Body-Mind-Spirit - Inspiration for Writers, Dreamers, and Seekers of Health & Happiness
The holidays are here. And while it might be “the most wonderful time of the year,” it can also be the most stressful.
I don’t know about you, but when I’m tense, I’m prone to anxiety and worry. When I’m anxious, it’s because I’m letting fearful thinking run loops in my head. I don’t recognize this is happening when I move fast, when I’m not fully present, when I live in negative future fantasies.
In this state, I sometimes engage in furtive fixing behavior. I say “furtive” because it feels like a secret, even to myself. I quietly, and without realizing it, fall under the spell of my Inner Dictator, who thinks I need to be, do, or have more, more, more. He’s insatiable and insecure and finds me lacking in every area of my life. Mystic poet, Chelan Harkin, says, “Undo conditions around ‘enoughness.’” For me, this means recognizing that my Inner Dictator and his ludicrous demands propel me to run around like a chicken with its head cut off, and while there’s no actual blood involved in this inner battle, it’s still painful.
The good news is that this internal warfare happens a lot less often than it used to, and when it does, it doesn’t last as long. Part of the reason it’s better is because I understand how I (and all humans) innocently create and exacerbate my own distress. In the five decades in which I didn’t understand this, my suffering was exponentially greater.
But I still fall prey to my Inner Dictator, despite also possessing within what Harkin refers to as “The Altar of Inner Truth.” My Altar of Inner Truth is the part of me that is never broken. It’s inner perfection, something we all have access to. We can draw upon its wisdom and guidance anytime. It’s our eye of the hurricane, our calm spot. Our innate wisdom.
My Altar of Inner Truth knows that I’m a lifetime learner who understands the benefits of adopting a learning orientation toward life. A learning orientation toward life means that when things get hard, you ask yourself What if life is happening for me, rather than to me? What if my problems and obstacles are opportunities disguised as sucky things I don’t want to deal with? What if I’m not a victim after all and I have the power within me to change how I relate to my situation, which in turn shifts my circumstances? In other words, what if I’m freer than I think?
This is the subject of a wonderful, new book I read over the Thanksgiving weekend called What if This Is the Fun Part? A Book About Friendship, Coaching, Dying, Living, and Using Everything for Your Learning Growth, and Upliftment, written by coaches Carolyn Freyer-Jones and Michelle Bauman. Michelle died six years ago and left behind writings-in-progress. It was particularly meaningful for me to read this book because Michelle hired me to be her writing coach in the early days of this project. She came to me with a burning desire to write but didn’t know where to begin. She was a pleasure to work with: bright, eager, insightful, generous, and articulate. Her business partner, Carolyn, founder of the CFJ Coaching Success School, did a great job organizing and supplementing Michelle’s inspired writing and finishing their coauthored book.
The Inner Dictator does not understand anything about adopting a learning orientation to life. He scoffs at and tramples Altars of Inner Truth. I envision my Inner Dictator swiping a huge, hairy hand across my Altar of Inner Truth, sending metaphorical crystals, flowers, incense, and other sacred relics crashing to the hardwood floor.
But Altars of Inner Truth know how to reassemble themselves. I envision scattered and broken altar objects magically rising off the floor and dancing in mid-air, fixing themselves and finding their way back onto my altar, like that scene from Fantasia where Mickey plays the Sorcerer’s Apprentice. Each piece knows who they are and where they belong and nothing my Inner Dictator says or does threatens them.
But for much of my life, I listened to and obeyed my Inner Dictator. I believed his lies: I suck; I’m not good enough; no one will care what I have to say; why bother? I didn’t even realize that I had an Inner Dictator or an Altar of Inner Truth. I thought my Inner Dictator was me.
Today, I acknowledge my Altar of Inner Truth as my True Self. My essence, my core, my freedom, and my light.
And isn’t this the season of light, after all?
My intention for the rest of this month, and into the new year, is to turn away from my Inner Dictator and trust my Altar of Inner Truth. To allow myself to be guided by it. To let it help me awaken, and to forgive myself when I forget.
If I can do this, the holiday season—and every season—might be “the most wonderful time of the year.”
Get 80+ writing prompts to ignite your creativity, gain clarity, and help you reach your writing goals! You'll also receive my inspirational blog/newsletter and hear about opportunities and offerings when they become available.