I hope that 2018 is the year that we begin to pay more attention to that part of us, which is bold enough to keep whispering those “supposedly impossible” desires into our hearts. What does it know that we haven’t yet accepted about ourselves? I ignored that nagging, optimistic whisper for most of my life, choosing instead to follow the noise of what “I should do”. Until one day, I showed up as a disgruntled CEO of my life, looking at the meager returns of joy that my expectations were bringing in. Not one doubtful thought or excuse had anything uplifting to show for itself and I couldn’t help but feel ashamed about permitting that mindset to be in charge of my life for so long. It was time to pay closer attention to that persistent quiet voice of inner confidence that kept whispering of a better way of being. I think that we all have that part of us that keeps our desires alive against the will of our doubts. Have you considered that this part of us may already have an elaborate plan to fulfill those ideals if we allowed it? We are so conditioned to give more attention to the inner dialogue of doubt that is quick to question the likelihood of successfully achieving the growth that our soul yearns to experience. Yet, our doubt(s) cannot see the end of time, so it can never truly present meaningful proof as to why you shouldn’t follow your heart. So why shouldn’t we hear out this dreamer buried deep inside of all of us. This is your higher self that is receiving that inspiration for you to try one more time to get healthy, to leave that unfulfilling relationship, share your gifts with the world, etc. Yes, you know that part of you that is brazen enough to create torn in your heart by keeping that one wish alive in your soul. Clearly, it believes in us and I beg of you to finally give it a chance to make it’s case as to why it’s so unwilling to abandon your heart’s desire. See if it’s possible that it is more persuasive and qualified to run your life that the underperforming critic you may have been rubbing shoulders with.
So just for once, call upon your higher self to boast freely as to why it continues to urge you to seek more fulfillment in life. Does it know that you are really good at researching and could learn all that you need to get started and this knowledge would spark something unstoppable inside of you. Maybe, it knows that you’re really good at problem solving and you would be relentless in finding solutions to whatever hurdles come up if you kept your higher self in charge. Maybe it knows that you are great at focusing on one thing at a time and would eventually become an expert in your craft. Perhaps, it knows that the freedom that you would feel from shifting into a new vision would enhance your confidence and empower you to add greater purpose and impact to your life. I encourage you to keep all your questions until the end and do not interrupt your higher self as it paints you a picture of your true unrealized potential. Rather, stand back and slowly get excited for its conviction and as you get carried away in these new details, allow that smirk on your face to grow. It will be hard not to feel impressed by this wild dreamer that is daring to bring remarkable fulfillment, abundance and peace into your life. Keep in mind that it will never be silent if you don’t give it the shot it’s been waiting for. Follow the signs in your body, if you feel lighter and more alive by the end of this imagining then don’t throw that hope away but make a deal to be guided by your higher self going forward. Trust it’s desperate plea that you won’t regret promoting her or him to be in charge as it assures that it will not let your down. You see even in your skepticism, you cannot help but feel fired up by its enthusiasm and passion.
Many of us aren’t living the lives that we desire because we haven’t fully seen the vision that our potential has in store. We have given doubt free reign and allowed it to run the show in our lives with little to no returns. Isn’t it time to hear what our higher self has to say and give it an honest chance to implement some changes. What if it absolutely could breathe new life into our unfulfilling circumstances as it promises. I am not saying the you have to change your life in one swoop but you have a fully confident and competent part of you that keeps urging you to experience something better. Begin by just going within and calling a meeting with your higher self and then get behind its vision. Allow yourself to imagine that perhaps you do already have everything you need to get started and remain guided by your higher self to keep moving forward in living the life you were born to create.
Funny enough, I think that we unknowingly begin the journey towards authenticity inflated with a naive assumption that a moment of instant courage permanently overthrows one’s limitating beliefs once and for all. I didn’t know that self doubt is a stubborn opponent, always lingering closely behind every missed step as we endeavor to express greater purpose and fulfillment. Indeed, we will REPEATEDLY pass through unexpected landscapes of uncertainty to accumulate enough distance between our old mental captivity. Like a fleeing hostage who is powered with fierce intention but periodically looks back in fear to gauge safety; bravery does not preclude occasionally questioning ourselves. As you pursue the truest and most valuable vision of your life, your enthusiasm may be tested as the reality of abandoning familiar patterns and choices takes hold. It’s akin to the sense of transient loneliness that gradually hits a person settling into a foreign city after the initial thrill of sight seeing passes. Take heed not to assault your wounded pride during these occasions of emotional limbo because you are only traveling through insecurity. Expect periodic melancholy as you are returning home to your true self as the sun expects to surrender the sky at dusk with confidence that it will always rise and shine again. Anticipating this forecast of rainy days as we share our light gives us the grace to trust our capacity to evolve through such circumstances.
We are peeling off layers of limitations that took years to weave and its during the ebb of our expansion that we get to pour more love into the remaining holes in our heart. When I find myself pondering whether I am big enough to fill the size of my of unfolding purpose, I remind myself that the destination is simply to be the fullest expression of myself, therefore I have nothing to lose in being as I am during any low moment in time. We must listen to the imaginings of our self doubt as a loving parent would console a whimpering child and reassure our qualms with a promise to love and accept ourselves under each grim prospect. Remaining emotionally supportive of ourselves during doubts allows us to recognize that we are not our fears. This has a surprising effect of easing the tension in our minds. Perhaps, self doubt is simply our creative potential seeking reassurance that we are no longer playing favorites with our dignity and a graceful resolve empowers us to put everything on the line. Through self love, we emerge from doubt with greater commitment to our potential, an awareness that grounds us as we ride subsequent waves of insecurity.
When we finally discover that there’s no rush to this journey of being ourselves, then we recover from doubtful moments loaded with the type of anticipation that rushes over a person standing in their brand new empty home. We now get to choose which thoughts are allowed to linger in our minds as we would carefully decide how to transform a bare house into a cozy home. So when in doubt, I weigh each decision and objective by how it accommodates my sense of internal freedom for I did not heal old expectations only to be bound by more refined ones. Rather, let’s be patient in shaping the vision of the future once we rise from momentary uncertainty to ensure that the victory we crave truly liberates our soul and growth. If you are currently caught in a moment of such insecurity, wondering how the same old fears keep finding a way back to you, do not overlook the worries in your heart. As you wouldn’t ignore a dear friend whom you knew was hurting, sit besides your shaky pride and reassure yourself that you okay and have been here before. Dissolve every version of perceived judgement with a gentle reminder that soul is only longing to feel loved by you. Be a hero to that old version of yourself that you are rescuing from grips of fear and then do your future self a favor of being brave enough today to pull yourself up to keep moving forward in a way that feels truthful to who you are. For someday you will see the beauty in this moment, why not look for it today.
The day that I discovered what it truly meant to believe in myself, I was pleading with my doubts for a chance to at least be called up to bat in my field of dreams. I didn’t care about the taunting stories in my mind reminding me that I could never hit a first base let alone a home run because I was finally ready to just be in the game. The moment we begin to believe in ourselves comes out of sheer desperation to no longer feel left out of the life that we want to live. We start believing a different truth about ourselves when we desire the next level of happiness (in whatever form it takes) more than we cherish the comfort of our boredom . We will clamor onto the slightest bit of audacity like a child dragging on a parent’s ankle, insisting not to be left behind. We will be unprepared and feel unqualified to navigate the great unknown that lies ahead but the smallness of our reality will seem too heavy a burden to carry for another step. Believe is the next turn right after what felt like the end, where we finally accept that we deserve to try. The moment that we believe in ourselves is the moment we remember that we always could all along if we were just willing to keep trying and learning.
I do not know when this moment will come for some of you reading this but when it does, it will be too familiar to feel brand new. And remembering the other time(s) when you have summoned the same courage will excite you to keep standing your ground. You will remember the same energy of readiness you felt as child rejoining the fun after wailing in isolation to protest unfair punishment. It will be like dejavu, recalling that other time(s) you were so bold to trust in what you were capable of instead of handing over your pride to defeat. Believe is born when we are suddenly content to just show up and take the next step, no matter how small it is. It is when we become like we were as babes battling our weight to roll but we persisted in the struggle intuitively knowing that every inch gained would get us closer to someday walking.
So it’s okay if today, you didn’t send that email to ask for more of what you deserve. It’s okay if you did not think it was worth trying to carve out a little time to care for yourself. It’s okay if you’re not sharing that gift in your soul because you think it’s nothing special. But what is it going to take for you to believe that you at least deserve to try? Not simply to impress the crowd but just to get off the bench because you have a right play, to join the fun? It’s okay if you think that you don’t know enough to start now but when will you deserve to give yourself a chance to learn? When will you deserve to take even the smallest step, like getting out a pen and writing out a vision of how things could be. See, I know that when that moment comes you’ll be surprised and maybe relieved that you could feel so much power without yet changing a single thing. Because it’s then that you too will realize that one can indeed climb an entire staircase never seeing the top because they are happy to take one step at time. For today, just tell yourself the truth about why you don’t think you deserve to feel more joy in your heart. Then, thank your doubts for letting you know what it feels like to miss out on the life you were born to live. And muscle every ounce of your humanity to remember what you are truly capable of and just be willing to keep showing up to take a step towards the next level of joy in your life.
I’m leaving 2017 behind with a renewed inspiration that we simply need to “look closer within” to find the answers or purpose that we seek. But one will not find new details with the same conditioned eyes and mind that can no longer reveal a novel truth about who we are. We must think outside the box of expectations of how we insist that we ought to be. My friends there’s nothing new to see, feel or be within the confines of the labels that keep us seeking worth in external measures. Rather, let’s look closer at the unexpressed part of ourselves because this is where our human creativity and purpose remains unfulfilled. It’s in this place where we seldom look that our gifts lay neglected in the forgotten aspects of our being.
What do you feel that others do not know about how you experience life? This is not simply an incident or a specific experience but which part of your essence remains unknown to many? Now, consider how does the feeling that swells in your heart from being this unseen version of yourself exit your body and connect to others so your soul can feel fully seen and understood? How do you express or satisfy the emotions that arise from being connected to this “unseen” part of yourself. This my friends is the gift that makes you feel alive and most like yourself. It’s the missing and distant essence that we can feel deep within but cannot seem to experience within the box of expectations that we’ve cocooned ourselves in. It’s often difficult to fathom that the self expression that emanates from this version of ourselves are “gifts” since we don’t spend enough time admiring this aspect of ourselves. These gifts seems too simple, so we may keep searching far and wide to become or do something greater to make us feel that we matter. We’ve forgotten that connecting to the hearts of others is how we leave our impact on the world. Perhaps we do not believe that world will be changed by the human story that comes from the creative application of our “unseen” self. But this is the very expression that also allows others who feel as we do to also feel seen. All of humanity is longing to be seen for who they are but many of us unintentionally lose ourselves as cater to how we long to be seen through the eyes of others (parents, teachers, peers, coaches). But this I know for sure, that we do not discover true joy and purpose until we embrace and fulfill the expression of our “unseen” self. We may climb mountains and accumulate every earthly accolade but one will not feel complete without purposefully expressing their authentic self.
Keep it simple: make it real.
I believe that as we move into the new year, the most meaningful task for many of us is to foremost identify this unseen part of ourselves and the mode of self expression that best emotes this aspect of our essence. It will require surrendering to the old ideas about ourselves but be assured that our vision becomes clearer when we reconnect with our missing part(s). I believe that incorporating our unique self expression into our passions, pursuits and daily living enables us to discover greater creative potential for abundance and fulfillment. For myself, what is often unknown about me is the emotional intensify in which I experience life, in other words ‘I think in emotions’. Stuttering severely as a child, I imagine that I became very aware and connected to my feelings because I couldn’t verbally express them as I wanted to. I cradled my emotions with curiosity and would eventually learn that unless others were hiding their feelings, most people didn’t seem to feel in the same magnitude as I did. The longer I sat with my feelings, the easier it was to string them into words that expressed the crispness of my joy, sadness or anger. Often,I cannot get the words out fast enough when I’m steeped in my emotions and this form of emotional writing or poetry is actually my truest connection to myself. Yet, I’ve not been indulging in this type of writing because I too was searching too far and wide to fulfill my passion for personal transformation and growth. But I believe that human transformation grows from how well we can invite others to feel our desired emotional objective. This requires us to utilize the gift of that creative self expression, which effortlessly captures how we experience life.
In 2018, I will be incorporating this aspect of my authenticity in an exciting new personal development project. It seems scarier that anything that I’ve done, which is why I know that it’s the path I must embrace. Friends, follow the lightness in your heart, it’s your soul feeling free to be its unlimited self. Stop complicating the process, the answers would not be hidden in a place where we could not find them. First, we must become deeply connected to the feeling that you wish to impart on others through our creative efforts. Unsurprisingly, it’s the unique gifts of our “unseen” self that will enable you to convey this emotion to others. Atlas, our impact is created through the emotional human connection with others that our unique self expression fosters. Being yourself is not difficult so keep it simple and embrace all that you are. The is the beginning point from which your endless possibilities grows.
If you’ve been lucky enough to experience life thus far without undergoing the preverbal rock bottom occasion then you’re also probably living fairly honest with yourself. That’s because I believe that rock bottom is often the inevitable fallout of unsustainable inauthenticity. Having experienced a few these occasions (sometimes eras) , I recall that these were the occasions where I didn’t recognize my life as mine. It always felt as though I had been teleported into the bleak circumstances that were my new reality. After a prolonged series of self betraying choices, one final outcome suddenly ushers one into a new threshold of despair like a twist of the knife. Rock bottom events highlight the ideals that undermined loving ourselves by making the sudden absence of those factors incredibly painful. We become cornered into making one of two choices, surrender to our desperate desire to feel worthy despite our circumstances or painfully keep up appearances by picking up our broken expectations where we left us and try to revive them back to reality.
The first time I felt emotionally displaced in my life was settling into the lonely weight of becoming a single mother at age twenty one. I had suddenly gone from “full of potential” practically being my middle name to feeling relegated to the hypothetical rejects table watching the ‘important’ people mingle at the party. With every unsolicited opinion about the tremendous adversity awaiting me, I sensed potential was leaking out of me like air in a punctured tire. There was a looming fear and uncertainty about fulfilling the great hopes that I had for my future. And there was the loniless of socially braving the path of single parenting without others who understood your reality. Unfortunately, I didn’t choose to acquiesce my vulnerability and accept myself as good enough regardless of the presiding social perceptions. I didn’t forgive whatever mistakes I internalized but held myself to a new and higher standard of perfection to prove my worth. Being extremely hard on myself amidst my underlying perceived judgement from others created a perfect storm of disconnection and isolation. Finally becoming comfortable with vulnerability through self compassion has enabled me to heal my attachment to self limiting expectations and embrace greater authenticity and inspiration.
Our desire to be happy is the strongest when we feel vulnerable, therefore these are the true opportunities to love ourselves. Vulnerability symbolizes our strong human desire to be our true loving selves when we fear that it may not be safe to do so. While joy is the medium of inspiration, we must confront vulnerability to learn the lessons necessary to overcome subconscious limitations that undermine expressing our optimal creative potential. Therefore, having a greater affinity to appeasing our unmet expectations sabotages our longing to feel worthy amidst imperfection and reinforces the self limiting perceptions that perpetuate being inauthentic . We cannot genuinely transcend and grow beyond the undesirable circumstances that elicit vulnerability without meeting our emotional needs during these occasions. Thus, feeling stuck in life typically results from avoiding vulnerability and subsequently not knowing how make different choices that generate a more favorable outcomes. We only feel lost in life when we are running from confronting the vulnerability of what we need from ourselves to feel worthy. As I ran to unhealthy relationships or shopping addiction to avoid releasing the perfectionist expectations that I clung to with my life, I lost a true vision of who I was. Self compassion honors our innate desire to feel good enough even when circumstances would lead us to believe otherwise. Practicing self compassion now enables me to detach my worth from external circumstances so I can feel safe within my own opinion. Not having this skill fourteen years ago led to trying to white knuckle life and subsequently being reluctant to expand my comfort zone. Living in a constant survival mode emotionally robs us of the ability to foster the passion and inspiration necessary to express greater creative potential that is always within us.
I have been blessed to discover the value of self compassion not only for my own healing but to share with all those seeking freedom from the lonely grips of inauthenticity. The vulnerability within rock bottom occasions can make it hard to believe in our own good loving nature unless we finally release the expectations that rendered us inauthentic. After years of internally fighting myself, the rock bottom moment that finally inspired me to reclaim my authentic nature was my escalating anger towards others. In a seemingly innocent moment of frustration, my justified retaliation made it impossible to continue endorsing my innate belief of being a compassionate person. It took self compassion not to hide my true desire for inner peace with an angry response. Don’t wait until a rock bottom moment to acknowledge how far your life may have steered from who you feel you are on the inside. If you are in the Edmonton, Canada area and want to explore how self compassion can strengthen your self confidence then join me for my first Self Compassion workshop on Sunday November 26, 2017 with a special launch price of $10. Click the link https://www.facebook.com/events/870819843099363/?ti=icl to RSVP as space is limited.
I recently watched a video segment where Oprah attributed her tremendous conviction in herself to religious teachings such as the biblical verse where Jesus commands that if one had as little faith as a mustard seed they could uproot the tree. Oprah asserted that we don’t get what we ‘want’ in life but manifest what we feel we deserve through our own believe of ourselves. She added that one must internalize joy, fulfillment, peace, happiness, success, comfort and abundance as part of their birth right in order to manifest those ideals into their life circumstances. I always pondered why Jesus chose the minuscule mustard seed to correlate the unwavering courage necessary to nurture faith. Our fifteen month old Fraya reminds me that very young children only behave as though the ideals described by Oprah are their birthright while adults demand a reason to feel joy. Extrapolating from the importance of authenticity in discovering the inspiration for greater purpose and the truth of humanity being created in the likeness of God offers a new awareness about this metaphor. I now understand that Jesus references the minute mustard seed in Luke to correlate that simply embodying our true innate nature is all that’s necessary to remain connected to and believe in God and subsequently ourselves. Last week, I explored the lifestyle criterias that nurture positive self believe and the remainder of this article explains that being authentic is the outcome of embodying those ideals.
You are not your expectations.
I invite everyone to consider if they are completely happy with themselves or their life to discern if they are being their true self. If the answer was no, then unfortunately a person is not being authentic with themselves. And while some would insist that their discontent only stems from not yet attaining certain desires in their life. I believe that external factors ‘seem’ to make us unhappy only because we stopped being our true selves and became the expectations we thought would make us feel more worthy. Transitioning back into one’s authentic self entails acting in the opposite manner as a person currently does when they’re not content. Believing that happiness is our birthright entails choosing behaviors and thoughts that genuinely make us happy. Therefore, if a person’s reactions to emotional discontent intensifies their unhappiness then they are responding to embody their unmet ‘expectations’ rather than satisfying their own authentic need for joy. Hence, the occasions where most people stop being their true selves is when their expectations of needing love or approval from others (in order to feel happy) goes unmet. We typically mask the vulnerability of our unmet expectations by reacting with anger, resentment, blame etc, instead of employing the courage to choose a response that honors our intrinsic desire to experience joy. Fraya on the other hand has given me a kiss mid tears and frowns because she is only motivated by her birthright to be happy and experience love not only during perfect conditions. Framing our responses as a means of creating our own happiness internalizes that our fate does not depend on circumstances but is determined by our own ability and willingness to continue fulfilling our happiness. Thus, being authentic amidst vulnerability prevents us from becoming discouraged by unfavorable circumstances, which bolsters our conviction in ourselves.
Being motivated by our expectations of others and ourselves diminishes our control over our choices, making it difficult to trust ourselves. When my own joyful demeanor was augmented by the actions of others, I was unknowingly people pleasing instead genuinely responding in my own best interest. Rather committing to responses that align with our authentic desire to experience inner peace ‘for ourselves’ creates consistency in appraising our identity. We become more likely to trust and believe in ourselves when we can rely on own capacity to make choices that uphold our inner peace. Rather, I did not previously have a genuine reference of what “my best interest” resembled when my intentions were derailed by the actions of others (or circumstances). Instead, I was simply making it up on the fly with impulsive reactions to appease my discontent and unmet expectations. Our fragile and needy ego confuses us to perceive that adapting who are according to circumstances is empowering. However, it creates dependency on others for joy, which undermines our own ability to believe in ourselves.
Embracing our authentic free loving nature is the ultimate goal of our existence. This insight offers me a new interpretation for one my favorite passages in the Bible. The metaphor of the mustard seed simultaneously alludes to the simplicity entailed in being our authentic self and the inherent courage that is required in bravely choosing to be ourselves in every moment. It takes tremendous courage not to hide behind anger, blame, sadness, etc but to allow our human desire to feel love during these moment be seen through mindful responses that restore our inner peace. Everyday Fraya illustrates that the world doesn’t owe us happiness because we were already given the right and ability to create it for ourselves. Thus, willingly co-creating with negative emotions is not staying aligned with our true selves that is connected to divine intuition and inspiration. Our true nature is always love, hence we are called to be an unconditional embodiment of love to accept ourselves unconditionally and transcend all conditions. Our capacity to rise ‘above’ all circumstances through unconditional self love deepens our positive believe in ourselves and trust in our Creator.
Have you ever wondered what it would truly take to believe in yourself? After all, our authentic opinion of ourselves frames our ability to manifest the beautiful life that we all desire. My own personal journey confirms that while it may be possible to succeed by other people’s definitions amidst internal discontent, pursuing the passion that fulfills our soul’s happiness takes tremendous positive believe in ourselves. We often speak of the effects of self belief such passion, determination and resiliency but how does a person nurture a positive opinion of themselves in the first place?. Sustaining the motivation to take favorable and intentional action in the absence of a favorable outcome is an important aspect of resiliency. So, while our objectives can shape the vision of our pursuits, attaching our happiness to our desired outcomes reduces our clarity necessary to make empowered choices during undesirable outcomes. Therefore, to believe in ourselves, we must choose to love ourselves without a reason. Embracing inner peace when our expectations aren’t met impacts our willingness to continue expending energy in a manner that benefits us.
Stop expecting love in return.
Our instant gratification culture impacts a person’s sustained ability to maintain a positive view of themselves. Wanting validation, praise and approval in return for our efforts ironically leads to playing small and not believing in our higher potential due a subsequent fear of not meeting those criteria. We may intuitively presume that having greater expectations for our efforts yields greater motivation. However, our expectations only define our dependency on external factors (beyond our control) in order to remain motivated. Therefore, one’s expectations represent all the reasons that will discourage a person from continuing to believe in themselves when those ideals are not met. Remaining attached to our unmet expectations unknowingly leads to simply lowering the threshold of what it takes feel validated, approved etc. In contrast, retaining inner peace amidst unfavorable outcomes enables us to learn and grow through circumstances without fear or concern about the perceived judgements or actions of others (family, friends, etc). The more that we expect others to contribute to our happiness, the harder it becomes to differentiate the between the hypothetical voices of their opinions and our own intuition. We must routinely react to discontent in a manner that prioritizes kindness and inner peace towards ourselves when it’s not given in return. Doing so, fosters the mindset that can identify and execute our best interest during larger set backs. Thus, reacting from the mindset and expectations of the ego increases the likelihood that we’ll stop believing ourselves when we cannot prove ourselves to others.
Be worthy of your good effort.
We often make the mistake of devoting a tremendous amount of energy to activities that appease or impress others but seldom expend a fraction of the same efforts in lifestyle choices that foster internal happiness. Perhaps, it’s because we assume that we are not getting anything in return from ourselves. When we are only motivated by expectations then we may perceive that our own personal joy/fulfillment is not as worthy of our persistent and committed effort. Such self neglect prevents us from cultivating passion and greater purpose. Valuing our own joy and fulfillment enables us to make empowered choices in the absence of validation from others. Pursuing greater purpose often entails investing tremendous effort in reclaiming neglected aspects of ourselves. We must value the internal rewards of our growth to feel worthy of our own sacrifice in the absense of external approval. For example, you may be an accountant but if you are unhappy with your life, then perhaps your soul seeks greater creative expression. Discovering this hidden passion entails expending persistent energy solely for your own fulfillment. I believe that many people do not believe in their highest human potential simply because we are conditioned to only ‘work hard’ for a specific result rather than striving to expand and enrich ourselves. This is akin to a car without fuel since we cannot manifest our desired outcomes without knowing how to act in alignment with our true happiness.
Life is a series of “each moment”, therefore the unmet expectations that justify not choosing inner peace in each occasion become the reasons that prevent us from believing in ourselves when our expectations aren’t met. Our goal is to give ourselves internally all the expectations that promote our inner peace so that we can confidently act with clarity when these ideals are lacking in our circumstances. This requires the courage to feel deserving of joy unconditionally such that we can remain resilient when our efforts don’t yield our desired outcomes. We must awaken to awareness that it is our own embodiment of unconditional love that frees us from the dependency on others and circumstances to feel worthy. If we always need a reason to choose kindness, then we’ll always need a reason to be happy and whatever constraints our happiness undermines believing in ourselves when those expectations are not met.
Whenever I have felt as though I was working against the grain, it usually meant that I was pushing against my body’s need for a time out. It may seem counter-intuitive to interrupt one’s full force momentum with periodic moments of rest but recovery is a crucial aspect of optimal performance. Our bodies are always intuitively communicating what our soul needs to enhance our experience of joy, peace and subsequently maximize our efficacy. Therefore giving ourselves grace from the hurried pace of life may optimize our creative potential in the long run. I believe that constantly working within the pace of internal resistance may be counter productive over time because it diminishes the passion within our efforts. I’ve learned that giving myself the grace from the expectation mindset and honoring what my soul is calling for often yields greater inspiration and creativity.
Give in to your higher self.
Essentially, it is the highest version of ourselves, which possesses the creative potential to efficiently navigate our situations and challenges that signals our bodies for periodic grace. Therefore, pushing through our need for recovery is like working without the most qualified version of ourselves and we may expend greater amount of energy and effort because we are working against ourselves. For example, a couple weeks ago, I was struggling to convey my thoughts in the article “What maybe keeping you from discovering your higher purpose” due to the abstract nature of that subject matter. Transferring what resonated as clear concepts in my mind into simple and coherent words and style became increasingly difficult. I initially ignored my body’s signal for a break because I was intent on not wasting the remaining allotted writing time for that evening. I’ve discovered that we truly cannot resist ourselve for our accord, therefore it’s helpful to identify the external expectations that makes one afraid to slow down. I recognized that my forced attempt was out of alignment with my core truth of unconditional self acceptance upon realizing that I was nervous about not having an article to post within an expected timeframe. Being out of alignment kept me stuck in the fearful “problem” mindset and diminished my creative inspiration for resolving my writer’s block. When I finally decided to take a break, the article practically wrote itself as I was having a shower and I ended up scrambling to document what is personally one of my most meaningful pieces. Basically, the part of myself that understood how to phrase the complexity of that topic was exhausted; rather, my highest self needed to engage in a more relaxing activity to release my tense creative energy . Had I persisted to struggle in my writer’s block, I may not have expressed myself as succinctly as I was able to after taking a break.
Less can be more.
After taking a break, it took me about a quarter of the time that I had already invested in drafting that article to completely finish writing it . We gain clarity about a certain process after giving our soul what it needs regain inner peace. Thus, our bodies signal the energetic shift that is required to rejuvenate the most inspired aspect of ourselves. For example, if you’re naturally a free spirit, your body may often seek grace in the form of play but for myself being more contemplative by nature, my soul was craving a space to think without distraction or pressure. Giving ourselves permission to be the most joyful authentic version of ourselves through rest then allows us to bring that feeling into completing our required task at hand. Resuming our endeavors with a more favorable emotional energy may lead to being more persistent and motivated and we may often accomplish more than we previously anticipated. I am often in awe of my husband’s ability to work for many uninterrupted hours creating his reclaimed wood art after allowing himself to indulge in nap after work. It’s as though giving ourselves grace subsequently allows us to be fully onboard with the required task at hand going forward. While pushing against ourselves is akin to trying to concentrate with a needy toddler constantly nagging for our attention. We may still get the work done but the process may be more interrupted and the outcome less productive.
Resiliency encompasses being good to ourselves especially in the long run. Thus, it’s important to establish a balance of when to go hard and when to take it easy so we do not diminish our passion and burn out. The field that lays fallow will yield more fertile harvest in the season to follow. It’s okay to give ourselves grace to recover because the most inspired version of ourselves needs this shift to become more creative.
One the easiest ways to shift our negative energy and raise our vibration is to look for the humor within an unhappy moment. For example, I am currently developing my first self compassion workshop and constantly quip at my growing reality of committing more blunders than usual as an opportunity to hone my craft of practicing self kindness. The lens of humor detaches our identify from unfavorable circumstances and subsequently reveals the hidden potential about ourselves and the possibilities within a situation. Although I’ve always wanted to enjoy life and strived to maintain a positive outlook, I use to take things very personally and easily attached negative interpretations to people’s undesirable reactions. Finally overcoming this tendency earlier this year offers a new realization that taking life personally is one of the primary ways that we reinforce and internalize our own self limiting beliefs.
Stop believing a limitation.
I could not previously take something personally without also subconsciously accepting the negative implications as true. Hence, I was regularly accepting the perception that “people don’t like me”. Unfortunately, reacting from my ego in such situations prevented me from personally adopting the qualities (compassion, patience, kindness) that supported my own self acceptance and ability to shed my desire to be liked. Rather, I persisted to project my own negative beliefs as my interpretation of situations, justifying my resolve to continue to taking subsequent incidents personally. And naturally each projection sustained the cycle of internalizing greater self limiting beliefs and choosing more non-self loving reactions and so forth. Gradually, fostering the awareness not to attach negative implications to other people’s actions or my set back separates my own identity from the behaviors of others and unforeseen circumstances. Thus, I remain conscious of my intrinsic innate worth and sustain the emotional clarity to choose responses that continue to nurture the very qualities I was seeking from others. Having a more positive relationship myself has empowered me not be concerned about the opinions of others nor care if they like me. Overlooking the perceptions of others has played a pivotal role in embracing my authentic nature and discovering greater passion and inspiration in life.
We need to stop fixating on others and taking life so personally to reclaim our authenticity and unlock the wisdom and gifts for expanding our fulfillment and abundance. Our power does not stem from what we think others owe us, but from our own capacity to become those ideals for ourselves. As one of my favorite poets Nayyirah Waheed writes “if someone does not want me, it is not the end of the world. But if I do not want me the world is nothing but endings.” Giving ourselves permission to step into the power of our true greatness is a process that requires tremendous believe in ourselves. Therefore a person must really commit to getting out of their own way by abandoning self limiting behaviors such as creating and internalizing negative implications to undesired occurrences.
Humor offers us tremendous self awareness and insight about how to grow and release conditioned self sabotaging choices. One of the funniest insights that I’ve adopted about my journey of self re-discovery is that: “self rediscovery is sort of like buying back the presumed crappy items that I donated to Value Village for triple the cost”. The aspects of ourselves that we must reclaim to become more empowered and authentic were once relegated as socially undesirable traits. It costs our ego a tremendous amount of humility and self awareness to resume embodying those qualities unconditionally after being addicted to the opinions of others. I believe that this is a price that some people remain unwilling to pay and miss out on having the beautiful life that our souls desires and is able to create through authenticity. Don’t be your own biggest limitation by taking others and situations personally because doing so undermines our capacity to love ourselves. We are here to enjoy life, connect with others through service and live abundantly. All of which require immense self awareness and acceptance.
I saw this poignant quote today and felt that it captured an integral essence of personal development. I’ve gained a lot of wisdom over the last ten months by simply practicing the following principle that I believe is necessary in order to expand our lives: “the only way to get what we want from life is to stop waiting for a reason, a milestone or an outcome to occur in order to be happy”. By the way, this is called authenticity. Right now as you are, without a single thing changing or happening in your life, this is the version of yourself that you need to love and accept in order to reclaim your greatness. Whatever would give you joy within this context of your being (when you’re not pretending to be the expectations that you believe would make you more worthy) is the gift of your passion. Anything and everything else will always become a tiresome chore that will not give your soul the joy and abundance that your it desires and is capable of.
Consider that the person you are now doesn’t have anything to prove or lose so it’d be some kind of magic if you would put a little fuel of love into her and give her some direction. Allowing yourself to be good enough right now shows the universe that you deserve what you desire and finally gives the version of you that is sustainable the permission to start creating. As you are right now is all that is certain, and if you infused enough joy into your momentum, you would finally have nothing to lose because you are already happy simply being you. Therefore, whatever false imaginings, gripes or regrets that you must let go of to feel joy again in this moment of your life is actually the lesson that your life has been trying to teach you. And all experiences in your life will continue to nudge you to release whatever expectation(s) prevents you from loving yourself, so might as well take the lesson now before it becomes more forceful.
Unhappiness is simply your soul’s rebellion against denying yourself of love. It’s been waiting with gifts and wisdom to guide you into greater abundance but soon it will grow more impatient if it feels that time is running out. Like a stubborn child with its arms crossed and backed turned to your charade, it will stay unhappy unless you love yourself. You may say “but I got a new motorcycle, aren’t you happy now?” and it will not budge with an ounce of joy. “But I lost so much weight, aren’t you happy now?” And it will be stonewalled. Your soul will withhold all joy for any performance of inauthenticity.
You will have no choice but to finally embrace your truth and honour yourself wholly as you will surely tire of internally suffering in vain. This is how ordinary people create extraordinary lives by choosing joy just as they are and letting their soul guide them into their natural magnificence.