Fear and Weight Loss

When I was a newbie at Tracker School (see trackerschool.com) I wanted to go to the Scout class, which had the prerequisites of the week long Standard class, the week long Advanced Standard class, and the week long Advanced Tracking and Awareness class.  The scout class is also a week long class where during the day you learn techniques of the ancient Apache scouts, and by night your team is camouflaged and raiding other team’s camps till usually 2 or 3 am.  Most days there is a time in the afternoon where the students do exercises on a log over the swimming hole, walking the log, walking it blindfolded, jousting with out partner, and even blindfolded fighting to name a few.  For me, this sounded very exciting, but I was terrified of not being up to the physical element of the class.

Fear drove me to work very hard on getting in shape for the class.  I lost 25 lbs and was able to jog two miles without stopping.  Not too bad for a 47 year old mother of 9.

I was also afraid of the log work over the water, so I practiced walking on the narrow edges of 2 x 6 boards nailed to posts, both eyes open and blindfolded.  That preparation taught me a little of what to expect, and how to overcome my fear.  I ended up enjoying the log work more than anything else that week!

One of my teachers, Karl Direske, of Wilderness Fusion, told me, “There is only a fine line between fear and excitement.”  I can see that.  I was so excited to go to Scout class, but I was also afraid!

Sometimes the desire to do something can drive us to overcome our fear and accomplish something we really want to do.  In this case, I was afraid I would not be physically fit enough for the class.  My desire drove me to spend a couple years preparing both mentally and physically.  When I finally registered for the Scout class I was also registered for a Vision Quest class the week before, and an Ancient Scout class the week after.  One of the young men in my school, upon hearing my plan, thought three classes in a row would be too much for me and I vacillated about taking the three classes consecutively, but an older woman from the school said, “Go ahead and do it if you want to.  Don’t let him talk you out of it.  You’ll be fine.”  I did go ahead, and it was wonderful!  Not only did I succeed in the classes, I also lost another 25 lbs during those three weeks, and was finally down to my ideal weight!

Fear is the opposite of faith, but fear can be turned to faith through preparation.  That reminds me of a scripture I heard once . . . “If ye are prepared, ye shall not fear.”   Well, whaddaya know, ha ha!

About Michele

At this point in my journey I believe the most important thing we gain in this life is our relationships. This means connecting with others. Not only with other people, but with everything that exists. I know this probably sounds a little “woo woo” but I guess I am a little woo woo. Lol!

To treat everything with respect, and to appreciate all things, can help to create relationships with everything. See my blog entitled “Alone In The Woods” (yet to come).

I created this blog and website to connect with other people through sharing my thoughts, lessons, and possible insights. I hope you glean a few things which will benefit you on your journey through life.

I was married, had 5 children, and was divorced. Devastation. I remarried and had 4 more children. I was raised in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, a wonderful family oriented and supportive Christ centered church which I still attend. What I blog about has less to do with my religion or my upbringing and more to do with lessons I have learned as an adult searching for happiness and peace. My church teaches “If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report, or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.” Articles of Faith #13.

At different times in life I have experienced extreme joy and also extreme depression. In searching out help for depression I found many wonderful teachers and philosophies. I love that I was taught to seek after any praiseworthy thing. My journey to overcome depression led me to attend many classes. I started with survival classes (to survive life) and moved quickly into the more spiritual and philosophical classes (to find myself). I attended Tom Brown Jr.’s Trackerschool (see Resources for more info) for 10 years as an avid student (some would say addict). I have also attended three years of Malcolm Ringwald’s Earth-Heart training classes, and three years of Niaszih healing system training with Karl Direske and other teachers at Wilderness Fusion.

My search for knowledge in the world of herbs and herbalism led me to take Roots of Herbalism and The Family Herbalist series with Emily Ruff at Florida School of Holistic Living.

At one point I attended a women’s retreat with Allyson Rice (she has a website now: Allyson-Wonderland), where I brought home new deep understanding about life, see blog about “We Are Universes” (yet to come).

I have read extensively, especially self help books, books on relationships, and spiritual awareness books. I have listed a few of my favorites in the Resources page on this website.

I value my family more than anything. I love colors and color combinations, they bring me joy. I love working with wool, it feels amazing to my fingers. I love nature. I love horses, when I touch them I am very present and not off in my head somewhere. I love making connections with people. I also love disconnecting from everything to be still and be with myself, quietly, deep in my core. But even in there, there is connection with The Great Everything.

I recently moved back to Oregon, with my two youngest children, to be near my extended family. My husband is still running his business in Florida and visits when he can. My health has deteriorated to the point that any thing that causes me stress or worry makes my body hurt (see blog entitled My “Very Spoiled” Nervous System). I work on things that bring me joy. I have limited energy, but I can do some things, even physical labor for short periods of time, and I am careful to rest when I need to. I am happy and content to focus on joy, and share the things I’ve learned on my personal journey.

I wish love and many blessings to all of you.

Michele

Source: About Michele

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!

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

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!

References:
Wilderness Fusion healing classes with Karl Direske: wildernessfusion.com
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.

 

 

HOW TO TRACK YOUR EMOTIONS

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!
References:
Karl Direske’s Wilderness Fusion healing classes

 

Brene Brown’s book “Daring Greatly”

DARING GREATLY versus SHAME ON ME!

Shame on me . . . OR NOT!

 

 

“Daring Greatly”!

I’ve been reading Brene Brown’s book called Daring Greatly.  Brown is a shame researcher and her book is hitting home with me, big time!  I even dreamed last night about all the ways I feel shame.  Let’s see, there’s the mother in  me, the father in me, the little girl in me, the little boy in me, the employee in me, the employer in me, the friend to others in me . . . and there were probably more, but those are the ones I could remember consciously so far.

Shame is different from guilt.  Shame is the one where one thinks ‘I am not good enough.  I am not enough.’  Guilt is the one where one thinks ‘I am good enough, but I did something that was not good.  I did something wrong.’  Shame is stifling and causes one to contract and feel helpless and hopeless.  Guilt can bring one to action and prompt one to make things right.

In the healing series I am currently involved in, through Wilderness Fusion with Karl Direske and the other teachers, I am looking at my main addiction: disconnecting (I have learned I disconnect with myself, my emotions, and with other people in order to feel safe), and holding that evaluation up to the shame model in Brene Brown’s book.  I can see how my feelings of shame and “not good enough” are contributing to my constantly disconnecting from others and from myself.

Shame is painful.  Disconnecting from myself, or my pain, or disconnecting from others eases the pain of the shame.  Understanding this is very healing because the “shame gremlin”does not like to be seen and understood.  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.

I highly recommend the book “Daring Greatly” by Brene Brown.  I want to underline every sentence in that book!  There is so much important information in there for healing and understanding shame in our lives!!