Mindfulness — A RETURN TO SELF
You are an amalgam of every single moment in your life.
When you came into the world, you were enveloped in the wholeness of being. You were anchored in abundance. You were able to experience joy from simply breathing. Because you could feel your perfection, you engaged harmoniously with life. Because you dwelled in wonder, everything became a wondrous playground to explore. You delighted in all of it. Why wouldn’t you? After all, you exulted in your own being! You WERE the excitement. You could freely access this piece of heaven within you.
You were pure authenticity. You didn’t reach for a toy, an experience, a somebody to become more than you already are. You were in flow, insatiably curious, magnetically drawn to certain things because of your unique infinite qualities. In this being place, you didn’t judge, compare, or sense limitations. This WAS your blueprint for expressing your signature BRILLIANCE.
Moving Away from Self
Something happens when we are confronted with another way of being than our designed way. We stop fully expressing aspects of who we really are. Instead of intuiting our place in the world, we begin deciding our place in the world. Our perceptions of the world are often formed based on a set of beliefs we have inherited from the past. Because our beliefs may not serve our deepest desires, we begin reaching for something external for fulfillment. We turn into human “doings” and forget that we are inherently human BEINGS.
During childhood, our thriving depended largely on the people who raised us, and their ability to nurture and connect with us. Each time that we would try to communicate what we needed most, we were really making pleas: See me; connect with me; I’m afraid; help me feel safe; soothe my pain; help me return to calm because I cannot get there by myself; accept my way of expressing life; be present with me. If we were met with a dearth of nurturing, even by well-meaning adults, we had to rely on the activation of survival mechanisms to manage uncomfortable moments.
When our bids for connection went unanswered, we inadvertently made agreements with ourselves. No one, for instance, can help me. So we made an agreement to quit expecting help. Consequently, we unwittingly denied aspects of our essential self. Whenever we experienced negative feelings, we stopped tuning into our own emotions. Instead, we learned to contain our frustration by distracting or reaching for a superficial fix. We stuffed our feelings by eating sugary or salty foods; watching television; playing video games; winning the approval of others. We forgot that before making this agreement, we stayed present with our emotional experience. When we felt a disturbance, we sought to resolve it. We felt our feelings. We didn’t have judgments about having “negative” feelings. Only when emotions are not processed do we then judge them. We learned how to reconcile this feeling of disharmony. Because no better alternative was available to us, we separated from our BE in distressing moments. We stopped living from our centered place, which naturally feels, guides, flows, intuits, knows.
We enjoyed boundless freedom in our BE. We held an assumption that whatever our individual needs were, they would be met. We assumed this because we felt our perfection — the “isness” of who we are. Perfect in that we fully accepted ourselves. We didn’t have a wish to be like or to be better than someone else, let alone conform to an ideal of who we should be. We didn’t judge ourselves or hope to be “less” — less fidgety, less difficult, less challenged, all of which amounted to feeling less than perfect. We were growing into our uniquely expressed perfection until we stopped feeling our perfection. Until our assumptions were perhaps met with inattention, punishment, labeling, and more severe consequences. These early experiences often shape our cherished beliefs about ourselves, others and the world.
As adults, we continue to seek ways to compensate for feelings of inner lack, without realizing that this agenda-driven person we turn into is not the person/ child who once gallivanted in their “isness.” This is what it means to split from our truest self and create a false self.
Our Great Inner Conflict
In creating a false self, we enter our greatest spiritual struggle. This struggle is between our authentic self — who we really are — and the false self — born out of fear. We stop feeling our connection with the part within us that never experienced inner lack. In this place, you see, our worthiness transcended anything that can be attained in the material world.
When we remain connected to essence, we can access our deeper knowing. We know our true affinities. When we move away from essence, we often feel uncertain about our deeper purpose. We may feel frustrated from not knowing our calling. We think we should know.
Our Resistance is our Call
Even when we stray away from the most truthful expression of ourselves, the real self-did not actually go anywhere. Our infinite qualities long to be expressed. When we take things personally, it is often because we are not honoring our infinities qualities. We are not staying soulfully nourished. So our real self is fighting to be heard. And how we can observe this is in our everyday interactions, in our behaviors. When we personalize what someone says, often, it’s because our unprocessed emotions or wounds get triggered. We feel the deep ache of our forgotten self-trying to come through. But we have learned how to live from our false self. So we respond to this perturbation from our false self! We lash out — or shut down. We seek recognition by acquiring titles and advanced degrees; we accumulate more material things; look for a sexual escape; use drugs; have more cosmetic procedures. In all these examples, we respond with a “doing” — the same thing we did when our need for connection was minimized or ignored. We shifted into doing mode to manage it. And now we add a doing every time we feel the subtle yet unremitting pull to return to our authentic self.
This is the conflict that is occurring within us all the time. And, paradoxically, there can be no blame here because the people who raised us were only acting from their false self. Unconscious doings cannot occur in the true self. They happen in the place in which we feel our inner wounding. They happen in the place in which we experience inner lack.
There is sensitivity around our emotional pain. We put up mental bars to manage our negative feelings. And when someone breaks through our protective barrier — usually the people who are closest to us, our partner, our child — we constrict, resist, deny, project, self-destruct. We assume that the other is to blame for our inner turmoil. When they actually are not part of the stories we have created; they are not responsible for the shamming thoughts or less than feelings we experience. These feelings came from the past.
Here’s the thing: We think we ARE our false self. We have forgotten about the child who WAS the excitement; the child who was basking in her abundance. So then is it surprising that there is great disdain for the false self! But the false self is not who we really are. The false self was NEVER who we were meant to be.
We may wish to feel more calm and joy, but we have difficulty because we have forgotten how to BE. We must learn to quiet our mind. The BE is centered, harmonious, non-judging, kind, self-compassionate. The false self is fear-based or the ego, highly judgmental and self-critical — the “noise-maker” in our head. How can we hear a waterfall when there’s a bulldozer rumbling in our head? So our reactivity serves as a constant reminder to look within and notice our feelings; notice the stories we tell ourselves when we become bothered. We are given opportunity over and again to sit non-judgmentally with our emotions. By being with our emotions, we can observe the feeling behind the emotion. Feeling inadequate; feeling undeserving, helpless, powerless, or unworthy. We can ask ourselves, when have I experienced a similar feeling? Is this a pattern?
Reactivity is really our undeveloped response to leaving Self. Our plea is now a demand for connection. That’s why everything becomes personal. In every reaction, there is an inner child screaming A PART OF ME HAD TO DIE FOR YOU!
We cannot experience the quintessential self in the doing place. We can remember and be who we really are by returning to the place in which we experienced abundance. And that place was in our BE. Now we must practice what once came naturally to us — that is, full on presence. We must learn to be mindful. So that we can experience being as a connected, grounded and highly intuitive place. Presence is where we can experience an inner knowing, can feel guided, safe and unafraid. We can trust our BE. We cannot trust our “gut” when we are living from our false self. Since the false self was constructed from false beliefs, we often feel doubt when we rely on our gut for answers. Instead, we must learn to rely on a daily mindful practice.
Mindfulness IS the portal into our truest self. It is here that we can experience unbounded freedom, joy and calm. It is here that we can manifest our deepest desires. It is here that we can express our yes signature brilliance — because HERE we can reclaim our real self.