My 16 year old daughter tells me she can always tell when I am disappointed because I squeeze my lips together in a tight line. Tight and closed, smile gone from my lips, just feeling disappointment and trying to hold it in tight. Don’t you just love it when your kids mirror back what you think you are hiding so well?
So what am I experiencing in this pursed and puckered state? It’s not the ease and flow I want to be feeling that is for sure! When my lips are locked it means my heart is too. I feel constricted, out of alignment, disappointment, fear, rejection and expectations that have been set and crushed. It is not a fun place to be. This is the place that looks like arguments with my 9 year old or feelings of resentment when I decide my husband isn’t showing up exactly as I think he should. It sounds like “I am not enough” “You are not enough” and “I need chocolate now!”
I had a client tell me recently that she looks at me and just assumes I have it all figured out. That I don’t get triggered or upset, that I blissfully skip through life. This is true and not true. Just as it is for you.
Want to know what I also experience? I experience open hearted smiles and a feeling of connectedness and love. I listen, I laugh, I love, I see the light in others and myself. I feel connected to my purpose and know who I am meant to be. This looks like taking care of my body from a place of love, listening to what I want and giving myself permission to go after my desires. It looks like open hearted hugs and accepting my husband and children for who they are and the path of learning they are meant to take. It feels like peace, ease and alignment with my highest self.
Am I there all the time? No, but I am increasing the number of moments I am in alignment with this best version of me. What pulls me out of this blissful state is the belief that I have to be there all the time. That if I am not perfect then I am failing. This is the trick that my brain and ego play to pull me into judgement and fear and take me off the path that leads toward who I am designed to be.
So how do you increase the number of moments you are in alignment with your best self? Here are three tips to practice. Practice is the key word…. Not perfection!
- Get to know your best self
This is where I begin with every program I offer and every client I meet. Why? Because how can you get in alignment with something that you can’t even see? We spend so much attention and energy focused on everything we ARE NOT we sometimes can’t see into our divine self to discover who we truly ARE. Where you shine your light is what you will see and what you see is the direction you will go. So get to know the best version of you. Take some time to ask yourself, in journaling or prayer and meditation…What does that noblest highest version of me feel like, how does she think, what does she believe? Get to know your best self and shine the light on that truth!
- There is no failure only feedback
When you show up in the closed hearted version of you, tight lips and all, listen up and pay attention. When you are in the thick of emotion it is hard to get to know what you are thinking and feeling. But your body knows. My lips get tight, my heart closes, and my stomach churns. This is the feedback that tells me to pay attention. There is a limiting thought that is pulling me out of alignment. Listen to the feedback. Feel the pursed lips, check in…. “Hmm what is the negative thought that needs to be reframed?”
- Release and Reframe
Once that negative thought is seen (thank you body for letting me know) you are in the driver’s seat. What you can see, you can change. So make the conscious effort to breathe into the negative emotion and release the tension. Just let it go. Once you can breathe into that space you have access to reframing the thought to something more empowering. From an empowered open state you can switch the thinking from, “Why does my son have to constantly argue with me?” to “my son is learning to express himself and his needs. What is hurting within him that is making him lash out? What does he need from me to feel safe?”
So practice the most important work you will ever do… developing the art of getting to know and showing up as the best version of you. I will be practicing right along with you, letting go of my tight lips and stepping into full hearted living. Here’s to the journey my friends!