Karen Heras-Kelly, Kula’s resident Life Coach tells us why Wonderwoman has a lot to answer for…

Who did you most admire as a child and why?

For me it was Wonder Woman and I can still feel the excitement exploding in my stomach when I hum her theme tune. At three, I believed she was a real person… I loved her because she was powerful and beautiful – not only did she look great in red and blue, but she also rocked a leotard, and boots! She was a force to be reckoned with and one who epitomized the ultimate ‘good girl.’ She was my heroine, a goddess who was everything I wanted to be when I grew up…

Dressed in my Wonder Woman costume I would run up and down the street, my cloak flying behind me looking for someone or something to rescue… Back then I had a hoot when I was playing her and on a more serious note, a core-belief was founded and a pattern was set…

Today as a woman fast approaching 40, I see that while I may have outgrown my old costume, I’m still holding on to some outdated beliefs that have me stuck in an old fashioned ideal of how I should be and be seen. I’ve been stuck in a character that has seen me playing the role of Wonder Woman and it’s time to let go, get real and claim my own magical powers.

Trying to be WW is no fun at all, especially when I don’t meet my inner saboteur’s super hero criteria. Out comes the book of superhero rules to demonstrate to me just how much of a failure I am. Now, I am flooded with judgments on how ‘I need to do better by working harder.’ If I don’t pay attention or catch this accusatory dialogue quickly, I can easily descend into battle whereby I fight to prove my worth to myself. While this may sound crazy, it is also part of the human condition – we all have minds and the freedom to choose how to live our lives and depending on your beliefs this can be privilege or curse.

Logically I know that to fulfil the role of a manufactured super hero is impossible, especially as you don’t get to see them on their down days, grumpy, sick, premenstrual and saying a metaphorical, ‘fuck you,’ to life and those who cross them. And yet, there is a small seed that grows that takes me back to that beautiful heroine who fought for justice and peace, and I feel strangely connected to the values that her image evokes in me.

As I look back on my life, I see a similar story that runs throughout it and it looks like hard work and over excreting myself to prove that I am indeed ‘good enough.’ I’d even go as far as to say that I’ve been addicted to being needed, I genuinely enjoy helping others, guiding them forward and helping them to find their own answers, it makes me feel useful and of course important. I can easily shower others with my love and attention, and yet when it comes from a heady place of desire, proving and my inner dialogue is full of ‘shoulds, have-tos and or elses,’ it’s time to STOP. When I over stretch myself, I am left lacking, my energy is depleted and daily life becomes tiresome. I am asleep, going through the motions and ticking off actions on my never-ending to-do list. In this place, I am alone, living on my own island and feeling isolated. This is a very old and worn out story, one that is rigid and does not serve me, and I am happy to say that there is no longer a place for it in my life.

In my old story, Wonder Woman doesn’t need help from others, she is strong and independent, she has the answers and she gets the job done, alone. It’s a sad movie to watch and yet I see it playing out time and time again in the lives of many of my sisters. Sound familiar?

What I know is that unless we pay attention to our core beliefs and the corresponding thoughts, we can spend much of our energy justifying ourselves and our existence to our own inner critic. We loose energy and this causes us to disconnect from ourselves in the present. Now we are living in the stories of our past and the fantasies of our future, and none of this is real or inspired by the current moment.

Because I am a real person living an authentic life, one that is full of ups and downs, wins and loses, it is time to let go of the need to be liked, approved of, super human, perfect and any other unrealistic expectation that my ego tells me I have to be. And of course there is always a new perspective to gain, will you take the time to find one that is life affirming and that moves you closer to what your heart desires?

On the flip side of all of this, I can see that what I most loved about my super hero was her huge heart and the kindness she showed towards all living things. And when I allow these qualities to circulate around my body, I can see that in some ways I am indeed like her.

I want to celebrate the good parts of my super hero, the parts of her that I recognise in myself as myself. I am who I am and I am committed to accepting all of me, even the bits that don’t quite measure up in some way. More importantly by focusing on my gifts and talents, I get to appreciate myself in a new way. And what comes with that is I get to live in my own body and claim the moments of my life, which includes asking for what I want and saying what I need. It includes saying ‘no’ to others when I need time for myself and speaking my truth even if it creates conflict and God forbid, I risk not being ‘popular’ or ‘liked.’ These are all things worth fighting for and from this place I get to be my own master. I am no longer the servant to an over inflated ego or to an outdated vision that keeps the real me bound and gagged. Phew, what a relief that is.

Do you want to free yourself from a life-restricting pattern? The first step is to wake up and notice where you are, what you are thinking and see if it is in alignment with the truth? Welcome back to enlightenment, now you get to choose what to do next.

If you are inspired by this story and want to discover ways to connect to your own female power, you can join me at the ‘Inner Goddess’ workshop held at Yoga Kula, Chapel Allerton, Leeds on October 10th 2015. For more information and to book click here.