Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Block I've Been Living In - Part Three

Hello Dear Blog Readers!
If you are back for more of my story of uncovering old negative blocks that I've been living in and with, then all I can say is WHEW! I was afraid I might have scared off some of you with my last post since it was a long one ;) Thanks for hanging in there with me and I'm glad to hear that some of you are finding things that resonate for YOU.

If you are just now tuning in, you can read the first post and the second post of this journey of self discovery...

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At the end of my last blog post, one of the facilitators, Wendie, was realizing that I had fallen prey to the trap of "positive thinking"...

I mentioned in the last post that I am aware of the pitfalls of positive thinking and this awareness came to me while I was dealing with a highly negative situation of a bad job and work environment, and I knew that all the 'positive thinking' in the world wasn't going to make the actual situation improve in any way.  With an interesting incident and the help of my life coach Pete we came up with using "Stay Negative", a story which became a prominent page in my Office Art Book that I created at the office as a way to reclaim myself, and eventually became a personal tool for dealing with the feelings I had.

Yet I had fallen prey to the power of "positive thinking"...

During all the writing exercises in the third week of the workshop I expressed a lot of my anger and frustration at the power of money in my life and I expressed my resentment as well. Having that frustration and resentment was making it hard for me to:

"find ways to reconcile this force of money in society so I can have a better relationship to it"

...and yet I do have ways of looking at money positively: I spend it in ways that bring joy to myself and to others not to mention this realization:

"I am a hard worker who has always managed to earn money when I need it
 for the things I need it for
at the time I need them."

But at this point in the workshop it seems that "positive thinking" was a behavior that I had fallen into as a reaction to my beliefs about money.

After all the writing we had done, we had been given a form to look at so we could pinpoint any behaviors we might be acting out in relation to everything we had written and I had not found any behaviors that I could see myself acting on. This list seemed to need an addition as the list of 'tolerations' had needed the category of 'neighborhood' for me in the second week. The list was missing this word for me:


which really translates into


I mentioned that this word was missing on the list for me and this is when we all began a discussion about what we were actually trying to uncover at this point in the workshop. What we were trying to uncover was our underlying beliefs about ourselves that actually run just about everything we know, like a "Mob Boss"! ;)

I once heard somewhere that all humans are looking for one of two things in Life:

Love or Respect

and as a consequence of those driving forces, our actions follow suit.

I learned that my underlying behavior and pitfall is that I do not believe I am worthy and it does come up in the smallest of ways, such as the times I am buying art supplies or books - I seem to always need to tell myself that I DESERVE these things - one of the participants pointed this out to me and they were quite right. I often DO have to talk myself into buying art supplies, books, or nice things for my home because underneath it all, I do not believe I deserve them =-(

Then there is the matter of the neighborhood I currently live in: it's becoming unsafe, there is litter or abandoned furniture on the sidewalk. This is not exactly making me feel like a super star...

And let's not forget the bad job where I was not paid what I was worth for the work and skills I had, THEN I had to 'tolerate' a pay cut due to "budget issues" as well as an isolating work environment - that DEFINITELY did NOT make me feel worthy of much...

In the course of our group discussion, we seem to have hit upon at least three basic underlying belief systems that generate our negative behaviors:

I'm unworthy
I'm not enough
I'm unlovable

That last underlying belief system is pretty universal I think!

I ventured to say that just about all underlying behaviors and beliefs would relate to that last one of being unlovable - how can one be loveable if one is not worthy or not enough???

That's my theory anyway...

So now I see why there was so much dissonance in much of my writing and why it began to feel as though I was doing the exercise wrong, though I wasn't doing anything wrong**.

Though I can look at my actual behaviors that are in fact positive, and though I can "logic" myself into thinking that I deserve many good things in my life, I have been unable to reconcile my physical behaviors with my underlying, unconscious belief that

"I am unworthy"

But now that I know the underlying belief system, I can work to change the belief and catch my heart up to my head!

This third workshop session was a hard one to work through and there was still more work to be done. The following week we did more writing - here is a sampling of what I wrote as I continued to work through my worthiness issues:

There is a repeat of the second and the third week as well as new issues that I finally wrote down:

I do not earn what I believe I am worth in jobs I've recently had
I live in a neighborhood that is no longer safe or secure
I do not feel I can charge high prices for the work I do
I do not think people will want to pay for the work I create

and most importantly:

I do not DESERVE to earn unlimited income

What I learned in the previous week was written on one whole page so I could take a good hard look at this underlying belief...
This is my "Mob Boss" talking!! He is one mean dude, isn't he?!?!?? ;)
This underlying belief keeps me counting my pennies, though I do have money for things I need when I need them. It keeps me from buying art supplies, which is something I need in my 'new line of work'. It keeps me from charging what I believe my creative work is worth...
But with the help of my life coach Pete and co-facilitator Wendie, I could look at this belief and see that it no longer serves me.
And now, I can take that phrase and turn it around!
I am WORTHY of unlimited income
Each participant was able to turn their personal issue into a personal and POWERFUL new affirmation to work with and I have worked with my new affirmation on a daily basis. I also discovered some other personally powerful affirmations that came out of my own writing:
I always have money for the things I need, when I need them, at the time I need them
which has morphed into:
The Universe always provides what I need, when I need it, at the time I need it, whether I believe I am worthy or not

and this last affirmation has been helpful because it has ALWAYS been true in my life and it helps me to remember that I am provided for in many ways, large and small:

  • I have a wonderful boyfriend who is loving and supportive
  • I have great circles of support with artist friends and art groups
  • I have a roof overhead, a bed to sleep in, clothes to wear and food to eat
  • I have myriad skills to draw upon and I help many friends with these skills, friends who are HIGHLY appreciative of the help I offer!

I am not out of the woods by any means, but participating in this healing workshop really helped me to see some of the blocks I've been living in and it gave me some great tools to work through those blocks, which I will continue to do in the weeks and months to come...

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Just around this time of participating in the workshop, I had discovered this great video for finding your purpose, and I linked to it in this blog post. I had made some time to sit down and work on the questions posed in this video and I knew right away that BOOKS would feature prominently in my answers. Working through the questions posed in this video was a great way to uncover what is most important to me in my life and it inspired a new batch of art pages for my art books, which I'll continue to share in the days to come, but here is a sneak peek to whet your appetite...

A page in a beginning stage...more peeks of it's development coming soon!

The video is a great example of the Universe providing what I need, when I need it, at the time I need it! It left me inspired to create quite a few things and I'll share them here in the weeks to come...and maybe I'll share my answers to the questions posed by this great video =-)

Thank you all for reading my story but while the workshop has ended, my work is far from over - I will be sure to share my challenges and triumphs as they come, so stay tuned!

Thank you for reading!

* - Dear Kat - this worthiness thing goes WAY deeper than I imagined! I'm SO glad you are writing about it weekly!

** - Many thanks to Kat and SueAnn for backing up the idea that I was NOT doing the exercise wrong - it just had some interesting outcomes that I had not anticipated =-)


Kat @ I Saw You Dancing said...

Amen, sista!

SueAnn said...

Wonderful!! I love your positive affirmations. You are worthy and you do deserve. When these good things arrive, you have to be ready and open to receive. Be prepared for the good things that are coming to you.

Kathryn Hansen said...

Hi Monica!! I'm just catching up now. WOW!! what courageous work you're doing...i think we could talk about this subject for hours together!! Hopefully with this work you'll be able to pull a thread that will unravel it all and you will have all that you wish and dream for!!

I'm dealing with money issues too with having one child in college and the other with many needs:braces, veneers, money for activities, etc. I always come back to Louise Hays work, everything stems from not loving the self enough.

I love hearing your process...thanks for sharing!! I know this helps a lot of people including myself!!