Beastie in the Belly: Is Self Doubt Blocking Your Authentic Voice?

Me and master Maori healer, Manu. Topanga, CA

Me and master Maori healer, Manu. Topanga, CA

“Someone once told me time is a flat circle. Everything we’ve ever done or will do we’ll do over and over and over again.”

Rust Cohle, played powerfully by Matthew McConaughey, says this in the latest episode of HBO’s riveting new show, “True Detective.”

Since embarking on this entrepreneurial journey — the most challenging path of personal growth yet — I’ve been thinking about time. What we repeat. Patterns.

How we become aware of them.

How we break through.

Is it possible to transform time from a flat circle into a soaring arrow, or a shooting star?

In last week’s personal note, I shared a bit about my first ever Maori healing session. With Ata. The gentlest woman. What you imagine the perfect mother to be. Wise, warm, earthy. I had hoped I’d get her that day. You can’t request a healer. You walk in, and they know who needs whom.

I didn’t plan on going back — except to say hi before the healers returned to New Zealand. Some friends decided to go this past Sunday — a mother and daughter, grieving for their recently lost husband and father respectively. On impulse, I drove down.

After all, it was a Sacred Sunday. A space to separate from work. Recharge. Go deep.

“Why don’t you get a session?

“Should I?” I asked Ata.

“You know,” she said.

“No I don’t,” I said. Wanting someone else to make a decision. Even though I did know. In my body, if not my doubt-plagued whirl-a-gig mind.

Next thing I knew, I was on the table with Manu. Manu of the aging warrior body, the tats, the necklace made of human bone.

And the guitar that gently weeps.

I think I knew it would be him this time.The most fearsome healer.

He held my ankles in his large hands, palms radiating intense heat. No gentle grasp. No Ata. This time, he gripped my ankles, pinched the flesh behind the foot and I yelped.

“You’re not grounded,” he said.

“This isn’t like last time,” I said, gasping, laughing.

“You weren’t ready last time. Last time was the top layer.”

And on it went, into a deepdive roller coaster ride of facing and releasing old pains, patterns, stuck energy.

At one point, Manu even dug his meaty fist deep into my belly and wrenched out a “beastie.”

“What the &%*@! was that?!”

“A beastie who sews self doubt.”

“Where’s it from?”

“Who cares. It’s gone.”

I found myself cursing wildly, striking the cot. Drenched in sweat.

So much pain. With each burst of pain — thump, press, dig — came an insight. Sweat-drenched, sometimes accompanied by howls. Mine. Sounds I’ve never made.

“You’re not telling the truth.”

“I’m not?! I’m known for telling the truth!”

Manu shook his head.

“You make things pretty.”

I thought of Suzanne’s powerful lesson from the interview – “It’s gotta get ugly before it gets real.”

Was there a new level of ugliness I wasn’t facing?

“You’ve been living other people’s stories,” he said.

That shut me up.

Manu pressed hard on my jaw, then deep into my throat. I wanted to punch him. Something needed to come up. Out. I roared, guttural. An animal sound.

I didn’t know myself.

Manu told me a story, because I kept asking. He framed my experience. I wouldn’t have heard or understand a word, though, if he hadn’t showed me a story. A false story. A warped story, lying beneath other stories. On, in, and through the body.

I couldn’t deny the rollercoaster energy surge in my legs, or the sensation of something stuck in my throat. The hot burst of tears like a geyser. The animal cries.

I’m still processing Ata’s session, let alone Manu’s. I wanted to share bits of them both with you because they were profound. I think this type of work is key for true personal growth.

If Ata was the Earth Mother, the one I yearn for — then Manu was the fierce father — the one who showed me, finally, what it looked like, felt like, to be in the presence of a father. What it means to seed and raise up a daughter. What fatherly duty feels like, in the flesh and bones, and how it suffuses one with worth — if one is lucky enough to experience it.

I was not. Many have not.

And yet — we do not have to ride the never-ending roller coaster, or whip around the flat desolate circle that is time, trapped in ancient trauma. Unresolved familial, ancestral damage. The kind that sluices through the cells, through generations.

For me, this year is about the body. For me, the time has come to embody, not overthink. And to see how that feeds into story. Our personal story. Your personal story.

Because the Maori healers showed me layers — more layers than I dreamed. Felt. Or was aware of.

So embedded are they in the body.

Just as I demand commitment from my merry band of Money-Making Story bootcampers and other clients, so I must demand it of myself. If I ask hard questions of them, if I challenge these entrepreneurs to dig beneath the layers of their surface stories — so they can find the True Story. the core story, their unmistakable Signature — then I must do the same.

There is always a new layer.

If you want to be relevant? If you want to reach people with your message? If you want to make money?


This week, I’d like to share with you one a powerful writing tip and exercise from the bootcamp, to help you on your journey toward your authentic voice. Your unmistakable, unshakeable story.

We’ve been building one step at a time in the bootcamp. We started with defining moments. Then we unleashed our senses. Next we tapped into our memories.

One way we can avoid time as a flat circle, where we repeat the same patterns — is if we use memory as a way to see how we were. And how we are.

What makes memory powerful is when you create a vivid memory as You/Then dynamic.

Try it out. Write down a strong memory. The first that pops up! Make it as vivid as possible. Use the senses. Locate us in space and time. Write it like it’s happening to You Then.

Next, write that memory as You Now.

Is it different? Do you gain any insights looking back as You Now? Is there a lesson? Did you change? Or are you stuck in patterns? Sometimes just gaining this type of awareness is the start of a shift. Perhaps there’s even a dramatic tension between You Then and You Now. You are different characters.

Both are stars of your own heroic journey.

This exercise shook up the Fire + Flow money-making stories for the better. Maybe it’ll shake yours up too.

Let us know if this inspires you! We’d love to hear your thoughts. Join the conversation. And let’s all aim for the jugular as firmly and lovingly as Manu — and tell our authentic truth. No matter how ugly it gets.

Yrs in truth,

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One Response to Beastie in the Belly: Is Self Doubt Blocking Your Authentic Voice?

  1. aaiyn foster February 22, 2014 at 8:52 am #

    alright, i am getting to this burning man t h i s year – fuck that dust * having graduated from cu/boulder in 71 . . . * and spent amazing time living in the mountains above kyoto and 2 miles in the woods on 400 acres at the coast of maine, etc. have always considered my self a healthy wild being.

    you, are the second wake up bell. jena la flamme/ burning man tribe / year long immersion program in pleasurable weightloss . . . because I wanted to experience the pulse of this next generation and her approach is the growing edge for my profession as an integrative health practitioner (near-embarassing long list of training – except that it is the new custom med school approach for the non-allopathic path) – jena was my first wake up bell. deliciously outrageous, highly professional, grounded, and present with every bit of herself, everywhere!

    i get it – i am ripe ! ready to sign up for your 8 week; wishing I had listened when my friend jan rose distel tried to tell me to look at your program last year – didn’t feel i had time for one more thing. i am ripe now !

    are you offering the 8 wk. on an on-going basis ? found the sign-up; though believe it came through from jan’s transmission last year.

    where do i sign up !

    gratitude ~ * love ~ * blessings ~ *

    aaiyn foster

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