Coming CLEAN – I couldn’t LIE!

10442518_10155144782205437_2541787776889971785_nMy OWNING IT Blog by Catherine Hoffman 

Oh my – There was a large group of new peeps and old regulars to Urban Lifeclass in our new room at The Place Dance Centre in Euston on the day I was leading, so that was encouraging – but once we got the room sorted I noticed I HAD LEFT ALL MY NOTES ON MY KITCHEN TABLE!!

Since this Sunday 12th April Seminar was about exploring DECEPTION, DENIAL and Doublespeak. I HAD TO COME CLEAN. So after already confessing ( and trying not to show PANIC ) David said they were all in my head anyway, so I sat quietly writing down what I could remember.

After MORNING PAGES from The Artist’s Way, we started working through various exercises looking at ways in which we use these following three modes in our lives : What is the biggest lie we have told? . .  What does authenticity mean to us? . .  and Who are we really?

How do we navigate our lives as genuinely as possible through the stories we are told from our families and society as a whole, even the stories we tell ourselves… so we looked at who we were in terms of what we attract, and what makes us attractive, and to going underneath and looking at our flaws and owning our shit.

After a 15 mins eye-gaze exercise with breathwork in partners, we looked at ways in which ‘we suffer for love’ to get what we want. How do we do this in our relationships and even in our public lives?


In small groups of fours we discussed various ways we ‘suffer for love’. Each group then fed back five examples each to the larger group and I made a list of them all: Do you identify with any?

They echo aspects of CODEPENDENCY.

1. People pleasing/not causing a fuss.
2. I am here 24/7 for you, I will do anything to keep you happy…
3. Manipulating emotions to get acceptance – saying something to gain the acquired response.
4. Guilting someone to get something.
5. Bullying.
6. Pity – seeking or giving.
7. Buying love.
8. Not asserting your own needs – playing the victim.
9. Passive/aggressive modes such as sarcasm.
10. Misinterpreting what has been said to you, knowing that is wrong. but not bothering to really understand the truth as it is easier to misread something.
11. Sabotage.
12. Creating a problem to achieve sympathy – a negative spin.
13. A competition of stress.
14. Faking illness for attention.
15. Refusing love/pulling back/keeping a distance to test love.
16. Being ‘good’ for praise or approval.
17. Flattering and flirting – complimenting for manipulation.
18. Refusing help, putting yourself out there as distressed but rebuffing.
19. Emotional shutdown rather than telling.
20. Humour – using it to deflect and withdrawing it to play the miserable/serious one.

Everyone then went through the list individually, wrote down concrete examples of when they use these techniques and who with – like a confession of what we can do to other people and damage ourselves.

DIY-farmhouse-kitchen-table-51We then went through the list and chose two that resonated strongly and in the next week to observe when we do those things and see if we can change those habits. A hard thing to do but being honest with ourselves about our actions and agendas is a step in the right direction to freeing ourselves from DECEPTION, DENIAL and DOUBLE-SPEAK, in a world where we are surrounded by half truths, shadowy words, twists and turns – we only have to look at the election campaigns at the moment!

. . . and when I got home, my notes were there on the table.

and David was right, it WAS in my head, the notes tallied exactly with what I wrote down in panic! It just goes to show. NO LIE. 

Catherine Hoffmann