WTF is Surrender?

Some days I feel like crying but it’s not all bad. I feel sad, I feel overwhelmed. I have an ever apparent lump in my throat- but it’s not about my life.

It’s about the world and the complexity of it all. I feel overheleming gratitude, at the same time as the sadness. I feel powerlessness but also an incredible force within me at the same time.

I think this conflict comes from feeling myself both as an individual and as a part of something much bigger than myself at the same time. When I feel like trying to change things as the small, earthly fleck of a human being that I am, I feel so hopeless.

But when I tap into the undercurrent inside me, when I get quiet and I feel connected, then I feel like things are infinitely possible.

I can see why there is so much anxiety, because in my world, trying to force and DO makes me feel less powerful. The more I realize that surrendering to instinct and paying attention to the signs and guidance right in front of my face, the more hope and peace I feel.

This doesn’t mean I believe in doing nothing. It means the doing comes from a less feverish place. It comes from a deep well of knowledge with a very carefully laid out plan that I just can’t see in its entirety yet.

There was a time when I thought giving up my individual plans to just go with life as it comes to me made me feel very anxious. How could I have the assurance that I could become everything that I want for myself in this life time if I don’t exert force?

How can I achieve if I don’t grind?

I think the desperate energy that goes along with all of that ALWAYS puts a big halt on progress and leaves you spinning your wheels in the mud. From my experience, every single time I’ve let go of the desperate attachment to how things should be, and the exact path I felt I should take towards something I wanted, things started to show up on their own and everything started to fall into place and align as if it were magic.

Who knows why we always forget that surrender isn’t giving up, who knows why we always go back to tensing up all of our muscles as the default.

All I know is that there is a shift in the air. And as nervous as I am to start opening up about this side of me- and all the “woo-woo” (which by the way, science is really starting to support)- I know it’s for the good and I’m compelled to do it.

“Surrender isn’t about being passive, it’s about being open”

-Danielle LaPorte



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All My Moving Parts

Milli Fox, self-help blogger focused on self-love and healing from trauma. Based in Toronto, Ontario. I’ll admit it, I think in black and white most of the time. Usually I’m classifying whether something is good or bad, right or wrong. You know, that super harsh kind of thinking that mostly leads to being hyper critical of oneself? This girl!

I recently began a new therapy journey. I’ve committed to go twice a week, ongoing, to help me deal with a lot of the trauma I dealt with as a child that’s lead me to some unhealthy thought and behaviour patterns (black and white thinking included). My therapist started using IFS (Internal Family Systems) with me to try to help me see all of the different coping mechanisms and their triggers that have formed over the years.

Up until now, I’ve been very ashamed of some of the parts of myself. I’ve judged myself pretty harshly for ways that I react to situations, even seeing it happen in the moment and not being able to stop myself. I know a lot of these behaviour patterns formed as protective mechanism in response to trauma and abuse that I experienced, but it doesn’t stop me from hating on myself for them.

I read recently that although these behaviours may have stopped serving us long ago- we actually shouldn’t hate on them, we should recognize the role they played in trying to protect us and show them some gratitude before we send them off for good. I think I like this idea, and the IFS therapy is showing me how that’s possible.

What we did was have me go through all the different “characters” that make up my entire self. My therapist coached me through it but then I continued the exercise on my own.

Then we dove deeper into one of my parts that I called the Bossy Teacher/Drill Sergeant and we broke down WHY this part of me comes out, what it’s aim is and what it’s biggest fear is if it doesn’t show up. (It’s the part of me that seems to show up most often and the part of me that I like and understand the least). Today I finally realized that this part of me shows up because I’m afraid if I don’t go into this mode, i won’t be able to handle life and everything with crumble around me, I’ll lose control and I’ll become my mother. Woah.

Basically my worst fear.

Logically, I know it’s so silly. I know I won’t become my mom if I’m nurturing instead of cold and tough-lovey. Logically, I know if I show weakness my entire world won’t come crashing down around me. But in my emotional, animal brain, I’m super duper afraid of this and it feels VERY necessary. It’s my go-to, knee-jerk reaction to other people’s needs.

Maybe I feel I can barely handle my own needs, so if someone else needs me I better toughen up and get shit done.

ANYWAY! Looking through all the different parts of myself like this, as if they are players in a cast, helps me feel a little bit less judgemental towards them. It helps me to see that just because they are a part of me, doesn’t mean they ARE me or define me. It also helps me to see how complex I am as a human being. Each of my parts has it’s helpful aspects and it’s hindrances and none can simply be labeled good or bad.

When I started therapy, just over a month ago, I didn’t have a clue how I would start to tackle these deeply engrained thought patterns- but I’m really starting to feel hopeful. That I won’t always have to carry these burdens and that my load can be lighter and I can let go of so much of this.

So much so that I’ve been feeling giddy after my sessions!

I’m really looking forward to the future in a way that I never have before. ❤️



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On Being “Too Much”

Milli Fox Toronto based self-help and motivational blogger. Oh she’s just too much.

How often do you worry about being “too *insert adjective here*?

I have been living under the illusion that I am unapologetically myself. I have this nice idea that because i’m outspoken and I’m not afraid of confrontation or conflict that somehow that automatically means that I am also true to myself. Don’t ask me how I put that one together….

Anyway, Instagram has definitely shined a light into some of my darkest corners. So as much as I love to hate so many aspects about it, ultimately I am grateful for the questions it has brought up for me.

Why am I posting this?

Really, so many questions go through my head before I decide upon what to post. Today I had this idea that I should start a post series called #whatimreallythinking and share the TRUE thoughts that go through my head while I’m thinking about whether or not to post something. But I’ll come back to that idea.

What I’m really getting at here is how often I second guess myself before I share something. Even on this blog. I actually have a super deep fear of being viewed as “too much”.

I’ve actually had this fear for a long time. I’m afraid that people will think I’m too bitchy, too bossy, too forceful, too goofy, too un-ladylike,

I’m also very concerned that people are going to think that if I share the deep, painful parts of me that people will automatically think it’s because I’m looking for attention.

And you know what’s so interesting and sort of funny? The other day, I was watching The American Meme on Netflix and Kendal Jenner of all people responded to that criticism with: “I just really don’t see what the problem with attention is”.

I sat with that for awhile. I’m still thinking about it.

Why are we so concerned about people wanting attention? I guess it all comes down to the why (as in most things). Why do you want the attention to begin with?

In my case, I know a lot of it has to do with wanting to feel seen, heard and validated. (By the way, we all want to feel seen, heard and validated). I personally didn’t get much of that from the people in my life who are “supposed” to give it to you- so I guess now I am seeking it. Admitting that in itself seems like something I’m supposed to be ashamed of.

But why? Why am I supposed to feel bad about the fact that I suffered in many ways as a child and now I’m trying to figure all that shit out, air my pain out to dry and to take control of my own story?

Why should I feel afraid that my shit is going to make someone else uncomfortable?

Why should I swallow my painful memories in attempts to keep it kosher?

I keep seeing this quote around the internet that says something along the lines of: If you’re too much for someone, they just aren’t your people.

I think that’s it. I think we just need to stop worrying about making those people uncomfortable and start shining for the people who DO need to hear our shit. For that ONE person who needs to hear what we’re saying, in the specific way that we’re saying it, on that specific day that we feel like saying it.

I am so afraid of people thinking I’m looking for sympathy, it makes me feel so uncomfortable sometimes when people offer me words of encouragement or tell me I’m doing a great job. I feel like they are just being nice or even that they don’t really know allllll of me, so their compliments or encouragement is somehow not applicable.

So, as I sit here trying to embrace allllll of me- I am gonna take a step into this uncharted territory of revealing my “too muchness”. Some of which isn’t even about ME, but more-so about things that happened TO ME that I’ve been too afraid to share for fear of making my family uncomfortable.

I realize I’ve been trying to protect people that never really even tried to do much to protect me.

I think I’m ready to throw all that people-pleasing shit out the window.

Time to air out all too much of my dirty laundry. Cause shame can’t live in the light sista!

Share one way that you’ve always been concerned you are “too much” of in the comments below.




 

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Deserve is a Dangerous Word

Milli Fox author, blogger and entrepreneur in Toronto, ONTARIO

Entitlement. It’s a big issue. I think it’s one of the biggest issues we’re facing at the moment. You can do anything, you can have it all, anything is possible- therefore you deserve it.

“Self love will strengthen your decision making when it comes to deciding who deserves your love.”

-r.h.sin

I read this quote and it stirred things in me. Hmmm yes- self love. That’s a big one. But I think a lot of us are confusing self-love (like the real deal) with ego and entitlement.

Doesn’t everyone deserve love? I don’t know do they? What if you’ve committed atrocities against those you claim to love over and over again? Does that person you claim to love owe you their love?

Then it makes me wonder, what is love? Really. Who defines what it looks like to love someone? Is it only in your heart? Is it an action that needs to be felt by the other person or can it simply be sent from a distance without overt communication?

Does a parent deserve a child’s love? Does a child deserve a parent’s?

I guess it can all be evaluated on a case by case basis.

Who really “deserves” anything?

I think the world is harsh but because we live in an instant gratification society we all feel that because something seems within reach that we automatically deserve it. Because do-you boo boo.

But I also believe in hard work and proving your character.

I truly believe you don’t owe anybody anything.

When it comes down to it. There is no “oweing” or “deserving”. There is only communication, setting realistic expectations and making sure to work towards all parties feeling heard, understood and seen.

I realize this is all pretty vague and maybe even jumps between ideas. But the main idea here is- I think we’re all living in a bit of an inflated world. propped up by crazy high moral standards.

Everyone wants to be a virtual crusader.

Sometimes the answers aren’t clear and I think it’s ok to accept that. Sometlmes broad statements just done work. Ok maybe a lot of the time.

I just always feel very wary when I hear the world “deserve”

Maybe worthiness is a better choice. We’re all definitely worthy of love.

What’s your take?



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Repeat After Me: I Am Not My Mother

Well are you?

Depends on what you mean when you say it. Are you the guardian of your own well being? Are you the nurturer of your spirit and soul? Are you sheparding your own growth as an individual?

If yes, then maybe you are your own mother- but you are not YOUR mother, or the woman who raised you. Say it again.

We all have so many fears about repeating the mistakes that our parents made. And as wives and mothers ourselves, we have very special fears about becoming our mothers, especially now. We judge them so harshly for their shortsightedness, their weaknesses, their insecurities and their blindspots.

But they were supposed to be perfect for us, and for our fathers and our brothers and sisters too, weren’t they?

They weren’t supposed to make us feel small or ignore us or overshadow us- or tell us things about us that weren’t true but made us believe them anyway.

And we’re still supposed to keep them on a pedestal.

The funniest thing about “the mother” is that they are untouchable, yet still the most criticized, revered, but also judged people in our world.

You only have one mother you know, you’ll regret it when she’s gone.

But will I?

I’ve written this entire post so far in the removed- but I’m about to get personal.

I have mommy issues. If you do too, you’ll get it. Cause trying to explain to anyone else who doesn’t is like trying to explain the grammatical system of a Slavic language.

The relationship I have with my mother is the most complex relationship I’ve ever and likely will ever experience. Your mother is supposed to be your world- and when she gives you a really backwards world, it affects absolutely everything.

The thing about my mother is that she held it together really well for a long time. When she was my age she was in almost the identical spot that I’m in- and that shit is scary as fuck. You’ll understand when you hear what happened next.

She had her own business, she owned a home with my father and was in a happy marriage, she was pregnant with her second baby, she was healthy and fit and everything seemed to be coming up roses.

Then her mother died. Two weeks before my brother was born, and everything crashed.

I learned recently that my grandmother had almost the exact same experience. Her mother died when she was pregnant with my mother. If you’ve ever heard of ancestral trauma- that probably sounds pretty fascinating.

The funny thing is, when my grandmother was on her death bed- she said, don’t treat Emily the same way I treated you….As you may infer, they also didn’t have a great relationship. My mom left home at 15.

I think what happened after that could have easily been labelled postpartum depression. But it was likely just the straw that broke the camels back… along with some insane timing. First came the depression, then the drugs, then the suicidal tendencies and the cycle went from there.

How can such a vibrant, smart, funny, strong woman go from having everything to being a skeletal shell of who I used to call mom?

I guess it goes back pretty far.

The thing is, I’ve tried everything. I’ve spent so many years trying to repair this relationship. But everytime I laugh, or tell a joke or sometimes when I look in the mirror I see her.

No matter how much a parent can hurt you- it’s so hard to cut off all feeling. It’s the same thing with any abuser isn’t it?

When it’s your own mother it’s incredibly hard to let yourself go and to live life freely not shackled to the what if’s. What if she gets better, what if it’s different this time, what if I do regret it?

I’m coming to this crux, because I know she’s not well. I know she doesn’t have much longer and I’m so afraid. We’re planning to have another baby- but the problem is, I don’t trust her.

I don’t trust her for a second. And I keep hearing Brene Brown’s voice in my head saying don’t show people your “stuff” if you don’t trust them.

She has always and will always hurt me. She’s volatile. I can’t have her near my family.

So the choice is this, do I let her in at all or do I keep my walls up and protect my fortress? I have no way of knowing what’s right and neither does anyone else. It’s all about boundaries- but what are the right boundaries to set and how do you know when to give a little? When to have a little more compassion as to not seem like an ice queen?

How do you not become your mother?

I’m preparing for a battle and I don’t know whether to go in guns blazing or to lay down my weapons.

All I know is- I am not my mother. Whatever I decide, whatever YOU do or say to try to help me with this decision, no one is my mother and that’s the reality of the situation.



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