Feeling Numb & Shutdown to Life
 

I want to talk about compassion today, but I have to admit I feel some tenderness as I sit down to write this. Choosing compassion is still relatively new for me.

As a sensitive, empathic person, I’ve spent a lot of my life feeling other people’s feelings without really knowing that was happening or what to do about it. Add that to our cultural shaming of emotions in general, and you get one overwhelmed system.

To cope I began to shut down. To block myself from feeling anything at all.

On the outside I appeared fairly normal, going through the motions of life, saying the right things, expressing gratitude, love, happiness when appropriate. But if I was honest with myself, I didn’t really feel those feelings in my heart or in the depth of my being. Truthfully, deep down, I felt numb. Nothing.

I remember telling two women I attended a workshop with that I was afraid my heart was closed. One reacted strongly. “Do you want to go through life like that? How sad! You shouldn’t do that,” she said. “You should open your heart.”

Well, duh. 

But not really that helpful, thank you very much.

Of course I wanted to open my heart to life. I just didn’t know how.

My heart had built up a master security system with walls and alarms and spikey barbed wire. It felt it needed that protection to be safe.

Unsurprisingly, my first instinct was to push and force my heart to open. To judge myself for being so closed and opening feeling so hard.

Equally unsurprisingly, that didn’t work at all.

Our hearts our powerful and capable of infinite love, but they are also tender and sensitive. They do not respond well to bullying. I mean, who does??

Learning to open my heart - to life, to love, to transformative energy like compassion - has required deep acceptance. Forgiveness. Allowing. Feeling all of my feelings, including the scary ones like doubt and sadness and fear. It’s slow. It’s messy.

And it’s freeing like nothing else.

The first moment of true compassion I felt was so gentle, so expansive. I could feel instantly compassion’s power to transform any difficult relationship or circumstance.

But I couldn’t get there without honoring my own feelings and pain first. And without creating spaces like meditation and Breathwork for my heart to safely open. To release the old hurts. To expand beyond my own point of view to acknowledge the common pain of being alive at this moment that we all share.

Not to unconsciously take on other’s pain, but to honor and witness it and thereby invite deeper compassion and understanding.


The truth is, it’s a journey.

I can’t sit here and pretend I’ve healed my heart fully and I move through life blissfully open all the time. But I am growing and healing, and part of that healing for me is holding deep healing space for you.

And that is what tomorrow’s Cultivating Compassion Breathwork experience is all about. I can’t promise you’ll feel a heart full of compassion for all of the challenging people in your life and cruise through the holidays with perfect calm as a result. But crazier things have happened in one Breathwork session!

At the very least, I know you’ll receive some reflective, empowering time to yourself. To release, to be in your body, to heal, and to gently allow your heart to open to life to whatever degree feels good to you right now.

It’s my absolute honor to hold such space for you.

And if Breathwork isn’t calling to you at this time, I hope this message serves as a reminder that it’s ok to feel numb. It’s ok to feel whatever you’re feeling. It’s ok for it to feel hard or scary to open your heart to life. It’s ok for the journey to take time.

You are growing. You are healing. Whatever support you most need to take your next step will be there when you need it. Claim it. Receive it. You deserve it.

I see you and I love you just the way you are,
Rachel

P.S. Come breathe with me tomorrow, Dec 4, 2018 at 5pm PST | 8pm EST from wherever you are in the world to call in more compassion and open-heartedness. Learn more about upcoming breathwork classes below.


Upcoming Virtual Breathwork Classes

 
 
 
Rachel SizemoreComment
A little reminder...
 

The energy can be big this time of year – travel, family, holidays, parties and extra obligations. Plus the end of year push to get things wrapped up and finished before the clock strikes 12 on Dec 31. It’s a lot.
 
So I just wanted to pop into your inbox today to remind you that you are enough.

What you’ve accomplished this year is enough. What you look like is enough. What you’ve done to care for everyone else around you is enough.
 
It’s ok to take a breath. Ok to let some things go. Ok to soften and slow down into shorter days and the need for more rest.
 
You don’t have to keep pushing, keep figuring, keep fixing. You don’t have to keep endlessly striving for more.
 
The peace and joy in this season (and really every season) comes from slowing down, savoring, and appreciating... not from rushing to get it all done. 
 
It’s ok to take a breath. Ok to let some things go.
 
It’s ok to take some time just for you. You deserve it, just because.
 
You are enough.

I see you and I love you just the way you are.
Rachel


Upcoming Virtual Breathwork Classes

Dear Loves, if it feels aligned, I invite you to come breathe with me. Come breathe to clear out your old hurt and pain. To release the victim energy, the sadness, and the anger that hold you back from creating intimate connection and finding your inner peace during the holiday season. 

Breathwork is a powerful, beautiful, life-changing spiritual practice. I am so excited to share it with you!

 
 
 
Rachel SizemoreComment
Social Media Makes Me Feel Like Turds
 

I have to confess, I hate my inbox. In fact, I have a rather challenging relationship with most things digital these days. As I get more present to my thoughts and emotions unfolding moment to moment, I see all too clearly how being so “connected” often makes me feel – overwhelmed, ashamed, frustrated, sad, anxious.
 
And though I think it’s wonderful that we exist in a time when pretty much anyone can pop up a virtual shingle and say, “I’m in business. I can help you,” I get discouraged by so much of what I see. Because a lot of what’s out there is just a prettied up version of “You’re not [insert the word based on your particular insecurity in life right now: thin, successful, sexy, balanced, productive, healthy, youthful, stylish, happy] enough AKA you’re not good enough and I have all of the answers to fix you.
 
I know there have been times in my own 6 years in business when I’ve come across this way too.
 
I have always tried to hold and share the value that we deserve to accept and love ourselves just as we are, but as long as I have been working on this, it’s been hard to live it fully. It’s been hard for me to fully love and accept myself in a world that is (and has been from the moment of my birth) constantly bombarding me with messaging about how I should look, what I should achieve, and how I should behave.
 
Many times I tried to use self-love and acceptance as a way to help speed up my self-fixing. But that’s not true self-love, not even close. Because I don’t need fixing. And neither do you.
 
It’s living in the state we’re in now – so identified with our mind and it’s stories and fears and insecurities that makes us feel broken, small, and scared. That makes us feel like we’re not good enough.
 
It’s the willingness to get present, to begin to explore what’s there beyond a life zoomed in on and obsessed with the frantic workings of the mind where true acceptance and peace lie. And that’s available to you right now, in this present moment.
 
As I shared a few weeks back, growing more conscious and in particular reading the Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle is one of my favorite methods for finding this deeper peace within. 
 
Another is Breathwork.
 
I’ve been studying Breathwork for 2 years now, and I am so excited to finally be sharing it with all of you!


Breathwork is unique style of meditation that involves a sustained active breath that's done a bit more intensely and longer than anything you’ve experienced in a yoga class.

The active breath oxygenates the body, stimulates endorphins and gently quiets the mind.
 
It creates space for a gentle release of stuck energy, emotions, and thought patterns – the things hanging around in your body that make it uncomfortable for you to sit still in normal meditation or even just in a long line at the shop without breaking out your phone.
 
And as you release, you open up space to experience more – more presence, more love, more connection to Spirit and your truth.
 
You get to explore and experience what it’s like to live beyond the mind and it’s constant fear drama.
 
It’s a self-healing practice, where I hold space for you to do your own work and find your own answers.
 
It’s hard to put into words. But, as my teacher David Elliott says, it’s the best shortcut he knows to true healing and inner peace.


Starting next week, I’ll be offering a virtual group Breathwork class every month so you can experience this incredible practice from the comfort of your own home.
 
First timers are totally welcome. I invite you to take a breath and check in with your intuition. If this is calling to you, I would absolutely love to have you join.

Dates for the November and December classes have been released and registrations are now open.
 
More details about each Breathwork class can be found here. The first one is next Tuesday Nov 13th - soon, so don't dally!


Lastly, I just want to say, so much of the online world makes my skin crawl. It’s a big part of the reason I’ve been mostly quiet on here and social media. I frankly don’t know how or how much I want to engage with it, because more than anything I do not want to contribute to you feeling not good enough.  

Thank you for sticking with me as I sort out how I can be the most powerful, loving, and self-loving teacher and healer I can be. If you’ve read this far, I trust you can feel how committed I am to that.

Sending you so much love,
Rachel

tl;dr I'm offering virtual Breathwork classes every month starting next week. Breathwork helps you disengage from the crazy, should-based stressed out world we live in so you can experience true healing, acceptance and inner peace. It's rad.

Upcoming Virtual Breathwork Classes

 
 
 
Rachel SizemoreComment
I'm feeling a bit nervous to share this...
 

I feel a little shy reaching out because I've been so quiet in this space for so long. I want this to be helpful AND honest AND interesting... and well it's feeling like a lot of pressure! 

So I'm just wading in with an open heart and sharing a bit of what I've been up to, a favorite tool for creating true thriving, and an exciting offering I have for us to hang out and grow together. 

This past year, I have gone deeper into myself than ever before and that required space... a stepping back and allowing all of the pressures and shoulds to truly fall away.
 
And in that space, I've been rediscovering me. Who I am, what I truly care about, and how I want to show up when I'm not just doing what I'm supposed to do and checking the boxes I've been told to check.

It's been scary. Triggering. Destabilizing. But it's also been expansive. Freeing. Wild. And fun. Seriously fun. 

It's involved crying deep, body-racking sobs in the jungle in Mexico, giggling uncontrollably with my soul sisters talking pussies and periods and the rise of the divine feminine, driving across the southwest desert by myself, stepping up to teach and lead in big new ways, and laying on the Earth, more times than I can count, just surrendering to the unknown and asking to be led.

I’ve been discovering a new way of creating my life and right alongside, a new way of creating my business. One that is unapologetically me, definitively soul-led and way more fluid. There’s no more doing X because that’s how it's supposed to be done. It’s all coming from my truth and my heart.

So it might be surprising to hear, but my business has been steadily growing even as I’ve been quiet here and on social media. I’ve been gently offering my gifts mostly via referrals, my warm network, and my intuition's guidance. I've been deepening my capacity to hold powerful, healing space, as a coach and now as a breathwork healer and facilitator, studying under my amazing teachers, Erin Telford and David Elliott. 

The result is I’m more grounded and calm, I’m more lit up and filled up by my work, and my clients are thriving more than ever.

After all of those years of striving and trying so fucking hard, it's honestly almost unbelievable how tender and simple this growing success in business and budding joy in my life feels.

So I breathe, and I hold the pieces of me that still feel small and scared, and I invite myself to keep trusting and keep opening up. One messy, imperfect day at a time. 


I wish I could write you a 5 step formula or give you an infallible map to creating your own inner alignment, thriving and peace. Goodness knows I've tried to write many such formulas and tried to follow other's magic recipes many times over the years.

But what I'm learning as I step into this deeper, more intuitive growth is that everyone's path is unique. There is no one size fits all and that's a big part of where we collectively get ourselves into trouble - attempting to follow someone else's map and then beating ourselves up when we can't follow through or it doesn't work for us. 

So over the next few weeks, I want to share a few of the tools that have been essential for me. For each, I invite you to check in with your intuition and see which, if any, are calling to you to explore further.

#1: CONSCIOUSNESS
Raising my consciousness - waking up to a deeper awareness around life and how my brain works - has been without a doubt the most impactful step I've taken.

Whether that be committing to daily meditation, radically slowing down, working to break my cell phone addiction, breathwork (more on that coming soon!), having the difficult conversations, or reading Eckhart Tolle's Power of Now, doing the things that invite me to wake up to deeper truth and reality has been life changing.

Nothing has brought me inner peace like dropping into the now and catching my mind in the act of doing it's crazy dance. It makes every tool I've learned over the years way easier to use and reap the benefits from. 

And of all the methods to grow more conscious, reading the Power of Now has been for me the simplest and most powerful way to accelerate that growth. Not only do you learn concepts from the reading, but you literally grow more conscious as you read because of the powerful flame of Eckhart's consciousness. Sounds weird I know, but trust me, it's really a thing!


**COME READ WITH ME** I loved the Power of Now so much that I'm creating a book club for us to read it in community. Every week in September 2018 we'll meet virtually 5pm PT | 8pm ET to discuss the book and focus on waking up. It starts Tuesday Sept 4th so don't dally if this is calling you.

This is truly a soul calling for me to offer this and all of the $20 registration fee will be donated to TreeSisters - an amazing organization working to reforest the planet.

Take a few deep breaths... if your knowing is calling you forward to this I highly recommend you stop thinking about it and just dive in.

rachelsizemore.com/powerofnow

I'm open to keeping the book club going after September and/or offering additional meeting times, so if you're interested and Tuesday nights in September don't work for you, please respond to this email and let me know!


If the Power of Now isn't calling to you right now, I also really enjoy my Insight Timer App (free meditation app), my teacher Erin Telford's instagram feed (@erintelford_), David Elliott's book Healing, and Jess Lively's podcast, The Lively Show

I'm so excited to share more impactful healing tools and fun ways for us to work together over the coming weeks. And I hope to see some of you Tuesday night for book club!
 
Sending you so much love,
Rachel

The book club is now over but if you’re interested in joining the next round, email me at rachel@rachelsizemore.com.

 
Rachel SizemoreComment
Suicide, Feelings & the American Dream
 

I know I've been quiet here for some time. So much messiness and growth and expansion has been going on underneath the surface. I'm excited to share more updates and goings on very soon. For now this flowed out this morning and I felt inspired to share it here.

I was deeply saddened this morning to hear about Anthony Bourdain’s suicide. I also hadn’t realized Kate Spade had taken her own life as well.
 
First I felt a wave of empathy – how alone and utterly hopeless one might feel in the moment of choosing to end life. But the depth of my sadness arrived after in the form of a broader despair – If these people with all of the fame and wealth the American Dream teaches us to strive for can’t find inner peace and wellbeing, what hope do the rest of us have? 
 
Though I haven’t been suicidal or ever inflicted intentional harm on myself, I will admit to having occasional suicidal thoughts over the years – little fantasies almost – picturing the pure relief of simply not having to deal anymore.
 
I share this not to ask for sympathy or as a cry for help or to freak you out (sorry, Mom), but to normalize this experience. Because I know I’m not the only one. And the shame and self-judgment we feel for our pain only causes it to get stuck and to spiral deeper into depression and despair.
 
It’s a shit cycle and it needs to stop.
 
So I have two thoughts which I hope will bring you some peace no matter what you’re currently experiencing.
 
1- If you feel depressed, sad, anxious, overwhelmed, deeply stuck, or even suicidal – YOU ARE NORMAL.
 
Deep, intractable, inexplicable sadness is part of the human experience. Period. Please stop judging yourself as broken or inadequate for feeling it. We all do. Some are better at numbing it and stuffing it down than others. Some have done the deep work to process it and come out the other side. All of us have felt it at some point.
 
For me the only thing that has helped is finding ways to accept and feel what’s there. To get out of my head and into my body and allow myself to cry, to punch, to kick, to feel numb and utterly miserable and to just let it all be ok. We hear this all the time now, but it’s true, emotions are just energy – if we find a way to feel them, they will move through us. It’s our judgments, stories and stuffing them down that cause them to get stuck.
 
It’s perfectly ok to seek help in learning how to do this. I certainly have and it’s been life changing and life affirming every single time.
 
2- Fuck the American Dream.

I have spent so many years striving for success – yes, doing my best to find it “on my own terms,” but still very much stuck in the paradigm which values striving, achievement, monetary success, fame, accumulating more and more and move over just about everything else.
 
That traditional success will buy you happiness is a boldface lie. A lie we’ve bought hook, line, and sinker that has most of us consistently denying our truth, shoving ourselves into the mold, and stuffing down and numbing out our feelings in order to get by in a day to day endless struggle of doing more, being more, getting more.
 
Fuck it.
 
It’s not worth it. Success achieved in this manner does not bring inner peace and wellbeing for most people. It just doesn’t.
 
What does? Well it’s at once simple and complex, both the easiest and hardest thing you can do. I won’t pretend to have all of the answers or have it all figured out.
 
For now I’ve been working on slowing down. Slowing way, way, way, way down. Letting go of anything that doesn’t truly matter. Finding moments of stillness with myself, to get honest about how I really feel, what’s working in my life and what isn’t. What steps I need to take to follow my heart and align more with my truth.
 
It’s a journey. It can be rugged. Terrifying at times. But living my truth is what I’m on this planet to do. I’m pretty sure I didn’t incarnate in this body to stuff myself in the uncomfortable, ugly ass box that society demands, hate and judge myself for not being good enough at it, and numb myself just to get through it. Fuck that.
 
I came here to love and be loved.
 
To revel in the beauty that is this outrageously intricate and stunningly gorgeous planet.
 
To learn to open my heart and feel all of it – the joy and the pain.
 
To accept and allow all of my human experience and heart’s desires.
 
And to hand out permission slips to you and everyone I meet so that you can accept and allow all of your human experience and heart’s desires too.
 
Consider this your permission slip to feel all of it, to say fuck it, and to start living your truth.
 
Not that you need one, but it is nice to have sometimes, isn’t it?
 
Loving you all so much with my fierce, wild heart –
Rachel