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Issue: November 2012
Shame is a Beuatiful Woman

By Caroline Carey
This week I finalized the details in my new book, Reclaimed Innocence. It is a sequel to Ms'Guided Angel which is my auto-biography published in 2010. Reclaimed Innocence continues the journey of soul in a changing world of consciousness.

Amidst the dances, dreams and poetry, I have woven my own story with experiences that may touch those with similar stories to unfold and heal.

I found the completion for the book in the last workshop that I held which was in Den Haag in Holland organised by the lovely Annemeike.

When I called in the spirit of shame to work with us at the gathering of women, there during our ceremony and for the days either side, 

I saw her as a very beautiful woman who had been locked in a tower. 

I saw her suffering because we were too ashamed to even admit we felt shame!! She was outcast because we could not bare to see deeply into her as a society.

I wrote a poem about shame just after the workshop and decided to share this poem with you in the newsletter and to share a little of that particular chapter of my new book.

Reclaimed Innocence will be available in a couple of weeks on Amazon and off Kindle on my website. www.alchemyinmovement.com

 

A Soul Free of Shame

Shame came to me as a beautiful woman, 

No longer banished to an ugly tower,


She came to me as a beautiful woman 

Free of the shackles and chains that would bind her, 

 

Shame came to me as a beautiful woman 

Full of her own creative wisdom,

Free to dance and sing with her own voice.

 

Shame came to me as a beautiful woman,

No longer cast out as a memory of dysfunction

 

The spirit of shame is a beautiful woman. 

*

The soul is free of shame, but the ego carries shame - the soul and ego need to fall in love - one cannot be in the world without the other. So we allow the soul to fall in love with our shame.

Shame is generally felt as unworthiness, caused by how we perceive others to see us or think about us.

Guilt is generally connected to something we have done that has caused problems regarding what others think or feel and what we think or feel ourselves.

If we are ashamed of others and their actions it is usually because it reflects something we feel within ourselves.  The soul will accept any amount of shame within the ego and the ego must also allow the soul to receive and gently transform the ego to accept itself.

It may be that we do not experience huge feelings of shame or be aware of them, but we may be acting out patterns and habits of behaviour that is still related to the original shame and its experience.

These things can relate to eating habits, sexuality, to hiding emotions or fear of losing control. We may remain very shy and avoid any kind of embarrassing situations. It may be that our concerns about how other people perceive us or think about us, are way out of proportion, so we live our lives in fear of that and try to adjust ourselves to fit in with their perceived expectations. We may be living a very mundane existence without any creativity because that is a safer option.

In the women's 'SHE is a Soul Free of Shame' workshop that I hold, we look deeply into the one who experiences shame and we begin to find an understanding of what it means to accept it, to the find ways to change the habits we have because of it.

We might look at specific incidences that have happened in our lives and begin to explore the feelings and thoughts that were there at the time. We may look at various impulses we had and what our connection to others was like then. We always look at where about's in the body we feel the emotions and if there is any discomfort connected to this area. When we look visually into it, are we aware of any colours, shapes or do feel particular textures?

What happens to our body in its physicality, does it get hot or cold? What expression does our face pull? How do we move? And in what ways does it influence us today? Do we like its influence or not? Does it need to change? Do we benefit from it in any way or not?

Because shame is such a vast subject we have to trust the process itself to unfold what is needed for each person.

*

Shame that manifests itself in the roots of destruction, the part of us that believes we are worthless and have no value, is the very thing that so many of us would bury as deeply as possible. Some would bury it with alcohol, food and drugs. Some with a superficial appearance of everything being ok. Much narcism is born under the guise of shame and for some they will live a life of depression and begrudge others around them.

Those who suffer shame often feel they need acceptance and love, they need people who value them, one person will never be enough. Yet the only one who can truly help us overcome this debilitating experience is ourselves.

*

I awoke one morning from a dream, everything seemed wrong and a voice in my head would not still itself. I reach for my note pad and scribble down words that simply flow out of me, looking for release, for freedom, so as not to be caged inside me anymore. I know it is the voice of a lack in self-esteem and I know that to know my self-esteem, I must know its shadow too.

Shame is believed to be the most disturbing experience individuals ever have about themselves; no other emotion feels more deeply disturbing because in that moment of shame they feel so deeply wounded within. People who experience traumatic events are prone to shame. It is associated with a desire to hide or to disappear. Even in extreme cases to die and not be here at all. A baby has the ability to feel shame very early on in its life. It can be caused simply by not receiving attention when he or she expected to. So shame is sometimes linked to disappointment. When a baby or small child does not receive that attention expected, the muscles in the back of the neck weaken and the head drops forward, as eyes look down to the ground. The emotion of shame has planted its seed.

Many people will close their eyes when speaking to others, look away or look to the floor. This can become a life long habit if not addressed. It is a really vast subject, especially as shame creates so much pain in our lives.

I'm not talking about some one necessarily 'doing' something  considered to be wrong and feeling shame because of that. This is more about the feelings from childhood that haunt us and the thoughts that go with that. We can too easily believe that we are somehow not good enough, that we are wrong, defective or not strong enough.

Its quite normal to feel shame at some point in our lives and sometimes we barely recognise it in its many different forms. We can feel different intensities, sometimes experiencing fleeting shame for some minor incident, or we can feel chronic shame. The most intense being humiliation. Humiliation is hugely painful and yet children are often humiliated by their peers, their teachers and even some parents. The scars of humiliation run very deep and in order to alleviate them, those deep core issues need to be addressed and self esteem reclaimed in what ever way possible. Firstly by acknowledgment and feeling into the body what energy is there. Energy in motion: E;motion.

We do not always know our own shame, but some of the ways we can know we feel shame are through our shyness, discouragement, embarrassment, self-consciousness and/or inferiority. Shame is often triggered by expectations or hopes, being frustrated or blocked, disappointed or perceived failure and rejection or lack of interest from another. These may be the triggers but not the full story of why we feel it. We need to master our shame and not allow it to have that debilitating grip on our lives. It means being a witness to it; sitting in the eye of the storm and not being blown about in the hurricane.

I realised that shame had prevented me from speaking out when I needed too. I fear of feeling shame can also stop us in our tracks and mean that we lose out on many opportunities. The fear of feeling my own shame in front of groups of people would silence me time and time again. But the only way to over come this was to speak out and be heard. If shame arose I would need to feel its effects and let it move me.

Innocence can be reclaimed through this process especially as we begin to acknowledge those places that we feel deep shame. So often we try to ignore shame, put it aside and ride above its painful wave. Yet it sits deep within us lurking in those hidden places.

So I knew I carried shame, of course I did; how could I have possibly escaped it with all that had happened to me in my past? When it began to find its way rather craftily into my places of work and connection to others, it took an immense journey to find its roots and begin to step out of its clutches. I knew the stories and why it had occurred, but I needed to change the physical patterns and habits that I held in my body and let it loosen its grip.

I soon recognised the part of me that had to hide. So the best way forward was to make myself be seen. Ouch!

Time after time I would promote myself and keep stepping out into the world to do my best to overcome what I felt. Always however paying attention to the little voice that said, 'I really do not want to be seen right now!' I could have ignored that voice but then it would have stayed underground and the healing would not manifest. It could have turned into a desperate monster or it could have turned in on me, needing to resort to numbing effects of medication or simply numbing myself to life and its experiences. I may never have been able to fall in love ever again!

I would also notice how others may have preferred me to hide away in my shame body, because it made them feel more comfortable and meant they did not need to face their own shame, they would begin to prefer less contact with me.

*

I recognise old patterns of shame emerging, I knew they were bound to appear now and again, they had a strong hold on me for many years and occasionally they would stick their head out from over my shoulder, reaching forwards to whisper in my ear. I hear that old familiar voice begging me to save its life;

 What about me, what about me, your old friend called shame' you know me well, the one who has protected you all your life, the one who has helped you shut down so you did not need to hear those nasty words, those painful truths and even those lies, remember me

Sometimes it sits on a fence looking at me like vultures awaiting the kill, patiently knowing it is coming, ripe and raw, plundered from the kill of its innocence. So I study, I search, I take note of the stories that unfold around me. Knowing that somehow as I work deeper and deeper these stories have to change.

*

In the pain of my own body I feel your eyes

Encouraging me to open more and share those dark secrets from

within

Searching for the unlimited stories that have lurked in the corners

Time forgotten on all sides

Ready to emerge to envelop me with shadows of dances not yet danced

And my feet move down into the ground

Spreading my roots into the earth

Saying hold me connect me support me

Here I go once more releasing the unnecessary burdens seeking fire to burn and rid me of the past and its melancholy

Surrendering to the fluidity of mighty rivers to wash away the pressure of having to live my life

To give it up is a timely and appropriate feeling

To live no more in dread of what may or may not come

My hurt, not yours, watch me yes

But do not rob me of my own power to heal myself

It is mine and given freely for me to use as I desire

Do not make yourself the rescuer do not make your self the healer

For that is youre healing to let go of

This dance is my doing and mine alone

Simply see me and hold me in your gaze, see the darkness of me as well as my beauty

For here it unfolds onto the picture called my life

The painting rich of many colours and textures

I am maiden mother warrior and crone, the wise woman in each

I am all these things and will be all for you

Whenever you need the dance, the eyes of connection

The witness of our truth, I see you

 

From Ms’Guided Angel 2010

*

Caroline Carey

info@carolinecarey.com

www.alchemyinmovement.com

 

First published in the UK in November 2012 by MyVoice Publishing

Copyright: © Caroline Carey

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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent the views of the School of Movement Medicine. Roland Wilkinson, Nappers Crossing, Staverton, Devon TQ9 6PD, UK Tel & Fax +44 (0)1803 762255 http://www. schoolofmovementmedicine.com