We start out life as these individual sparks. Both perfect and flawed.
Wonderful and remarkable, yet quirky and somehow not-quite-formed to those who love us.
This is where it begins…
Even in the womb we’re absorbing information. Feeling and sensing who we might be. Then we come out into the world and we begin taking stock, tallying the facts as we see them and adjusting our responses.
Managing our image.
Who we start to become is still us, it’s just that, well, we can’t help but be partly molded and shaped by what we experience, who we spend time with each day and what they think and feel.
And don’t get me wrong, none of this is a mistake, none of it’s wrong or anything other than what our soul ordered from the cosmos when we deigned to alight on this here planet of ours.
It’s just that sometimes we end up forgetting lots about who we really are.
We grow up and blindly become a version of our parents or we follow a set of beliefs gained from family, church, school or culture that sort of feels correct but scrape the surface just a smidge and it can suddenly all feel like someone else’s ill-fitting suit.
You know what I mean? We reach maybe 26, and wake up one day in a career, relationship, town, crime gang, religious cult or all of the above and think, “How did I get here?”.
We get the urge to wriggle free and escape.
But oh the temptation to remain safe and approved of. It’s mighty powerful.
Why rock the raft or bite the hand?
It might feel scary and cause some consternation among those who wish we would stay the same (cos then they can stay safe too), but believe me, the open road beats the prison cell any day.
Let’s get down to tin tacks.
Here are five ways you can find out if you’re being real in your life:
If you feel completely at ease and good about yourself when you spend time with your closest friends and you don’t need to dress a certain way or talk a certain way in order to fit in – good job, you’re keeping things real.
If you have a job where your work mates see the same ‘you’ as your friends and family do then, you’re probably being pretty authentic.
If you can look into your wardrobe and see plenty of clothes you feel good in and enjoy wearing, then you’re choosing clothing for the right reasons, i.e. you like them and buy for yourself rather than to please anyone else – that’s you being real.
If you feel things are pretty fair and even in your relationship when it comes to choosing things together such as meals to cook, grocery or household items to buy, movies or television to watch, outings or holidays to enjoy – then you’re clearly expressing your preferences openly and that’s a good thing.
If you’re comfortable to say no to requests or invitations from friends and family sometimes because what they’re wanting you to do doesn’t feel right or doesn’t fit in with your desires or plans AND you feel totally relaxed and comfortable with doing this, then right on! You are really rocking this realness gig.
Tick yes to three of the above five scenarios and I would say you’re doing pretty darn good with being true to who you are. Less than three and I’d recommend you rethink some of your automatic choices.
It’s all about how we feel: That surge of anxiety when mum drops in for a cuppa, “Shit, is the floor clean enough?”
That sinking feeling you get when a certain couple invite you to a party and you recall not liking any of their friends….
You get the gist.
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What if the person you thought you were, was just an illusion?…….Just a mask or overlay, and there was a whole different YOU that you needed to get to know?
Let me explain:
Who I thought I was and what I valued about ‘her’ as a person is slowly dissolving before my eyes.
Uh, hold on, that sounds a little melodramatic. What I’m about to describe is more about full integration than dissolution.
It all began quite recently when I received my first ever astrological reading. I’ve always been intensely interested in astrology and numerology but for some reason, it took me until now to get a birth chart done.
And as my learned astrologer Renee said; “Maybe there’s a reason for that”, because what I discovered about my chart, totally destabilised who I thought I was.
First things first, I’m a Virgo with my Moon in Cancer, and Mars and Black Moon in Leo…. but enough of that.
Now, I thought that as a Virgo, I had all the Virgo qualities and nothing else. Turns out it’s not that simple, there’s so much more to discover when you take a proper look.
In fact, despite thinking I was a model Virgo – oh so methodical, organised, health-conscious, discriminating, neat, caring, analytical and wise – when Renee told me my birth chart reflected quite a chaotic set of influences, I was floored!
Then over a period of weeks, it slowing began dawning on me and settling into my core…..
I’ve been battling against my true nature ever since I was a small child and it’s all related to my anxious personality, which when I look deeper, was a coping mechanism I created to hide from my natural gifts of sensitivity, creativity, empathy and intuition.
Many of us with these gifts face challenges around anxiety and depression due to our fears of being discovered, exposed. We come to believe that it’s safer to withdraw, keep our perceptions and wisdom to ourselves and be isolated in our awareness, than it is to speak up or respond to the guidance we are receiving.
This is nobody’s fault, life just seems to do that to many of us, no matter the circumstances, and in my belief system, I feel these fears are based on experiences we’ve been through in other lifetimes. I believe it’s my journey in this lifetime to consciously reclaim these parts of myself and to use them in the service of others.
I’ve always had a feeling of confidence when with I’m with people I know and trust. But as child I would completely shut down and panic if I was taken somewhere new and forced to interact with strangers, even if they were other children. I was chronically shy.
In my childish efforts to handle my nervous disposition I focused on being as good and as nice as I could at school and at home and prioritised creating harmony, approval and peace around myself.
I also got good at doing things well and gained self-esteem from my school and sporting achievements. Oh, and my Mum and Dad loved and supported me as well. That helped 🙂
It was only when I finished high school and stepped nervously out into the wider world, that my confidence and faith in my abilities started to wobble. My twenties were a very uncertain and bumpy time as I discovered that the ‘Tricia’ I had created as a child didn’t readily translate into the ‘take charge’ kind of woman I longed to be.
I was too concerned with keeping others happy and not assertive at all in expressing my needs.
Thank goodness that’s all over!
The fact is we change. We’re constantly changing and the more consciously open to change we are, the faster it happens. What I’ve recently bumped up against is the reality that my perceptions of who I am are out of date.
I’ve been faithfully (more like doggedly) clinging to quite a few traits that are wearing thin from overuse and masking the deeper me.
Let me give you an example; feeling attached to the qualities of being organised and punctual has left me in denial of my natural tendencies to reject routine and repetition and run five minutes late to just about everything.
Anyone else with me here?
I’m ready to own my shadow qualities so I can relax more and just be myself.
It’s in the shadow qualities of selfishness, greed, envy, chronic tardiness, arrogance, nastiness and the gigantic catalogue of fears most of us have, that we find some of our deepest, most rich and fascinating experiences, opportunities for growth and creative ideas.
Don’t you think?
Anyway, I’m putting it out there for you to take a look at your shadow side and allow the darkness to balance the light. I’ll be right there with you.
And it’s all there within each of us anyway, so we might as well acknowledge it fully and embrace the contrasts.
So much more to say here but that’s enough for now.
Much love, Tricia
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