What do you do when you hit the wall, when the rug is pulled out from under you, when the bottom falls out? I see this happen again and again.
Brilliant women stopped dead in their tracks to greatness by a challenging life event. And I just wanna scream: Keep going, love! This is NOT a sign to stop! This is a sign to push through and give birth to the next level of YOU, reveal your greater GREATNESS, tap into your more powerful POWER you didn’t know you had — until this challenge showed up in your way.
So today I show you how you can USE YOUR GREATEST PAIN as your greatest opportunity. I tell a story of my most powerful lesson in this… And share something we can learn from Wonder Woman.
THE WONDER OF WONDER OF WOMAN : USE YOUR WHOLE POWER
My 6 1/2-year-old and I finally went to see Wonder Woman and I did some obsessive research beforehand to make sure it was age appropriate. You know that I’m obsessive from the previous blog post when we had a power reclamation party. I encourage you to view this blog and leave a comment what’s wrong with you and we’ll use these as gateways of reclamation.
Today, the gateway we’ll use has to do with Wonder Woman. When Wonder Woman is a child, her trainer keeps telling her, “You’re not using your whole power. You’re much more powerful than you know.” Wonder Woman thinks that she is doing her best though. She rejects her trainer’s statements. Years later, she’s facing her arch nemesis at last. She falls down and she’s wrapped in this piece of metal and it looks like she’s not going to be able to get out of it.
Her nemesis laughs at her and asks, “What did you think you were?” She’s forgetting who she is or maybe she never knew truly deeply her power which I think is true for all of us. So she’s lying there and she’s giving up. There is no hope. Then she sees this plane in the sky and she knows this is her partner, the only man she’s known and we assume loved.
The plane blows up in the sky and she feels this deep pain the likes of which she’s never felt before, and she roars. She liberates herself from whatever was holding back her power. She rises and she taps into the power which she did not know she had.
I hope you go to see Wonder Woman. It is incredible. As I watched it, I kept checking in with my daughter during the battle scenes. I’d check in with her and ask, “Is this scary?” And she would whisper back to me, “No. This is amazing.”
Amazing it was. It was amazing to see that reclamation. When we watch a movie like Wonder Woman, we get it, right? It takes this extreme circumstance, this extreme pain to tap into the power that she didn’t know she had. That makes sense, right? That’s a very common story arc of a hero’s or heroine’s journey.
MOVING INTO THE PAIN
But what happens when it happens in our own life? In our own life, we’re very conditioned to retreat from pain. I’m going to tell you a story of my own learning of how conditioned I was to retreat from pain. It also has to do with my daughter. A lot of cool stories have to do with her.
This was one when I was giving birth to her, and I had a wonderful doula (thank God for her) who was coaching me through. I was pushing and feeling this excruciating pain and at some point the nurse turned around to me and said, “You’re not pushing.” What? I think I am. I feel like I am. I’m feel like I’m about to explode.
Then my doula leans in to me and she said, “Well, you’re moving away from the pain. This is not like labor. This is giving birth, so your only way out of the pain is through the pain, so the more it hurts, that’s where you need to go. You need to go into the pain to get out of the pain.”
Because I was completely delirious out of my mind, so much in pain, I guess I had no resistance left in me and so I decided to take her word for it and just go. I went and I went and I went into the pain and into the pain, and at some point the pain became just a sensation which was irrelevant to what was going on. My glorious daughter emerged, all almost 10 pounds of her, and so that was my very visceral learning of how conditioned I was not to go into the pain.
It changed the way I live my life. It really did. Now, when I see the opportunity created by pain, I try to go right in. If I don’t, guess what? Life has its own curriculum. Life is not going to let you get away with not tapping into the fullness of your power. Life creates these circumstances, these painful circumstances for you to go in and reclaim your power fully.
What happens is just like on a hero’s or heroine’s journey. When you declare yourself, when you declare, “I’m going to step into my power. I’m going on a journey,” the shit hits the fan. The bottom falls out. The journey actually begins.
So this is inspired by a wonderful, powerful woman I had a conversation with a few days ago. We tapped into her power. We tapped into her vision and we decided how we’re going to move into that vision. Then just a few days later, she sends me a message saying that her life has brought this extreme circumstance, a lot of pain, and that she’s not going to continue through with implementing her vision.
This pains me very deeply because those exact circumstances, this is like giving birth to yourself, right? It’s moving into the pain. Her life has created a perfect opportunity for her power reclamation. It’s perfect. It’s painful. It hurts but by leaning into that opportunity, she stands to reclaim so much of who she truly is and fully deliver her vision, fully deliver on her divine assignment in the world.
So at every point the pain comes up, we have two choices. We can move away just like I was doing when I was not pushing apparently, or we can move right in. Life gives us these opportunities to give birth to ourselves very often. Small pains or big ruptures, when the bottom falls out, and if you’ve been following me for some time, you know that I’ve been dealing with one of those in my own life. If you don’t know what I’m talking about you can find it on my blog at valeriebaker.com.
This has been a dance all to leading me leaning away from it and leaning into it, but by leaning into the pain what has been happening is really stepping up in a bigger way, really reaching for bigger things and playing bigger than I had ever thought possible. Because why does life create these excruciating circumstances for us? Why? Is this God punishing us? No, life is very compassionate but life knows that given a place to hide, we will hide. Given a place to hide, we will die.
So life creates these circumstances where hiding is no longer an option such as in my own life with my husband’s illness, it became not an option for me to lean back and say, “Well, it’s okay. If I don’t earn enough money, it’s okay. If I don’t make this work, it’s okay because he’s a guy and we’re married and he’s supposed to be the breadwinner.”
It’s not my conscious thinking, believe me, but that’s the subconscious conditioning that keeps us playing small. This is what Wonder Woman was falling back into when she was lying down on the ground, helpless because she hadn’t yet tapped into her power.
So what rupture are you going through in your life right now? What’s the invitation? What can you reclaim when you lean into it? Does it have to be painful? Well, no. In her wonderful book “Eat, Pray, Love” Elizabeth Gilbert told the story told to her by Ketut, her mentor, and he said that he’s traveled up to Heaven and down to Hell in a beautiful metaphor and he said to her question, “What’s the difference between Heaven and Hell?”
He said, “Heaven, you go up, through seven happy places. Hell, you go down, through seven sad places. This is why it better for you to go up, Liss… Same in end, so better to be happy in journey.”
Life presents opportunities for us to go up and be happy on the journey every day. Every day we can step up and play bigger, every day, but if there is a place to hide, we will hide. That’s why sometimes life has to pull the rug from under us. Sometimes the bottom has to fall out. It’s done compassionately. It’s not done to punish us. It’s done to help us like Wonder Woman reclaim her deepest power.
About The Institute of Transpersonal Psychology at Sofia University
Since 1975, the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology at Sofia University has continued to be an international leader and pioneer, moving humanity forward in the areas of transpersonal research and transpersonal education. training clinicians, spiritual guides, wellness caregivers, and consultants who apply transpersonal principles and values in a variety of settings. The Sofia educational model offers students not only a solid intellectual foundation, but an extraordinary opportunity for deep transformational growth and personal experience of the subject matter. How does Sofia University accomplish this? The university builds upon its strong, whole-person psychological foundation to give students a greater understanding of the human condition.