Getting To Know Your Inner Drunk Girl

Getting To Know Your Inner Drunk Girl

Getting To Know Your Inner Drunk Girl

Have you ever had a bad experience that hits you right in the heart? Of course you have, we all have. By my own admission I am an extremely sensitive soul.  I will own my mistakes and have no issues apologising for any wrongdoings. However, being at the blunt end of someone’s emotional outburst leaves me quite upset and perplexed. Much like anyone I suppose.  Another reason why I was never good at working in retail. Sometimes you just happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and you are the closest target for somebody’s aggression.

If negative emotions start to rise due to a situation it can be very easy to react with defensive behaviour. If you are anything like me, shock is normally my first response.  I cocoon myself with like-minded people, so this rarely occurs.  In fact, I can count on one hand how many times this has happened in the last year. But when it does, it takes me completely off guard and I feel thrown off my axis. Not just a little, I’m taking about all consuming thought process that take me down a spiraling pathway of traumatic experiences.  I understand why they are coming up now and I am taking them as an opportunity to finally release them and let them go.

Being locked up in isolation for the last few months has not assisted with some people’s emotional intelligence, tolerance and showing a little kindness, let alone staying professional. In fact, for some it has brought out the worst in them.

I have created a folder in my brain for some of these very people. It’s called ‘Arseholes’. This is where I put those nasty and unwanted perpetrators. These people have not two but three sphincters, yes, we have two at the anus (I am both funny and educational). Their lack of empathy or narcissistic privilege belongs in that little box surrounded by an imaginary electric fence with a big neon KEEP OUT sign. It’s a small but necessary folder.  I acknowledge its existence, but I also understand that it is a very small portion of my life.

So how do you find something good out of a bad experience? The most important but painful part of this process is to experience the emotions. Yep, you heard me right ALL of them.  Feel that pain, anger, hurt, shame, guilt, fear, embarrassment, frustration and all the rest of those nasties.  Feel the full impact of the emotions created by the situation. Feel through each and everyone of them, take days or weeks if you have to.  Become the observer of your own thoughts as they start to overlap like the tide and bring up the past and seemingly unassociated situations.  Kind of like that drunk girl in the toilets who starts bringing up every single bad thing that has ever happened in her entire life. Be the kind sober friend to yourself as your inner drunk girl starts her verbal vomit.

Most of us have no patience for our inner drunk girl so we may start this process of ‘feeling’ and instead of seeing it out to the other side we shut ourselves down or we begin to lose clarity. We find ourselves stuck in an emotional loop where we head down paths of unresolved emotional experiences.  By this time, our inner drunk girl has numbed her pain and is back on the dance floor or she has passed out in the corner somewhere.  I get it, I did it for years and guess where it got me….SICK, like am I going to live or die sick.  As Caroline Myss, one of my favourite spiritual teachers said in her book “Creation of Health”, our life history and experiences, become intertwined with the cells of our physical body.  Your emotions reside physically in your body and interact with your cells and tissues, our biography becomes our biology.’

Every time that inner drunk girl starts, and we shut her down we are holding negative emotions within the cells of our body.  Does that hurt the person who created the emotional reaction in you? Absolutely not, but it can have detrimental effects on you.  If we just allow ourselves to ‘feel’ into an experience you can find the light at the other side.  By ignoring or blocking negative emotions you are doing a disservice to your own health and your own personal growth.  With thoughts come emotions and with emotions come feelings. If you get the formula right then those feelings can open to lessons, growth and opportunities.

Let me take you on a journey.  Yep the J word!  No one likes emotional pain, unless you are the narcissist inflicting it.  The minute you get upset, angry or feel like reacting like a three-year-old who can’t put lollies into a shopping cart, people want to shut us down.  Ever noticed that? We cry and instead of holding space for us people want to automatically calm and comfort us with tissues and a cup of tea.  I am not saying that it is okay to display random acts of violence or to hit out at people because we need a sales assistant to abuse because of our frustrations.  But when we feel intense emotional reactions to situations, we need to think of the sober friend holding space for our inner drunk girl.  Here are some techniques you can use to support your inner drunk girl.

Firstly give her some room to vent. Allow her to talk through all her problems. Let her cry, let her get angry, let her bring up the past.  By simply listening to her and writing things down and giving her time you can start to unravel the big ball of complexity we call emotions.  You would be surprised how many times she answers her own questions if you truly hear what she is saying.  The next step is to separate the emotions and the feelings. This is the tricky bit and the most common place when we let our inner drunk girl back on the dance floor because things can start to feel overwhelming.  Note: You are under no obligation as the sober friend to solve all your inner drunk girl problems at once.  You have an entire lifetime (and then some) to unravel and its not all going to happen over one bottle of Merlot.

Usually a big emotional reaction will occur over an accumulation of events.  The one that triggers the biggest reaction is not necessarily the worst event. It could be quite a small situation that brings up an over-reactionary response.  You see every time you send your inner drunk girl back out onto the dance floor because you can’t ‘deal with her’, she holds onto all your stuff.  A few bits might drop off as she stumbles her way back through the crowded bar but most of it is still hanging off her.  The next time she is triggered by a situation she has all that baggage accumulated from the time before, and the time before that, and the time before that.  If emotions are not worked through, then we can start to build walls that end up feeling like mountains.  We can become resentful, bitter, closed off, unfeeling and worse of all, sick.  We don’t allow ourselves to be open to new experiences because we become so stuck in believing they will cause us pain, distress or hurt.  Here’s a News Flash, that doesn’t stop ‘life’ from happening.   It is our ability to put things into perspective that gets screwed up. It always has to come   back to YOU.

Have you ever met two people that have experienced the same situation, yet their responses were completely opposite?  Meet Kylie and Karen. Both ladies had a rather unpleasant conversation with a Printing Company. The salesman acted and spoke in a very unprofessional manner when they decided to take their business elsewhere.   Kylie spent a day with her inner drunk girl and has processed through her emotions. At the end of the day Kylie can see that even though it was an unpleasant encounter, this situation was a good thing because she wanted to align her future business dealings with the right people. Clearly these were not the right people.   Karen on the other hand does not like to be spoken to in a rude manner. She feels totally disrespected and never got to have her say because the call was ended rather abruptly.  Karen is infuriated with the company and spends the day writing them an email about how unhappy she is and bitching to anyone and everyone that will listen.  She gets so side-tracked with feelings of rejection and righteousness that she does not want to deal with another printing company ever again.  Karen gives up in anger, lets her inner drunk girl go back onto the dance floor and self-sabotage’s her dream of self-publishing her first book.

Karen’s reaction may seem extreme but is very normal and more common than what you think.  Under all of Karen’s anger is a fear of failure. What if her book is a massive flop? What if people laugh at her? What if she isn’t good enough? What if no one buys her book? Could she cope with the rejection? What if she is successful? Does she fear success? What if people think she’s a fake? Karen’s inner drunk girl was triggered by one small conversion. She was trying to tell Karen to face all those things that she feared but instead she misdirected her anger as a means to shift the responsibility away from herself by projecting that feeling onto someone else.  Remember every experience can teach us if we look for the lesson.

So next time you are confronted by a situation that brings up some unpleasant feelings sit with your inner drunk girl and really get to know her.   If you take the time to listen you will find a deeper level of understanding within yourself. You will start to unravel why you do what you do. When you become aware of the ‘Whys’ you have something to work with and that’s how we open to new opportunities and experiences.

Remember THOUGHTS = EMOTIONS = FEELINGS = EXPANSION = OPPORTUNITIES

Photo Credit: Justin Aikin | Unsplash

 

 

 

Obstacles are Detours in the Right Direction

Obstacles are Detours in the Right Direction

Most of us make life so complicated, like a pressure cooker of expectations all thrown together in a massive soup of exhaustion and stress.  Then all of a sudden, your body screams STOP and you have no choice because the Universe does it for you.   
If you have ever been through a cancer journey, then you would understand the weight of getting through another year.  I rarely announce it anymore, because those that don’t understand may look at the celebration as an opportunity of glorifying my own self-importance.   Lots of people get through cancer right? Just get over it already.  Quoting Kerwin Rae ‘ Your problems don’t make you special because everyone’s got them.’ *BTW actually a really good article . The problem is, this is not like a cold or flu.  You don’t just get over cancer and get on with life like it never happened.  
The fall out from my surgery has been huge, more than anyone around me can appreciate let alone understand.  Not only did I discover that I carry a genetic predisposition for gastrointestinal cancers, I have gone ahead and had preventative surgery to eliminate some of them.  Do you know how many organs the human body can live without? I certainly do because I’m missing quite a few of them.
I never thought that becoming a Light-worker would be quite so literal.  I joke about being a pure chancel of light and that the only thing they cannot surgically remove is my sense of humor.  I even like to tell people if I was abducted by aliens they would transport me back thinking they’d accidentally picked up one of their own!  
So lets fast forward to 2018. This was the first year in 7 years (colonoscopy/endoscopy excluded) that I did not have to go under any major anesthetics.  I managed to keep all my organs and only lost a few nasty polyps, good riddance to those.  Then in November I started to develop tinnitus. A constant ringing in my ears that would drive anyone crazy.  One night I went to bed and the ON switch in my brain got stuck.  
If there is one thing that my cancer and gastrectomy taught me it was to be my own advocate.  To be aware that there are many options out there to try and to never give up if one thing doesn’t work.  Even when the experts in the field tell you ‘There is nothing further we can do, go home and learn to live with it.’  I consider myself a walking miracle so if I can find my way through to a solution then I will do everything I can to find it.  I have become a seeker.     
Not all questions can be answered with Western medical solutions and other times we have to wait for technology to catch up.   In the meantime, it is important to find new ways of being.  If this new condition has taught me anything it is that I really need to look after myself more.  Its like a forced holiday but with self-care.  I now sleep with BOSS Sleep buds.  An expensive but necessary part of keeping my sanity.  I have been meditating, soaking my feet in epson salts, fine tuning my supplements and giving myself time to ground my feet in the Earth and sit in nature.
Being your own best advocate also means being pro-active.  Go to the doctor, have all the required tests.  Anxiety and PTSD in cancer patients can take an enormous toll on your mental health and well-being.  To many sleepless nights and I know I am unable to function as a human being.   Seek help where you need it but do not look to others for the answers.  Sometimes its about listening to your own inner voice and following your intuition.
Remembering each experience, good or bad is just an experience.  If you can learn what works for you then you can share your findings with others.  Sometimes just having one person who understands you can make all the difference in the world.  
I do not understand why this is happening to me now, but I can tell you it is making me step out of my comfort zone and forcing me to seek out new and different things.  It is hard work, annoying, frustrating and uncomfortable because I like routine, organization and knowing what tomorrow is going to bring.  I’m not going to lie, when this first started it completely sucked the sparkle out of me and I just managed to grab hold before I went into an uncontrolled tail spin of depression.  
  
I have to remind myself that every time I am forced to jump in feet first I learn something incredibly new about myself.  As Gabby Bernstein suggests there are many moments where obstacles are opportunities to see things differently and I choose to see this as a detour in the right direction.  
The Universe has my back! 
Michelle Potter

Just for Today

Every time someone unsubscribes from my mailing list my heart dies just a little. When Mail Chimp sends me my stats and someone has hit that unsubscribe button (and I see you, name and all) my inner child silently says goodbye, grabs a box of tissues and has a quiet cry in the corner. 
You see, I’m lucky if I send about four newsletters a year so it’s not like one of those annoying promos that you sign up to and then your inbox gets a constant stream of unwanted notifications. And yes I have my days where seeking a more permanent source of income would be far easier on my bank account than trying to make myself stand out in a sea of other artists. Social media seems to be a big black hole of never ending self promotion and finding the next ‘best way’ to be seen. I find it all absolutely exhausting and days like today I just want to throw my hands up in the air and open up the SEEK app. 
I’ll be the first to tell you I undercharge, much to my own detriment. ‘Why?’ To get business, hell I even do stuff for free to get my name out there. The last mural that spanned across four full days…….yep zip, zero, zilch.  Who works for free these days, practically nobody.   It frustrates me when I see people pay a lot more for what I would consider very mediocre work. Meanwhile the bills keep piling up on the fridge and my husband is working his fingers to the very bone so we can keep our heads above the water. I feel an enormous amount of guilt not being able to contribute anything substantial to the family income. So I concentrate on  expanding my knowledge, stretching my skills and I work on improving my craft every single day.  Every single day.
Don’t get me wrong I absolutely love what I do and the expectations I put on myself are enormous. There is always a hope that perhaps that next painting, that next Facebook post, that next Instagram picture is going to be my big break. It’s completely exhausting and some days (like today) soul destroying. Yes sure, I have some small wins but it feels a bit like body surfing. You think you’re about to catch the perfect wave but the water recedes just before the wave has its chance to break. It’s like the Universe gives you a glimpse of all the possibilities but never enough traction to make the difference. 

So just for today I’ll give myself a bit of self care and tomorrow I’ll put my big girl panties on and start again.

……… and if you want to hear from me feel free to join my mailing list

 

 

The Stomachless Artist

The Stomachless Artist

 

Hi, I’m Michelle. I thought I would reintroduce myself to everyone. In 2011 my world changed forever. Not only did I survive stomach cancer I also discovered I live with Lynch Syndrome, also known as hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer. For anyone who has carries a genetic predisposition there is a lot of anxiety attached to it.

I attended self development for many years, have read a pile of books, connected with others living in similar circumstances and have spent an awful amount of time in my head. In my newsletter I wrote “One of the things I will take away from 2017 is that I have tried very hard to be a bee over the last few years. Encouragement pushing me in that direction has only made me more conflicted and aware that I was trying to be something I was not. My business was not gaining momentum because of what I was projecting and I know now that that was not my authentic self, rather a productive version of me that I felt I had to be in order to be successful. All the while I was unconsciously projecting the very fear of success I was afraid of by not being true to myself. “

This has been a confronting year of truth and as Kerwin Rae says ‘Just trust the path as you go.’ Doing things through fear has held me back because I believed that I had to find one thing and be great at that. But, I am not one thing, I am many things and I can BE all of them. It has taken some serious life lessons to realize I just need to be me.

Fact, I live without a stomach everyday and some days are more challenging than others. My art is my healing space and my time to create for others. I am a mother, a wife, a cancer survivor, a healer, a writer, an artist, an explorer, a creator, a business woman and a friend. In order to live to my full potential I need to accept all of me without self judgment.

So with excited uncertainty I do not know where the path is going to take me in 2018 but I know I will be embracing it with both hands. ?❤️??

#bio #Artist #magical #uniquegift #abundance #livewithoutlimits #cancersurvivor #stomachcancer #bringon2018 #artistwithnostomach

tagTag photoproduct-tagTag Product

The End Of One Journey Is The Beginning Of Another

The End Of One Journey Is The Beginning Of Another

I’ve never been a huge one for journaling.  Infact way back in High School the only subject I ever really loved was Drama and I still managed to get an average mark because I couldn’t keep up a weekly entry.  Although I did go through a couple of teenage years keeping my deepest darkest secrets locked up in a little book.  That was until I realized my little brother (and probably my mother) were keeping tabs on what I was writing.  Now when I blog, which is not that often, I hope that I come from a place of wisdom and understanding and that my readers can relate. Not much seems to be private these days. Running a business that requires so much online presence and a support group for gastrectomy patients most of my exterior life is already exposed. But not many people see the inner life that goes on within me everyday.  My true nature, my authentic self, the parts of me which are vulnerable and must stay protected.  My words are not just words, they are are like fine cracks in which the light from the inside can shine out.

I was walking through the second hand store on Saturday looking for a good book to get stuck into.  I love the smell of old books and the way they feel in my hands. An entirely new adventure or avenue of learning just waiting in between those pages. What I found so hard was finding one that grabbed my attention. So many books, so many words and so many of them the same. In the end at $2 an adventure who cares if I don’t finish it right? Unfortunately, I am not that girl.  Once I have committed to something I like to see it through to the very end.

How do you know when you are at the very end of something? A book is easy because you turn the last page and there are no more words to read.  Life, however is very different. Six years ago, just prior to getting stomach cancer I was in a very deep dark place in my life.  My inner world was conflicted and consumed with a lot of negative emotion.  I had been there before many times during my life, all with different degrees of trauma. Parts of me were so consumed with darkness that I could not see a way out.  At the time I didn’t realize that this was all part of my initiation to ‘awakening’.  I could transmute this negative situation or I could just leave and try again in my next life. So like the hero in all those books, I traveled through the darkest caves,  fought the hardest fights, grieved and cried rivers of tears and came out the other side bloody, scared and exhausted.  But what happens to the hero once they come out victorious? I can tell you from experience, that’s when the real work starts.

Something always prompts me to blog and this is no exception.  About four weeks ago I chose to end a journey in my life.  This was by no means a reactive decision, more an accumulation of years of learning and a general sense that it was time to move to a new adventure. I truly feel that for this part of my life I have been given enough tools to go it alone.  Its like having all those hours of driving experience with someone sitting in the passenger seat and now, with my full license, I can hit the open road and see how far it takes me.   A very important trigger to making this decision was brought on by a situation in which I found myself experiencing some of that very old pre-cancer emotion.  Yes, I picked up a book I had read before and I did not want to read it again! The process that went on in my head, heart and my body took two weeks to work through.  You see, I already knew the end result of that experience and I had no desire to go back there.

Part of me had to revisit not only the experience but also how I responded.  After investing in years of self development classes I was certain that those emotions had been released from my body and was very surprised when they surfaced again.  This also made me start to think about the teachers in my life.  Not just the physical teachers, the lessons that keep crossing my path until I change direction.  When I was 3 years old I started classical ballet lessons. I continued to dance for thirteen years and was one exam away from reaching the top level of the Cecchetti method when, at sixteen years old,  I twisted my ankle so badly it put an end to my dancing career.

My ballet instructor was an exceptional teacher and I expect I was also an excellent student. Although she never made me feel that way.  If I was doing everything right but there was one time I didn’t turn out my leg, she would find fault with that one turn.  I would dance until I was exhausted and if you weren’t ready to put 110% into each and every class, it was better to not turn up at all. For years I yearned for her approval and praise.  She obviously saw the potential in me, but never encouraged me with positive words or recognition.  In order to push me to grow she constantly pointed out my flaws and I never wanted to let her down.  I didn’t realize it at the time but instead of finding a new teacher and standing in my integrity, I opted out by stepping in a big hole at school and tore the ligaments off my ankle.

Finding a mentor or going through an experience that consistently focuses on the negative aspects of yourself is not always a good thing.   Growing into myself has been hard work and lets face it there are already so many voices in your own head without someone else adding in their opinions.  There is a fine balance between recognizing that within yourself that needs to be transmuted and that which you need to accept and move on.   So how do you know when its time to end a part of your journey? Its actually easier to recognize than what you think.  It may not always be something you see, but it is something that you feel.   When you start to hide parts of yourself that you no longer want to share.  When you begin to move away from your authentic self to please others.  When you start to feel resentment from what was once heart felt advice.  When you start to find distractions and excuses to avoid what used to take up a lot of your time and energy.  That’s when you know it is time. However finding the courage to move out of your discomfort is another story for another day.

Honor the teachers in your life, good and bad because they all provide experiences and opportunity to grow.  I have no idea what lays ahead of me but I know I am standing in my power.  I am armed with knowledge, experience and wisdom. Whatever life throws at me now I know I am not going to be that girl that falls in a hole ever again. If you are a person that wants to inspire others, then you must be inspiring.  If you want to help others then you must be authentic.  If you want to stand in your power, then you must action your words.  If you want to grow you must be prepared to face your fears.  Embrace the shadow side of yourself and be prepared for some resistance.  If you want to help the world then start with yourself.

Remember the end of one journey is just an opportunity for the beginning of another.