I am enjoying reviewing some of the Non Violent Communication work that I have done in the past. Today, I wanted to share this helpful insight from “Being Genuine” by Thomas D’Ansembourg.
As children so many of us take on the role of pleasers with our parents and teachers and other people. This is a strategy that worked somewhat well: We got attention, received praise and felt good about ourselves when the other person appreciated what we did for them. It was one way to get our needs met and to feel good.
Each time mother said “You are a sweetheart for doing that” or a teacher said “You are one of my best students” when you did well in tests, this behavior was reinforced.
And so the belief came about that, in order to get what we want in life, we have to please others. They will give us what we need… and we will feel more in control and secure.
We focused on the external rather than building our own inner resources to get our needs met. You can find out more about what I am referring to, by reading this earlier post about our needs
However, when we are pleasers, we are never really sure if we are “doing the right thing” for the other person. We begin to distrust others reactions and doubt our own qualities or skills.
The other person becomes a judge and critic about to pass judgment on if we are doing it right. And of course, if we aren’t doing it right, then we must be wrong.
Can you see how this undermines our self esteem, confidence and sense of being…
We lose touch with our authentic selves because we are relying on the approval, validation and love from others.
Lets be genuine, not nice!
To be genuine we must put aside our mask of accommodation and pleasing. Instead of thinking of ways to be nice we must come from our authentic heart and soul.
This entails and change in our attention. Before we can reveal our authentic selves to others, we must pay attention to what is going on inside of us. When we shift this attention away from other people we can discover who we are outside of the roles that we play, such as sister, spouse, colleague, friend etc.
To be authentic we must also become open to feeling.
This can be a tough step on this journey to authenticity. When we believe our survival is dependent on pleasing others, we put other people’s wants in front of 0ur own. We start to tune into other people, and dismiss our own feeling and desires. Our own feelings get lost, and many of us end up not feeling very much at all.
Yet, to be authentic we must also open up to what we are feeling and take responsibility for it.
When we rely on others to feel good, we not only lose touch with our genuine feelings, but we also tend to blame others for “making us feel bad”. By taking responsibility for all of our emotions, we find freedom to be our genuine selves.
Take a moment to ask yourself these questions.
If the answer is, “but I have no other choice!” Or “I don’t want to upset the other person!” Then you are reinforcing this deep seated belief and fear within you.
We always have a choice to take into account our own needs and the needs of others. As adults we must acknowledge that being authentic and real, doesn’t mean we will be abandoned and unloved as we might have believed at a tender young age.
It takes real courage to face the truth that we are not being truthful to ourselves or the others. The ego mind does not want to be confronted with this!
Yet, it is one of the most empowering steps we can take on the journey towards truth.
“In no way can I deny the insanity of the human condition. And yet, because there’s so much insanity, so much unconsciousness, it’s possible that there’s also the other side of it.
Life is always balancing itself out.
So, while all of this is happening, there’s also this undercurrent of people all over the place who have a deep and profound interest in the ultimate nature of reality in themselves—and they are realizing it!
Not only is that now happening among a wider variety and number of human beings, it’s also happening more and more outside of hierarchical institutions.
I think there’s something within all of this, something very authentic, that’s breaking down the barriers between every person and our ideas of what a spiritual person is. It’s sort of a silent, quiet revolution that’s happening.
But even though there’s a lot of awakening, I don’t know if that means we’re at the dawn of some beautiful renaissance age or that the human species will totally selfdestruct. I can see it going either way.
I do think that in our deepest heart we don’t actually want to contribute to the insanity around us. Our nature is, if anything, to be a contributor to sanity and wholeness, to bringing that into manifestation.”
May we stop contributing to the insanity around us….
Bring on the silent loving revolution towards wholeness.
Enjoy this re-post and Middle Ground pause.
“There’s nothing to prove, nothing to figure out, nothing to get, nothing to understand.
When we finally stop explaining to ourselves, we may discover that in silence, complete understanding is already there.”
Within nothing is everything
Beyond everything is nothing
When the unknown becomes known there is nothing to know
Let it be found in stillness
I came across this translation of the Tao Te Ching by Stephen Mitchell, and am really enjoying the fresh language and approach to the wisdom of Lao Tzu. A part of me also wonders, could it be that I have changed over time, and it is more than fresh words that open up new insight….
Let me know which version resonates with you today.
“Empty your mind of all thoughts.
Let your heart be at peace.
Watch the turmoil of beings,
but contemplate their return.
Each separate being in the universe
returns to the common source.
Returning to the source is serenity.
If you don’t realize the source,
you stumble in confusion and sorrow.
When you realize where you come from,
you naturally become tolerant,
kindhearted as a grandmother,
dignified as a king.
Immersed in the wonder of the Tao,
you can deal with whatever life brings you,
and when death comes, you are ready.”
~ Lao Tzu*
* Mitchell, Stephen. Tao Te Ching (Perennial Classics) (Kindle Locations 373-383). Harper Perennial.
Here is a translation of the same verse 16 by John Braun Jr..
“Seek the reality of emptiness and stillness,
The great constants of existence.
Though life abounds, its creations rise and fall.
Eventually all return, in their own way, to Tao.
To return to Tao is to embrace stillness,
The relentless way of nature.
The flow of nature does not change.
To see its constancy is to know the intricacies of the ordinary,
Revealing patterns of the grand.
To ignore this constant is to mistake the eternal for the mundane, Bringing unharmonious selfish action and discord,
Pathologies to humanity.
Accepting the constant means opening the mind.
This leads to compassion and impartiality,
A respect for all that Tao provides and takes away,
And an understanding that all return to the ultimate reality of Tao.
Life is fleeting, Tao is constant:
An eternal emptiness, full to bursting.”
~ Lao Tzu*
*Braun Jr., John; Tzu, Lao; von Bargen, Julian; Warkentin, David. Tao Te Ching (Kindle Locations 269-284). . Kindle Edition.
“Even with its storms, winter is the quietest time of year. There is nothing like the quiet after a storm. If you have had the privilege of being in the mountains right after a snowfall when there’s no wind, nothing moving, the snow is sucking up every sound, and you hear a deep silence everywhere, you know how potent this silence is.
In a real sense, self-inquiry is a spiritual induced form of wintertime. It’s not about looking for a right answer so much as stripping away and letting you see what is not necessary, what you can do without, what you are without your leaves.
In human beings, we do not call these leaves. We call them ideas, concepts, attachments, and conditioning. All of this forms your identity. Wouldn’t it be terrible if the trees outside identified themselves by their leaves? These are very flimsy things to be attached to.”
Winter allows us to bring our attention inwards.
To reflect and let go of what we no longer need.
In this space we see that ideas are transitory and habits limit us.
May we navigate the storms and begin to let go.
Freedom is waiting.
“Looking for happiness in the body, mind or world is like looking for the screen in a movie. The screen doesn’t appear in the movie, and yet, at the same time, all that is seen in the movie is the screen. In the same way that the screen ‘hides’ in plain view, so happiness ‘hides’ in all experience.”
~ Rupert Spira
The wisdom of Rupert Spira touches me and gives me time to pause. When I hear him talk in conversations on YouTube, I have a sense of knowing and his words make sense. Taken out of context it’s harder to grasp the deeper meaning with an ordinary mind and limitations of language….
Happiness is there for all of us, at any moment, when we open up our awareness of it. Otherwise we just get caught up in the story that’s being projected.
… Or perhaps its too early in the morning to decipher what is on the screen.
I would love to hear your perspective.
“All I am is a little flesh and breath, plus mind.
Put away entertainments, set aside distractions, and look at yourself as you truly are: blood and bones, a network of nerves and veins. Your breath is only air, sucked in one moment and blown out the next. The mind, then, is the ruling part.
You’re an old man now. It’s time to stop being a slave; to no longer be pulled along like a puppet on strings; to stop being dissatisfied with today and afraid of tomorrow.”*
~ Marcus Aurelius
Marcus Aurelias is recognized as one of the pillars of Stoic Philosophy, which became the basis of modern self help psychology. He wrote private journals capturing his thoughts over several years as Roman Emperor from 161-180. Today they are known as the Meditations, although they were never intended for publication or sharing.
I find it fascinating that this great and powerful man had such insight into himself and how to achieve self mastery.
Here he encourages us to face the reality of who we are as human beings, to shift our mindset and to seize the day.
If you are looking for inspiration on self mastery, and not getting sidetracked with all the distractions in today’s world, you may find his work inspiring.
p.s. Please forward to the President.
*Aurelius, Marcus. The Meditations: An Emperor’s Guide to Mastery (Stoic Philosophy Book 2) (p. 11). Ancient Renewal. Kindle Edition.
We discovered last weekend that the second of our three bee colonies had died out. When the queen bee either leaves the hive or dies, the colony will collapse, unless there is a new queen ready to be hatched. Alas, with winter approaching there is no new bee making, and so the colony runs its natural course and dies.
I feel quite sad about it, and also realize it is nature’s way. The average worker bee only lives 35 days, while the queen can live for years. During the winter, their metabolism slows down as the workers surround the queen to keep her warm. That’s what’s happening in the other two hives right now.
In Spring we will take a queen cell from an other hive, and start a new colony.
What a valuable lesson to be present in the highs and lows of life. It brought to mind an earlier post:
Being a bee keeper is a mindfulness practice.
Respect this space.
Be open to the unknown.
Respect those around me.
(Even when they are busy busy busy and I have no clue what they are doing)
There is an intelligence here that I cannot fathom.
I may not understand but I trust in nature.
Breathe easily into each moment as it unfolds.
Notice what comes up.
Give it space.
Let it bee.
We can bring mindfulness into all sorts of routine behaviors and actions in our daily lives. There’s no need to sit meditating or roll out a yoga mat to find your Middle Ground.
Take a moment to consider the mindful moments of your day. When you feel connected with yourself and the world around you. When you are truly present to all that is happening around you and within you.
It’s natures way of beeing.
Letting go of the past year, doesn’t happen at the stroke on midnight on December 31st! As we reflect back on the year before, and move forward into 2019, take time to pause and be mindful of the moment you are in.
When we can pause in the present moment, we allow a clearing away of the past, and the space to create for the future.
Remember, the present is where the juice happens!
Let yourself be the being you are
This being is in the deep core of your living experience
In every moment
This being is beyond anything you can think
The living presence is beyond any self image
It is the essence of you
Drop any notion you have of yourself right now
Just be here, in this moment
Take slow full breaths and allow yourself to soften
Let go and feel into the deeper beyond
Can you sense it?
Be with the being that you are