~ In a dream I walked naked through a shimmering valley, high in the sacred mountains of another world ~ the fragrant air was warm and intoxicating; the ice I tread upon sparkled with precious jewels never before seen our planet ~ as I neared the precipice I became filled with joy and exhilaration; I gazed upwards; 3 magnificent suns, floating in a liquid azure sky, showered me with magnificent ra
I am loving your book! Honestly. I lay down to rest yesterday and picked it up to begin to browse and couldn't stop reading for 40 - 50 pages. I love the way you start it, with two interpretations of your childhood. A perfect context for what is to follow. I love the short chapters, each with a big message. I am reflecting lots. It feels familiar and personal and important.
This book is intended to be an invitation totransformation, a tool for our journey as human beings. I offer the essays as a contribution to personal growth and our shared path toward increasing awareness.
If your interest is piqued, check it out :-). Go to www.thewriteroom.net select Publishing, and then click on New Titles -- voila! you can see and read about it.
Becoming: Journeying Toward Authenticity is my first book, is now back from the printer, available for purchase, and to be officially launched with a celebration on May 9. It's about sharing our stories, the possibilities and potential for transformation, for being ourselves -- here, now!
We spend a lot of time talking about who we 'want' to be. Social change lingo is permeated with phrases like 'walk your talk'. But as we commend ourselves in our healthy aspirations to be the best we can be, we must also continually check in with who and where we actually are in our development as human beings. In other words, we have to know and accept who we are in order to become who we want to be.
So who are you? The first step to improving your relationship with yourself is to really examine your relationship with yourself. Take stock of how you perceive yourself. Simply, take a good honest look in the mirror of your mind, and describe what you see. Of course, in any self-exploration exercise where deeper truths are being uncovered, the reflex for self-judgment is inevitable. The point here is NOT to render judgment; it's simply to get to know yourself a little more deeply than perhaps you knew yourself yesterday.
1. Take a self-inventory Ask yourself, "Who am I? Why am I here?" Either in a journal, or a private document, or speaking into a dictator, depending on how deeply you get into it, try and set aside at least half an hour to brainstorm. Try completing the sentences:
i. When I think about who I am, what comes up is .. ii. In order to sustain myself, I need … iii. My values are … iv. What I dislike is ... v. For the future, I hope for … vi. I'm afraid of … vii. I want to…
Hold current issues in your life – specific relationships and events – in mind as you answer these questions. The key to this exercise is to be as honest as you can. Notice what you're proud of, and not so proud of; what comes up that is hard to admit, and what maybe goes against an idea of who you want (or don’t want) to be. We all have growing to do in some way or another, so, just for this exercise, let yourself be just as you are.
2. Try out a personal/professional coach Some people have a gift and a passion for helping others succeed in their lives. They make themselves available to be used as tools for self-discovery, goal-planning, and decision-making. Having an outside person listening and reflecting your personal exploration can be tremendously valuable. Coaches have a great reputation for listening for 'blind spots' and often specialize in overcoming barriers to personal success.
3. Try out a psychotherapist Distinct from most typical coaching, a session with a therapist is usually less about reaching a goal and more about more clearly seeing things as they are. Today, the classic idea of the ‘head shrink' is no longer what therapy is about. We've learned that our individual personalities are quite unique, and our complex thoughts and emotions are not reducible to textbook psychological disorders. There are however, some patterns and tendencies that seem to be just part of being human. A skilled therapist understands this, and can help to guide you into a deeper understanding of just who you are (and perhaps how you got that way!). This can be a very freeing and energizing experience, and do good things for your relationship with yourself.
4. Find a new 'edge' Our lives can become quite routine and comfortable. If we have our routines really well set up, it's not uncommon to develop a false sense that we have it ‘all figured out’. A lack of humility only makes us slow and inhibits our ability to respond to the unexpected. It's good to be in touch with your 'edge'. If you're a closet musician, go to a weekend voice workshop or take a music lesson; If you've been neglecting your body, try a yoga class or rock climbing, take a dance class; Test your brain with a mind-puzzle or learn a new language; Test your interpersonal edge by interacting with strangers; volunteer at a soup kitchen; take a writing or public speaking class; express your ideas in an online forum; address an unspoken/underlying issue in your most important relationship; Make a slightly higher risk investment than you're used to; Write a letter to the government; See if you can sit still and quiet for 10 minutes or longer.
5. Reward yourself The fact that you're even reading this shows that you care about yourself, that you want to improve your relationship with yourself and presumably with the world around you. Show yourself that you care by treating yourself to something you really enjoy. Allow yourself to relax whatever self-imposed restrictions you've placed on yourself for what you're 'allowed' to do or have. Take a break and fully enjoy whatever indulgence you decide upon, whether or not it's 'too' expensive, or full of calories, or not on par with your regular sustainability standards. A healthy relationship with yourself is the foundation any approach to sustainable living.
"You see, when you're hunting for the glad things, you sort of forget the other kind," says Pollyanna. The optimist. "One who looks on the bright side of things or takes hopeful views." One who anticipates a positive future, who looks for the silver lining. The optimist. Somewhat suspect? Are you shallow? Naive? "You don't seem ter see any trouble bein' glad about everythin'," says Nancy to Pollyanna. Is a Pollyanna glow masking great depths of despair? Can you be trusted? How, given hard realities and the suffering of others, can you maintain this relentlessly hopeful attitude? Don't you read the newspaper?
She sits with the phone hanging limply off her finger. Your son is dead. Hit by a car. Hit by a car. She strains to make sense of the words. "What's wrong, Mummy? What's wrong?" She looks blankly at her daughter. "Mummy?" "Daddy, Daddy," her daughter runs shrieking up the stairs, "something's wrong with Mummy." The Germans have a word, schmerz, to describe the physical and emotional pain we suffer when we face a major loss. A friend dies after a long fight with cancer. A family dog is put down. You suffer a miscarriage, lose a leg, lose your hearing. Your marriage breaks up. We fear serious loss. When will it happen? How will it affect me? Will I survive it? Grief is the natural reaction to loss. It is an exhausting process that robs us of both physical and emotional energy. Everything feels so raw, so painful. We are surprised at the depth of our grief, at the toll it takes on our bodies.