fbpx

Your Inner Dialogue & the Voices in Your Head

Maybe it’s only me, but no matter how long it’s been since some of my less-than-stellar stories took place, I still hear an inner dialogue, an incessant chatter, that keeps droning on.

An example:

I was incredibly insecure as a teenager. I didn’t go to more than a couple dances, wasn’t invited to the weekend parties, and never had a boyfriend. I was convinced that all of this was because I wasn’t good enough, pretty enough, enough-period, to merit any of the privileges that were reserved for those who clearly were good enough, pretty enough, enough-period. (I agree: pretty typical teenage angst.)

Here’s the irony: at the very same time that I bemoaned virtually everything about my life, I was getting straight-A’s, performing in piano competitions, and fulfilling multiple leadership positions at school.

Somehow, the latter didn’t make up for the former. Despite the good things happening around me, to me, even because of me, the “noise” of feeling not enough drowned out nearly everything else.

And that noise was (and is) the story I told myself — over and over again.

Even more ironically, no matter the ways in which my life has changed over the many decades since then, no matter how much data I have accumulated as evidence of my inherent value and worth…

I still hear that voice inside. It still chatters away. It is still a story I tell myself.

Maybe you can relate?

You have your own version(s), I’m sure. Stories you told yourself as a teenager, even younger, and certainly ongoing, that have not remained isolated to those years alone.

The stories we tell ourselves, no matter how long ago, persist, inhabit, and stay. They keep on chattering…

And despite the effort we’ve extended to not give them space or thought or energy, they just. keep. talking.

We believe them: these stories we tell ourselves.

Here’s the thing: I don’t want to be controlled by default, or live a story that is not one I intentionally choose.

And so…

I listen even more closely…

  • What is this story really about? When I pay close attention to the internal dialogue and incessant chatter, what do I actually hear?
  • What beliefs about myself have I formed (and reinforced) because of its presence?
  • Are they actually true?
  • What IS actually true?

Once I am willing to see, name, and acknowledge the stories I’m telling myself, then and only then, can I respond, change, and choose what I’ll hold on to — or not.

I get to choose what I am willing to believe…and what I can now release.

Mareo McKracken said

“Our reality and our actions will always match the story we believe.”

Mmmmm. Indeed. We get to decide about the stories we believe — the ones we’ve been told and the ones we tell ourselves – along with the chatter that accompanies. And then we can just. let. go. and instead, hear our own voice, our endless and infinite wisdom and truth. Ahhhhhhh. 

*****

The ongoing work of looking more closely at stories — those that you’ve been told and those that you tell yourself — is an important part of SOVEREIGNTY: my 9-week program.

I am convinced that those stories are often the very things that determine sovereignty’s absence instead of its presence, that hold you back from being all of who you know yourself to be.

And this is what I want for you! Authenticity. Alignment. Full integrity. EVERY BIT of who you are – showing up in all your amazingness and gloriousness!

May it be so.

I cannot recommend Ronna & SOVEREIGNTY enough. Through the nine weeks together, I rediscovered the Sovereignty that has always existed in me, but was buried through conditioning and fears. Ronna seamlessly weaves structure and a framework, along with ancient, sacred stories of women — some of which I knew, others I didn’t. By reclaiming those stories of silenced women, we learned as participants to reclaim ourselves — to tell our own stories, to claim our own stories, and to claim our sovereignty. Every week I looked especially forward to these stories, which now feel a part of me. There is SO much wisdom through the container that Ronna provides.  Beyond grateful.Tricia Bolender, Executive Coach

All the details are here. Registration closes on Monday, 9/6/21. 

The Power of Childhood Stories

We rarely give a second thought to the stories of our childhood. Fairytales, religious myths, favorite books, legend, lore, or those that just seemed to be “in the water” — the stories of our family, our culture, the systems and structures within which we lived.

But in not thinking about them – and with intention – we are prone to repeat the messages hidden within, often unwittingly, over and over again, no matter how many years have passed since those stories were told. The plots, the protagonists, the antagonists, and the morals/messages remain in our psyche, our way of viewing our world, our very DNA.

An example:

Cinderella. One of my favorite stories growing up – specifically, the Rodgers and Hammerstein version that played on TV only once a year.

The takeaways:

  • You can always count on something magical to make everything better.
  • Everything is better when you are pursued and chosen by a prince.
  • Yes, you feel forgotten, misunderstood, and unseen, but that will change when a prince sees you for who you truly are.
  • Yes, you’re sitting by the cinders, put upon and all alone, but it’s just a matter of time before your fate completely turns around.
  • When you are beautiful, everything changes.
  • Happily Ever After is a thing.

Underneath each of those, exist a few more:

  • Look outside yourself for answers, solutions, and the life you long for.
  • Being chosen by a prince (translate: man) is the penultimate goal; it gives your life meaning and value.
  • Just keep hoping and wishing for things to get better.
  • Buy the makeup, the clothes, play the part: you’ll be noticed, valued, and loved.
  • When you are beautiful, everything changes (Wow, does this one embed!)
  • There is a “someday” that will solve every problem, heal every hurt, and make you whole.

Made manifest in my life:

  • I don’t trust my own wisdom.
  • I see marriage (and the man) as the goal, the aspiration, the answer; he determines my value and worth, my lovability, even my beauty.
  • When things don’t change, I’m convinced that’s because I’m not pretty enough, thin enough, beautiful enough, perfect enough.
  • Because, after all, if I were beautiful, everything would change!
  • I chase the promise of Happily Ever After through relationships, jobs, money, courses and programs, shopping, you name it. I can’t settle into and be satisfied with who I am.

This is but one example! Clearly, I could go through the very same process with Snow White, Hansel and Gretel, and Eve (which I have done, many times).

The stories you’ve been told, even if they were many, many years ago, lodge themselves in your understanding of self, your understanding of the world around you.

You don’t have to think directly about Cinderella to have her show up in your deepest beliefs, your most painful insecurities, or your hopes for your future. (Bibbidi, bobbidi, boop!)

I have no critique of Cinderella. In fact, years later, I watched the Disney version of the musical with my girls — over and over again. Brandy replaced Leslie Anne Warren, Whoopie Goldberg played the queen, and Bernadette Peters was the wicked stepmother. It’s less about the story itself and more about a closer look at ourselves via the stories.

When you name and acknowledge the stories you’ve been told, you can unravel them enough to then proactively weave the story you desire and deserve.

Consciously. Intentionally. With agency and sovereignty and will.

You are shaped by the stories you’ve been told. Fairytales. Bedtime stories. Bible stories. Disney. Nickelodeon. Netflix. Novels. Around-the-table talk of family. The over-story of your predominant culture (patriarchy, racism, misogyny, colonialism, capitalism, etc.)

Knowing them, looking at them, and then choosing what serves and what does not, makes all the difference. The stories that make you you are worth your every effort. YOU are worth your every effort! Always.

*******

I believe that the stories we’ve been told (and the ones we tell ourselves) are almost single-handedly responsible for sovereignty’s absence. Its presence is what you deserve. Join me for SOVEREIGNTY — my live, 9-week program.

All the details are here. Registration closes on 9/6/21.

This program was way more and way better and way deeper healing than I knew to ask for. Though I had an idea it would be awesome, what I got was a gift I didn’t know to ask for, much less receive.  I’m so grateful I said, “yes.” ~ Sheri M.

SOVEREIGNTY was a “yes” for me because I wanted the opportunity to learn from Ronna. The most valuable impact from the 9 weeks was being able to acknowledge that in many, many ways I already am sovereign; that I contain all the necessary components. Jennie Alexis, Values Leader

Your Wild Voice Within

…the shadow of Wild Woman still lurks behind us during our days and in our nights. No matter where we are, the shadow that trots behind us is definitely four-footed. ~ Clarissa Pinkola Estes

The wild voice within that says more and edits less. It digs deep and dives down. It is impossible to embarrass and completely unrestrained. It refuses to keep quiet. It’s not interested in playing nice. It is passionate, risky, even  risqué. It is dark and red and viscous. It weeps. It delights. It knows. It howls at the moon. And on paper – in journals and on documents – it captures all of this and then some…

But that’s about as far as it goes. 

The voice without holds sway. The one that’s required. The one that’s acceptable. The one that others can handle.

But what of the pages and pages that never see the light of day? Notebooks and journals written by hand. Hundreds of documents started then saved. 3×5 cards scattered in the bottom of drawers. Ideas barely captured before they disappear.

Disheveled and raw, desperate almost, this voice pours forth. Never mind the incomplete thoughts, the inchoate sentences, the impossible to deny emotions. Still it speaks. The voice within is wild and will not be tamed. 

Often held at bay by nothing more (nor less) than a lump in the throat – it sits on the tip of the tongue. 

Eventually, always, undeniable truth and endless desire and sheer volume finally tip the scales. 

The wild voice within within is acknowledged, seen, run toward, and embraced – like the Prodigal returned. No longer outcast, marginalized, hidden away. Far from penitent or tame. Fiercer than ever before. Articulate and wise beyond measure. Consonants, vowels, words, sentences, pages, index cards, memories, stories, beliefs, emotions – all tumble forward. Falling, twirling, dancing, taking form. Every stroke of the pen, peck of a key, and paper stacked or saved finally and  fluently coalesce. Alchemy. Magic. Grace. Nothing but pure, unadulterated beauty and strength flows forth. 

On that day and for all that follow, finally reunited and reconciled to your very self, your voice will speak-sing-write-create your way way into a world that has been waiting for you all along.

We are all filled with a longing for the wild. ~ Clarissa Pinkola Estes

May it be so. 

*****

In my own experience and in the lives of nearly every woman I know, we hear the wild voice within, but so much keeps us from letting it speak. The list is long: what it will cost us, the consequences that will undoubtedly ensue if and when we let it loose.

This is why I devote an entire week to risks, costs, and consequences as part of SOVEREIGNTY – my live, 9-week program. It is hard to be 100% yourself, 100% of the time – to let the wild voice within actually show up in all of your world.

Spoiler Alert: I will not tell you how to mitigate or avoid the risks, costs, and consequences. They’re a given when we choose to step into all of who we are – unedited, unrestrained, and in integrity. But I will tell you lots about what sovereignty looks and feels like in the midst of all this. Not easy answers; true ones.

Registration is open. We begin in early September. Learn more and apply today.

No imagination required…

There’s a story I love to tell of a mostly unknown woman named Jael. She singlehandedly won a huge battle for a whole tribe of people by doing the most unlikely and shocking thing. In the thick of the fighting, she offered the enemy commander (who was sneaking away) a safe place to hide, made him comfortable, and then, as he slept, drove a tent peg through his head and killed him. 

It’s a violent story, to be sure. (Which explains why it’s rarely told.) But just imagine if it had been, if she was known; if she was known by you…

  • Imagine if you had been been lulled to sleep by the tale of a shockingly brave woman who overcame every fear and did what had to be done – no matter what others thought, expected, or allowed.
  • Imagine if you’d had a model, a template, a subconscious plot line within that invited and compelled courage, boldness, and strength.
  • Imagine if it never crossed your mind to choose being good over being right.
  • Imagine if you had no idea what seen-not-heard even meant.
  • Imagine if  you never compromised yourself on behalf of another.
  • Imagine if no part of you held back, played it safe, or waited to be invited into the, arena onto the stage, or out of the shadows. 

Hard to imagine, isn’t it? 

What if it wasn’t? What if we just knew who we were – our strength, our wisdom, our  divinity, our sovereignty? No questions asked. No doubt. No wondering. Clear. Certain. Sure. Solid. 100% ourselves.

This is, at least in part, why stories like Jael’s matter. She moves us from *simply* imagining that kind of strength and courage to actually acknowledging it – to living it.

So, no imagination required – hear Jael’s voice on your behalf:

This I know – no imagination required: You are braver, stronger, and wiser than anyone knows, than even you know. 

This I know – no imagination required: You fight for what you love, for what matters most, for your very self – as your hands shake and your voice trembles and your heart races. Still and always – brave, strong, and wise. Still and always – bringing victory and peace. Still and always – worthy of endless song and celebration. 

This I know – no imagination required: I am Jael and you are my daughter, my lineage, my kin. 

She knows of what she speaks…

May it be so.

***** 

This I know – no imagination required: You are surrounded and supported, held and honored by more than just Jael. (Though she’s something, isn’t she?) Countless ancient, sacred women with stories and voices that remind you of who you truly are: brave, strong, and wise. Sovereign.  

I retell, reimagine, and redeem these stories – Jael’s and many more – in SOVEREIGNTY – my live, 9-week program. And companioning the stories is powerful and practical content about hearing and trusting your own wisdom, acknowledging your agency, stepping into courage, and holding on to hope. Every bit of this on behalf of you being 100% yourself, 100% of the time. No imagination required!

Registration is open for the cohort that begins in early September. Learn more. Apply today. Join me! 

The struggle that IS worthwhile

I love Leo Tolstoy’s opening line in Anna Karenina: “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” 

He’s right: it is our unhappiness that is unique and distinct to our own personal story. And while that’s significant, even important to acknowledge, there is a danger here, as well.

We make our pain so much our own that it becomes woven into the warp and woof of who we are – often to the point in which we find comfort in it, maybe even pride. 

Or maybe it’s only me… 

Over time and for a myriad of reasons, I internalized the belief that life is hard. The influences that reinforced this were legion: Western culture. Capitalism. Protestant Work Ethic. Patriarchy. My family of origin. My own experiences and stories. 

I believed that my pain was of value; more, that my value was directly proportionate to how much I suffered. 

Struggle became my badge of honor. “Hard” was the marker that I was taking things seriously, not being remotely frivolous, and proving yet again that I was made of solid stuff. 

I know. It sounds crazy. Because it is! The good news is that I am aware of such! (To be this crazy and not know it is highly problematic.) 

My truth? It has felt natural, even desirable, for me to suffer and struggle. 

  • Who would I be, if not burdened and heavy-laden with worry and concern?
  • How else could I remain alert in relationships so as not to be taken advantage of or hurt?
  • How could I possibly expect to earn money (even meager amounts) if not willing to grit my teeth and soldier on?
  • And my writing? How in the world could I possibly believe that what comes easily or naturally, would be worth reading? No! It has to be far more difficult!

Crazy, yes.

And completely unacceptable!

When I was in grad school, I remember one of my professors saying it was much easier for us to accept sadness than joy, much easier to settle for less than desire more, much easier to accept our depravity than our dignity. He was right. I’m living proof. 

I’m also committed to changing that story, and rewriting that script.

This is the worthwhile struggle: to choose joy over sadness, to desire more instead of settling for less, and to accept my dignity over my depravity.

 

This is hardly a silver-lining, pollyanna-esque way of viewing the world. Sadness and “less” and depravity are real. But they are not everything. Learning to believe that, to live that is more-than worthwhile. It is everything.

How about for you?

Can you name some of the beliefs you’ve inherited and reinforcd that now feel part-and-parcel of who you are? Here are a few examples. Definitely add to the list!

  • I must prove my worth.
  • My value is measured by the income I earn (the grades I get, the promotions I gain, the FB/IG likes I receive)
  • Money is the root of all evil.
  • Self-care is selfish.
  • I’m too much.
  • I’m not enough.

You can see how these beliefs, these unhappiness-es, these struggles, are not natural…nor necessary to cling to. Right?

It is a struggle to reimagine them – and ourselves. But no struggle will ever be more worthwhile. A lifetime’s effort, to be sure, and the most amazing and important work (and privilege) you could possibly undertake.

May it be so.

 

*****

 

Part of being 100% ourselves, 100% of the time is naming these stories and internal texts/beliefs that have shaped us. It’s also demonstrating the wisdom, agency, and courage needed to craft and live the story that is uniquely yours – unhinged from struggle that no longer serves and committed to “struggle” that strengthens and sustains.

Registration is now open for the next cohort of SOVEREIGNTY: the 9-week program.

Filled with my teaching of content I love, community and conversation with other amazing women, and practical, even sacred tools to help you live an empowered and amazing story that is completely yours. Filled with joy. Desiring more (and more). And accepting your dignity, to be sure. Learn more.

Smart. Responsible. Steadfast. (Or not…)

Smart.
Responsible.
Steadfast.

These three are jailer’s cell.
A clanking of keys;
lockstep required. They demand,
silence, and shrink. My destiny
and demise, it seems.
I despise them so. 

Of course I cannot go.

They say to me: There are rules to be followed and expectations to be met; even more to be exceeded. Who are you to want, let alone do anything different, anything more? And really, what’s wrong with the life that you have? Don’t you see? Smart, responsible, and steadfast is definitely the way to be!

What they don’t know is that I want to be wild and passionate and free. What they don’t understand is that underneath this expected and well-rehearsed demeanor I want to run naked through the woods and scream at the top of my lungs and dance wildly and eat food with my fingers and stay up until dawn doing who knows what.

What they don’t know is that I am inhabited by the Goddess herself, that a drum’s boom-boom, boom-boom causes my heart to beat faster, that I can hear what hummingbirds have to say, that I am merely bemused by all the activities that humans deem important but that I know don’t matter a whit.

I hold all wisdom. I am completely free of all restraint. And I express passion in everything I do – in my laughter and tears, my waking and sleeping, my walking and sitting, my speaking and writing, my touch, my silence, my gaze. I am electric. High voltage. Magnetizing. My scent lingers long after I’ve glided past you, making you woozy with desire and a familiarity you can’t seem to shake – and don’t want to.

Don’t you see? Wise, passionate, and free is what I am, who I am. It’s too late for me to be any less.

Wise.
Passionate.
Free. 

These three are siren’s song.
A haunting melody;
they seduce. They beckon:
follow our voices, heed your own.
My dream and
desire, it’s certain.

Of course I must go.

Come with me?

 

*****

 

In cleaning out LOTS of files from my hard drive, I came across what you just read . I have no memory of when I wrote it or why. Still, I couldn’t bring myself to drag it to the trash icon on my desktop. It wanted to be heard.

In complete transparency, it took a bit for me to hit “publish” and let this one out. But Wise. Passionate. Free. kept working on me, calling to me, compelling me. And so, “publish,” it is!

I’m guessing I’m not alone in this. You, too, feel the tension between Smart. Responsible. Steadfast. and Wild. Passionate. Free. You, too, have things you’ve hidden away – whether on your computer and/or in your heart – that are longing to be found and heard, that call to you and compel you…

Those things, those whispers, those shouts, those callings? They all matter. They are beautiful and worthy expressions of your wisdom – that know-that-you-know-that-you-know voice within. And they can be trusted.

May it be so – for you and me both!

 

*****

Learning to hear and trust your own wisdom is one of the four pillars of SOVEREIGNTY – my live, 9-week program. We begin again in September. I hope you’ll join me.

This program was way more and way better and way deeper healing than I knew to ask for. Though I had an idea it would be awesome, what I got was a gift I didn’t know to ask for, much less receive. I’m so grateful I said, “yes.” ~ Sheri M

CLICK HERE to learn about SOVEREIGNTY.

 

Oh, and just in case you didn’t know, I send out Monday Morning Letters (via email) every week. Snippets of my story, some of the stories I love, and every bit of encouragement and support I can muster on behalf of your story. Subscribe.