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Photo by Art by Lu00f8nfeldt on

One side-effect of enjoying family reunions is… gaining weight. There’s nothing more enjoyable than sitting in the shade of a tree and drinking hot tea with a wedge of lemon. You have to have it with your siblings and juicy sweet bakhlavas, of course. And then one glass of tea turns into three, at every opportunity, several times a day.

So when I returned home, those extra kilos have suddenly rekindled my love for exercise. Pressed for time, I went to a class I’ve never been before. Within the first minute, the instructor swooped towards me and admonished me for a lack of trainers.

‘I didn’t know I need to wear trainers.’

‘We know these things happen.’

What things? ‘Can I wear my sandals?’

‘No, you are not allowed to wear them either.’

Great. She really wanted me to leave. I really wanted to exercise. So I told her, and she grudgingly accepted that.

Except she came up to me at every opportunity to say I couldn’t do that exercise. I must admit, I felt unwelcome in the class. It got worse when the entire group was running in a circle. Needless to say the instructor chased me and said she’d rather I didn’t run.

I stood on the side and watched a large circle of 20+ old years running in the room. It was a visual representation of how I didn’t belong with them. In that moment, the feeling of being an outsider washed over me and I felt pretty uncomfortable on the side-line.

This is how life operates. It shows you your patterns at every (in)convenient moment.

You can take it personally and walk out of the class. Or you can choose to see it and say, right, I better do a bit more healing around this theme.

Because this one is an old pattern of mine. I never belonged fully with anyone or any place. In my family of origin, I was brought up by my grandparents. I never quite belonged with their family unit even though they treated me as their own child. Nor did I fully belong with my mum’s second family. The theme continued through my school years and work situations too. I remember working for an American organisation in Azerbaijan. I wasn’t quite part of a local team, as somehow I stood out, but not quite in with the American crew either. Since I moved to England, I had a feeling that I didn’t belong in Azerbaijan anymore, although I always say I go back ‘home’ when I visit it; nor do I belong in England yet, despite living here for almost 13 years.

You get the picture.

Some patterns keep repeating themselves because they run deep. And they show up in every aspect of your life.

Let’s say, you struggle with a fear of rejection. Perhaps you felt rejected in the family of origin because you were too different, somehow. Chances are that this feeling gets triggered in all areas of your life: you may feel rejected by a person you fancy when they say ‘no’ to a date with you; you may feel rejected when a university of your choice says ‘no’; you may take it very personally when an agent or publisher says ‘no’ to your manuscript. Of course, you can legitimately feel the sadness, upset or anger arising out of these rejections, but if there’s a deep wounding around rejections, the intensity of your feelings will be that much stronger. And it will feel like a recurring theme in your life.

If you notice a repeating pattern, chances are there’s a deep wounding that calls for healing.

I’m running a free call on healing creativity blocks on 21 June 2018 at 10:30am UK time. Drop me a line at and I’ll send you call details.


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