28. From stuck to self expressed

Apr 04, 2023

Doors are OPEN to The SOLA System + Siblings:

The unmasking unschool 
for the creative #autistic in you to finally feel

- Unlearn false selves

- Immerse in resonant community

- Invent a life that works

Create the self-acceptance, worthiness, and energy-supporting structures around your autistic differences, to realise a felt possibility into a material reality
and to turn the resilience you've already built over-adapting to what doesn't work, into the future you want.




Resources shared in episode:

Bobbie Harro:

Tema Okun:


Episode summary:

There are a whole lot of external conditions you didn't choose.

Those conditions influence the habitual self you became in response.

When that habitual self no longer fits, or never fit.
Or you’ve awakened to the desire to BE in a new way;
When you are being pulled into a next version of self.

is when that old self will start to feel uncomfortable and stale.

Maybe you are wanting to create a project or make a vocational leap, or change direction;

but feel stuck, scared, lost, and like you don't have permission...

This episode is about how you get unstuck, and start making lasting changes.


Hey, sibling today is about going a little bit deeper into what I spoke about in the last episode. And that common belief that I see a lot, which is I can't be myself, and make life work and make this all make sense. And that the only way I get to live is by not being myself and how crucial and key it can be to unravel that belief, on to go deeper into the experience of being stuck and not being able to see the way forward or the path of okay, but how do I actually do me and make this work? And open up what that process looks like?

So how do we move from being stuck being someone that we aren't into being ourselves and therefore making life work because we are being ourselves?

So what I want to talk about is if you aren't fully being yourself, who is it that you're being? And I want to get more into if you aren't being yourself? Then who are you being? And to really talk about what does that mean? What what is the being of being yourself? I've said it a lot self is just whoever you're being right now. And the being of self is, are you in the experiences that you're actually having? Are you processing that? Are you really allowing the sensations and the conditions that you're in to be something that you process that your nervous system is offering up? And that you're moving through? And then what are you focused on? What question are you answering? Where are you focusing your attention? What are you then thinking about your circumstances or about the sensations that your body is offering up. And that determines how you're then feeling based on the meaning that you're giving to your experiences, which is then driving what you do, and driving how you show up, which then influences the results that you then get in your life.

And this is a kind of repeating cycle, right? And where we have agency is not in trying to ignore or suppress or pretend that we aren't having the experiences that we're having. But is to really know, what am I making the mean? And how is that then influencing how I'm showing up. And when we have an idea of self that has come out of a lot of misunderstanding and misrepresentation, people misinterpreting you that belief that idea that collection of thoughts about self is an interpretation. It is a lens through which you're interpreting your experiences.

And it's going to have a big impact on how much you feel able to be in a way to act in a way that is true to you, and how much you are thinking and interpreting your experiences in ways that actually feel good, and feel empowering and feel like there are possibilities and that drives you to show up to your life and respond to people in your life and your choices in your decisions in ways that reflects that. So I'm going to speak to the process of getting unstuck as a process of learning how to become that aligned, more authentic self in terms of the meaning that you're giving to who you are. And I'm also going to talk about how my programme, my unmasking unschool helps you do that. So if you're interested to know more about that, you can click the link that's in the top of the show notes of this episode. Or you can go to my website and you'll see the information on the main page.

Anyway So this episode is going to be relevant for those of you that are looking to move beyond the ways of seeing yours Self, that have come from other people. And to move beyond the standards of living that that's led you to have the level of ambition, the learned ideas that people gave you, about who you are about what you're allowed to do, about who you're allowed to be, what you're allowed to aspire for, if you're looking to move beyond that, this is for you.

So we develop a habitual self, let's start with that. And that is that your, your thinking your ways of responding to your life to other people become a kind of habitual pattern, right? There are so many options, decisions, possible ways of responding to our life, in a day or in an hour. That mean that if we were to make every single one of them conscious and intentionally chosen, impossible, right, our brains can't deal with that amount of decision making. So what does it do, it just automates most of them, right?

So we operate with this kind of working model, these working assumptions in, which is another way of saying beliefs, assumptions for what life is for who we are, who other people in our lives are. And what we do when we encounter a specific environment. Like the things that we do, when we come home, we take our shoes off, or whatever the automated things are, that we do, right, you've probably experienced, I don't know, if you drive or if you do things that you do on a regular basis, like walk from one place to another, like maybe you walk to work, or you look, there's some kind of regular pattern.

And you get there and you can't remember the journey, right? Because you've just done it on autopilot. So most of who we're being is an autopilot version of self right to habitual self. And we just run on that. And that becomes a kind of homeostatic, safe zone of normality, right? This is just what we do. It's on autopilot, unless we have a reason that is to examine those choices or decisions, right?

Something unexpected happens as a package on the doorstep, and we're interrupted, and then we opening that instead, or we meet someone on the way home and we have a conversation or a big life event happens.

And we start questioning, why am I living this way, all of these decisions I've just assumed are just like what I do, I'm now looking at in a new way. So we run on autopilot unless we're interrupted by something that wakes us up to that autopilot to those decisions to how we've been being and enables us to make a new choice. So it's that habitual self. Who is if you're stuck, if you're feeling like life isn't working the way you want it to you haven't found a way to make things work. It's that there's a habitual self.

That is showing up to your life in a certain way. That is this kind of unconscious, automated way of not just acting, but also just interpreting, meaning making, thinking, believing it's the the assumptions that we've made. It's those assumptions that we have to unlearn to get out of the stuck, because it's those that we have to unlearn to stop being ourselves.

So the emergent self that we're wanting to become, that our inner being is inviting us to step into when we're feeling pain in our life when we're feeling frustration. But that self, that new self is unpracticed. It's a series of decisions that we haven't made yet, of new decisions that we haven't made yet, right, it's outside of what we've habitually done. It's not the same programming that our automated self has been running. And so what we are experiencing in our life is a result of that automated self.

So the quality of your relationships, the way that you live, the structures, the way that you work, what you make things mean, the regular emotional states and moods that you're in all of it right, is a result of running that particular programming that automate itself. But that automate itself isn't one that you sat down and you came up with a new row and you made decisions around, right. It's an automated self that was influenced and shaped by

They provide everything that you've ever been through, right? Not only your past, and not only the family or relationship context that you grew up in the schooling, the social systems, the media, that culture, not only all of that, but it's also the body in the brain that you, you're in, right that you also didn't choose. So we're running this kind of automated self, it's a product of a whole bunch of influences that we didn't choose. And so the work of becoming a more aligned version of yourself of being more intentional means unpacking all of that, which sounds enormous. But really, it's a tiny shift, after tiny shifts, tiny decision, tiny awareness and new change. And the more and more you do that, the more and more your life reflects that new decision, the more and more momentum you experience. And the more and more agency you recognise that you have over what your experience of yourself and what your experience of your life are. And so every little tiny shift that you make, also opens up the possibilities of all the other shifts that you're experiencing.

So it means that once you gain the skill of reprogramming of making that shift, you can keep doing that. It's like being handed the the man the I don't know, I don't know coding, but it's like being taught coding for your own reality, right. So when that habitual self that you've been being no longer fits when you realise you want to be in a new way, or you're being pulled by something that you're wanting into that version of self that can make that happen.

That old self that habitual automated self, the programming that you've run, that's been the product of your environment, is going to feel uncomfortable, it's going to feel stale, or your life will feel uncomfortable, your life will have pain, your life will have frustration or feel like it's not yours. Or you'll feel like hang on a sec, when did I agree to this being my life? Like what's going on? This isn't how I want to experience it. And I don't know how to change it. It, this is the work, right? It's the reprogramming. And what's holding you back is just the fact that you're running an automated self that you didn't choose. And I'm saying you didn't choose.

And I really want to underscore and underline that, because this is really about evolving out of those that given programming, that automated programming that came from social identities and roles that you've kind of been assigned that have been given to you. And I want to speak to this by quoting Bobbie Harro, and their work called the cycle of socialisation, which I'll link to in the show notes, and it's a long quote right, so bear with me, but here we go. Often, when people begin the study of the phenomenon of oppression, they start by recognising that human beings are different from each other in many ways based upon gender, ethnicity, skin colour, first language, age, ability, status, religion, sexual orientation and economic class. The obvious first leap that people make is the assumption that if we just began to appreciate differences, and treat each other with respect, then everything will be alright and there would be no oppression. This view is represented beautifully by the now famous quote from Rodney King in response to the riots following his beating and the release of the police officers who were filmed beating him. Why can't we all just get along? It should be that simple, but it isn't. Instead, we are each born into a set of social identities related to the categories of difference mentioned above. And these social identities predispose us to unequal roles in the dynamic system of oppression. We are then socialised by powerful sources in our worlds to play the roles prescribed by an inequitable social system. This socialisation process is pervasive coming from all sides and sources, consistent patterns and predictable, circular self supporting self perpetuating, interdependent and often visible, unconscious and unnamed in struggling to understand what roles we have been socialised to play, how we are affected by issues of oppression in our lives and to how we participate in maintaining them, we must begin by making an inventory of our own social identities with relationship to each issue of oppression. So I'll link to that in the show notes. And so social identities we absorb, right, we take them on as if that's who we are, because those are the messages that we get over and over and over. And that are also enforced within the specific cultures that we're in, right, and the the layers of imperialism and punishment and control, and judgement and exclusion. That mean that if we deviate from those roles, then other people respond to us as if we are being a danger, or we're being wrong, or we are a problem. And it's, so these systems are designed to keep us in our place, right? And so what this means for you, in this work of unlearning, and re writing those that encoding, right, is that those roles have, it's not only that it's in the messages that we receive, but it's also

that our nervous system, it's reinforced in our nervous system as being that role equals safety. And that deviating beyond them, equals lack of safety. And what this also encodes us to, to believe is on a deep level that we don't get to choose our own social roles. And so we're given these roles and they don't fit us. And the natural response would be to set a boundary, right. So responsive anger or rage at being seen a certain way, or not having control about who we're supposed to be, or what we get to do. Right. And so that rage that anger is often then internalised we are encouraged to swallow it, and that rage and anger is seen as a problem. And I'm going to link to a resource in the show notes about this false sense of, of a right to comfort and how that shows up for people in power specifically in this resource, how it maintains white supremacy, as a system of harm and as a condition for which discomfort is necessary to dismantle right. So we are entering into a space of discomfort when we are confronting these patterns of socialisation. So discomfort is an unnecessary component, but also want to speak about this on a nervous system level. The other day, I saw a video that's probably decades old, but it's relevant. So in this video, there's a guy in a lab coat, he has a bunch of fleas that look like tiny dots jumping around, and he collects them into glass jar puts the lid on for three days. And then after three days, he tips them out onto the bench. And these flees in the video, then are jumping as if the glass jar is still there. So they're keeping to the height of the glass jar and the shape as if it's still around them and keeping them in. And apparently they stay like that. And even their offspring also only jump to the height of the glass jar, even though it's actually no longer there as a physical limitation. So we bump up against these external limitations, these like lines not to cross these roles that we've been socialised into. And in our response to them, we learn to internalise that as a holding back as a pulling back as instead of experiencing that pain, again, I'm going to hold myself in, and I and this is what keeps us also stuck, right? It keeps us in the frustration and in the sense of helplessness. Because when we've experienced leaping too high or moving away from the group, it hurts. And so we brace and we hold ourselves back and we change and modulate our behaviour away from a natural and inner self having external expression. And so that holding back becomes a pattern in the body, not just in our thoughts and not just in our beliefs, but also in our nervous system. And so this becomes a lived reality, right, our those, those working assumptions become our lived reality in our bodies, and in the way that our bodies chemicals and nervous system and physiological workings. Use that as a kind of stabilising a Homeostasis norm. So sometimes the glass jar isn't there anymore. Sometimes you're in adulthood as if you are still in the school system. Or sometimes you're living your own life, but you're responding to it as if you're still in the toxic upbringing of your childhood. Sometimes you're jumping from one bad relationship to another bad relationship. And it's the same jar every time, same person, same different person, same jar, right, same box. Because in our nervous system, we've adapted and adjusted to that being a reality that just being normal, that being the familiar, assumed reality that we're inside of, even if that familiar, reality isn't actually safe, we replicate it because it become a normal, and this is why we get stuck. And this is also why when you go to make a change, you might do it for a bit, but then there's something in you that claps back right that self sabotage is that feels so deeply uncomfortable, that we seek to bring things back to how it was to the same mediocrity or the same frustrations, the same familiar emotional loops. And this is also sometimes when if good things happen, or you see a possibility, you immediately start looking for what's going to ruin it, why it can't be true, what's going to come and undermine it and bring us back to where we were. So when we're reaching beyond the roles that we've inherited, right, that we didn't choose that we're socialised into, there are a product of a whole bunch of stuff that is not in our control. When we're reaching beyond it, there's a nervous system thought pattern, reality idea of self that also has to be released. And that releasing is it's like a letting go a literal detoxification of these old patterns of re encoding in our, in our cells in our body in the way that we experience reality in our nervous system that also is re encoded, right? And this is why tips and tricks for how to live in autistic ways doesn't change, much like having the information doesn't address what's underneath. Because number one, it's not analysing the conditions and the context, along with your traits, right, it's putting it entirely in your body, and not acknowledging the entire structures around it. Right, the world is the same. But it's also not acknowledging the degree to which we've had to adapt the degree to which we've normalised that over adapting. To the extent that just feels normal that feels like safety.

Because it's familiar not because it's actually safe, and how we learned to pull ourselves back and hold ourselves in, because of the glass jars that we've moved through, some of which we possibly now have much more agency and power to address, or move or shift or aren't there anymore. So this means that we've also learned to pay attention to the glass jars, and that potential pain instead of our own internal truth, our own internal boundaries, our own internal needs. And we've started to then mistrust our own boundaries, our own needs, our own internal direction.

So the work of becoming who you are here to be of unlearning those old roles is also the work of relearning how to trust and sense those internal instructions, right, which is what I call self connection, it's, it's coming back to them, and learning more and more, that those are real and that you get to believe them, right? So if you're feeling stuck, I want to offer that it's because you're habituated to a social role that no longer fits or that never fit a role that had you staying inside certain lines are lies of so called normal so called correct so called right so called good. And that those lines, those lies, and the vigilance around them have become the glass jar that you've internalised but it's now that that's keeping you stuck.

While there are collective so systemic structural familial upbringing, media aspects to what created that stuck, and where the responsibility for creating them the blame lies, the actual work of undoing the internalised aspects of that can only be done in you. But it also needs a social context for healing, right? It needs a social context to experience the self outside of those socialised roles. So another person, a community, a relationship, a group, people that can believe and affirm who you're becoming that inner self, your inner truth, what you've experienced, what was hard, what you've struggled with, and the desires and the wants and needs that you have, and affirm and reflect those back to you. So that they can more and more start to be experienced by you, as real. So how do we do this?

So this process of becoming, is what I hold space for, in all of the work I'm doing right in the containers I offer. And in the coaching calls, it's really about you coming into self chosen roles, until your inner self and in the needs and wants and secret dreams that you have in you are also starting to more and more become reality. Now, this isn't one big leap. This is not I was this. Now I'm this, it doesn't work that way. This is why what I'm offering in my unmasking. unschool is six months, right? It takes time. And it's also about having that relational human context where this work, and this unravelling, and this re encoding can happen. And we don't do it in one go. We do it tiny, tiny shift at a time. One belief, one piece of reality encoding, one thought one assumption that you've been operating on, that is revealed by a problem that you have that is revealed by a frustration that is revealed by something that is you're in pain around. So you bring the problem you bring the frustration to the coaching, and then we look at okay, what's the underlying thinking that's going on?

What's the underlying assumptions that you've been working with, about who you are about what the world is, and what your life gets to be in that particular problem. And the guiding compass for that is not me, telling you what to believe. It's not me telling you who you are or what to think. It's that we bring you back into self connection, and back into your own ability to know. So they're re encoding is happening in relationship to your connection to your inner self. And then it's in the in the practising and the living of that. So you change one little belief, you see things in a new way. And you start acting on that, once you start acting on it, is when something outside of you in your life then starts to give you new feedback and starts to and you start to see changes in your life that start to more and more affirm.

Okay, this new self, this new perspective, this new way of being more closer to my own truth is more and more real, though this is the work that we do. And a big, big part of this is being able to experience connection and feeling seen. Because you have a space in which the communication differences and the processing differences that you embody are not a problem, right? And so some of the glass jar is removed. And this means that you aren't having to negotiate with other people's assumptions around that. And you aren't having to disclose your trait. So this means that when you're bringing your problem when you're bringing the thing that you're working on the frustration that you don't have to self edit, you don't have to clip your words you don't have to hold back. You can process think respond, move your body, move your eyes move in a way at a speed that is actually natural for You process, it means that you don't have to hide or downplay parts of your identity, right?

We also don't interpret autistic traits as being like this separate silo from everything else. No, this isn't just that you're autistic. There are other aspects of your socialised roles and identities that play into this, that mean that you can't separate those out. But there is a big impact that comes from not having to figure out unspoken codes for how to be, or worry about fitting in or what to say and when to say it or having to explain yourself over and over. Or, and I'm also really big on a culture of access and a culture of acceptance and not having to pretend that you aren't feeling the way you're feeling that day.

Or, if you're having a nonverbal moment, or you're having a way that you want to show up that would serve you. This is a space where there isn't a specified way to show up, right. You don't have to do anything that you don't want to do or speak when you don't want to speak or be be anything other than who you are in that moment to yourself. And then as well as the analysis of the context and the necessity of acknowledging that that context is what's hard. And removing the communication and processing barriers.

There's also a process that the modules of the course element of this take you through which is a series of self reflective exercises to identify. Okay, how is the ways I've been socialised showing up for me right now, in my beliefs, in my assumptions in my habitual self. And so you go through this process, so that you can really identify where your work is and what to bring to coaching, then you gain two skills, you learn the skill of self coaching, of transforming those assumptions, those beliefs, those pattern encodings and you learn the skill of being coached. And so in this programme, you get access to weekly coaching, you get coaching for as long as you want it. It's a six month programme, but you get to stay.

So this means that there isn't a correct pace for moving through this. And you get to witness other people being coached around highly relevant experiences and beliefs that they're moving through. And you get to witness therefore, what that process looks like. So you get a whole bunch of context, to immerse inside of

when you shift a belief that isn't serving you, your experience of your life also shifts, you start to see new options. And in the process of doing that, over and over your experience of your own life, completely transforms because of how you are showing up to it in a new way. To the extent that it starts to support and affirm who you're becoming, and the life that you're wanting to create, and starts to feed back to you, this is who I am now, I am this version of me. And it's more and more of that, that allows you to let go of the old patterns to release them, and to shed those old skins. And then guess what, after a while, the people in your life who maybe didn't believe you or aren't believing you right now, or aren't helping you see yourself accurately, or if giving you negative feedback and you are hung up on it, right?

Those people, either they will catch up to who you're becoming as a result of this work, or they will leave or you will set new boundaries. Right. So the catching up of how other people see you happens last. It happens we're at the very end. Often when we are looking to do this work, we look to other people and trying to change their thoughts trying to change their minds trying to change how they see us first, because we think that then we'll have permission. But actually that comes right at the end. And when you are already more and more and more, being who had to be eventually they have no option but to get on board with you.

Or you will be able to relate to them in a way that is more aligned with your truth. And then this process in this programme, you also get tools for those conversations, right? For setting boundaries for being rooted in knowing that your needs or needs and not preferences and the legitimacy of who you are and how to communicate that legitimacy and those needs and to live by them so that your energy is protected. And so that your life structures are sustainable, instead of taking your energy from you. And so if you know that you're wanting to make some big changes, you're being called into a new version of who you are.

You're wanting to figure this out, right? It's time now that I really learn how to be myself. If you're feeling like, no, there's a bigger plan, there's more to me than this. And there are things that you're doing that you don't want to be, or there are internal fears and doubts and feeling like you don't have permission feeling like you don't have a clear path. Feeling like, I don't know how to do this, I just know I need to consider this as your boarding call to join me on the next iteration, the next cohort, the Solar System Plus siblings, I'm opening doors right now.

And so this will be the spring cohort, we're doing a new thing this year of doing it in cohorts, so groups going through at the same time, and doors will close soon, and they will stay closed for a while. So if you know that you're wanting to do this work, and you're wanting to have support and have a ready made context for doing it, we take off on the 27th of April, the doors closed sooner than that. So take a look at the link in the show notes. This is for you if you are identifying with autistic traits, if you are multiple marginalised.

And if you don't want to apply the pathology paradigm that you want to find your way. You don't want to just understand your autistic traits as tips and tricks, but you want to really go through the process of No, it's time that I am in the driving seat. I'm the author and encoder of my life and who I get to be and you're wanting to come back to yourself, you're wanting to get unstuck. You're wanting to make new moves, and sustainable changes. Then, if that's you, I'd be honoured to support you in that journey. So doors open now. Thank you so much for listening, and I will talk to you very soon.




is for #autistic-status visionaries, creatives and change-makers, who are seeking a more empowering way to see, know and be yourself.