Welcome back, Freethinkers!
I come to you today with an invitation to move freely through your feelings — and to show up in the world, taking up space with the confidence that you are not, and never have been, too much.
Today, I’ll be exploring the Dominant Dogma that shares, “you take up too much space.” Essentially the cultural conditioning that has forced you, as a bright and vibrant being, to be small and controlled in your personal life, your creative endeavors, and even your health and wellbeing.
Enough is enough.
I’ll be walking you through some big topics today, such as:
- Noticing, honoring, and listening to your emotions
- How Dominant Dogma has suppressed your big feelings in the name of “not rocking the boat”
- My personal experiences of fitting myself into boxes as not to be perceived as “too much”
- How fitting myself into dominant narratives has instilled maladaptive coping strategies
- The freedom on the other side; living with wholeness, congruence, and integrity
- The concept of congruence and how to work with your emotions, instead of against them
Listen to the episode wherever you like to listen to your podcasts.
Hello hello freethinkers, today I am writing to you once again from the library. As I sit here, I can hear kids giggling at the far end of the library, folks chatting as they walk in the doors, and the muted sounds of lake life outside the windows. The smooth surface of the glass covering the wooden table is beneath my arms, the chair beneath me is solid and stead, and I have my coffee to the left of my computer and my water to the right. While today’s setting is beautiful and calming, I am currently moving through the emotions of frustration and anger due to morning circumstances that rubbed me wrong…which is also a bit ironic because I will be talking a bit about emotions in today’s episode. As I allow these emotions to move through me in this moment by noticing them, honoring them, and pausing to determine what they are communicating to me, I invite you to do the same.
Pause. Breathe. Notice your surroundings. Allow them to ground you and support you. And notice any emotions that are present for you that are asking to be noticed, honored, and released.
Today, we are going to talk about the Dominant Dogma that says “You’re Taking Up Too Much Space”
Over the years, this Dominant Dogma has convinced some of the most vibrant, bright, and loving humans to dissociate and play small. Why? When you live dissociated, you’re easier to control. You maintain the status quo, live within the boxes that support the Dominant Dogma of your subculture, and you don’t rock the boat. Dominant Dogma persuades you to live this way by first convincing you that you are too much. You are too much because you have an opinion. You are too much because your story does not line up with the dominant narrative. You are too much because you require compassion and space to heal. You are too much because…(you fill in the blank).
At some point in childhood, I internalized this Dominate Dogma of smallness (for a Taurus this was NOT always easy!). Due to various experiences at home and within my church upbringing, I adopted the belief that it was not ok for me to want, need, or ask for really anything. And ultimately this internalized Dominant Dogma participated in the development of a maladaptive coping strategy of inner fragmentation and dissociation from my body’s needs and requests.
I still remember when I first had an inkling of something being a bit, “off” around my perspective here. I was around the age of seventeen and carpooling to community college classes with my high school best friend. It was her day to drive, and there was a pretty big snow storm that we were just hoping her Pontiac could handle. Slowly trudging through, she turned to fidget with the car heating and asked if I was warm enough. I quickly said I’m all good and then paused. I realized I was actually freezing. My toes were numb and my fingers were ice cold. I asked to turn the heat up a bit and continued to process this. I realized I did this often. I would be cold, hungry, thirsty or even need to use the restroom, but I would force myself to be fine because I was afraid to take up space. I disconnected from my needs so I wouldn’t have to face the Dominant Dogma of “too muchness” as enforced by family, friends, and community members.
I wish I could say that moment transformed my actions, but I clung to this adaptive strategy for years. It still pops up in various forms. At that time it was a necessary evil so I could belong in my subculture and family as a young person. However, over the long term it resulted in harmful business relationships, codependent friendships, and a body stuck in fight or flight. To this day, I know this strategy is rearing its ugly head when I ask myself, “What do I want and need in this situation?” And my answer is that I feel “jumbled” or uncertain. It’s this unconscious program that plays out where, deep down, I KNOW what I want, I know what I need. But instead of being honest with myself, which could result in others feeling uncomfortable or me possibly rocking the boat, it feels “safer” to be jumbled, unsure, uncertain and then take action on the most “acceptable” thing to do. When I spoke about this with my coach, she asked me, “What is the cost of your clarity?”
And I pose that question to you now: What is the cost of your clarity? What is the cost of playing small? Of playing full out? Perhaps in some cases your clarity and playing full out will cost you a friendship or even a partnership, but also, perhaps the cost of not speaking up is the cost of your health and wellbeing…what is your cost? And is playing small truly worth what you’re paying?
The Freedom on The Other Side
This episode is an invitation to claim your freedom now by handing back the old coping mechanisms of fragmentation and smallness, to trade them in for congruence.
Congruence = agreement or harmony; compatibility. When you live in harmony internally and externally, you cultivate honesty in your world. Integrity flows naturally from your being and you are truly free.
How do you live with congruence? You allow your emotions and process them. You honor your body and your needs. You speak directly to the elephant in the room instead of hiding or waiting for someone else to address the situation. You say, “no” when something is out of alignment or you don’t have capacity. You say, “Hell yes!” when something is aligned and feels good. You rise as a leader and speak your truth even when it’s terrifying.
Is this always easy? HELL NO.
Even as I write today’s episode, and as I mentioned in the introduction, I am processing anger and frustration and determining how to use my voice and speak up about the situation that brought this up for me. And it’s scary to speak up. I feel like maybe I’m being crazy. Like I’m being too sensitive. Like I’m being a handful. Or some other turn of phrase that essentially means: I’m being too much. However, instead of listening to those old patterns of smallness, I’m allowing the emotions to move through me by going for a walk (which I did before sitting down to write), honoring the emotions and letting them know I see them and hear them, and also I listened in to what the anger and frustration are saying by asking them: What specifically is causing this anger and frustration? How do you know this is a problem? Also, how old are you? These questions help me understand the emotions within myself so I can hold them with compassion, deeply feel them and honor them, then release them and make an informed choice on how I desire to take up space, communicate my needs, and ideally enter into deeper relationship with those around me..
And that is what I want to offer you today as well: This is your invitation to show up fully, for it is in your clear communication and congruent living where you invite freedom from the inside out. Not only that, but living your congruence is an invitation for others to do the same. It is a bridge into collective rising, collective healing, and collective freedom.
As we close today’s episode, I’m so excited to let you know I am now accepting Summer Coaching bookings!
If any of these inner narratives, emotions, or experiences sound familiar to you and you desire support as you take up space, I would LOVE to invite you into a coaching series with me! I typically coach folks for a period of 3-6 month where we meet bi-weekly via zoom or phone call and in each call we may enter into any mix of honoring the past, tending to the present, and ultimately cultivate beautiful capacity within you so you can embrace your most free self and go after the goals you desire for yourself. My summer 2022 rates start at $1800 for 3 months, and I have pricing plans available upon request.
You can learn more about my 1:1 coaching and apply now at megscolleen.com!
All right, I’ll see you next week!
Freedom is yours,
“When you live dissociated, you’re easier to control. You maintain the status quo, live within the boxes that support the Dominant Dogma of your subculture, and you don’t rock the boat.”
“I would be cold, hungry, thirsty or even need to use the restroom, but I would force myself to be fine because I was afraid to take up space. I disconnected from my needs so I wouldn’t have to face the Dominant Dogma of “too muchness” as enforced by family, friends, and community members.”
“Instead of being honest with myself, which could result in others feeling uncomfortable or me possibly rocking the boat, it feels “safer” to be jumbled, unsure, uncertain and then take action on the most “acceptable” thing to do.”
“How do you live with congruence? You allow your emotions and process them. You honor your body and your needs. You speak directly to the elephant in the room instead of hiding or waiting for someone else to address the situation.”
“This is your invitation to show up fully, for it is in your clear communication and congruent living where you invite freedom from the inside out.”