Monday, May 21, 2012

Listen and Get Real - Sometimes it's not what you expected

Last week I shared a few simple techniques for you to get in touch with your True Self. This week we will talk briefly about what comes next... 

Q: What is the next step? 
A: To GET REAL with yourself! 

If you take the time to reconnect with your True Self you are most likely interested in what it is saying. So the next step, and often the tricky part, is to LISTEN. The thing is, when your True Self speaks there is a piece that resonates immediately regardless of how far you have drifted away from it. Sometimes the things you hear bring up difficult emotions. It is helpful to know how to respond to these emotions. 

Note the difference: RESPOND not REACT. 
  • Reacting looks like fleeing the scene, fighting and/or discrediting, or choosing to ignore the information you have been given because it is uncomfortable. 
  • While on the outside, responding appears much more subtle. Responding often means actually “doing” nothing at all but sitting with your new information. You will probably think about it and question it’s truth. Then you will allow yourself the opportunity to succumb to it so that you may embrace it. 

Only when you accept the True Self can it flourish in your life. And often flourishing looks NOTHING like you would have expected or planned for your self. But I can tell you, that when you live from your True Self, you do not suffer. This is because the True Self is your direct connection to the source of All That Is, God, The Mother, the Universal Highest Power (all different names for the same entity). And this entity can only serve the highest good of All That Is; which includes every human, every animal, every plant, every molecule. So when you begin living with the guidance of this highest power (this power that you harbor within yourself) your life will have purpose, joy, and fulfillment. You will notice an element of ease even on the hardest day. 

This is not to say that you will not struggle and you will not encounter challenges. But the suffering will fade as you start living in the faith of your True Self and in accordance with the good of All That Is. 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

You are safe to be your True Self NOW - 3 simple ways to get started

Who are you to not be who you are? Why do you think you are here in the first place?
Most of us spend a good amount of time in our lives trying to figure out who we are. We try different activities, we explore different hobbies and we wait for something to grab us. So, what if it doesn't?

"Safe" by Kaci Florez
acrylic on canvas
We then often unconsciously revert to a more subtle way of finding who we are: we look to others to try to find it. How does this person treat me? What do they say about me? What are their expectations of me? And from here we begin to mold ourselves into the perception others have of us. Soon this becomes the most familiar way. So how can you know if it is not real? How do you know if this persona is, in fact, not the True expression of who you really are?

Well one way to know is if you are still living with a sense of suffering within your own life. Are you discontent, do you feel resentment, do you feel helpless, do you lack joy? What you are actually doing and what it looks like are not the point. How you fit into what you are actually doing is the point. Meaning, a completely self-realized human being might be scrubbing toilets for a living and be joyful and grateful for their life while a completely lost soul might be living in an oceanfront mansion and be ridden with anger, pain, greed and jealousy. Your circumstances do not determine your True Self.

In order to find out who you really are, here are a couple simple solutions and tactics:

1.  Give yourself some quiet time
Turn off the computer. Turn off the television. Set the phone down (no texting!). Turn off your mind! (Or at least don’t engage with it.) Go to a place where you can be alone and just be quiet. In this place where no electronics are present, the biggest challenge to finding peace is probably your mind. It is common that your mind is the loudest of all these devices So how do you quiet it? Or at least get past the hoards or information it is giving you? Here are 3 suggestions. You pick the one that resonates with you:
  1. Think only of your breathe. Think of the inhales or exhales as they are happening.
  2. Pick a chant or affirmation to repeat over and over. (ex. "I feel love and am loved" or "I am safe and at peace")
  3. Ommmmm. Say long deep “om”s over and over. Feel how they create a vibration in your body. Pay attention to how they feel on your lips. Just be there with your “Om".

In your quiet time consider setting an alarm so you don’t have to think about how long you have been there. If you are on a schedule, the alarm will help you be in the present moment rather worrying about missing your next appointment. When you are new, 5 minutes may feel like more than enough time. As your ability to sit still and quiet lengthens, give yourself more time in this place

2.   Move your body freely 
Dance, run, go for a brisk walk, swim. While all of these can be very choreographed or technique oriented, I recommend giving yourself the space to do them freely. Instead of worrying about how “good” you are doing or how fast you are going, think about the movements. Get in touch with your body and how it feels. Movement helps to unlock some beautiful feelings of freedom and joy.

3.   Give yourself a "Me Day”
This means you will only do things you WANT to do. You will not do anything that does not feel good. If you have a family or people depending on you I suggest picking a day that you can put all responsibilities off on someone else such as a spouse or coworker. The day of a big pitch at work is not the day to do this. Neither is your son’s birthday. I find “Me Days" to be best when done alone. This way I am not concerned that I have picked the wrong restaurant or the wrong movie. I am not worried that I am boring anyone if all I want to do is sleep all day.

When you give yourself the opportunity to do what you want, you begin to see the gap between who you are and who you are trying to be. 

To give you some perspective on how this may affect/improve your life: Observe the people you surround yourself with and you will probably see 2 different types: There are the people who find themselves caught in the same painful cycles of uncertainty or discontent over and over. And there are the people who are flowing through life’s ups and downs while growing and evolving in the process. (There actually is a third group of people who bounce between these two groups for a while before picking one). The difference between the two main groups can be found in their comfort level with practicing the three exercises above. At first it is normal for quiet time, getting in touch with your body and having a "Me Day"to be uncomfortable and even painful (hence the middle group). But with practice comes ability and then comes grace.  

If we are ever going to find out who we truly are, Step One is to START listening to the Truth within.