I have been there. Ohhh have I been there. In fact, THAT is where bone sigh arts was born. Right in the darkest dark of my life. That right there is kinda cool, isn't it? And how about this – I don't feel like damaged goods anymore! And, trust me, I was absolutely sure I'd never lose that feeling. AND! Here's the topper that you may not really believe is possible, but I'm going to toss it out here anyway – I have never ever been happier than I am now! Go figure.
So. What I was thinking was what if we thought of this as a form of sitting down and having some coffee or tea together – one where I have had too much coffee and I'm talking a whole, whole lot - maybe I could share some thoughts/tools/bone sigh stories that might make you feel a little less alone. Maybe you might find a little hope that you didn't have before. Maybe you might pick up a tool or thought and play around with it in your own way and find some good stuff you didn't know was there. Maybe you'll just find some relief in hanging out together.
When I look back, I think I would have really appreciated an offering like this - and so I wanted to make this spot and put it out here for anyone searching like I was. It will be a work in progress. I plan to add to it as we go along here. I'm hoping to make it a place you want to return to again and again.
Come on in and join me. I'm sliding a chair your way and pouring something warm to drink. It's so good to have you here. Cookie?
Let me start with the very first bone sigh I ever wrote -
picture me sliding this print across the table to you right now...
Yeah, I wrote it – BUT - I was just beginning to understand it and believe it. Someone once told me that I seemed to live my way into what I wrote. And I think that's true.
So, if you read that and don't feel it, that's okay. Just tuck it in your pocket and let's see if we can find our way there sooner or later. Let me tell you tho, whether you can hold that right now or not, it's true – you DO matter.
I am now 18 years down the road from when I wrote these. And it wasn't until last year that I read something that really helped me understand why this is so important. I love that I knew I needed to do this, and I love that I have finally stumbled into something that explained it a bit to me. It's from a book I read. I did a podcast about it when I first found out. That seems like the thing to share here. So, if/when you have time, give it a listen -
My very first 'imaginary friend' I ever worked with/talked to was my inner child. Have you ever tried to find yours? I could go on a long time about that, but I actually already have in the 'inner child e-course' that we offer here. That might be something you want to check out at some point. But maybe google 'inner child work' a bit, see if it's something you're interested in. There's a lot out there you can find free. And then if you're curious about my take, you can check out the ecourse. I'm not trying to sell things here. I just honestly went into my own experience with it all pretty detailed there. It's not terribly expensive, but if things are tight and you'd like to check it out and don't feel you have the budget for it, email me. We'll work it out.
I found so much healing in working with 'little terri' that I just cannot recommend that kind of work enough. I do know that the idea can fill some with anxiety, so don't worry - there is no limit to the imaginary friends you can pick from. It doesn't have to be your inner child. If you're visual, and have an easy time 'daydreaming' or seeing images in your mind, I think you might really like this idea. If not, don't despair! We'll come up with other ideas!
Someone I know, who ended up creating the most beautiful visual for herself, didn't quite know what I meant at first. So I offered a couple of ways of looking at it, and one of them clicked for her, and off she ran with it and took my breath away with what she found! Trust yourself and your way of doing things. You know how to do this, even if you don't think you do.
When I started with my inner child, it wasn't too hard to imagine what she looked like as I used to be her! But then, I thought – if I can talk with my inner child, why not my inner CRONE as well?! You know, the real old wise terri inside me. So I went ahead and visualized a 300 year old terri. It just came pretty easy. And once visualized, we immediately started talking.
For me, I have done the question asking, and these imaginaries of mine answer. I am as sincere as I can possibly be when I tell you that the wisdom that I hear this way is incredible.
Here's the idea that made sense to my friend – this is not originally from me. I read it somewhere and tried it. Personify something. That's it. For her, I suggested personifying a safe home. (She was in the process of trying to find her way out of a bad situation.) That clicked for her. Interestingly to me, she didn’t actually converse with her image. She watched it, listened to it as it played music to her so she could find her way home. Isn't that beautiful?! You can personify anything that resonates with you. Something I want to start working with, but haven't yet, is my body image. I could definitely use some help there. So maybe who I need to talk to is 'beauty.' I think talking to 'forgiveness' would be really cool too. I have already talked to 'money' – Mr. Abundance, who I call Mister Bun. He's been an incredible pal on my morning walks. Turns out he's filled with wisdom about all kinds of things pertaining to the abundance of living.
When I suggest this kinda thing, people rarely take me up on it. Thing is, I totally totally believe that each one of us has an inner wisdom. I believe this with my whole heart. No matter how battered and damaged you feel, I believe it's in there. And it's available for every single one of us to tap into. We just have to find our own way to do that. This is one way you could try. Why NOT give it a try?
So here's a time my Inner Crone helped me out -
One of the unhealthy things I do when I'm upset is I beat myself up with my thoughts. It's something I'm trying to change. What happens is I get in a bad spot, then I start 'spinning' around inside and then it starts – the name calling, and the telling myself I'm stupid and that kinda thing. My husband knows that I'm trying hard to stop this. So one night as we were going to sleep, it started. I rolled over to him and told him that I was heading into the 'beat myself up' territory. His way of dealing with things is aggressive. Mine is not. But his masculine response actually helped me at that moment. He said something like 'Be stronger than the voices.' Not sure that would normally have worked. But this time, I rolled back over determined to change directions. I closed my eyes and started trying to picture my Inner Crone.
I spent a long time imagining what she looked like, and I tried to imagine the smell of moss. I am quite sure she smells like moss! (In a good way, of course! I like moss!) So I concentrated on all that. What that did for me was to take my focus OFF of the beating myself up, and put it in a completely different direction – a positive, safe one.
When I got myself comfortable with seeing her how I wanted and feeling I could smell her as well, I brought what I was struggling with to her. She immediately explained something to me in such a simple, easy way that made complete sense to me. It allowed me to let go of the struggle. AND! At the same time, she offered me compassion. Something I certainly wasn't offering myself. She told me she understood why I felt what I was feeling and why I got muddled. I didn't 'make up' the answer as I went along. It just came. This is what I mean about tapping into an inner wisdom. And maybe an inner compassion as well. I fell asleep feeling so relieved – and cared for.
It's kind of a foreign concept, this whole self compassion stuff, isn't it?! Thing is, I really believe that it's important and we need it to heal and find our way thru, so I figure we should have a good talk about it. If you find yourself wanting to skip over this, hang on a minute, I'm willing to guess that's a good sign that you need it.
There's a lot of different reasons that self care was never on our radar. If you've experienced abuse, that can really make this whole topic uncomfortable. But bear with me, okay?
I'm not telling you that you have to go stand in front of a mirror and tell yourself that you're beautiful and awesome and wonderful – altho, if you feel like, by all means, do so! I'm suggesting that the compassion we so often give to others is forgotten on ourselves. And we need it. So why don't we start figuring out how to give it to ourselves? And the very fact that some of us are squirming over this is a good sign it really is something that needs looking at.
Think about sitting with a friend who is going thru a hard time. What would you tell her? What would you want to offer her? Now, think about you. Can you offer yourself the same thing? If the answer is that you can but you just forget or don't think of it, great! Setting up reminders is an easy enough thing to do. But if you feel like you honestly can't, like you don't deserve it, like you're not worth it, then let's sit back here and take a peek at that.
Here's a question that is really difficult – do you think that you WANT to let go of that lack of value for yourself? Do you think you want to learn to value yourself? I think that's a really good question. Because if you don't, there's more stuff we can look at. And if you do, but you just don't know how or if you'll ever get there, I'm reaching across the table and squeezing your hand. We got this. We can learn together.
Here's a story that means a lot to me. This blog post from 2011 is where I think I first really began to see ways of nurturing myself.
Let's just at least start thinking about it all. Maybe play with some visuals. It couldn't hurt.I talk in bone sighs. When I'm trying to reach out to people and touch my fingertips to theirs, I use bone sighs. They are words from my own journeying and definitely words from my depths. I used our search filter and gathered the categories I thought might resonate with you. No, this isn't to sell you anything...it's to talk to you in the way that I know how. With my quotes. Browse around, see if something resonates, and know that we are in this together... squeezing your hand...