My Truth: How I Learned To Honor Myself

So it’s 10:30pm and I’ve figured out that this might be the time I have to write posts for the time being. AFTER the baby goes to bed. Hopefully I can get back to writing more frequently.  I don’t like waiting so long before talking to you.

So this last month has been extraordinary for me in so many ways. It all started with my classes last month. It was a very powerful weekend for many people and things have just been shifting a lot for me and others. Everything that weekend flowed together so perfectly. My whole path started to make sense and things just really hit home for me.  It started at the Friday night class on May 2nd.

We had to do a trio conversation in which we talked about what the hardest thing  has been for us during the program so far. I talked about how I have had a hard time “DOING” the work. Implementing the practices. Practicing the skills. Really learning how to walk that talk. I mean this is one of the main reasons I decided to go to USM. To have the experiential practice that would catapult me forward on this path I have been on during the last 6 years. And here I was learning all of this amazing stuff, and I would come home on a peace high for a few days but then I would dump my folders and books to the side until it was time to prepare for school again 3 weeks later. Not really staying mindful daily about how to keep the work going.

Reading books and blogs and going to seminars had only worked so much for me. I have been able to develop a huge  passion for my spirituality and purpose but really felt lack in the “DOING” area. Sometimes I would feel really motivated and empowered to stand in my integrity but most of the time, I can admit, I was just intellectualizing it all and not really connecting on an emotional level for myself. Helping others was great but doing the work myself was a lot more challenging. Going through months and months of class and witnessing people’s lives changing right in front of me was starting to make me jealous. Started making me wonder if I was ever going to change or keep wasting time by not “DOING” the work.

In one of the next trios I had acknowledge myself. I acknowledged myself for sitting in the chair. For being in that classroom. Sometimes I would be in class and it would just hit me that “I’M HERE”. I’m doing it. I had heard of USM three separate times before I decided to check it out. When I looked it up online it was in perfect timing because there was an intro meeting THAT week. I thought of a couple of excuses of why I wouldn’t be able to go but I felt the fear and went anyways. I immediately felt the connection and knew this was the place for me because it was exactly everything that I am passionate about. It was the opportunity to really get pushed into DOING. And get my Masters in the process. What a bonus!

I then made a million excuses for why I might not be able to go. I found out I was pregnant. I wasn’t sure how I was going to afford it. Plus a million others. BUT I went through with it. I felt the fear and I did it anyways. I had to really acknowledge myself for that. Usually fear makes me turn the other way but this time I dove straight in and it all has worked out perfectly.

After 5 years of wanting to go back to school, here I was. And not just any school. School how I always imagined it would be. I love this school so much that I was in class the weekend of my due date. I was having contractions in class and STILL participating in trios (until of course they got too painful and I had to leave to give birth). THAT’S how dedicated I am to becoming a better version of myself to serve the world.  I almost took that weekend off until I realized there was no place else I would rather be. What beauty to have the loving energy of my classroom surrounding my child right before his debut into the world.

During the Sunday class is when everything just hit home. There was a surprise waiting for us as we entered. I can’t spoil it for when anyone reading this decides they want to attend USM in the future (which I promise it’s the BEST thing you can ever do for yourself). But what I will say is that this SURPRISE was absolutely amazing and so so powerful. I was moved to tears and it really just hit home that I AM HERE! I am right where I need to be. It hit me that Year 1 is only the beginning.

Year 1 is the preparation for the best yet to come. Year 1 is where my hands are supposed to get dirty. Where I am supposed to go through a ton of emotions. Get mad at myself. Get mad at my process. Get mad at my ego. Get mad at my job and my friends and my family. I dont doubt this will continue to happen, probably more intensified, in Year 2 but its so I could learn how to love and appreciate it all. The process is the beauty of it all. I was realizing that Year 2 was where it was really going to begin and I was perfectly in a space of being able to trust my process and timing.

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After our surprise the next trio we had to express gratitude to those who have helped us on our path. The first person that came to mind was my boyfriend. If you personally know me and are really close to me, then you know that I have on and off again issues with my boyfriend. If you are in my class at USM and have done a trio with me, you know that I have on and off again issues with my boyfriend. I am not going to cookie cut it for the sake of looking good, we have had issues for a really long time and so many times I have wanted to call  it quits or have tried to only get back together again and repeat the process over again.

I will admit, my relationship is also another reason I am at USM. As I said, I want to become a better person to better serve the world and in that includes being able to better serve ALL my relationships, the one with my boyfriend being most important. I also knew though that learning everything I am learning, and by really stepping into my true authentic self, I was also risking the relationship. I was risking the possibility that we wouldn’t make it through. I was risking the possibility that I could lose him. And as I write this, maybe that’s been the hard part about the DOING. I had been afraid of losing what I was used to. I had been afraid of being uncomfortable. But trust me, If you really want to step into your true authentic self, you can NOT be afraid of losing anything. What you have to gain is so much more powerful.

Looking at my relationship though from a place of gratitude, especially having gone through the feelings I was going through from the weekend, gave me a VERY different perspective of my path. I won’t go into the connections I saw in past relationships but what I will say is that over the years, most intensly in the last two, I have had a VERY strong calling to honor my Self (Self with a capital S meaning my Soul)  and step into my truth. Two of the qualities I am working on are Vulnerability and Authentic Expression. I had a hard time being vulnerable, especially with my boyfriend, and a hard time authentically expressing myself because of the fear of getting into an argument (which happened a lot with us).

I have done multiple meditations and insights that always have led me to the same answer of “BE VULNERABLE, SPEAK YOUR TRUTH. TELL HIM HOW YOU REALLY FEEL. CHOOSE LOVE”. I have had ample opportunity to do so and almost always I chose to ignore. Let me tell you, you can only ignore the whispers for so long before it becomes a yell. Over the last two years that is what happened. HONOR YOUR SELF. HONOR YOUR TRUTH. HONOR YOUR VULNERABILITY. HONOR YOUR AUTHENTIC EXPRESSION. CHOOSE LOVE. I’ve heard it over and over and over.

The first time I remember hearing this whisper was during my last long-term relationship ten years ago. I had been unhappy for a long time but instead of honoring my feelings and expressing myself, I waited for things to get bad so I could just leave without feeling guilty. And  it worked. I have tried to do that in this relationship a bunch of times but the beauty in this situation is that we have kids together. The Universe wasn’t giving me the easy way out this time. THIS is the time the lesson is going to be learned. I would want to leave but every time I couldn’t leave because I KNEW I hadn’t expressed myself. I knew I hadn’t been DOING the work. I knew that there was a possibility that things could be different if I would just HONOR MY SELF. But I also knew there was also a possibility of loss.

Thinking about this in my trio, about this guidance being yelled at me over and over for the last two years, I realized that if it were not for my boyfriend and how he is, or how I perceive him to be I should say, If it weren’t for how we act and react with each other, I wouldn’t be in a place to where I am being called to honor my Self. I wouldn’t be in a place of opportunity to step into my true Self. To step into my vulnerability. To step into my Authentic Expression. To step into the LOVE that resides in me. Its because of that, that he is perfect for me.

I would get mad at myself a lot for how I would respond and react in certain situations. I wanted so badly to change but had felt like there were no results. If it weren’t for my boyfriend, and all the boyfriends before him, ALL the relationships in my life, and how I perceive it all to be, the issues that come up for me, how I respond and react I wouldn’t be called to change. I wouldn’t be called to really step into my full Self. So really, I thank everyone.

I was REALLY realizing that everything has happened the way it has because THAT is the way I would learn how to become the real me. Issues were mosy present in my boyfriend because he was the closest to me. He mirrored myself perfectly. We all learn in different ways and we attract to us the situations that aid in our learning of lessons and this was my way. So what had come from that realization was nothing but pure and honest gratitude. Gratitude for my boyfriend for being who he was and being with me the way I was. If it weren’t for our relationship, I could not say that I would be where I am right now and for that I am grateful.

Gratitude helped me shift my view. Everything came together in that moment. I realized that yes here I am at USM and I have this great opportunity to learn so much about myself and others, I need to DO USM. This is the chance I have longed for. Take advantage and DO the work. DO the skills. DO the practices. I outlined my ideal relationship and now it was time to DO the steps that would take me on my way. I felt more empowered then I had ever felt before to HONOR MY SELF.

That weekend my boyfriend and I had argued (such perfect setup by the Universe) and usually when we argue, it feels very vulnerable expressing myself to him, especially in any loving type of way. Until then, Vulnerability had not been my strong suit. That Sunday I got the urge to call him just to tell him I Love You. Sounds silly and maybe so simple for others, but to do that in the midst of an argument, especially when I was feeling defensive, was a very big deal. I felt the fear but I also saw the opportunity for me to step into that vulnerability and authentic expression. So I got out my phone called him and said “uhhh so ummmm i just called ummm because, umm i just wanted to tell you that I love you”. Of course he responded very lovingly and it was THAT phone call that changed our relationship.

We started talking about our argument, I listened with my heart instead of getting defensive. I HEARD him and I empathized with his feelings. This led us to stay in a very loving place when I came home which then led us to a very open and honest conversation about our relationship. Where it was and where we want it to be. It led for more opportunities for me to be vulnerable and express my truth and HONOR MY SELF.

My teacher has always said something along the likes of, “If your calling is to be courageous, you won’t wake up one day all of a sudden courageous. The Universe will provide you with opportunities in which you can choose to display courage.” This time instead of running away, I chose to step into it and the response was wonderful. I chose to be vulnerable. Let me just say we have just made it a whole month without fighting. If you really know us, you know that’s a miracle. There have been little spats here and there but nothing like they once were. And when there have been little spats, we have been really quick to enter our loving and dissolve them. I have to continue to chose vulnerability and authentic expression. Most importantly I am aware of my self judgements and compassionately forgiving myself for them. Now instead of asking myself “Why am I still in this relationship?” every time I feel uncomfortable, I now ask myself “What opportunity is my soul presenting to me?” and let me tell you, it makes the world of difference.

You see, it all started with GRATITUDE! If it weren’t for EVERY SINGLE THING that has happened in your life, you would not be the YOU that you are today. And YOU are a wonderful, powerful, being of love. GIVE THANKS to all that has presented itself in your path. You can have the life of your dreams, give thanks and DO the work.

I want to hear from you. What is something you want to DO that has challenged you? What quality would it take for you to step into your greatness? How has the universe given you the opportunity to step into that quality? How can you acknowledge yourself RIGHT NOW? Who can you give thanks to in aiding you on your path?

Leave me your comments in the section below.

You are loved.

xoxo,

barista

 

 

 

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Tiny Buddha: 7 Steps To Hear Your Own Inner Wisdom

I have been talking to a close friend of mine a lot over the last couple of weeks and this spiritual self-growth path is something she’s become more interested in over the last couple of months. A question she asked me recently was “How can I learn to listen to my inner self?”. I was thinking “GOOD QUESTION” because after 5 years of reading books, seminars, blogs, etc it’s been something I have been focusing on more then I have before. Especially since I have been reading “May Cause Miracles”.

Listening to your Inner Self is, I think, one of the most important things you can learn to do on The Path to reach your highest potential. YOU have all the answers you need right there in that heart of yours. We often seek advice from others be it friends, family, teachers, counselors etc and we want THEM to give us answers and tell us what to do. Why? Because we don’t take the risk or responsibility for the outcome. Some of us become so used to ignoring that little whispers of our hearts that we just don’t think it even exists. But it does and I found this awesome article on Tiny Buddha that explains ways you can start to HEAR it better.

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7 Steps To Hear Your Own Inner Wisdom  By: Lindsey Lewis

“I don’t know what to do.” “I can’t figure it out.” “How do I know which choice to make?” “Which one is right for me?”

Sound like someone you know? Here’s one thing I know for sure: You’ve got the power. You’ve got the love.

You’ve got the innate talent—you gorgeous, loveable soul—to know without a doubt what is right for you. You’ve got the power to know what to do, to figure it out, to know which choice to make. Your soul is calling. And all you need to do is listen.

At one time not so long ago my innate talent was ignoring my soul. I had developed an acute ability for lasering ahead no matter what my essential self was saying—even when it was “Wrong way!”

I set goals and made plans and went for it no matter what—and soon I was a stressed-out, exhausted insomniac. So that was fun.

In fact, fun was exactly what was missing from my life. I put external touchstones ahead of inner happiness. I let my ego tell me what to do, based on what I thought the standards for success were.

I bought into the mantra: Work, work, work and then work more. You can enjoy your life when you’re retired. It was no wonder my entire system went into revolt; it’s no wonder our systems do that. They’re designed to tell us when we’re off track.

They’re designed to tell us when we’re on track, too. It’s like magic—except scientifically-proven. The verbal part of our brain processes about forty bits of information per second. That’s pretty impressive.

The non-verbal part of our brain processes about eight to eleven million bits of information per second. Eight to eleven million!

That means that the thoughts we hear from the verbal part of our brain actually know less than the physical sensations and emotions that we feel coming from the non-verbal part of our brain.

So if “I don’t want to make this one choice but everyone tells me I should” seems logical, but every physical sensation or emotion about it just feels so wrong, it probably is. Wrong, that is.

Wondering how to tap into your own innate talent for knowing how to live the life that’s right for you and be who you want to be? Start small.

1. Start small.

Begin with simply noticing physical sensations. Check in with your body from time to time. What physical sensations are you noticing right now?

2. Fine tune.

Once you start to check in with your body, you’ll probably also notice emotions, and associations with whether or not the emotions you’re feeling are good or bad. It’s normal—but in this case it’s not all that helpful. Keep on fine-tuning your radar until you’re paying attention to only physical sensations.

3. Benchmark your “yes.”

Make a list of times that you knew things were right for you, or felt that things were exactly as they were meant to be, really great, going well, etc. Then do a body scan: What physical sensations do you feel? Write ‘em down and then label them.

4. Benchmark your “no.”

Make a list of times that you knew things were not right for you, or felt that things were not as they were meant to be, not going great or well, etc. Then do a body scan: What physical sensations do you feel? Write ‘em down and then label them.

5. Practice.

You’ve just created your body compass. Using it is fun. Orange or apple? Imagine making each choice and then see what physical sensations come up—closer to “yes” or closer to “no”?

6. Trust.

The verbal part of your brain might come up with all sorts of reasons why you shouldn’t trust your body compass. Practicing on the little things helps to build up enough trust to use it on the big decisions.

7. Live it in the moment.

Once you’ve got your compass down pat, keep on using it. Living it in the moment is about remembering your innate talent for knowing, and using it with reckless abandon and firm intention.

What’s your inner wisdom telling you?

 

Take some time to really think about these steps and start practicing them in your daily life and decisions. Like the article said, START SMALL. I hope this helps!

xoxo,

barista

Recognizing Your True Self.

I remember back a long time ago, in my head when I used to think about the future and what I was destined to do I had two visions in mind. What’s funny is that these visions appeared to be completely opposite. I am a very passionate person, especially when it comes to things I believe in. LOVE and deep care for human life and happiness is one of my sincere passions. So in one vision I always saw myself as this person “tree-hugger” type person that spread knowledge and fought for the things I believed in. I imagined myself not feeling the need to really have a big house, lots of money, a nice car as long as I was living what I believed in and helping others. The other vision I was destined to be this rich woman and nothing else mattered as long as I could have and buy the things I wanted. I never pictured this person being one in the same, I didn’t see it possible. One valued self and one valued things. As much as I knew the person that valued self was the TRUE me it was really hard to not want to value things. And it still is. Especially in a society that puts so much focus on the value of things and their relation to your importance as a person.

As I have grown older I’ve come to learn more about the difference between one’s true self and their “everyday” self. Your true self is deeper than your everyday self. I touched on this a tad here. Your true self is who you are in your soul. The purest part of who you are. When we were born into life form we were born in our purest form. Then as we grow and we develope an ego and stories about ourselves and others based on the things that go on around us we start to develop our everyday selves. Our true self is the one that can feel peace, security, love while our everyday self is succumbed to suffering, stress, insecurity.  Just seeing the difference between the emotions these two selves bring about, you can imagine how your reality and experiences could be very different depending on which self is you are experiencing. How can you live according to your true self if you can’t recognize the difference?

I found an article by Deepak Chopra that explains the difference between your TRUE self and your EVERYDAY self.

At those dark, tough moments, try to get some outside perspective about what is happening. The qualities of the everyday self and the true self are actually very different:

1. The true self is certain and clear about things. The everyday self gets influenced by countless outside influences, leading to confusion.

2. The true self is stable. The everyday self shifts constantly.

3. The true self is driven by a deep sense of truth. The everyday self is driven by the ego, the unending demands of “I, me, mine.”

4. The true self is at peace. The everyday self is easily agitated and disturbed.

5. The true self is love. The everyday self, lacking love, seeks it from outside sources.

Because of human nature it is not as easy for some to recognize the difference between both. It takes a lot of insight and practice. I know I mention “The Path” a lot and to me living a life on The Path means being your TRUE self. It seems like it would be so easy but in fact is maybe one of the most challenging things for us to do. Although challenging, your true self will NEVER guide you in the wrong direction. It knows the reality you are meant to live and when you have faith in it, it will make sure you get there. Your everyday self on the other hand, guided by your ego, will do everything in its power to separate you from your true self because it values separation. Millions of people spend their lives chasing the value of “things” due to living from the ego. These “things” will decide the quality and value of life, at least according to how society has trained us. The ego tells us we are separate from the next person therefore we can be scaled as better or worse than them according to our job, money, degree…our “things” and this determines our happiness. Well one of the best quotes I heard was “I wish everyone could be rich so THEN they will know, that’s not where it’s at”.

So while your everyday self wants “things” your true self knows what it really needs to bring joy into your life. Once you can recognize that and trust it your life will change dramatically. The “things” will still be there but your reality about them and most importantly, yourself will change. Your true self will start to offer for you all the things your ego can’t. Pay attention to how you feel. When you feel good it means you are aligned with your higher power. When you feel bad it means you aren’t aligned. Stand up to your everyday self and go towards those things that make you feel good, because in the end thats the thing we are all chasing after. Happiness and inner joy.

“Once you begin to recognize and encourage the qualities of the true self, your life will begin to change. You’ll make better choices. You’ll expand your awareness. You’ll discover and encourage your purpose. You’ll challenge yourself to meet new goals.

The greatest spiritual secret in the world is that every problem has a spiritual solution, not because every prayer is answered by a higher power, but because the true self, once discovered, is the source of creativity, intelligence and personal growth. No external solution has such power. The true self is the basis for being deeply optimistic about how life turns out and who you really are, behind the screen of doubt and confusion. The path to it isn’t simply inspiring; it’s the source of solutions that emerge from within” – Deepak Chopra

xoxo,