Michele Waterman
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Strut Your Inner Peacock

My husband and I have been going to marriage counseling for several years. When we started therapy, our marriage was in trouble and now four years later we are deeply in love and committed to experiencing meaningful connection, joy, intimacy, and passion. With all of our progress, I was surprised when I felt resistance about going to our next session together.

A few months ago, we were talking about our sex life. Our therapist inquired about what gets in the way for me and I shared well, “the mess of it all,” if you know what I mean. I was told to “get over it” and made aware of the fact that lots of women actually like it. I do believe our therapist was trying to be helpful. He cares about both my husband and me. But those comments and suggestions really didn’t work for me. I didn’t have access to my truth in that moment. In retrospect, as I visit that experience in my mind, what I feel is shame. What is wrong with me that I don’t like the mess and why can’t I be like other women? All I can do is to get real with my truth and own my story, which includes traumatic sexual experiences that shape what’s okay and not okay for my body and me. 

I’m learning to pay attention to my body when I feel resistance about something. Our bodies never lie and so I’m doing my best to really listen. Lately, I’ve been tapping into my inner coach to inquire about my resistance; asking empowering questions like “what is this resistance about?” “What do I need to do to take care of myself in this situation?” I sat with those questions for a bit and then came to some huge realizations. Number one, I had mistakenly put our therapist on a pedestal and made him the expert in our relationship. With our therapist as the expert in our relationship, I detached from what was true for me about sex and my body. No wonder I didn’t want to show up for our session; I wasn’t taking care of myself and I was unsure of how I was going to own and speak my truth. 

It’s challenging to take care of my own needs when doing so risks hurting someone’s feelings. Without caving into people pleasing tendencies or avoidance of conflict, I shared my truth with our therapist last week with dignity and integrity. In that moment, I owned my story and took back my role as the expert in my own life. I was so nervous and scared as I calmly went through the list of comments that didn’t work for me and shared how I felt about them, most specifically shame. In closing, I thanked him for all that he had done for my husband and me and shared that we would be moving forward with another marriage therapist.  

I felt really tired and wiped out the next few days but I also knew that I made the right decision. Oddly enough, I woke up a few days later thinking about peacocks and then later that afternoon Flix showed up in our backyard. Flix is an incredibly beautiful peacock that lives up the hill from our property. He hadn’t paid a visit for months so I thought it fascinating that he showed up the afternoon after I woke up thinking about peacocks. 

Peacocks are simply magical to me. Their turquoise color and long silky neck remind me of the throat chakra, which is all about telling our truth. Here I was three days earlier, being as brave as humanly possible to share my truth and then this glorious bird shows up in my yard to reinforce my actions. So I got really curious about the actual meaning and symbolism of peacock and I was blown away at what I discovered. Turns out that peacock luxuriate in the dance of self-expression. Peacocks remind us to focus on the positive aspects of how we are uniquely and beautifully one of a kind. They represent communicating what you think and feel in the most authentic and beautiful ways. Ultimately, peacocks symbolize the idea that we must be willing to learn how to be honest and truthful with others and ourselves with dignity and grace, which is exactly what I did when I spoke my truth about previous therapy sessions and how they didn’t work for me and caused me to feel shame.

I love it when the timing of the universe provides animal medicine and metaphors to reinforce a lesson I need to learn. The lesson this time was about tapping into my truth and finding ways to honor myself. A good place to start is my body—because it doesn’t lie. I had to be willing to ask myself what the resistance was about to begin the process of discovery regarding what I needed to do take care of myself. Peacock medicine reminds me that self-expression is a beautiful dance about being authentic and honest and sharing my truth with dignity and grace.   

What is your body saying to you right now? What truth do you need to share? How will you express your authenticity today? How will you channel your inner peacock? 

For more information about personal development coaching can help you cultivate authenticity visit my website www.michelewaterman.com.