When We Stink – of Negativity

If we were to walk into a pigsty, most of us would find the stench overwhelming. A rancid, sour, unbelievably offensive, and oppressive low-hanging smell of Sh*t!

However, if we were to spend some time in these conditions, we would get used to it, and our noses would go numb. We would no longer notice anything wrong.

Then, let’s say, one day, we need to go shopping. As we enter the store, people give us dirty looks, scrunch their faces, turn their heads, hold their noses, and get as far away from us as possible. Because…we stink!

Because we would have spent so much time with the pigs, we would have become used to the odor that sticks to our clothes. However, the unfortunate people around us would not be used to it. They would immediately notice our foul aroma, and in their own way, would desperately avoid us. We would notice that people were avoiding us, but not know why.

It works the same with negativity.

If our environment has been stinking with negativity, we may have noticed in the beginning. However, after we have been spending some time with negative people, for whatever reason, we may not notice that we are marinating in their sty, inhaling the air they exhale. As a result, we are subtly shifting our attitudes, maybe even opinions, and we may find that the world now looks “bad”.

Before we know it, we have also become negative.

Our mental “noses” have gone numb. We might not even recognize our own negativity…but others have noticed. And they will make sure we are not invited into their circle of friends. We may be allowed to hang on the fringes of their outer circle, but we will never belong.

Because we stink!

So what to do? I heard once, “When everybody else is wrong, it may be time to look at your Self.” Even though that quote was directed at me, at that time, I didn’t get it. It took me a while to understand my own “stench”.

Through years of coaching, therapy, and 12-step programs, I was made aware of my own “scent”. It was a painful experience to recognize how negative I had been. The shame was palpable! Such a lonely place to be!

I worked hard on Self-awareness, somatic awareness, Self-esteem, and how to recognize my “odors” – mood swings, comments, opinions, facial expressions, inability to listen or mind my own business.

After a while, I was doing pretty well, having a good time without using sarcasm and developing a genuine interest in other people. I had made a few friends, and my business was doing well.

Then Bob, my Rock, my husband, died!

I knew the odor of my old negativity was coming back. Bob was gone! Life sucked! And I felt I had no good reason to go on. I could smell the old familiar offensive “odor” and feel the weight of the oppressive air. It was as if I had opened a window and gotten a whiff of the pigsty.

For the first year, I couldn’t smile; I was in shock. The second year I had to get out of the place where we would grow old together. I had to start new – after thirty-three years! I had to take a breath!

A wonderful friend had invited me to stay with her and her family for five months…who does that? For five months? What an amazing opportunity to heal.

Remember…when we move, we take our Self with us – assets and liabilities.

When I left for Australia, it didn’t dawn on me, until a few months later, that I still had that negative “odor” with me.

Here I was, a somatic coach, teaching people how to resolve their pain and gain a positive outlook on their lives.

My Self? I lived in a heavy, stinky fog. My brain was disorganized and occupied with half sentences. I found my Self spinning and scanning for potential danger.

What a “wonderful” guest!

I would love to take no responsibility for my behavior and blame it all on grief. However, as I have always said, “When we are willing to take 100 percent responsibility for our behavior, we can find the freedom to be and experience positive change in our lives.”

So, it was time for me to walk my talk and “up my game” as they say. For me this meant enhancing the daily practices I had been doing and had been recommending to my clients – the sitting exercises, the Self-examination and journaling. And, most importantly, practicing the humble chores of Self-forgiveness and Self-love…in other words, getting my Self back!

Now, I feel as though I can reset and start anew.

I’m watching my Self reaching to the bottom of my Soul and owning my lovely essence, my scent of freedom - fresh, invigorating, and with a wonderful feeling of Ease and Comfort. My business is once again doing well, and life is worth living.

It is possible to shift! It is possible to move through and beyond. It is possible to smell the roses. It is possible to BE…ME!

And, it is possible for you to be YOU!

What a wonderful world it can be!









Would you like to know more about somatics and how it can help you heal from grief? If you have any questions about how that is possible, please contact me!

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