Permission to Get Messy

by | Jul 19, 2021 | Personal Growth

I was recently invited to a social event with a group of people who know me in a very particular work-related way. They were used to seeing me teaching, speaking, and writing about nonviolent communication, integral theory, positive psychology, and mind-body practices, and I noticed an unexpected reaction in me when I attended this event.

I was surprisingly uncomfortable.

I noticed myself becoming aware of an expectation (in myself? in them?) that I fit a very particular version of “healthy” and “skillful” and “aware” that left me feeling icky. I felt inhibited, self-conscious, and like I no longer had the freedom to just be another messy human being on a journey with other messy humans, figuring things out together as we go.

As this dawned on me, I also realized that this experience tapped into some of my lifelong patterns of self-abandonment, where I put myself away to meet everyone else’s needs, to become who others needed me to be instead of staying connected to my authentic self.

Much of my own personal growth journey has centered around reconnecting with and reclaiming myself. My voice. My subjectivity. My perspectives.

Not surprisingly, much of my work in the world is about helping others do the same thing.

This week, I’m sharing with you a short snippet from a recent group coaching call in which I talk with one of our participants about the value and importance of creating spaces in your life where you can be unskillful and messy.

You can watch it here:

Our perfectionism is just a disguise for our insecurities. We need places where we can get in touch with our pain, discharge stored energy and feelings from past experiences, and move more fully into our present, authentic selves.

Remember: Our fear of abandonment in relationships will heal and dissolve when we stop abandoning ourselves.

So much of our personal growth journey involves realizing the ways our external world mirrors and reflects what is actually happening in our internal world. As we change what is “in here” we also transform what is “out there.”

Happy journeying!


Here are a few of my programs that might be of interest to you:

  • Conversations from the Heart, a free learning call on Wednesdays at 10am CT. LEARN MORE

  • Membership, a deep dive into personal growth with a dedicated community. LEARN MORE

  • Private Consultations, one-on-one guidance for your specific life situations. LEARN MORE


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