I watched “Tony Robbins”, I am not your guru”, last night and this morning. I have always been sceptical of growth leaders but this film I was excited to watch. I had seen short clips of some of his interventions before and I wanted to see more. I’ve never trusted those huge ‘out-there’ motivational speakers. I always saw it as more of a business than a therapy!
But the film was really good, and I cried through most of it! The man has so much power and passion! I wondered how on earth his wife lived with that! But I did use the film to get to the bottom of some of my own stuff. Having trained in NLP many years ago I know that a lot of what he does is NLP but that works too! He manages to combine it with emotional work that makes sense to me.
It is easy, when you are supported by dozens of people, all on the same healing journey, to release and heal old stuff, but you still have to go out into the world and be with people who might be the complete opposite! That’s where the real work happens.
At the end of the film, and the end of the event, there is a meditation that he does with everyone, so I did that with them. After a short preparatory heart-filling exercise I had to find three memories of when I felt grateful for something. I allowed my mind to ‘search’ for a memory. The memory that came was not one I was expecting but I heard myself say “I am grateful for my birth”. I realised that without this life on earth in a physical body I could never accomplish all that I have. My body was a gift, my doorway and vehicle in this world. It is the first time I have ever felt grateful for life! I had never looked at it that way! I felt a profound gratitude for my body and for the opportunities of living it afforded me.
The next memory I had was of standing in the woods in Graiguenamanagh, my hometown in Ireland. I spent most of my childhood in this sanctuary of trees. I felt immense gratitude for the gift of Nature, I felt how nature nurtured my body and how it kept me alive and connected.
The third memory I was grateful for was all the people in my life, without whom I could never grow! All of the challenges they presented me with so that I could become myself, a process which is ongoing!
All the while I was watching the film, it showed Tony Robbins at his house beside the sea and I kept feeling grateful for the fact that I will be spending time living by the sea again, and this time I am going to really appreciate it! I never really appreciated it before but I want to spend as much time as possible in the fresh air, walking and swimming.
After I had finished the movie I thought about my relationships with men and how I have always allowed men to stop me from moving forward. They have always been an obstacle. I couldn’t do something because they would not want me to. Or their feelings and fears were so much more important than mine that I had to support them and thereby lose my own vision. That is such an old pattern and my stay here in Luxor has really gone to deeper levels of that. Even though my stay here was about my work on energy-levels, which is my raison d’etre, I was also here to heal deeper abuse stuff, and help Omar with a soul challenge. That’s a lot of stuff to manage!
My energy-work takes precedence and I allow nothing to get in the way of that. But personal stuff, like sex, cooking, doing what I love, finding time for myself etc., that has been extremely challenged here. It is, after all, a Muslim culture, and men are the next thing to God, or so they believe. So much like my Catholic upbringing! They are also completely useless at looking after themselves and so it falls to the wife to look after them. I have been challenging that and still challenge it. I have my own work to do and I am too old to be a grown man’s mother.
I have always had this pattern too, that I have never gotten to the bottom of, that I work fine when I am on my own. I am inspired and energetic and can work for days. But as soon as a man is around I stop. Literally, I cannot do anything. It’s like this internal switch gets flipped on and then I become the servant, waiting for my orders. Or I have to keep them company, be available for them and quiet. I have always wondered where this came from and I realised that this is a pattern I picked up, not only from my own father, but from my best-friend’s father! I spent a lot of time around there, in her house, and they were a very traditional Irish home. Everything revolved around ‘Daddy’. Daddy ate first, made all of the rules, and you had to be quiet when he was around.
That’s not to say that I am always acquiescent, like Omar says, I would be perfect if it wasn’t for my tongue! I challenge the bullshit, but I still have the patterns!
Relationships were modelled by my best friend’s parents, my own parents were different. But I did learn to put my father’s emotions before my own, they were more important. I felt ‘pulled’ by his emotional needs for company or sharing. I didn’t always want to spend time with him, but how could I say no? I felt enormously guilty for being so independent and when I finally left home, telling him I wanted to do it on my own, he took me at my word and rarely helped me again. So as an adult,in a relationship, I learned to give in. If I acted too independently I believed that I would be rejected and left with no support. All unconsciously, of course.
But since returning from England I feel an overwhelming sense of opening myself up to life, an opening that feels like my entire energy-field is opening like a flower and that I am walking into a new life, a life where I can feel nurtured and joyful. Creative and safe And I won’t allow anyone to shut that down. I have worked far too hard for this to stop it now. For the first few years here I ‘people pleased’ like there was no tomorrow! I HAD TO BE accepted, it felt too risky and dangerous not to be. I was in a strange country, with a different language and no friends. But no matter how much I tried to fit in, it never worked. I would always be the foreign wife! I wasn’t Egyptian and would never be. Returning here I made the decision that I would not get involved in their lives again. I was glad I was foreign and there were gifts in that. I am free to do what I want and I saw here, that doing what I wanted had a positive impact on the women around me. I didn’t have to sacrifice myself for their good.
So I am changing my habit patterns, changing how I respond when my Egyptian husband comes in and expects me to mother him. To be fair, he is better than most Egyptian men, but old habits die hard, as I know, and he is still changing his habits too. But often his changes come as a result of mine so I will keep on changing, as I have been doing for over 20 years.
I am glad I watched Tony Robbins, as it brought me back to how I used to live, surrounded by people on their journey. Surrounded by the excitement of emotional discovery and fulfilment. I want more of that again.
My husband Omar has just returned from his work in the field and as soon as he comes in I am distracted. I ask him to wait until I am finished writing. I can feel him looking at me, wanting my attention, and I feel irritated. But he knows when I am working because he sees my energy-field is ‘light’! Then he knows to wait! Somehow, when I am ‘working’ he knows that this is not the right time to talk. Thank God he gets that. He told me that he felt that my energy-field was full of strong light, and that it created a boundary around me that he couldn’t penetrate! That’s the kind of energy you need to have here. And what I discover is that the energy of openness keeps you safe! Openess is its own protection!
What a great way to start the day!