“Always one should be conscious of the idea of the Wholeness of Life; perfect function at every point.
…Spiritual Substance was never destroyed anywhere, on any plane of expression, and (all are) perfect and indestructible right now”
~ Ernest Holmes compilation (The Science of Mind)
If I pay really close attention, I am able to notice a myriad of voices in my head, telling me what to do and what not to do.
I have a voice that is going to take me on a workout: “Yup, that’s it, you can do it, you are strong and getting stronger,!” I have a voice that watches me struggle with a new task: “Gee, you can do better than that. Come on, settle down. Breathe. Sound intelligent.”
I have voices that like how I look, and voices that tell me to give up. Sometimes I am encouraged to step into a new task and other times I am berated for the ‘mess’ I have made of things. The list goes on and on. I call all these voices, “My Advisors”.
In last week’s e-column, I wrote about the concept of “backdraft”; the old pain arising again in my life. After I hit the send button, I stepped into a session with my life coach where I told him about my experience that had inspired the article. His response was not what I expected…
In her recent classes, our brilliant “Improv Gym” facilitator, Missy Christensen, directed us in an exercise called, “YES - AND”. It was surprising how difficult it is to stay in total agreement with whatever is presented, and then to be able to contribute to what is happening next by accepting ‘what is so’ and adding on to the experience. Taking that lesson into my lived experience…”YES”, I did hit a barrier as described in the book, The Big Leap, “AND”, I then spent a couple of days feeling sad…. BUT, I wasn’t being accepting of ‘what was so’.
“What if there is nothing wrong with being sad?” my Life Coach asked.
“YES”…What if I can give myself permission to feel all my feelings without judging any of them? “AND”, so what if I spend a couple of days feeling sad?
Just because my mother theorized that laughing and happiness are the only ‘right’ way to be in the world, that doesn’t mean that my Dad’s anger was actually ‘bad’. What if it was just… anger?
When I feel gloomy it doesn’t mean I am a bad person (or worse yet, for me, as my Advisors might warn, “You’re not a very conscious person”). Being emotionally aware means that I am a ‘wholehearted’ person. Social researcher, Brené Brown, teaches we can’t selectively erase fear, grief, shame, disappointment and vulnerability from our experience without erasing everything else… joy, gratitude, happiness, inspiration… too. When I allow the whole of me to be present with whatever ‘is’, I am expressing the best form of self compassion… YES - AND.
My coach and I discussed this at length (well, I talked a lot of zigzag, and he listened… if we are to believe my “Critic Advisor” 🧐). We agreed that, sure, feeling sad could become a habit… but would that really happen if I just gave space to feeling melancholic for a while? I know I am not a depressed person by nature, so what ‘bad" would happen if I just accepted all of me… through the ups AND the downs?
The mindfulness journey is not only fascinating, it is the best kind of work we can do… all of it. Becoming self aware is like being in a yoga class and noticing that our body is out of alignment. I want to be awake and responsive to life instead of just reacting. I want to know that in every moment I am in choice. I want to hear The Advisors in my head and be able to decide which ones I am going to listen to, and which ones’ jobs are now obsolete. I want to bring my thoughts into alignment with the vision of my best life.
So, in support of that, what would happen if I accepted all of me? We’re going to find out!
~ Can you hear the different Advisors in your head? Pay close attention this week, and when you hear a familiar voice telling you ‘stuff about stuff’… give them a name.
~ If their advice isn’t very helpful, what new job or focus might you give them instead? (Let’s not make them go away, they got us this far and they are working hard on our behalf. With a little awareness and redirection, we can form a group of Advisors that are creating our best life with us).
~ I’d love to hear what comes up for you as you begin to pay attention to yourself and the stories you have been believing. You are welcome to send me an email (admin@the centrecr.org) ~ And if you are ready to let go of limiting ideas for yourself, and come up with some new ones to occupy your Advisors with, I invite you to join us at the last of our latest series of classes, March 7th. Follow this link for more info