The more you uncover yourself, the more you can accept who you are. The act of uncovering yourself is like going through darkness or a shadowy area. On the other side of uncovering who you are is the opportunity to discover approval for yourself. As you identify the parts of yourself that you do not accept, you can find a way of gaining approval for them.
This is a part of what we do at the Freedom Experience; we look into all of those things that we have repressed and judged about ourselves, and we talk about how they are necessary parts of a whole human. For example, judging that we are lazy or slothful is also the part of us that allows us to rest. How much do you honor the part of you that needs rest and nurturing? Or we may discover that the part of us that gets angry is also the part of ourselves that wants to take care of us.
The worst position you can put yourself in life is victimhood. Victimhood means that how you feel, what is happening in your life, and your results of your endeavors are all outside of your control. Freedom, on the other hand, is the opposite of victimhood. Freedom means that you take 100% responsibility and awareness of your situation and inner reactions to things. Freedom comes from the ability to not only accept the unacceptable but to also approve of everything that is happening in life.
The power of approving everything that is happening in your life creates an entirely different interpretation of life that is profoundly impactful. When I am in approval of everything that happens in my life, when I am looking into why something is happening rather than focusing on simply the fact that it’s happening to me, I start to find a magical, serendipitous flow and I fill the capacity within myself to step into opportunities that I would otherwise be blinded to.
Just this morning, a friend was planning to visit me before heading off to the airport. But, due to traffic, they were unable to come by. However, instead of being disappointed, we can see that if they hadn’t made that appointment with me they would never have made it to the airport on time. So, we can either be bothered by life’s little foibles, or we can look to see how they are supporting us. And the further and deeper we look, the more abundance and support we discover in life.
Whether it is within your business, relationship, family, or yourself, a wonderful exercise to discover your values (not just your immediate gratification, but your true values) is to imagine that you are lying on your deathbed and you have one hour left to live. In this visualization, imagine that you are lying there and with this sense of love and peace in your heart. When you reflect on your life in this scenario, whether in terms of business, family, a relationship, or yourself, what would have to be true in that area of your life for your heart to be filled with love and satisfaction?
Once you determine what would make you feel totally satisfied with that aspect of your life, write these details down carefully and clearly. For example, imagine your business: what kind of legacy would you have had to leave in this business to leave your heart filled with love and satisfaction as you lie dying? Imagine the same for your relationship with your spouse, your child, a friend, or even yourself: what would have to be true about this relationship for you to be totally satisfied and fulfilled on your deathbed?
It is a wonderful way to make this clear. Then use last week’s exercise on Planning, and use vision, strategy and tactics to create the intention to make this true. By doing this exercise, you may find that this feeling of fulfillment and contentment may occur way before your deathbed. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to go to sleep at night with that feeling of fulfillment and satisfaction that you manifested something that was meaningful to you?
Go ahead, give it a try- what do you have to lose?
In preparing for The Freedom Experience coming up in three weeks, November 30th – December 3rd, I have realized the implications of my new learning and understanding, and have seen how it will profoundly affect this experience.
Each one of the experiences, the Mountain Experience and the Freedom Experience, are designed to work with a different level of consciousness. At the Mountain Experience, we learn to recognize that we are not the emotional pain that we carry. We grow and move to the next level when we can separate ourselves from it and ultimately heal it. The Freedom Experience is the step after this, and has different goals.
At the Freedom Experience, we learn to disentangle from self-judgements and identities that we may have associated with ourselves. As we know, “nothing can be solved at the Level of Consciousness that created it.” First, to resolve our conflict we must go to a higher level. When we recognize that we have judgement on some aspect of ourselves, we do not eliminate the judgement, but we notice it. In noticing the judgement that we have on ourselves, an amazing thing happens to us: we go to the next level of consciousness. We no longer believe the judgement is us. By doing that, we can notice the behavior, the part of us that is showing up that may be inappropriate, that may or may not be serving.
When we get to the level of consciousness where our judgement ends, we resolve an inner conflict that steals our energy and keeps us from being fully ourselves. As we begin to recognize and ease our judgments in the Freedom Experience, we will have more agency in the choices we make.
We hope that you will join us on this journey.
Recently, I received a question from someone that follows my blogs. The essence of the question was: “How do I love myself?”
This is a really important and critical question at many levels of growth. How do we truly honor and love ourselves even when we are so clearly imperfect, struggling or having strong negative feelings? The capacity to love oneself is tricky because we have not identified which part of us is doing the loving and which part is being loved. Let us think about the question of self-love through the lens of the three aspects of self that we refer to in Inquiry Method™: mind, body and source.
If we think about loving ourselves from the mind or conditional love, this is coming from the ego, which generally comes through having accomplishments, meeting expectations, or achieving goals etc. That conditional love is not the kind of love that most are looking for or want. In many cases we may be matching up with an ideal that we or other people have set for ourselves. Conditional love will never satisfy that yearning for love, because it can be withdrawn at any time and it is based upon what we may be doing or what is happening right now, not who we are.
Another form of love that we associate with the body is emotional love or passionate love. Emotions are carried by and can be recognized in our physical bodies. Emotional love is a special gift that we get at certain moments in our lives; when we are feeling particularly inspired about what is happening right now, an experience, when in nature or beauty, or just in connection with this deep emotional love of being in life, with another person, or by ourselves. Essentially, it is loving towards ourselves for no reason. This emotional love is wonderful, but it is also transitory; meaning it cannot be held on to or manifested at will. Some may be able to practice connecting with emotional love through loving practices or loving meditations, but essentially it will still be transitory, like the weather.
The third kind of love is a love from source or soul; and this love is unconditional love. This love requires us to drop in to our larger selves, meaning that we have to step into that part of us that is larger than our intellectual nature (mind), or our emotional nature (body). This larger broader self or higher self recognizes the needs of the mental and emotional self and hold space for it. Meaning: loving unconditionally. It is not the same as romantic love or the emotional love, it is more like holding space and deep acceptance for the frailties in our struggles and in this experience of being human.
I practice loving from source when I go to bed at night, in particular, I will drop into that more soulful part of me and be there for the part of me mentally and emotionally that has gone through the day and suffered through the “slings and arrows of outrageous fortune” – as Shakespeare has said.
Of the three different mechanisms for self-love, the most relevant to the Inquiry Method™ is the love from source: the capacity to hold that larger, safer, non-reactive, nonjudgmental, unconditional love, that does not feel like passionate love, or pride, or self-esteem but is profoundly self-accepting.
As a bonus, the more we are able to discover and do this for ourselves, the more we are able to love and hold that space for others. I model this in the Mountain Experience, Freedom Experiences and the other experiences that I create. It is part of what draws people so much to those experiences, is having an experience where someone is holding that profound and deep safety and acceptance without judgment for another person. As you practice this for yourself, you will increase your capacity to hold that space and be that for others.
We are constantly putting limits on what we can have, do, experience, feel, express, discover, learn and grow. We have used and built these limits to protect us from disappointment and criticism. We maintain them with very specific thoughts and rituals. We can live within these limits for years and then one day be done with any one of them. Every time we break through one of them, there is a feeling of freedom, liberation and joy. This is the work of Inquiry Method. I recommend doing it over and over again as often as possible.
What limitation are you ready to be free from?
The biggest problem with avarice is not moral, it is practical. If we are constantly wanting more, we are compelled to live our lives in service to having more. Instead of listening to our deeper wants and inner voice, the “voice of more” takes up all the space. The real question is: What do you really want? And what serves in creating that?
If you have not identified what you really want, the cultural story of more that surrounds us—think advertisements for luxury cars and watches, celebrity culture, etc.—will come in and fill the empty space. It will dictate your life to you.
Where in your life does the “voice of more” override whatever you may truly want, if only you created the space for it? Are you living in service to some artificial, cultural story of what you want or need, or are you living according to what is meaningful and true for you?
We all have a source, a capacity for inner-knowing that has all of the answers for us, that knows how to get in alignment with life and in harmony with what is around us. By getting in alignment with life/truth we are at our best, we have the most influence, we inspire, and we become inspired. By finding harmony, things flow, we flow; this sense of flow and connection is one of the greatest joys we can experience.
What interferes with our capacity to get into this alignment is mind.
In our minds, we make up stories about how things are or should be (or how we or others should be). When these stories are different from truth (most of the time they are) and if we don’t change our stories to fit truth we then experience dissonance (non-harmony). We struggle and create struggle around us.
Using Inquiry Method, we work toward eliminating stories, beliefs, and ideas that don’t resonate or align with truth. Every story you carry that is not truth creates suffering and struggle in your life. Every false idea that you give up creates more alignment and happiness.
Negative emotions come from being out of alignment with life.
Our emotions are here to serve us in the same way our 5 senses are: they give us information about what is happening right now. When we experience a negative emotion, it is actually a gift letting us know that we are out of harmony and alignment with life. It is a powerful signal to get back in alignment with truth.
Positive emotions are equally important: they give us the feedback that we are on the right track.
If we recognize our negative emotions as good information for getting back into alignment and harmony, we can take action to find the beliefs or ideas that we are holding onto that keep creating actions and feelings that are not serving us and the others around us. Inquiry Method offers the tools for exploring and resolving these emotional conflicts.
Every time you feel a negative emotion, you are being guided to release something that is holding you back from happiness. These emotions will increase in discomfort until you pay attention to them and learn what you need to know. Using experiences, substances, and/or denying them to avoid the feeling will simply defer happiness and strengthen the dysfunction.
If we are willing to do our inquiry, if we have the courage to look within, there is a bounty and joy waiting for us when we are able to align and harmonize with truth. To some of us this may seem like a loss of self, but in actuality we will never truly find who we really are until we give up the struggle. Freedom is when we are able to have this harmonious relationship with life, and on that canvas to fully express ourselves.