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I've been hiding lately...

Updated: Mar 28

...here's why.

 

SHAME.


Yes. Shame.

 

The thing that grows in the shadows and screams in the silence and threatens in the isolation.

 

The thing that steals precious energy and life force, clouds intuition, races in the mind, overloads the nervous system and contracts and contradicts any and all actions.

 

The spectrum and spiral that spans everything from the ick of embarassment to the worst of all; exile. 

 

I have been in a shame spiral since my birthday back on December 8th; the day I turned 37, the age my sister was when she ended her life, and over the last intense couple months I have been in a pretty difficult and dark place. While I am no stranger to life’s shadows, this stretch of time has felt incredibly different. Admittedly, the shame was starting to creep in at the beginning of October (if I’m being completely honest). So I wanted to be really transparent (share information) and vulnerable (share information that can potentially be used against me or used to judge me) with you because it’s truly the only way I am able to feel authentic. 

 

Back in September, I left a freelance gig I had been doing for 10 months that was completely draining me. Not only was the work misaligned but my boundaries were consistently being pushed and crossed and questioned. I also was too exhausted to focus on my own business and work in the world despite this being a part time gig. Now, the shame part for me has everything to do with the energetic exchange where I had taken the job at a rate that was much lower than what I normally charge (because of fear and financial challenges at the time I started the gig) and then I walked away from that job without something else “lined up” because I couldn’t continue to betray my time, resources or energy any longer. This was a situation I have been in so many times in my life and I recognized that I couldn’t sustain nor accept that type of dynamic anymore. October 1st resulted in immediate elation and release and then immediate shame and fear. BUT it also freed up a bunch of energy to launch 2 new podcasts, woo hoo!

 

I also committed to finishing my rebrand of Kaia Evolutions and funneled all of my energy into finishing the year with a bunch of opportunities and momentum to head into 2024. Needless to say things did not go as planned. I have been wanting to write this Newsletter for awhile now but was having a really difficult time showing up for / being honest with myself because I have been in a trauma-induced freeze. So I have been taking this time to practice what I preach and use the tools and resources that I teach to others in my daily life; a common practice for me but one that needed reassessment as my body needed different ways to regulate during this time. As I have been moving through what’s here, I sat down to write a list of all of the various things that I was navigating that were feeling unsafe in my body and I wanted to share that list here:

 

  • Ending a freelance gig that drained me for 10 months

  • Rebranding / refreshing Kaia

  • Starting two podcasts

  • My 37th birthday

  • The holidays

  • Finishing Season 1 of the two podcasts

  • A mis-attunement and subsequent fallout with a friend

  • *My back going out for about 8 weeks (scroll down for symbolism)

  • The death of a (different) friend

  • Putting our cat down after she got very sick very quickly very randomly

  • A bunch of momentum seemingly disappearing

  • A couple opportunities falling through

  • Relaunching Kaia’s website

  • Financial fallout from our cat’s medical visits & euthanasia & a big looming bill from some financial struggles over the past few years


A picture of the shame spectrum

Now, why do I share all of this?


Because the big energetic theme of shame (in all its versions…see the picture above) has been sparked by each individual thing on the list and has culminated and compounded into a seemingly insurmountable overall feeling of instability and chaos. 

 

The tipping point for me was about 5 weeks ago when I got a letter in the mail from a financial institution with my sister’s name on it letting me know that I was a partial beneficiary on a 401k turned IRA that she had opened in 2012 and they had just been notified of her death. Not only was this letter activating because I have not seen her name in writing for almost 4 1/2 years but it was a DIRECT sign from her. I had been asking her to send me a sign that she was with me, helping me, hearing me and that my guides were with me too. After almost 12 weeks of minimal messages from her (we are usually very in tune), I decided to get more specific. “Send me money, sister. I want money. Please, send me some money.” Ooooof…so when I saw that letter I was not only grateful but the grief was overwhelmingly difficult. Not only did this provide such confirmation that she is absolutely with me but it also proved just how close she still is. 

 

Additionally, in order to receive a payout for the funds (nothing crazy big but every bit helps), I had to provide her death certificate. Because her death certificate does not have her cause of death on it, due to her death being investigated at the time, I had to also provide her autopsy results (both in Portuguese and our translated English version as well - as she died in Portugal). My nervous system has been completely fried from this experience on top of everything else. 

 

These past few months have also given me a perfect opportunity to revisit my tools and resources and really take stock of what does and doesn’t work for me right now in my current body. Because in all honesty, somatic integration and embodiment practices are meant to regulate the nervous system; to align the energy in the body that allows us to feel our most authentic version of ourselves. Notice that I said “regulate”…it’s not about “calming the body down” but finding my body’s baseline of where I’m able to energetically and somatically function as ME. And so much of the additional shame from this sister sign and subsequent paperwork was and is entangled with so much shame surrounding her death that is not necessarily mine but is still very present within my body; it is residual and complicated.

 

When we bump up against our shame, it can immediately press on every bruise. Every embarrassing event. Every brave act that didn’t turn out how we wanted it to. Every time we were made to feel small or different or stupid or dismissed or dropped or othered or ignored; especially when we were being ourselves or trying something new or taking a risk. There were a lot of chances and changes at the end of the year that were also accompanied by a lot of grief and loss and upheaval. So I share my current experience not to play victim or even gain sympathy but to show up unapologetically in my current realities and recognize that this raw, vulnerable place I find myself in is a perfect opportunity to live in integrity - where my beliefs, thoughts, words and actions match…even when it’s tough or ugly or messy or uncomfortable…and this is where I resource myself, drop into my body, call myself back in, reach out to a friend, extend myself grace and re-member.

 

Now…is anyone else feeling some intense shame right now? 


Be sure to check out the image above for some ways shame might be showing up for you that you maybe haven’t been aware of.



 

*Somatic Symbolism & Signs:

-Back represents support

-Spine = alignment / misalignment

-Pelvis & hips = trust in moving forward / fear of moving forward

 

Of course my back and pelvis would go out during this time. It’s perfect feedback from my body of what it’s missing and where I need to nourish and support and resource myself.


 


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