Inspiration – Freedom

jumpshot photography of woman in white and yellow dress near body of water

Photo by Quang Anh Ha Nguyen on Pexels.com

“Perhaps the biggest tragedy of our lives is that freedom is possible, yet we can pass our years trapped in the same old patterns…We may want to love other people without holding back, to feel authentic, to breathe in the beauty around us, to dance and sing. Yet each day we listen to inner voices that keep our life small.”

~ Tara Brach, Radical Acceptance

As long as we listen to – and believe – our thoughts, we will be stuck in the same old patterns.

This is big.

Freedom is there for all of us.

When we see that our thinking is not the truth… When we understand that our ego mind creates critical thoughts to keep us from harm and to keep us small…. We awaken to our real life journey.

Listen to your heart and break free.

Your Sacred Ground

Todays insight is taken from from Brené Brown’s book “Gifts Of Imperfection”. This is the place to come to when you feel insecure, nervous and vulnerable, especially in new situations.

 

“Don’t shrink

Don’t puff up

Stand on your sacred ground”

This sacred ground is the place of embracing your authentic self in the moment.

No need to think you are not good enough or that you are better than others.

Simply stand in the knowing of who you are.

Most of us find it when we have experienced some struggle in the highs and lows of life.

It’s a powerful place to truly Be.

When I read this I think of Yoga and standing in Mountain Pose or Tadasana. Rooted to the ground, yet tall and strong. In this moment you become the mountain.

Namaste

Lets Be Genuine, Not Nice!

pleasing motherThis is a re-post to support those of you on the path to being more authentic and true to your self. Enjoy!

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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!

faces masks

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.

  • Am I expressing the truth of who I am and what I want … or am I accommodating others?
  • Am I smothering the truth in a mask of niceness?

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.

girl on her journey

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.

How Do you Feel About This?

I was raised in a family where this question was rarely asked. There was a guiding principle of conformity and an expectation to fit in with what those in charge wanted.

Denying our feelings becomes a part of being a child of a narcissistic parent or partner.

I grew up putting aside how I honestly felt, and instead, attuned to the needs of others. I became very good at sensing the emotions of others, and how to please them. I did it with my parents and then with my first husband.

I found myself in a career that my father would be proud of, that left me feeling empty and confused.

Along the way I lost touch with how I felt.

This was not the road to happiness, but I told myself that lifestyle was the most important thing.

It took me over 40 years to wake up to what happiness is, and to let myself feel the feelings that had been suppressed for so long.

For those of you in your twenties and thirties who can relate to this, please don’t waste the next twenty years of your lives.

I believe that we all deserve to honor our feelings… the good, the bad and the ugly. To honor them and then take responsibility for them. Even if it is goes against the grain or what others expect.

Those feelings are trying to tell you that something needs attention and understanding.

We all need to be true to ourselves, to honor how we feel, and own our feelings.

This is being real and authentic in the world. Only from here, can we take the right step forward and find happiness.

 

 

Action or Motion?

man wearing blue suit on beige ground near building

“To the disciples who were always asking for words of wisdom the Master said, ‘Wisdom is not expressed in words. It reveals itself in action.’

But when he saw them plunge headlong into activity, he laughed aloud and said, “That isn’t action. That’s motion.”

~ Anthony De Mello

 

I love this definition, and the laughter in this story.

Are you keeping busy, always moving from one activity to another? Or are you taking action?

Action is acting with intention. It means having an outcome in mind, purpose or sense of meaning.

When you apply the wisdom of your words and bring them into your daily activities, you are being true to your self.

When you are authentic in this way, you share your wisdom with the world.

Let us all be more mindful in our actions today.

Namaste

Authentic Being

 

find your middle ground

“When you don’t play roles, it means that there is no self (ego) in what you do. There is no secondary agenda: protection or strengthening of your self. As a result your actions have far greater power. You are totally focused on the situation. You become one with it. You don’t try to be anybody in particular. You are most powerful, most effective, when you are completely yourself.”

~ Eckhart Tolle taken from A New Earth

It sounds straightforward enough, but it isn’t easy to become completely ourselves. It requires self inquiry and awareness of our thoughts, beliefs and how we interact with others.

So often, we let others define who we are in life. In our relationships, we take on roles all the time…. the good mother, the caring friend, the perfect daughter, the hard working employee, the life and soul of the party, the trend setter …

We then become attached to this image of how we think we should be, and lose our authentic self along the way.

To reveal our authentic being, we must learn to let go of how we define ourselves in this world. We must learn to pause and really focus on what is happening in that moment, without judgment.

In being present we find our Presence.

 

Tension and Being Authentic

“Tension is inevitable when we live a lie and try to appear different from how we actually are. We don’t want to appear vulnerable or needy. We don’t trust that we are fundamentally enough as we are, even with our struggles and shortcomings….
We unknowingly adopt a mask and mistake it for our real face, assuming that our chronically tense and armored body is natural.
It is normal, perhaps, but not natural”

~ John J Prendergast. Taken from “In Touch”

Most of us assume that tension is normal. When we recognize it, we also know that releasing it makes us feel better. Perhaps we go for a massage or attend a restorative yoga class. We feel better afterwards.  Yet the tension always comes back.

What if the tension we feel is more than the everyday stressors of a busy demanding life, a bad boss or sitting too long at the computer?
What if taking time to understand and connect to our body opens up new meaning about our relationship with it, and gives us a deeper knowing?

In John Prendergast’s book “In Touch” he explores the wisdom and intelligence of the body and how we can literally feel authenticity in ourselves and others. I am a big fan of his work and how he guides people to a place of inner knowing and attunement with their body, mind and spirit.

Next time, you notice tension. Ask yourself “Am I being true to myself or could I be wearing a mask?”
There may be more work to be done than an occasional massages and yoga class.
Getting to know and understand the intelligence of our body, releasing the tension, and relieving stress every day is the best gift you can give yourself for living authentically and being well.

Namaste