Archive for July, 2012

There have been times in the past, both in my relationship and with friends and colleagues, that I’ve felt ashamed about asking for protection or space or anything that might sound needy or demanding.

It feels vulnerable to ask for what I want or need sometimes. They might see me as weak. I might get refused and feel rejected. I might seem demanding and even if they give me what I ask for it could cause resentment or judgements about me.

The truth is, when you or I ask clearly and responsibly for what we want, it is usually everyone’s absolute pleasure to give it to us. And what’s more, because we’ve been vulnerable and present in the asking, we have also given everyone a permission-slip to be open and tender too.

When I resist asking for what I need, I remove the opportunity for the people around me to treat me lovingly, and worse, I suppress my own impulse to love myself by asking for what I need. I block the chances of love from both myself and others simultaneously.

It’s brave to be vulnerable and it encourages generosity and intimacy with everyone around us.

What do you hold back from asking for? Please post below something you resist asking for and so indirectly refuse yourself. Dare to ask for what you want today and please tell us below what happened.

What About Intimacy weekends at http://www.jamiecatto.com/about_intimacy

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We are all so used to only showing each other a fraction of who we truly are. We’ve been trained to hide the parts of ourselves that might be perceived as weak or needy or angry or unattractive. These qualities have in the past brought us experiences of rejection and loneliness. So to avoid this risk of rejection, we edit ourselves little by little, hiding anything unattractive in us that looks like it might sabotage love and acceptance from others, until we become these crippled 30% ‘brochures’ of ourselves. We become a smaller, less authentic and a less-than-whole version of who we truly are.

Our greatest excitement is to take the journey together back towards 100%. As I risk showing you more and more of me, vulnerably and bravely letting you see parts of myself that I feel unsure about or ashamed of, I give you an invisible permission-slip to do the same. And every time we reveal another layer, we appreciate and celebrate each other’s vulnerability and beauty. Us being more and more comfortable with who we really are is the Path of Intimacy.

I want you to show me more and more of yourself and for me to feel free to show you more of myself. The journey from that 30% back towards 100% is, to me, the beauty of relationships. It’s where unity lies and it’s where the fun and freedom are to be discovered.

Tell me, what is the one thing of yourself you routinely edit out to preserve a good first impression? Please share the answer with us below, as a first step in our joint work towards reclaiming our wholeness and deeper connection with each other.

What About Intimacy weekends at http://www.jamiecatto.com/about_intimacy

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When a challenging feeling arises in me, when I get triggered by an infuriating person or situation, the powerful explosion of feelings is an opportunity to discharge some pain I’ve been carrying around, probably for years, but only if I can resist taking the escape route of blaming the person or thing that triggered me.

Each of our body/mind/emotion systems is genius. It somehow finds a way to set up the perfect stimuli to trigger the volcanic discharge of whatever pain or old wound that it needs to vent that day. I believe all these challenging instances are set up to give us opportunities to wake up and feel more of ourselves, often raw and sensitive like blood returning to a sleeping limb. These endless challenges are not to ‘get in our way’ but to speed us along by efficiently triggering and discharging old pain that’s been dragging us back, and thereby reclaiming as much space and aliveness as can be accessed in this human life.

We are in a constant state of efficient healing. The body is designed that way. It doesn’t know what else to do.

But in order for my system to carry out its innately genius catharsis, I need to participate by choosing to fully feel the feelings that arise rather than run away from the often uncomfortable surging sensations. Only if I can keep my attention on these feelings as they are fully felt, every nuance and shade and wave of them, become a connoisseur of that whole realm of sensations without moving to hide them or skip them or resist them, then the body can release a chunk of old pain and leave space for creativity and life to rush in.

It’s far easier to blame and complain at these times and frame the whole episode as ‘unjust’. It takes courage and repeated leaps of faith to dare to let the tough sensations do their liberating work without escape strategies.

If we made it common practice to fully feel our feelings in the moment that they arose, then there would be little or no need for physical disease on this planet.

‘I want to know if you have touched the centre of your own sorrow,
if you have been opened by life’s betrayals, or
have become shrivelled and closed from fear of future pain.
I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own,
without moving to hide it or fade it or fix it.’

Oriah Mountain Dreamer



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