Do you find yourself trying to please in your relationships?
Are you quick to put others needs before your own but later feel you've compromised or dishonoured yourself?
We know a lot about the dynamics of pleasing, because both of us have had to acknowledge our 'pleasers' and how we have expressed them in our relationships over the years.
So here's the not so fun news... (that some of you may relate to)
Once a people pleaser always a people pleaser!
We discovered this through the recent, painful experiences we've been going through in re-evaluating our relationship. As part of our greater commitment to ourselves and each other, we go through this process every couple of years.
It's always an intense process... laying our cards on the table and owning up (on another level) to our deeper truth and what we desire to experience with the other.
Through this process, what became obvious to us, was the ways in which we are still trying to please each other, the ways in which we are subtly compromising parts of ourselves to keep each other 'happy'.
Let's face it. We all have parts of ourselves - those deeply vulnerable and hidden parts - that want and need acknowledging and expressing. And when we don't or can't acknowledge those parts, we can get caught up in lying to ourselves in some way or another, in lying to another, by pretending something doesn't exist. We maintain the pleasing so we don't have to face our deeper truth.
When you are in a consciously evolving relationship, part of what is there to face, is that there are new parts of your Self that come up to be expressed.
Though it can be challenging, part of the journey is to keep sharing the truth of what has been evolving for you, even if it means potentially disrupting or threatening the relationship.
For us, we had to fess up to each other about those hidden parts and what we now want to experience - from our bedroom to our boardroom. We acknowledged that if we ignore or deny these parts, they will fester inside of us and potentially destroy our relationship.
WHY DO WE PLEASE?
Pleasing is an all too common relationship dynamic to fall into, and one that starts early in life. We please others to maintain the status quo, to keep ourselves safe, to not disappoint or hurt others.
It's about the subtle ways we compromise ourselves - through the seemingly minor choices we make everyday, to the deeper beliefs we hold within that has us change and morph our natural expression to suit what we believe the other wants.
This can look like:
• Saying yes to doing something for the other when you actually need time out for yourself
• Lessening the importance of something you value because it may cause upset to the other person
• Overlooking a strong need you have because it's inconvenient timing or just inconvenient in general
• Holding back your natural impulses and desires because you believe they are:
Too much for the other person
Too "…… [insert your word here]……..
And assumingly not wanted
Can you relate to any of these?
These dynamics can play out in ANY relationship where you need to maintain your survival, your safety, your ability to receive love or support.
How can we let go of our pleaser and move forward?
A first good step is to acknowledge how you are still trying to please others. When you are ready, you may need to do some deeper work as the root of all pleasing begins in our childhood when we set up these unhealthy patterns.
Some questions to ponder:
What can you acknowledge in yourself that you may be afraid to share with others?
What parts of you might you be hiding or compromising to maintain the safety and love of a relationship?
Ultimately, this work is about accepting that we don't need to please or fix or put anyone else's needs before our own to receive love.
Reach out if you need support in this area. We are here to help and have some deeply transformative processes we can take you through in our coaching.
Though it's been difficult to accept the parts of us that need validation, expression and greater independence, we have acknowledged that we are liberating ourselves and letting go of our unhealthy attachments, which has ironically brought us into deeper openness and love with each other!
Because sometimes when you admit what you really want, you find that the other person has the capacity to grow in that area and often desires to fulfil those deeper needs too.
We can let go of trying to please and commit instead to expressing more of our authentic Self with the support of our loved one.
And whilst adjusting to new changes is never comfortable, the benefit is that we get to feel a clearer, stronger, deeper connection to our Selves and each other, so we can live with even greater integrity, authenticity and joy.
It's Valentines Day and it's Monday!
Did you know Valentines Day is a day when the calls on the suicide hotline goes up drastically and Monday is the day with statistically the most suicides according to a quick google search. Not a good combination and I pray today is a day when people are feeling love for themselves, not self condemnation.
The Hopi say that each culture sings songs about what they lack the most. "You people sing about love, we sing about water".
Whether this is a true story or not it makes the point that romantic love isn't easy to come by rather like water in the desert. Self love may be even harder, where the hell would you find that?!
Yet if you don't love your Self how is anybody else going to love you?
If you are not being your Self and are caught up in pretending to be a particular way because you don't like yourself, then who would they be loving anyway?
Your false sense of self? That's not you.
As the song City Of Stars aptly puts; "It's Love, yes all we are really looking for is love from someone else"
Yet anyone who has looked for this elusive love from somebody else knows how difficult it can be to find (water, desert) and if you do manage to find someone that is capable of loving you, how skilled are you at receiving love?
You can't get love from someone else if you can't receive love.
Damn! So where do we learn to receive love? From our parents? Maybe for 1% of us. Lucky you!
For the rest of us we are left to fumble and fail our way through love, making the same mistakes, different mistakes, doing the same and different things, being the same and different ways and hoping this time it will be different.
Really? Like love is a combination lock and we just got to find the right combination. The combination to a heart perhaps?
Some of us get into a good negotiated love, I'll leave you alone to do what you like as long as you don't call me to account on my stuff and let's NEVER talk about how we feel, way too real! We have to have some good suppression of emotions to make this work. Maybe you found someone who is as good at it as you are.
But as Kahlil once said you won't laugh all of your laughter or cry all of your tears. Monotone existence. I tried it for a while, it eventually becomes egg shell creeping.
Looking for love versus finding love in ourselves is partly what our work is all about.
If you are on the journey of deepening into Self-love, then you'll love the work we are presenting this year. Our Power and Love weekend Immersion and our Powerful, Real Relating Online Course are coming soon.
Wishing you a beautiful Valentine's Day dear friends… May we all celebrate the sacred gift of love on this and every other day.
I didn’t mean to start a shit storm...but I did.
It was the day before New Year’s Eve, and we were packing to go away when I heard about the fires burning across our country.
Feeling deeply concerned, I impulsively posted a question on Facebook asking for research on what the cause could be (without saying it, perhaps implying that our governments policies and actions were to blame?)
I put the post on to get an understanding of what other people felt and thought about this topic and I didn’t realise I would open up a pandoras box.
The post quickly escalated with everyone firing attacks and belittling each other’s views and beliefs. Probably not the best way to ring in the new decade!
And then I was personally attacked for being a community leader who irresponsibly opened up a conversation where conspiracy theories were allowed to be aired.
This was not what I was intending with the post, but then again, what was I intending? I shut down the thread and reflected.
I realised I was hoping for a deeper truth to be revealed. But what truth exactly?
Not long after, we had friends over for the weekend and our friend Peter took us through a fantastic process with his new archetypal cards ‘Wonderfeel’ (we highly recommend them!)
The cards represent different parts of our psyche, and the last card we chose represented a quality to be embraced at this time.
That card was ACTIVIST.
I didn’t resonate with the word at first. I was involved in one protest in my early twenties where we fought the extension of the Eastern freeway to protect the Mullum Creek. After the police forcibly removed me and 50 other peaceful protesters camped at the site, I realised a life of activism wasn’t for me.
Peter asked what it means to be an activist today.
One by one we got present to what was there for us. We realised that the activist has a deep desire to be of service in times of crisis or injustice – but it is not about looking or behaving in a way that we usually perceive an activist to be.
The activist heeds a call for change but how it looks was completely unique to each of us!
Everyone’s expression of their activist seemed to be dependent on their unique gifts and how they desired to create positive change.
Through this process I was reminded that I love to activate others through the use of my words.
And there was my answer right there...
My intention all along was to reveal a deeper truth.
The truth is I have the power to influence through my words. So how am I choosing to use them?
Through this experience I got to see that I could become more responsible with my word, being mindful of the impact that my words create.
That's what this lesson was all about for me.
To be reminded of the importance of the power of my word, especially during times of stress.
Aacknowledging that I can create a conversation that inspires and uplifts, or I can put something out there impulsively, coming from fear.
Because fearful conversation begets more fear, and that's not my intention. I desire to create safety, support and co-operation in the world. So next time I will have a good think before I put a post out there.
Truly Tracy x
Our Power and Love Workshop is coming up on January 25th, 2020.
More than 2 years ago I received inner guidance to do Healing Massage sessions for men. I had been doing healing bodywork for about 7 years at this point but I had worked mostly with women.
I put an ad out and despite providing a clear description of the nature of the service and that it was non-sexual, I received call after call asking, "Will I be wearing any clothes? Will you touch my penis? Can I touch you? Do you do hand release? Will you accept extra money for hand release?
Knowing how to respond to these requests without judgement was quite difficult, but I worked through a lot of the judgement and anger that I was feeling about it and instead chose to get curious. I took on that I was ready to understand more about men and that this was the start of it.
A turning point occurred for me when a man I would have called 'creepy' rang one day. He asked if I would inadvertently touch his genitals during the massage. I said I didn't do that but I asked him, without judgment, if that was what he was looking for. He then openly shared about his strict Catholic upbringing, about all the guilt and shame he carries with him everyday around his sexual feelings and how he just wants to be free of it. I explained to him there are experts who deal with sexual shame and I passed on the number of a Sexological Bodyworker I know. At the end of the call he expressed deep gratitude for my genuine kindness and understanding and sent me a lovely follow up text.
It was a shift in that I didn't need to take those requests personally anymore. I let go of my resistance and found myself moving more into curiosity and compassion with these men.
From then on the types of enquiries I was receiving, began to change. I was now getting calls from men who were in genuine need of massage, men who were stressed and just wanted nurturing, therapeutic and pampering touch.
As I worked with more men, I started to see patterns in them - patterns of tension, areas where they were shut down, emotional blockages and so much more. I saw the sensitive side of men, their pain, their vulnerability and all the holding on they do. So many men are suffering because they are expected to be tough, to be manly. I could see the tender boy inside each of them, who was yearning to be loved and acknowledged, appreciated and soothed. With my acceptance and reassuring touch, men were starting to melt under my hands, they sighed, some roared and others cried. Many times I drove home crying myself as I realised how hard it is for a lot of men, how lonely and isolating it can be for many of them.
As the work unfolded, I realised that the men who are coming to see me are actually seeking to connect with the suppressed and dormant parts of themselves. Even if they don't acknowledge it, they are craving deeper and more fulfilling connections with others where they can express these aspects of themselves too. Many of them are in unsatisfying relationships and don’t know how to ask for what they need. Single men who come to see me either lack the confidence or the know how to create the experiences they desire. These men are allowing me to guide them through a process that is awakening years of repressed feelings, emotions and desires and it's been incredible to witness.
Most of the men coming to me are struggling to let themselves be with their sensitivity. What I am learning is that men feel as deeply as women do, they have rich emotional needs and a strong yearning to let go of control and surrender to more vulnerable states of being (if they allow themselves to). It's been mind-blowing and a privilege to see how men are responding to my work and loving touch.
All of this is showing me how confusing it can be to be a male in this day and age. A lot of men are still wearing the mask required of them by society, yet what I am valuing and appreciating through this work, is the extent to which men are beginning to allow themselves to be with their sensitivity, to open up and let themselves feel what is going on in their inner world.
Through this process of validating men's experiences through hands on touch, men are giving themselves permission to be with all their yearnings and feel what is true for them. I can see how much relief it is providing and how men are starting to value themselves in a way they haven't before.
Unfortunately society's narrative about men makes it difficult for them to safely explore themselves and they end up walking a fine line between being called weak and feeble or domineering and arrogant.
At the end of the day, most men just want to feel loved, accepted and desired for all their humanity.
Let's support our men to feel safe enough to explore, own and accept all aspects of themselves.
With love Tracy
Photo credit - Ryan Holloway (top) John Noonan (below)
If you have a fascination with the Dark Side, if you feel debilitated by an inner Demon, if you have found 'feel good' spirituality isn't working for you, then maybe you are ready to leave the shore and go on the deeper journey of discovery.
Loving Your Dark Side is about understanding the emotional and feeling dynamics we experience in our lives and how we try to stay one step ahead of them, by using stimulation, tricks of the mind, belief systems, materialism and spiritual anaesthetics.
It's coming to terms with the realisation that in our daily lives we go through pain, frustration, anger, shame, fear, guilt and torment and many other feelings and yet we are taught and conditioned to sweep these under the carpet, to not let them get in the way of our lives and ambitions and if they do debilitate or overwhelm us, then that creates feelings of being a loser, a fool, a victim, a hopeless case.
Yet what is possible when we turn and face the fear of our pain, is the gold and the gems, the power and the clarity that were ours all along. We step into the cave frightened and vulnerable, we step out with the roar and the power of victory over our Demon.
The Demon of Debilitation, becomes a Demon for Love. Our power and heart integrate.
The freedom and the depth of peace that becomes available steps us out of our childish wants and needs into a deeper sense of Self that has a far greater purpose and a clearer mission. We leave the shallows and safety of the shore and immerse into the depths, where we find our gold and where we truly belong.
In the 14 years of working with people's Dark Sides, I have often found that heart centred women and men are afraid of their 'power' because of a misunderstanding of what power is. They are afraid to show up in their 'power' for fear of not being liked or accepted and so we embellish our personalities with inauthentic qualities to fit in and belong, or we bow out and fade into the background, while we are left with this unerring feeling that something is missing.
Knowing this brings clarity, taking the plunge creates power, skill and command of your self and your life. I would be honoured to guide you on that journey.
If you are ready to deepen your personal journey, book a discovery call here:
If you have questions you can email me on email@example.com
Imagine what would be possible if you were free of the one and only thing that holds you back. Imagine if you had grown up being free of that experience of yourself that inhibits or stops you from moving forward. Imagine if you had that level of freedom and the amazing energy that comes with it from a young age till now.
Imagine for a moment what you would be doing, what would your unique contribution to the world be? Where would you be now? What type of relationships would you have? What would you achieve or accomplish?
What if you had access to that right now, no matter who you are or what your circumstances are? Your life would never be the same again. Life itself would never be the same again. This inner shift would dramatically alter your entire world and how it occurs for you.
As the poet David Whyte so beautiful expressed it:
“I have woken from the Sleep of Ages, and I am not sure if I am really seeing.... or dreaming........or simply astonished!!”
What becomes available when we shift into this deeper experience of ourselves is the opportunity to live a life that is powerful, free and deeply authentic. We begin to take actions which are more aligned with and honouring of, our truth and our unique gifts. This provides us with our greatest satisfaction and fulfilment. In my experience, it is the source of our true happiness.
I invite you to consider that we live in unprecedented times, we have vast information available to us and yet it could be said that more and more of us are losing ourselves or are being left behind by the relentless pursuit of economic growth. Now more than ever there is a requirement for us to step into a deeper level of authentic expression and live our truth, rather than the prepackaged truth we are programmed to live.
More and more people are asking themselves; how can I get out of this situation I find myself in? How can I pursue what I am really here to do, when I have to face my bills every month?
There is an answer and there is a way and that way is in you. It is you. It is who you really are.
THE ONE AND ONLY THING THAT STOPS US
However there is a great challenge that we all face, that stops us from expressing our true power. There is something in the way of our pure expression, something that has distracted our attention for a very long time and until we see what that is and how it works, how it keeps us occupied into limiting beliefs and feelings, we will never have the freedom to realize what we are truly capable of. We will always be left with the uneasy feeling and the belief that “something is missing”.
THE FREEDOM OF WHO YOU REALLY ARE
Realizing the true you is freedom..........That is what true freedom is.
The freedom to be free from this inner mechanism that stops you from seeing Who You Really Are, the freedom to express yourself in your full power and joy; This is your face before your parent’s birth as they say in Zen.
I have learnt from working with many people over the years; we can do therapy for years, we can meditate for years, we can do a vast array of personal development courses, body practices and spiritual training, we can have all manner of success and material wealth, and although these are important to us, until we come to this mechanism that influences our every choice and colours our world and what we see, we will never be free of the influence that this inner mechanism has on us and it will cause us to struggle and suffer.
TO HAVE POWER OVER THAT WHICH HAS POWER OVER YOU
I have worked for 10 years to create a way that presents people with the opportunity to finally be free of this debilitating aspect of ourselves. To finally have power over that which has power over you. This has been my calling. I have devoted my life to it. It’s what I am here to do; it’s my gift, so to speak.
I started by creating a 12 session process which I called The Realizing Process and later changed to Mastering Your Self. I took people individually through the journey of gaining back their power. This process produced some remarkable results, dramatically altering the direction of participants lives. In two cases, two separate clients went from deep depression and stagnation to travelling the world doing amazing work with remote communities.
Following these successes and many more, I then took the major aspects of the Realizing Process and with my partner and gifted Energy Healer Tracy we added our different qualities and processes and created an 8 week group journey which we called ‘Being The One’. This 8 week deep dive into our shadow received high acclaim from the participants as they had significant shifts for themselves and their lives.
This success inspired us to create a weekend intensive which allows people to have this deep and profound experience of themselves over the course of a weekend. That way we will be able to travel with the course and bring it to other cities. My mission is to bring this ‘Realisation’, to as many people as possible.
It is very exciting times that we are living in as the world goes through a profound evolution. It calls us to question and reassess everything, including who we think we are. My goal is to accelerate that evolutionary process so that we can transform this beautiful world for the betterment of all.
If this article resonates for you then I invite you to come and join us on this exhilarating journey of discovery of uncovering the constantly unfolding mystery of Who You Really Are. It is an exciting and profound journey that allows you to break free of the source of your limitations and what stops you.
As appears in the September Edition of Living Now magazine
I was re-watching Matrix Reloaded the other day, the second ‘difficult’movie in the trilogy, and for the first time I realised I disagreed with one of the many brilliant quotes in that movie. The quote was “Hope. It is the quintessential human delusion, simultaneously the source of your greatest strength, and your greatest weakness.”
I disagreed because in my experience for myself and in working with many others in the area of transformational change, I feel pain is the source of our greatest strength and our greatest weakness.
‘Know thy Self’ was written on the forecourt of the Temple of Apollo at Delphi. It beautifully sums up the challenge of life and the journey we all go on to arrive at a deeper understanding of ourselves and how we operate and what it means to be a human being, rather than a dog being or a bird being.
Yet within our current paradigm, and when I mean current I mean at least the last 100 years, the mantra would probably be closer to “whatever you do, don’t know your Self”. Don’t listen to yourself, doubt that inner guidance and, whatever you do, don’t follow it because, if you do, you will be looked upon by others as crazy. No, it is much better to let us, the authorities, the institutions, the corporations and their public relations and marketers, tell you what is okay to think, what you should do, how you should be and what you should believe.
Is it so surprising that many of us have no idea or very little skill in how to connect to our inner wisdom, our inner guidance? Even if we do, there is often shame or guilt or embarrassment around it.
One of the great embarrassments of following our guidance is the often absence of a ‘why’. Our need for meaning and whys for everything is often not fulfilled till after we follow our guidance, and very rarely before.
Sometimes it can take years to understand the why.
‘Why did you stay in that relationship for so long?’
‘Why did you come back to Australia?’
This is where the beauty of pain kicks in.
If we look closely we notice that when we don’t have an answer that is authentic for us, we have a jolt of pain. That shame or guilt or embarrassment covers up a deeper feeling of pain, the pain of not knowing or understanding why. Often in those situations we may fob people off with a made up ‘fob-off why’. But we forget that those close to us most likely can spot an authentic why from a fob-off why, even if that fob-off why sounds well thought out and makes sense; and those that care about us, and are willing to challenge us, will let us know. ‘Your why... smells a bit fishy. I’d dig a little deeper if I were you.’
So how do we know we have found the authentic why and not just some ‘makes sense why’ created by our logical mind?
As a Transformational Coach I know that if the person I am working with has a really good, well thought out, rational and reasonable reason for why something is so, and it makes sense, then a little alarm bell goes off in me and I know, more often than not, that they are avoiding their feelings, they are avoiding the pain. I see this is often what we do to justify our actions and avoid the pain that is there to face.
Why do we avoid facing our pain?
I would say because we have been taught to trade short, intense pain for mild, long-lasting suffering and somehow we believe that that’s a good trade off! We are conditioned to believe that pain is a sign that there is something wrong with us, in a negative sense. In other words it is a source of weakness, an embarrassment, self-indulgent or shameful. This avoidance of accepting the pain we have experienced in life and feeling the pain that is there to feel is at the core of our deep insecurities and is deeply debilitating. It is my experience and belief that when we reject and avoid our pain, we miss out on learning from one of our most valuable teachers in life. We miss the lesson of pain.
Pain is an amazing teacher that always delivers exactly what we need. Pain cracks us open to a new level of authenticity and eventually brings us to that line between living an inauthentic conditioned life and living a fully authentic unconditioned life, following our calling, sharing our unique gift and genius with the world.
Life – our higher self, that higher intelligence – can often be ruthless in its determination to bring us to that line, often kicking and screaming, trying to hold together the crumbling of our existing structures. Yet, when we let go, when we surrender to the unfolding discovery of the mystery of who we really are rather than cling desperately to the remains of who we think we are, we step into a new reality, a new realm of being, a new uncharted terrain in our journey. From this unfolding discovery we understand that pain plays a role in our growth and refinement. It teaches us a deeper acceptance of our limited sense of self and allows us the opportunity to expand beyond who we think we are.
I write this article because I strongly believe that this dynamic of trying to hold together the remnant of who we think we are and the increasing pain that desperation creates is what more and more of us are experiencing in our lives. The journey to deeper authenticity can occur like walking through a furnace and having the excesses we have accumulated over time burned away, revealing a raw, vulnerable present human being. As my friend loved to say, “There’s light at the end of the funnel! Because sometimes this journey feels like you’re being sucked backwards through one.”
When we transform our relationship to pain and we begin to acknowledge and own the pain we have experienced in life and the lessons we have learnt, we tap into a strength, a resilience, a deep spiritual power that is a beautiful gift to ourselves and the world we serve.
Pain is not something we need to seek because it will always be provided when a lesson needs to be learnt, when a deeper level of authenticity is required of us, and that lesson is always perfect in its timing and in its delivery. That’s the beauty of pain.
Ian runs ‘Being the One’ Transformational Courses in Melbourne with his partner, Tracy Marcuzzi.
Elizabeth Jewell Stephens will interview them at afternoon tea on Sunday, 27th September, in Melbourne.
I woke up today thinking about a defining moment in my life.
I was sitting in a cafe with an old friend I hadn't seen for a couple of years. I was 28 and I had just returned to Australia after 5 years in London.
I was trying to explain to her the awakening experience that I had in London and the only way I could describe it was to say; it was like walking 100 yards and getting back into your body and zipping the back up and here I am in my body and these hands that I am moving are my hands and these eyes that I am looking out of, are my eyes. I moved my hands around in a flowing motion and I remember saying it’s as if this motion is the entire meaning of life, that every act of motion has within it the essence of all existence.
When I look back I have to laugh because I’m sure my friend must of thought I had lost my mind and in a sense that would be true. What I had realised was that the source of all meaning was in the mind. Without our minds there is no meaning and when we let go of our minds as the primary perception of reality we return back to our bodies and more importantly back to the essence of who we really are.
This is my body, this is my mind, these are my eyes I am looking through right now and these are my hands I see before me, but who is it that is thinking that? Who is it that calls these things my body, my mind, my thoughts, my beliefs, my emotions, my partner, my home, my work, my title? Who is my?
My friend was very ambitious and was doing very well for herself. A part of me was still wondering why I was, by society standards, a failure; Homeless, jobless, with no direction or drive. I asked my friend why they felt I struggled with life, what it was that I lacked that would make the difference? I had this deep realisation of myself and yet I didn't fully accept what I had discovered because a part of me wouldn't let me believe it. The part of me that had sent me on the seekers journey couldn't believe that I had found what I was looking for. Surely that can’t be it? Surely there is something more, something deeper something more profound. It couldn't be that simple could it? I remember laughing with tears of joy rolling down my face when I realised that all that time, all those years of pain and struggle and questioning, what I had been looking for was me.
Me? Which ‘me’ am I talking about here? I have quite a few me’s? So which one is the right one?
I really wasn't ready to let go of me. I had poured so much into me how could I just let me go. All that time, all that energy, all that work and deep inquiry, all that knowledge and information and points of view I had accumulated, and all those emotions and feelings I had experienced, there’s gold in there!! I couldn't just let it go. Could I?
20 years later after many annoyed and frustrating attempts to let go of me here I am, me still intact. I fully accept me. I fully accept that wherever I am, me is going to be there too. Sure I’m not the ‘me’ I thought I was going to be when I was a younger me. I never quite became the Rock-star 'me' that everyone (mainly me) thought I would be, and the Spiritual Guru ‘me’ that I got fascinated with for a while.
When I asked my friend, what it was that I lacked that would make the difference? My friends answer was “I don’t know, I guess its confidence”. I thought that was a pretty good answer. What I wished I’d asked was....to do what? To be what?
You know what the answer would have been right?