I went to a conference on tuesday called the Insightful Women Conference. The speakers were all leaders in their fields and they talked about their challenges as women, as mothers in their roles as CEOs of for-profits, non-profits & in the world of politics.
One of the issues, that was raised by Kristi Noem (Congresswoman (R) for South Dakota) was this notion of the Emergency Brake. You know that feeling you get when you start driving and you forget to release the Emergency/Park Brake and you feel sludgy and held back, and then when you realize and release it, your car suddenly feels like it’s working much better? Well, said Kristi, most of us have an Emergency Brake in our lives. There’s something that we are holding on to, which is preventing us from comfortably moving forward.
This Emergency Brake is so often created by ourselves – unwittingly – manifesting or holding onto something that is impeding our forward motion. Of course, this got me thinking. What was my Emergency Brake, and had I released it? What were my Emergency Brakes in Life, Work, Love?
In life – my main Emergency Brake was my unhappy marriage. Could I release myself from an unhappy marriage, and be free? My ex walked out four times. It took me four times to realize that I had done my best, that my children and I didn’t deserve to live in an abusive situation and that I could flow forward with strength, purpose & happiness.
In work – my main Emergency Brake was beginning. Was I able to start, to begin the work that I knew I was supposed to do, even though there was a part of me that felt I needed more practice? I had the coaching skills, but was nervous about the rest. I built my website from scratch, I learned about widgets, plugins, paypal & the delights of wordpress. I studied business, marketing & social media. I had photos done and a logo designed. I registered as an LLC and opened a business bank account.
In love – my main Emergency Brake was openness. I had to release the hurt from the past and be open to new love. I had to let go of the idea that my only defining feature was my bank account. I had to be open to being complimented, to being loved, deeply for who I am, not what I have. I had to be open to being hurt again, because without openness and vulnerability, there is no hope of finding love.
So, here I am – moving forward, because you can’t move back – Relentless Forward Motion – as one of my Ayurveda friends calls it. Here I am, with the Emergency Brake well and truly released, because as Hunter S. Thompson once wrote:
“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a Ride!”
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Copyright 2015, Tamsin Astor, YogaBrained LLC.