Our Alchemist group has gone through two rounds of Enneagram and Shadow/Light workshops. This time around we were in a much bigger group at the “Rise Up Break Through – Blast Off 2015” event. Some people were new to the concepts being presented; others are well seasoned in this work and leaders in their fields, and everyone else was somewhere in between.
When we begin these workshops we always do some kind of warm-up exercises that usually include some kind of whole body movement. I am usually the one who is reserved and uncomfortable with doing anything that is expressive in groups. There are too many eyes on me and there is too much attention. My self-consciousness becomes inflamed.
This time around I noticed that being in the bigger group made it easier to free myself up and do the exercises with less self-consciousness. As we were warming up on day one, I began to move and sing freely, as it gave me energy. Although there were more eyes in the room, they were not on me. I felt free to show up, and simply be. This, in itself, felt like a breakthrough.
Then an interesting thing happened. There was one man next to me who, when we were doing an exercise together, was very rigid and reserved. He had a hard time relaxing into the exercise. “Are you uncomfortable with this kind of stuff?” I asked. “Oh yeah.” he replied with a tight smirk. I think that if he could have curled up and disappeared he would have. A similar thing happened again with different person during another exercise. That’s when I noticed there were people experiencing discomfort and this time around, it wasn’t me! This helped me to notice my compassion and acceptance of their experience. Instead of trying to convince them to relax or open up, I simply let it be how it was going to be. Other people did that for me and it helped me to keep taking chances
in showing up this way. My heart smiled a little, noticing where they were in this process. This also helped me to understand that I am not fucked up. What? Well, let me explain a little. As a 4 on the Enneagram, I have a tendency to believe that I am inherently flawed (emphasis on inherently). This usually results in any discomfort I am experiencing being translated to an internal message of: “something is wrong with me”.
Through my healing journey, I have wrestled and flirted with this phenomenon. Over time I have been peeling back the layers, gaining clarity along the way, and slowly releasing this distorted way of thinking. At this point in my life, I don’t have this experience as much. My brain finally gets that discomfort holds a lot of opportunity.However, more recently, my heart has begun to understand the falseness of this twisted belief even deeper.
In my past, this “something is wrong with me” belief was ever present and always showed up during these body expressive group activities. I was always hesitant to do them, critical of others who did them, and would become reserved and rigid while everyone else was dancing and having fun. I would think and believe that some thing was wrong with me and criticize myself with thoughts like “What’s wrong with me? Why am I so serious all the time?” or “Jeez I am so self-conscious!!”
At this weekend’s workshop, when I caught myself being able to relax and enjoy these activities, I knew that another layer of this belief about being flawed had been lifted. When I saw other people where I once was (nervous, rigid, and self-conscious), I noticed that I didn’t believe that anything was wrong with them either. Bingo! And neither was I when I had that experience, nor will I be, should I find myself in that space of reservation again.