A few years ago, during an emotional intelligence training session, I laid on the floor in a sav asana-corpse yoga pose kind of way. I allowed inner felt body sensations, a molten mixture of old fears, shrouded shame, and unworthiness, to begin to fall into the carpeted floor. I let these energies ooze out of my every pore, my red-hot face, my uncoiling inner abdomen, the bottoms of my heels, calf muscles, shoulder blades, my softening glutes, the back of my head, the backs of my arms, my hands. I felt them release through the depths of my diaphragm into my glorious 3D back body lungs expelling carbon dioxide, warm air exiting my nostrils. Gravity and keen awareness worked with me to aid my body parts softening in all the previous clenched places.

I didn’t realize how many nooks and crannies of my skull, face, forehead, eyes housed shame, fear, and unworthiness. Had these energies entered my mitochondria, the Golgi bodies-every part of my human cells I remembered learning about in fascinating biology class in high school? I concluded, yes. Yes, indeed.

Breathe. Release. Breathe. Release.
I granted my body permission to let go.
Breathe. Release. Breathe. Release.

Tears trickled down the sides of my face, the warm wet travelling droplets, like tiny snails leaving their salty slime trail. These tears turned into cooler puddles in my ears. My eyes remained closed. Breathe. Wet tears. Breathe. Let Go. Safe here in the darkness.

Many past experiences with people who convinced me with words and deeds that I didn’t matter floated more gently through my mind. All the thoughts connected to the core thought, a thought, I thought for years “I don’t matter “ began to seeks and find escape routes throughout my now tingling body. Breathe. Tears. Breathe. Let go.

Images of many people I loved, still love, who love me entered my mind. I pictured myself hugging them, assuring them that adult Laura, their mom, beloved friend, sister, colleague, neighbor, stranger bicycling on the street, human being remained vibrantly here, alive, and filled with greater compassion, grace, peace, and courage.

I imagined myself above my body, looking down now at these younger versions of myself, emotional parts of me.

Here lies Unworthy Ursula, Terrified Tammy, Ashamed Ashley all parts of little Laurie, all of whom taught me, Laura, to strive, effort, yearn, perfect, master, excel. They taught me to run faster, swim longer, dance freely, read voraciously, eat healthily, sweat profusely, grit teeth earnestly, question constantly, walk outside in nature regularly, bow and curtsy constantly, study persistently, earn academic accolades humbly.

Thank you, Unworthy Ursula, Terrified Tammy, Ashamed Ashley, these parts of Laurie for all you brought to Laura’s awareness about doing, clinging, resisting, and being. You can rest in peace. Here. Now. For now.

When you all choose to unexpectedly rise from the dead, I now have lighted exit aisles at the back of the plane, the sides of the plane, the front of the plane. The stewardess, Inner Quiet Charlotte, will gladly show you pathways out, with a loving embrace, again, and again, and again. Laura plans to sit solidly in the pilot’s seat and allow God/Love/Source to guide her to greater soul freedom, and to leap from the plane in glorious, wing-expanding flight for brave dreams that live beyond small, too tight spaces.

I lifted myself off the floor and walked into the arms of many new people and adventures that enrich my experience of being alive every single day. I continue to learn to fully forgive, love, and accept myself as a person. I live human and humane. I know where the exit aisles are for energies that used to shackle me. I know where I get to live, that I’m here to love, thrive, and expand beyond.

Laura Staley is the founder of Cherish Your World and the author of her inspirational book Live Inspired.