I am a huge fan of the idea that the way we do one thing is the way we do everything, so as we become increasingly present to any limiting patterns we inhabit, we’ll often see those patterns showing up in multiple areas of our lives. About a month ago, I was washing the dishes, I very clearly saw an old pattern of mine playing out, and it facilitated huge awareness for me.
As I washed, I could feel myself beginning to contract–tightening around the impulse to keep control of the process. I didn’t want it to get messy. Feeling began to rise in my body as the water splashed on me, and then I took a deep breath, softening my shoulders and dropping my elbows softly back down toward my body.
By processing my feeling in the moment–engaging directly with the tightness that was showing up–I was able to notice that this was a familiar contraction. In fact, it was a tightness I know intimately.
“I don’t want to get messy,” or even more accurately, “I don’t want to show messy,” is a fear that has come up a lot for me in the past. And though I’ve moved through and released a lot of that, I can still see subtle spaces in my life where I hold myself back from full expression in fear of all the “messy.” Can you relate?
In the past, “messy” has meant to me: scary, vulnerable, and unpredictable. It’s meant leaving myself open to judgment. The possibility of losing control.
As I stood there in my kitchen, washing the dishes, feeling that wave of wanting to control move through my body, I began to see and love myself in a whole new way. To have overwhelming compassion for the part of me who fears “messy.”
In the moment of having this awareness–in releasing fear through my physical body and noticing the hold that fear has had over me in the past–I made a new choice…
I let the water splash.
I let my feet, and the floor get a little bit wet.
My shirt began to get really wet as well, and then I started to feel it…a loosening.
A smile spread across my face. I began to feel curious and excited…alive with the possibility of exploring what it would be like to let myself go there. To get a little messy.
What it might feel like to play at my edges…inhabiting the spaces I’ve been uncomfortable to live in the past.
As powerful as this moment was, I almost didn’t share it. Why? I was afraid of looking “messy.” And of course, in response to THAT feeling, I remembered the commitment I shared with you a few weeks ago (to show up in the fullness of who I am), and I said to myself, “WTF? Just go for it!” I shared the story on social media and now wanted to share here with you.
We’re here on earth to get messy. To learn. To make mistakes. To fall down. And to get back up again. To live life at our evolutionary edge. And to risk “looking messy” in service of being ALIVE.
Yes, my dishwashing experiences get deep y’all!
Where are you feeling called to be “messier” in your life? How can you begin playing at that edge of your contraction–right where you freeze yourself from going all the way with your expression? What limiting thoughts and fears are you ready to release when it comes to getting messy? I’d love to hear all about it. Please share your experience with me in the comments!