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Monthly Archives: February 2012

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The stage is set for all those gals, ladies, women to propose to their man, or woman to woman, on this special day in this leap year, if you want to take advantage of the mythical or not so mythical Irish tradition.  They say that the tradition was initiated by Saint Brigid when she suggested to Saint Patrick that women propose to men on the 29th of February as a way to create gender balance in the in 5th century in Ireland.  If the man refused to marry her he would have to buy her 12 pairs of gloves to cover the absence of a ring.   And Queen Margaret of Scotland (then age five and living in Norway), required that fines be levied if a marriage proposal was refused by the man; compensation ranged from a kiss to £1 to a silk gown, in order to soften the blow.   Take a leap of faith in yourself today and see where it takes you.

Day 29 and no coffee and no desire for it so far!   A major leap for me!

Did you get to read the Oscar Wilde story ‘A Devoted Friend’ from yesterdays blog ‘A Tale of Friendship’?

The title says devoted ‘friend’.

Were they both a friend to the other as in a friendship?

Can you be a friend to another, without they being a friend to you?

Is there a difference between being a friend and being in a friendship?

Are you always available to your friend as they are available to you?

Are you there for them only when it suits you?

Do you stand in judgement of your friend/s?

Do you control the friendship by your availability, arrogance and superiority?

Do you give as much to the friendship as you receive from it?

How do you nourish the friendship?

How do you maintain the friendship?

Do you smile when you think of them?

Do you bring joy and love to your friendships?

Do you express your gratitude for the friendship to your friend/s?

Would you be comfortable to have all your friends to supper or not?

Consider your answers and what they say about you?

People get together for all kinds of reasons and build all levels of friendships.  No matter what age you are there are friendships that end, there are friendships that flourish and there are friendships waiting to happen.  In a lifetime there are people who know you well, and you know well through friendships; there are all kinds and nature of friendships, and all of them are about getting to know the other person, they getting to know you and you getting to know yourself.   Friendship is about treating people the way you would like to be treated.  The Miller in Oscar Wilde’s story ‘The Devoted Friend’ never for a moment expressed any empathy or compassion for Hans his so-called friend.  The Miller’s son had more empathy, compassion, generosity, kindness and understanding than his father had, but those virtues of friendship were not regarded in the Millers home.   The Miller stood in judgement of Hans’s life.   The Miller never took the time to get to know who Hans really was.  He had his own version of who he was.  He did not share his lot with him when he could have.  He did not observe or consider how his superiority effected Hans’s life.   The Miller had wealth, Hans did not.  Hans was the more loving and kind person in the ‘friendship’.  Hans was taken advantage of at every turn and he never said ‘No’ to the Miller.   Hans needed to take care of his garden so that he could buy back all the chattels he sold to survive the winter.  But he didn’t.  Hans told the Miller what he had done and what he wanted to do.  But the Miller did not listen with his heart and manipulated the situation.  He was not a good friend to Hans. The Miller measured and controlled the friendship to suit himself and in the end he was responsible for Hans death.

Friendships effect peoples lives.  Friends effect each others lives.  People matter.   Being actively conscious and aware of how you effect a friendship through your thoughts, words and deeds is a way for you to understand integrity, love, honesty, intimacy, loyalty and joy.   It’s not easy to meet these standards but if you want meaningful friendships then it’s the only option.   It’s what your possible is saying, do you want to listen?

Don’t forget to wear your smile as you leap into your day…….

Even after all this time,
The sun never says to the earth,
“You owe me.”
Look what happens with
A love like that.
It lights the whole sky.- Hafiz of Persia

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See how it sparkles and glistens as our planet orbits its way in front of the sun, this beautiful almost spring-like Tuesday morning in February.  A boat is on its way to the port, the SNCF train passes my perch taking its passengers to work and visitors to their destinations in France and Europe, the road is alive with traffic and people are going about their business just like the birds in the trees above me.

Day 28 and no coffee!   I did feel like making a cup but the feeling left as quickly as it arrived.  Friendship and my thoughts on how to explore it were taking up residency in my mind this am, so coffee was but a blip in my morning ritual.   I read a lot in the last 24hours and decided that a story is the most imaginative way to get us to think about and assessing our perceptions and feelings on friendship.

Oscar Wilde’s story ‘The Devoted Friend’  tells a moral tale of friendship that evokes our sensibilities, feelings and thoughts on; empathy, compassion, loyalty, love, sadness, selfishness, selflessness, cruelty, joy, arrogance, helpfulness, purity of thought and actions, thoughtfulness, slyness, deceit, superiority, conniving, control, judgment,  pomposity, snootiness, self-importance, innocence, kindness, goodness, gullibility, integrity, honesty, foolishness, virtue, and dominance.

The relationship between Hans and the Miller in the story as told by the Linnet is one that we often hear about, know about, maybe perhaps even have experience of. I suggest you read the short story via the link above and then consider the following questions:

How do you think the water-rat perceived the friendship?
How do you think the Linnet perceived the friendship?
How do you think the mother duck perceived the story?
Is it a balanced friendship?
Who is controlling the friendship?
What do you feel and think as you read the story?
What would you have to say to the Miller?
What would you say to the Miller’s wife?
What would you say to the Millers son?
What would you have to say to Hans?
If you were Hans how would you behave in the friendship?
If you were the Miller how would you behave in the friendship?
Do you behave sometimes like Hans and the Miller in your friendships? Why?
What is informing your perception and understanding of the story?
How does society breed both characters?
What effect do both characters have on society?
Is it nature or nurture that creates the behaviours and attitudes that we see in both characters?
Where and how do we learn to be a ‘loving and caring friend’?
What kind of friend are you to yourself and others?

Tomorrow, I will assume you have read the story in the link above and will explore further the ‘ways of friendship’ in society and in our personal spheres.

Wear your smile while you read the story and observe how it changes as you read.

The glory of friendship is not the outstretched hand, nor the kindly smile, nor the joy of companionship; it is the spiritual inspiration that comes to one when you discover that someone else believes in you and is willing to trust you with a friendship. (adapted)  – Ralph Waldo Emerson
No person is your friend who demands your silence, or denies your right to grow. – Alice  Walker
I always felt that the great high privilege, relief and comfort of friendship was that one had to explain nothing. – Katherine Mansfield
Friendship is a plant of slow growth and must undergo and withstand the shocks of adversity before it is entitled to the appellation. – George Washington
There can be no friendship without confidence, and no confidence without integrity.- Samuel Johnson
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It’s a calm evening on the French Riviera this evening as a boat finds it’s way to port.   I am back from a wee sojourn to Dublin in the east of Ireland and Galway in the west.  A lot of grey skies,  then some blue sky and sunshine to remind you it’s there, despite the clouds.   Ireland is about people; friends and family celebrating despite all the dismal news you hear about the state of the economy etc.

It’s day 27 and I have had no coffee!   I abstained each day, whilst I was very aware of the old coffee mind sulking away in the background….why are you doing this to me….why kill a great habit…. etc.
And onwards I went from breakfast, to lunch to supper with only water in between….

On my way back to France this morning, I started to think about how fortunate I am for all the wonderful people I have in my life.   Whatever age you are you have invested; time, love, caring, laughter, anger, happiness, joy and lots of other emotions and thoughts about the people in your life.   The people you know best or/and have spent the most time with, are the ones you share your life with; those that know what is happening in your life on a daily or weekly basis.  You can only give so much of the 100% of your day/night to a few people, usually they are those closest to you; your children, your spouse, your partner, your lover, your blood family, and friends etc.   For some they give most of their time to their work colleagues and they top and tail their day with their nearest and dearest.   Yet there are many many other people that pop in and out of your life as you age from day to day.   Perhaps this week you could list all the people in your life from the past to the present, that are still important to you;  assess how you relate to them, how you care for them, how you think of them, how you feel about them, how you value them, how you communicate with them etc.
Sometimes we take those who care about us most for granted and visa versa.
Think about that for the evening and we can begin to explore friendship over the next few days.
Try wearing your smile while you do this exercise and see what effect it has on you…..

Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born. – Anais Nin
One of the oldest human needs is having someone to wonder where you are when you don’t come home at night.  – Margaret Mead
If it’s very painful for you to criticize your friends – you’re safe in doing it. But if you take the slightest pleasure in it, that’s the time to hold your tongue.  – Alice Miller
Nobody sees a flower — really — it is so small it takes time — we haven’t time — and to see takes time, like to have a friend takes time.  -Georgia O’Keeffe
A sense of duty is useful in work, but offensive in personal relations. People wish to be liked, not be endured with patient resignation.  – Bertrand Russell
The worst solitude is to be destitute of sincere friendship.  – Francis Bacon
There is nothing we like to see so much as the gleam of pleasure in a person’s eye when he feels that we have sympathized with him, understood him. At these moments something fine and spiritual passes between two friends. These are the moments worth living.  – Don Marquis
True friendship consists not in the multitude of friends, but in their worth and value.- Ben Jonson
It’s the friends you can call up at 4 a.m. that matter.  – Marlene Dietrich
Friendship with oneself is all important because without it one cannot be friends with anybody else in the world.  – Eleanor Roosevelt
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It’s a beautiful day on the Mediterranean this morning.  No clouds worth mentioning except those on the horizon.  A glistening silver stage awaits the next act in your continuous story….what will it be today?

No coffee and it’s day 22.  Not bad!  When you follow through on a resolution or decision then you know you can change many things about your life.  I have passed the place of whinning and complaining and have arrived in a place of possibility.

Imagine you are the editor in chief in your own audio-visual edit suite.  There you have your complete archive of your memories including your dreams.   As you go through the memories that make up your lives story you count all the cups of coffee you drank over your life time, all the alcohol, sweet food, food high in preservatives and colorings, mind altering substances, fried food, contaminated food, food that makes you ill, organic food, whole-food etc.

What if you edited all the clips in your life where you felt loved, secure emotionally, spiritually and financially, afraid, vengeful, angry, content, sad, blissfully happy, excited, creative, imaginative, interested, curious, selfish, controlling, humorous, healthy, fit, ill, unhealthy etc.?
What would you learn, understand, think about yourself from these clips about yourself?
What of these memories would you like to re-shoot (imagine it) and edit if any?
When you play back these imaginative sequences how do they make you feel?
Could you make them a reality, or do you need to some research and rewrites before you shoot and edit the way you would like yourself to behave, eat and drink, think etc?

Back to this weeks topic on ‘fear’.
If you were to watch all the instances of fear in your life; when as a child and young adult you were afraid of the dark and cookie monster,  the times you overcame your fears,  fears that terrorized you as an adult and perhaps still do, and how fear excited you to do things you wouldn’t ordinary do.  As you watch each sequence take notes of how you feel and think watching them.   What would your possible self advice you to do about your fears in the various sequences of your story.   Now imagine that you put into action the advice that your possible self gave you on your various fear factors.   You are back in the edit suite and you compile all the past, present and imaginative (the possible self sequences) sequences as a linear story.  You watch the story.   How does it make you feel?

It’s like watching your child learning to swim;  they get very brave and go the  length of the pool, down the deep end, splattering and kicking determined to get to the other side.  They arrive out of breath and full of excitement.  They did it.  That takes, determination, it’s bravery, it’s tenacity, it’s courage, it’s the stuff of life.  And you stand on the end they arrive at and applause the mighty trust they have in themselves.   Their self-esteem and self-worth soars and the smile on both your faces tells the story.

Each time we achieve something we set out to do, it has that wonderful feeling of being soooooo alive.  We are our own heroine and hero.   And there are so many heroes and heroines out there.   Google and find their stories in sport, music, business, literature, innovation, education etc.   Take courage from their stamina and drive.   Read as many stories as you can and see what effect it has on your possible self.   All ‘your selves are your team.   Getting them to work together and focused in the same direction is part of your task.  The love-self cannot be sitting on the fence thinking about a lost love.  The dreaming-self cannot be away in another land.  The remembering-self cannot always be busy archiving and cleaning your library.  Gather them all and have a meeting with them and do what athletes do;  have all the selves focused in the same direction helping you to achieve a dream, a goal, a decision, a task you set for yourself.   The energy you exude when you are in this pace is infectious and other people will want to do the same.

Wear your wonderful smile as you go through your day, thinking of the possible self and what you want to achieve.

“It’s lack of faith that makes people afraid of meeting challenges, and I believed in myself.” Muhammad Ali
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that frightens us.”  Marianne Williamson
“Nothing in life is to be feared. It is only to be understood.”  Marie Curie
“I’ve not ceased being fearful, I’ve gone ahead despite the pounding in my heart that says: turn back, turn back, you’ll die if you go too far.”  Erica Jong
“I do not believe in failure. It is not failure if you enjoyed the process.”  Oprah Winfrey
“Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadow.”  Helen Keller
“Not everything that is faced can be changed but nothing can be changed until it is faced.” Lucille Ball
“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. you must do the thing which you cannot do.”  Eleanor Roosevelt
“You have no control over what the other guy does. You only have control over what you do.”  A J Kitt
“The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand.”  Vince Lombardi

“You have to expect things of yourself before you can do them.”  Michael Jordan
“My motto was always to keep swinging. Whether I was in a slump or feeling badly or having trouble off the field, the only thing to do was keep swinging.”  Hank Aaron
“The way a team plays as a whole determines its success.  You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don’t play together, the club wont be worth a dime. “             Babe Ruth
“When someone tells me the is only one way to do things, it always lights a fire under my butt. My instant reaction is, I’m gonna prove you wrong.”   Picabo Street
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We have a dramatic sky on the Mediterranean this morning as the sun peers through the Nimbostratus clouds.  The second brand new day of week eight of 2012.

Did you you notice that today is a palindromic (reads the same when read backwards as in  “A man, a plan, a canal: Panama) date: 21 02 2012.  There won’t be another palindromic date this decade.  Interesting information from a friend this morning on skype!

Day 21 and no coffee.   The monkey mind is beginning to get tired of complaining about not having it.  To-day I made coffee for my morning guests and it was all ok.   No major cravings.  So peace reigns in that part of my being.

One of my guests was a five year old delightfully curious and humorous girl.  She helped to take this morning’s photograph.   As she peered out at the morning sky she asked me:  What would it be like to live in the clouds and so we got talking about the feeling of different kinds of clouds and we looked at them online etc.   Her exploration got me thinking about clouds as a metaphor for our mind-scape’s atmospheres and moods we live through at times:

Are they sticky clouds, which cling onto you as you get ready for your day?
Are they foggy clouds that cause you to struggle to find your way?
Are they dry, white light fluffy clouds that create a sense of comfort, protection and warmth?
Are they wild heavy fast pacing clouds that hurtle you so fast along the way that you don’t know where you are going and why you are doing what you are doing?
Are they dark, heavy polluted clouds that drain your energies?
Are they wispy clouds that create mystery and encourage curiosity and creativity?

We are all so different in our own personal universes of life.  The more aware you are of your clouds the better you are at weathering the storms and enjoying the sunshine.   Like the gardener you stay present to watch over your scape 24/7.   Some days you achieve a lot and others nothing at all or so it seems.   You observe other people’s lives in the living world and in films, soap operas, opera, music, art, literature etc. and we see the seeds they scatter and tend in their mind-scapes with; love, kindness, empathy, fear, compassion, creativity, anger, understanding, awareness, sadness, joy etc.   Some of the stories, emotions, feelings and thoughts resonate with you and your life; we all go through them in some way in our lives.

How did you get on with your fear assessment from yesterday’s list?

Do I know fear?  Yes I do.

Alfred Hitchcock movies in particular used to stimulate my imagination to the extent that I was gripped by fear of the dark, hands grabbing my legs getting into bed and sucking me into some underworld that was even darker than the dark I was afraid of, and outdoor lamps became horrid faces looking at me. These were among the many sensations I had around the age of six or so.   Bedtime became a ritual of sweeping fear objects and people away before I went to bed.   I would stand on the step down into my bedroom I shared with my siblings, and reach in with the brush underneath my bed.  When I knew there was nothing there I would jump onto my bed, then travel over the bed onto a dressing table and onto the other bed in the room, do the same sweeping, then pull the curtains closed before the street light became a very horrible face, which it did if I looked at it for long enough, then back onto the dressing table, reach over and open the wardrobe door and brush inside to be sure there was nothing evil there that would get me, close the door,  put the brush on the floor next to my bed, cover my head and pray to my guardian angel to protect me ‘til morning.   The worse thing that could happen is that I would wake in the night and the dark would send my imagination into overdrive, so I would pray and pray ‘til the light came and I was safe again.  Every time that Alfred Hitchcock and such programs and films came on TV my mother would say “Áinne, bed or you will be climbing the walls.”   My grandmother gave me a prayer to protect me and I used it like a mantra that I kept repeating as I fell asleep.   Fear of that nature dribbled into my life as I grew older until in my late 20’s I got to enjoy the dark by just sitting in it on my own in a forests, by the sea, in the countryside and cities and rationally worked out the sounds and sights that were there.   I also rationally worked out the fix that my grandmother gave me to get through this fear of the dark.   It could have been a teddy bear; it could have been any object that created a security that protected me from the dark.

That’s how I got to know and overcome fear.   I now know the level of it that is healthy to keep me safe in the world and the level of it that is destructive in my life.   Fight or flight are the two reactions to fear, both relevant depending on the situation.   Courage was my answer to fear.   I braved it to stay alone in a forest in the dark throughout a night and walked home all in one piece with my imagination intact and wearing a really big smile.   There is a big difference between fear and anxiety in my experience.   I get anxious about my children, my welfare, my friends, events etc. at times.  The level of anxiety can be as crippling as fear was for me in the past.   However, just as I overcame my fear of the dark in a rational way I now do the same about my anxious times.

In conclusion, let me suggest a way to process these times of fear and anxiety as an adult.  Write and keep on writing.  Put words on a page and more will follow.   The ‘experience-self’ interviews ‘fear’ asking questions like:

Who are you?
Where have you come from?
Why are you here?
What do you want?

Write the answers from fear’s perspective as you feel them in your body and mind.   The experience-self is you in the now of every moment of your life.   Then switch roles and write a dialogue/conversation between the ‘remembering-self’ who is in charge of your archive of memories, and fear.   When you have finished that conversation, ask the ‘possible-self’ what thoughts it has on the writings and see where that conversation takes you.  This only works if you are honest with yourself and get in touch with your thoughts and feelings.   Imagine doing this exercise for another person.  No problem.  Now do it for you in self-love.   Once you have done this exercise (and maybe you need to do it many, many times to get to know your fears and anxieties) you are on track to getting to understand and appreciate who you are.    Most of the time you have the answers and know how to overcome fear and anxiety as it comes up in your life.  When you acknowledge it and do something about it, you feel lighter and more energized.   If you remain crippled by fear or anxiety you are like a garden-scape being crippled by poisonous weeds wrapping themselves around the plants and stealing all their nourishment and daylight,  and you know what that does do your garden: same in your mind-scape.   Your well-being in mind, body and spirit is affected in a very negative way by holding on to fear and anxiety and to do something about it is the journey/process to a healthy and joyful mind, body and spirit.   If the weight of fear and anxiety is too much for you to handle on your own then find the therapist, person, books, programs etc that will work with you to lighten your load and bring sunshine into that part of your life and clear away some of the stickier clouds.  You can bring your writings with you to a therapist as a place to start the process.

Write about the fears and anxieties you are having and see what comes up for you.  They are nothing to be ashamed of.  They are all part of us on this human journey.   Good days, bad days and in between days.   If your car was consistently leaking oil you would do something about it.   Why ignore your mind-scape?   Imagine if you overcame your fears and anxieties or had a way to process them as they arose, how great would that feel?  It takes courage to do that for you, it’s you practicing self-love; the possible self in action with the other selves.

Life can be very beautiful, especially when you keep on wearing your smile……

“Don’t be afraid to go out on a limb. That’s where the fruit is.”   H. Jackson Brown Jr.
“Ultimately we know deeply that the other side of every fear is a freedom.”   Marilyn Ferguson
“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.”   Eleanor Roosevelt

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It’s a grey day on the Meditterean.   Nimbostratus clouds block out the sun’s rays, and yet some light streams  over the bay as rain falls in the distance.   It’s a new week and a new day begins for all of us.  Start again today on any resolutions that may have slipped out of control over the weekend, get up and go again with more resolve than before.  Your possible self is always ready!

Twenty days and no coffee.   I was out and about over the weekend and each time I abstained.  It’s working!  It’s  taking discipline, some willpower, tenacity, self-kindness and self-love to abstain.  So far so good!

It’s an appropriate grey day to introduce this weeks topic on ‘fear’ and what fear means to us.   You often hear people say, “I am afraid it’s going to rain.”  How can you be afraid of rain?  If you were planning a picnic, then the rain may spoil the event and it may make you sad, because you were really looking forward to it.   The statement could also mean that you had better plan an alternative.  Using fear in this way is trivial to some and very serious to others.

There are so many ways to experience fear on so many different levels. Lets explore.  How do you experience fear:
Fear of the dark
Fear of creepy crawlies -spiders etc.
Fear of water
Fear of heights
Fear of fire
Fear of flying
Fear of noise
Fear of specific animals
Fear of open spaces
Fear of pain
Fear of insanity
Fear of losing a loved one
Fear of someone in your life
Fear of being ill
Fear of not being able to earn a living
Fear of death
Fear of losing all you have
Fear of not being liked
Fear of being overweight                                                                                                                                                    Fear of not being beautiful enough                                                                                                                         Fear of being too thin                                                                                                                                             Fear of aging
Fear of being on your own
Fear of your own arrogance
Fear of being found out
Fear of speaking in public
Fear of intimacy
Fear of not being able to take care of yourself
Fear of being attacked
Fear of war
Fear of thunderstorms and tornados etc.
Fear that you can’t trust yourself                                                                                                                          Fear of not being loved
Fear of loving yourself and another
Fear that no one will miss you
Fear that no one cares about you
Fear of anger
Fear of love itself
Fear of some dreams
Fear of fear itself
Fear of failure
Fear of success
Fear of loosing your hair
Fear of rejection
Fear of being ridiculed
Fear of freedom
Fear of being happy
Fear of performances
Fear of physical wealth
Fear of physical poverty
Fear of addiction
Fear of change

I suggest you make a list of the things, people, places etc. you fear most.   Tomorrow I will explore fear and what it does to us emotional and physically.
Is courage the opposite to fear?

“Everything I’ve ever done was out of fear of being mediocre.”  Chet Atkins
“Freethinkers are those who are willing to use their minds without prejudice and without fearing to understand things that clash with their own customs, privileges, or beliefs.”  Leo Tolstoy
“If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed.”  Albert Einstein
“Do one thing every day that scares you.”  Eleanor Roosevelt
“People are disturbed not by things, but by the view they take of them.”  Epictetus
“Fear is pain arising from the anticipation of evil.”  Aristotle
“When you say or do anything to please, get, keep, influence, or control anyone or anything, fear is the cause and pain is the result.”   Byron Katie
“Do not be afraid of the past. If people tell you that it is irrevocable, do not believe them.”                 Oscar Wilde
“Fear is the cheapest room in the house. I would like to see you living in better conditions.”               Hafiz of Persia
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I was watching the dawn early this morning.  It started with a wide band of pastel pinks, oranges and yellows along the horizon.  As the light started to intensify the colours did too.  At the eastern end of the bay, the sun rose and beamed its rays of red and golden light through the dramatic cloud formation that lingered over the sky as her majesty rose higher and higher above the earth to bring us day light.  Theatre is all around us every minute of every day.  Everything is in motion, day by day as we grow older and hopefully more curious and marvel about the workings of ourselves and the world around us.

This morning I was curious about the sound of the sun.  Of course we can’t hear it as its 150 million Kilometres (93 million miles) away.   Imagine if you were the film director this morning and you could record everything in nature, no matter the distance or density.  Imagine the sound track you would have.  The hum from the ball of iron at the core of the earth, sounds from all the other spheres of the earth, the sea, the sun, the clouds, the atmospheres, the birds, the trees, etc.  A sound-scape of all the natural sounds outside us on this day in February.  My sound memory of the magical sun rise.

Before this morning, I had not thought about the sound of the sun.  The ‘experiential self’ was watching the sun rise, and the ‘possible self’ asked the question.   The ‘remembering self’ who is the archivist of memories, knew where and how to look for the information, online of course.  We are sensory beings, who respond and react to the people and the world around us on a daily basis building.   At times the experience is painful, sorrowful, sad, cruel and unfathomable.  At times it can be inspiring, be stimulating, give you strength, motivate you and fill you with complete joy.   Your ‘remembering self’ is archiving all your memories, good and bad, and based on the feelings, knowledge and information you hear yourself say “I will never love again because you have been hurt or I will love again because of the way it makes me feel.”   I talked of the love myths (stories we tell ourselves) in a previous blog.  In The Possible Self programs I hear an array of mythical love stories based on memories:

I don’t love my parents because they never really got to know me, and why should I make the effort etc.;
I love my parents for the life and love they gave me etc.

I am never having a dog again because he died, and I could never love another etc.;
I loved my dog as s/he has given me so many happy memories.  I have a new puppy now and I will love him all the more etc.

I will never love my friend again because s/he judged me etc.;
I love my friend because we had enough exchange of happy times to overcome this one event etc.

I will never fall in love again because: s/he deceived me, drank too much, didn’t listen to me, had a roaming eye, spent too much money, s/he left me for another etc.;
I have many happy memories of being in love, and I am not going to let one bad experience have me say never again etc.

I don’t love myself because: I deceive others, I have a bad relationship with money, I am a slob, I am controlling, I am over weight, I drink too much, I am not expressive, I am moody,  I am a narcissist of a kind,  I am always depressed, I talk too much, I talk to little, I am a sex addict, I am a drugs addict, I am an animal hater, I blame others for my miserable life, I am prejudiced, I am small minded, I procrastinate, I live in the past, I hate my sister, I hate my work etc.

I know life is not always a bed of roses. In my life time the sun has always risen so there is always light.  I have decided to take it one day at a time changing my attitudes, habits and behaviours that no longer serve me, and I embrace what and who inspires, motivates and gives me the strength to love myself and others.  I choose to let the light in. I choose to be kinder and more lovable towards myself than I ever have been etc.

In listening to all the variations on love during the TPS programs the one love that can be constant, whether you’re a lover, parent, husband, wife, daughter, son, nutritionist, PR consultant, artist, grandmother, grandfather, niece, nephew, aunt, uncle, gardener, doctor, electrician, cleaner, engineer, teacher, director, producer, astronaut, geologist, surgeon, lawyer, housekeeper, financial advisor, cosmologist etc. is ‘self-love.’   I suggest you visit the place in yourself where you can assess how you have been living ‘in’ your life to-date; how you made decisions about friendships and relationships, how you chose them, how they came into your life, how you relate to them, how you project your own ‘stuff’ onto them, how you behaved in thought word or deed and how they make you feel.

Come to know who you are and how you want to be.  You will always be you, but a more aware, loving, empathic and compassionate you; when you choose the practice of ‘self-love’.  There is no magic, no ten easy lessons, no one book or guru or method or person who can do it for you.   You can do the research and work with someone or some method that suits your personality and orientation.   You put in the concentrated time and you will discover a you that is so worth loving and you will enjoy your life’s journey a whole lot more.

There is always possibility to love and be loved if you love yourself and discover others who do too.  Your self-esteem and self-worth maintains a new equilibrium when you practice self-love despite and because of all that goes on around you.

Day 17. No coffee.  The monkey mind is still asking for a cup but its not happening!  I abstained another day.

Don’t forget to wear your smile and practice kindness towards yourself and others.

“He who falls in love with himself will have no rivals.”   Benjamin Franklin

“Resolve to be thyself: and know, that he who finds himself, loses his misery.”   Arnold, Matthew

“To dream of the person you would like to be is to waste the person you are.”  Unknown

info@thepossibleself.com

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