How to Accept all of Your Self: Part 6 of 6
In my previous blog I spoke about habitual behaviors and addictions. As this blog is part 2 dealing with the topic of TRUTH, let’s examine how with a curious mind we can expand our beliefs as we learn to align our truth with our intention. Through this expansion we can have a conscious experience where we take 100% responsibility for our experience, without projecting onto another or taking away from their experience of the same set of events.
Let me show my thinking through a story.
About a year ago the young lady whom I fondly refer to as my daughter started posting a lot of selfies on Facebook. Shortly thereafter, a friend asked me if I wasn’t concerned by the amount of selfies she was posting. I listened to my friend’s question, noticed that it didn’t trigger me and so I let it go. As the year went on, my daughter continued with the same online behavior and two more friends posed the same question to me. Having the same question raised more than once my awareness was heightened, so I decided to sit with it and see what stories arose.
My daughter is currently flourishing in her second year at University so in my truth I felt I had no cause for concern. However, I then noticed an old story creeping into my head a few weeks later. During her last few years of high school I remembered I had felt the need to address a similar issue with her. She had been spending a lot of time on social media and her grades had dropped.
I allowed some more space and then suddenly found myself triggered! We had finished a gym work out and mid-conversation I felt she was more interested in taking a selfie of herself then staying present with me.
I then watched her postings on Instagram and FB and decided to share a question with her. I told her my curiosity had initially been prompted by questions from others. I let her know that I’d chosen not to pay attention to them until the moment I was aware of being triggered. I shared how I noticed her taking a picture of herself in the mirror at gym in the middle of our conversation.
I shared that while her beauty deserved to be celebrated, I was asking her to examine if there was a possibility that her habitual way being was out of balance. I was clear that these were my thoughts (my truth) and that I would be curious to hear her thoughts (her truth).
I knew the question could possibly press on her self-enquiry journey as a year ago she undertook a coaching program with me. At the time she had already embarked on a weight loss journey but was feeling stretched with lectures, exams, sport plus social and personal life.
With her permission, this is some of what she shared.
“I took a long time to reply because I first wanted to think about what you have asked me and reflect on it before replying to you. It’s sometimes difficult to express myself properly and to get my message across the way I mean it. Therefore, I needed time. Taking selfies is a trend, it’s like a pop culture. It’s what everyone is doing, mostly young people. Girls especially. My weight loss journey started on FB when I followed a lady who used to post pictures of her weight loss journey and in fact has inspired more than a 100 thousand people. That is how I started and I used to take pictures of myself more especially after a workout or when I finished gym. It was like my check in that I did something each day and ate the right food. Through Instagram, I met other people who have become my “fit family”. We all help each other by motivating each other……..”
She had set a conscious healthy intention for change over a year ago and in the process she had aligned her truth with her ways of being.
In her note to me she also took 100% responsibility for being distracted at times as opposed to being present with me, and from this courageous space with Self she mentioned that she notices how I also get distracted with work or social media at times, as opposed to being present with her. She had shed light on my projection. By the time I had finished reading her note I was crying with pride. I had opened to my lesson. I was triggered because she is right. I needed to align my intention of not allowing myself to be distracted when wanting to be present for another with truthful ways of being. I realized I was also triggered as I am camera-shy and would love nothing more than to have her self-confidence in front of a camera. Her truth was separate from mine and my triggers were causing me to project my story onto hers.
Over the past year her schedule has become more demanding and in the process of achieving her goal weight, all of her grades at University have gone up and she has represented her house committee.
This is her life to create, her story to own, her lesson to grow from. This reminded me of the very powerful truth of, “When we understand we have no need to judge.” In understanding her intention I find comfort in supporting the truth of her choices. If this decision of hers is right, we will both grow from it and if it is wrong we will both grow from it. Either way, we are united in unconditional love and acceptance as we continue to question each other’s alignment of our intention and truth in a kind and safe space, without having to give up our own. Likewise, we remain teacher to each other.
All too often when another’s truth presses on us we are triggered. This trigger shuts us down and without asking we project judgments onto their choices due to the fear of hearing their truth. In the courageous space of daring questions, we can access a safe space to listen, learn and grow beyond individual beliefs.
I could only respond to her by saying, “Honey remember only this … Every question in life that presses on us has something to teach us. We either commit to our chosen path with more conviction or we remap.”
This magnificent human being whom I call my daughter is truly practicing the art of taking 100% responsibility for her experience in this life.
So are you ready to silence your inner critic as you press yourself with some inspiring questions for your final awareness exercise on acceptance?
In this final exercise in Step 2 of your Dare to Ask Journey you will open to seeing your daily ways of being. Through listening and trusting your own messages about what is toxic and what is nourishing, you can start to explore if your daily truth is aligned with your intended change set out in exercise 2.
When you open to accepting your experience, you can take 100% responsibility for your ways of being.When you can be with the experience and not get lost in the content of the experience, you can see past the projections and become receptive to a consciousness which expands us into growth and love for the truth of the other without having to give up your own.
Exercise 12 – Accepting your Individual Truth
Intended outcome of this exercise:
- To bring awareness to how you show up daily in body, mind and soul.
- To bring awareness to how you truthfully nourish yourself daily.
Over the next 2 weeks undertake the exercise below. Download your journal pages for exercise 12 here.
How do you show up daily?
For the next 14 days stop once in the morning and once in the evening and write down your answers to these questions:
- What time did you wake up today?
- How much sleep did you get last night?
- What mood are you carrying into the day?
- What have you eaten today?
- What exercise or movement did you engage in today?
- Did you give yourself some quiet time for meditation (active listening) or prayer / gratitude (compassionate communication)?
- Did you give yourself some time to just relax? (This does not include time in front of the TV or any digital device. Examples; sit in the garden with a cup of tea, or take a gentle walk in nature free from any digital devices or phones.)
- Did you manage to find a moment to play or laugh at any stage today? For example: You and your child or family pet chased each other around the house.
- What thought(s) preoccupied your mind most of the day? Did you even notice your mind’s preoccupation? If so did you manage to take yourself away from your mind’s preoccupation and explore alternative ways of approaching the topic?
- Did you make time to read something inspirational which you feel inclined to share with others?
- What questions do you have left unanswered at the end of your day?
- Who was it difficult to be with today? (This could be at work or in your personal life.)
- Were you negative in thought or behavior about yourself or others at any stage during the day? How could you have brought a space of love and acceptance to these same thoughts / this same situation?
- Did you spend time with anyone, be it a friend, family or colleague who does not you hold the same beliefs as you? Were you triggered or were you able to hold a safe space for them to be themselves, as well as hold a safe space for you to be yourself?
- Did you spend time with a family member, a friend or a colleague who is uplifting, kind, loving and supportive of you and your choices?
Summary: In truth how do you show up in life?
At the end of this 14-day period take all of your above observations and summarize the following findings about yourself. Remember to write without judging yourself. When you stay open to your curious mind, you can be truthful, find acceptance and choose to make changes.
How many times over the last 2 weeks:
- Did you have a good night’s sleep?
- Did you mostly carry a positive happy mood into your day?
- Did you mostly carry a negative, sad or bad mood into your day?
- Did you nurture your body with movement or exercise?
- Did you nurture your body with healthy food?
- Did you nurture your mind without TV or digital devices? (For example: A good book or inspirational magazine while sitting in the sun and celebrating a cup of tea you made for yourself.)
- Did you expand your mind by holding a safe space for someone who holds ideas with which you vehemently disagree?
- Did you nurture your soul by engaging in any quiet contemplation (be it meditation or prayer)?
- Did you nurture your soul with play and heartfelt belly laughs?
- Did you spend uplifting time with family or friends who are kind, loving and supportive of you and your choices?
What did you learn?
- Journal about any thoughts that come to mind about your habitual ways of being. What did you learn about yourself? How are you nurturing your body, mind and soul as you move towards your intended change as set out in exercise 2? What ways of being are healthy and serving you? What ways of being would you like to expand and change?
Deepening your awareness practices:
- Continue with 10 to 20 minutes of daily silent meditation practice over the next 2 weeks, merely focusing on your breathing and inviting any thoughts that arrive during your silence, to leave.
For those of you who are working with a friend or a group, this is a good time to catch up and share what you have learned about yourself. Click here for how to go about this sharing with the group.
For those of you working on your own, this is a good time to share with yourself what you have learned about yourself, through external verbal expression. Click here for how to go about this sharing with yourself.
Now celebrate how much you have expanded your awareness in exercise 1 to 12, as you prepare yourself for conscious action in Step 3, before opening to the abundance of support that the universe has to offer in Step 4. In the interim have fun until we meet again in a few weeks when you will start to choose practices to open you for further growth.
If you have questions about exploring your individual truth, either submit your question in the comments section below or in a private note here (link). Share with all of us what you have learned about yourself or how you would like to expand and change your way of being. You can share through the same links above.
I love you all for your courage.
As always, warm love and regards