We're not the same anymore
From Michelle's heart - post 1
Transformation or change has been exponential in the last couple of years. Each of us is not the same person we were before. As an intuitive and empathic space holder for others, I've been witness to the shift and I bet you have as well. I'm also highly aware of differences in myself. During this time, we've gradually lost our ability to express ourselves openly and to some degree our ability to hold space for each other. It's most evident in our classes and our online student check-ins. Intuitively I can feel and know that people are no longer opening up the way we used to. People share something about their business or a surface level concern, but I can see tears behind eyes, tension in bodies, a desperation to have safe space again when we are not okay.
We have learned from many experiences online and in person that there are few safe spaces anymore. No safe spaces to figure it out, to release grief, fear or frustration, to make mistakes and be human. I see a collective walking on egg shells and our classes and group events are not immune. I am not immune.
I have always been someone who has used my words to process these kinds of observations and experiences and bring hope, light, insight and love to our collective experiences. I can't help it. But I've also shut my voice down.
We have all had so many traumatic experiences in a very short period of time. It hasn't been only the pandemic but race wounds and riots, cultural appropriation conversations, cancelled people or businesses, vax and anti-vax, division and fear stoked by politics and media, relationships lost, figuring out activism, loss and grief, in addition to constantly changing policies and safety measures, essential and non-essential, longing to build a business or maintain a business, childcare and education struggles.. if you are reading this now, congratulations - you have survived a lot of really hard things, you're still here. My list is obviously not complete because we all have our own additional big life situations and experiences that happen. Not all of us have made it this far. Please take a moment to take a breath and give yourself credit for just surviving and grace and love for those who did not.
It steals joy from my work and I feel strongly that I am off course. I desperately long for the freedom I used to feel to express myself and be safe to make a mistake or be misunderstood. I miss the openness of our group exchanges that were so intimate and real. Can I still facilitate that for myself and others? Is there a way? I've decided that not doing so will be the death of my work. I believe in our school and the work that you all are doing with your clients. How can I teach safe space holding if I can no longer model it? I believe in space holding, intimacy and expressing ourselves so much that for me it is worth the risk of my fears.
I'm afraid that I can't maintain a safe space for others because in group settings it is easy for anyone to be triggered by our differences. I am afraid of projection, being misunderstood or not having permission to be imperfect and it being held against me. I am afraid of offending anyone, especially those that I care about. If any of those things could be an end to what we do at By the Moon, it is still a risk worth taking because not talking is killing my connection to this work anyway. ...more to come.