This exercise changed my life. Here you go.

One of the things that I love so much about the work I do is that I have the opporunity to continue to grow and shed layers of myself all the time.  I didn’t realize when I created the tagline of my business “The Radical Discovery of Your Truth” that I would stretch into living that tagline all the time.  Layer after layer, my onion gets peeled.  Just when I think I’ve figured something out, I see another angle.

 

You see, we are complex humans.

 

We have these amazing braings that learned who we “needed” to be as kids in order to get love from our caretakers and fit in with the tribe.  But what happens is that we put on these layers of armor and masks over who we truly are in order to get love and fit.

 

Before we know it, we have no idea who we really are because we’ve been so busy trying to be someone else because we thought we had to. 

 

Everyone does this – without fail. It’s part of being human.  Part of living a conscious, awake and aware life is unlearning all we learned to get to the TRUTH of who we really are before we learned we had to be something else.  That’s the work I do with women. And that’s the work I continue to do on myself with my teachers and healers.

 

So, with all of that said, I have been having HUGE breakthroughs lately about my POWER as a woman.  I’ve been seeing where I give my power away, where I’m afraid to really use my voice, where I play small, how I’m worried about being too big or too much, and where this pattern came from!

 

The GIFT of doing work like this on ourselves is that we get to SEE our patterns and then TRANSFORM them – but we can only change and grow in direct proportion to how deep we are willing to go within ourselves to SEE the truth about what is keeping us stuck in the same patterns.

 

I’ve been doing the below exercise on myself lately and it’s CHANGING my relationships and my life.

 

THE EXERCISE:

It’s simple, but you must use pen and paper.  If you just read these questions right now, this wont do much to change your life.  I suggest you keep this email/blog handy to refer back to whenever you feel like you’re in a situation where you are sad, angry, upset, triggered, resentful, or bitter.

 

This shit works.  I don’t mess around.  So if you’re ready to really the do work and look at your patterns, here you go:

 

1) WRITE THE STORY
Whenever you feel a charged emotion or feel triggered by someone else, write down the story.
Question you can ask yourself:  What’s happening right now?  Why am I angry?  What’s the story here?  Just write about why you are really upset or triggered.  Describe what’s happening.  Free write. Dont think.  Let it all come up and out.

 

2) IDENTIFY THE FEELING
After you’ve gotten out the story, you’ll notice that the feelings you’re having will be woven into the story. It’s important that you get the feelings out about this situation.
Question you can ask yourself:  How does this person or situation make me feel?  What is really underneath your sadness, anger, emotion, etc?

 

To be clear:  This isnt simple “I’m angry” or “I’m sad”.  Go deeper.  I’m angry because I feel like he doesnt appreciate me.  I’m sad because I feel rejected.  I’m upset because I never feel listened to or like my time doesnt matter or I’m not good enough.
You get the idea.

 

3) GO BACKWARDS
Now is the big part.  After you’ve identified the feelings that are coming up here, ask yourself this one powerful question: “Who used to make me feel this way when I was a kid?”

 

Look at the feelings that are arising now and look back at your life – was it mom?  was it dad?  was it some other caretaker?  Who used to do things that made you feel this way too?

 

The truth is that the REASON we get triggered in the first place is because the CURRENT situation reminds of the past.  We replay situations with people in our present life in order to heal the past.

 

It’s not always easy, but once you start to see your triggers and your patterns, you can heal them and transform so that you stop repeating them.

 

Often times we’re not really upset about what we think we’re upset about.  

 

I’ve found in my own healing that it’s usually not about the present “thing” thats hapening even though I think it is.  It’s actually about things from the past that we’ve brought into the present.

 

4) TAKE CARE
Once you’ve identified the deeper layer of where this trigger has come from, I suggest you spend some sweet time with yourself. There is likely a little girl in you who wasn’t seen or met by one or both of her parents.  You must be the one to do this work. No one else can do it for you.

 

What do you need to learn?  How do you need to take care of yourself?  Who do you need to forgive?  

 

Take space.  Talk it out with someone you trust.  See your part.  And then…

 

Be GENTLE, KIND and COMPASSIONATE with yourself because that’s the way we really heal the wounded parts of ourselves.

 

I would love to hear from you.  This is a big and deep exercise.  Please tell me below about your experience with this or with anything like it.  Tell me what you’ve uncovered within yourself.  I personally respond to every comment below.

 

Sending you sweet and tender love,
Julie

 

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Comments

  1. What happens to us is really never personal. If we are triggered, its our old “stuff”. This is a great exercise. I recently learned of a great description of compassion that is helping me trust myself and forgive the person that was on the other side of my feelings.
    ” Compassion is seeing beauty, greatness and potential when others see lack and limitations.” Mira Kelley
    We cannot truly love anyone else until we love ourselves fully as infinite divine beings.

    • So beautifully said Lisa. LIfe is such an inner job – isnt it? We seek love from the outside but it must always start with the way we love ourselves first. Sending you a hug 😉

  2. Jennifer says:

    Geez, Julie! I thought this was going to be some trite and lame exercise, but I took it seriously and WOW. What the heck?!?! I was not expecting some of the things that came to mind to make themselves known. I cried my eyes out. I am still transitioning out of my current job but the process has been so much harder than I ever imagined it to be. Now I’m getting triggered by every work-related interaction and job rejection and it’s just plain hard. What do I do with all this stuff unearthed that have surfaced? Especially when its from someone I have nothing but love, respect and appreciation for?

    • Oh Jennifer 😉 I love you. You know me – did you really expect it to some silly little trite thing? I wasn’t kidding – I dont mess around.

      I love you sister. Send me a message and let’s see if we can pick this apart a little bit so you can feel settled and less triggered. Deal?

  3. Through this exercise I really learned that most of my triggers come from a fear of change happening in relationships/friendship. I get very upset when my relationships/friendships are threatened because of my childhood when all my “friends” turned their back on me and bullied me . I lost everyone so I felt like I lost everything.. I have became the queen of avoiding my life going upset down only to sabotage this into happening like a well oiled habit. (This can cause me to act kinda controlling or particular with how things should go)… So now when I feel like something in my life is changing, I worry about how my relationships will be effected. Sometimes I even look at myself as a threat to my own relationships so I always worry that if I am a certain way, someone will leave me or turn on me or hate me. This exercise really showed me a blindspot into recognizing how afraid I am in relationships and friendships and how untrusting I am of myself. I even panic when the consistent people in my life are about to go through a change. It is a bit of a vicious anxious cycle I am realizing I need to let go of.

  4. AMEN!!!!!! and so it is!!!!! This is perfect……Shine and smile ON!

  5. Sandra R. S. Ballantyne says:

    Awesome information so far, can’t wait to quit repeating my patterns and work on understanding triggers.

  6. Allie Rudy says:

    Thank you so much for this Julie! I will be using it with my youth group tomorrow! We are talking about embracing your whole self, including the dark parts of your story! This is great!

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