Recently I finished teaching a class on Living Success and Abundance with a process focusing on “Never Enough.” One of the biggest issues I perceive clients have is not valuing who they truly are and working their butts off to be what someone else wants them to be. Or they have created this false image of what their perfect self would look like, based on what they think others expect of them and ignored how they really feel then.
Trying to be what a parent, school, religion or any other group wants you to be stifles the real you, the authentic you. What I found in over 35 years of assisting clients is that they breathe shallowly and tighten their muscles in order to repress the expression of their real feelings of anger, irritation, sometimes even sadness. They do this because they are concerned about the repercussions of displeasing parents, teachers, etc.
To do this they have to breathe shallowly. As soon as they relax their body and breathe fully, those deep emotions come to the surface and are expressed outwardly. Usually this type of breath holding occurs numerous times as we grow up and try to please others or resist others by not being ourselves. Consequently, the rest of your life you wind up being a shallow breather in order not to experience those repressed emotions.
Another thing that happens when you repress your natural expression is the muscles in your body contract, inhibiting your real nature. For many years I worked primarily as a Reichian/bioenergetic therapist and trained other healers to do the same. This has given me a solid foundation in what really happens to people when they hold back their true emotional expression and tighten to hold it all together.
When this occurs frequently over time, your muscles become rigid. So you lose flexibility, adaptability and your capacity to experience the depth of love, passion and joy. The primary muscles that contract are in the jaws, neck and throat, so that you don’t express the words and sounds that would come naturally.
You also tighten the muscles in your chest when you don’t breathe fully. As soon as you take a deep breath, the real emotions, as well as your verbal expressions, surface spontaneously. Notice as soon as you relax, you breathe deeper and your heart and lungs let go, like a sigh of relief. It’s actually very liberating to finally relax the muscles in your body and express all those emotions. Something as simple as practicing goo breathing techniques is a part of a natural, or holistic, outlook on life, and is one of the foundations for healthy living.
Many people will also tighten in their diaphragm, which is connected to one of the major power centers in the body. This is also the place where people get “hit” when they are verbally insulted or put down. Yes, I know your parents and some of the school authorities thought they were helping you by their constant criticism, but all it did is repress your true self and created feelings of being “less than” or “not good enough”. There really are ways to give positive criticism without undermining a person’s sense of self – another article.
Depending on the emotions and feelings you are trying to suppress, you might also repress your sexual energy. I have taught Sacred Sexuality practices and worked with incest and sexual trauma for many years and found that the healthy sense of your sexual being when repressed cuts off your ability to fully come forward in life as a powerful self-motivated and self-confident person. Fully embracing your sexuality is at the core of who you are and then your passion, aliveness and excitement about life and what you do is magnificently expressed.
I’ve had many clients tell me that other people don’t seem to notice them, they’re not seen or heard. Of course they’re not seen or heard. Safety for these people meant they left their body energetically (called “dissociation” by psychotherapists – read more here), so as not to experience the physical and emotional pain. This becomes a habit and every time they’re a little frightened, they leave their body and all pain stops. Or, they move their energy to the back of their body so of course they’re not fully seen or heard. This is done when invisibility means safety.
As the naturopathic.org website reminds us, to succeed and bring forth your true gifts and your real purpose means you need to be centered inside, as well as fully express who the authentic being that is you. When you contact your Inner Wisdom or true self, you do act and behave in appropriate ways so you don’t need to be concerned about “What will the neighbors think.” Your Soul knows what’s appropriate. It’s your frozen, repressed and child-like self who gets confused what to say and how to behave.
It’s time to say “Yes” to the real you and stop pretending to be what you think others want you to be. Only you can be the absolutely best you! The world is charmed by anyone who really exhibits their true essence. Let your Soul Song and Soul Dance vibrate its beautiful music through your Being.