A new decade is upon us, yes ladies, a new DECADE! Move over New Years resolutions and lets zoom out to think about our 10 year goals. Life is so much larger than 365 days, have you considered your goals beyond 2020? What is this decade about? Have you considered how your life affects the lives of other women? How our collective experience can be changed when women everywhere level up?I think it’s high time, as women, that we address the biggest internal block we all face, the birthplace of fear and the source of that self-destructive inner-voice: Shame. Shame, even that word makes us cringe. When we talk to people about their fears, they can freely admit surface level fears like height or spiders and sometimes even share deeply about fear of failure, or maybe pain. For some reason as a society, we are comfortable with fear and we talk about it as the big problem that we need to overcome but mention shame and everyone clams up. That tells me that we are on a hot trail to something deeper...
When you look at fear, we have fear of a physical consequence and fear of emotional consequence. Both include the fear of shame. If you lost your job, you’d have a physical consequence of losing income, not being able to afford your life but you’d also be fearful of the shame of letting down your family or self, shame from internal and external sources.
Shame isn’t only connected to fear, it is a deeply seeded operating system we use in our decision making. Can you say that you live totally and fully in your authenticity? Or are there parts of you that you hide or minimize? Why? Are you afraid of judgement, of not being accepted? Maybe its your own internal shame; the programming from our growing up that tells us parts of ourselves are bad, that pesky voice I mentioned earlier. Maybe it's external shame, others or society telling you how to be and how not to be to avoid humiliation. Avoid humiliation, thats a main goal we are conditioned to live by, but why?
The tricky part about shame, is its cyclical nature. Ever see someone dressed a certain way or acting a certain way and immediately judge and shame them in your mind? We all do, but there’s a reciprocal action inside that happens when we do, either we feel bad and shame ourselves for being judgmental or we are actually shaming that part of ourselves who wants to be like the judged person. Sometimes the beliefs we have don't line up with our authentic self and that’s a breeding ground for shame. That is exactly what makes us project- put our inner feelings about ourselves onto someone else. Shame is a parasitic monster sucking our life of joy, self-love and the ability to truly accept and celebrate others, too.
How can we move past this damaging habit? The first step is done! Awareness. Just reading this article and considering how it applies to your experience means you are aware (at least a bit) of how shame affects you. Now, you can take action.
THE BOHOSTYLE WOMAN
Don’t despair! This is something you can overcome. Self-care is a big topic and has been for the last decade, but I think its time we shift toward self-nurturing. Learning to care for our body and feelings is so important but let's step into the deeper waters. Self-nurturing means finding the parts of yourself that are broken, hurt or discarded and loving them up. Imagine those parts of yourself like a little bird with a broken wing, wrap them in a blanket, hold them gently to you and give them empathy and care. The deeper layers of your self are in need of more than a face mask and strong boundaries.
Transmuting our shame means to verifiably change it into something else. We can transmute that shame by finding self-acceptance. Look at the parts of yourself you feel ashamed of, can you empathize? Accept your less-than-perfect self? It helps to remember that every single person harbors shame too, just like you. We need to start taking on self-nurturing and expressing it outwardly too. That person you judged, find a way to call your own bull and find something positive to say about them, then go inside of yourself and find the broken part that makes you want to project that judgement. And yes, have a solid cry.
Learning to really find our shame can be really hard but so are most of the fruitful endeavors of our lives. Learning where our shame comes from can help us to abandon it too, sometimes it’s just a matter of examining the lens we see through, we don’t have to choose to believe all the things we do today or did yesterday. You can ask yourself if your beliefs fit your authentic nature, if they don't, you can let them go and adopt new ones. This life is yours to live and your views are yours to form. Try questioning your view of right and wrong, good and bad, appropriate and shameful. You might just find some programming that you don’t agree with.
TIP: If you find accessing these deep places difficult, try breathwork to help you get clear. Take long deep breaths through your nose and focus on just feeling your body. Give yourself a good 10-15 minutes to simply breathe without thought. It can help you anytime you feel overwhelmed, upset or when you just need to get centered again.
When you can get real and I mean REAL with yourself and feel all those pains and shames, you have the total opportunity to change your shame into acceptance and find that inner peace. Beyond inner peace, there is power! Power to know yourself fully, to not be running, hiding or covering up any parts of wonderfully made, you. To be able to say “Hey! 2020! This is me! Unapologetically and SHAMELESSLY me! And I love me.” And when you can really feel that, you can give it to others too.
We can change the world of women just by changing the lens we are looking through. So let’s make this year and this decade the decade of the shameless woman by addressing the shame we have, transmuting it to self-love, practicing self-nurturing and then projecting that love. Let’s give it to the women in our lives, in our community and everywhere. Women rise together, we are one-in-the same and our shame, internally and externally, is so last decade!