This article is created in partnership with Nicky Clinch, master maturation coach, author, and founder of The BodyMind Maturation Method. She is dedicated to guiding us through the powerful life changing process of growing out of who we thought we were and into who we were always born to be. We’re honored to work with her. ~ ed.
“Would you rather be right, or would you rather be happy?”
We’ve all heard the old adage, and yet, it might at times seem we haven’t.
We don’t need to be rocket scientists to see that this is a hugely challenging time on our planet, where conflict and polarisation are rampant, cancel culture has become a weapon, and winning seems to be the prevalent goal.
And yet no matter how much we try to win, or prove our points, or find the evidence and validation that we are “right” and someone is “wrong” (aka blaming), it still doesn’t seem to give us much peace. In fact, it gives us the opposite.
We’ve all found ourselves in a fight with our partner or best friend. One that’s become so charged, we no longer have any control over our tongue or behaviour. Maybe we eventually know we’re acting bonkers, or maybe we can’t remember why we’re fighting in the first place—either way, we can’t seem to stop.
We’ve entered into a battle of their trespasses against us versus our surely valid feelings and the entitlement to be heard and acknowledged.
That’s neither a particularly empowering nor effective relationship dynamic.
In my program, “Listening to Life,” we learn to break free, once and for all, of the patterns and identity that our past has gripped over our life. We get to the root of the things that keep us from knowing our truest Self and embodying our highest potential in masterfully and effectively living our lives—from our creative projects to our relationships and everything in between.
“Listening to Life” is a powerful transformational process that will take you through profound shifts across body, heart and mind, offering ground-breaking teachings and processes that will break you free of the mechanism of the human condition, transform your whole relationship with your life—and with who you are being in it. The gift of this programme is a level of freedom, a discovery of authentic power, and a deep healing of your past allowing you to begin truly living beyond your story.
This is the distinction between just getting by in our lives and repeating the same old ways of being versus growing, thriving, and expanding way beyond what we even know is possible for ourselves. And it’s also why I want to talk about, here, the ontological nitty gritty of blame.
Because, blame keeps us stuck. It keeps us stuck in victimhood, in our wounded child, in survival. And nothing can nor will ever thrive from this space; in fact, you can’t create more life from survival, you only feed more survival.
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Bickering and battling are behaviours of deeply rooted patterns and stories—demonstrations of the Vicious Circle—the cycle of reaction and suffering that comes with the human condition. It is a cycle that has no end and no benefit, and it is destructive—activated by unhealed, unresolved wounds frozen in our BodyMind. The Vicious Circle is fuelled with a need to both resist what is moving through our own body experientially and project it onto something outside of ourselves.
Here’s what we need to know about the Vicious Circle and the BodyMind before we can get into why blame is such a sinister culprit in keeping us stuck in our self-limited reality and relationships.
First, we cannot separate the body from the mind. They are distinct but not separate entities that work together and are the avenue to our experience of the world and our perceptions of who we are in it.
The Mind is a ruthlessly efficient data collecting machine with one main design function: to help us survive. It is not romantic; it is a functional memory bank filled with everything we have seen, learnt, and experienced in our life, and it does not care if you follow your dreams or if you have sabotaged parts of your life.
The Body is also a memory collecting body, absorbing all our lived experiences to store them on a cellular level as experiential memory—emotions unfelt, unprocessed, frozen in time, until we are ready to fully feel and experience with consciousness what has remained stuck.
Now let me ask you, if the only design function of your mind is to help you survive, what are the particular experiences in your past that it will hook onto the most? Yes, perceived points of threat—be it heartbreak, disappointment, harassment, abandonment, or betrayal.
Our original points of trauma or wounds stem from childhood instances of being ignored, not fitting in, or not feeling loved. As the mind hooks onto our original memories, it taps into the Body to activate a full BodyMind survival strategy that continues as we grow up in our life.
Enter the Vicious Circle: one of the biggest blocks to us ever discovering our infinite potential as human beings.
The Vicious Circle is a BodyMind-activated cycle that intensifies the more we try to “get out of it.”
It is a constant cycle of destructive looping that entrenches us deeper into our our mechanical survival patterns and our Story (the BodyMind’s narrative that drives us to behave and be certain ways in the world to either try to control or collapse into it). Learning and self-responsibility is the gateway to dissolving it.
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It’s also one of the largest causes of the patterns and problems that keep repeating in our lives no matter how much we try to strategically change them. For example, knock-down, drag-out arguments, unfulfilling relationships, jobs that burn us out, and mental noise that stifles us.
Tell me, does this sound familiar? The more your patterns repeat, the more your heart and soul shuts down. You enter your relationships and life choices with a sort of resignation already set in, always already “knowing” deep down inside that the same is going to happen again—even though you hope it won’t.
Friend, I say this gently: life—relationships, especially—cannot flow from mechanical survival and subconscious patterns. There is simply no aliveness in merely trying to survive.
The destructive role of blame in the Vicious Circle & why we need to heal it.
Blame is a patterned behavior through which we operate in exactly that limited survival mode and fail to thrive in our relationships with both Self and others.
That’s because blame is a form of resistance to feeling what moves through us experientially.
All human behaviour is either a reaction or response to what rises in the body experientially first.
We don’t just get up to make a cup of tea. There is an experience that rises in the body first that signals us to make the tea.
The distinction here is that when we blame, experiences in the body unconsciously rule our behaviour (losing control of ourselves during an argument, for example), when ideally, we’d have the capacity to work with the experience in the body to learn and grow.
5 things happen ontologically when we blame:
1. We give our power away to an external reality that another somehow has the power to put this experience inside of us.
2. We then have to rely on external circumstances for our sense of Self (our ability to be at peace or happy) rather than knowing that this all comes from our own selves.
3. We resist and escape from ownership of our own experience, keeping us stuck and trapped in always having to find the next thing that will make us ‘not have to feel this’ today.
4. That frozen moment from our past calls for our attention so that we can fully process, feel, and release it. When we blame, that call is avoided and ignored, and we miss the learning, the growth, and the opportunity to begin breaking the cycle.
5. We stay stuck in the past.
Blame, simply put, is like putting petrol on the Vicious Circle; it feeds it to grow stronger, keeping us stuck in our Story, stuck in survival patterns, stuck in the past. And the more we blame, the more stuck we stay.
In its essence, blame is the thief of growth and holds us back from learning invaluable lessons crucial to our own self-realisation and Maturation—a powerful process of outgrowing the survival mechanism, stories, and identities we are stuck in.
We simply cannot be blaming and learning at the same time.
In our relationships, specifically, blame keeps us stuck in the BodyMind Story of our past, creating a confined “box” that we live in and operate from.
Let’s put it this way: you can have any relationship you want—as long as it fits inside the (limited) Story you know from past experience. That doesn’t sound encouraging, does it?
This is the way of all of us who have not yet learned to Listen to Life. We remain trapped in narrow ways of thinking, seeing, and being. So, what is the alternative?
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The exact opposite of blame is Self-Responsibility.
In truth, nobody likes that word—self-responsibility. It is loaded with context and conditioning that it means we have to be “good,” follow rules, be “boring,” or stifle ourselves. But that is not the kind of self-responsibility I am speaking about.
I am speaking about ownership. The action of taking full responsibility for our own experiences of life, who we are being, and how we see and experience the world. The state of being ready to be 100% responsible for how our life and world is unfolding. Ownership.
This does not mean you take all the responsibility. You take responsibility for your part, your life, your state of being, and leave others to deal with themselves. Sometimes being responsible is setting good, clear boundaries and saying “no.”
And these principles apply to blaming ourselves, as well, which equally fuels our story and entrenches us deeper into the Vicious Circle. Instead, we need to offer ourselves compassion for being human, and give ourselves encouragement for being ready to do the work.
This is not easy but I can tell you, it is powerful. In fact, this path to Maturation is the pathway to each of us discovering our true infinite potential. And this is not just for you or me or some of us, this is available for all human beings.
It is within our ability to own how our life unfolds, how our reality appears. When we do, we become conscious co-creators with our own reality, where every moment is an opportunity for us to grow, learn, evolve, and heal.
What happens in the BodyMind & our relationships when we choose self-responsibility
When we are ready to come out of blame, we are ready to take 100% responsibility for our own experiences. We know that the anger we feel is not put there by another, but was already there; we just bumped into it.
We come out of projection and instead bring the focus back to our own experience in our BodyMind, using the hardship as a gateway to break free of our past and mature into who we were born to become before our Story set in.
We heal the frozenness and become unstuck.
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When we choose self-responsibility over blame, we create a space of internal safety and because of that, we are able to focus on learning from the experience. That, in turn, allows us to show up and be responsible for ourselves in more mature, empowered, liberated, and conscious ways. We share ourselves fully, and speak our needs from a mature and grounded mindset.
As our previously frozen capacities begin to thaw, we begin to plant boundaries when needed, and can do so with love and clarity, and as we bloom and grow in the fertile soil we have created for ourselves and tended to, we are not afraid to feel and experience fully what moves through the body.
When we change the way we relate to our BodyMind and thus ourselves, the learning trickles into our relationships with others, and thus we are free to be our full whole selves creatively, expressively, and in love.
But it takes practice. And to practice, we need to know where to start.
3 Inquiries to help deepen this teaching:
1. Commit to a full 48 hours without any blaming.
This means not blaming yourself. It also means not secretly blaming inside your mind while pretending outwardly that you’re not. Every single time you catch yourself blaming, bring your awareness back to your bodymind, and ask yourself these three questions:
>> What am I experiencing right now—emotionally, energetically, sensorily?
>> What phrases or thoughts are crossing my mind?
>> When I look at what I saw on a bodymind level, is this a familiar experience for me? Have I found myself feeling and thinking these things before?
2. Choose a recent incident in your life when you were highly charged.
Close your eyes. Be back in that exact moment. Feel first what was happening in your body, then see what was happening in your mind. Move to another incident when you were highly charged, and see if you see similarities in the BodyMind experience.
3. Journal about all your awareness and insights from these exercises (and from this article).
When we outgrow the Story on a deep, experiential, BodyMind level, our identity of who we are in the world shifts.
“I’m not loveable” (or whatever your Story may be) melts away and life, love, and relationships appear to us, full of possibility. We can’t help but stop blaming to help ourselves and our relationships thrive.
This is our work. It seems simple, but it is not easy. It takes courage, commitment and intent, but this is the invitation to our Maturation and discovering new depths of potential for ourselves and our lives.
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