By Geoff Farnsworth, CHT, CAC
Our basic nature is that Higher Self within each of us from the moment of our birth. Along the way, we develop coping strategies that we use to protect ourselves and to get what we need or want.
These parts of ourselves can become full-blown personas that sometimes serve us well and at other times squelch the true self and keep us shut down and stuck. To get reconnected with your true self, here are a few basic guidelines which will help you become your own life designer:
(1) Listen to your internal voice. This is the voice deep inside of you which gives you an internal sense of not “believing,” but KNOWING! You’ll recognize it in its wisdom, compassion and generosity, particularly as it applies to yourself!
(2) Beware of the Censor. The true self will be positive and encouraging. We may hear the voices of society, family, friends, and educational institutions telling us, “You can’t sing. You can’t paint. You’re no writer; so don’t even try.” If we listen to the voice of inner freedom, we can dance in the experience of expression instead of being concerned with a perfect outcome.
(3) Remove the mask. Each and every time you boldly express your true self, you remove a mask or a curtain which separates you from others. Whether it’s in the clothes you wear, the way you design your surroundings, the art you choose, the website you create, the activities you pursue—spend time each day in one creative activity that brings your true self out of hiding and gives it a chance to play.
(4) Awkward is okay! As you begin to enter new territories of connecting with your true self, you may feel quirky or off balance in the beginning. The Censor may clamor and try to shut you down, but assure that part of you that you’re just experimenting. The idea is to stretch the territory as far as possible so that you reach your full potential
(5) Take Risks. Your true self is larger and bolder than the personas that control so much of your life. Move out of your comfort zone. For example, if you’ve never written a poem, it may be the time to start. Not only will you write it, but you may want to share it with others — include it in a greeting card, send it in an email, post it on line.
(6) Allow yourself to make mistakes. We’re often afraid to try because we’re afraid to fail. First efforts at anything are rarely successful. They’re part of the learning process. They help us to see what works. A baby learns to walk by taking a few steps, falling down and trying again. Practice helps us to get the hang of it.
(7) Practice extreme self care. Eat well, sleep well and exercise sensibly. When you’ve taken care of these essentials, your true self can speak to you more clearly and reliably.
(8) Keep a journal of your emotions. As you work this process, if you are happy, write about it. If you are frustrated, note it in your journal. These observations help point out to you what needs to be tweaked. Remember, the frustrations can be good!
(9) Let go of the need to control this journey. Our creative selves are brilliant and have the ability to make decisions which are in our best interests. Our conscious minds (or ego) want to be in control, yet the key to success with this journey is to surrender to your creative spirit.
(10) Set aside quiet time. You’ll have trouble hearing the voice of your true self when so many other voices are clamoring for attention. Sit quietly with no agenda and breathe. Don’t run after the thoughts that arise or push them away. Just observe. Within that quiet there will be opportunities to hear that large, creative, wise self that wants to express itself with fullness and joy.
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