Lately, I have been in a personally challenging situation where I find myself defending what I think is in the best interests of an organization I belong to. One of the other people thinks differently and has very strong opinions about what is best for the organization.
I feel it in my body – constriction in my second (lower belly) and third (solar plexus) chakras. My body is telling me that this is about my sense of creative expression (2nd chakra) and my personal power (3rd chakra). What is this constriction really about?
I started complaining to my husband, telling him the story from my point of view –who did they think they were, telling me my perspective was wrong and theirs was right? This is not a new dynamic with me and them. This kind of challenge has been going on for some time, with issue after issue.
My husband listened. He said he could understand how I was feeling, and then he gently asked, “Have you noticed how much you are defending yourself? What is that about?”
Ah, yes! The memories started to surface. Earlier in my career my ideas were laughed at because I am a woman. The men I worked with thought my ideas were silly and criticized my thinking because I included my emotions. I felt embarrassed and feared I would never make it in my professional life, because I was seen as stupid. So I learned to be careful about how I presented and acted on my ideas. I restricted myself to avoid the pain of embarrassment I had felt.
In my reflection I realized I had given up my personal power back then. Now when I encounter this situation, the same emotional response was coming up in me. My sense of self (ego) was under attack. How could I stay in my power and not stay defended, that is, step out of feeding my ego? I began with expressing my feelings and telling my husband the story in my head.
I found that just becoming aware of my emotional response and where it came from helped to relieve the constriction I felt and began to dissolve the emotional charge in me. I asked myself, what did I really want? How could I create a win-win here?
I realized that I had the power of choice. I wanted to stay in the essence of who I am, a person who has her creative power. I also wanted to honor the person who triggered me. Gradually I found that I could change my perspective and let go of the belief that it had to go my way. While I still felt my responsibility as a part of the organization, I let go of thinking that it was up to me and my way to ‘save’ the organization. My motivation shifted to simply doing my part to get the next step in the project done. What I cared about had shifted.
The feelings in my body had changed. I felt freer to move into what I really wanted to be doing that day, which was to go outside and garden. I felt that my creative and personal expression was back. I felt like skipping!