The Knowing Hush of Shame

This morning, I went to a hot yoga sculpt class… )))….I know. A bit off course for me, but now that I’m back in L.A., I want to feel what’s going on, check out the latest trends people are following, and see what the draw to them is. L.A. is a sexy place, but damn if it isn’t super testosterone driven!


After class, in the locker room, I was chit chatting with the teacher – a light, bubbly conversation…easy breezy… Several other young women were drying off, getting dressed, going about their morning routine. The buzz of a morning.

Her – “So, what do you do?”

Me – “I teach women. ”

Her -“About what?”

Me – “About shame.”

The gentlest of pauses filled the room. A soft hush. Towels stopped drying bodies. Brushes stopped smoothing out hair. Eyes lifted.

For a brief and intimate moment, a hug of complicity filled the locker room, and we KNEW…we knew how much we are in this together.

We women know shame so well, it’s like an extra organ we carry around in our bodies. The organ of “not-enoughness.” The lingering atmosphere of isolation. The ever-present sense of not belonging.  Ahhh….we know this too damn well. We also know the extra effort we have to exert in our words, our smiles, our movements to carry it around on a daily basis, as we try to be ok.

But I promise you…shame is just a feeling. It truly is! Yes, it’s a heavy one. Sometimes watery and sinking. Sometimes paralyzing and numbing. Sometimes dense and heavy. It’s definitely one that we know all too well, but it’s also one we can CHANGE. 

We can drain away our old shame, our “not good enoughness” or “too much-ness.” We can catch those sneaky moments today where we’re ready all to ready to abide by this stale, old belief about ourselves, and we can choose to SHIFT it. We can do our own internal surgery, open it up, move it through our bodies and RELEASE it. It’s simply a matter of recognizing what’s happening in our bodies and having tools to do something different. Even a wee bit…

A simple rebellious breath,  a NO that may start quietly, but soon becomes loud and raucous, a wave of fiery rage that makes us turn around and head in the other (better) direction, or a simple softening that flows through us as strength and reminds us of our shared humanity. 

Shame is a feeling that just got STUCK. Very, very STUCK, so it’s time we Un-stick it.

Unstuck shame can feel scary at first. It holds the past humiliations and rejections. The past abuses. It can feel like a giant tsunami-like  wave that will overtake us. But once you’ve connected to it in your body, as a contracted energy, you’ll find the courage and capacity to LET IT GO. I mean…you’re already carrying it around inside of you, so it’s not bigger than you.

And when you do…magic really does happen. It’s where you’ll find more joy, more tenderness, more forgiveness, more spontaneity, more pleasure, more strength,more deep satisfaction of being who you are. MORE. It’s where you’ll find more. 

WOMEN.  I fucking love you!!!! And it’s time for us to start shouting, singing, sighing, exclaiming. It’s time for us to start moving as wildly as we wish. To speak first and up. To take the last bite. To dance in the grocery aisles. To walk into every place like we belong there. and so MUCH MORE!

It’s time. Past time, really, to expand into the richness that is us.

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