I’ve been listening to some of the interviews from the Self-Acceptance Summit presented by Sounds True and I’m really enjoying it. Today is day 3 of a 10-day summit. There are 3 interviews a day and they are available for 24 hours. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I really love Sounds True. So much, in fact, that I will have to see if they have an affiliate program. It offers products that are good for my soul.

One of the interviews I’ve listened to is Fierce Authenticity with JP Sears. Some of you might be familiar with him. He is the “Ultra Spiritual’ guy on YouTube. If you don’t know him, you got to check out his “How to be Ultra Spiritual” video. It is quite funny! I like his satirical comedy and have listen to many of his videos at some point. So I got curious as to what he had to offer to this Self-Acceptance Summit. Well, I had the pleasure to meet the other side of JP Sears, his serious side. Here’s something I didn’t know, JP Sears is an Emotional Healing Coach and Teacher. How cool is that! An Emotional Healing Coach. I love that! So it turns out that he had a whole lot of goodness to offer to the Self-Acceptance Summit.

There were numerous gold nuggets in what JP Sears shared. All were very powerful! I want to share this gold nugget with you all. I think this so important to know this. So important!

When we are busy trying to be who we think we need to be, we are simultaneously rejecting ourselves.

Wow, right? That makes a whole lot of sense to me! Of course! If the truth be known (and let it be known!) I’m very good at self-rejection! Every time I think that I’m not doing enough, that I’m doing too much of this or that, that I need to be this way and that way to be evolved, spiritual, a better wife, a better mother, you name it; I’m telling myself that who I am – right now – isn’t good enough and that I’m a failure. In essence, I reject myself. I reject myself! This realization brings out real sadness in me. I do this to myself and that is very sad.

After I moved away from the toxic environment I grew up in my early 20s,  becoming a better person became my guiding light. For the first 5 years, I became very religious. I was Catholic at the time and at some point, I attended daily church services. Through this I gathered a huge lists of ‘do and don’t’ on how to become a better person. Then I moved away from religion and dove head first into self-help through reading, courses, retreats and psychotherapy. At that point, I had let go of some of my ‘ do and don’t’ from my Catholic list of how to be a better person and that was definitely not a bad thing. However though my foray into self-help, I gathered an even longer list of ‘do and don’t’. Unfortunately, I can see now, that my list of ‘do and don’t’ on how to become a better person has been instrumental in perpetuating the rejection of who I am.

At this point, I’m not sure what to think of the self-help movement. With the passing of Louise Hay, one of the fonder of the self-help movement, I’ve had the opportunity to think about this. I guess it is like everything, it has a light side and a shadow side. The bottom line is that as long as we are pursuing our ideal of a better self through our list of ‘do and don’t’, we are negating and therefore rejecting the person that we already are. We are negating and rejecting the person that is already the best he/she can be in this now moment.

Yes I am sad at the realization that I have rejected myself over and over again through my ‘do and don’t’ list.  But now that I know this, I can make different choices for myself, choices that convey love, self-compassion and self-acceptance to myself. I deserve this! I’m worth this! Thank you JP Sears!

Emotions and Body Consciousness

As part of my morning routine, most mornings during the week day, I incorporate what I have termed ‘spiritual study’. I’m a big fan of Sounds True. Sounds True’s mission is ‘to disseminate spiritual wisdom’ and it does that exquisitely well. Over the years, I have ‘compulsively’ purchased diverse programs and I have listened to only a tiny fraction of these. Now that I have more time and that I’m willing to dive in deeper, I’ve started listening to these. The one I’m listening to right now is “Recovery One Breath at a Time – Mindfulness practices for overcoming addiction” by Kevin Griffin. Very valuable information, practices and tools!

Yesterday I had a huge aha moment. It is not that I didn’t know about this intellectually but yesterday it landed at a deeper level. Kevin Griffin talks about the importance of working with difficult emotion, and even the not so difficult emotions. He goes on to say that it is the underlying emotion that are triggering trains of thoughts in our minds. So when I notice that I’m thinking, it doesn’t stop the thought because the thought is being driven by an emotion and my emotions reside in my body. I feel anxious, angry, excited, sad, not at ease., etc. My tendency might be to intellectually try to figure things out, to talk myself out of feeling what I’m feeling. Sometimes I might be fooled into thinking that I have ‘figured things out’. But unless I go into my body to feel the emotions, the feelings, I will never really truly have worked my way through that emotion. The result is that another worry will surface, another thing will trigger my anger, the feeling of unease will return, etc. and the cycle will continue to the point where it becomes an over encompassing state of anxiety, depression, anger, etc. The energy of the emotion has to be worked out through the body, not the mind.

That is very interesting. It is a fact, that most of us live in our head most, if not, all of the time. I definitely do. So it is important to become more body conscious. It’s interesting that our body has so little say into our lives. There is great wisdom that resides in our body. Yet most of us are afraid to journey there. As British Political, Andrew Bennett said “The longest journey you will ever take is the 18 inches from your head to your heart.” That is so true!

How do we do this? It can be something that is done during meditation if one meditates. Or it can be done at anytime when we feel the unease, the anxious thoughts, the anger, etc. The simple practice of sitting in silence; bringing our attention to our body, to the solar plexus area of our body, our guts; to feel what is there; and to gently breathe through the sensation, the tightness, the unease. To make this a dedicated practice can do wonder to how we experience our lives and our capacity for happiness and joy.

I was feeling ‘off’ this morning when I woke up. I have started a morning ritual of meditation, movement and study and I did not want to do any of it. I knew it was important to go forward and keep this commitment to myself, to my wellbeing. During meditation, I brought my attention to my body, to my solar plexus area. I knew I was anxious about something I had to do today. I’m not used to connecting with my feelings, my emotions I could hardly ‘feel’ anything there. There was just a tiny flutter, tightness there. I breath through it. Nothing else. I just brought my attention to this area and breathed. Interestingly, it is like clarity entered my mind and a solution to what I was anxious about popped into my head. The way I felt before and the way I felt after my meditation time was very interesting. I didn’t know this before but it became clear after. Before doing that exercise, it’s like my thoughts was a wild animal and was stuck in a cage and was frantically trying to find a way out. Whereas after, it felt free and could be itself. I hope that makes sense. This is definitely something I want to incorporate in my day as needed, not only during meditation.

I love those aha moments!