Saw the movie, Dunkirk, yesterday with my dad. My grandfather was on the beaches of Dunkirk during the second world war. He was in charge of an ambulance brigade and was one of the last men off the beach. It was such a chaotic and desperate time with so many fishing boats saving the men and then landing all over the southern coast of England. My grandfather’s family received the dreaded telegram saying that he was missing in action and presumed dead. You can imagine their surprise and relief when he walked through the front door the next day.
The movie brought me to tears as I watched the soldiers waiting to be evacuated, not knowing when the next bombing of the beach would be, whether they would live or die. They were in full on survival mode. No one will really know what that was like except the soldiers that were there and many of them, my granddad included, never spoke about it.
I realize this is a movie about what has happened in the past, but it shaped the lives of the generations to come, mine included. And it still goes on in this world in one form or another, wars between countries, wars within countries, wars between religions and races, all the way to fights within families. All of it about survival of the fittest. All of it steeped in fear. It hasn’t stopped and it won’t until we stop living from fear and start living from our hearts and have compassion for and understanding of our fellow human beings and ourselves.
This is my journey right now, returning to living from my heart and disentangling myself from all the protective mechanisms and patterns that have kept me safe (perceptively). It isn’t easy but is necessary for not only shifting the planet but for my own well being and my loved ones. And it is necessary for shifting from surviving life to thriving, from fear to love.
It is the work I am doing personally and the work I am doing with my clients. It is about being the change and not just paying lip service to it. I am by no means a master of it yet, as I am in and out of my protective patterns such as having to get it right, perfectionism, people pleasing, being responsible for others’ well being and happiness and constantly putting everyone else’s needs before my own, trying to “fix” myself and others because of a belief that we are broken and need fixing, and trying to control outcomes or people. They are protective patterns that I took on as a child. They are very well practised habits so it will take some practice to be who I really am instead without all the patterns.
What I have found is that I am engaging in the patterns less and less with each day that I practise and I am allowing my heart to make more of my decisions instead of my ego’s protective mechanisms of fear.
I am noticing that this shift is resulting in changes in my body such as decreased muscle tension and pain, improved mobility, a calming of my nervous system so I am in fight or flight mode less and being able to calm myself quicker if I am revved up or in reaction mode.
I am able to be in the present moment more and enjoy the little things instead of always looking for more or trying to be more. There is more ease and flow and less pushing or striving. Life is coming to me instead of reaching for it with desperation.
And my relationships have deepened as I react less and respond instead with a desire to truly understand what is going on with another with compassion and acceptance. No not all of the time but much more than I used to.
And last but not least, I am fighting less. It wasn’t that I was fighting with other people so much as it was me fighting against life and myself. I was resisting what was showing up in my body, how I felt physically and emotionally because I didn’t like it and if fear got a good hold, the resistance was much stronger. Now I pay attention to what is coming up without judgement and with compassion and take the steps if called for.
I was resisting what showed up in my life if it wasn’t according to my preferences, if I didn’t like it. I would try to control it and change it so I would feel comfortable. Now I am less reactive as I realize it is all for me, even the stuff I really don’t like because it isn’t about feeling comfortable all the time. It’s about being able to dance with it all without being taken out by it.
So I am in the trenches doing the same work my clients are doing because I am committed to a life of thriving and living from my heart instead of protective mechanisms and fear making my choices. And it is so worth it. I truly desire to live my life free from the identities/roles and protection. They limit us and keep us in lack mentality instead of abundance where the miracle zone is. I’m up for some freedom and miracles. How about you?
Freedom starts with each of us. It is an inside-out job. If we are not free within ourselves, how can we expect to be free in the outer world? So how do I impact the world we are living in with all the fighting that is going on? I stop fighting within myself, live from my heart with love and compassion and embrace vulnerability and be who I really am instead of the identities I took on as a child. It’s a choice between living a safe life with walls around my heart or being willing to let the walls come down, feel all the feels and live with curiosity about what is possible. There is a ripple effect when even one person chooses to live a life of authenticity instead of safety. One person can make a difference and of course, more people can make more of a difference.
My questions for you today are: What is making your decisions for you? Is it your heart and the Truth of who you are or is it your Ego and your protective mechanisms? Are you surviving your life and just getting through your days, checking off the to do list or are you thriving and truly enjoying all of life? Ya know, just some light stuff to contemplate. 😉
I would love to hear what your protective mechanisms are. What patterns do you engage in to keep yourself comfortable and safe? It truly is powerful to know what they are and to write or speak them out loud. With awareness comes choice. And remember, we all have them so don’t judge yourself as you realize what they are. They have done the job they were meant to, keeping you safe (at least your ego thinks so:)).