Whose Skin Are YOU Living In?

Maybe I Just Need to Drop Dead!

I was at home, simply sitting still, and began to notice feelings of frustration and agitation.  I was struggling with a recurring relationship challenge in my life when I heard a harsh inner voice suggesting an interesting solution to my predicament: “You just need to drop dead.”

I laughed to myself noticing how my mind, once again, had gone off the deep end.  I let the thought pass by knowing that there was no need to attach to it by believing it.

But later that day an image came into my consciousness that revealed a powerful, symbolic message in those cryptic words. 

In my August post I shared my story about developing Spasmodic Dysphonia., another mindbody syndrome.  You can read it here. This is a rare disorder of the central nervous system that causes involuntary movements of the vocal folds (cords) during voice production making my voice sound hoarse and somewhat strangled.

I was 100% sure that this condition was a response to recent events in my life that were extremely challenging and triggering.  I understood that my mindbody system was out of balance and realized that the appearance of this “voice thing” was no accident.

I began the process of compassionate self- reflection as I paused and tuned into my inner world listening to the whispers of my body.  I knew that my voice was a symbol for my truth and that my body was speaking to me in a way that must not be ignored.

Over the last two years, this “voice thing” has been my greatest teacher – the gift that keeps on giving. No matter how much dismay and distress it may bring me, it is a profound messenger.

Hearing my inner voice advising me to “just drop dead” became a powerful metaphor. It was time to REALLY drop out of my comfort zone by shedding my skin.

Author and renowned life coach, Martha Beck, created a model of human metamorphosis known as The Change Cycle.  The first phase of this psychological process is known as Death and Rebirth and occurs when life events actually “alter our definition of self (Martha Beck).

I reminded myself that in this metaphorical phase of Death and Rebirth, the caterpillar must shed its skin long before it emerges from its cocoon as a butterfly. 

Martha created a mantra that describes this baffling experience: “I don’t know what the hell is going on, and that’s okay.” 

Here’s more from Martha: “The first phase of change is the scariest, especially because we aren’t taught to expect it. It’s the time when we lose our identity and are left temporarily formless: person soup. Most people fight like crazy to keep their identities from dissolving. ‘This is just a blip,’ we tell ourselves when circumstances rock our world. ‘I’m the same person, and my life will go back to being the way it was.’

Sometimes this is true. But in other cases, when real metamorphosis has begun, we run into a welter of ‘dissolving’ experiences. We may feel that everything is falling apart, that we’re losing everyone and everything. Dissolving feels like death, because it is—it’s the demise of the person you’ve been.”

We all experience metamorphosis numerous times during our lives as we shed the skin of the identity that no longer supports the evolution of our soul.

Our bodies hold infinite wisdom that speaks to us through subtle, and sometimes not so subtle, sensations guiding us to our truth.  I know that persistent painful physical and emotional symptoms may be signaling us that we are out of sync with our true nature.

Rather than “trying to figure out a solution,” we enter this space of Death and Rebirth and trust in its power to guide us without a time table. Grief, anger, guilt, heartache, and despair are some of the states that may accompany this profound journey.

The practice of exploring our body’s somatic messages requires steadfast patience and self-kindness along with a healthy dose of curiosity!  It is also important to put self-judgment on a back burner.

The answers lie within us and cannot be accessed by over thinking and forcing which are common in today’s frenetic, pressure cooker culture.

We each hold the key to restoring our truth and must  be willing to welcome and allow discomfort as we navigate the path to personal freedom.

“The best way out is always through. “ Robert Frost

Elaine

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