A Dream Of Self Acceptance

I have a dream, that one day you will awake to a renewed hope in your being.
That we will not turn our backs on ourselves in hopes of receiving love from another.
That we will look upon ourselves like our babes and smile at every part of experience.
We will not treat ourselves like an outsider when we fall, stumble or cannot find our way.
We will not play favorites with ourselves, rejoicing in our being only when we can take a bow.
But we will sit and be with ourselves in our darkest hour, in the loneliest thoughts and become deaf to the noise of others’ voices bullying our pain.
We will be like our own loving parent who sees their young running towards them with their scraped knees panting and wailing to tell the tale of their assault,
With open arms, we will hear ourselves out with compassion and without judgment and will disregard what the perpetrator should have or shouldn’t have done.
But choose to let our hearts swell with love for our vulnerability, embrace ourselves nodding to our soul that we are okay.
I have a dream that once we see our ups and downs with the same favor of contentment then the spaces in our heart will never be closed and joy and peace will always find their way in.
And pain and sadness will come and go without being held captive.
I have a dream for all to know this divine smile of peace that now rests in my being and sees no threat in anything beyond my soul.
Join me in the oasis of unconditional bliss that seeks only to fulfill itself.
Because once we embrace the “other” within ourselves, who was undeserving of our love, we’ll no longer estrange the other before our eyes.
I have a dream that we will awake to the truth that the gifts which are hidden in our souls, cannot be found on the surface but only through our healing.
That in healing ourselves, we discover a magic that we wish to spread to those who bear the same wounds.
I have a dream that all will stop dreaming of who they wish to be but accept the glory of their wholeness and with the freedom that ensues will grow into more than they ever imagined.
I have a dream that we will awake to the power of love that lays within, awaiting our return home.

“Recover your innocence, for she is an endless well of wisdom” .–I. Anana

I’ve always had an innate desire to make sense of everything but when I saw life from my ego, I directed my inquiry outward instead of understanding myself. But the answers that guide our personal journey reside with our authentic understanding/alignment with our highest self, therefore deciphering others is like writing the wrong test during an exam. We must know ourselves beyond our ego’s expectations in order to gain the true wisdom for our lives. After years of supposedly knowing it all, it was when I began seeing life through the lens of innocence that I discovered the wisdom and passion laying dormant in my consciousness. In what felt like an ordinary moment earlier this year, during my own sullen experience of misalignment, I briefly mourned the eventual loss of my angel’s innocence pondering the day that she too will shed her innate knowing that she is already enough. The sadness that followed that moment was the catalyst for my spiritual awakening and self rediscovery. I now understand that I was actually being inspired through divine intervention to mourn the loss of my own innocence and to rescue her from the fog of my ego mind.

You must mourn the loss of your innocence and commission a search party for her return. Put out her missing posters and knock on the doors of those who still remember her. Let them tell of how she was bold or gracious, knew what she wanted and went after it without fear. They will remind you that her imagination bore the greatest fantasies, she was full of curiosity, love and zeal. She sprinkled beauty and kindness everywhere she went and lifted the spirits of all those around her. Let them recall how she galloped with pride in her being and spoke her mind freely without doubt. Let your heart be moved by her legacy and weep that she has been buried alive. And as a loving parent who wouldn’t rest until the safe return of their missing child, you must find the courage to recover her. Fight for her in every waking moment of your day, knowing that when you choose to see life though the lens of love, you are one with your true and highest self.

“We are never lost, only disconnected”.–Ini Anana

“We do not need to be saved, only to awaken”–Ini Anana

My divine message a couple weeks ago was  “I AM INFINITE” and my reflections highlight that we lose ourselves by trying to define ourselves. Defining ourselves by external standards simplifies our identity to a binary of meeting our expectation (aka we succeed in being who we “think” we are) or not meeting our expectation and feeling at a loss of ourselves. This creates an internal hierarchy of worthiness within us of either feeling “less than” or being “good enough” Thus we become disconnected from ourselves by having a stronger attachment to chasing the expectations that will make us feel worthy before the judgement of others. We feel lost because of the wild goose chase of hunting for the next external thing that will bolster our worth. Ironically most people interpret this feeling as an indication that something is missing in them or in their life but this is our innate compass alarming us that we are running away from ourselves to our expectations. We figure that if just have a bigger house, loose more weight, have a better job, find a partner that we’ll feel better.

But without healing our attachment to the expectations of who we “think” we are, we cannot love ourselves and there remains infinite ways to feel unworthy even after we get the next best thing. Slight injunctions like impatience with my son or negative feedback were enough to dethrone me from my previous identification with perfection, inciting an internal sense of inadequacy. Detaching our joy from all expectations allows us to accept and forgive ourselves under all circumstances, which expands our self awareness. Subsequently, we feel empowered to make choices that support our growth instead of reacting to feel worthy before other people’s opinions. We cannot be “defined” by any measure, because we cannot own or always possess any “label” in this life. We are simply our ability to love because when we love, we are intentional and transcend all circumstances. Equating ourselves with any expectations places our power outside of ourselves, and there can be no joy in living such a life.

You are courageous and already have all the answers to fulfilling your highest life purpose for abundance if you look within and begin to ponder who you are within all the external distractions

“The Problem is the Solution to Your Evolution”–Ini Anana

Whenever we find ourselves unable to embrace our circumstances or struggles, we must ask ourselves “what am I resisting?” Consider the personal skill or trait you are avoiding or not embodying in your resistance to the situation. Are people taking advantage of you so you can learn to speak up for yourself? Are your interactions with your children or family strained in order to teach you the compassion that you are also lacking towards yourself? Were you humiliated to force you to stop caring about what others think? Your resistance to this particular quality is also essentially fighting/resisting yourself and limits your capacity to be good to yourself. Without developing this aspect of our character, we are choosing to impact/cater to the actions/opinion of others at our expense. If you live the rest of your life without nurturing this all important trait, you’ll never be good to yourself and subsequently will never be happier, more fulfilled or empowered than you are right now.

Expecting others or life to be perfect simply because we lack the courage to be good to ourselves will keep us stuck and living below our potential FOREVER. I’ve been given a new inspiration to develop a self-compassion workshop and would you believe that I’ve been experiencing the very situations that require me to be compassionate to myself instead of worrying about the perceptions of others. In the past however, I would have chosen to be distressed and pondered why life didn’t love me enough to make everything easier and perfect 🤷🏾‍♀️. Rather, I said “how’s this a good thing for my goals”? The reflection revealed that I may have taken the basics of self compassion for granted due to my committed spiritual growth, thus my current experiences is taking me through the “practical” and elementary knowledge to incorporate into my teachings. This approach opened my awareness beyond the immediate predicament, raised my vibration and propelled me into taking aligned actions. When you consider how your challenges are beneficial, it gives you a sense of control over them. Have the courage to ask the questions that will move you forward because your progress can’t occur against your willingness.

You are courageous and powerful, lean into your truth and potential.

Why Feeling Jealous Can Be a Good Thing.

Without judging yourself, I would like you to recall the last time that you felt jealous of someone or a situation and then I invite you to ponder what was the reason for your envy. You probably felt as though you were betraying your pride. Well, what if I told you that jealousy is not entirely negative because our envious sentiments provide clues to guide our self development. I believe that the context of our jealousy reveals an abandoned aspect of ourselves, therefore our envy merely reflects our subconscious desire to reconnect with those qualities within ourselves.

Love All That You Are.

The characteristics that we envy in others represent traits that we once embodied effortlessly when we loved ourselves unconditionally as young children. We gradually choose to conceal these aspects of ourselves to be accepted by others, preferring to adopt the behaviors that are validated by others. This means that experiencing frequent jealousy suggests that we are not embracing our authentic nature and must nurture more self love to celebrate all aspects of ourselves. In the past, I was primarily jealous of women who were not attention seekers, yet their genuinely kind, reserved and self-assured nature still garnered much admiration from others. During such moments of envy, I did not correlate that those attributes matched my natural demeanor as a youth.  I was an incredibly shy child who opted to be the observer, hence being more reserved was my internal setting for inner peace and my subconscious reference of authenticity. A growing desire to be noticed and admired during my adolescence led to adopting a louder and a more attention seeking disposition. Having a kinder outlook towards myself when I felt unnoticed would have enabled me to feel internally validated in embodying my reserved personality. Instead, I felt jealous seeing women who seemed comfortable in showcasing a reserved nature because it suggested that they had a more accepting and liberated relationship with themselves than I did. I was implicitly projecting a positive, yet hidden component of myself onto them and my envy was a subconscious acknowledgement that if I wanted to rekindle that aspect of myself, I would need to enhance my own sense of self acceptance. Consider another example of a naturally outspoken and vibrant friend of mine who purposely adopted a more mild-mannered temperament around a guy that she was interested in. She immediately felt jealous when she spotted him at a party enjoying the company of another boisterous and outgoing girl. Our jealousy indirectly signals a regret for not loving ourselves enough to embrace all of who we are.

Expectation Let Down.  

The aspect of ourselves that is mirrored in the occasions that cause jealousy is typically opposite to the expectation(s) that we adopted in place of those characteristic(s). For example, if you have become attached to ‘certainty’ then you may become jealous of others who display the spontaneity you once had when you felt a greater capacity of self trust. Similarly, seeing boldness in another person may produce jealousy in someone who is attached to perfection because their desire not to be perceived as flawless diminishes their sense of self compassion, which fosters a fear of critique. Jealousy reveals how the expectations, which we have adopted to experience greater social contentment are potentially not as fulfilling as anticipated. These incidents force us to recognize how others who aren’t attached to our expectations are experiencing the exact personal rewards that we hoped to garner from our expectations. A girlfriend of mine expressed feeling jealous of a neighbor’s financial freedom upon noting the neighbor’s lavish landscaping projects in their yard. I asked her to associate the neighbor’s “spending” with a specific trait to encourage her to view her jealousy as a positive projection of herself onto her neighbor. She interpreted the neighbor’s financial freedom as being ‘hardworking’ and before finishing the sentence she admitted that was a quality, which described her former self. This is my friend who is often described as a natural born hustler but sacrificed her innate drive for entrepreneurship in exchange for security after having children. The incidents that make us jealous are merely reminding us that we do not have to entirely abandon certain aspects of ourselves to be happier. The subtle discomfort of jealousy highlights the expectations that we must release to wholly accept ourselves and authentically embody the qualities that we covet in others. So, consider your next incident of jealousy as a cue that you too could experience whatever you envied in another person if you cared less about being a “certain” way and more about being yourself.

Be More You.

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It turns out that extended periods of socializing were previously exhausting for me because I didn’t periodically embrace my reserved side in the company of others. Practicing greater self awareness has led to detaching my worth from external validation and experiencing greater inner peace without “showcasing” myself in public settings. Rather, I recently encountered a lady who was the archetype of whom I would have previously envied and I ironically felt a strong liking towards her. Embracing those neglected aspects of ourselves leads to internalizing our expectations within ourselves, such that we no longer feel jealous seeing those characteristics in others. When we are denying certain aspects of ourselves to be accepted by others then we are unconsciously expecting others and circumstances to make us happy. But having to the courage to detach our happiness from our expectations fosters true self love and offers the genuine contentment we were erroneously seeking through our expectations. For example, if one could accept themselves when they are not in control, then they’ll nurture greater flexibility and patience and feel more “in control” and experience less frustration amidst disorder. Similarly, if a person can accept themselves within the prospect of not being perfect, they will experience greater self compassion, enabling them not to fear judgement during moments of imperfection and become more daring. Jealousy reveals an aspect of ourselves that needs more of our positive attention, so I want you to ponder that your current attachment to being a certain way is opposite of your true nature. That’s because your authentic self once internalized those expectations as natural to who you are and didn’t need to seek or prove it externally to be happy. Challenge yourself to allow the neglected parts of your true nature to shine a little more everyday and have the courage to let the image of who you want to be take a little breather. If you currently always feel the need to prove that you’re right, then this is likely not your true nature. Rather, once upon a time, your authentic self didn’t care what others thought and ‘understood’ your truth without seeking the consensus of others. Therefore, I encourage you to let your “understanding” side shine a little more every now and then. Our gifts, talents and passion reside with your true nature, so we cannot discover our true magic until we love ourselves enough to embrace the entirety of who we are.

INI ANANA IS AN ASPIRING LIFE AND SELF DEVELOPMENT COACH IN EDMONTON, AB. LIKE STEEPING JOY ON FACEBOOK  FOR MORE SELF DEVELOPMENT INSIGHTS.

“To Fly, We Have to Have Resistance”–Maya Lin

A few days ago, a fellow blogger that I follow on here posted a quote that I believe provides a perfect analogy for the magnitude of continual growth that we must be “willing” to consistently embrace in order to succeed. Undoubtedly, our emotional state is the greatest motivation or limitation to our success, because our emotions create our drive and foster the mental dialogue that inspires our decisions and choices. I believe the greatest road block for many of us is recognizing that we must adopt new habits and behaviours to “sustain” a positive emotional outlook. Hence success is essentially the consistent practice of emotional mindfulness, where passion is basically unconditional contentment during various circumstances. To become unlimited in our pursuits, we must first experience contentment unlimitedly in order to conceive the greatest amount of possibilities as desirable prospects. Because I love a good analogy, here is my personal interpretation of this inspirational quote: Continue reading

On Overcoming Self Doubt And Blogging.

At some point in our lives, we may all confront the challenge of overcoming self doubt while pursuing a goal or project. Doubt often manifests unexpectedly and slowly taints the excitement for our plans and as our passion begins to wane, the crippling fear of failure sets in. Wrestling with self doubt hinders our focus and direction, causing our confidence to steadily decline even if we have invested considerable effort and adequate preparation to ensure our competence. The helplessness from doubt may lead some of us to abandon our goals, while others can regain their motivation and persevere. I personally overcame many moments of doubt while preparing to launch my blog and I discovered first hand why the first step of any journey is often regarded as most difficult to take. Reflecting upon my own personal experience, I believe that doubt does not have to sabotage our efforts but can be a normal pathway to solidifying our passion to succeed.

What is doubt.

Doubt is rooted in our innate human drive for social belonging, which leads us to unconsciously appraise our actions according to socially endorsed values. Even as we possess unique individual motivations for pursuing various goals, the desired outcome of our aim is social acceptance and consumption of the products of our talents. Subsequently, we predict our success by the magnitude that others embrace and validate our endeavours, qualifying their approval and support as a condition of our achievement. Our inability to forecast how others will endorse our pursuits manifests in a fear that they may not embrace our talents, which we define as failure. Even if we are confident in our abilities, we may still doubt our potential success because we cannot predict if others will also perceive us as competent. My sentiments of self doubt manifested as my blog’s launch date drew closer and I began to anticipate the response from the public. As we start to visualize our desired outcome, we suddenly find ourselves wavering between the excitement that others will endorse our efforts and the fear that we may be rejected. I discovered that the following practices were useful in diminishing my sense of self doubt.

  1. Redefine success: passion is your best currency.

I believe that biggest trap for self doubt is defining our success by “measured outcomes” that depend on how others assess of our efforts due to it’s potential to undermine our passion. If others do not validate our performance in the ‘magnitude’ that we expect, we become doubtful, which may distract us from improving our craft. However, maintaining the intensity of our passion will gradually yield measured success because passion boosts confidence, determination and creativity. If anticipating the outcome of our endeavours causes doubt, we should deliberately refocus our thoughts on the positive ‘rationales’ for our pursuit. This is an exercise that rejuvenates the excitement for our goal, enhances our passion and motivates us to move forward. The impact of shifting our focus towards our desire is akin to the analogy of pouring a greater amount of clean water into a small amount of cloudy water, where the overall gradient changes in favour of the clean water. When I experienced doubt prior to launching my blog, I intentionally counteracted each fearful thought with three supporting sentiments for blogging; focusing on my motives shifted my attention in favour of my goal and mobilized me into action. I recommend continuously engaging in the details/art of your craft such that you remain focused on what is enjoyable and positive about your efforts, whereby joy is the best remedy for doubt. Depleting the excitement for our undertaking is a magnet for doubt and the absolute killer of success. Many people are pursuing endeavours with diminished passion and enjoyment because they are chasing measured success and remain perplexed that they aren’t achieving it. It is passion that enables us to invest the hard work necessary to succeed and helps us to remain possibility focused when we confront set backs.

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I correlated the importance of passion with success because I blog through inspiration; my ideas are the only platform of my pursuit and passion is the source that my thoughts stem from. I do not utilize any numerical standards as a basis of my success because this could potentially undermine my ambition and subsequently my ability to generate the very substance of my blog. I define my success only by my continued creative potential and interestingly, as I become more passionate, I discover greater insight and awareness for my posts. Therefore, it’s beneficial to ‘initially’ focus less on traditional measurements of success to lessen doubt and boost our passion/performance.

  1. Success doesn’t imply perfection.

Our expectation is an important predictor of self doubt because it determines how we respond to the elements that are out of our control. One will experience greater sentiments of doubt if they expect their pursuit to proceed perfectly because they may prematurely misinterpret a setback as failure. Rather, if we expect that success is a growth process, we will remain hopeful of our potential and anticipate that we have room for improvement. The assumption that any task will unfold seamlessly leads us to become insecure if perfection does not manifest and our declining confidence incites doubtfulness. More so, it is the expectation of perfection that causes us to presume that unfavourable incidents will impede our overall outcome, an assumption that heightens our fear of failure. This is because perfection implies that there is only one potential outcome for each event, causing us to feel defeated if things do not go as we hoped. I personally fought the temptation of foreshadowing the worst-case scenario a few days before launching my blog, when an entire set of blog pictures were erased from my camera. It would have been easy to misinterpret this mishap as a reason to doubt the caliber of my scheduled posts, but I distracted myself by writing and completed another shoot the following day.  Accepting that a given process will have peaks and valleys strengthens our resolve to persevere beyond the difficulties that we encounter along the way. More so, challenges typically offer insights and lessons that we can use to enhance our subsequent attempts.

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A critical component of relinquishing perfection is recognizing that we will naturally have phases where we become doubtful and experience reduced passion. We must anticipate this as a normal aspect of our journey so it does not entirely discourage us to give up. If we shouldn’t expect the process to be perfect, then we cannot expect perfection of ourselves. However as my parents always cautioned “it’s not whether a bird lands on a tree but if it builds a nest”.  I do not recommend lingering in a demotivated state, rather we should muster the drive to persevere by investing our energy in activities that deepen our passion. Another beneficial practice that lessened my moments of doubt was drawing on my support system for encouragement.

Success is not a one person show.

No one is an island, therefore we must draw on the assets of others who are rooting for our success, where in my case blogging has blossomed into a family affair. Our limited perspective about certain aspects of our goal contributes to self doubt and our support system can be a great litmus to gauge reservations that we are unable to independently rationalize. When I encounter uncertainties about any component of my blog, I have difficulty “thinking it out” on my own but I’m able to get a better grasp of the issue after discussing my ideas/thoughts with my family. I am constantly picking my family’s brain about topics, pictures and their personal experience, where their honest feedback helps to refine my clarity and confidence. If your reservations stem from a lack of expertise, then invest in research and learning opportunities and seek out positive and willing mentors that can guide you. Even the critical opinions of those  we trust can also lessen our sense of doubt by allowing us to gain a broader perspective in a reassuring context. Hence, embrace vulnerability with your support system by being open and honest about the nature of your doubt, so they can offer the neutrality that you need to rationalize your worries. I am also grateful for my family’s support during those moments when I need motivation to believe in the value of my undertaking.

We often doubt our efforts because we are our own worst critics and it’s valuable to have people around us who strive to build you up when you’re knocking ourselves down. We can never get too many pep talks and the encouragement from my husband and children always seem to jolt my passion for blogging when I’m feeling demotivated. The encouraging words of others highlight the positive aspects of our efforts when we are erroneously too focused on what’s amiss. Ironically, my family typically conveys the same constructive sentiments to me that I have offered them on other occasions, proving that we can benefit from the perspective of others even if we already possess the same awareness. We must be grateful to those who love us enough to support us, reinforcing our faith in the good that we are doing. As we are lifted by the encouragement of others, it highlights the value of reciprocating this positivity to others in their time of demotivation.

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I hope that these recommendations will be useful to you as you encounter inevitable moments of doubt while pursuing your goal. If you have committed the dedication to leap into your venture, then you must continually strive to believe in the beauty of your efforts/goal because this is the only worthy measurement of your success. Subsequently, the most decisive determinant of one’s success and deterrent of doubt is the rationale for pursuing your goals. I believe that we only succeed in those projects that we pursue out of passion and love. It is highly unlikely to prosper in an undertaking that you are doing solely to please others, for money or out of fear.

Check out  Steeping Joy on Facebook to read more of my thoughts on utilizing emotional mindfulness as an asset to manifesting your desires.

Which other principles have helped you to overcome self doubt? What recommendation would you add to this list?

XO

Ini Anana

“Steeping joy, brewed with all that life has to offer”