We usually associate the word ‘support’ with something we give each other. There is, however, another layer of support that runs underneath all the daily exchanges of services, good words, hugs and smiles. It’s a layer that defines how many of those we get and how many we allow to fully sink in. And it has to do with the relationship we have not with specific people, but with the entire world around us.
Let me explain. We all come into this world as a small wrinkly crying bundle that needs a lot of care and support. Long before we can give meaning to what’s going on around us, we begin sensing our environment and forming our relationship with it. Depending on the direct physical and emotional nurture we get, as well as the energy and emotions we pick up in the family & community atmosphere in our infancy & childhood years, we form a feeling about the world around us. That feeling lies somewhere on a spectrum between:
1. The world is out to get me, it’s a dangerous and hostile place and I need a strategy to avoid physical and/or emotional pain.
2. The world is on my side, it’s a beautiful place, it’s here to nurture and support me and intends for me to be well and flourish.
Most of us have a default place on the spectrum we naturally fall back to (although there are variations, eg. for different areas of life or different moments and relationships). That space is what got us here as sane functioning grown-ups, in many cases by protecting us from physical or psychological harm that was too much to bear for a child. As grown-ups, however, we can shift that default. It’s not easy and it’s not fast, but it makes a world of difference on our emotional state, energy level and through there the results we get in different areas of life. To do this, we need to acknowledge the existence of this spectrum, see where we stand and put in some effort to learn how other points feel like.
To give you a real life example, the way I became aware of my own position on that spectrum came 1.5 years ago. I had just quit my job and was taking some time off, enjoying my newfound freedom do to whatever I want with my time. Or so I thought. Until one day I looked at my notepad with the long list of tasks and felt a familiar pressure. Then confusion – “What the hell, wasn’t this pressure because of work? What is it doing here when I am chilling and focusing on personal growth”. I took a day off – no plan, no technology, no people – and I thought and I journaled. And what I found was this – I was feeling pressured because I was afraid that if I don’t finish those tasks, I would fail. And I was afraid to fail because I felt the world was set up against me and if I am not strong and organised and busy, I will be weak and I will fail and I will suffer and I will get more weak and it all goes downhill from there.
I said to myself, OK, soon I will be in Asia starting over, maybe that helps. And it did. Little by little, I started exploring what else was on that spectrum. I dropped my plans and goals and started drifting. In my drifting, I found a new purpose and started creating without a plan. Then came authentic relating, the connection playground, my coach Laura and all kinds of other small nudges to areas of that spectrum I was not able to access before. Every time I’d move, I’d go – oh, now I get it, wow, that’s probably how it feels to be supported by the world around. Until something else would come along to show me there was more (as happened last weekend in a Core Energetics therapy I attended that threw me all the way back to that crying wrinkly bundle state, but that’s another story). I can’t even begin to tell you the difference all this has made to my life, my relationships, my career, all the way down to the way I feel when I walk down the street. And by now I know there’s more to come and that it will come when I am ready to process the pain that comes back with it before I find the gem inside.
So what can you do to begin or continue your journey of feeling supported? Here’s a couple of things that have helped me:
1. Take some time to meditate or journal on whether you believe that the world is on your side and intends for you to flourish. It might be worth to ask that question for different areas of life (eg. health, career, relationship, money etc).
2. Once you are done, check with yourself if you feel your point on the spectrum is empowering for you. Then make a choice if you are going to change something or would like to keep it that way. If you decide to change, there’s many things you can do and since your attention is there, opportunities and ideas will start popping up. Something that works really well for me is:
3. Notice when a negative or ‘meh’ emotion arises and ask yourself ‘What would I do, how would I think, how would I feel right now if I knew I was supported in this world?’, allowing the answers to change your posture, your gaze, the way you move and feel. And then continue what you were doing from that energetic place.
About Lessons in Paradise
I believe we already are in paradise, regardless of where we are and what’s going on in our lives. I believe life is a journey towards becoming aware of this and enjoying as much of it as we can in the limited amount of time we have here. The ‘Lessons in Paradise’ youtube vlog is the space where I share my process of shedding patterns and beliefs that obstruct our view in order to replace them with presence, joy and wonder. It’s also my invitation to you – an invitation to connect and journey together in creative ways, as we help each other see through to the greatest expression of ourselves. I also love creating spaces for growth-oriented people to connect to their soul power and life purpose. I do that in the form of coaching and workshops. Reach out if you feel curious to explore these topics with me.