Still a Pleaser
I knew nothing of Portland. I had visited the year before while the boyfriend and I were on our roadtrip. We hiked in both the Gorge and the coastal mountains. I went to hot springs. We feasted on incredible food. The weather was lovely. Portland enchanted me and she landed on my list of possible places to be my forever home.
I had the one friend and she is who I ended up living with. (to read about how Portland came to be my home, go here). I already knew we weren’t right as roommates but she was my gateway to salvation so I accepted the living situation. I am forever grateful to her. I continued to be a pleaser with her, believing I was less than her. I allowed her to dictate our living situation. I was afraid to rock the boat so I kept silent a lot. She is the only person I knew and I needed her. She highlighted how much I believed I was broken. I didn’t listen to my higher self and instead listened to the inner critic constantly.
My vegan food business boomed immediately. I had a business coach and he didn’t feel right to me after the first month, yet I allowed him to convince me otherwise. I didn’t listen to myself and ended up giving him almost $10,000! I was terrified to talk to him. He was powerful at manipulative sales. I kept saying “yes” to him when I wanted to say “no”. I was a pleaser with him. I had insomnia thinking about him. One day, I mustered the courage to talk to him and I ended up firing him because he didn’t listen to me. I needed to be heard. I deserved it. I wanted to stop listening to everyone else. It was a huge move for me.
My parts returned to me
During my first month in Portland, I met my first shaman – a major healer in my journey back to my Self. She did a soul retrieval and I received messages from my baby. The part of me that left when I made the decision to have an abortion returned to me. I finally felt closure. I felt released from the grips of grief, shame, and sadness. The ex-boyfriend and I were still talking to each other. I was using him as an emotional crutch because I was scared to put myself out there. He was all I knew. After the soul retrieval, I told him I didn’t want to speak anymore. I ended the relationship in an angry way. I didn’t know how to end it in any other way (I didn’t yet have the skills to communicate compassionately as I do now). The energetic tether was finally cut. I was determined to put my best foot forward in Portland.
As usual when I chose to serve my highest Self, opportunities started to pour in. Synchronicities abounded. I met the right people all the time. I networked, made friends, and dated. I connected with high-paying clients. Life was amazing. Summer was around the corner and I was ready to play and be immersed in nature. Portland summers are the best, I was told. I had massive fun while I rode the entrepreneurial wave. Business was awesome one minute and totally dry the next. I was receiving a taste of entrepreneurial life and it spun me into periods of extreme anxiety (I didn’t yet have the skills and tools to remain at peace as I do now).
Inspiration and birth to a new business
Then the first game-changer book was introduced to me. I know now that God speaks to me through books. I read “Playing Big” and went through the exercises in the book. For the first time ever, I became deeply intimate with the Inner Critic. I began to understand its power, how I listened to it, and how it was making decisions for me all the time. I met my Inner Mentor. I longed to know her. She was beautiful, at peace, and all-knowing. I began to understand fear. I felt fear in my body and learned how to transmute it. I thought about my calling and longed to know it. I longed to stop being a pleaser. I was transformed quickly going through the curriculum.
In addition to having a successful food business, I began to see young women as my first life coaching clients. I began to use the Playing Big curriculum with these women and noticed their growth and progress. At the end of 2014 (not even a year into living in Portland), I noticed that the food business was not inspiring me and I was drawn to coaching more than anything. My food business began to recede into the background in early 2015 I let it go completely. I was leaving the food world and unbeknownst to me, entering my life’s work. So I experimented and attracted young female clients to me. I paid attention to my desire to serve young women. I noticed that memories returned to me of when I was deeply engrossed in women’s empowerment work as a therapist and organizer. I was remembering my passion to end violence against women and girls. I started to remember the V-Day campaign I organized in 2008-2009. I remembered that campaign being the first time I felt fearless. I paid attention to these memories and feelings because I knew they were surfacing for a reason. I allowed everything to flow. I trusted. I knew it was synchronicity. I followed my desire to coach.
Remembering my Feminine
In my personal life, I was drawn to the womanly arts. I knew I needed to be more in my feminine essence. Many helpers appeared before me exactly when I asked for them (via prayer). I had a delicious Goddess photoshoot. I took courses designed to teach me how to access my feminine. I learned about tantra and everything began to make sense to me in terms of how I had been operating all my life; too much in my masculine. I was fed up with being a doer, a problem-solver, and a hard ass. I didn’t understand my masculine either. I was vastly imbalanced. I craved softness and submission. I craved being with men who were in their masculine so I could be in my feminine. I wanted magnetic turn-on with men. I wanted men who would take care of me and make decisions. I craved to be taken care of.
I met my first boyfriend in Portland through Tinder shortly after arriving and received the chance to practice my womanly arts. He took me everywhere. We laughed a ton. He gave me fun and laughter; something I never really had in my previous relationships. However, there were also massive incompatibilities I ignored. The patterns of pleaserhood/ice queen were still well and alive within me. I believed I needed him. I wanted to fix him. I told myself that I could handle his mental illnesses. I told myself I was wonder woman and that I had enough joy for both of us. He had a good paying job and a car and an apartment. I thought that was enough for me and what I wanted. Turns out, it was what I was programmed to want in lieu of being honored, respected, seen, and heard. I was programmed to put him before me and that’s what I did in the relationship. The pattern was still operating. The relationship became physically and verbally abusive.=
He promised to take care of me and I believed him. He was the first man I hit and unleashed my decades-long rage onto. We verbally abused and manipulated each other emotionally. I hated him. He disgusted me. He didn’t let me be myself and I didn’t let him be himself. We were co-dependent. We enabled each other’s darkness. Rarely we encouraged each other’s growth. Neither one of us had the skills to communicate lovingly. While hiking on the coast about a year into the relationship, I broke up with him on the trail (I have always been the one to end relationships – another pattern). I was profoundly unhappy and instead of having conversations with him, I just sobbed amongst the trees and broke up with him. Another relationship I put all my energy into only to end it. No friendship, no continuity. Just another dude I fucked and fled. However, I did something I had never done before after exiting a relationship.
I promised myself I would feel everything. I knew how to do that. I practiced the year before with my intense grief. I promised myself I would accept being alone forever if it meant I would never betray myself again. I wasn’t going to compromise myself anymore. I committed to knowing and trusting myself fully.
I wish I could say that I wasn’t a pleaser anymore after that relationship. It took one more abusive romantic relationship to finally end the pleaser/ice queen/inner critic reign.
How are you a pleaser in your life? No judgment, just be aware. What you see about yourself sets you free. Reply to this email and let me know!
I love you fiercely. You’re not broken, just buried.
P.s. if you are unaware of how you’re a pleaser, let’s have a coaching conversation. I dedicate 30-50 minutes of listening to you and identifying your blocks to pleasure. I’m a genius at seeing what is hidden within you. Once I bring it to the light, you can choose to let it go and feel freer, more joyful, and allow yourself to receive pleasure.