Author Archives: Carrie Alavezos

How To Move Through Doubt And Uncertainty And Stay The Course.

I have surrounded myself with a new tribe of people who are working to be more in their life; to break free of all of the limiting beliefs and fears that have been holding them back in love, in all relationships, career, adventure, spirit, health, life in general. They know, in order to thrive and avoid stagnation, we must stretch and grow beyond who we were yesterday. What I have come to understand from my own experience and the stories shared by my innovative and brave tribe is, “the dark, challenging days when you question your ability and doubt your vision,” is an inevitable part of the journey and cannot be avoided. It is the natural consequence to venturing outside of the familiar and into unknown territory. The natural consequence of becoming intimate with the fears you have spent your life thus far avoiding.

I saw a quote the other day by McCall Erickson, that read “Soul work is not a high road. It is a deep fall into an unforgiving darkness that wont let you go until you find the song that sings you home.” This endeavor to let go of all that is holding you back in life, is the “soul work” that is referenced here. It is about letting go of everything that is not authentically who you are. It requires you to put it all on the line!

We typically move through life trying to maintain comfort and safety. Striving to reach full potential, is about getting uncomfortable. Not a little uncomfortable, but painfully so. It’s key! This willingness to lay it all on the line without care of who approves and who does not. The willingness to stand alone and keep writing, teaching, speaking, loving; without an adoring audience, a reciprocating lover or friends. You must be willing to show up and address what burns so brightly inside you to be expressed again and again and again until one day the right people find you.

The ‘unforgiving darkness”, that springs from moving through crippling fear, activates the inner critic inside each of us, and soon you are telling yourself and believing that the challenging moment or day (s) you are experiencing is an indication that you are failing, that all of your work has been for naught. You convince yourself you are depressed, incapable; doubt and confusion follow and if you are not surrounded by a community of people who are on a similair journey and have experience in this part of it, you continue the spiral down until something occurs that disrupts your pattern. Unfortunately this is where some people quit, not realizing this is actually huge movement forward, progress, deep soul work that so many will never get to. This experience I describe, is actually one of the prizes.

This is the time to stop all negative inner chatter, drop all judgements about what you are feeling and just observe them. Get curious about them. They are neither good nor bad, these are emotions that surface when you are moving towards and through things that have scared you, and also comes with moving outside of your safety zone. Go into these emotions and feelings like you would if you were swimming through new waters and exploring a new reef. Swim in every thought and emotion. Be in awe of it. Talk to it. “Ahh hello fear, self doubt, feeling of worthlessness, what do you have to teach me?” Talk to yourself. “I love you. I have your back, these are only feelings, some of which are not even rooted in truth, they arent going to kill us. We are going to be okay.” Be the loving voice to the scared you instead of the critical voice. Stay curious. “Why are you afraid? What do you need right now to feel better.” Men and women, if we need to curl up in a ball and honor fear for a day or two, a week or month, so it can move through us, do it!

Emotions literally take seconds to process through us and it is actually our judgements and beliefs about them that keep them around for days, months and sometimes years. These judgements and beliefs we have around feets that are typically labelled negative, keep us imprisoned in fear of them. Become friends not only with joy and excitement, but also fear, anxiety and sadness. Fear, anxiety and sadness are powerful teachers that are trying to direct us onto a path that serves us and away from one that does not, just as joy and excitement do.

All of this is the journey of one reaching to be greater and the journey of one who strives to live in their potential.

Dont play small anymore. From there you only attract people who cannot see you nor appreciate you for who you are or what you have to offer. Playing small, pretending to be less than we are, leads to depression, confusion, anxiety, and more feelings of self loathing than one can bear.

Be curious, be brave, be the greatest explorer in your life. Go into the darkest corners and the greatest challenges next time they present themselves and listen to what they are trying to tell you. Know they are indications that you are moving forward, getting closer to what you most want for yourself and a consequence of traversing unexamined parts of YOU. This is a transformative exercise that serves not only your highest good and your dreams, but will lead you to “the song that brings you home,” to the highest version of your self.

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Walking Away From The Man I Love

This is another story that screamed to be told. The guidelines for most publishing is 1000 words or less and I definitely pushed the envelope on this one at around 1400. How do you tell a story that spans over 32 years in 1000 words or less? Regardless of how many times I edit, once an article is published I see many things I wish I had done differently. In this piece it is the title; I wish I had chosen a different one because I am not walking away from Stephen, our relationship as husband and wife has shifted to one of co-parent, friendship and family only. Stephen read the article and approved, he even wanted to come to my defense, when he read harsh criticism I was receiving on The Goodmen Project site, but I asked him not to. Here is Walking Away From The Man I Love….

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Why We Tell Our Story And How It Liberates Us

My initial response to receiving some backlash from publishing my first article, Grappling With Fear And The Desire To Live My Authentic Truth, was to not write. Then I decided, Forget that! I am going to write, but I won’t share it on my Facebook. That didn’t feel right either. So here is my third article, Why We Tell Our Story And How It Liberates Us. After a few weeks of freaking out on the inside and fearing that I was going to lose people I love, and trying to fix it all in the old dysfunctional ways, I remembered my only job through this is to tell my truth and let others have theirs. I don’t get to pick how people respond to how I do that, they get to. I am going to care and love myself throughout this. I will not be mad at others who cannot support me in this journey. I will surround myself with people who can. My disclaimer is it took me a few weeks to sort through it and get here. I cried, got stuck in fear, raised my voice, felt resentful, wanted to dictate how others should respond, and finally………felt compassion for others and me, trusting authentic expression, love and kindness will always be the right path for me. I guess the silver lining here, is the dominant fear use to be embarrassment over not being a polished writer, but after the last few weeks, I only care that I keep writing, not so much about needing to be a better writer than I am, in this moment. Here is Why We Tell Our Story And How It Liberates Us….

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My First Published Article

Grappling With Fear And The Desire To Live My Authentic Truth.
Grappling With Fear is my first published article. I had no intention of talking about my childhood abuse, it is something that just happened organically, as I put pen to paper. I have often said, “Writing is like magic for me, I consistently discover what I need and know when I sit down and write.” If we trust the process, the story that needs to be told will always reveal itself to us. Here is Grappling With Fear And The Desire To Live My Authentic Truth

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Dancing to be Free.

I am still buzzing about a story my dear friend, Megan, shared with me last week.  In fact, I am on fire about the experience she had, because it was real, honest and a brave act of authenticity.  Although, I have been laser focused on feeling more free in my life and being authentic in each experience, there are times I still hold myself back out of fear. So, her story resonated with my current experiences in a big way.

A few years ago Megan was in San Francisco and found herself at an art studio at Haight and Ashbury.  The studio belonged to an artist by the name of Sami Sunchild and her work left a huge impression on Megan and inspired her in many ways. In fact, Megan gives credit to Sunchild’s art, as one of the biggest influences in her choice to attend UC Berkeley.

So now, four years later, as she is nearing her graduation and feeling a strong desire to meet and thank the artist who inspired her in a significant way, she hopped onto Bart and travelled into San Francisco in hopes of doing just that. Sadly upon her arrival, she learned that Sunchild died one year earlier. As you can imagine, she was heartbroken and confused. Megan moves on instinct and she was feeling such a strong pull to meet Sunchild at this time in her life, she was sure she was going to be greeted by her when she walked in the art  studio she visited four years prior.  She felt a huge loss upon discovering this news.

Gathering her thoughts as she left the studio and realizing she was hungry, she headed in the direction of food before returning home to Berkeley. En route, she recognized the beating of drums, instantly the mellifluous sound soothed her spirits, so she let the music guide her to its source. — I know! Doesn’t that sound amazing, to live in such a way that we allow ourselves to be led by the things that soothe us, bring us peace and joy.– Megan found herself at a park standing in front of a drumming circle.  They began playing an African song she had recently learned to dance to.  Megan’s minor is Dance.

She felt an instant and strong pull to dance for them, but her immediate response was to hold back. You know how these moments and the conversations that take place in our head go, when we are feeling a desire to do something that takes us outside of our comfort zone.  Dancing in a group or in front of an audience is not new to her, but inviting herself to be a solo dancer in the middle of an unknown drum circle,  was a new and different experience.

So she stood there for a moment. Her mind telling her it wasn’t safe, she might embarrass herself. Her heart saying, “Dance girl! Dance like there is no tomorrow!”, and her body aching to move. She realized this entire experience was a gift to her and that her dancing would be a gift to them. She felt strongly that she couldn’t pass this up.

Here is Megan’s description of the moment and the dance in her words, from our phone call, as best as I can remember;  “I stepped into the circle, made eye contact with the drummers, bowed my head with a slow dip of my chin and began to dance. At first I moved softly, with the intensity escalating to the level that forced the air, I moved in, to blow my hair-tie off.  I could feel a huge smile spread across my face that stayed there for the duration of the dance. It was a fleeting thought, but at one moment I had this image of a dancer who I encountered dancing, one late night on the streets of Mexico. I remember how beautifully she danced and how happy she looked, and in that moment I also knew how she felt. We were one. When the song was over, I looked toward one drummer, made eye contact and bowed my head once again in recognition of our mutuality, to show respect and to say thank you.  He bowed his in return.  The experience was revealing while simultaneously soul-healing. I walked away.  I was no longer hungry. I was completely filled up, nourished in every way possible.”

How many of us and how many times, have we said NO to some experience we longed for because we were afraid. Afraid of appearing stupid, silly or weird, afraid of not being accepted. Life gives us the exact experience we need to grow and evolve.  It is always recognizable because it comes with such a strong desire to engage in it, and an even stronger sense of disappointment when we do not. These experiences shift and change as we do and lately mine is dancing. Not dancing with others, or in a group, but dancing alone. Music and movement have always made me happy, however, I am the girl who attended her one and only Prom and would not dance for fear that I would be looked at and fear that someone might think I did not dance well enough.

Today I dance in a group and with a partner when the opportunity presents itself, but I have had a few experiences recently when I felt a strong desire to get up and move to music when no one else was and I did not. Each time this happened I felt a huge loss for not letting the inspiration inside me be expressed. I have this recurring thought during these moments and it is “I want to be free”. So when I heard Megan’s story, it was such a gift for me. I don’t know why I am suppose to dance alone, I just trust that doing so will grow me, and free me from some of the inhibitions I still have.

Tonight I am heading to a ceremony that will have music and not necessarily dancing, but if the spirit moves me I will dance! I will dance for me, for you, and I will dance to thank Megan for being so brave and modeling how its done. When we live in our authentic truth and share it with others, it inspires, lifts and give permission for them to do the same. There is this ripple effect of goodness and inspiration that reaches far beyond what the eye can see.

So right now, what are you being called to do, that brings you outside of your comfort zone and scares you? Go do that thing! Then come back and share it with us.

Much love to you and may we always recognize the infinite blessings that surround us,

Carrie

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