Where are you holding back?

This blog kind of came spurting out of me yesterday. I was surprised by that, as for a few weeks, I had not felt any desire to write or share. I had noticed some layers in my sharings about authenticity and vulnerability that I had not seen before so clearly. I like to call them layers between me and the world. Layers such as choosing words that are a little more dramatic for, well, dramatic effect. Or showing how much I could be with the light and the dark that had an ever so subtle showing off.

And my practice, and inspiration, is uncovering layers. In service of feeling more connected with the world. Closer. More intimate with what is actually around me. So with this realising I stopped. And reconsidered. And felt. And felt quiet. It felt really good. And also a bit puzzling, like, now what?

Until yesterday, when I suddenly felt inspired by two friends that are showing up in the world, bringing their gifts and mastery. I was inspired by how their showing up was so in alignment with how I know them. It was just *them*.

And the question that came up for me, and that I ask myself on a regular basis, was:

Where am I holding back?

What layer is between me and the world? What am I not including? Where am I not fully showing up? Where am I turning away, from a part of myself or the world, even if very subtly? What do I want to express that is not expressed?

Or in other words: what am I not allowing into my experience?

This question is one I return to quite regularly, often when I feel stuck or contracted, because this has proven ‘a way in’. A way into exploring what is going on for me. It allows me to check my experience and feel where I am not fully engaged with it, or with my surroundings. And it has proven to be a beautiful way to include more of me into my experience. As a result I feel deeper, more at home in myself and more at ease with the world.

My body being my scale, this holding back shows up physically most of the times. It can be a subtle contraction in my belly or my heart area, or the inside of my vagina. Tension in my legs, shoulders, facial muscles, throat. Tension in my thoughts. A hardening of my skin, a tightening of my core. All clues that I am holding something back or pushing something away. A part of my experience. A part that usually wants to be seen or come out.

And that does not feel good. Because a part of me aches, or asks for attention. And I block it or fight it, or negate it. I often hold back because I have a judgement over whatever I am holding back. I judge a part of myself – for not being loveable, for being wrong – and feel ashamed. Or I judge a part of my expression – “I can’t really sing, not like a professional”, so I don’t fully express my voice. As a result I start to hide a little more. I become a little more disconnected from myself.

And because it does not feel good, I go looking. I turn my attention on myself and check in: where am I holding back? Or what am I holding back?

Maybe it’s a part of me that needs some love and attention.

Maybe it’s something that is important to me and needs to be expressed.

Maybe it’s just a part of me that wants to come out and play.

When I feel where I am holding back, find that spot in my body, I consciously relax. I open up. Relax my heart, body, and mind. Sometimes I say ‘yes’ to that part.

By doing that I open up to the world. I feel more relaxed in myself. I feel more whole. I stop waging war and allow yet another part of my being, or experience, to just be. Be me. I include whatever was excluded. I become more intimate with myself and my actual experience, and stories, dramas or imaginations fall away.

So, what am I holding back right now? Right now, I don’t want big things. I want to want big things. Because I have been invested in wanting, and creating, big things. It has been most of my life. And I have been really good at it. It got me nice results. And appreciation. And I am seeing more and more how invested I was in that. And that it is not about what I do, but who I am. And that is still weird sometimes. I am unlearning, or re-learning something new. And sometimes it is scary to let that investment go. And it also feels really good.

So right now I want simple things. A cosy house. Rest. Being in connection with the people around me. Cherish the people I love. Show appreciation for my family and dear ones in this month of December. Play. Dance. Laugh. Have fun. Receive. Reap the fruits of my hard work. Enjoy.

I want a man by my side. A life partner. A dear one I get to grow, live and experience life with. A one to love, and be loved by in return. Just for who I am. Ups and downs. Warts and radiance. And a family. That is a want I have been denying for quite a while. A desire I recently named and opened up to – and it feels really good to do so. So deeply in-my-belly good. Once I admitted these desires I relaxed. I felt happy. It just simply was. Something got included in my experience that was, and is, simply true.

More of me. That gets to show up and play in the world.

Some of you might be thinking; “It is really scary to open up to what I want, or where I am holding back. Surely I have been holding back for a reason?” I am sure you have. Maybe your reason is fear, or hurt, or stories that keep returning.

But in my experience holding back is more painful than simply acknowledging the truth of my experience.

It is the gut wrenching, the constant mind chatter, the pain in my heart that is way more painful than actually allowing what is true. Once I allow myself to express what I need to express, do what I want to do, I feel a bit more me.

It’s like falling into alignment with myself. It’s like coming home. A new part into the fold, a new part into my heart.

So, what is it for you? Where are you holding back? Is it a part of you, you are negating? Is it something that wants to be expressed? Is it a way of being you never let out? Is it something you want to create? Or something you want to keep to yourself and foster?

Whatever it is, know that it is you. That it is unequivocally you.

And I believe that if even if you just express a little more of you, it is a gift.

And I also believe that if your unique expression is not heard, or received fully, it is missed.

So how about letting it out? Say yes to it. Say yes to you. Shine.

Show the world a little more of you.

With love,

Anke

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Coach, trainer & lover of all things human and relational. Supporting you in finding more connection to yourself & others, wherever you are.

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