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Madeleine Eames

- Psychotherapist
- Mindfulness Teacher

How We Get Expansion and Authenticity Wrong

In these times of ever-increasing inter-connectedness and change, we are realizing more and more how everything and everyone is connected. 

Whether you are in the spiritual world, the social world or the world of physics and science, we return time and time again to the fact that we are all energy, everything is energy, and shifts in one part of the system affect the whole. The system might be your body, your family, your community or the world. 

The days of leaving parts out are ending as we come closer to accept that when I leave something out, hurt someone, reject something in myself or others, it hurts me. 

For our own healing and survival, we are being called to expand to include. Let me explain and then dive into authenticity.

We have all been born into a world that was already based on scarcity for the last few thousand years. Some are worthy, others not. Some prosper, others not. Some things are acceptable, others not. 

This is based on a set of rules created in fear that result in power over another.

  • If I don’t take this seat at the table, someone else will and I’ll be left out. 
  • I have to win by putting others down, casting them out, even killing them
  • I will not accept that, because I am right and they are wrong
  • It’s only ok to be a certain way, culture, colour, religion, political party, gender.. at the exclusion of others
  • I can only feel, or show I feel, certain emotions ie. happy, successful, proud and the exclusion of sad, mad, ashamed

Oh what a narrow life we have allowed ourselves! Based only on what is deemed true, science, successful, in a society that is largely unhealthy, is rather dangerous for the whole, and for your health. It means that conformity means success. 

In whose eyes? 

The people that want control and made the rules. 

Living from fear suggests that there is not enough for everyone and some must be left out, not because they are harmful or wrong, but because others are afraid or uncomfortable with them having power. 

Think women, transgendered people, people of colour, or other groups. There must be power over or…. or what?

The idea of diversity feels threatening to some. But if we learn from larger eco-systems, we see that not only is it necessary for survival, but it enhances and builds a robust, resilient system.

In nature, if we lose a species, it affects the whole system. A diverse eco-system of plants, trees and animals makes for a harmonious and balanced system and food chain.

But let’s boil it down to what this actually means in the individual.

If I am judging another, I am not comfortable in my own skin. If I am leaving someone out, or purposely hating or even killing, I am threatened and in distress myself. I do not feel safe in my own system.

When we don’t feel safe in the absence of real threat, we feel unsafe in the sensations and emotions that are rising in the physical body in the present moment. That’s all. 

Oh, but we have also learned to exclude, judge, bury and leave out only certain emotions. Anger, guilt, greed, sadness, shame, all buried in the shadows that get triggered and then projected in the most subtle or violent ways in the world. 

The expansion to include what is relegated to the shadow is crucial for a human system and the survival of the planet. 

Expansion is the move from fear to love. Love can include everything and everyone. I know this sounds cliche, but let’s see where we get this wrong.  

We hear that we must love our enemy, love ourselves, love, love love. So we try and just end up pissed off and feel guilty. 

Love is a radical acceptance that this exists and has a right to exist. Because it is. 

I prefer to use the word expand, so we remember that our nervous system is SO expansive, much more than you have believed. 

You CAN expand to include everything in the human experience. 

It does not mean you have your enemy over for dinner, that you love that yappy dog or you start eating liver. 

It means you know they exist and you viscerally expand instead of contract to judgement and hate. 

When we only cater to certain parts of ourselves, our shiny happy self or our super successful trait, we leave out part of our humanness. 

To be truly authentic is to include all parts and say yes, I know you are there. 

Emotions, body parts, personality traits, fears, failures, experiences that have been shunned, shamed and buried, hoping no-one will see them.

Why does this even matter? 

Women who have learned to be nice are at greater risk of cancer. 

Men who are not vulnerable and under stress are at greater risk of heart attacks. 

Girls who hate their bodies develop eating disorders that have a 20% rate of fatality.

The more subtle symptoms are living a life where there is a gnawing, heavy feeling of dissatisfaction, anxiety and depression. 

You are not fully yourself, alive in this body. 

You only breathe halfway down. 

You live only half a life in half a body, and your soul knows it. 

The culture of toxic positivity has created shiny, happy smiles hiding their true self, blaming themselves because inside they feel sad.

When we begin to expand and be real and true to ourselves, we not only shed false masks but we come home to the fertile ground of our own creativity. 

And this is where we change the world. We move from consumerism to creativity, from feeding addictions to feeding our soul, to embracing our bodies rather than plastic surgery, harmful beauty products and botox, we heal chronic pain, illness and anxiety so we no longer need big pharma, we live closer to nature and the real world, we no longer buy into the “not good enough” scenario because we are just…. enough. 

Expansion is life-saving and world-saving. We have to see things to accept and change them. We have to feel things to heal and move towards true desire. We have to acknowledge the good, bad and ugly in others and in ourselves to come out of the shadows and move from our true, authentic aliveness.

This is wholeness.

 

 

 

 

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