Today, for something a little bit different, I thought I'd share my talk for the 2021 Women Lighting the way Summit.
32 minutes of raw, vulnerable me narrating my journey to becoming the TooMuch woman.
If you'd rather the story, head on below the video and read to transcript ...
So much for today ...
I would be so happy to hear from you about all that.
Thank you in advance for your comment.
See you soon, for my next online adventures!
Until then I send you love, light and gratitude.
Hey everyone, and welcome to my talk. I'm Isaiah from isayabelle.com, I’m a mixed media, spiritual Artist and Crafter, as well as a Magico-Pragmatic mindset and business Coach, Teacher, and a Traveling Priestess. I have been working with a Divine Feminine for over 20 years in real life and online, and I have facilitated Women's Circles, Red Tents, artists workshops, and Sacred Retreats all over the world. I accompany women in their re-connection to themselves, to nature and the Universe. I work with the Greek Goddesses Archetypes to attune my clients with the Divine Feminine so that they feel supported, live their best life, and raise the vibration of the planet as a whole.I help women who feel TooMuch or not enough dare to rise, take up their rightful place, shine their light, and talk their truth in the world.
This talk is about the power of the stories, like the rest of the other speakers will explain as well. And so I'm going to go straight into it and tell you how from the NotEnough Girl, I became theTooMuch Woman and how I changed the stories and thus changed my life.
So the first story I'm going to be telling you is the story of how I quit smoking, or rather, how I became a nonsmoker again. So in 2016 or something, I was really not feeling good about the smoking.
I started smoking when I was 17. And by 2016, I had tried to quit smoking quite a few times, never being successful for longer than two, three months at the maximum. And so what happened is I was fully convinced this is the story that I was telling. I was fully convinced that I was a smoker.
My name is Isaya. I'm rather blond. I'm white. I'm from Greece, and I'm a smoker. That's part of who I am. That's inherent to my personality.
I used to believe that very strongly. Thus, every time I tried to quit smoking, I couldn't… Because I was a smoker. So in November 2016, I decided to spend a whole month of my life to brainwash myself literally into believing that I was a nonsmoker. So I did everything. I threw everything at it from hypnosis, self hypnosis, affirmations, magic spells, magic, art journaling, meditation.
I threw everything at this in order to change the story. And what happened is I actually believed myself. And on December 1, 2016, I became a nonsmoker again. And this new story that I've been telling myself ever since and that I believe just as strongly as the first one, is I am a non smoker. So the interesting thing around this is I fully believe now that I'm a non smoker.
Thus what happens is … I live in France and there's a lot of French people who smoke. And so when I'm with friends or at the end of a meal or something, and there are people smoking, what happens is I have the urge, oh, I’d love a cigarette. And then my brain immediately, and that's the funny part, goes into, huh huh, you can't have a cigarette. Why? Because you're a non smoker.
And it's like, literally, I can't. I am forbidden by my non smoking status to smoke a cigarette. So this is really fascinating for me to see how much of my conviction, of my storytelling around this has literally changed my life. Because years ago, when I wanted to quit smoking, I couldn't because I believed I was a smoker. And now I cannot smoke because I fully believe that I am a non smoker.
So the story here precedes reality. And it's like, this is my life for me. It's really, really interesting how this works in my head. And so that started for me a journey of thinking about the stories that I tell myself and the stories that are even hidden in my unconscious and how I could find ways to uncover those stories and make them apparent and to become aware of them, so as to decide whether I still believed in them or whether I wanted to change the stories. So the smoking thing, the quitting smoking or the becoming a nonsmoker again was, for me, the start of a new journey.
And the journey was a journey of leaving this place of guilt and shame, because smoking was, for me, a huge place of guilt and shame. So, yeah, I decided that I would leave this place of guilt and shame because for me, this was the place that was linked to smoking. And from then on, I decided to heal the rest of my stories. And so to uncover them was the first step. And I realized that one of the stories that was in my unconscious was the story of this girl.
This NotEnough Girl. And I came to understand that I strongly believed that this girl had something wrong. This was the story always I told myself, and I believed that there was a built in default when I was created by the Universe that made me wrong, like, unlovable, broken, sometimes even evil. So this was inherent into my personality, and this was my story. And now that I see this story, that I've shed some light onto it, I see that, you know, no wonder I'm overweight.
I both need to protect myself from these very bad things that I used to think about myself. And also the weight, I believe for me, is showing the burden I'm carrying, this burden of being not good enough, of being wrong, and I have to show it. So I know that this is shame, this is guilt that I've been carrying around for many years, up to almost when I became 50 years old. I was never good enough. I was carrying this weight, this burden, and I think it shows in my body still. So around age 50, I was a 50 year old girl.
I was still hoping for approval, hoping for the lottery, windfall of love. When I was finally good enough, when I finally would manage to do everything right, and then somebody would love me, and then everything would fall into place. Trying to be loved by everyone.
My father. Yeah. Old stories… And every comment that was made upon me on things that were important to me were really painful. I remember my aunt once saying that “oh but I couldn't be a good mother.” I wasn't even a mother at the time. She implied I could never become a good mother because I did not have enough empathy. And I was 17 years old. And this thing has lived with me for 30 years. And when I had my kids, it was almost like I was trying to prove her wrong, that I was a good mother. So every comment, nasty comment, or every absence of love I used as an excuse or as a stick to bang my own head, I think, and to literally hate myself.
And that would come to prove that I was not lovable. Thus I wasn't loved.
So I was trying to be loved by everyone. I was trying to make myself lovable. And I was hoping for peace of mind, for the end of the worrying about hoping that everything and everyone at some point will come together and see that I was not that bad, basically.
But guess what? It never came. It never came. Because the hoping that I would be lovable is not acceptance. I was trying, I was hoping, but I was never there.
And I was trying to be the good mother. And I was trying to be the good wife, and I was trying to be the good businesswoman, and I was trying to be the good teacher. And all this was still a girl, a good girl in me who wanted to be loved and who wanted approval from everyone.
And there was an immense fear of success hidden behind this, the fear of shadowing others, of being too successful. And then, well, then I would shadow my loved ones, my parents, my husband, my children. I would be better than, like there was a competition.
That's in my head. I'm not saying that I approve of any of this.
I'm just trying to be authentic here, and tell you how I used to think. I'm not really proud of that. But that's how I was then. And I did go to therapy. I spent a few years in there, and I worked on the fear.
And I did release so Much Fear, but I was still conforming. I was still this good girl trying to be loved.
And then I basically put myself through the biggest ever life changing workshops. I went to Tantra. So I went to work on my sexuality. And I went to learn everything about Tantric sex and the rising of the Kundalini and doing all this work with other women and with other men. And learning about the energy and feeling the energy in my body, and then also healing all these parts of myself who believed that there was something wrong, that even having desire was something almost wrong, that I was this bad person for having sexual desire.
And so from then on, I met my inner woman. I lost the girl. I kind of grew into the woman. And then I wanted to meet more women.
So I started running Women's Circles and Red Tents, and I became a Moon Mother. I got trained by Miranda Gray, and I got reconnected with my womb and with my menstrual cycle and with all this extraordinary power that lies in our wombs for those of us who are women. So ten years of getting to know the woman in me, of letting her more and more express herself and becoming a woman, leaving the girl, healing the girl. This NotEnough girl, this unloved little girl, healing her and holding her in my arms, but also letting her go and letting the woman rise in me.
And then my life collapsed.
And so then, the new story had to be written because I was basically stripped bare of everything. Everything I believed that was important to me, everything that I had been working towards was suddenly stripped off me. It was like I felt naked. I felt lost completely.
My husband actually was taken to the hospital, and he was in a coma for three weeks.
And then he stayed in the hospital for five months. And for me, there were so many truths, so many things that I started seeing as being different than what I believed. So many parts of the story that I was telling myself, that I was in an equal relationship, that both my husband and I were heading in the same direction, and we had the same goals. And this was basically bullshit.
I was reduced to the strict minimum of myself, and I can't be grateful enough for the work I'd done before so that I actually knew who this woman was because she was suddenly completely alone. There was nothing left… All my plans and goals and ideas that I had envisioned for both my husband and I as a couple, and for our family, were basically shattered, destroyed.
And, yeah, my kids were almost grown up, and they were not interested in having a mummy anymore. They wanted to go and live their lives. So my whole life as a mother was kind of like not happening anymore.
My life as a wife was a lie, and I was completely lost. There's no other way to say that I was completely lost.
And it took me, yeah, it took me years, months to go in there, deep in there, and find the way back to myself, find the way back to this woman that I got to know in the last ten years.
I've come a long way.. And I know how it sounds like… But it is a long way. Although there's nothing showing. Like I look like the same person, but I don't feel like the same person. I feel like I've uncovered the lies in the stories that I was telling myself. And now I have new stories to write.
And so after this kind of shattering event of my husband being taken to the hospital and being in a coma and everything changing, I started thinking that I needed to be completely selfish.
So I started thinking, how can I connect with myself more? How can I allow myself to take care of myself more? How can I be more of a self fulfilling prophecy of love? How can I love myself more and not expect others to love me more? Or at least not expect others to love me as a proof of me being good enough?
So I decided I would investigate the invisible. And going back to my tantric years, I reconnected with energy. And then I met Joanna Hunter, and I actually took a trip into the Akashic records. And I understood. And the new story was, “oh, there is more to it than meets the eye.”
There is more to me than meets the eye.
There is more magic in the world that I actually allow to happen. And I am a part of this magic.
And then the Internet called me TooMuch one too many times because I am overweight. I am loud, opinionated. I am original. I was born in Greece. I've lived across several countries.
I speak four languages. I've had at least 40 different jobs, and job titles. And so I am a little TooMuch, right? Or a lot TooMuch.
And the Internet, I don't even remember who it was said, oh, but isn't that a little exaggerated? Or isn't that TooMuch? And suddenly, but literally, suddenly, like overnight, I felt like I was going to own it. I'm going to own that. I am TooMuch.
I'm going to own that I am a TooMuch Woman, that this is who I am. I am multi-passionate. I have had several businesses. I am an Artist, but I'm also a Coach. I'm a Priestess, but I'm also a Teacher.
And yeah, that is me. And you know what? I think I don't really care if you or the rest of the world thinks that this is TooMuch because I've spent way too long feeling not enough, and this TooMuchness is what I'm now owning and making my new story. So giving myself permission to become this TooMuch Woman fully in every aspect of my life and to give myself some support and get a coach and become a coach.
And I am now walking this path of the TooMuch Woman, which I'm not saying I'm done. But the story around it is that it's okay. It's okay to be TooMuch. I really believe that it's okay for me to be TooMuch. And by the way, it's okay for you too, if you feel like you're TooMuch, too emotional, too opinionated, too loud.
And for me, it's been such a journey from this girl, this inner girl who wanted approval at any cost, who was a people pleaser too. You can imagine to what extend. And this is exactly where I was literally betraying myself. I wanted to be everything for everyone. And I never even considered what I wanted, what I desired.
And I'm not saying I'm there yet, right, because this is the path and the path is, as Buddha would say, the goal is the path or something of the sort. And today I still walk and I'm loving it every day. And I'm telling the story that the path is a lovely place to be. And I'm telling the story that I dare, that I will be successful no matter what. That I am the TooMuch woman, and that I am going to talk about what is a TooMuch woman no matter what.
And then obviously the path changed again. Because change is permanent. And that's one of the big things that I teach is that change, the only permanence is change. It's everywhere. And yeah, last spring, so many things ended for me.
So many things ended. My kids are now 20 and 25. So basically I'm not their mummy anymore. I'm their mother and I'll always be. But I'm not their mummy.
I'm not first responder. So this phase of my life where motherhood was 90% of my occupation, even in my head, is now over. I decided to close the French part of my business. And now I only work in English. So this is a decision to end something.
But it's ten years of wondering whether I was going to work in French or in English or both and going from the one to the other. And then I decided to end that. For a long, long time I was focusing on healing others, mostly my husband. And now I don't.
I believed he was ill. And if I was going to help him out, this was going to cure my marriage. And today I can say that my couple do not need any healing. This is the way it works. For now, we're walking a path. We've been together 30 something years. Just amazing. We've done some amazing things. And for now, together. And for now, we're mostly friends, which is really important.
And then my dad dies.
My mother in law dies. So many goodbyes in there. They came from the same village. And I had to say I came to realize that not only am I going to miss my dad and my mother in law, who kind of adopted me when I was 19 and my mother was not available… But I also realized that I losing an access to this part of my life... Because I told you I'm Greek, but I'm also Swiss.
My father was Swiss. And so was my mother in law, and they came from the same village, and I now very soon I won't have access to this village anymore. As in, if I want to go, I will have to book myself into a hotel. So it's like a bit of my roots are being cut.
And I feel like all these endings are now opening.
There's a space, there a spaciousness that I love.
And there's a new story that can be written. And I feel ready now. I feel ready to write this new story. This story where I stop hiding, where I stop playing small, where I also stop trying to be perfect or even stop pretending that I'm perfect. Can you see the contradiction?
And this is part of the new story. The new story I tell myself about my life is that, yes, I am TooMuch. I am also full of many contradictions. And I will heal more, and I will allow for these contradictions to vanish and to leave me. But I'm not finished.
Are we ever? And so the invitation here is from me to myself for radical self acceptance, not for hoping that I will someday accept myself, but to decide that ...Today. And this is the journey. This is the journey for me. This is the journey I take my clients with towards this place of peace, towards this place of owning and accepting who I am, warts and all and all the too TooMuchness.
And that is my path for today. That is where I'm walking towards... Radical self acceptance and not hoping to get it, but kind of making a decision that this is the story. I am a woman who radically accepts herself.
This is the path of the TooMuch Woman in me accepting the whole of me, loving me, being loved by me. And that being fully enough.
And since I am this song loving geek person, I'm going to end my talk, of course, by inviting you to a song.
If you're interested in anything that I do or that I've just said, get in contact with me. I love talking to people. If you feel like I'm the type of person, the type of coach that could help you out on your way, if you feel like you're a TooMuch woman, too, and you need some kick in the butt to own yourself, you can find all the links to myself and to my pages and websites and everything on the summit page, obviously.
And my invitation to you would be to really start walking this new story of radical self acceptance and accepting this TooMuchness that might be in you, this overly emotional, overly sensual, overly loud, overly creative person that is really wanting to get out of here and to get a life of her own.
So that's my journey from healing the NotEnough Girl to becoming the TooMuch Woman. And I'm not finished. And to tell you the truth, I'm really excited about the next steps, the next chapters of the story I shall be writing.
I'm really excited and I'm really grateful for the opportunity of this Summit to be able to talk about this and to really get into the nitty-gritty of my journey because sometimes I forget. Sometimes I forget how far I've come and I'm really happy and really grateful for all the parts of myself who brought me here today and for all the ones that will bring me wherever I go tomorrow to finish up.
I will paraphrase John Legend, and it’s one of those things, I'm going to give this as a bit of advice before I go into John Legend. When I feel down or I don't really know where I'm going, what I do is I listen to love songs and I imagine it's the Universe talking to me.
And so paraphrasing John Legend, I will just say that:
Because all of me loves all of me,
Love my curves and all my edges,
All my perfect imperfections.
I'll give my all to me.
I'm my end and my beginning,
Even when I lose, I'm winning,
Because I give me all of me.
Thank you very, very much for listening to this talk. I hope it has inspired you to go and dig deep and find the TooMuch Woman in you.
Interested in participating in the 2022 Women Lighting the Way Summit?
Head here and learn how to! https://isayabelle.com/hermatrix-sp