The Exchange

Just before the holiday, a dear client says to me,
“I’ve noticed something about your writing recently… it’s changed.”

I tilt my head as I’ve found I do when I feel my nervous system flare in
R-E-D A-L-E-R-T.

Apparently I’ve been in a similar spot before and the ambiguity of “What will he say next!?” stimulates a protective response from my brain. A flood of warmth in my head and chest, frozen breath, and an internal shower of cortisol signal my reptilian desire to F-R-E-E-Z-E. All systems check for camouflage. That awesome part of my brain thinks that if I just stay really really still then maybe he won’t see me anymore.

Next, I regain access to my thinking brain and an entertaining monologue runs through at warp speed. “”Oh crud… is my writing better? Is it worse? Did I offend someone? Did I use too much thinly veiled profanity? Oh, I’m the worst. The pits! My business is done for! I should stop writing now! I’ll never write again!”


Cue a breath. Arrive back in my body and smile at my zoom zoom mind. (This step is also known as the capital P “Pause” or softening.)

Mere seconds after his statement, I reply “How has it changed?”

“Well… it feels like you come from a deep foundation of… shame.”

I half smile. I quietly chuckle. I pause again to check in with my heartbeat in my chest and my feet touching the floor.

I reply, “Well, yes. That’s probably true. And I think we all come from that place… until we see it, invite it in, feel it and then it doesn’t fuel our fire in the same way any longer.”

My mind floats momentarily to an amazing TED talk by Brené Brown. I share it here for your viewing and consideration. It is titled Listening to Shame:

To the incredible client who spurred this reflection and to all of my clients that allow me to see ever more of them, myself and the world, I am humbly grateful.

As we head into the New Year, my intention is to continue being honest with you. To educate on how very possible it is to feel better no matter who you are. To allow others to own their healing as I have owned my own physical and mental soothing. To have fun helping my tenacious clients to rediscover their strength, their adaptability and their brilliance. To encourage curiosity and playfulness in myself and those around me. To have compassion as I run up against myself in the moments of now guilt (formerly shame) and to soften on and within myself in the way that allows a wellspring of joy to funnel outward – and onward.

I recently provided a testimonial for one of my incredible mentors, Calgary based Dawn Ross. It highlights how my mental outlook has shifted as I’ve learned to move more skillfully in this body of mine.

Working with Dawn has meant coming home again. I spent years wanting to be anywhere else but in this body. Without realizing it, I beat myself down with telling myself how I should be, how it should move, what it should be doing. As a yoga teacher, I used my yoga practice to escape instead of to come home to my body. And in that growing anxiety, I started to experience physical pain as well.

This pain culminated with breaking one foot when I was 5 months pregnant with my third babe and then breaking the other foot when that same babe was 15 months old. When I saw myself as broken and unfixable, Dawn saw my perfection and potential. She saw that I was doing the absolute best I could in the moment with the skills I had at that time. She stepped in to translate for my own quiet, soft and ever-intelligent voice of wisdom. I couldn’t hear that voice for so long because it was buried under my anger and frustration with myself. She gave it sound when I could not yet.

I can now say that I hear my own little inner voice of wisdom and compassion. Dawn saw my potential before I could glimpse it for myself. Now I am physically the strongest and most balanced I can remember ever being. And that sense of strength and not being beaten came quickly – only 3 months or so into working with her. Since then, it has only grown. I trust my body now. And just as important, it trusts me.

I am ever grateful for Dawn’s wisdom, eyes and playfulness. I move through her sessions enamoured by my own body and what it can do and learn. Her innate talent for seeing me as both whole and unlimited for growth combined with her skill in biomechanics and movement nurture unimaginable growth across mind, body and soul. I am forever grateful. And clearly effusive!

Thank you, dear Dawn, for inviting me (and, as needed, coaxing me and kicking me in the butt) to rediscover my wholeness. Thank you. And for all of you reading this, please go see her. She is a gift to the world.
~Rachel Manetti, North Carolina

Cool, right? And surprisingly simple.

When we move better, we feel better.
When we feel better, we think better.
When we think better, we choose better.
When we choose better, we thrive.

The gift of being seen exactly as you are is priceless. It is your wholeness, your perfection and all of your competencies that allow you to thrive AND evolve into more.

For me, 2018 includes meeting whomever walks into my office with an open heart so that their pain, suffering, and shame may know that they are not alone. That they were never alone. And that we can move toward a way of more ease and less strain together. 2018 isn’t about moving faster or stronger; it is about moving smarter and thus more efficiently. And I’ve officially tested this play enough to know that when I move smarter, the faster and stronger – in body, mind and soul – comes on its own without any hustle and with some serious stamina.

There is always more. May 2018 bring it in abundance for you all.

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