In a camper van, I waved good-bye to my husband and drove off to a Conscious Goddess Camp. It was an early summer’s day in June. There was still some fresh breeze in the air. I arrived at a large open field ready to reconnect with Mother Nature, myself, and with many other women of all walks of life. Tents and camper vans, natural toilets and showers with little privacy were to be my home for the weekend. I smiled at the prospect of a new experience.
And then, within this surely perfect sacred site, I suddenly felt uncomfortable in my skin. My mind chatter was overwhelmed, and I realised that it was labelling indiscriminately, judging everything it saw. My head felt like it was about ready to explode, or had it already? At that very moment a penny (or two!) dropped.
When stripped naked
Sometimes we make an inner discovery. It arrives from no-where and touches our consciousness like a volcano, in full force. In an instant our inner eye is lit and our world changes irrevocably.
For many years – perhaps my entire life – my mind was quick to judge people and circumstances. It falsely led me to believe that I am smart, because I am able to assess any situation and find my feet fast. Little did I know that my mind chatter was leading me astray, and with each judging thought I was harming myself, limiting life.
When I first arrived at the camp and looked out the window of my camper admiring the scenery, I was truly rejoicing in everything and everybody, all present experience, no labels, just peace and joy at taking in the sights. I noticed women dancing, performing sacred rituals; women with confidence, sun-bathing their glorious bodies, whether perfect or not in the eyes of the fashion industry.
And then my quick, judging mind jumped in with its observations that weren’t so kind, like the tacky tent fabric, the shabby wooden bench around the fire pit or something else useless. I decided I no longer wanted to go where my mind wanted to go.
As I lifted my butt out of the driver seat and stepped out of my camper, I decided to embrace a Goddess experience rather than the one Claudia’s mind chatter wanted to project with all its discomfort, likes and dislikes. I decided to be the Goddess, and spoil it for that ‘old Claudia’ who was a continual perfectionist in her own eyes.
The Turning Point: Meeting of self and Self
It requires exceptional courage to remain vulnerable not only to others but also to ourselves. How can I hold my own hand when the waters get choppy, not judge that ‘old me’ but trust that hand which is reaching out to that vulnerable part of me? I need to continue to gently let her go, whilst holding her hand. But how?
It can be easy to forgive others since we don’t need to spend all of our time with them, and we don’t need to carry the guilt of their actions. We can also be strong with others. But when it comes to ourselves, the stakes are high and unsound feelings, fears, and shame can really haunt us. In our own mind chatter we lose sight, judgement, and inner strength. When the ‘old Claudia’ turns up it always worries me a little as I never know what she is up to. I wonder how long she will stay this time, whilst I observe her manoeuvres.
To be vulnerable with myself I need to be honest with myself.
Ask yourself, am I being honest with myself?
Shift away from people pleasing; please yourself first.
Acknowledge your innermost feelings – shame and guilt included. Feel what you feel, breathe and release.
Develop a daily routine for silence and reflection. Asking yourself powerful questions is a form of self-enquiry and will open you to new insights. It is a much-respected practice, but it can seem shrouded in Guru Mystery.
But what if it is actually quite simple?
Making myself my highest priority, I am determined to get to know myself.
Holding space, free of judgment and in full acceptance of my emotional state,
I step into the true me, my true nature.
I left the Goddess Camp with a smile in the knowing that I stepped into a new part of me and mySelf.
I’ll be back with part 2. I will share with you how others have shown me the way holding space for myself and how it changed my life.
Until then …
Check out Matt Kahn’s conversation on Sounds True. He talks about The Art of Holding Space HERE.
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About the author
While Claudia was on a business trip to India and 3 questions later by a total stranger, she found herself questioning life. She eventually left a high-profile career. Being nobody was painful. Claudia fell into darkness and yet emotional pain awakened her to the calling of her soul.
She now helps people on their journey of inner transformation and awakening and runs a global community. Her work is influenced by studying ancient wisdom, shamanism and Ynana Yoga, the path of self-enquiry.
She is a published author of her 28 Days Journey to Self Love and I AM EVERY WOMAN, a compilation of transformative life stories.