A talented landscape artist, Tamires specialized in Japanese garden design and construction. But she was teaching English. Nothing wrong with teaching English. But this was not where Tamires’s talent, abilities, her passion and interest lay. She would do pro bono design work and work when requested by a full-time landscape design professional. Bits and bobs, here and there.
Lots of talk, little action
We had many conversations exploring how she could create or be part of a design landscape company. She had similar discussions with trusted friends too. And nobody could understand why she was not moving in this direction. Instead, she put her energy into long hours creating class plans for her students of English as a second language. Then she spent even more time correcting their exams. It always felt like she over gave, overworked for what was needed in her teaching job. And she talked about feeling overwhelmed and stressed most of the time. She didn’t look or feel happy. So, what was going on?
Her response was that her job gave her a low but consistent regular income. It took care of her. And yet every so often, she would feel resentment and anger towards herself, her job, and wonder why she wasn’t doing what she loved.
A moment of insight
One day at our normal regular session, Tamires’s resentment was up again. And something new appeared that day. “I am happy to be taken care of, even by a job I don’t like ”.
Oh, this was something different showing up here, I said to myself. “Tamires, tell me more.” There was a long pause. I could feel something new bubbling under the surface. I waited…..maintaining my presence and equanimity.
“Yet, why do I feel so much resentment towards myself, my job and others when I am taken care of? You know Karen, I think I am afraid of stepping into my power. Power is visibility and being visible means criticism. Power is acting and that means making mistakes. Mistakes mean rejection.”
Wow. I have worked with Tamires for many years now. You never know when the fruit will fall. It is such a moment of grace when it does. And I felt very honoured to witness this moment.
She continued “I abdicated to my older sister growing up, to more competent friends at university and my wife with our finances. Following is easy in the short run, it feels so good at first. But then it turns into a gooey, dark mess.”
You could feel the atmosphere change. Relief and releasing of some very deep held patterning of protection gave way to showing up and engaging with the world.
The catalyst for change
One of the reasons this was all coming up now, was that one of her confident design partners challenged her to step into her power and take over his business. She has been working on and off for him. He was retiring, and like everyone else, knew her ability and talent in this area.
Fast forward two years and Tamires is no longer teaching English. She has now taken over the Landscape Design business and is responsible for all aspects of the business, from marketing to outreach to design and project management. She works as hard on her business as she did preparing her lesson plans and grading. But rather than feeling overwhelmed she is energised. She said “I’ve acted more these past two years than ever before. And it feels much easier to bring in revenue.”
20 years of work of intention and determination by Tamires is summarised into a few paragraphs here. I hope it will inspire you if you have a strong pattern of abdication, and of outsourcing your power to others.
How to improve your relationship with power
Here are a few ideas that you can try to stop giving away your power to others and slowly learn to find safety in the knowledge of your own capabilities. These ideas, if you put them into practice, have the wonderful benefit of dissipating your fear of rejection and abandonment.
- Meditate on “How can I allow myself to experience my own independence?”
- Ask yourself “How can I show up and step into my power?: Brainstorm with your friends, your therapist, those you trust and, who have your back.
- Do some drama therapy and perhaps take on a skit role of being a “Policewoman in a lawless town” or something similar.
- Tamires’s meditation teacher suggested that she try “wearing the cloak of authority.” He advised she did this three times, to really understand how that felt to show up in that way.
This is a beautiful story of the path towards integrating and reclaiming power and attracting revenue to match your skills, talents and abilities. Every person’s story is different but there are common traits. Tamires didn’t make money because she didn’t value herself. She didn’t believe in herself. It is a story of coming back home to a house of the heart that was abandoned so long ago. If this story resonates with you and you would like to chat with me, reach out for a complimentary 30 minutes session to email@example.com or take the money quiz.