Dear Beauty,

I’d fold down into small shapes—contorting my body, mind, and spirit to fit into boxes that weren’t mine.

These boxes were laid out in front of me—people demanding consciously or unconsciously that I need to stay in these boxes if I want to have a “good” relationship with them.

But I was tired and sore from all the contorting and gymnastics I’d done my entire life to adjust and adapt to toxic patterns that weren’t mine to begin with.

For many years, I wasn’t even aware I was doing all this twisting, bending, and contorting.

Maybe the only clue I had was a teeny-tiny, barely noticeable sense of dissatisfaction deep in my core.

The problem was these patterns and boxes were so familiar that, on some level, they felt like home. So for years, I was repeating them in different situations, relationships, and experiences—completely unaware why things were the way they were.

It was so frustrating because, despite working on myself, I’d feel like I wasn’t making progress.

I also realized that just saying to oneself that I won’t adjust, accommodate, or people please is rarely successful.

(I’d try to stop myself from repeating this behavior but I’d have to be hyper-aware. I’d often toggle back and forth between making a different choice and slipping into old ways. It was hard because it required so much mind space as I was going through my day. I was in a constant state of negotiation with myself on where I’d stay true to myself and where I’d let things slide—it was exhausting!)

As a woman, I bet you can relate to this in some ways.

Many of us, as babies and young girls, are conditioned through our interactions with parents and caregivers to adjust ourselves to please and bend to those around us. This often comes at the cost of living and embodying our most authentic selves.

When we are babies and children, we are dependent on the adults around us for survival, and so we will let go of parts of ourselves if we feel those parts make it difficult to get our needs met.

From a young age, without awareness, we abandon our truest selves. And this becomes normal.

Then, we carry this pattern from childhood straight into adulthood.

For years, we can continue to repeat these patterns until we feel frustrated, or we notice things aren’t working out the way we anticipated. We start hitting the same roadblocks in different situations and relationships.

Well, I was done with this. I wanted to live everyday rooted in freedom and authentic expression.

Although through the years, I’ve explored many different avenues of healing—therapy, various holistic healing modalities, body intelligence, belief/mindset work, meditation, psychological/self-development books, journaling—nothing came close to the changes that occurred in my life through the Shamanic Journey.

Through Shamanic wisdom and guidance, I addressed the layers and the source of this pattern, which allowed me to shed unwanted behaviors.

So let me share a few things I learned that helped me break these frustrating patterns and step more fully into my authentic self.

Sometimes the root of these patterns has nothing to do with you. It started with someone else’s trauma or toxic behaviors.

Usually, the root of these toxic patterns begins when we are babies or very young children and has to do with our reaction or response to our parents or primary caregivers.

In some cases, there is outright abuse or toxicity. But many times, that’s not the case.

The thing is that our parents are imperfect.

This is normal. There is no perfect person.

Even when our parents/caregivers are well-meaning, they are human. They have their own complex collection of circumstances, history, trauma, influences, cultural background, habits, ideas, etc.

As I mentioned earlier, when we are babies and young children, we are dependent on the adults around us. We need a parent or caregiver to feed us, clean us, bathe us, hold us, keep us safe—pretty much keep us alive.

Without them, we are vulnerable and our chance for survival is slim.

So as we interact with our parents/caregivers, we intuitively and energetically react and respond to our parent’s own unresolved trauma or toxic patterns. We sense out the behaviors that meet disapproval or make it difficult to get our needs met.

We then begin to shed, slowly let go, or suppress parts of ourselves to please, bend, and adjust to the caregivers in our lives. This isn’t conscious. It’s a survival instinct.

So how does knowing this help you break patterns and be the more authentic you?

First, it allows you to stop beating yourself up or being so hard on yourself. There is nothing wrong with you.

The things you are struggling with are just part of life, the way things work, and are part of our development.

Second, you can get to the root of your patterns.

All that energy that you expend being hard on yourself can be used in a more practical way.

Most of the time, we try to work out our challenges in all the different areas of our lives—work, family, romantic relationships, friendships, money, purpose, etc.

Instead of continuing to struggle in many areas, you can shift your attention and energy to more targeted healing, where you focus on the root.

When you heal the root, it becomes far easier to address the present-day manifestations of how that’s showing up in your life.

Just because something is familiar and feels like home doesn’t mean that it’s healthy or leads to connection, happiness, or satisfaction.

This one was a mind opener for me. When something feels familiar or like home, we tend to gravitate towards it.

Why? Because it feels easy, comforting, and you know how to navigate it.

It can also feel like ‘chemistry’ or that ‘meant-to-be’ feeling. And sometimes, easy and familiar can be mistaken for attraction, interest, or compatibility.

This applies to all kinds of situations and relationships.

Now it made sense why I hitting the same roadblocks again and again. It was familiar!

I was subconsciously choosing familiar situations that mimicked the root issue where I accommodated, compromised, and suppressed myself at the cost of embodying my most authentic self.

Once I understood this simple idea, it became much easier to evaluate different parts of my life to see what needed to shift or change.

Although there’s often an energetic or spiritual component that’s highly personalized here and can usually only be dealt with a soul retrieval, wisdom session, boundary restoration, etc., you can begin to work on the cognitive part.

You can ask yourself questions to identify situations and relationships that echo a familiar pattern that repeatedly shows up in your life.

Maybe it’s in your choice of romantic relationships?

Are you finding yourself in a similar situation in your career or job no matter how many changes you make?

Are you experiencing a similar sense of dissatisfaction with some of your friendships or family members?

Do you have the same conflicts with your spouse or children over and over?

You’ll be able to identify where to begin your exploration by paying attention to whatever area of life you feel a sense of dissatisfaction. That’s the hint that you need to look and see what pattern exists there.

If you’re doing this exploration on your own, it’s not always obvious. You’ll need to dig deep with your inner work. Meditate, journal, reflect, or talk it out with a trusted person.

Now that you know these two things, you can begin this important inner work.

Because whether it’s in childhood or in our adult lives, anything that causes us to cover up or run from our authentic self is a form of trauma** and needs to be addressed.

It’s important because when we do not live in our authentic self, we can get sick, feel a sense of dissatisfaction, or feel depressed or anxious. We can lose motivation, have a harder time moving into our purpose, or have difficulty connecting with people in a way that feels satisfying, among many other things.

For me personally, this healing work has been incredibly powerful and freeing.

It’s removed confusion, doubt, and fear and provided clarity and a clear path forward in resolving challenges. I feel lighter, more peaceful, happier, and supported. It’s helped me take action in creating a life that’s authentic, aligned, purposeful, and joyful. And most importantly, it’s given me a deeper, truer connection to myself.

If you want to experience the feeling I just described or break free of your own patterns of twisting, bending, accommodating, and suppressing, I’d be happy to explore whether Shamanic healing is for you. , and we’ll set up a 20-minute call to chat.

With love,


** Dr. Valerie Rein’s definition of trauma:

“trauma is any experience that made you feel unsafe in your fullest authentic expression and led to developing trauma adaptations to keep you safe.”