Month: April 2015

Living in Vulnerability is Worth it! Here’s Why . . .

Being Real, Authentic, Connected Within, and Vulnerable

Is Worth It!


Here’s Why . . .

In my last “Wilderness Fusion” class, my eyes were opened to something vital.  I have been blogging about connection with others, and connection to self, and now I want to share what I experienced that helped me see WHY this connection is vitally important.

The Hot Seat

In our last class there was one seat, lined up with the others in the circle.  That was the “hot seat.”  As each student took their turn in the hot seat, our teachers helped them to identify their main addiction.  The teachers also helped the person over come the addiction in front of the class by helping the person touch/feel the place within them that the addiction was keeping them from.  When each student touched that place within, the transformation was almost unbelievable.  I will describe that transformation below, but first . . .

I’m not saying the teachers helped us forever overcome our main addiction, but the teachers helped each student consciously feel into the place we were addicted to avoiding, and the rest of the students witnessed the visible shift.

For me, as I stated in a previous blog, my main addiction was disconnecting.  I disconnected so I wouldn’t feel my negative emotions.  Of course, the side effect was that I didn’t feel my positive emotions either.  That ability to disconnect was a defense mechanism I developed as a protection through my life.  I thought it was pretty cool, actually, how I could simply not feel anything if I didn’t want to.  Now, after a lifetime of practice, what had started as a defense mechanism had become an addiction and was getting in my way.

The teachers helped me feel into the place of connection within.  When I dropped into self connection, the place I feel emotions, I felt love for myself and compassion for myself, even though there was some emotional pain too.  The teachers could feel it.  They could see the change in me.  They helped me identify it; to mark that spot so I would have a landmark there, to help me to reach it again so I could strive for greater connectedness.

The way I found that place was to think about something I felt a connection to.  I thought about river rocks.  I don’t know why but I feel very connected to them.  As I thought about my connection to the smooth dark rocks I felt myself relax and an inner peace and loving kindness toward myself flowed through my core.  I have since identified other things that help me feel that connected feeling, like painting my emotions, or spinning wool, or heart to heart talks with my children.

Living my day to day life from connectedness feels harder in the short run because I am forced to face and deal with the things causing me pain, but in the long run I know my life will be more full, and happy.  I will have to grow and made necessary changes for the better — instead of avoiding the issues that cause me pain.

Even better . . . (here is the “below” I mentioned earlier)

What happened NEXT is what REALLY helped me see the value of staying connected, real, and authentic.

As each student sat there, with the class witnessing, each student was guided to connect with the spot the addiction was keeping them from, I could see my classmates literally and visually change!  Each student became more solid!  More real!  And also more vulnerable.  Each student stepped into their vulnerability, with all of us witnessing.

I realized that when my classmates were in their addictions, which kept them from their inner place of connection, focus, wholeness, reality, I could not feel a connection with them, because they were not really “there”.  When they sunk into that place of inner connection, however, I could connect with them.  They felt solid.  They felt real.  I could find them as they occupied their honest wholeness.   When disconnected they seemed to be only partly there; like an image, a facade, a shell, an interface with the world, which made them difficult to connect with.

Watching the transformations, being able to see the contrast before and after, I realized that no one can connect with ME when I am disconnected within!  That witnessing showed me WHY it is so important to do my own work, so that other people CAN connect with me.  I had thought there was something wrong with me, and that if they could really see me, they wouldn’t want to connect with me, so I projected an image so I could remain safe, hiding my imperfection.  Now, after seeing my classmates transform into solid tangible, imperfect people who can be reached, I see that others couldn’t connect with me because I was refusing to actually show up.

I want to feel a part of the world, connected to the people I care about, and I can only do this by being accessible to others, by showing up in a real and honest way, by having the courage to be connected to my whole self, to the real me, to the authentic me, and showing up for others . . . even in my imperfection and vulnerability!

Wilderness Fusion healing classes with Karl Direske:
Brene Brown’s book “Daring Greatly”

Tracking Your Emotions.

Tracking intense emotions . . . . . ..   . … .  .. . .   . ..   . ..   . ..  . … .

In my last post I made this brash statement:
Understanding how shame is affecting me, and understanding how shame began when I was young and how I continue to pass it forward to everything I do, allows me to discontinue that shaming voice within me.”

Well, that sounds nice, but HOW does one understand shame and how it began.

I would not have thought to track my emotions to their origin if it had not been suggested to me by a friend in my Healing Class at Wilderness Fusion, so since I brought it up, I am going to share the process with you.




The next time you find yourself triggered by an event into an intense emotion, especially the negative emotions, instead of reacting, take some time, get some space away from others if you can, and allow yourself to go deep within yourself and say, “Show me when I first felt this emotion.”  Surrender all thoughts and allow something to come forward.  You may find yourself streaking back through time and experience.  You may notice experiences flying by as you go back in time, experiences that triggered that particular emotion in you.  You may come to the beginning and everything will slow down and you will be at the origin of that emotion, at the event that first created it in you.  When you get to that event, examine it, feel it, relive it!
I have used this tool many times now.  As I re-live the original event that created a particular emotion in me, I understand that I felt overwhelmed by the emotion, to the point of feeling out of control and afraid, along with anger, or sadness or whatever.  I saw how that original feeling of helplessness and “out of control” was being brought forward instantly, along with similar emotional baggage from other events, and all in a bundle being dumped on me as I experienced a present event triggering that same emotion.  The fact that I am no longer a child, and supposedly an adult who can handle things better (ha ha), didn’t stop the flood of emotion which could throw me into a depression, or feeling frustrated and helpless, or at least throwing me into a bit of a funk.
These events have been described by one of my teachers as a string of pearls.  Each pearl being an event along a timeline.  As I fly by these pearls on my way to the original event, I find that in the awareness of each event the baggage is staying with the event and being dispersed along the time line.  When I am done with this exercise, the current event, the one that triggered the emotion in the NOW, is left with only the appropriate amount of emotion due it; not the whole bundle, gathered from the timeline.
If you want, you could slow down the movement of the tool by asking a different question: “When was the last time I felt this emotion?”  Surrender all thought.  An event will emerge.  Notice it with gratitude, then ask, “When else did I feel it?”  Notice it, and ask, “When else?”  Continue doing this and eventually you will get the origin of that emotion.  At any time, during this slower process, you could pick up the speed and ask, “When was the first time I felt it?” and fly through time to the origin.
This is one of those tools that, when first given to me, I couldn’t see how well it would work, or that it would work at all.  I’ve learned to trust my teachers and my classmates though, and I experiment with the tools I am given.  I am always amazed at what happens.

So Where Does Shame Fit In?

What I realized, as I relived those first experiences that brought on my extreme emotions, was that those feelings of being out of control I had as a child made me feel helpless, small, confused, afraid, and even outraged.  Those feelings created a feeling of being less than capable of handling what was going on.  I was a small child, and sometimes even an infant, and of course I was not in a position to handle or even understand my world yet.   As I looked for how these early experiences contributed to shame, and disconnection, I found that I did feel shame because I didn’t understand.  The shame was deeply buried, and intellectually it may not make sense, but the shame was there, and it may be the first time I ever felt it.  What is interesting, too, is that in my earliest experience with shame, no one told me I was less than, no one shamed me, but I felt, in my helplessness, like I was not enough.  That feeling of “not enough” is a basis for shame.
I do not know how well this tool will work for you, whether you will have a similar experience or not, but perhaps you, like me, at least have a new tool to play with and learn from.
Dare Greatly everyone!
Karl Direske’s Wilderness Fusion healing classes


Brene Brown’s book “Daring Greatly”
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