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The Sleeping Self

Allow me to tell you a story about The Sleeping Self. 

It’s my re-telling of an Edgar Allen Poe story, The Tell-tale Heart, and thus is a touch gruesome for a minute, so be forewarned and bear with me.

There was once a woman — we’ll call her Jane — who was probably a lot like you and me: self-aware, driven, creative. 

She could envision the life, 
relationship, and work she wanted 
but she felt stuck 
around actualizing it.

Jane had a neighbor who played her music loud and danced to it at any hour of the day, wore bright, outlandish clothes, and was unnervingly insightful whenever they talked across the fence. 

Jane’s annoyance at her neighbor grew and grew until one day she just couldn’t take it anymore. When Jane’s neighbor was sleeping, Jane put a handkerchief over her neighbor’s mouth until she stopped breathing.

Wild-eyed, Jane realized she had to hide her neighbor’s body and decided on an unlikely place: her very own house. She placed her neighbor’s body underneath the floorboards, re-secured the nails and screws, and went to sleep.

But that very night, Jane was awakened by a steady repeating beating sound. 

At first couldn’t figure out where it was coming from, but slowly she realized that it was coming from her very own house, in fact her very own room. 

It was the sound of her neighbor’s heart, somehow still beating from beneath the floorboards — her bright, loud, insightful heart that refused to be altogether quieted.

Let’s deconstruct the story, 
shall we?

Jane from this story is you, me, my clients — any of us who find ourselves in a particular kind of stuck place in life, even though we can envision what we want and are hard at work to get it.

Ours is no ‘ordinary’ stuck. It’s a very specific kind of stuck.

In order to get as far as Jane has gotten in life and love and work, we all have had to beat up on ourselves, ignore our signals, and put half of ourselves to sleep.

That is our Sleeping Self.

The Sleeping Self is the neighbor from the story: the parts of ourselves that we’ve had to hide, ignore, or that dominant culture has shamed us for.

And that we’ve stuffed under the floorboards of our lives.

Our bigness, loudness, fire, feelings. 

Our own voice, 
intuitive and insightful, 
often unnervingly so.

In other words, our feminine life-force energy — or Feminine Genius.

We’re stuck 
because half of our self 
is asleep beneath 
the floorboards of our lives. 

But our Sleeping Self isn’t dead. 

No, her heartbeat is strong, beating surely enough to wake us in the middle of the night. Reminding us that there is something powerful we’ve yet to meet, something as priceless as buried treasure.

We’re also stuck 
because we need 
new and different tools.

The tools we used to get where we are now, won’t get us to where we want to go next. 

In fact, those very same tools that previously worked to get us all kinds of success in life, are making us stuckier and stuckier now. 

We need the tools 
that are buried 
with the Sleeping Self, 
under the floorboards, 
not dead,
calling to us.

Those tools are designed to melt stuckness, to move it, transform it, to help us tunnel under it or walk right around it. 

The Sleeping Self is your feminine life-force energy, your Feminine Genius. The very same parts of yourself that you put to sleep under the floorboards.

We’re going to need 
to dig a bit 
to get to those tools.
Loosen some screws and such.

In order to get unstuck and go where we want to go, we must awaken our Sleeping Self and activate our Feminine Genius.

So we can get on with being the women we were always meant to be, before we put parts of ourselves to sleep and stuck them under the floorboards of our lives.

Sometimes stuckness 
is our Sleeping Self 
trying to wake us up.

Good morning, dear one.

PS: Photo by Dmitry Ratushny of Unsplash

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