Your belief systems influence everything about you. If yours isn’t working, build a better one.

Here’s how. Building Better Belief Systems. To listen, click on the link, and you should automatically be able to hear it. If not, right click the link, then save to your desktop to listen on your own audio software.

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In many ways this has been the most instructive, awesome summer of my life. You readers have filled my heart in so many ways, I don’t know where to begin to thank you all. My gratitude goes beyond words to a profundity I cannot even express.

So as a celebration of who you are for me, I offer you the Best of the Summer Posts for 2012 in the form of an audio. In true power of slow style, I am taking off for two weeks on a new adventure to France, then Italy. I have decided to post the audio versions of the most popular posts so you can enjoy them in a new way.

I hope you like them. To listen to the first, click on the link The Act of Self-Forgiveness, and you should automatically be able to hear it. If not, right click the link, then save to your desktop to listen on your own audio software. Be sure to turn up the volume and enjoy.

Many blessings to you, dear ones!

The papers in my office must copulate at night because I swear to you I have recycled, tossed and filed for weeks and it keeps on coming.

The Grand Canyon

In yet another vigorous act of purging, I recently threw out reams of grade school notebooks that my children will never glance at again. In doing so I came across an archived document of my own that brought me to my knees. It was an old book proposal for a kindness project I so firmly believed in that I even contacted the Dalai Lama to see if he wanted in on it.

He politely declined.

But what moved me more than my unexpressed passion on those pages in that moment was the inner knowing that we can all move the world with our special kind of awesome, even if things, such as my book project on kindness, don’t work out as you’d like.

In the wise words of singer-songwriter Lori McKenna, sometimes your life turns out better than you can even imagine.

If you read my post on the pretty pictures in our heads, you will know that what we envision and what really happens are often two separate events. The arc of our suffering is determined by the level of our attachment to the outcome of our expressed desires. With the law of attraction, we are led to believe we can fully manifest our destiny. And to some degree I believe that is true. We have more influence over our lives than we care to admit. We can consciously engage in the universal energy force field that pulls in whatever we call out to. That is what happens anyway, whether we do it consciously or not. We bring in the lessons we need to learn time and again until we have really learned them.

If we take full personal responsibility for our lives, we would no longer look around at others to blame for our unhappiness. Do you want to be happy? Guess who you’ve got to love first?

Yup. That’s right. You.

If you spend your time trying to please others, you will be left depleted. I continue to learn that lesson and recognize my own conditioning in that area. If you raise others up while doing the same for yourself, you are on a path to joy. And your awesome will grow in kind.

Maybe one day that kindness book will get written and His Holiness will decide to play with me after all. In truth, it doesn’t matter either way. If I live the principles set out in that untold work, all the effort I put into writing it will have been worth it just the same.

How will you move the world with your awesome today?

“What a stupid thing to do!”

“How could I have done that?”

“I’m soooo embarrased!”

“I’m such an idiot.”

We have all said these things to ourselves at one point in our lives. The negative self-talk in which we engage only serves to make us feel bad, overcautious and victimized by our own decisions. It is a powerless place where nothing we do differently will make it better. We remain the imbeciles we think we are.

That is, unless we practice a little self-forgiveness for the mistakes we make.

About ten years ago, I began the self-forgiveness journey with an inquiry about what life would be like if:

  • every time we made an error, we would laugh instead of cry
  • we acknowledge the cringing sensation of having said/done/thought something less than optimal
  • we celebrate the knowledge of what doesn’t work versus beating ourselves us for selecting that path
  • we distinguish between making mistakes and our own intrinsic value (that is to say, one does not affect the other. You are still worthy even if you’re imperfect).

In an earlier post last year, I blogged about the seemingly unforgivable that people actually forgave. Forgiveness, whether of self or of others, is the route to setting yourself free. It is not the perpetrator who is liberated by your forgiveness, but yourself. If you are the perpetrator of your own acts of self-violence, then forgiveness is needed all the more as you play a double starring role in your own unfurling drama.

My dear actor friend and acting coach Gabrielle Scharnitzky taught me a lovely exercise I would like to impart to you. Since many of us in this insane-size-zero-celebrity-driven culture carry with us a less than ideal body image, you might find this exercise particularly helpful for developing a sense of gratitude for your body as well as practicing the act of self-forgiveness. It goes like this:

After taking a shower or bath, thank each part of your body for the things that it does. As you apply lotion to your skin, really look at yourself. Every part. Say a prayer of gratitude (“Thank you, feet, for helping me stand tall.” or “Thank you, hands, for helping me create miracles today…”). It will not only give you a better sense of self, it will also put you in a better mood. After all, how can you not forgive a person who is saying “thank you”?

And that person, my love, is you.

 

 

In the time of self-loathing, we are due for some serious self-love. We are enough ~ we are more than enough!

Max Ehrmann says:

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.

Oftentimes we feel we have to do everything at once ~ be svelt, lovely, sparkly, efficient, joyful, reliable, punctual…the list goes on and on. Celebrate your life with kindness for yourself. When you are gentle to yourself, others will gravitate to you. Remember to let them in as you see fit and on your terms. Part of self-love is honoring your boundaries as you honor yourself.

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Give Forgiveness Pants a Try

November 16, 2009

Do your days thunder by in a flurry of activity? Have you forgotten where you got on to the carousel and, more importantly, where to get off? We often aim for perfection, squeezing ourselves into a mold made by someone else. It is on days like these when we seem to be spinning in an endless cycle of should’s and have to’s that Forgiveness Pants can play the starring role.

You may own a pair. I know I do. My forgiveness pants are made of fleece in the most impractical white you’ve ever seen. I dumped syrup on them once. They still got clean. They stretch and yawn to my body’s movement, allowing for full-sized belly breathing at any given moment.

Forgiveness pants tell you you’re okay just as you are. They permit unyoked days of freedom and kindness when your going gets rough. Forgiveness, in general, is a powerful force, which, when applied, can liberate you from the shackles of your own thinking. Take skinny jeans, for instance. In our supermodel-driven culture, we tend to think we should somehow be a size smaller than we are.

Forgiveness pants say that is not so. They shout, “To thine own fleece be true!” And they mean it.

So go ahead and give your forgiveness pants a try today. If you don’t own a pair, go find some. Chances are there is a pair waiting for you to discover the true power of knowing you are most magnificent just the way you are.

 Original Post from Psychology Today