Although I have always seen myself as a change maker, it has been difficult to fit in and find belonging in a place where outsiders are not easily accepted. Although I have spent 30 years in my community surrounded by people who love me – my challenge has been to love and accept myself in order to truly connect with my community and humanity as a whole. The Inner Activist program helped me to explore the all-too-familiar limiting beliefs I use to keep me safe. These beliefs also come with costs and dictate behaviours that hold me back and keep me from experiencing my true purpose.
A big part of this for me is that I do not know my ancestral background. Before taking the Inner Activist program, I found myself hitting the wall. I mean, I get it… As I get older, I find myself working harder to understand who I am as a person first and then where I come from. This is not easy work. My family has experienced intergenerational trauma, suffering, loss and disconnection.
I began my healing journey around these core issues in the early 2000’s. I have taken sessions similar to the Inner Activist before, but this session left me impacted on a cellular level. Not only did I challenge my own truths, beliefs, behaviours and patterns, I chose to connect with like minded people that could call me on “my s*!t”.
The Inner Activist faculty not only facilitated the sessions, they did their own work through the exercises with us. Their participation demonstrated a real win-win situation for me, which accelerated my learning and broke down my trust issues.
I would like to say I found the Inner Activist, but actually, it found me. In February 2013 I attended a breakfast meeting with a friend as well as Inner Activist Instructor Ian Curtin. I knew I was interested the moment Ian began sharing his experiences about the program and how it was impacting participants at work and home. At first I thought Ian was seeking my support to identify Yukon enrollment. I quickly realized that he was seeking my participation. I immediately felt unworthy due to my core struggles and ‘undesired’ needs.
What Ian did not know was that he triggered my undesired driving need: abandonment. This became very clear at The Inner Activist - and yes it would get in the way all the time - until now.
If someone were to ask me what I took away from the Inner Activist’s Building Personal Mastery course, I would say the ability to work through my feelings of discomfort - also known as “pinches”. A term foreign to me at the beginning of the session has grown into language I now use daily!
These days I’m shifting old patterns, which shows me over and over again that I am able to draft a new chapter in my own life. I have learned that my story is made up of beliefs and experiences that were often interpreted through the eyes of myself as a child, and that the self-preservation techniques I learned to deal with them were driven by my ego. And that this happens to all of us.
This is not who I am; rather, the new chapter of my story is one that allows me to choose how I behave. I have a choice to experience positive or negative costs and behaviours – and that choice is dependant on me.
I also find myself catching familiar feelings of discomfort sooner through these pinches. I can work through them right away or note the discomfort on my now weathered and tattered notebook for later. I carry my “pinch book” with me at all times for this purpose. Evidence: pattern shift, check…lol.
Before the course, empowering others was a challenge for me because my passion for my work was often taken over by my need of abandonment. I would take over an assignment or facilitation process immediately, rather than allowing the time necessary for things to unfold.
Now I find myself doing quiet leadership from the back of the room, instead of up front and center. I’ve learned to trust the process now more than ever. My purpose is connection. The evidence builds every day.
Literally at a time when I needed faith, love and trust, the Inner Activist saved my life. Thank you for seeing what I couldn’t see when I arrived at the Inner Activist all those months ago. Now onto the next chapter!
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