Trust.

You always hear that trust is the foundation of any loving relationship, and you hear that for a reason – it’s true. I have never understood that more than I do at this point in my life. The question is how and whom do we trust in the face of constant uncertainty? Anytime we love anyone – a parent, child, partner, best friend or treasured family member (including our pets), we become enormously vulnerable, and we are asked to trust in the face of that. The fact is, none of us knows how long we have. The one thing we can count on in this life is change. Some change is wonderful – a new job or relationship that feels right, a move when we need more space, a different environment – and some change hurts like hell: the end of a relationship when we hoped for a different outcome, the loss of a job we needed, the end of a friendship we thought would last forever, or the biggest loss – the loss we endure when someone we love is taken from us due to age, or a million other heartbreaking reasons. There is no such thing as deep love without vulnerability. So how do we trust our hearts to anyone?

There are other ways we get hurt when we love, of course, short of sickness, and the random events that can rip loved ones away from us. People can betray you or let you down every way under the sun. This isn’t personal. You meet people on the road where and how they are, and they have the tools and self-knowledge they have. This includes our parents. They are happy or unhappy, kind or unkind, giving or not giving, thoughtful or thoughtless, interested or distracted, curious or self-absorbed. They might also be struggling with their own difficulties – addictions, personality disorders, a lack of empathy, attachment to stories that keep them angry or in a victim mentality. People seek help when they struggle, or they make everyone else wrong. The path is full of all kinds of travelers.

I’ve encountered so many people as I’ve moved through this world, as have you. Connection is a force that drives most of us. We want to love, to understand and feel understood, to laugh, to hug, to touch, to feel not alone. Sometimes the people we reach out to cannot do anything but hurt us. This has to do with our history, what we grew up with, what we’re used to, what feels familiar to us. Sometimes the home we came out of is scary and unpredictable, a place where we didn’t feel particularly safe or loved. If that resonates with you, you might find you seek out friendships and relationships with people who also give you reason to feel unsafe and unloved. We tend to seek what we know until we know better.

I used to be attracted to people who were not available to me, and this includes friendships and romantic partners. I used to chase love, bend over backwards to make people happy (not yet understanding you cannot make another person happy), try harder if someone was unkind to me, take it as a sign that there was something broken in me if someone rejected me, doubt my worth and value unless I was doing something for someone. I used to try to save people, excuse poor behavior with compassion for what had driven someone to behave that way in the first place, work both sides of the equation for people who could never be wrong and never apologize, and accept treatment far below the treatment I would want anyone whom I love to accept. I do not do any of that anymore.

Over the years I have come to understand in a more profound way that trust is the foundation of any healthy relationship. This includes self-trust. In order to feel at ease in your own skin, you have to feel like you are ready and able to act on your own behalf, to stand up for yourself when needed, to put an end to abusive treatment, to teach people how to treat you with respect and consideration by showing them what you will tolerate and what you will not tolerate. I do not need the people in my life to be perfect, I am certainly not perfect myself, but the standards of what I will and won’t accept from the people closest to me have changed over time, and you may find this is true for you as well. I want people in my life I can trust to have my back, who are going to be kind and considerate, loyal and honest, and whom I can trust to treat me with care, because those are the same things I offer as a friend, partner and parent, and I want nothing less for myself. I want to have people in my life who know how to apologize instead of deny, deflect or make up stories, the same way I have learned how to own my mistakes and examine my behavior when I don’t show up the way I wish I had so I can do it differently next time.

Sometimes this means the dynamic between you and certain people in your life will have to change, or the relationship will no longer be sustainable. It’s sad when this happens, but it’s also okay. Loss and change are part of the human experience and we’re in training for them all the time.

I am in a season of abundance in my own life. For the first time, I am in a relationship with a man I trust completely. The fact that I have not been able to do this before has a lot to do with my own history, with things I learned as I grew up and relationships I was drawn to that confirmed my wrong belief that you can’t trust anyone. That’s a story I carried around for many years, and it’s a story I learned to release because it isn’t true and it wasn’t serving me. If that’s your hypothesis, you will keep drawing people into your life who help you prove your case. If you set out to conduct a different experiment, to see if perhaps there are trustworthy people in the world who know how to show up for you and be good and sweet to you, guess what happens? When you know someone loves you and would never hurt you, when you are cherished and seen and adored, you can relax and be yourself in ways you’ll never be able to in a relationship where trust is not the foundation. Think about the standards you have for the people in your life and the way you’re teaching people to treat you. Teach people to treat you well, your precious heart deserves that.

Sending lots of love,

Ally Hamilton

If the posts are helpful, you can find my books here and my yoga classes and courses here.

It’s Not You

You can’t change other people, save them or make them see the light. If you’re like me, you might have to test that statement a million times before you get it, but that’s a fact. People change and grow in their own time in their own way and if they want to, just like you, just like me. If you’re talking about self-destructive patterns and/or addictions, that holds doubly true. If a person makes choices that continually lead her to pain, presumably she will get to a point where she says “enough!’ and decide to figure out what’s driving her, but that isn’t something you can do for anyone else. People get there in their own time, or they don’t. When you love people who hurt themselves it’s brutal. When you love people who hurt you that is also very difficult, but there’s room to shift an interaction like that.

There’s an idea in Imago Therapy that our relationship does not happen inside me or you, it happens in the space between us. Our relationship is a third thing, a co-creation. I am responsible for what I put into the space between us, as are you. If I continually put my rage, blame, bitterness, disappointment and frustration into that space, it would be odd for me to think there would be a positive outcome. If I put my patience, compassion and kindness into that space, I still cannot count on a positive outcome, but at least I’m doing what I can on my side to contribute energy that is loving. When two people are thoughtful and mindful about the space between them, the co-creation, you’re looking at a beautiful relationship that’s likely to grow and evolve and serve as a constant source of inspiration.

Sometimes things are out of balance, though. If you find yourself in a relationship where you’re always trying to be aware of what you’re contributing and the other person is careless, that isn’t going to feel good for long. You cannot do both sides of the equation when it comes to relationships. If a person has shown you time and again that he either cannot or will not treat you with kindness, consideration and respect, then there comes a time when you have to question why you’re participating in that interaction, and whether it’s worth it. Your beautiful heart can only take so much battering.

If you find you are often chasing people who end up hurting you or you realize you’ve been in unhealthy relationships with people for years, it might be time to consider whether you have some doubt about your self-worth. Maya Angelou has that amazing quote, “When people show you who they are, believe them the first time.” There were many times in my life when I didn’t believe a person the 300th time. Sometimes we want to see the best in someone, or we love their potential, or we keep waiting for them to see the light and love us well. Sometimes we have a feeling in our hearts that we are broken, and we find ourselves playing out an old drama hoping for a different outcome. You can trust history and you can trust your intuition. People who can only hurt you don’t belong in your life. If they’re people you must deal with, then solid boundaries are your best bet.

Some relationships end because you grow and evolve and the other person remains the same or grows in a different direction. Sometimes we’re willing to accept certain kinds of treatment when we’re at one stage in our lives, but then twenty years later that same treatment is just not okay for us anymore. It’s sad when a longterm relationship comes to an end, and confusing if a person is acting the way they always have and you are seemingly suddenly not okay with it, but not everything gets wrapped up in a bow in this life. It’s always good to try to communicate with clarity and compassion, but sometimes a person will just trod over your words no matter what you say. Some things are messy or complicated and you have to find a way to be at peace with a lack of closure. The thing is, life is pretty short; your time and energy are finite. There just isn’t enough to spend on relationships that have no real hope of improving. Much better to use that energy focusing on why you have any doubt about your worth, when that doubt arose, and how to believe a better story.

The things we tell ourselves are powerful. Even if you were mistreated as a child, you can start to tell yourself the story of how you overcame that, how you are resilient and strong and committed to your own well-being. That’s a good, empowering and true story that will help you flip the script and start to act on your own behalf to protect and nurture your wonderful heart. Sounds pretty good, right?

 

Sending you lots of love,

Ally Hamilton

If the posts are helpful, you can find my books here and my yoga classes and courses here.

 

It’s Not All Good and That’s Okay

The more you repress your feelings the harder they have to work to rise to the surface. “What you resist persists.” People make themselves sick this way. Some feelings are incredibly uncomfortable – ugly even – but to reject something you’re feeling is to deny yourself an opportunity to go deeper – to uncover what’s underneath a fleeting feeling of rage or shame, insecurity, fear, envy, doubt, loneliness or guilt. If something is bothering you, disappointing you, breaking your heart, making you anxious, or keeping you up at night, then by all means it’s going to affect you and it’s worth exploring and examining.

I think there’s a lot of pressure in the spiritual community to stay positive, to be grateful in every moment. This is wildly unrealistic, and beyond that it creates a lot of pain for people who are already suffering. A person who loses their child, for example, will never, ever, ever feel grateful for that, appreciate the lesson, want to hear that they should focus on all the good things in their life, that there’s a plan, that everything happens for a reason, that this is happening for them and not to them, or that it may not make sense now but it will someday. It will never make sense, okay?

This is the kind of sound-byte spirituality that alienates people whether they’ve suffered an incomprehensible loss like I’ve mentioned, or they’re going through a breakup, dealing with a debilitating health issue, suffering from stress at work, or grappling with the suffering of someone they love. There’s no compassion in making a person feel guilty for not feeling grateful in those moments. Now the person feels awful, and their pain is compounded with the feeling that they’re also failing in their spiritual practice.

Maybe gratitude will come later in the form of recognizing they’ve grown in empathy because of their experience, or can now be a beacon for someone else going through incredible loss, but don’t ask someone to race to gratitude and skip over feelings of grief, rage, or incomprehension. When I look back on most of the incredibly painful experiences in my life, I am very grateful because that’s when the most growth happened, but there are a couple of lessons I’d love not to have learned. I say that with the acceptance that everything may be happening for a reason, or everything may just be happening, and with the understanding that none of us will truly know until we exhale for the last time. People who think they know and want to force their opinions down your throat are clinging harder than anyone else. I have my feelings about this. I don’t personally believe this is all there is and then we’re worm food. I don’t know if we turn into star dust, or simply live on in the hearts and memories of those we leave behind, but I believe something essentially us lives on. You may feel differently, and I respect your beliefs. We all have to work it out and answer these big questions on our own, in a way that resonates with us. When my son was six, he came home from school one day and said, “Jack says God doesn’t like Buddha because Buddha thinks he’s the real God,” and he looked at me with confusion. This “us versus them” stuff starts at six. Where do you think Jack is getting that from?

Until we have our answers, we are here. That much we know. We’re here, and as far as I can tell, the best use of our time is to spread love. To explore this state of being alive. To know ourselves, and to open to this life as it is, with all its mystery and heartache, confusion and loneliness, chaos and longing, and incredible, gorgeous, pierces-you-right-in-the-center-of-your-heart joy. To accept that sometimes we’ll be full of yes, feeling open and grateful and full of light, and other times the light will go out for awhile and we’ll walk around blindly with our arms out in front of us bumping into walls, falling off cliffs, landing in ditches. Let it all affect you. Open up to all of it, even the uncomfortable stuff, and grow. Know yourself. That’s how you can be of service, and if you want your life to have meaning, that’s the best path I know. Figure out what your gifts are and share them. Connect. Love. Fall to your knees and wail when you need to. Be real. People cannot connect with a false-positive. With someone who screams about Shri all day long. Sometimes the path is full of unbelievable sunlight that feels like it’s pouring right out of your own heart, and other times hail hits you in your face, hard. It’s called life, and it’s pretty amazing, but it’s not all positive.

Sending you so much love,

Ally Hamilton

If the posts are helpful, you can find my books here, and my yoga classes and courses here.

This Is Everything

I had a really hard time getting pregnant with my son and tried everything. Literally. Acupuncture, peeing on sticks, boiling “tea” that stunk up the house and even allowing a giant Maori healer to “rolf” my uterus (from the outside, haha. Even at the height of my insanity I wasn’t that crazy :)). I couldn’t figure out a way to practice non-attachment at the time, I just found myself intensely missing a person I hadn’t even met, a person who existed only in my mind and in my heart. Eventually (after a year of needles, tea, sticks, tears and said rolfing session, I went to a fertility doctor who discovered my estrogen levels were a little low, and presto, the bigger kid in this picture started materializing. If you had told me during that year to try to relax and trust that the exact right human was going to show up at the exact right time, I wouldn’t have believed you or been able to do that. I really thought I had to keep “doing things” to “make it happen”, and maybe I did. Maybe he would not have shown up if I hadn’t tried everything known to woman to get there, or maybe he would have, or maybe everything was required. I don’t have any regrets because that kid seems to me to be the only kid who could ever have been my son (my sun), and that girl with him? She showed up with no help from tea or needles or giant Maori.

When I got divorced I was devastated and heartbroken. When there are children in the picture I don’t think it can be any other way. It was not the vision I’d had or wanted, but it became clear to me that it was the only path forward where there could be love and nurturing for everyone involved. It was not easy and it has not been easy. Letting go of the picture of How Things Should Be or how you want things to be for yourself and your children is so hard, and trying to trust that a new path will emerge is also really hard. I credit my yoga practice for any strength and grace I was able to muster through all of that heartache, and I know for sure that’s the thing that kept me sane and strong and able to be a good mama to these small people who have little protection in the world unless we, as parents, figure out how to move through our grief, rage, disappointment, bitterness and all the other feelings that come up (especially when they involve the other most important person in our children’s lives, namely, their other parent), without allowing it to spill over onto them. That is also hard, and for me, again, I credit having been a child of divorce and knowing what that’s like, my yoga practice, therapy (highly recommend) and great, supportive, strong and understanding friends to help me through.

I’ve been a single mom for eight years. A few years ago after I’d been trying to navigate the post-divorce, how-do-you-date-when-you-have-children jungle, I thought, “Well, maybe giant romantic love is just not going to happen for me.” It was sort of surprising and disappointing because I’ve always been a huge romantic, but I thought, “Well, that might just not be in the cards for me, and that’s okay. I have these amazing children and work I love and my life is beautiful and fulfilling and full of all kinds of love. I can be okay this way.” And I did my best to let go of that picture of romantic love, too.

Two-and-a-half years ago I met a man at a bar (feel free to laugh) and he said all of these interesting and funny things and four hours went by in a snap and we didn’t even eat. Last Friday night he proposed to me and I said yes because I am not dumb. We had talked about the idea of getting married a couple of months ago, and even that was a shock to both of us. Neither of us thought we’d get married again. I thought living with someone was as far as I’d go. When you fall in love hard, though, this is what can happen. Your vision changes again. We checked in with our kids about the idea, I talked to my two, he talked to his three. We didn’t want to go forward unless there were thumbs up all around. If someone had said to me years ago, “try to trust that there’s a 6’3″ Englishman out there who’s going to show up in your life with his giant heart and huge brain, his kindness, loyalty, affection and wicked sense of humor and turn all of your ideas about what’s going to happen in your life right on their head,” I would have laughed. If someone had said, “There couldn’t have been anyone else for you but him,” I would have laughed again. I might have even rolled my eyes. I’m sharing this because I know how hard it is to trust. To take your sticky hands off the steering wheel and let things unfold and emerge and allow people to show up and show you who they are, and to allow yourself to be heartbroken when the path takes a turn you didn’t want or expect, but also to allow yourself a tiny sliver of awareness and hope that maybe life has something in store for you you cannot even imagine.

I’ve had an insane week. An amazing Valentine’s Day, an incredible birthday. My heart is so full. Have you seen baby goats dancing around? Google that if not, that’s how I feel. Take care of your precious heart. Let it break when it breaks, but let the breaking open you. Sending you so much love and some trust if you can muster it!

 

Ally Hamilton

If the posts are helpful, you can find my books here and my yoga classes and courses here.

Things That Aren’t Meant for You

I just posted a new class on the site called Open Heart/Quiet Mind and it occurred to me that’s the way I try to live most of my days. That hasn’t always been easy for me, it took me years to learn how to quiet the racket in my head and trust in my ability to rise up and face life head-on.

I talked about letting go of the picture in our heads of How Things Should Be (sub-categories include: How People Should Be, What People Should Want, Say, Do or Need, How People Should Behave, Why I’m Amazing and Other People Are Getting It Wrong, Why I Suck and Other People Are Getting It Right, Why I Never Get the Breaks and Other People Do, Why It Isn’t My Fault — many sub, sub-categories in this one depending on what “It” may be — Why I’m Stuck, Why I’m Like This, Why I’m Broken, Why Everything Is Someone Else’s Fault…anyway, you get the point. The pictures in our heads or stories we tell ourselves that block any possibility for flow, inspiration, joy, love or trust) so we can open to how things are and start from there.

Sometimes we’re gripping so hard to a situation, particular outcome or person, we just aren’t living anymore. We’re in fear or delusion thinking we’re in control of life or other people or imagining we might control the weather if only we manifest a sunny day with enough intention.

What I’ve learned (the hard, painful way) is that if you’re gripping the wheel you’re suffering and you’re probably also trying to hold onto something that just isn’t meant for you. What could be more arrogant than imagining we have all the answers? If it’s that much of a struggle, if it’s constantly painful or draining, it probably isn’t for you. The sooner you release your grip and shed your tears and try to trust, the sooner you stop suffering and allow a new vision, adventure or way forward to emerge. The things, people and situations that are right for you can’t open to you when your sticky fingers are white-knuckling the wheel, your jaw is clenched and your blinders are on.

If I could go back and tell myself anything along the way during any of the many chapters I was suffering, it would be something like: Stop gripping. Stop fearing. Stop fighting and bending over backwards and pushing boulders up hills. Put the boulders down, you are not Atlas. Let life surprise you. Move toward people and situations that feel like a yes. Believe in your own resilience.

Since I can’t go back and say that to myself, I offer it to you in case you’re suffering now. Life will break your heart in a million ways, that’s the truth, but it can break your heart wide open if you let it, and then you’ll be ready to receive the flip side of suffering — all the surprises and love and chapters that make your heart sing with relief and gratitude. The people who show up and turn all your ideas about how people can be right on their head. The relationships that develop and teach you love is so much more than you understood or expected. The situations that don’t follow your map, but take their own and teach you a million things you need to know along the way, even if the path is full of thorns and and you end up bleeding. The choice is always there to open more, to trust more, to strengthen and love in a way that’s boundless. Trust that.

If you need some help opening your heart and quieting your mind, yoga is great for that. People tell me all the time that they can’t do yoga because they can’t touch their toes. If I had a dime for every time someone said that, my kids’ college fund would be brimming over, but yoga isn’t about that. I’d love to gift you a free month of yoga to the site if you haven’t subscribed before. Just go to YogisAnonymous.com, hit Sign Up, Create Account and Get Access and where it asks Do You Have a Coupon? You do! It’s: GiftFromAlly and you have until January 1st, 2019 to activate. Life can feel good. It’s short, though, there’s no time to waste.

 

Sending you love and wishing you peace,

 

Ally Hamilton

If the posts are helpful you can find my books here.

The Veil of Silence is Now on Fire

I posted something on one of my Facebook pages the other day about why it is young women and girls who are sexually assaulted often do not tell their parents, file a police report, or go to the doctor. I don’t feel like re-posting here, but I’m speaking from my own personal experience. A woman commented with “Mothers, teach your daughters well,” and I believe she meant well, but this is a HUGE part of the problem. The onus should not be on women and girls to do whatever they can to keep themselves safe at all times; are we really consenting to living life on the defensive, in a constant state of hyper-alertness?! It is not just about mothers teaching their daughters well. Fathers need to model respectful behavior and think carefully about the things they say and do, and the way they treat the women in their lives, because children watch and absorb EVERYTHING. Both parents of both genders need to teach their daughters and their sons well.
 
I have a son and a daughter. My son is almost 12, and although he is not yet at the age and stage where this is a current issue, he already understands a girl’s body is her own and we have had frank conversations about consent. I’m talking to him about this (and have for some time) not just because I want him to be a good man, but also for his own protection. He knows when he goes out in the world he is to treat the girls and women he encounters the same way he’d want his little sister and his mother to be treated. We need to be raising better men. “Boys will be boys” is an outdated mantra that does a disservice to boys and men everywhere, and perpetuates an awful cycle for women and girls. If you are a good man (and thankfully, I know many good men), please think carefully about ideas you may have absorbed from our culture and consider whether you may be contributing to these problems in any way, without feeling ashamed about it. Our society has taught us all kinds of things that are not true, and we are all influenced by our environment. Some things just need to be unlearned.
If you’re looking for concrete ways to help, here are just a few ideas:
– Don’t participate in “locker room talk”, and if you are present when someone else is speaking disrespectfully about women, call it out. Real men don’t talk about women like they’re objects.
– Don’t tell sexist “jokes” and don’t laugh at them, either. It’s okay to say, “Hey man, I just don’t find that funny.”
 
– If you don’t want the government to tell you what you can and can’t do with your body, don’t vote for people who want to tell women what they can and can’t do with theirs. This isn’t about being pro-choice or pro-life, it’s about the government making laws about what individual women can do with their bodies. Try to separate those issues.
– Ask the particular women in your life if or how you can help.
Not long ago, both of my kids ate up the “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” series by Jeff Kinney. They were so into those books, I took them to a book signing when Mr. Kinney came to town. When the movies started coming out, my kids were thrilled. I remember sitting and watching the first one with them, and how disappointed I was when the main character mentioned to a friend that one of the girls in class looked “hot.” I had to pause the film and talk to both my son and daughter about how comments like that reinforce the idea that a girl’s value is based on her appearance, and how wrong that is. Jeff Kinney seems like a really great guy. I don’t know him personally, of course, but his talk was great and he seemed truly thrilled to be there with tons of kids, talking and signing books. I was so disturbed by this line in the movie, that I went to see if he had written the screenplay, but he didn’t. He did, however, have a lot of power: “I worked with both sets of writers and the producers and attended all of the writers’ meetings and provided notes on all of the scripts,” he said. “I also contributed some jokes and dialogue. I didn’t have approval over the final script but I did approve the basic story that was told.” I have to believe if Mr. Kinney had stated clearly in his contract that he did not want any girls or women objectified in these films, he could have flexed his power and gotten that clause approved. After all, it’s his property. This is what I’m talking about — if you are a good man and you are targeting children as your main audience, then use your power and do some good.
Women are not fragile, we are strong but we are tired. You would be, too. We don’t need your protection, we don’t need a knight in shining armor to rescue us or save the day, we just need respect and understanding, and we need you in this fight with us, this is no time to sit on the sidelines.
Sending love to everyone,
Ally Hamilton

You Save the Day

There’s no running from yourself. If you have pain, it’s going to surface and if you try to stop it, deny it, numb it out or run from it you’re just going to make yourself sick. People do it every day, all day long. They keep themselves so busy, so scheduled down to the minute, there isn’t any time to feel anything. Others try to feed the beast of their pain with stuff. I’ll just keep consuming until that horrible emptiness goes away. Some people numb it with drugs, alcohol, food, dieting, sex, relationships, shopping, television or video games. And weeks go by, and those weeks turn into years, and a whole life can go by that way.

If you’re on the run, you’re not going to be able to stop and take in the scenery. If you’re in a fog, you’re going to miss some exquisitely gorgeous moments. If you’re in denial, you’re also denying yourself the opportunity to figure out who you are and what you need to be at peace. You can’t reject a huge reality about where you’re at and how you feel, and simultaneously know yourself well. Chances are, eventually you’ll wonder if this is all there is. Your pain does not have to own you, but it will if you don’t face it. We all have our stuff, our histories, those places where we’re raw or jagged, where those deep wounds have left their scars. Your pain might shape you, but it can shape you in a beautiful way so that you open and become more compassionate, more able to understand the suffering of others, and more equipped to lend a hand.

Knowing yourself is some of your most important work, otherwise how can you be accountable for the energy you’re spreading? For the ways you’re contributing to the world around you, and showing up for yourself, and all the people in your life? If you refuse to face down your dragons, they’re going to run your show, and they’re going to throw flames at anyone who gets close to you. You won’t mean for that to happen, you’ll probably feel terrible about it, and yourself, which simply compounds your pain. Now you have the old stuff, and the new stuff that springs up around you in your current life. Won’t it ever release its grip on you? You can keep playing it out, hoping for that happy ending, but you’re not going to get it until you become the hero of your own story. No one is coming to save the day. That’s your job.

The thing is, saving the day is not easy, but it’s a lot better than being on the run or being in a haze or feeling desperate for someone or something to make it better. You get to do that and you’re totally capable, no matter what you’ve been through. I say that with the full understanding that you may have suffered through intense grief, neglect or abuse. Being the hero might simply mean you find your way out of bed today and make an appointment with a good therapist. That would be heroic. Just acting on your own behalf would be something huge, because you may need someone to kindly hold up a mirror and say, “Of course you can.” (You’ll still have to do it yourself.) You might need someone to acknowledge that the old pain is real, and that it’s natural you’ve been carrying it with you for so long, but that maybe you can put it down now. Maybe you can unpack it and lay it all out and hold it up to the light so that you really absorb, as you are now, the full spectrum of your feelings. So that this stuff isn’t buried in your unconscious, outside of your awareness anymore, causing you to do things or say things you wish you hadn’t. Causing you to harm yourself, or hurt other people, or make choices that are inexplicable, even to you. Maybe you’re very aware of your pain, but it’s still overtaking your life. If you feel hopeless, that’s another indication that you might want to reach out and get some back-up. You examine your pain so you can integrate it and recognize it when it shows up. So you can be kind to yourself, and take care of yourself, and empower yourself.

There’s no reason your past has to dictate your future. Rage and blame won’t liberate you, but heading into the dead center of your darkest most painful places will. You don’t have to stay there forever, just long enough to know yourself. Then you can start a new chapter where you, the hero, lay the sh&t down. Where you decide where you’re going and what you’re doing and how you’re going to spend your time and energy. How you’re going to show up. Not the dragons. The dragons are small yappy dogs now. They bark sometimes, but all it takes is one look from you, and those dogs roll over and play dead. Directing your energy and strengthening your ability to choose one thought over another are two things you can work on through a consistent yoga practice. You can learn how to feed a loving voice if you’re in prison with an unforgiving internal dialogue. There are so many healing modalities available to help you find your power again. Better get busy if you need to, and if you need help with that, don’t hesitate to reach out.

Sending you love,

Ally Hamilton

If the posts are helpful, you can find my books here, and my yoga classes and courses here.