It seems just like yesterday when this amazing tree was a brilliant orange rivaling it’s neighbor’s beauty. It’s that time of year in New England where the trees have a local beauty contest to who can win the crown and pass on the message of World Peace to the world. One by one they have their 15 minutes of fame and then they become naked for all the world to see. This is not another about too much emphasis on beauty because while I am social worker who believes that to be true, I am also a girl who loves fashion and beauty. So instead of berating those that fall prey to the world of dressing up the outside, we are going to focus our tea time chat on embracing our own raw nakedness. In our last chat Say Hello, Wave Goodbye I spoke about my process in shedding my snakeskin of fear and insecurity. The shedding process is an interesting one for sure. It brings us down to our core selves. The deepest part of our self that was hidden. In psychotherapy they always use the layers of the onion as a metaphor. That one has always annoyed me as I would like to know where the hell the core of the onion is and why the process just continuously makes me cry (most likely because I am not cutting the onion correctl!) Transformation is one of those things that seems to build and build but the moment the skin sheds it’s like a bolt of lightening. At least this is what I have found lately. The internal storm is like watching fireworks: beautiful, exciting and scary (the big booms still get me!) But just yesterday someone near and dear to my heart gave me feedback that nearly made me cry. My grandmother let me know that I have seemed more beautiful externally and a lot more outgoing. This is what is underneath the slittery snakeskin: our inner naked beauty. In that moment with this special, amazing woman, I realized that a lot that has been hiding is rising to the surface which is pretty cool. Just like the tree that was once orange and now is bare so too have I changed colors.
Pema Chodron, an American Buddhist teacher, states “fear is our reaction to moving closer to the truth.” Fear and Fearlessness Fear resides in many areas in our mind and body. One area it can reside is in the gut which develops into digestive disorders. People talk about “butterflies” in their stomach that is causing the to not feel so well. The gut is one of the areas where my fear resides and the closer I get to my own truth and standing in it, the more my gut does back flips. It’s not because it’s telling me something is wrong. In fact, something is very right but because it’s new and different, my body is trying to assimilate it. You may be feeling this lately as well. A lot of people are beginning to hit the wall with their own truth. Astrologically, this year has been a huge shove in the direction of truth telling. These days if people aren’t choosing to follow their truth, they are seriously feeling it. Instead of fireworks, these folks are feeling more like an explosions going on internally and externally. I have seen that in some people around me. The interesting thing is the opportunity to shift is there for all of us, it’s just that some of us may not be ready to choose to shift. I know, I have been there. I know what that looks like and feels like. It can be like being in a fog when you are in denial and like a war zone when you become aware that change needs to occur but your not ready. Just like the trees, we all have our time to be bare. If you are afraid that things won’t be the way they are if you change, well you would be correct. The thing that your mind may not be able to comprehend just yet is that it will be so much better. It will come with growing pains for sure, but it will be better than the fog or the war zone for sure. I can attest to that. I heard someone say the other day that they could not imagine changing in a certain way. I remember saying that exact same statement and now that change is pretty much integrated into my life. The more open you become, the more change sneaks up on you so that you forget the days when it was different.
Fear is a funny thing. There is much talk about overcoming it. One thing I have learned through Buddhist teachings is that where fear resides is where we need nurturing. It needs to be embraced like a crying child rather than ignored or bastardized. Our fear is where our truth resides I recently shared with a friend that I was afraid of the time when success sky rockets for me because it will move me into another place of needing to adjust and make scary changes. In our discussion I realized that instead of fearing that time when another cliff dive will be needed, I will bask in the glory of today and know that the moment when that truth hits my soul will know what to do. If we just allow our truth to unfold, we come to realize that who we are at the naked core is beautiful. So the answer to my annonyance of where the core of the onion is, well it’s the moment where you feel your spirit soar for no apparent reason. Life is ever evolving, shifting and changing, causing us to bump up against places that are no so comfortable. If you can meet those places that feel uncomfortable with love and kindness, you notice that they are just windows into your beautiful soul.
Today, how will you embrace your naked beautiful self? For me, it was allowing myself a tearful moment during our chat while sitting in a very busy cafe in the City. My old self was too scared to show vulnerability. Today I choose to embrace the parts of myself that allow me to feel free to be me no matter what.