Before: I am someone who has always struggled with bullying. Growing up with a verbally abusive stepfather, I was bullied day-in and day-out by someone who was supposed to love me and protect me, and I had taken on his voice within my own thoughts and I didn’t even realize it.
Before IMGRS, I simply thought that that people on the outside were mean to me, rather than the truth of the matter: that I was mean to myself. I bullied myself every single day with the negative self-talk about how I was not good enough, how I was a failure, how I didn’t deserve what other people deserve to have. I was someone who tolerated dysfunctional living situations, less than desirable wages, and romantic isolation. I felt like a victim much of time. I didn’t see the path to receiving what I truly desired. It was easier to stay numb by avoiding taking any chances that might bring me what I desired than to risk feeling like I was just never going to be good enough. The irony, of course, is that although I was trying to protect myself from being hurt and disappointed, I stayed stuck.
During: When I began IMGRS, Amy Ahlers and Christine Arylo gave me “permission” to start dreaming. They made it okay to cultivate the natural feminine strengths that I have, when for much of my life, I was bullied for being too weak and too sensitive. They also gave me permission to put my desires above all else – even when that means disappointing another person. I learned where my fears were actually coming from, and how to respond to the mean voices in my head. Through the process, I started to see myself becoming more receptive to having what I desired – income that allows me to fully live my truth, a home that nourishes me and supports my growth and creativity, and sexual empowerment. My inner mean girl has definitely resisted this process, but the tools I learned in IMGRS are making it easier to navigate the relationship.
Today: Now, I take time each day to check in with my inner wisdom about what she has to say. I am developing such a rich and rewarding relationship with her. She most recently guided me to leave a job that was holding me back and draining my energy, and to take a chance on love. I spend time cultivating my relationship with my inner mean girl as well, so that she can share need-to-know information with me so that I make informed decisions, but she no longer gets to run my life. She is becoming a partner, rather than an unbridled bully. I am so grateful for my IMGRS experience. Amy and Christine gave me my life back. They gave me the tools to co-create a life that I never imagined would be possible for me to have. I am more compassionate with myself and with others, and now I live with more passion, joy, grace, and creativity. Thank you, IMGRS!
Before: Before I attended Inner Mean Girl Reform School, from an outsider’s perspective, I seemed to have it all. I was a smart, successful, single woman in her mid-to-late 30s with a great job working for
the U.S. Government; two degrees from two prestigious universities; a home in one of the nation’s most coveted neighborhoods; and loving family and friends.
My inner reality was somewhat different. I felt increasingly stuck and depressed. I worked all the time in an effort to be well-liked, well-regarded, and to matter. My hatred of myself and especially my body ran deep. And my Inner Mean Girl waged psychological warfare on me non-stop. She beat me up all the time, sabotaged me every chance she could, delighted in providing me with a running list of all of my flaws, made me afraid to be vulnerable, to such an extent that I avoided emotional intimacy with potential partners, and she paralyzed me under the guise of perfectionism. I played small and felt inconsequential, ugly, and unworthy, and honestly couldn’t stand to even look at myself in a mirror. I knew something had to change so I decided to dedicate a full year to cultivating happiness, which meant finally addressing my relationship with myself.
During: Through Inner Mean Girl Reform School I became quite intimate with my Inner Mean Girl who I named “Vicious Bitch” because she was that mean. Through the process, I was able to see for the first time why I had created her. The IMG Archetypes – of which I related to about 90% of – helped me understand these parts of myself. I also met my Inner Wisdom and began tuning into her, which empowered me to take a courageous act that would change my life. I took a stand for myself and wrote the Vicious Bitch a break-up letter! It was the start of me truly loving myself. At the end of Reform School, I remember catching a glimpse of myself in a mirror and noticing how lovely I looked – my hair, my breasts, me! These were the first complimentary thoughts that I had about my body in over 10 years.
Today: Although my Inner Mean Girl is probably one of the worst that Christine and Amy have encountered, I successfully reformed her. Today, my life is radically different. I am madly in love with myself and my body, and will never again settle for less than what my heart and soul desire. The Vicious Bitch only occasionally rears her ugly head and usually at a fraction of her former viciousness, embodying one archetype at a time, making dealing with her manageable. I quit my job so that I could take a year off and go deeper on my spiritual path. I am taking care of myself, facing my fears, going on adventures, and living a more open-hearted life. I even started dating. I celebrated my body love and confidence by performing in my first-ever burlesque show. I have no idea what the future holds for me and that is okay. In this present moment, I am happy, healthy, and fulfilled.
Before: Before Inner Mean Girl Reform School, I had a major relationship breakup that left me – a strong independent woman on the outside – crying and doubting myself on the inside. I wanted to heal quickly and was looking for answers to questions like, “How and why did I get to this point in my life? How do I make things better for me, and not go through this pain again?” I read some self-help books, got some counseling and then serendeptiously I read Christine Arylo’s book, Madly in Love with Me, which eventually led me to Inner Mean Girl Reform School.
During: As I went through the Inner Mean Girl Reform School experience, I learned practical and useable tools that enabled me look deeply inside myself in ways I couldn’t before. And the teachings empowered me to look at myself with real love, the kind that I’ve learned no else can give me. I was able to see and give voice to the self-sabotaging patterns I have created during the course of my lifetime, which I couldn’t see as clearly before.
Today: Today I have the tools to make better life choices, and have permission not to put pressure on myself to be perfect. It is so comforting, to know that I am enough and I am sacred. Armed with real tools like Love Mantras and Sacred Inner Wisdom Dates I’ve developed new self supportive habits that help me listen to my Inner Wisdom to hear my inner truth. I’ve also gained the inner strength to stop over giving to others to please them. And broken a lifelong pattern of having to keep busy to have self worth and feel good about myself. Freedom.