One of the core processes of the Choices week happens on Friday afternoon when the trainees stand in their small circles and explore the question, “What do I want more of in my life?” to come up with their Contract word.
A contract word is very different than an affirmation. It is not simply telling yourself over and over again about your brilliance. It is the way of being you need to remind yourself to live to have the more of what you want in life. It is the ‘how’ of creating what you want in the world — even when fear is rising and negative self-talk is triggering all sorts of self-defeating games.
Eight years ago when I went through Choices, I was pretty confident that I could ask myself tougher questions than anyone else in that circle. So, when it came to my turn to step into the light and explore the question, I was just a tad arrogant about my knowledge of the answer — and my Contract became, I am a passionate and fearless woman.
It was pretty evident the first time I coached that being passionate is not really a problem for me. I am passionate about living life awake and conscious. Thelma Box and I had a conversation about why I put the word ‘passionate’ into my contract statement, and I took it out. I was hiding behind it and using its presence in the statement to avoid being ‘fearless’.
Except… with several years of living awake and conscious, I realized last year that ‘fearless’ really wasn’t my issue. I am fearless and when I’m not, I’m fairly adept at identifying what it is I fear and allowing my courage to draw me out.
So I decided to change my contract, especially after an incident on the Coquahalla Highway where ‘Death’ reared its ugly face in front of me and I felt its seductive call pulling me from my path. I was on my way to The Haven for the Come Alive course and it was a wake-up call. I needed to face death and claim my right to be alive everyday.
So my contract became, I am an alive and radiant woman.
But here’s the thing. My contract word is not an affirmation of who I am in the world, it’s a statement of how I need to be to have the more of what I want in my life.
And I am not particularly trusting.
A couple of years ago I did a course with Christine Valters Paintner at Abbey of the Arts. It was a 40 day pilgrimage into the spiritual desert using art, poetry and contemplation as our guides. It was an amazing course and one of the things I realized through it was that I do not trust easily — in fact, to hide the fact I do not trust easily, I will often trust indiscriminately, give it away as if it doesn’t matter to me to hide my fear. And in my lack of discrimination, I have accepted the unacceptable in my life. I have trusted the untrustworthy and not trusted myself enough to listen to my intuition, to hear my heart’s voice calling me to awaken.
Last week, in the coaches circle on Wednesday morning, I was listening to the conversation around me when my heart spoke loud and clear. “Louise, you have been beating around the bush for long enough. It’s time to claim what you fear. You are a trusting woman.”
Don’t you love it when your heart knows and your mind tells it to shut up?
‘Cause that’s what my mind did in that moment. It said, “Don’t be ridiculous, chicken heart. You don’t know what’s best for Louise. Only I do. Shut up!”
Fortunately, in the safe and courageous space that is the Choices training room, my heart is fearless.
“I hear you,” it lovingly responded to my mind and without skipping a beat, its words came out of my mouth. “I am a trusting woman.”
I thought I might throw up.
Even just writing that scares me.
Seriously — be a trusting woman, even when I’m scared to death of being hurt? Of losing it all? Of not being enough? Or simply not knowing what to do?
Except. It’s true.
To have the more that I want in my life. To fearlessly live alive and awake, I must trust.
Trust in me. Trust in the world around me. Trust in the Universe. Trust that there is a purpose for my being here on earth. Trust that my presence here on earth makes a difference.
Trust that I am ok. Just the way I am.
It’s taken me many years to step into the circle of life where I am willing to acknowledge that the only thing I need to claim to be free and alive is the one thing I trust the least, myself.
I am a trusting woman.
How beautiful, Louise and such a journey you’ve been on! You’re an inspiration! I’m not sure about trust just yet. I wish I was more trusting 🙂
Ah yes Lisa — so… there is this thing called, The Tower of Power — wishing to be is the first step of the tower. You start with I wish I was more trusting. And then move to, I want to be more trusting. I can be more trusting. I will be more trusting … it is a process and like most things, begins with the awareness. You are aware. Wise woman!
You’ve really made me think there Louise.
I think that maybe mine would be along the lines of being alive, after so long of living with not wanting to live and being afraid to speak… hmm…
Such powerful insight Laura. It would be amazing if you lived closer — I would love to have coffee and chat and hear all about your world. Hugs my beautiful young friend.
Wish I lived closer too!
One day I might make it to Canada or you to the UK and we’ll get that long awaited for coffee! Hugs to you too.
One day perhaps. It would be lovely just to sit and think with you. Silly ocean in the way. Hugs right back to you x
I am one of those who is often too trusting while being sceptical at the same time
Ah yes. I know that place Joanne. It is the yin/yang of trust. Hugs
Wow. So insightful. Trust is somewhere in my core set of issues as well and now I feel I must contemplate that a bit more… Thanks.
Thanks Leigh! I look forward to reading about your contemplations! Hugs
Good morning,Louise! I love how you can articulate into words thoughts and feelings I have had in my own Choices journey. I too, hid behind a safe word when I first spoke my contract many years ago. I used to claim to be a COURAGEOUS vulnerable woman.
I also deflected a lot when searching (manipulating) for what I want more of in my life-intimacy. I would give it away freely and often come away feeling even more alone.
I am in a new relationship now and am so thankful for the many opportunities I have to use my Choices and Al Anon tools to learn more about myself and create the relationship/partnership that I want and DESERVE (the word I awakened to while coaching in January). I AM worthy of love, simply because I am me.
I am a vulnerable woman, hugging others with my laughter and love, empowering myself and others to honour our gifts.
Yes you are a trusting woman as you have shown trust in me and inspired me simply by trusting yourself. Hugs Louise. You are brilliant!
“one of the things I realized through it was that I do not trust easily — in fact, to hide the fact I do not trust easily, I will often trust indiscriminately, give it away as if it doesn’t matter to me to hide my fear. And in my lack of discrimination, I have accepted the unacceptable in my life. I have trusted the untrustworthy and not trusted myself enough to listen to my intuition, to hear my heart’s voice calling me to awaken.”
Oh, crap… 😉
Thanks, Louise. Great post, as always!