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Welcome to my island of sanity and serenity. I'm Sandra Pawula - writer, mindfulness teacher and advocate of ease. I help deep thinking, heart-centered people find greater ease — emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. Curious? Read On!

Are You Willing to Stand Up for Yourself? It Might Save Your Life

Cultivating Self-Sovereignty “Unacceptable!”  That’s what I thought after reading Patti Digh’s article, No You Are Not An Hysterical Female, No This Is Not Just Anxiety.

Can you imagine the frustration and disbelief you might feel if diagnosed with anxiety when the real problem is a 90% blockage in a main artery to your heart, and thus a risk for a significant, possibly life-threatening cardiac event?  In fact, Patti had to be carried down a path over the snow to an ambulance a few days after her misdiagnosis, in the throes of a heart attack.

It doesn’t matter how cool, smart, or savvy you might be in your world.  Once you’re in the grips of the so called logical, male-dominated medical model, you lose rights to your body, could become the object of shame, and might even lose your life.  Yes, you might even lose this precious miracle of a home base for your beating heart, creative brain, and non-material consciousness.

When I read a story like this, I do a double take.  My word for the year is self-sovereignty. So this story reminds me - with alarm bells ringing - how the world wants to own you and doesn't encourage you to own your self.

I completely understand why Patti felt shamed into accepting the diagnosis of anxiety.  Our patterns can run as deep as a coal mine and can feel just as dirty and impossible to clean.  As I moved through my first month working on my own sense of self-sovereignty, you could say I had more failures than successes.  Because, as in Patti's case, it's not easy to stand up for yourself, but it's oh so vital to take back your life, your mind, your soul for your own well being and because it could indeed save your life.  But also to be part of creating a world where people are met with love and compassion and not dismissed with false logic.

I consider the "defeats" an essential aspect to the learning process.  I'm not discouraged.  I'll share my self-soveriegnty successes from the past month first, however.  Because some of us tend to focus more on the problems ("who, me?"), so let's not do that.  At the same time, the challenges contain nuggets of gold so they're important too.

On the success side:

  • I stopped when I came down with the cold that seems to last forever although I'm letting it know it can stop now and doesn't need to return next year.  Then, I moved into 50% pace.
  • I took control of my diet and lost 10 pounds.  That meant letting go of a deep unfulfilled craving, probably for love.  That meant accept the complexity of my food challenges.  That meant a willingness to do what it takes even if it adds up to a small assortment of fares.  The craving isn't obliterated, but on many days, I'm able to rise above it.
  • I connected with healers who are on the ball.  Whether they can help me is a different question, but at least they’re not getting in my way by creating stress, chaos, and confusion for me.
  • I went to a workshop on "Psychic Skills for the Sensitive Person."  I need these so much and the workshop presented them in a doable way.

On the challenging side:

  • The healthcare assistant that didn’t follow through and then suggested a last minute appointment that took over my evening with paperwork and amped up my stress levels.  I went with it because I wanted it to happen soon, not in the distant future.  So I made a conscious decision to accept less than desirable conditions.
  • The doctor who thirty days later has still failed to give me a treatment plan.  Add my dashed dreams of healing to this one.
  • A negative gut feeling about an event and then going to it anyway.  That lead to the seemingly never-ending cold.
  • When I didn’t voice my contrary feelings around a decision in a volunteer group.
  • When I didn’t ask a man wearing fragrance not to sit next to me.

Those are the bigs ones for the past month.

What I’ve learned about self-sovereignty:

I don't blame any of the people above.  Sometimes, there are extenuating circumstances, people are overwhelmed, or it's not a good match anyway.  In any case, they're helping me to grow. I'm so grateful for these lessons, which I see as seeds that will germinate and grow my tree of self-sovereignty with a beautiful forest around her.

This is what I've learned about governing myself:

  1. The power is in me though it may be difficult to access at times due to old patterning.
  2. Some things are not meant to be.  Stress, rush, and lack of follow through constitute telling signs, don't they?  I don't want unnecessary chaos in my life.
  3. Dreams can be attachment in disguise.  Watch out!  They can keep you in an unfulfilled situation, waiting for someone else to manifest the dream, diminishing your self-possession with every moment that goes by.
  4. To be honest, I’m far from following a gut feeling like the one above, which occurred before an event.  But I’ll be more likely to consider it in the future.
  5. Sometimes, you’re not aware of your true feelings in the midst of a meeting.  They might only be clear afterward.  It takes practice to tune into yourself on the spot.  I'm willing to give myself a break on this.
  6. On the fragrance front, it seems I have a pattern of feeling annoyed and then shutting down in helplessness, sourced in early trauma.  So illuminating to discover this!


I noticed!  I noticed all these things!

I consider this positive because noticing is the first stage of positive change. In addition to the outright wins, I also acquired more information about how I operate.  I believe this information will lead to better choices in the future and more peace and happiness for me.

Acquiring a greater sense of self-sovereingty turns out to be a gradual process, not a sudden awakening, at least for me.  Still, I count my first month in as a complete success.  And since my self-sovereignty campaign began with the tree that owns itself, trees now symbolize being rooted in my self.

Do you have any thoughts you would like to share on gaining self-sovereignty?  I would love to hear.

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