Updated: Aug 1, 2022
Many times I’ve heard members of the Love & Liberation Network mention that they're not dating anyone at the moment, so they don't know what to talk about during our weekly Relationship Hour zoom calls. But what most people don’t understand about developing secure attachment is that you don’t need to have a sexual or romantic relationship.
The beautiful thing about relationship anarchy is that your relationship with yourself is just as much of a priority as your relationships with others. That's why, in the work I do with others, we always start by focusing on their relationship with themself. It can feel counterintuitive, but in the end, relationships are simply mirrors for us to see ourselves more deeply. And the more we can "be with" in ourselves, the more we can "be with" in others. The deeper we can feel and connect. The deeper we can love 💜
At the core of secure attachment is trust in one's self.
How could you possibly develop trust with someone else if you don't trust yourself first?
→ Trusting others more than you trust yourself = anxious attachment
→ Trusting yourself more than you trust others = avoidant attachment
→→ Secure attachment is that balance between trusting you can handle whatever challenges come your way and asking for (and receiving) help when you need it.
So at first glance, my three month solo bikepacking trip with my dog, Amor, may not seem like it's part of my journey in developing secure attachment. But, actually, this trip is a HUGE investment in my relationship with myself.
Trusting I can Solve Challenges that arise is Part of my Shadow Work
Today is day seven of the trip and I’ve already had to problem solve SO MANY times. And it's an emotional experience every time. When I was a small human and presenting as a little girl, I received messages (often from males) that I was too stupid to figure things out on my own. This had happened explicitly when a teacher mocked me in class, or my classmates made fun of me for making a mistake - making it mean that my entire character was defective. And it's also happened implicitly when my parents would take something from my hands and fix it for me before I even had the opportunity to try. Naturally, I internalized the belief that I was incompetent, which I interpreted to mean that I was also unloveable. So, in order to "earn" love, I did my best to hide my stupidity by studying super hard, going above and beyond, and getting straight A's.
Subjects that imperialist/dominator culture have gendered as male, like math, especially triggered my self doubt and social anxiety. I remember coming home from middle school and having panic attacks while trying to do my math homework. And if I was asked to solve a problem in front of the class, my entire body would shut down. My brain would freeze, and I would often start crying out of humiliation - at my unlovability being exposed to my peers 😰
Of course, this was a self fulfilling prophecy. Believing I was incapable of solving problems was what shut my brain down in the first place. I would later find out in college that I was capable of learning math. (In fact, as an Economics major in college, my Econometrics project won 1st place.)
But the self doubt was the reverberations of the messages that were instilled into my small being. Believing the lies that were fed to me by the Capitalist Patriarchy ultimately made them into a reality. I had internalized my oppression.
Now that I'm 29, I'm still unrooting the weeds that were planted in my subconscious mind so many moons ago. On day 2 of this epic solo trip, I found myself climbing up a steep mountain, carrying a heavy load and quickly running out of battery on my e-bike. My automatic reaction stemmed from the seeds of my oppression - the internalized belief that I was incapable of taking care of myself. My mind spiraled into panic. "How long will I be stuck here? Will I be safe? What if this? What if that? What if, what if, what if...?"
Here's a little video blog about the experience:
A huge part of developing secure attachment (AKA trust in one's self), is noticing disempowering narratives - not committing to them.
I’m celebrating that I was able to notice when I was spiraling and redirect my attention back to the present moment - doing what I know to do to get out of my head and back into my body. I took off my shoes and touched my feet to the earth, I pet my dog, Amor, and sang a song. I did some EFT tapping on my chest and tummy (where the energy felt most rambunctious). I put some food in my belly. By slowing down and being in partnership with my body, I was able to move the panic/fear energy through my vessel, priming my channel for new narratives to form.
Once my body returned to a state of calm, then I was able to think clearly. Not getting ahead of myself (AKA anxiety), but taking things one moment at a time. Within my state of clarity, I could identify the roots of oppression that had been planted in my mind - interfering with my relationship with myself. To redirect my subconscious animal body towards conscious intention, I took out my notes app on my phone and wrote the following message - not only as a declaration (choosing new beliefs to embody), but also as a reminder for the rest of my journey.
You might read this and think "ok, sure, you expect me to develop secure attachment by choosing to believe I can trust myself?"
Sounds kinda cheesy, huh?
But this is the magic of spell work. When your intentions align with your speaking and your actions, you are integrated. You are connected to your power. To yourself. Setting conscious intentions requires exploring the shadows of the seeds that have been planted in your mind by systems of oppression.
Setting conscious intentions is like steering a ship. You get to reclaim your life. You get to reclaim your autonomy. The words you speak carry energy. And they stem from your thoughts, your mind. Speaking, singing, signing, or writing your intentions is casting the energy of a spell. Spells are simply recipes to alchemize energy - transforming disempowering narratives into empowering ones. Ones that build trust.
At the end of the day you embody what you believe. A declaration said with confidence casts that energy out into the universe. The more you believe what you say, the more you will embody your belief. So, embody the energy you want to invite into your life.
This magic doesn't work overnight. It's something you practice over and over again until it becomes ingrained in your subconscious mind, and thus embodied in your being. It's literal magic 🌈
This is why I assign my coaching clients practices, not homework.
Capitalism fools the subconscious mind into believing you can buy quick, easy solutions to anything and everything. This might be true for some things, but you can't buy self trust. It's a labor of love that requires commitment, consistency, and, ultimately, belief. Belief that it's possible in the first place. If you believe creating new patterns is possible, then you've created the possibility for it to emerge with time. But if you can't imagine a reality where self trust is possible, there's zero chance of it happening.
I'm not selling you short term solutions for a quick buck - I'm opening the door to deeper, multidimensional truths so you can at least have the opportunity to explore new possibilities that feel aligned with your values.
And look - I've been doing this spell work and witchcraft (alchemizing energy to my desired outcome) for about 5 years now. I've been planting so many seeds of love in myself over and over and over again, that I'm finally at a point where I'm feeling my garden blossom - and I'm still planting seeds as I'm harvesting the fruits of my labor. This is how you develop secure attachment.
I feel high on life slurping up the sweet juices of the labor I've been cultivating for years 😋
So if you're starting out, don't lose hope. And also know - there's never a finish line. It's an ongoing journey. There's no end to the depth of trust you can continue to develop with yourself. That's why celebrating the little things is everything. If you're waiting til you cross the finish line to celebrate, you will never celebrate. You'll be stuck in scarcity (chasing after the next thing without feeling into the abundance that is already present).
So, yea - after biking 45 miles in two days carrying heavy cargo and facing my shadows as I’m forced to rely on myself to solve challenges, I’m physically and emotionally exhausted. And I’m also really grateful for giving myself the opportunity to deepen trust with myself. All these traditionally gendered skills of "fixing mechanical things" is way out of my comfort zone... AND I FEEL SO ALIVE 😌✨
I’ve been wanting to do a bike trip for years now and I’m finally doing it - and with my dog no less! My past selves look at who we are now and they rejoice with tears in their eyes. They’re so proud and amazed that we’re living our dreams. That we’re brave enough to follow our internal compass and explore our edges.
At it's root, the word con-fidence means "with trust" in Latin [source]. It’s been seven short days and I’m already a different person than when I left. I can feel my confidence growing 🌱
It feels so good to be alive 😌
I was excited to stop by Amy's drive through as I crossed the bridge into Marin county. I had read about this organic vegetarian fast food chain back when I was living in Missouri and finally got to try it out! It was a good place to stop and recharge 😊
Since I adopted Amor from the Oakland animal shelter in January 2021, this was our first time going to the beach together! She was 3 years old when I adopted her and I have zero information about her past. For all I know, it's possible she's never left the city before. It brought me so much delight to see her running around in the sand with so much joy on her face
For more updates about my bikepacking trip, check out this YouTube playlist.
At the moment of writing this blog post I've got a total of $68 between my savings and checking account. (I invested ALL of my savings to buy the gear I needed for my trip!) If you're able to support me along my journey, it would go a long way! 🙏🏻
What's even better than donations, though, is paying for my services! I've got lots to offer 😊
Consider joining the Love & Liberation Network, a community of non-monogamous folks developing secure attachment as we unlearn hierarchical ways of relating to each other.
Or book a Curiosity Call if you're interested in 1:1 relationship support! 💜
I'm here to inform, inspire, and help you create new possibilities in your life rooted in love and liberation 🌈