My fists clenched up. I pounded them on the chair’s arms and then worried I would damage it, so I banged my clenched fists on my thighs.
“I’m really pissed,” I shouted. When I heard my voice echo, my eyes went big.
“Don’t worry. My husband’s not home” Carolyn waved her hand. “Let it rip.”
“I am so pissed that I’m going to all these people I went to school with for help. They’re all super successful and stupid rich and I am BROKE! When the hell am I gonna stop being broke?!” I yelled.
“I mean seriously, when is something good going to happen?!” I pounded my fists on my thighs again.
“Stand up.” Carolyn stood.
I pushed myself out of the chair and stood.
“Notice your fists.”
I looked down. My fingernails dug into the soft flesh of my palms.
“Now hold your fists out in front of you.”
I raised my arms and put my fists out in front of me, curled fingers up.
“Now imagine I’m going to give you something.”
She placed her open hands above my fists, looked me in my eyes, and asked, “How will you ever receive it?”
In 2015, seven years after losing my job and home in the 2008 financial crash, I was still broke.
In this excerpt from my memoir in progress, Pre-existing Conditions, I'm sitting in my somatic therapist's office (which I could only do because my father paid for my therapy) when I finally lose my shit.
I'd been dumped by someone who I thought was "the one." That breakup triggered a herniated disc in my back which prevented me from walking without severe pain for eight months.
I was living in a mold infested (unbeknownst to me at the time) mobile home, my best friend was dying, and while the genius dating game I'd created had been optioned for a production deal, the networks rejected it.
I was angry and afraid.
I looked at the people around me — friends who helped me promote and pitch my dating game and wondered what was wrong with me? Why couldn't I be like them? Why was I failure? And would I always be a failure?
What if I stayed broke forever? What if I could never get out of that shitty mobile home?
The fear of being a failure and the fear of being broke had me so paralyzed that I vibrated nothing but fear.
I didn't know it then, but the frequencies we vibrate are the frequencies we attract. So, when I vibrate fear and negativity, I attract fear and negativity. Conversely, when I vibrate joy and positivity, I attract more good things.
Unclenching our fists and opening ourselves to receive takes trust. And trusting takes practice and courage.
And as a culture, we suck at receiving. We're conditioned to give and make other people happy, to not expect anything in return, and be "selfless."
But that's ridiculous. We all deserve to feel safe, receive love, and experience peace.
So, today, please take some time to notice sensations in your body. Are you clenching up? Making fists? If so, when? And how can you practice trusting? Even if it's just a little bit.