7 Days to Soul Workshop
So I've had some time to process, to munch on and reflect on the work I've done with Jade Alectra and her most recent workshop 7 Days to Soul Fire (or 7 Days to Soul) and I wanted to share a piece of that with you guys. More will come in the future as I figure out how to articulate it all and some of it will be apparent just in my interactions with you all.
The workshop was based a lot around letters to ourselves and to others. While I'm not ready/comfortable sharing those here quite yet, it was this incredibly eye opening experience. There's nothing like writing your own eulogy or what makes you think you're unlovable to make you really reflect on things.
I wanted to join this workshop for a couple of reasons:
1. It was WAY out of my comfort zone. I don't talk about these things to anyone but my therapist and she's paid not to judge me. Sharing these feelings, emotions and experiences with 200+ strangers was a tall order I wasn't sure about. But I have a tendency to stay in my comfort zone TOO much so this was my moment to break out of that box.
2. There's a few pieces of my trauma that I just haven't been able to crack yet even with the work I've done with my therapist. I kind of figured it's that I wasn't putting in enough work/self reflection/really digging into it all (turns out that was the correct assumption).
3. I wanted to break away from some identities, masks and other crap that I've let control a lot of my decisions over the past couple of years and was ready to do just about anything to get away from them. Specifically general anxiety/fear that things will go wrong, a lack of self love and generally no self worth. This seemed like a good place to start rewriting those stories.
The truth is I've felt so confined by these fake versions of myself but everyone around me seems so comfortable with them that I was terrified I'd end up alone if I worked on finding the real me. That everyone wouldn't like who the real me was, or that I wouldn't be good enough. Those thoughts have really determined a lot about who I've been for most of my life.
The first part of the writing was to share why we are participating and what we want to commit to in this. This is what I wrote: "To pursue myself in ways I’ve always been too afraid of, and to open doors I’ve always been too afraid of opening. I promise myself to allow the change in, instead of ignoring it."I just didn't realize how much change that would involve.
The two pieces of writing I think that changed me the most were the letters to ourselves as children, to the people who have been the most difficult and how they were, and the letter describing what we believe makes us unlovable. I didn't realize how much trauma and pain I carried around for other people in my life because I didn't know how else to deal with it, especially as a child. In part because the people I carried it for didn't know how to deal with their own trauma and didn't know how to avoid imparting it on others.
It was such a weight off my chest to write these letters and to start understanding that while yes, I have a lot of things to move past and I don't really know who I am, but I do understand something BIG I need to change.
The other huge thing for me was realizing that when you take away the trauma, fear and anxiety in my life I have no idea who I am. SO many of the choices I've made, the paths I've taken and the things I've turned away from were decided by those three things. Granted, the best choices I've made in my life have been out of love instead of fear. It made me really sad though, to realize how many moments I've missed out on because I let fear be in control. Being even afraid to admit what my favorite color is has led to me being so unknown to myself. And that was heartbreaking.
Instead of complaining about "not knowing" myself, I need to take full advantage of this opportunity. The thing about it is it's really hard to re-invent yourself, according to a lot of my friends and family. And in some very real ways I am re-inventing myself because of the work I am doing to get through/past my trauma and fear. On a different level though, I am a blank page. Once the trauma is gone there is a whole soul just waiting to be painted by yours truly. It doesn't seem so scary or daunting when I realize that not knowing myself doesn't mean I never will. I just need to be brave enough to look, to say yes when my gut tells me to and to never doubt that I am worthy of love.