"I ran the sidewalk full tilt. I waved my arms ever higher and faster; blood balled in my fingertips. I knew I was foolish. I knew I was too old really to believe in this as a child would, out of ignorance; instead I was experimenting as a scientist would, testing both the thing itself and the limits of my own courage in trying it miserably self-conscious in full view of the whole world. You can't test courage cautiously, so I ran hard and waved my arms hard, happy. What I was letting rip, in fact, was my willingness to look foolish, in his eyes and in my own. Having chosen this foolishness, I was a free being. How could the world ever stop me, how could I betray myself, if I was not afraid? " - Annie Dillard deciding to Fly. Excerpt from An American Childhood.
On Monday's Rage 2 Riches call we looked at the threshold between early childhood and age 7. What happened for you then? Sometimes people tell me they have no memories of their childhood. Sometimes people take on a "fear" that is not their own. Sometimes people take on the role of protector or keeper of secrets at that age. That is no kind of a job for a 7 year old !!!
Shortly after I crossed the age 7 threshold I remember becoming much more rebellious. I was quiet before the age of 5. Most of my time was spent observing. My eyes were clear and large and always staring said my mother and teachers. "Don't stare." People also said things that let me know they felt judged by my silent observing. In my mind I was curious. My father thought I was a changeling. I remember feeling like I had no humans I could to talk to. I did talk to the "invisible" ones around me.
For my 8th birthday my aunt and uncle came over. My mother's relatives. This was rare as my father was mentally ill and we did not normally have people come to our house, we went to theirs. My aunt brought me a birthday cake from a bakery. I can still see the blue icing. I overheard her say "If it wasn't for me they wouldn't have things like this." I immediately dumped the cake in the tiny blow-up swimming pool in our backyard.
At that moment the "silent" pact I had to not betray my father grew even stronger. To have nice things meant I was saying he couldn't provide for us and that to the child me meant I was saying I didn't love him. I was pretty sure I was the only one who loved him.
Almost 50 years later, I am sitting here bawling as I type this. Aligning with the sensitive, "damaged", "broken" man meant turning my back on "worldly" things. No one asked me to do this I took this on in some kind of crazy sacrifice. I never fully grew up to stay in Peter Pan land with my father who wasn't even as playful or exciting as Peter.
What sacrifice did you make? I have been crying so much over the past few weeks at how little joy I have allowed myself in my life. I justified it with "My idea of fun is _______." And some of those things are fun- but they were not joyous.
How did you feel about growing up? When I got to the next threshold at around age 13 I started to panic. I did not want to leave childhood. I was so afraid that I would have to leave my magic, my imagination and my creativity behind. It was assumed I would spend more time caring about my looks and my body.
I'm sharing this with you now because on that Rage 2 Riches call I asked people for one word that described them before the age of 7. Most of the words that people sent me did not ring true. I asked them to go back in and ask the child for a word. These words were exuberant, glowing, innocent, unafraid - they reminded me of the passage I quoted from An American Childhood by Annie Dillard.
There is another moment in that book when she describes how she felt herself slipping into her body like you slip into a bathtub. For much of my life I felt like I was hovering slightly above or outside my body. Felt like that when I was anorexic, I felt like that in catholic school, I felt like that in my childhood home. As crazy as this may sound my period of doing opiates brought me fully into my body.
What things have you done to bring warmth, pleasure and joy into your body?
Because I so clearly have been seeing with my clients this "liminal space" where part of them is still waiting to be invited into their own life, I invited Kelly Eckert to lead a call about the Inner Child Spirit Animal. The call will help with any fears you may have - known or unknown - about what you can or can not do. There is a child inside each one of us who is not afraid. Some of us may need to go back super early and during this call you will meet that child. I need you to trust me on this. I have found that child for every single one of my clients who asked me to. First we had to get through the gatekeeper and in most cases that gatekeeper wasn't an adult- it was a slightly older child.
It will be incredible to make contact with the Spirit Animal that can allow this unafraid child to emerge and bring her gifts fully into your present day life.
I am not going to write a description of this call - because Kelly Eckert works much like I do and goes with what the group in front of her needs. This call is Tuesday August 9th and is only $37. There will be a replay available. You can purchase it here http://paypal.me/denisedee/37
*** If you are not in Rage 2 Riches and you purchase the call with Kelly- I will gift you with the Rage 2 Riches call (month 3) mentioned above. If you are in Rage 2 Riches and purchase the call with Kelly I will gift you with a surprise bonus.