Shame is one of the most debilitating emotions a human can endure in this life, and for many it can last a lifetime.
What is Shame, actually?
Let’s break it down. Physically shame feels like a sinking inward, a recoiling of the heart, a rounding of the shoulders, a posture of protection. Emotionally it is an oppression of your inner flame. Shame is when you are made to feel like you did something wrong, weather that is the case or not. Shame gets lodged in your body in an instant and can forever get triggered each time you are reminded of that scenario or feeling. So, one small moment in time has the ability to form your path for life, if you let it.
As I pull together 20 of the world’s leading experts on Love, Sex, and Relationships for my 3rd annual Tele Summit “Alchemy of Sex, “ the topic of Shame is coming up quite a bit. What is Shame? Where does it come from? How can you heal it? All of these questions are answered in this year’s Free Virtual Summit, so keep an eye out for that in Sept.
You may remember a time when you were a child and an older sibling or parent shamed you for an action that you took in perfect innocence. Like the time your mom yelled at you for drawing on the walls with your crayons, or that time your older brother made fun of you and teased you for the way you played pretend with your stuffed animals. Shame can shut you down. These are mild examples, and in some cases shame can come from sexual, physical or verbal abuse, but the truth is unless your experience of shame has been acknowledged, addressed and healed it can affect you just as deeply no matter how severe or “normal” it was.
Shame is a rabbit hole that keeps going and going, until you learn to stop it, clear it and un-claim it.
To un-claim your shame is to no longer have it on your radar, meaning that it doesn’t even occur to you to feel shame. Growing up in Southern California in a small town near L.A. there where beautiful girls in my high school class who were getting boob jobs and nose jobs at 16; image was everything! I knew I had to be thin and pretty and smart or I would never be loved or accepted. Not by the boys at school, not by my friends, and certainly not by my parents.
This message of “not being enough” might sound familiar to you. It’s a message that is imprinted onto you throughout your life and it carries on into your early adult hood, keeping you from living out your fullest potential in this world. It dims the light within you that is your vitality, creativity, confidence, and authentic drive.
This deep sense of shame can inhibit you well into your 30’s, 40’s, 50’s and beyond, it will affect you relationships, your finances, and your health if you do not choose a different path. A path of being worthy!
Now let’s talk about shame in regards to sex. If you were fortunate, your first sexual encounters were with a significant other in a safe and supportive space.
If you were anything like me, on the other had, it was the exact opposite. It was far from safe and far from supportive, it may have even been nonconsensual. Causing you to shut down your pleasure centers and associate sexuality with being bad or wrong.
That’s no way to live!
Sex is one of the most beautiful gifts we have been given in this lifetime. When you are unable to open this gift and see all the beauty inside you are missing one of the most magical parts of the human experience.
So how do you heal from shame, much less un-claim it?
You have to start by identifying that there is shame. It can be helpful to know where it comes from, pinpoint the incident or time in your life.
Exercise: Un-claim Your Shame
I recommend finding a special place in nature or in your home where you can be still and quiet enough to tune into the place in your body that you feel shame, notice the sensation of it. Is it tight, constricting, numb, dull, achy, or sharp? Does it limit your breath capacity; does it affect your heartbeat? What happens to your nervous system when you feel this shame?
Once you have identified where it is in your body, and what it feels like place your hands there and begin to breathe into that place, expanding your inhale consciously into that place to create more space there. If you would like to you can exhale with a sound, maybe an “AAAA,” sound to begin with, which might morph into deeper throatier sounds or even animalist growling sounds. Repeat that breath, using the inhale to create space and using the exhale to release and clear out the current sensations of shame from your body. Do this as long as necessary until you feel the sensation in you body change.
Depending on how long the shame has been there and how deeply you feel it, you will want to keep doing this practice. I have had clients clear substantial amounts of shame in 1-3 of these sessions, for others it can take 1-3 months. You will know when you are complete; trust your deep inner knowing.
One of the things shame does is take you away from trusting yourself, and you will see that the more you clear the sensation of shame the more you will begin to trust yourself, and your future will unfold in a new direction.
Through this unfolding, you will begin to stand up for yourself, your confidence will rise and you will begin to experience a deep sense of knowing that you are worthy of love, you are worthy of joy, and you have worth.
I encourage you to find support on this journey of un-claiming your shame, as it is helpful to have an objective perspective while working out the stories that created this shame to begin with. Shame gets so ingrained in your consciousness; it can be difficult to separate yourself from “it.”
I am here in full support of your break-through; please don’t hesitate to reach out!
I am wishing you a life full of joy, light, vitality and phenomenal self worth!
Willow Brown L.Ac.
A client I’ve been working with for about a year recently started seeing a man who treats her like a Queen.
This being extremely unfamiliar territory for her, has left her wondering if she deserves it?
Perhaps she should walk away from it.
His showing of love affection, gifts, and inclusivity was feeling like too much and she needed some space to integrate it, but she was not sure how to ask for that space. Instead of asking for what she needed, she considered walking away from the whole shebang. Thinking maybe she’s just meant to be alone.
Upon deeper inquiry, she came to understand that she had never been treated with such deep respect and reverence, and because it was so unfamiliar, she wasn’t sure how to navigate it.
The creation of a new relationship with a partner who wants to give her the world was overwhelming. Especially because the things he wants to give her are not necessarily the things she wants to be given.
This is why I’m always telling folks, that when entering any new relationship, it’s VERY important to teach the other person how to speak your love language.
The 5 Love Languages
Here’s a quick review of the 5 love languages are:
- Acts of Service – you love when your sweetie takes the trash out for you, hangs the mirror when you ask them to, or gets your oil changed in your car when it’s time.
- Words of Affirmation – You love when your sweetie tells you what a great mom you are, what an incredible cook you are, and how beautiful and smart you are.
- Gifts – You love when your sweetie brings you flowers, jewels, chocolates, and more.
- Physical Touch and Affection – You love when your sweetie caresses your arm, cuddles with you, and touches and kisses your face.
- Quality Time – You love when your sweetie spends time with you in a very present state, with no screens, and no distractions.
In general, when someone does not know your love language, they will shower you with their own love language or they will shower you with the love language they learned from a previous relationship.
Basically, they are guessing, until you teach them how to love you.
One of the first things I recommend that all my coupled-up clients do is to read The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman together, so they can really begin to understand how their partner likes to be loved, which could be totally the opposite of how they like to be loved.
Every relationship is a blank canvas, and after the initial honeymoon phase is over, it’s time to slow things down enough to consider which paints you want to use, which brushes will serve you at this point in your life, and what colors you want to be looking at for years to come.
The honeymoon phase can last up to 2 years for some couples, but most women will begin to wonder where this is going at about 3-4 months. This is because of their wombs.
At 3 months gestation, a woman knows if her pregnancy is going to hold or not and she can start making plans for her coming baby.
I believe because there is such a strong connection between the womb and the heart. A woman’s heart starts to question where things are going with this exciting new connection, after 3 months (a trimester).
What Love Language Are You?
After a powerful private coaching session, my client realized that she had manifested her King, which took a lot of internal work on her part, so it would be better not to throw it all away. Instead, she would take a pause and figure out how to tell him what feels nourishing to her. She needed plenty of time and space to herself, and though she was not 100% sure what her love language was yet, she knew that all the gifts he was bombarding her with were overwhelming her senses. Gifts were not her love language, at least not the gifts he was giving.
Through our session, she found her Inner Queen, who gets to have love AND time to herself. She does not have to apologize for who she is or where she is in her life. She does not have to hesitate before expressing her desires. She CAN AND WILL state clearly what her needs are.
She awakened to the fact that other people’s feelings are not her responsibility and that she only has control over her own emotions.
If you’re wanting to explore your own Queendom – and feel into what it means to be the Queen of your own life –
LIGHT AND LOVE,