"When the power of love, overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace."
Jimmy Hendrix 1942- 1970
I felt I had a responsibility to write this book. I was fascinated by my ability to watch my thoughts and actions during my journey to awareness. I felt I needed to share my "Aha!" moments in hopes that my experiences would resonate with others, helping them to become their authentic selves!
“It was time for me to step into my authentic self. I had realized I had left a part of me behind when I became a wife and a mother: it was time to become whole again.”
I believed others had to change first before I could step into my authentic self. I came to discover this wasn't true. I didn't have to wait for anyone to change for me to become me; what I believed, was stopping me from being me. This seems so obvious, but why do most of us still compromise ourselves for the love of another, believing that's what we have to do?
Like other women, among them Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat Pray Love) I wanted to find out who I really was. I wanted to know what my "truth" was and what I believed, but I didn't want to leave my husband and family go off to live in an ashram and not speak for a hundred days. I wanted to go on an inner journey within my own family.
I found myself standing at the crossroads of my life and wanting to go forward, but something was stopping me. Why couldn't I take that next step? My answer was, "Because I'm afraid that those I love won't come with me." I believed I'd be alone or they would be left behind: neither of which I could bare to allow; the choice seemed like no choice at all. But the burning desire that I could finally be one hundred percent me and keep my relationships intact pushed me forward to show me the way.
Bruce Lipton, biologist and author of Spontaneous Evolution, says: "Miraculous healing awaits this planet once we accept our new responsibility to collectively tend the garden, rather than fight over the turf." I support his belief. Our own individual turf, in fact, is the only one we really do have control over and how we act in the world around us; it's our personal responsibility. Once we have achieved this on the personal level, we will naturally be contributing to the global turf.
This book will show you through my stories and experiences. The most helpful tool I had during difficult times was the ability to watch my thought patterns, actions and write them down, without judgment. This is key; don't get caught up in the story. We all do this naturally all the time; however, we aren't always aware we're doing it, we most certainly don't write it down, and we likely always judge. I experienced many signposts along my path and I learned to see them clearly as I became more aware.
Eckhart Tolle describes this level of consciousness in his books: The Power of Now and A New Earth. "Becoming aware, watching yourself act out in your own life, being a witness of your own actions and thought patterns propels you forward to become your authentic self. First you have to know what's going on within you before you can change the outcome."
My ultimate goal is for this book to reach the far corners of the Earth to lead women to become their authentic selves while still being able to have compassion towards men. We have both been conforming to other people's beliefs and beliefs passed down to us from previous generations. Not any more, it's time for the truth, our own truth.
So, if you're tired of conforming and being someone you aren't, if you say YES when you mean NO, then my story may help you find yourself while still keeping your relationships intact.
What I went through wasn't easy, there wasn't a road map for me to follow; no one gave me direct instructions. I had to let go and agree to go on this journey without knowing where it would lead. I had to have faith and trust: I had to believe. I was in search of unconditional love. Does it really exist?
Step into my shoes and come along with me on my journey to discover what I found out.
REVIEWS FOR CAN I BE ME, Without Losing You?
"Chental brings home the essence of living from our heart's truth in a wonderfully raw, authentic voice that makes this book a remarkable page turner! Her powerful stories will inspire you to be the detective in the stories you tell yourself; to shift your perceptions and come to the greatest version of your innermost truth. Chental's pragmatic exercises are daily steps that anyone can utilize to live from a conscious place while emerging into their authentic being."
- Karen McGregor, International Speaker, Bestselling Author, Intuition Expert, KarenMcGregor.ca
CHAPTER 1: Why Did I Say Yes, When I Wanted to Say No?
Song: “Change” by Tracey Chapman
Why did I say yes when I wanted to say no? Just to get my needs met? To create safety for my kids and myself? Is that what my mother did and taught me to do? Why didn’t I just speak my truth? Have I learned to manipulate and lie? Or was I simply just too afraid?
I don’t believe divorce happens because we drift apart and forget to do things together after the kids come along. It seems to me, as we become moms and wives, we adjust and take on roles based on what we learned from our mothers and what has been expected of women from centuries past. All those conditioned beliefs end up determining how our own life will unfold.
The truth is, I went underground and wore a mask to protect my children and myself. Right or wrong, I did what I did because that’s what I watched my mother do. She kept the peace and made sure everyone was happy: Dad, the kids, that was her job and she forgot about herself. That’s what I learned to do and on some level at some point: I agreed to it. Why wouldn’t I? What else did I know?
I remember spending a weekend with my sisters in 2000. One evening we went around the room asking each other the question: When are you at your happiest? My youngest sister answered first. She hesitated for a moment and then said, “When I’m painting.” I could tell a part of her almost felt ashamed to admit it, even if she didn’t know why, but this was her truth. My sister next to me (in age) and I gave the same answer, “When our family is happy, we’re happy.” I remember thinking, this is so cheesy and wrong. But I didn’t say anything. It was like being aware of something you had always thought, but now after hearing it out loud you didn’t agree with it anymore. My sister felt free to be happy doing something for herself and I hadn’t ever thought about that possibility before. As we finished up hearing from the other sisters, I could tell my youngest sister felt as though she was being judged, and perhaps, she was. I just remember how brave she was to be so honest in spite of her eight sisters. Perhaps at the time some of us weren’t even aware we weren’t being as brave, or perhaps we really believed it was enough for our families to be happy. Is that what we were taught? As the youngest sister, she was always accused of being selfish and spoilt when we all lived at home. Now, when I look back, she was the only one who didn’t take on our family’s conditioning. If it was encouraged, she rebelled against it.
We were good girls who listened, watched, and saw how our mother was. For most of her life she sacrificed herself for the happiness of her family - and that was exactly what we were all doing. Granted, we were all happy to be that way, but we were clueless in knowing there was any other way to be. Do you know that every night my mother went off to the pub with my dad when I was little? She left my younger sister and me alone, even though it was the last thing she wanted to do. She said yes when she wanted to say no.
Why didn’t she say no? She believed it would have upset our father. She believed he would have become angry and taken his anger out on her: or on us kids. So, what choice did she have? She went to the pub and left us kids to fend for ourselves. Can you imagine how hard that must have been for her? Knowing her little girls were terrified to be left alone? She had to make a choice and she believed this was the best one for us girls, so that’s what she did. She did it for us. That’s what I label prostituting ourselves to get what we need, be it for those we protect or ourselves. Perhaps her own mother did the same thing for the same reasons: and we did what we did because it’s the only way we knew as well.
I believed I couldn’t say no to my husband because I too believed he would get mad and take it out on the kids or me and then the whole house would be left in a mess. This was my job wasn’t it? To keep the peace and protect the kids? I thought so. My husband isn’t a violent man at all. He has never used physical force on me, our children, or anyone else for that matter. So you may ask, why was I afraid? When he raised his voice - that was enough for me. At times his energy filled the room with anger. This is what kept me from speaking my truth and it was enough to control me. This mirrored my father’s behaviour and this is when I learned to be controlled by a fear of confrontation.
It goes even deeper for me. I believe in past lives. I discovered, through past life regression, that I was killed for speaking out in one of my former lifetimes. So for me, the fear was even more intense. What I believe is this: we come into this world with wounded egos that need to heal (sometimes from previous lifetimes and some accumulated from this lifetime) and it’s our sole responsibility to be a detective in our own lives to find out what those wounds are in order to move forward.
I was fascinated to discover that I created my situations from my own behaviour and beliefs. Once I discovered this and grew conscious of my beliefs I could then change them, it seemed my husband would then have to make a conscious choice to accept my new way of being, as I had changed. I discovered that to become empowered was to simply embody the truth of who I am and I had to make the choice to step into all of me.
Ask yourself, how many times in your life have you said yes when you really wanted to say no? But because it would have upset your husband (or partner) and he may have taken that out on you or your kids - you just said yes to keep the peace. In the past, I would rather sacrifice myself than our children, so I would say yes when I wanted to say no.
Take sex... (For more purchase "Can I Be Me?")
Can I Be Me Playlist
Links to each chapters theme song.
Music played a big part in my evolution towards consciousness.
It has a way of releasing emotions that are locked away from our minds reach, thus every chapter is preceded by a song. If you want to know what my emotions were at any stage, listen to the song related to the chapters.
Chapter 1 - Why Did I say Yes when I wanted to say No? Song: Change by Tracey Chapman
Chapter 2 - Fear to Speak My Truth. Song: Conviction of the Heart by Kenny Loggins
Chapter 3 - Sins of Our Fathers. Song: Fiddle and Bow by Bruce Guthro
Chapter 4 - Did I Know Who My Mother Was? Song: The Rose by Bette Midler
Chapter 5 - Family Conditioning. Song: Do What You Have To Do by Sarah McLachlan
Chapter 6 - Seeing Through New Eyes. Song: Listen by Beyonce from the motion picture Dream Girls
Chapter 7 - Discovering the Wounds. Song: Everybody’s Broken by Jann Arden
Chapter 8 Ego and Illness. Song: Faith of the Heart by Rod Stewart
Chapter 9 - Shining Light into the Darkness. Song: Realize by Colbie Caillat
Chapter 10 - Sins As a Mother. Song: Forever Young by Rod Stewart
Chapter 11 - Song: If Today Was Your Last Day by Nickelback
Chapter 12 - unknown
Epilogue - Imagine by John Lennon