Process of Illumination

What Would You Do If You Were Fearless?

There are so many things I could write about tonight…

There’s the New Moon in Sagittarius tomorrow morning; the fact that I sold my house this week (yippee!); the interesting experience I had at the gym this morning; my A-ha moment regarding the wound connected to my biological father, which I never really talk about; my insight about how so many issues in our lives are based on the fact that we underestimate so many things; my new abstract/figurative art class that I’m LOVING; how GREAT Jen & Simon’s CD release party was… I could go on and on.

So, what to choose?

I’ve set myself up in my family room… the fire is lit… I have a glass of wine… and it’s Friday night. This post will be delivered tomorrow morning at 4:00 am.

It’s been a busy week and, as has been the trend lately, I didn’t write on Tuesday, as scheduled.

So, I’m sitting here, hoping to pull a rabbit out of a hat.

Or something like that.

Earlier today, when I was thinking about what to write this week, I started wondering what I was writing about last year at this time. I’m not sure why that entered my mind… perhaps it came up because I was thinking about the fact that tomorrow (Nov. 22) is a new moon, symbolizing new beginnings, and I suppose I was curious to know how far I’ve come since this time last year. Interestingly, there was a post called “The Paradox of Tracy”, dated Nov 22, and I had quoted a post from Café Astrology about the Sun in Scorpio and the Full Moon in Taurus.

My post talked about how, in my efforts to be “real”, I can often be seen as “saintly” by others who may be “feeling challenged in areas where I seem to be exhibiting a particular strength”. It went on to give an example of an encounter I had that day where I exhibited behaviour that was pretty “real” and definitely would not be seen as “saintly”.

It was really interesting to read that because I do feel I have come a long way since then. The experience I had today at the gym, for instance, is a perfect example ( in my mind) of how differently I approach things now, as opposed to a year ago.

Without going into to too much detail, I’ll just say that I arrived at the gym for my regular training session expecting to train with my usual trainer. When I got there, my trainer (who is the gym owner) had a new “trainer in training” – a lovely and energetic girl who really knows her stuff – who had been assigned to take my measurements and train with me that day. As soon as she introduced herself, I found myself shutting down. I was suddenly very pissed off and I wanted to direct it at her.

Thankfully and amazingly I stayed conscious of my bizarre shift in mood and was able to explore, in real time, what the hell what going on with me. After all, this girl was truly lovely and yet…

I really wanted to hit her!

Very quickly, I realized that I must be feeling vulnerable (because vulnerability is at the root of all negative/fight or flight emotion) so I asked myself why that would be? What happened, since my arrival at the gym, that would have put me into fight or flight mode?

The answer became obvious immediately.

I had expected today to be like every other day at the gym – that I would come in and do a regular workout with my regular trainer. Instead, I was being measured and trained by someone I had never met before.

Yup, it’s that simple.

What I’ve learned about myself is that I do not transition well from one state of mind to another. This is due to my experiences as a child and how I learned to auto-regulate, or manage my emotions. For me, it takes time to shift from one “mode” another and so being surprised by changing circumstances can sometimes make me feel extremely vulnerable.

It’s funny, because I am also extremely adaptable. I can be entirely flexible and roll with changes most of the time but, I suppose, working out makes me feel more exposed and vulnerable than usual, which is why it has taken me so long to find a trainer who is such a good fit for me. Those aren’t easy shoes to fill, I assure you, but he has the “right stuff” and working out with him “feels so good” (I keep telling him I’ll try to work that lame line into a post… and now I finally did!).

Anyway, the good news is that I didn’t want to project my discomfort on to the lovely new trainee/trainer and so I mustered up the courage to take control of the situation by expressing that I was feeling vulnerable. I explained that I was taken off guard by the change of plans and just needed to share it because a) it was the truth and b) I knew I must have seemed “off” of tense or disconnected or even rude and I didn’t want anybody take it personally.

I was owning it.

I have to admit, though, that wasn’t the end of it.

The new trainer was great (and I really and truly mean that) but…well… I can be pretty quirky when I’m feeling so vulnerable and exposed and I wasn’t getting over it so fast. 

Honestly, from a purely emotional standpoint, it was brutal. I hated every fucking minute of it.

And, truthfully, that is why I haven’t enjoyed working out or playing sports my entire life. I’m generally not motivated to do that kind of thing unless I’m accountable to someone  but, paradoxically, I don’t like to be watched while I’m still in the process of mastering something. And I hate being told “good job, you can do it” in a cheery, “coachy” way. It  seriously makes my blood boil.

Oh, god… I can’t even begin to explain it.

It’s a horrible feeling. 

But I managed to get through it and, as time went on the trainee/trainer seemed to adapt quite well to my “quirkiness”. She was really doing her best to meet my needs and, eventually, I stopped noticing how uncomfortable I was.

I wonder if it was the eye contact.

For much of the session, I noticed that I could not look her in the eyes, which signalled to me that I must have been feeling some shame in all of this. Because of this, I forced myself to meet her gaze and, thus, let myself be seen.. and to see her for the human being that she was and not objectify her and reduce her to merely the source of my discomfort.

Not easy.

But I wonder if it actually helped. I did start to feel different after that.  

I started to get over myself.

By the end, I began to let my guard down and allowed her to teach me. She’s pretty young but she’s very enthusiastic and quite skilled and the fact that she managed to stay so professional and pleasant, all the way through, with a perfect stranger who was clearly pissed a lot of the time, well… it really made me respect her all the more.

I was proud of myself.

It wasn’t easy, but I didn’t let myself go (completely) down the rabbit hole.

A year ago, I was writing about the paradox of being an evolved human.

Today, I’m writing about pretty much the same thing, but from a renewed perspective.

Who I am hasn’t changed but my tendency to judge myself for how I’m feeling or behaving definitely has. I spend less time listening to all the conflicting and shaming voices in my head and being afraid of “showing up” and “being seen” and more time simply owning my feelings which allows me to get to the heart of what’s triggering me a lot faster. What’s more, is that I now have the courage to speak up about what’s making me feel vulnerable, which puts me back in charge, rather than feeling that I’m out of control and at the mercy of my emotions. 

So, by the time you read this, it will be a New Moon in Sagittarius:

“The New Moon in Sagittarius happens on November 22… It is time to honor the struggles and battles you have faced in the past. Let them go. You are getting a fresh start. What would you do if you were fearless?”


What a great question!

What would you do if you were fearless?

I’d love to hear your answer in the comments below or on my Process Of Illumination Facebook page.

Until next week…

Journey well!