What Does It Mean to BE ME

a Question from a 15 Day Experiment of Time Without Spaces to Be Loud and Messy.

“When I was about 5–6 years old, I started to take on a persona so I would be accepted, but it was not authentic to me.”

A participant who came to a work talk I held space for about Conscious Fear sent these words a couple weeks after the work talk, in a video message. Hearing them, something happened in me. Though I have had a degree of clarity that this is the case about myself, what happened when his clarity landed, happened for the first time.

It was suddenly vividly, experientially clear that I have not been being who I really am.

Being otherwise — acting, pretending — has been happening so long and so deeply that I had fooled myself into thinking I had significantly started to be who I really am.

I suppose in some ways I had started, and I suppose any start is significant. Maybe there will always be more to discover about what more I built into myself over the essence of myself.

It still seems crazy that I would be saying ‘now I really get this’ after years of working on it. Maybe it will happen again and again.

I think it happened this time as a consequence of consciously choosing to go 15 days without a space where I could feel, loudly, and/or messy.

By this I mean that I purposefully chose for a time NOT to hold space or have space held for me to do any kind of emotional healing processes-type work.

To be accurate, during the first two or three days of this time span, I was not doing a conscious experiment. I had located myself in a set of circumstances that I thought would include EHP (Emotional Healing Process) Dojo spaces, spaces where I could be loud, using my feelings to heal emotions, using my feelings to expand my Being.

On day three or four in the circumstances, I determined that it would not be responsible to be noisy there, because there were many people in earshot who did not have Conscious Feelings Work distinctions. I could find no way to adequately handle the consequences of the sounds reaching them, or to accomplish the communications it would take to prevent the consequences I anticipated would come from being loud and emotionally disruptive in such a space.

I chose to stay in the circumstances and I chose to do the experiment of going without EHP’s, which would make for a total of ten days.

Four days after coming out of those circumstances, and I had not yet had a held space to process in. By now, as I do the last edits for this article, I have had a space to feel, to allow loud sounds to happen, and to process.

I have clarity that circumstances that include spaces where loud feeling sounds are consciously accepted, used, encouraged and celebrated are NEXT CULTURE SPACES. Circumstances where loud feeling sounds are NOT consciously accepted, used, encouraged and celebrated are Modern Culture spaces.

I don’t expect I will choose again to go so long without EHP, Conscious Anger Work, or other Conscious Feelings Process spaces.

It was hard.

I am glad I did it, because of what I learned.

I remembered and re-experienced what it was like for me before encountering Possibility Management Conscious Feelings Work and before the EHP Collaboration Group was born, to be a mess inside of emotions, feelings, thoughts and crossing impulses. I had pretty much forgotten what it was like back in the days when, if emotions were surfacing, I had no where to go, no one to hold space for me.

In the past, this happened for many reasons; I didn’t know how to effectively set up such spaces, or how to ask someone to set up such a space for me. Nor did I have clarity to discern who would be able to do it, if asked. I had some elements about what it took for such a space to exist, and for me to use it, but I was missing many.

This meant that by the time I found skilled space holders, and more distinctions about how to effectively use the spaces they held, I had decades of feelings stored as emotions inside me.

Trying to handle my with so many emotions had created disaster after disaster. I am grateful that between the disasters that did happen, there were not more disasters.

Still, I identified, mostly, as crazy misfit weirdo, one who belonged nowhere, and who was, if I was honest, a mess.

This experiment reminded me of what it was to be surrounded by the context of Modern Culture.

During the experiment I went back into my pattern of ‘making do’. Back into the pattern of coping, and of ‘holding space for myself’, which, I am now more clearly remembering, meant that I held myself in tight, pretend, ‘look-like-everything-is-fine’ control until I could either cry alone, vent in a journal or on a dance floor, or let it all out in front of someone who let me use them as an emotional garbage can.

After such venting there was less inner pressure, but not much , if any, of a shift into being able to take more responsibility. Often I felt worse, in some ways, while better in others.

Gradually over time, it was the pain increase that brought about some spaces where transformation happened, enough to make me interesting to ECCO, the Earth’s Coincidence Control Office, and connect me with Possibility Management.

The distinction of ‘having a Gremlin who is full on low drama food’ comes to mind, and the distinctions of catharsis and cathexis.

I used to do a lot of catharsis, that was the venting. I didn’t do much catharsis over the 15 days experiment. Yes, some, some crying and checking-in, some full out cathartic story-telling with a willing listener. I had lost interest in doing these things, though I slipped into doing them.

After leaving the circumstances, and being in spaces where it would be possible and responsible to be loud, I continued to slip and slide into low drama. I felt glad to notice I was maintaining some access to my Adult ego state, more than ever before. Not enough for some things, but enough that I noticed the difference as I slid into AND chose my way OUT OF low drama.

It is clear that my Gremlin is more consciously in service to my Box’s expansion, according to my more distinct Being. He still did most of the jobs given during his so-far 18 months of training. For example, my Gremlin caught himself in certain low drama patterns, and came up with new experiments to do to help me to stay out of further low drama, even while I was so ungrounded.

The roller coaster of feelings and emotions was in full swing, but I was able to hang on, radically relying that I could and would find my way out of it.

On day 14, I sent out requests for space holders for a next experiment. I also started to write this article. I wanted to capture how it was from inside of it, before shifting. I feel glad that I wrote about it.

By now, on what would have been day 16, I have begun a new experiment of 10–14 days of having held feeling spaces every day. I have had one held space, I did one feelings process alone and I have been in 3 group spaces with other Possibilitators. I am relieved to report that I have gone from intense fear that choosing the Modern Culture immersion would keep me on the trajectory I seemed to be on, to being on a new trajectory that seems to be going where I would want to go.

I feel a more savoury, alive fear about what will change, and joy to have faith that whatever does, transformation is what I want, rather than being a stuck bundle of mess, painfully trying to maintain what little choosing space I had left.

Here’s to gaining, layer by layer, more access to Authentic Adulthood, and here’s to you gaining greater access too.

Love, Nicole

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Nicole Hartley Bradford

Nicole is a catalyst on the “Help Gaia’s Risky Human Experiment Succeed” Team.