Welcome to the latest wave of *Fika for Your Soul*!
Some of you know that ‘showing up fully’ is a theme for me this year. And looking at what’s going on around us, the world at large seems to be pointing in a similar direction…to how it’s time for humanity to show up.
My definition of showing up fully includes having the confidence, clarity, and courage to forge my own path, to walk my own way. When I do that, I know that I’m in my freedom zone—the zone where I’m in alignment and in balance, and where I experience meaning, fulfillment, and delight.
A new opportunity to show up further appeared the other day and inspired what I’m sharing with you now. It’s linked to the human propensity for making decisions ahead of time, the deals we make with ourselves, and how these paint our freedom zone a certain way….
I’m the reflective type. In preparation for a session with coach Alex I pondered what was at the top of the list, what wanted to be the entry point for our upcoming conversation. For all the previous sessions, I had known in advance what wanted to be looked at.
Nothing. Nada. Crickets.
I was bewildered. There are plenty of topics to talk about, but, somehow, nothing came to the forefront.
It felt like a vacuum. At a loss, and being possibly somewhat unorthodox, at the time of our call I invited coach Alex to provide a doorway.
I was confused (and a bit frustrated) by how ‘blank’ I felt and how everything we approached seemed like decoys. Then, BOOM! After almost an hour, we stumbled upon a blind spot that has been ducking attention for decades.
It became clear to me that I’ve been operating with a ‘retreat’ tactic from an early age. I heard myself say that I’m afraid of sensory overload and so in any situation where that may be a possibility, I retreat in advance. Or put another way, I create an energetic boundary that keeps me from experiencing said sensory overload.
I’ve gotten so used to doing this for myself that I never ask if it’s needed. It happens automatically.
For me, the magnitude of this discovery is enormous.
I get why it happened way back when. It was a means to protect myself at a time when I didn’t know how else to handle what was going on and I made a deal with myself that retreating was the best way to cope.
At the end of the coaching session it became clear why I had felt so ‘blank’, why I had been unable to provide an entry point for our conversation. I’d embodied the very thing that was ready to be found!
Yep. Somehow, the avoidance pattern had queued itself up to be discovered and my embodying it— by going blank—was the clue. How weird and wonderful!
As coach Alex and I named this tactic that wanted to be found, I could feel things shift. Still, I was a bit bewildered by how this would affect my daily life. Then a dear friend, upon hearing about this weird and wonderful call, helped this discovery to land.
My friend said something along the lines of, “Wow, Maria, what if this tactic hadn’t been…!”
I so appreciate her saying this as it helped me feel what is now possible. It isn’t about what could have been or what I may have missed out on. That isn’t what she meant. It’s about what’s now possible as I step into situations with a different presence and awareness.
Don’t get me wrong, the sensory overload is a real thing. However, instead of deciding in advance that that’s what’s going to happen, from here on I will check in with myself. That way, my ‘retreat tactic’ blind spot won’t have the power to blind me.
Let me close by sharing three things that can help you recognize, and see through, blind spots. None are rocket science, just helpful reminders.
…Be aware of situations, scenarios, or circumstances where you may have auto-pilot switched on. Could there be a blind spot in there somewhere?
…Remember to check in with yourself. Ask yourself the question, “What’s my confidence, clarity, and courage level right now?”
…Ask someone you trust to reflect back what they see. Do they notice certain patterns or behaviour that you are unaware of?
I hope this has been helpful. In terms of my own discovery, I’m still surprised at how this one almost got away. How tricky it was to catch it, and how incredibly deeply it had nested itself into my everyday. As this continues to unravel, my guess is that I’ll be given opportunities to come back to this topic again.
..from my soul to yours,
PS! I’ve mentioned the concept of a ‘freedom zone’ a few times. We all have one. If this concept is new to you, I invite you to sit with the question, “What might/does my freedom zone look like?” What comes to you? I’ll be speaking more about this in the coming few weeks. If you are intrigued and inspired, and you’d like to share, I’d love to know. 🙂
*Fika for Your Soul* is about connecting with inspiration from everyday situations and conversations. It’s about discovery, reflection, leaning into, and stretching beyond…how we may see, understand, and express freedom, exploration, and leadership (among other things), all in the context of our daily lives. Fika (pronounced ‘Feka’) is Swedish and means taking a [coffee/tea] break.