karma.
- There’s not enough to go around.
- What if you fail? What if you’re just an imposter? What if people laugh at you or (worse?) feel sorry for you?
The list could go on and on, if I let it. Because that’s how the ego works. It wants us to feel bogged down and overwhelmed, so that we give up before we even try.
The ego is relentless and insidious and its job is to make sure we don’t excel and discover our magnificence and greatness, i.e., Who We Really Are. It wants us to stay small.
It has been said that the ego is useful in that it protects us, gives us boundaries. But I don’t know about that. Protect us from what, exactly? Danger, harm, being taken advantage of? I personally would much rather rely on my intuition, self-love, and an implicit sense of trust. Ego is all about fear, fear, fear.
I don’t want to focus on these beliefs as problems (because the ego loves problems!), so much as become more vigilant and aware of the dark corners in which they’re hiding. I need to turn the light on, name them, call them out, so that they’re not subconsciously tripping me up and causing self-sabotage in its many forms.
Creating the life of one’s dreams can’t be accomplished merely through thinking the ‘right’ thoughts and saying positive affirmations, and long-held beliefs can’t be cleared if we’re totally unaware of their existence. If we carry around deep beliefs that fundamentally contradict our positive words, we will manifest conflict. And for me, this was showing up in my body.
So now the most important question becomes: if these beliefs are not my true, authentic nature, am I truly ready to let them go? I know that it requires a whole new set of (more fun) rules to play by. I also know that I have no other option.
I’m here for beauty, love, and expansion. Restriction and limitation simply do not fit into that picture.