Sunday, November 16, 2014

I'm Sleeping With....

REAL Life Book Club. Here's a short ditty about what I believe to be true. If I leave a stack of REAL Life Book Club approved books next to my bed - as seen in the picture to the left - I am able to retain all the juicy truths contained in the pages through osmosis. It's really quite spectacular. And it's a superpower I've been using since my school days. This is no joke, I used to study until I couldn't keep my eyes open - this should not lead you to believe that I spent long hours studying. If I didn't make it through all the material, I'd leave the book next to my bed and tell myself I could study while I sleep. Little did I know I was flexing my receiving muscles and I did graduate with honors. 

Here's How It Actually Goes...
My truth. I've been trying to kick post traumatic stress disorder -PTSD - to the curb in a real big way. First off, I didn't even realize I had it, but as I received therapy following a car accident in August 2013, I learned that I've been living with it for 14 years!  Um yeah. I couldn't believe it either and it's still strange for me to say I experience(d) PTSD. *14 years because I was in a major car accident when I was 19 years old and apparently trauma can live inside us - even small ones too.

I also learned that there are different levels of processing PTSD and one tool for "recovery" is to seek community connection, a higher purpose, etc.  Definitely more touchy feel-y than I was used to being in life, however I also learned that I was living very detached from myself and my experiences. It can be best described as living with white noise in the background - and that white noise constantly comes from within, it never turns off until released.


Joining REAL Life Book Club has been a great way for me to open up my feminine side a little more and begin taking small steps to gain more freedom in my life. 

What better way to do this than with a book called, The Power of Receiving by Amanda Owen. Amanda's book promotes and values receiving as much as giving and is for anyone who does too much, loves too much or multitasks to exhaustion. Work on your receiving muscles if you:
  • Ignore real emotions and put on a happy face to appear perfect
  • Fill the desires of others at the expense of your own
  • Push beyond reasonable limits
  • Deflect compliments
  • Avoid time alone and turn to unhealthy substances, food or other activities as a way to "let go or escape" to meet needs
  • Try to do it all alone and never ask for help
  • Feel resentful or angry
"When we push away or do not receive willingly, people notice! A lack of acceptance and acknowledgement sends the message loud and clear that we don't want to be given to. And life cooperates by being less giving." - Power of Receiving

Now I don't know about you, BUT that makes me say, "Wait - hold the phone - I'm the one holding myself back from rich experiences?! F*K!" This catapulted me into action; #inspiraction to be exact! Now don't get me wrong - change doesn't happen overnight - AND I had been embracing the notion of #One and being a #HotMess prior to getting my hands on this juicy material. BUT I wasn't implementing these changes without running in circles with questions. This book put everything into context for me. I fully understand what giving and receiving is and what it isn't, and how to ROCK IT like Diana Ross' I'm Coming Out.

By shifting your perspective and building your receive muscles, you can take control too. To make sure we are on the same page - the definition of receive is: "to accept willingly." To become a better steward of receiving one must embrace all feelings - the good, bad and ugly by acknowledging them. I now allow myself to feel these emotions fully. That way they don't get stuck in some holding pattern that ultimately keeps me stuck. Let me be clear though - complaining is not the same as acknowledging your feelings. See this book is a must read because I can tell you that repressed emotions find a way of manifesting themselves as little monsters. And these little monsters tend to take a toll on our health and relationships. So be bold, be honest with yourself and others, feel sh*t, and give and receive with reckless abandon!

"The Moment You Own It, You Better Never Let It Go. You Only Get One Shot, Do Not Miss Your Chance To Blow This Opportunity Only Comes Once In A Lifetime" - Eminem

Below are a few nuggets of Amanda's wisdom that really provided a shift in perspective for me, not only pertaining to my situation, but friend's and loved ones too. It has allowed me to see where people are coming from or may even be stuck in unhealthy behavior patterns.

Nugget 1: Are you busy trying to control every outcome?
"When we are not adept receivers, we try to control everything through our own efforts. Not only is this counterproductive but such a strategy does not take anything else or anybody's desires into account." 

Nugget 2: Do you believe that if you accept help you'll owe the person? Are you always keeping score?
"An experienced receiver does not fear being indebted to a Giver because the gate of giving and receiving swings both ways - receiving sometimes and giving at other times. It is only when you don't have practice at both that it is easy to be confused about what your needs and rights are."

Nugget 3: Do you ignore or suppress your emotions?"Can you imagine being praised for expressing feelings of weakness, vulnerability, jealousy or hate? Emotions need acknowledgement - to be received. We pay a high price when we ignore or suppress them." 

Do you find it easier to relate to someone who has it totally “together” or someone who reveals themselves as human?
To truly connect with others you have to reveal yourself – be authentic rather than give an impression of the person you think you should be. Over the course of this book my ability to share about myself has increased 10 fold. I've stepped out of my comfort zone a little more and will continue to do so. The white noise I once experienced is no longer present. It's important that you know that I was not aware of this noise until it disappeared - it's sneaky and it steals from you at every turn. Over the course of the 14 years, I did know that my brain had a hard time processing feelings and emotions, and I often felt stuck in an undesirable space. However, it was so embedded in my being that I had no physical way of releasing it. Very strange for someone as physical as me.

Join me as I begin my journey as a REAL Life Book Club leader in 2015. You can subscribe here to stay in the loop - book clubs are in-person and virtual - you can pick your poison!