Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi
1869-1948, Led India to Independence
“You began life with a natural, complete sense of worth. (Have you ever met an infant with self-worth issues?) But as you grow, you serve as your own judge, deducting points when you misunderstand the nature of living, and learning—when you forget you are a human-in-training and that making mistakes and having slips of integrity and mediocre moments are a part of life, not unforgivable sins.”
Dan Millman, author of the “Peaceful Warrior’s Way”
“Many around you want to point out “reality” to you. They say, ‘Face the facts. Look at what-is.’ And we say to you, if you are able to see only what-is—then, by Law of Attraction, you will create only more of what-is… You must be able to put your thoughts beyond what-is in order to attract something different or something more.
Excerpted from “The Law of Attraction, The Basics of the Teachings of Abraham” by Esther and Jerry Hicks
I had an intense bought of catabolic self-doubt and criticism yesterday over how well I performed on an exam. While I was emotionally up and down most of the day as I worked to shift this default belief, by the time I went to bed last night I felt in alignment with Who I really am and was actually excited about whatever the outcome may be. It will be the perfect opportunity for where I am right now.
Taking most of a day to shift a long-practiced reaction may seem quick to some of you and slow to others. For me, it was an absolute sign of just how far I’ve come.
In the past, I would have stressed, worried, and totally been obsessed/depressed for the entire two weeks it will take for me to get my exam result. And if I didn’t do well, let’s just say the lash of self-loathing wouldn’t have been put down for a long time. I would have judged myself way more harshly than anyone else. I would have made sure of it.
That I can now shift to an anabolic state in less than a day and never sink down into depression is huge! And I am so looking forward to my automatic response being that of not only accepting every circumstance and event, but enjoying it as the life experience it is.
But how did I get from automatic depression that may last weeks to months to embracing whatever outcome in a day?
As I was stretching and doing Yoga this morning, I realized that it was a very similar process. You move in the direction you want to go and when you feel discomfort, you stop pushing, relax, and breathe.
In Yoga, you stretch until you feel physical discomfort, and then you stop and breathe into it. As you relax and breathe, the muscles begin to release. As you repeat this over time, your muscles become more flexible and you can reach further until you have a new physical limit. From this new place, you stop pushing, relax, and breathe.
When shifting beliefs, you stretch your thoughts and mind towards Who you want to be or the life you want to create until you feel emotional discomfort.
This may start out as reaching for the belief that you are safe in this moment. You are reading these words and no one is hitting you or threatening you. That for this instant, you can relax and breathe, and you are safe.
As you practice that and expand your belief about your safety, you may then be able to reach for the belief that you are forgiven. That all the hurts you imposed and horrible things you have said and done are absolved.
And as you practice the belief that you are forgiven, you may then stretch your thoughts to see situations in the past differently so that you can forgive others.
You may then reach for compassion—for others and yourself. You may reach for the belief that not only are you forgiven, but you are accepted. And as you get comfortable with your acceptance you may reach for the belief that you are loved and adored exactly as you are. That you are worthy of good things happening in your life, not because of what you do, but because of Who you are.
As you practice the belief that you are loved, you then may practice appreciating your life and every experience you have ever gone through because it has helped you become Who you are and formed the basis for the absolute unique and special perspective and gifts that only you have—and that are yours to share with the world as fully as possible.
And then you may reach for joy and see the world in an absolutely new and beautiful way. You may release your judgment about other people and how they’re living their lives. You may reach for unconditional love and for absolute passion in every area of your life.
But just like in Yoga, it is a process. At first, when you bend at the hips you may only be able to touch your shins. As you practice, you are able to put your hands flat on the floor, and then can put your head on your knees.
Trying to go from depression to joy all at once is like trying to put your head on your knees when you can only touch your shins. You begin where you are and practice.
What can you do today to move your beliefs in the direction you want to go? When you feel discomfort, stop pushing, relax, and breathe. What can you do to practice that? How can you notice and mark your progress?
Together we can do it!
Photo by ponsuwan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net