Head and neck of scary dinosaur statue

For 2 months after I sent my first book into the world, I felt so stuck.

It was weird and hard. How could I feel like this after giving so much time and love to something that I created and was so proud of? Someone told me that it’s normal to feel down after completing a big project like publishing a book.

Ok, this is normal. Don’t worry. Take a break.”

That was me talking to myself, in a slightly panicked tone. Because feeling this way: blue, stuck, unsure and flailing, was really uncomfortable. I don’t like feeling uncomfortable.

In spite of that, one of the areas I’ve worked hard on is allowing my feelings. Feelings will just pass on through if you stay still and allow them. I’ve experienced it many times. Stop resisting and avoiding your body’s signals and the feelings will dissolve. Sure you may cry or sob, but it will pass. Maybe there will be waves of emotion. If you stick with it, all will be well once again. No need to have an extra drink or 10 extra cookies. No need to avoid the feelings in other ways. Just feel your feelings. Simple. The bonus is that when you do this, you may also learn some great info about your wants and needs.

Instead of allowing, I promptly ignored the feelings I was having and went to Paris. I told myself it would be the perfect thing to do right after the book launch.

It sounded good at the time.

Just days before the trip, my body (our built in divining rod for inner wisdom) was telling me NOT to go to Paris. I heard and then ignored this wisdom and went anyway because Paris is where I feel the most at “home”. (this translates to chasing a feeling I wanted: “home”, by avoiding the feelings I was having: “don’t go”) That and I had spent a bunch of money that wasn’t refundable.

About half-way into the trip, I sobbed my eyes out for two hours one night and then ditched a very nice group of women.

Right after the sob-fest and rude ditching, I started to tell myself (and others) that the retreat just wasn’t my kind of retreat and these women were “not my people” and that’s why I was crying and having a miserable time. I also told myself what a good lesson I had learned. Lie!

The truth is, I hadn’t really wanted to go to Paris right then. This truth was too shocking to me to accept. So I continued listening to lies to avoid the feelings I was having.

My body was speaking to me, but I had chosen not to listen.

When I got home from Paris, I was still stuck. Paris did not cure my confusion about what to do next in my business.

“You really should promote the book. If you don’t promote it more, you are doing a disservice to the people you can help.”

AND

  • “You really should finish the things you’ve told others you would do.”
  • “You should write that blog post.”
  • “You are a screw up.”
  • “You don’t know how to run a business.”
  • “Get off your ass and get to work.”

Once again, I listened to thoughts and ignored my feelings. I kept doing what I thought I should do. I wrote a big list to show all that I’d been doingin my business. It’s a pretty long list for someone who is stuck and blue – look how proud I should be!

More of the same. Avoiding my feelings. I wasn’t proud. I was so stuck!

Until I finally woke up. Not only had I been ignoring my body and my feelings, I was listening to my inner bully. Her name is Arabella, by the way, and she is what I call a Thought Monster.

Our Thought Monster or inner bully is scared. Really scared. One reason it’s scared is that it doesn’t like change.

I’d done 2 things that were BIG changes for me (and the bully inside). I published a book that can help lots of people, most of all kids. And, I made a decision to pay attention to my feelings.

This scared the you-know-what out of Arabella. She was having none of it. Your inner critic (bully) is sneaky. It can override your body’s wisdom by bringing up old, well worn beliefs in a loud and convincing manner. I have a lot of practice recognizing when my inner bully starts up, but these areas of growth and change triggered powerful past beliefs that were scary for me and Arabella. The main belief that was triggered for me was: “Who do you think you are?”.

Arabella hypnotized me with it. She threw all sorts of proof (in the form of thoughts and lies) at me that I was trying to be too big for my britches. I was stuck and not moving forward and in my weakness, it was more comfortable to stay swirling in the old, evidence that I wasn’t worthy of these big changes. I let my inner bully take over. Looking back, I can see this was a choice I made, although a very unconscious one.

After 2 months of listening to Arabella’s lies and rants, my body finally got the edge over her. My body said, “enough” and sent more tears. I payed attention this time.

I started writing the truth. I wrote the truth of how I’d been feeling and how ready I was to just give in and give up. Writing for me is a powerful way to connect with my body and inner wisdom. The truth is that, yes, these big changes are scary, but I can handle it. I can keep moving forward with baby steps. I can stay with the scary feelings and not die. I can keep putting myself out there, share my book with the world and allow my feelings along the way.

It feels SO much better to stand in truth.

It’s amazing to be connected to your body and its wisdom.

It takes commitment and conscious choice to stay with yourself and choose YOU over the bully inside. Sometimes it’s harder than others, but you can do it. And you can forgive yourself when you don’t.

The way to recognize when you are not in your truth is by how you FEEL. Isn’t that interesting? We run from our feelings, with encouragement from our inner bully, and the way BACK to our TRUTH is by re-connecting with our body and staying with our feelings once again.

Do you recognize when your inner bully takes over? How do you reconnect to your truth and quiet down the bully inside? 

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About The Author

Katie McClain SEP's picture

Katie McClain, SEP is a Somatic Experiencing® Practitioner, author, and certified life coach. She’s been coaching for 25+ years and uses Somatic Experiencing®, a gentle body-mind method, to support her adult and child clients in releasing stress, growing self-compassion, and restoring goodness to their lives. Katie’s book, How to Tame Your Thought Monster, is available in multiple formats (English, Spanish, coloring book, and app) and presents mindfulness and positive thinking tools for adults and kids so they can feel better and do better. Visit Katie at her website, www.katiemcclain.com, follow her on Facebook  and Instagram.

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