by Leah Guy
“What you think, you become. What you feel, you attract. What you imagine, you create.”
A resounding YES is a mighty, magical thing.
Commitment to a decision shoots positive vibrations throughout the body and buzzes in the heart. This wild energy of YES creates change, but change – even a small change – can be scary, exhausting and triggering. Even when we want positive and new experiences in our lives, most of us still fear change. Ultimately, it’s a fear of death that keeps us saying no. The fear that we will never again have what we are leaving, even though what we say yes to may possibly bring happiness and new energy to our life. We’re more afraid of loss than we are of gain.
Four years ago, I stood shuddering on the divide between a frightening YES and a safe NO. One of my dreams was to open a healing center and retail boutique. I’d thought about doing this for over 15 years. But the fear in my mind had always won the internal war as I spat out a stream of endless NOs.
NO! I don’t have the money to spare.
NO! I don’t have a perfectly clear business plan as there was no market for this industry.
NO! I don’t want to fail.
But there was a twitch in my gut that wouldn’t settle down. This feeling told me to go deeper and explore the root issues that were at play. What did NO really mean to me? After time and reflection I realized that resisting my dreams was really me staying stuck in my low self-esteem. If I didn’t take the risk, I wouldn’t have to face the failure, or prove myself wrong with success.
I decided I need to spend some time thinking about what YES might bring – how saying yes might change my life, as well as the way I relate and value myself. In this meditative space I dreamed about the possibilities.
Did the community want this and also need this? YES.
Would I survive as a person if the business failed? YES.
Do I trust myself to work hard and give it my best? YES.
The healing center opened in the fall of 2014. It has sustained itself financially since day one and has provided myself and the city with a strong sense community and connection. I have never regretted the decision.
YES vs NO
The conflicting energies of YES and NO can be felt, known, separated. Absorb your focus into the body between the collar and pubic bones. This is the core energy center of the Solar Plexus Chakra. It’s the energy where our self-esteem, identity and self-value comes. It’s the place from which we build trust in ourselves and exert our healthy ego. Imagine being asked an important question and answering with a strong, loud YES. Now imagine responding with an equally strong NO.
Feel the difference in your body? In your energy and emotion?
An honest YES feels fantastic and kinetic. A true and resounding YES feels like forward movement. You may even feel a tug in your heart or gut. A NO can feel heavy, perhaps a feeling of withdrawal as the energy shrivels then stops the flow. As a response to fear, NO is a protective intuition but unchecked it scares us away from following dreams, taking on challenges and opening our hearts.
Is that NO a rational alarm protecting you from real peril? Or an irrational fear keeping you from enhancing your life?
Practice distinguishing between your mind and your core identity, your intuition. If you are someone who says “I think” in response to questions, you may be too much in your head. Instead answer with “I feel” and watch what happens. Connect with what your higher self knows instead of the fear-based story your mind wants you to believe.
The more we practice listening to ourselves and following our gut, our intuition and our dreams, the more we strengthen our will-power and determination. Strength grows by applying strength. Courage is what shepherds us into new possibilities and happiness.
YES demands a leap outside the pampered comfort zone. It asks you to put your fears and your past regrets momentarily aside just long enough for you to reach out and embrace the unbridled and perhaps unfamiliar possibility of joy. Fear paralyzes you in a space that’s easy, but lifeless. To move beyond this stifling, suffocating fear is to go deep into your body and silence the trepidation and worry. We can achieve this with mindful presence.
Showing up to your fears and difficult emotions is as simple as sitting down and being quiet. Stillness allows time and space for the often supressed emotions to come forward. As thoughts and emotions surface, we don’t need to chase them away, but instead give them a safe place to just be. This space allows us to trust ourselves and own our authentic feelings as well as learn how to listen, and tame, the chatter of the mind.
When was the last time you said YES to something you were excited about? A YES teeming with sparkle and spirit? A YES that moved you forward?
That last YES you shouted still holds healing, happiness and growth. Draw from it now as you sit and be present, as you listen for guidance and stay open to possibilities.
You don’t have to say YES to everything. NO is a reasonable answer to something not right for you. But realize that NO doesn’t resolve personal issues such as time management, self-care or deeper intimacy in relationships. NO can be an excuse to cover fear. It’s up to you to discern if the next move is one that deserves action or a pass.
Ask yourself why you are slamming on the brakes. Is it a rational reason? Or are you afraid of change?
Next time you are faced with a difficult or exciting decision pause before you answer and investigate what YES might inspire. Take a mindful moment to explore your emotions and intuition. Listen for the answer deeper inside your body, not just in your mind. YES energizes and motivates. YES green lights a move forward to find joy and connectedness.
Could this be the season of YES for you?
About the author:
Leah Guy is author of the new book The Fearless Path: A Radical Awakening to Emotional Healing and Inner Peace. She is also a transpersonal healer, survivor and media personality. For more info visit www.LeahGuy.com/book
by Leah Guy
What is said and how it is said is testimony to inner harmony. With minor nuance in tone, pace, or inflection, the voice reveals character and personality as well as mental and emotional health. An emotional imbalance will manifest in the throat or physical movement as weakness, restriction or unevenness. Hoarseness or a “frog” in the throat are signs of an internal emotional struggle.
Before language or advanced intellect humans conveyed information with sound and movement. Grunts and utterances delivered feelings and information from the mind and body. Over the centuries man has developed more sophisticated techniques to communicate, helping us evolve into high functioning and manipulative beings. The ability to stay connected to self and others comes from tools of communication, be it speech or movement. It is by this same means that we distance and disconnect ourselves from others.
The power of expression can influence one person, a group or the entire world. Articulate leaders have inspired millions to follow their lead with a passionate conviction for good or evil. Activists and social justice groups influence massive change and evolution through the passion of their voice and conviction of their heart. Words unsaid are often equally powerful. Finding the genuine and appropriate voice for yourself is a balancing act.
The voice should be used as a tool for expressing thought and emotion, not as a means of control. Poor communication skills can be damaging to self and others. Constriction or restriction of the voice may appear due to yelling, lying, diminishing others, or negative talk to self or others.
The fear to speak up or express your needs can also have a detrimental effect.
The 5th or Throat Chakra is the Communications Center. It’s also called The Seat of Emotion. Healthy energy in this area coincides with speaking one’s truth and giving expression to desires, wants, needs, opinions and thoughts. As the first of the higher vibration spiritual chakras, this energy center demands the highest integrity and authentic truth that is often challenged by self-doubt and negative thinking. The Throat Chakra is more than simple vocal expression. It also includes body language, written expression and how we understand the expression of others. When the Throat Chakra is out of balance, there is often another emotional energy system that needs attention. The primary blockages to a healthy Throat Chakra are the untruths we tell ourselves and others. Deceit, lies and manipulation are the blocks that keep us trapped.
Physical symptoms that may arise from an unhealthy Throat Chakra may include gum or teeth issues, neck pain, clearing of throat, chronic fatigue, headaches, thyroid and endocrine issues, hoarseness, dental issues, polyps on glands and TMJ to name a few.
Ignoring our fears or shortcomings traps energy in our bodies and can also develop into a variety of other emotional symptoms and patterns such as gossiping, fear of ridicule or judgment, shyness, stubbornness, verbal abuse, manipulation, inability to express thoughts, social anxiety and fear of public speaking.
Concealing one’s feelings and denying who you are is only damaging to one person. You. It is your responsibility to have healthy and honest expressions. Learn to say what you mean and mean what you say.
One of the main reasons we lie is to hide our pain and suffering. When asked how we are, we respond with “fine” or “ok.” It’s become common practice to guard one’s expression as a means of being courteous to others or not airing dirty laundry. But it’s not fine. Continual use of these lies keeps us farther away from our happiness and healing.
It’s not just deceit and lies that contribute to the imbalance of our unhealthy expression. Addiction is another indicator that emotional healing is needed. You can’t be harmonious with yourself and be in addiction. To deny that truth is to lie to yourself. When I smoked, I lied to myself about my emotional and physical health. After years of being hooked, I lied so much it became humorous. When I smoked, I convinced myself I was meditating or having some sort of spiritual experience alone in the great outdoors. I wanted to believe smoking connected me to my ancestry to the American Indian culture. The truth was the buzz from the smoke was covering the volcano of emotions that were deep in my body. It was my smoke screen.
The “vice” du jour offers a moment of pleasure or relief from the pain that we try to avoid. But the negative behavior is just a vice grip on your troubled inner world. It holds your suffering and it won’t let go. The lies we tell ourselves mask the truth of our integrity. Carrying such shame and fearing to admit the truth of our suffering is difficult even to ourselves. Perhaps we chase false dreams, but to ignore dreams confirms the feelings of worthlessness. Perhaps you are in denial about an eating disorder or addiction. You may be lying about your true feelings about your spouse or a friendship. These personal lies become internalized as self-criticism, self-loathing or denial of self-love. We are afraid to judge ourselves so we create excuses, blame others and manipulate situations to avoid the hurt. We lie to avoid infliction of self-pain to our spirit.
To heal our emotional wounds, we must practice speaking our truth in word and deed. Saying what we need, what we desire. Using your voice is not just for words alone, or to communicate with others. We often do not realize the lies we tell ourselves. Self-love, compassion and truth-telling are powerful routes to healing old wounds and scar tissue that has developed from shame, guilt, grief and fear. Do not speak what will continue to cover up these negative patterns, speak what you are today, who you are, what you feel. Energy shifts from internal awareness and expression.
About the author:
Leah Guy is author of the new book The Fearless Path: A Radical Awakening to Emotional Healing and Inner Peace. She is also a transpersonal healer, survivor and media personality. For more info visit www.ModernSage.com/book
Excerpted from The Fearless Path copyright 2017.