Monday, August 20, 2018

Day 255 - A Balancing Session with Leila





It had been over a month since I had been experiencing increasing pressure, anxiety, irritation and agitation in my body. I felt fearful in mundane moments, and my mind was racing most of the time. 

By the time I got on to Leila’s table I felt like I was ready to explode and that I just couldn’t take it anymore, nothing I had been doing was working to resolve my physical and emotional state of feeling overwhelmed, just barely keeping it together.

I lay on the table as Leila began testing, and as I lay there all I could do was focus on my breathing to calm myself. As Leila began working with my physical body and also discussing the important points with me, I could feel my body begin to let go and relax.

What opened up was words that I had not been effectively living, people in my life that were standing as examples for what to do and what not to do, as well as an unconditional gift from myself to myself, where I offered myself access through a reminder to myself of a time in my life where I was at peace, full of passion and wonderment.

My balancing session did not end there however, as I went to sleep right afterwards and had the most incredible post-balance dream of hatching a turtle from an egg. Leila suggested I look into the dream symbology, and when I did, I received another answer from using the symbology of the turtle: Slowing down and walking a detailed process properly, instead of rushing through it, became the solution as the way in which I could walk my correction, from rushing and pressuring myself, to slowing down and reconnecting with myself and my environment. I was able to re-access, re-create and re-define that peace, passion and wonderment in my life in ways that suite me now, with where I am at currently in my life process.

Even though the session was weeks ago, the effects of it are still with me as I have been continuing to apply what I learned. My self-experience has changed drastically; my mind is quieter, and I focus more on myself and what is right in front of me. Additionally, and as a result of this, I have become more productive and more creative, taking up projects I had given up on not so long ago due to how I had been feeling then compared to how I am doing now.

Now I am doing great! I feel as though I have surmounted a giant hurdle that had been keeping me stuck, cycling over and over in the same point. I am so incredibly grateful to Leila and what she is able to do, the support I have received from her is invaluable, not forgetting of course, it takes SELF to apply the correction!

You can check out the EQAFE recording that opens up the point of giving ourselves unconditional gifts here:

Not Accepting the Deserved Gifts of Self


Description:

"When a gift from life arrives for you, would you be ready to accept it?
Sometimes we may see and realize something about ourselves, but will still hesitate to embrace it, or get stuck in feelings of unworthiness. In this interview, we discover how we can get in the way of our own growth, and what we can do to begin embracing instead of rejecting those moments of realization that invite us to become something we lost touch with, or something we’ve never been before."


Thursday, August 16, 2018

Getting to Know Me, Getting to Know All About Me - Developing a Meaningful Connection to Self




Below is a list of questions I used to ask myself as some first steps of really getting to know ME. This is the result of my last blog where I discovered that I had placed more importance on connecting with others, generally feeling this want, need and desire to connect with them, and in so doing, ending up creating more of a desperation and shallowness in myself. 

I decided to take my own approach of getting to know others, which is to ask them questions about themselves, and to flip it around and do it to myself. I found a list of questions online that start off more like small talk, and then begin to delve a bit deeper. I decided to unconditionally answer the questions, really bringing them into me and seeing what opened up, which brought through memories that I hadn't thought about in a long time, some beliefs which  I hadn't yet looked at in my life to see whether they were grounded in reality or not, and some self-realizations about my life, where I'm at, my mistakes and accomplishment.

The effect this process had on me was that it left me feeling like my future is in my own hands. A bit of an unexpected effect, but nonetheless, this assisted and supported me with another different point I was looking at, which was the fear of the future/not having a plan/uncertainty. 

Here it is!

  1. Watch Star Wars or Star Trek? Harry Potter or The Lord of the Rings? Use whichever movies you find most relevant.
I like all the movies from these sagas, the ones that I saw. I wouldn’t necessarily lump them together in to these categories as comparison, where it is either this one or that one and which one is better. They all stand alone. They were entertaining in a ‘sit back and enjoy’-type way, where the movie unfolds in front of your eyes. This is how I watch movies if I have been to busy in my mind, when I have a migraine coming or just passed, and when I just need to ‘turn off’ my mind chatter to give my body a break.

But there is a way to actively engage in movie watching that I also like to use to learn from, either learning more about myself, humanity or the reality we have collectively created here. For example, the moment I realized I liked star trek was one of the first episodes I saw, where William Shatner was the captain. He had taken away the ability of a certain alien race to annihilate planets from afar, so that if they really wanted to destroy another planet, they would have to do it hand-to-hand, face-to-face. This way, the alien race would have to see the damage, destruction and devastation of war first-hand, thus showing them the reality of war instead of it being some distant abstract event on their computer screen. Captain Kirk could not stop the alien race as they were too strong and powerful, so he created a situation where they would be more likely to stop themselves, through the realization and experience of what it was they were causing in the lives of others.

This, to me, was an important lesson in how easy it is to dis-associate oneself from the actual real devastation going on on our own planet. Where poverty and starvation, war and abuse are far from home to most people that have access to this article and the time to read it. The fact that we are currently accepting and allowing it all to go on means we are letting it grow, and it is growing at a pace where it is starting to show up on our doorsteps (think nuclear waste on our shores, the refugee crises, and the extinction of species). It leaves me wondering: why do we have to experience the consequence of something before we are moved to act? Even when we know very well what is going on in the reality of others, we do not move to take a stand until we are experiencing the consequences ourselves. What would we have to be and become, what steps would we have to take, and why do we feel so disempowered and disconnected from each other and the world?

Could it have something to do with the fact that we are completely disconnected to ourselves, our own physical bodies, our own truths, and the reality of ourselves, where we instead wear masks, hide our problems, pretending everything is fine while our problems only fester and grow beneath the surface? It’s like the world is a manifestation of each one not taking self-responsibility by taking a good hard look at ourselves, our own actions and the consequences they create in our own lives and the lives of others. If you take a look, we are all creators of this world, yet when we focus only on our self-interest in the moment, and do not look at the outflows of our actions, when we do not take full responsibility for them, we end up creating the reality we see today on a larger scale.
  1. Read on a Kindle or paperback book? This question is a starter for many possible conversations on reading, favorite books, technology, libraries, bookstores and more!
Paperback, simply because it is more convenient. Also I participated in laziness and never got around to setting up my kindle and figuring out how it works. I was slightly intimidated when I checked it out, and went into disempowerment and frustration when it was not as intuitive as I have become used to with most technology. So moments with my kindle are not my proudest moments. I have since lent it to someone and do not have any urge yet to ask for it back because I am busy reading several books.
  1. Go to a play or musical?
A play. I do like some musicals, but to me it is so far from reality for one or a group of people to all of a sudden start singing with choreography, that it doesn’t fit in to the story for me. What is the point of it? It reminds me that I am watching something that has been rehersed, instead of feeling like I am watching something new and fresh and in-the-moment. Oftentimes I find the songs become too boring and repetitive, or don’t showcase the subtle nuances in a person’s voice, which is a big art of what I like about hearing singing.

There is one musical I really like though, it’s called les Miserables. I like it because when I was 12 my entire grade got together to recreate this play. To my surprise, I actually liked the story. I found it real and raw, unlike most stories I was being told at that time. I also felt a spark within me when I saw a huge group of people coming together to create something, and the fact that I was a part of it. Having felt more like an outcast for most of my schooling, I now felt like I was a part of something and contributing towards it.

I remember being so pleasantly surprised at the talent of my peers when they would sing and learn to harmonize together. I was proud of us all for what we were able to create when we all worked together. There was no competition present, which was the case for most of the occasions in which large bodies of students would come together, and this felt ‘right’ to me. It was something I had never experienced before, where I was considered, I was given a role (back-stage crew lol!), and I felt like a was an important part and contributing towards the creation of something big.

This entire experience left a mark on me which I connected to this specific play, where, every time I see it I access a sense of that being proud and feeling important. But I have also grown an appreciation for the story, specifically with the main character Jean Valjean, and the principles he sticks to. Even inspector Javert is trying to do the right thing. And then there is the historical part about the French Revolution, and I could relate to the underdogs, that feeling of wanting to rise up and fight for oneself. Although I have since developed my own set of principles which differs from those in the musical, I have seen the difficulties and challenges one can face when living according to principle instead of living according to feelings and emotions and self-interest, and I could relate to the characters and the plot in that sense.

  1. Go to the theater or a movie?
Movie. I like the stream-lined experience where the thing plays out in a smoothly edited way. I also don’t like how in the theatre it seems like the character are yelling and you don’t get those intimate-close up details that you get from a movie where the camera can zoom in and the actors can be speaking normally or even in a whisper. Plus, movies area more casual, wheras when I go to the theatre I find everybody to be dressed up and acting all fancy, which makes me feel constricted and like I can’t breathe because I may do the wrong thing or behave in the wrong way and then everybody will give me those glances that I am not acting properly according to the situation.

I guess the theatre has a certain prestige about it because it is more expensive and there is this stigma that only the well-off can afford to go. I have not been to too many theatre performances for the reason of cost, and attended mostly while I was in college and my friends that took drama would invite me to see the play for cheap or free. On other occasions it would be this big ‘special treat’ that was supposed to be a big deal. I have a really hard time with being in a situation where people are acting differently than they normally would, even though I do this all the time. I act differently around different people or in different situations – but it is usually due to the fact that I am feeling insecure, out-of-place, where I am trying to fit in or be liked. All of this does not showcase integrity, I am not proud of it and I don’t like how it makes me feel. 

So in these situations I feel like this negative experience I have within myself is amplified because everyone is ‘acting’, and it is reflecting back to me those instances when I ‘act’ which are usually overwhelmingly negative experiences for me.
  1. Wear jeans or chinos?
I prefer shorts or yoga pants. First, because I like my legs and find I look good in shorts, secondly because I have broad shoulders so I tend to want to emphasize my narrower waist so as not to appear too big and square. So skinny jeans are cool, but usually tight and uncomfortable. Chinos – I had to google that one, they are like kakis, which are loose fitting. I would wear any of these, but if the bottom it loose I would be sure to wear a fitted top, which also isn’t always comfortable. With my broad shoulders and larger breasts, I find it hard to find tops that look good on me AND are comfortable, so I generally keep the bottom part tight and stretchy, like yoga pants, and give myself a break on the top.

I have walked quite a process with my body, body image, appearance and sexuality. I had compromised so much of myself, and my body, throughout my life and as I learned about sexuality and what it is to be a woman. I have come to a place of embracing my body, playing with my appearance as my picture presentation, accepting myself no matter what, and ensuring my clothes are comfortable and practical first and foremost.

The struggle came with the ‘high’ I would feel when I would see I was attractive in the eyes of men. To me, growing into insecurity, lack of self-confidence and self-worth, attracting males became my reason for being. It was as if it was the only interaction that would give me a positive feeling while the rest of my life seemed like a sea of negativity. I excelled nowhere, was not comfortable with others, did not like my appearance nor my clothes, felt I had no style, that I would never accomplish anything. I had let go of some really good friends that I felt I was real with, in order to gain popularity and felt a deep sense of shame about that, as if I had sold myself out, the last of me that remained from those parts of my childhood where I experienced joys and excitement, passion and interests. And so I turned to sexuality to feel better, because I was attractive and thought it was one place where I could be better.

Since then and after walking an extensive process of self-forgiveness and self-change, I have committed to never again compromise myself or sell myself out. It had become such an ingrained habit, and the high was like a drug, that it took moment to moment application over time to change my ways.  Now, if I look good and attractive, I do not let it affect who I am. If I begin to get a positive rush, I breathe and bring myself back down knowing the consequences of following it and where it will lead me. I instead bring my SELF forward, as who I am in that moment, and where I am at, surrendering to the reality of the moment and seeing what of me can come forth. 

I realize beauty fades and youth ages, and if I place my value and worth into these things I will have nothing of myself left. I see the value and importance of developing a self that can stand no matter what, a self that is self-fulfilled and has lived self-worth in thought, word and deed. I now give myself purpose and meaning as a self-willed act, and live out my decisions and choices and deal with the consequences in a way that is best for me with a consideration of everyone else here with me.
  1. Have a Margarita or Pina Colada?
Pina Colada – I love coconut flavour. But if I could choose anything, it would be a glass of red wine, which I find calming and soothing. I no longer drink to get drunk. That ended when I understood that alcohol was the manifestation of self-defeat. Self-defeat because I drank it to be able to do things I perceived I could not do sober, such as have fun, interact with others, sing and dance, not be bored, connect with others, develop intimacy, be comfortable with men and sex, express myself uninhibitedly, and so much more. This stuff had been so normalized by my culture and those around me that I did not even question it at the time, but I see it now.

Since I stopped drinking, I have pushed myself in these areas, and man, has it been a tough process.  I realized how high strung I had become, where I guess you can call it social anxiety, but for me it had become this constant thing that I would even experience around those I was close to and comfortable with in a given situation, especially ones of conflict or vulnerability. I would have such an emotionally intense internal experience where I found it difficult to even talk. Pushing myself to be vulnerable or stand up to someone that was angry and loud would send waves of dread and anxiety over me, and I sometimes still experience this to this day.

Being in groups with new people or even people I knew, I would be experiencing all sorts of fears being triggered and self-judgments coming up within me, affecting my voice and body language, and I would oftentimes just want to disappear and become invisible. In intimate situations I would go quiet or change the topic or act really silly because I would feel this squirminess within myself. To this day this stuff still persists, but it is much better now. I sometimes lose track of my progress because I forget how different I was back then, and I end up only comparing myself to a future projection of where I want to be, so it’s always good to remember the process and where we’ve come from and appreciate the work we’ve put in.

Now when I am in these situations I slow down within myself by breathing and appreciating the foundation of SELF I have created over the years. I can more quickly move through and resolve the reactions that come up, and realize that the fears and anxieties are unsubstantiated. I make sure that when I speak, it is not to impress, manipulate, downplay or do anything but express what it is I want to communicate. The mind can move fast and sometimes things slip through, but with taking a few breaths and slowing down beforehand, I am actually clearing space within myself to see more clearly the automation I had programmed into and as myself over time, to be able to not let it affect who and how I am in the moment. In this way, I more clearly communicate myself as the person I want to be and the change in myself I want to see, instead of falling into old habits and patterns that actually diminish me through self-compromise.
  1. Drink a glass of Guinness or Fat Tire?
I think what tis question is trying to determine is the difference between a hearty beer drinker, or it’s apparent polar opposite, a fruity cocktail drinker. I would not say I fall into one category or the other, because when I make a decision about what I would like to consume in a moment, I first check with my body to see if there is a preference, and that preference can change based on so many variables.

So, if I am in the mood for a guiness, it could be about what I am pairing it with, what I ate that day, how my stomach is feeling etc… same thing with the fruity cocktail, I do like sweet things, but sometimes I am just not in the mood for it.

I would probably more often lean towards the sweet drink due to my sweet tooth ,but sometimes I like the long smoothe experience of the guiness. If I were to have one or the other right now for example, it would be the guiness.
  1. Drink coffee or beer?
Both. I like one or two or three cups of coffee in the morning, and if I were to drink a beer it would be with lunch, dinner or at night. This is based  on the idea that coffee wakes me up, and that if I drink beer before noon then I can be considered an alcoholic lol! But see there? It is based on ideas and not simple practical reality. I have drank coffee at night and slept shortly after, and I have drank alcohol in the morning, like having a guiness with breakfast on st patty’s day, or a mimosa with brunch, because they are apparently socially acceptable to drink early in the day on special occasions. Maybe one day I will switch it up and have a beer with my breakfast and a coffee after dinner just to show myself that I don’t need to follow these rules I have deeply ingrained into myself. I know I am not an alcoholic, so why would I not have a beer in the morning? Probably due to he perception of others and what they might think! It is fascinating how we base our life and living on the rule we hold within ourselves instead of simply living practically according to common sense and the physical reality feedback we directly receive.
  1. Crash with friends or stay in a hotel?
Hotel – I love the experience of being alone in a hotel room. This is just right now though where I currently live with a lot of people and have much stimulation in my daily life. If I were living alone I would probably choose to crash at a friend’s place to get a little social interaction moving in my life.
I used to work at an emergency assistance company in a northern climate where they would put us up in a hotel room during blizzards just to ensure we would not miss work. Missing work was simply not an option. I would go to the nearby mall and shop around a bit, maybe get a new outfit for the next day, or some nice bath stuff, candles and food. I would go into the hotel room and take a bath, or put on a movie and eat take-out sushi, making the situation into a really nice experience where I would simply spend time alone with myself. I just loved the independence I would feel, because at that time 
 I was married and had been living for so long with my partner. I had unfortunately developed a pattern of dependence on him and never really taken steps to forge my own way. In an attempt to correct this I went back to school, got a degree and got a better job, so the whole hotel experience was like stretching out these new wings I had given myself.

Since then I have done many things, moved countries, gone on trips with friends, gone on trips alone, taken myself out on dates alone, lived alone and so much more, all to live and create ‘independence’ – what I learned throughout all of it is that you don’t necessarily have to do all of these things to develop this word in yourself, it can be done as an internal process in daily life where you take self-responsibility, don’t look to others to make decisions for you or solve your problems, don’t blame others for your situation or circumstances, learn to figure things out for yourself and stuff like that. For me, I chose to walk a whole process internally and externally, and I would say the internal process and self-change has had more of an effect than much of the things I actually did. What those things did was make me face things sooner, placed me in situation where I had no choice BUT to do it on my own, and proved to myself that  I could handle things on my own, go places, create a life… there was a time where this would have only been a fantasy, but now I see that I can do anything I set myself to, so it is now a matter of preference of if I would like to do it with someone, or alone.
  1. Visit Europe or Mexico?
Mexico – I love the heat, beaches and the ocean, along with the power of my dollar in that country, so I know I will not bust the bank. I am from Canada, the French part which is a bit European and is a city. I have less interest in seeing more cities, and prefer more wild or tropical environments as I find it more relaxing and peaceful. Not to say there are no peaceful places in Europe, I am sure there are and it is just my ignorance about all the little nooks and crannies that may exist there that I don’t know about. I generally associate that entire union as cold and cloudy with lots of cities and hustle and bustle, with rolling countrysides filled with sheep and old castles, with people that think they are better than others… pretty stereotypical stuff like that.

When I think of less-developed countries I think of them as closer to reality, where the laws are looser, there is less political correctness, people are more laid back, there’s less rules or the rules are more bendable, and so there is seemingly more ‘freedom’ to move around and explore.
  1. Vacation in Hawaii or Alaska, and why?
Hawaii because if I am near the ocean, I want to go in it to swim and play, rather than just look at it. Whenever I see nature, I want to be IN it, up close, touch it, smell it, interact with it. I am from a northern country so I like to get a break from the cold. I am sure Alaska is beautiful and stunning to see, and I would like to see it one day, but I tend towards the heat and sun, beaches and such, I find it more comfortable.

I hear Hawaii is expensive though, so I see that I constantly have money on the brain from my childhood where it was a constant issue during my developmental years where I felt helpless to do anything about it, and then when I started working, I had no money management skills and would spend all the money I had, and so again felt helpless like I would never have enough.

When I did develop money skills I was always in a situation where my money was needed for something, due to constant moving, relocating and eventually in the last 4 years it was aggressively paying off very old debt and saving up to move to SA for three years where I would have not much extra income. So, if I look at it more objectively and without the memories or situations I had been in, I see that I can in fact support myself, hold down a job and make money. It’s only when I participate in my thoughts and memories, and the fears and insecurities that brings up that I feel the helplessness again.
  1. Choose a free trip or money? This may tell you whether the person values experiences over dollars.
Money. I have travelled extensively already and ironically, was never one to really have the travel bug. Besides, I am already on a ‘trip’ anyways, being that I live in south Africa for three years while I come from Canada. But because I don’t at the moment, have a plan for what I will do afterwards, it makes more sense for me to have money to support myself while I am here as well as to have a cushion for when my stay here is done.

I have, since I started getting serious with Desteni, always had a distinct plan and have made it happen and seen it through. Right now, I don’t have such a plan, and it has been causing fears and uncertainties to arise, because I feel I should be working towards something always, and if I am not building something then I am wasting time. However, I have taken this time now to really slow down in what feels like a ‘starting from scratch’ way, where I am undoing and unlearning the ‘survival skills’ I had developed, which for me has been living in anxiety and stress most of the time. I am re-programming myself to learn how to live in such a way that is sustainable, where I am not accumulating pressure into and as myself to a point where I have some degree of a breakdown in order to reset myself.

Now, with my daily walks, breathing, writing, moving and directing myself, I see a new perspective coming through one where I will be ok no matter what, knowing I will always find a solution, and that I can create a life in which I am supporting myself and others no matter where I end up. I have learned here on the farm that there is no certainty except self trust – in that I cannot predict or perfectly plan how any event will play out, but I can depend on me, knowing that I will make the best of it in creating a life that supports me, that is best for me, that is my best.

13.   University or life experience, which do you feel best prepares you for life?

There is no possible way to predict what will best prepare you, you have to make a choice and try it, try different avenues and assess along the way. I would say there are some parameters you can use to support you in your decision-making process. For example, if you definitely know you want a career as an accountant, lawyer or doctor, you know that you will need the schooling. If you are less certain, then I would say try out some things to see what you like and where you might be a good fit. Look at your strengths, talk to people, do some research and move yourself. The one thing that is certain is that if you don’t move and remain stagnant, then you are in essence ‘wasting time’ you could be using to move towards an answer/path/solution.
  1. What is the one thing that should be taught in school that isn’t already?
 Common sense, how to think critically, basic life skills and how to work with feelings and emotions.
These are the skills we need in our day-to-day lives in order to be effective human beings. Basic math, reading and writing, as well as computer work is essential as well, but the memorization of facts and the white-washed history we learn as propaganda is not only useless, but trains our children to become individuals that follow rules unquestionably, walk the line, supress their own uniqueness and strengths as they must fit into a mold through standardized testing that teachers must adhere to.

Success, striving and self-development do not come from certificates and degrees, although those may be necessary, the reality of life is that it is in who we are as individuals within ourselves, how we take responsibility for our lives and self-responsibility for ourselves, how we are able to support ourselves not only financially and practically, but emotionally as well.

For me personally, it was a very tough process to unlearn the self-image I had developed through my schooling years because I was not interested, was bored, did not excel, was quiet and reserved and ended up believing I was incapable of most things in life. It is only through walking my own process of learning and development that I proved this all wrong, but what if I had walked this process in school instead of afterwards?

The best education I got was from an individual that taught me how to maintain a household in terms of cooking, cleaning, maintaining my car, having fun, doing a lot with a little, taking care of my body and my things, staying organized in the house, and pushing self-development every day through every-day means.

When I had this stuff down, I became better at work because I had my life in order and was not carrying around the accumulated burdens of a disorganized life on top of the pressures of working life.

I also had the self-development through self-understanding that I learned through desteni. This is the most important piece of my puzzle when it comes to the success I was able to create for myself, and how I was able to make everything else in my life do-able. That is because this process works with the internal self, and clears it out to the point where you become your own safe-haven, calm in the storm, your own best support, your own fulfillment, you give yourself meaning and purpose, which becomes a reason why. Why you keep pushing, why you keep striving, why you make it through the tough times, and why you never, ever give up. I also taught myself and learned through others how to create and develop qualities I wanted, like confidence, stability, ease of interaction with others, the ability to learn – all of these skills had been stagnating in differing degrees of disfunction in my life for many years before I took them on and made a concerted effort towards self-development.

So, what I am suggesting is a more well-rounded approach, where home life, one’s own internal reality, as well as working life are all equally addressed, because they are all equally important for what we face on a daily basis in this world.
  1. If you were to create a piece of art, what would the subject be?
Something along the lines of breaking through one’s own internal prison into and as one’s own self-creation. I think art is a very effective way to illustrate the principles one lives by and the effect that can have in one’s life. When I reflect on the kind of art I would make, I see it would always have a starting point illustrating the problem, then the solution, and the outflows of living that solution. 

Because there is always going to be problems, issues, obstacles and such in life, and there is always a solution, even if it is one you may not have expected. Yet we tend to let these problems, obstacles, hurdles and issues in our lives bog us down and throw us off course, when in fact we are all creators here. There is always a lesson and a path that opens up even from the darkest of situations. The story may be different for those living in poverty and starvation that have no chance at making a better life for themselves, but we here in positions where we can create a life should do so to the best of our ability, should support those less-fortunate to lift them up and teach them what we’ve learned, giving 
them an equal opportunity to make a life for themselves.
  1. What one thing would you change if you had to do it over?
I would be home-schooled or placed into an alternative school with less students and more of a focus on the individual’s unique strengths and abilities. This way I would avoid much of the experiences that caused me problems well into my adult life, and instead have developed those qualities and strengths that I innately had.

I would then have focused more on my passion and followed it instead of having tried to fit in to the system. From there I would have chosen a more appropriate academic path to align more with who I was.

I am looking here at practical changes that I could have made knowing what I knew then. But the path I walked has brought me to the point I am at now and I am doing my best to make the most of it from here on out. What I can do now is let go of my past and become the best version of myself, which is the starting point and goal of the changes I would have made, so it’s really never too late. 

What I can also do is to learn from the difficulties and mistakes, walk a process to change myself and share that process for others to learn from so that they can learn from my experience. That is the principle of being one with and equal to all life here, where we come together to learn from and support one another as if it were ourselves. Placing ourselves in the shoes of another and learning from them, supporting them and being supported by them in order to create the best outcome for everyone.
  1. If you could go back in time, what year would you travel to?
I would go back to the 1999 when I was 17-18, and I would get to know desteni and Bernard poolman back then, and started to learn about process and maybe even planned earlier to travel to SA by 2004 to come and learn directly. But really, this is just to answer the question. Reality will play out and points will be faced no matter what year it is or what you know or don’t know, so this place and time for me is the best place and time because it is reality and I am here in it, able to move and direct and learn from my mistakes and grow from them. The fact that we don’t get a do-over is perhaps specific to life here, where everything matters because this is the one shot. How would we change if we got a do-over? Would we really try so hard or push ourselves? It makes me think of groundhog day where Bill Murray has to do the same day over and over until he is FORCED to change, but that is still a power outside of him that is creating the circumstances within which he changes. What does that say about his own empowerment or who he is? It does not empower him as his core, his SELF, but forces him to rely on outside forces to force him to learn and change. We don’t have outside forces in reality, we only have ourselves, so it must come from US, each individual one of us to change our SELF at our core, through learning, making mistakes, and growing and expanding from them.
  1. What does your life say about you?
My life is full of mistakes and wrong paths, along with the underlying theme of never giving up. My life shows that I am exploring ways to push myself to be the best that I can be, within and without. It shows that I broke my mold and went against the grain, that I am on a mission of self-discovery.
My life also shows a lot of self-created problems and limitations that I struggle with, self-made excuses, justifications and much, much room for improvement, but I will get there, the speed at which I do depends solely on myself, and the strengths and qualities I have developed as a result of the challenges and adversities.

It causes a bit of friction in me that right now I am making an effort to slow down. I get the surges that I must move faster and do more, but these are the same surges that drive me to break-down, so I am learning how to move myself without the surges as they are filled with anxiety and pressure. Rather I move as self-movement, as a decision, and see things through properly, which sometimes means moving slowly. Sometimes we need to speed up as well, it’s all about finding the balance and identifying the moments and applying self accordingly.
  1. How would your friends describe you?
I have no idea. I would say you would have to ask them, but ask them in a situation where they knew I would never hear the answer so as not to influence them to only speak the good things. That, I think, would be most beneficial to hear, because we do rely on one another to point out he parts of ourselves that we cannot see, and it takes a certain amount of courage to be able to do so, because then we face the reactive, resistant and defensive parts of each other. This is where self-responsibility comes in, where we learn not to take it out on others within and through blame, projection and separation, but take in all information objectively and see what we can learn from it. 

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Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Creating a Meaningful Connection with SELF





I used to think that I needed to feel a connection with everybody in my life and world. I would seek for this connection with others, and try to create it, mostly through oversharing myself, or brining conversations to way deep levels before the relationship had really developed to a point where that is appropriate.

There was usually a slight desperation within me, a longing and a constant sense of dissatisfaction when I would try to create this experience of connection, or connecting with someone. I realized over time that if I keep repeating the same method, I will never actually develop the kind of connection with others that I so desire.

I learned this over time, and I began to pull back and slow down when I would meet new people, slowly walking the steps of relationship creation. I learned about ‘small talk’ and its role in the ‘getting to know’ process. I learned how to share myself step by step, in appropriate moments. I learned how to get to know others and develop a foundation first, before delving into the deeper issues of life and living. This was great and working really well.

However, I must also look at what this ‘longing for a connection’ with others is indicating to me about myself. I know about the principles of that which you desire from others are the things you are not giving yourself.  In this situation, my longing for deep and meaningful connections with others is indicating that I do not have a deep and meaningful connection to myself. Why and how is that? For me, I can see that over the years, beginning at about 8-9 till my late twenties/early thirties, and even sometimes to this day, I have lived out a pattern of relegating myself to a ‘back seat’ position in my life and living, where I would seek to ‘connect’ with others by becoming what I thought they wanted. 

If I became that shoulder to lean on, that perfect friend, the one that people are comfortable with, then people would open up and invite me in. But interestingly, when I would be invited in and really see the truth of a person and see what they’re dealing with and facing, I would sometimes become uncomfortable, feeling as though I was in over my head.

In doing this ‘becoming what another would want of me’, I would end up studying them, their preferences, their personality, likes and dislikes, and then ‘absorb’ or integrate the personality and qualities I perceived would be best into and as myself. This is hard for me to admit, but I will take the gift with the pill that is tough to swallow. The gift here is that I already know the process of how to develop that self-connection, I had just misaligned it by placing the other in the pilot seat, allowing their personality and character to navigate my path of self-development. All there is left to do now is to swap drivers seats and place myself as the pilot, not the auto-pilot, but the pilot that navigates in awareness who I would like to be, become and develop into.

Now, this is not something I can sit down and map out all in one go. It is a day-by-day ‘getting to know’ that can only be walked in space and time. My starting point will be simple, ‘easy’ daily activities and routines, the ‘small talk’. This can be: what and when I like to eat, what I wear, how I present myself, what I like to do throughout the day in terms of structure and routine, how I go about getting to work, how I set up and manage my personal space, and so much more.

Then, I can look at the bigger, more existential aspect of myself, such as what is my self-created meaning and purpose in this life, what path would I like to walk, what are my struggles along the way, what type of qualities and characteristic do I enjoy in others in my world? And again, so much more. I will take note throughout the days and weeks to come, in order to really get to know me, myself and I, so that when I begin to create a connection to another, I can do so from a starting point of standing one and equal to them, and not from a place of desiring them to fill a hole or void within me that I had not taken the time or put in the effort and dedication to create for myself, nor trying to fill any void for them. Instead, I stand as a pillar – a pillar of support/self-support that stands alone. 
 Sometimes I will need support in my creation of myself as this pillar, and sometimes I will for a moment, act as support for another.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to want/need/desire to form a connection to others in a try and attempt to fill a void in myself where a connection to self can stand as self-fulfillment, wherein the connection I develop with others will come from a starting point of equality and oneness instead of inferiority/superiority and dependence.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to never get to know myself, never fully connect to myself on deep and intimate levels, leaving me feeling unfulfilled and then seeking to fulfill myself within and through connecting with others.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to not see/realize and understand the possibility to connect to myself, but instead I immediately relegated myself to the back and placed connecting with others in the forefront of my intentions, within the thought, idea, perception or belief that I need to depend on others for connection, and that I am unable to create a fulfilling connection to myself.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to place myself as less important and inferior, wherein I would think/believe/perceive that there is nothing there worth connecting to/there will be no fulfilling connection possible with myself because I have placed value and worth onto others instead of realizing it within and as myself.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to think/believe/perceive that I cannot create a fulfilling relationship with myself.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to disregard myself, believing that I am not enough, less substantial and hollow.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to actually manifest myself as not enough, less substantial and hollow because I did not put the time, effort, dedication nor take the self-responsibility to create myself as that which I would like to be.

I commit myself to learn how to create and walk a process of getting to know myself.

I commit myself to developing a deep and meaningful connection to myself.

I commit myself to creating myself within and through a process of getting to know and connecting to myself.

When and as I see I am trying to become something for another, I stop, and I breathe. I bring myself back to self-connection by looking at what it is I am trying to become, and turning it around to become that for myself.

When and as I feel that I am not enough, not substantial and hollow, I stop and I breathe. I bring myself back to self-worth and equality by reminding myself that I now have the opportunity and self-responsibility to create myself as someone worthy, substantial and equal to everyone Here.

To learn about the existential nature of the human mind and how to make it practical, visit www.desteni.org