You tell your children not to give in to peer pressure. But do YOU recognize the level of adult peer pressure you carry on your Psychic Shoulders? Is it taking a toll in your manifestation process? Find out!
Let's start your exploration with a beautiful parable I use in the Toxic Relationships Self-help Kit: Love them, but LEAVE them. For more information about the kit, visit: http://toxicrelationships.eventbrite.com
Ready? Look up. There, on the lowest branch of that chestnut tree. Listen!
The Parable of Haughty Hawk and Terrified Tweeter
Terrified Tweeter jumped from branch to branch, tweeting as hard as she could. Her friends, scared of the terrible danger that the small bird announced, stayed safely at a distance. They admired Tweeter’s courage. Such a tiny bird, staying on the same tree as that mean predator, Haughty Hawk. What courage! Small as she was, Terrified Tweeter was relentless. Her tweets were so loud that her whole body shook with their resonance.
Meanwhile Hawk sat on a steady branch at the other side of the Ancient Tree, meditating. But it was hard to meditate with all the racket that the tiny bird was creating. Haughty Hawk was annoyed. Why was the bird so scared now, when they had co-existed peacefully for years?
"I thought she was my friend," Haughty Hawk reflected. "Go figure these tiny tweeters. They are always scared."
Haughty Hawk had also been scared as it grew up in the noisy city, with the Two-legged predators so nearby. But now that she was meditating and learning the Ways of the Warrior, she had chosen to live without fear. She had learned to empty her mind and visualize her desires, and she had grown strong and confident. She was cultivating Fearless Love.
But the more confident Haughty Hawk grew, the louder Terrified Tweetie squeaked each time Hawk came close. She had managed to scare all the other birds, who disappeared the minute Haughty Hawk perched in any of the Ancient Trees around.
Haughty Hawk felt lonely in her new practice of Fearless Love, in her newly acquired confidence.
Did you fall in the trap?
As you read the fable above, were you ~at the beginning of the story~ immediately sympathetic with the small bird, seeing her as the hero and hawk as the bad guy? That is our collective tendency. We instinctively seek justice. As a result, we reject bullies.
As the story progressed, where you able to shift your perception? Where you able to stop judging or blaming Haughty Hawk? Or did you stay trapped in Terrified Tweetie's version of the story?
It is good to seek justice. But you cannot make true justice if you confuse power with dominance. For if you do, you will not be able to assume your true power. Instead you will enter a dominance battle as either control freak, rebel or victim. This confusion is at the heart of toxic relationships.
Power as defined by our patriarchal system, is control and dominance. But that is only an illusion of power. When you believe this illusion, you are trapped in either of two options, both equally limiting.
I'll be on top!
The first option is to become a bully or control freak and try to control others and everything around you. If the world is divided into those in control and those without control, you'll choose to stay on top. Power as control makes you a highly toxic person.
When you fall in this trap, you desperately try to "make it happen" by struggling alone, with effort, trusting no one and using your Tiny Mind or Ego Self to manifest. You push, compete, try to excel, walk all over others and use other stressful effort-ridden strategies to build your dreams.
The results are isolation, exhaustion and failure because control is NOT power. Quite the contrary. It is the result of fear. Fear cuts you off from the Universal Flow of Life in which The Divine co-creates with you and you attract what you need to manifest. When you try to control everything in order to manifest, you become toxic to your potential co-creation partners and allies because you are holding others prisoners to your fear-based needs.
Do not be so quick as to dismiss the possibility that you are a bully. No one wants to be the oppressor, but we ALL are oppressors. The willingness to recognize how you may be bullying, controlling or oppressing others sets you free. Denying it is a sure sign that you ARE engaged in it. White people who deny that they may be racist are usually practicing unconscious racism. Men who get angry when women talk about their oppression and complain that they are not doing it are usually engaging in unconscious sexism. The list can go on. Only impeccable self-observation and constant course-correction ensures that you are free from using control as power.
Champion of the Underdog
The second option is to reject power because you fall under the trap of equating power with control.
When you reject power, you align with helplessness. You make those with personal power your enemies. You repel mentors, teachers and those friends and peers who assume their power. You also end up struggling alone!
You may become toxic and/or a Toxic Magnet because you are easily manipulated by those who play the victim and you repel and judge those who stand in their power.
When you align with powerlessness, you are afraid to speak with your voice of authority. You place an interrogation mark at the end of your declarations and beat around the bush to speak your truth. You constrict your body and your voice, playing small. You dream tiny and stay safely perched in our Comfort Zone. In other words, you become toxic to those who seek freedom, joy and growth because you've given up on your greatness.
You may feel right, good and just when you side up with those who seem to be the victim. But watch out!
Identifying with victimhood out of empathy can lead you to stand in the place of the victim and/or become a bully to those who assume their power out of a good intention to champion the victim.
In both cases, you unintentionally become part of the peer pressure that daring dreamers face.
But what happens if you have courageously stepped out of your Comfort Zone to tap into your potential? You may unknowingly face the peer pressure of those who have identified with a victim stance or who see powerful people as dominant.
Recognizing Peer Pressure
We tell our children not to give in to peer pressure. But many adults are clueless as to the level of peer pressure they carry on their Psychic Shoulders. As a result, they give in to peer pressure, betraying their Personal Dreams and their spiritual growth.
Children and teens are more direct in their peer pressure tactics. They may result to insults or name-calling. Adults are more subtle. Friends will distance themselves. Peers will murmur behind your back. Family members will close ranks and mount a campaign to wear or break you down. Because they know you well, they know your Breaking Points. They will go for these weak areas in your psyche. This emotional and psychic attack can undermine your motivation and your energy level.
When you feel that the people you love resist your growth or sabotage your dreams, you feel sad, betrayed, resentful, revengeful, angry and lonely. If you are afraid of confrontation and used to the lies of the dysfunctional family, you may join their betrayal by excusing their behavior and going back to your learned limits of perception.
If you dream big, you are big. Once you acknowledge your personal power and reclaim your personal authority, you soon find yourself among the Majestic Swans, the Great Eagles, the Master Hunter Hawks and Daring Crows.
Those whom you left behind will tweet loudly and persistently.
"Change back! Change back!" they will squeak.
Perhaps they will not be as raucous as Terrified Tweeter. Perhaps they will give you the silent treatment or the cold shoulder.
What will you do then? What have you done?
______ Have you given up on your new friends?
______ Have you given up on your new dreams?
______ Have you drowned your desires deep inside yourself?
______ Have you gone back to the humdrum of a life without passion?
______ Are you struggling to stay true to your Dream, but feeling bad, in doubt or torn inside?
______ Are you working hard, but something is holding you back?
______ Do you constantly struggle with negative "Whatifs" or scenarios that drain your energy, trust or faith?
Here are four things you can do to deal effectively with the scared tweeters in your life, so that you don't fall prey to their peer pressure.
1. Recognize the peer pressure tactics of the adults around you. Don't judge them. Their intentions may be good. But detach from these tactics. They got nothing to do with you and everything to do with their own fears and beliefs.
2. Acknowledge your feelings, take time and find help to grieve and release. When you grow, you outgrow that which no longer serves you. This may include old habits and perceptions. Unfortunately, it may also include old friends and allies. Peer pressure also impacts you with emotions like feeling betrayed, loneliness and any other feelings that sadden you. Don't avoid them. Drop the drama to dive deeper. Acknowledge these feelings so that you can channel them creatively.
3. Assert your True Self. Be firm, however, in your new boundaries, dreams and lifestyle. Seek people, events, support and activities that affirm your True Self, your DreamSelf, your potential, gifts and talents.
4. Raise your vibration! Above all, do not allow the fear of those in your past to bring down your vibration. Feed your new vibrations of confidence, self-love, faith and commitment by giving your Dream and your True Self the food of attention, expansive emotions and devotion.
Questions? Are you being pressured in your flight to your Dream? How did you react to the fable above? Feel free to leave your comments and questions. I'll read them all and answer to the best of my abilities!
Maria Mar is the Dream Alchemist, an inspirational speaker, poet, life coach, author and spiritual teacher who helps women create the life of their dreams. Find out more about Toxic Relationships Self-help Kit: Love them, but Leave them, at http://toxicrelationships.eventbrite.com