Thursday, November 12, 2015

Day 202- What Your Excuses are Telling You

I recently sat in on an Eqafe interview and an interesting thing happened. I wasn’t feeling tired before the interview began, but as I was listening I had to fight to stay awake. At one point I was even dreaming with my eyes open. What this indicates is that I was hearing information that my mind did NOT want to hear or accept, like a self-preservation/defense mechanism. Which is interesting because that was the topic of the interview.

The interview was discussing the tendency we have to justify, excuse or limit ourselves to remain a certain way or in a certain personality or habit. For example, I had been facing the point of being shy in a group. I always accepted this as a part of me or of my personality that was unchangeable, and I would  justify remaining this way by telling myself that certain experiences I had had in my life had formed me and now this is how I am. The memories of being bullied or embarrassed in front of a group would come back to haunt me and create a fear or resistance, so in the same or similar situations I would withdraw within myself and want to become invisible, trying to avoid having this memory replay.

So what is happening here is that the mind is using memories to defend this original self-definition or belief, in order to keep up the ‘shyness’ personality and all the reactions that go with that. This is instead of the common sense approach of the person having an experience, learning from it and changing through letting it go and trying something new.

In this, we can see that nothing of us is set in stone, everything is changeable, and we can learn, grow and evolve. But we use excuses based on past memories to justify why we can’t change, and how impossible it is to grow, learn and evolve. This is an important realization, because next time I see myself saying: “I’m this way because…..” or “I can’t do that because…”, I know these are red flags showing me that I am at a moment of opportunity, where I can simply bypass the justifications and excuses, and walk into a new situation with a ‘blank slate’, to really experience what I am in fact capable of.
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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Day 200 - The Valentine's Day Revelation

Valentine’s Day

Why do we desire Valentine’s day to be a special and romantic day? Why is it expected of the man to bring gifts to the woman in order to make her feel special or loved?  In today’s world it seems it is simply expected for something special to happen on this day. But is it possible to look into this desire for an emotional experience on this day, and trace it back to a source, where it started, why it started, and how advertisers play on this desire in order to catch us in a wave of purchasing in order to satisfy an emotional or feeling need we don’t necessarily understand?

When I look back at some of my earliest memories of Valentine’s day, there is one in particular that stands out, and when I play back the memory in my mind, and I re-experience how it made me feel, I can see there it is distinctly connected to the need or desire to be made to feel special on Valentine’s day, and still yearning for this experience nearly 25 years later.

I was about 9 years old and I was in class on Valentine’s Day. I noticed some students were receiving many fancy cards and there was laughter and commotion all around them. I had been sitting alone, with few cards and no activity around me. It suddenly felt as though I was part of a movie set where the spotlight was shining on the other students and I was not even in the scene. I felt invisible, forgettable, ignored.

Had it not been for this play-out, I would have been fine, and it would have been another normal day. But instead, I had reacted, and I had made a judgment about myself, one which was reinforced many times over many Valentine’s Days and similar events, and one which was unnecessary. This judgment would limit and diminish me in so many little, seemingly insignificant ways  as I became a teenager and then a young woman, as if my relationship with myself had been somehow poisoned and made slightly toxic.

The proof that the judgment remained lies in the fact that when I finally had someone to spend Valentine’s Day with, I now desired to be in the spotlight, to get the attention and to be made to feel special. I needed to prove to myself that my judgment was wrong: that I was not in fact invisible, forgettable and ignored. But I was using others and outside influences to now make me feel right again within myself.

So what’s the moral of this story? It’s the importance of learning how to take self-responsivity for one’s own reactions and to direct them as they happen, instead of accepting and allowing moments of reaction to define oneself as more or less than one really is. Self-acceptance means accepting myself as I am, Complete and unconditional self-acceptance allows for the greatest self-expansion. The indicators of where in your life you are holding onto an unresolved moment are the seemingly unexplainable secret wishes and desires for people in your world, events and play-outs, to make you feel something inside of you that is different than how you currently feel.

It’s considered normal and even expected for couples to make Valentine’s Day special for each other. Why not let this day be an expression of gratefulness for each other, where there is no manipulation of feelings and emotions to fill past voids or the desire for proof – these are the types of seemingly innocent and normal things that poison the relationship between two people, because it is impossible to fulfill this in another person.

How we feel within ourselves is our responsibility, and with that responsibility comes great power- the power to change yourself and become something more than you ever could have imagined. Don’t let the consumer machine capitalize on our vulnerability. Empower yourself and be your own self-fulfillment. Check out this free online course, where you’ll learn how to take responsibility in moments of reaction, to let go of self-judgment, and walk in the moment with presence and awareness, instead of living in the limiting grips of the past. It’s free, there is no charge, it’s about empowering people, no strings. I learned the material and still apply it every day, it’s worth investing your time in, click HERE to find out for yourself!