I was on a second date the other night…our first was a 2 hour lunch…we had exchanged a few emails before that…nothing extensive. So I got a compliment that had me pondering into the next several days. He said to me, “You seem so comfortable…like you have no need to pretend to be anything that you’re not or act a particular way to try to impress me. I find that most people have such a wall up and are trying so hard to create some kind of image they want others to buy into. You seem very authentic.”
My first reaction was, “… well I’m just being me… but thanks.”
As I continued to think about this, I realized how easy it has become for me to just be ME these days. I thought about how comfortable I now am in my own skin. How ok I now am with ANY emotion that happens to come up…I now know that I no longer have to repress my feelings like I have done most of my life…especially the negative ones.
I have learned to EMBRACE each emotion, feeling and thought as it arises and allow my mind, heart and body to ACCEPT and experience whatever is there is to experience. Whether it’s fear, anger, anxiety or excitement, joy, surprise and humor…I ALLOW myself to be completely present with the emotion. A quote from the first Chopra book I ever read, I believe it was Ageless Body, Timeless Mind, that has stayed with me for over 20 years comes to mind, “Be ONE with the pain”…and may I add, the fear, sadness, anxiety, joy, bliss, etc. Be ONE with it, embrace it, feel it, experience it, bless it and release it. There no longer remains any fear in me of what others may think if I cry, laugh, am sad or insecure…I just get to share whatever is there.
I have been living in the practice of open-hearted-ness…because of this space that I have created for myself, I feel much more authentic and genuine. I no longer feel the need to put on a happy face when I am feeling sadness. This has generated a great feeling of peace and calm within me. I love myself more and have more compassion for myself and my feelings than I ever have. In the past, I believed crying was a sign of weakness…I never allowed myself to cry and would berate myself for having any feelings of anxiety or upset. Now when feelings like that arise…I think of myself as my own child…and treat myself with loving kindness. I allow the feeling to arise, I acknowledge it and honor it for the great teacher that it is…I am able to get the gift that it represents and often am able to quickly release it in gratitude.
This has been a major transformation for me…it feels as if my DNA has been re-written. I no longer even think the way I used to think. I have removed many old belief systems and shed layers and layers of old emotional baggage by allowing myself to feel and experience all the things I had repressed in the past. I think I may have cried all summer long…I spent most of my time in solitude, processing, writing and FEELING. Talk about therapeutic.
As a result, I love myself more than I ever have. I am the person I’ve always desired to be. I have more compassion and understanding for others because I now have it for myself. I feel I am capable of being truly authentic in the world, I know who I am, I am ok with my emotions, I am comfortable expressing my feelings to others.
This idea of ‘being’ led me to the next thought of ‘doing’…which is simply an outgrowth of the being. I am now doing what I’ve always dreamed I would get to do…writing, speaking, coaching and making a difference in the lives of others. I’ve had lots of knowledge for a long time but it wasn’t til recently when all of this knowledge in my head made the leap down to my heart and became a wisdom of sorts. I’m now able to communicate and articulate this material because I now feel it…it has become experiential as opposed to just reading in a book and forming an intelligent opinion.
As I read over my journal entry about the above, the old sales trainer in me kicked in to the Be-Do-Have presentations…I had written about ‘Being’ and ‘Doing’…isn’t it interesting I thought, how the ‘Having’ part for me has now taken a back seat, when it previously had a starring role. I got into sales and the window/construction business to make lots of money so I could HAVE everything that I wanted to have…and I did…I just didn’t know it at the time…all I could see then is what I DIDN’T yet have and what I wanted more of.
It’s funny how I have had less, materially, than I ever have and yet I have been happier, more at peace, experienced less anxiety than at any other time in my life. I have had everything that I NEED. It has actually been nice to live without the excess…it’s curbed my shopping addiction, I buy only what I’m going to eat (the deer are a little disappointed as they were the lucky recipients of my waste…don’t worry, I wouldn’t let them starve), I have learned the value of one dollar, I am much more appreciative and grateful for the things others do for me, I have learned how to save money and make a little go a long way. I got rid of my BMW in exchange for a VW bug…it’s been good for my ego…letting it go…along with the things that don’t matter.
As a result of living in my dharma, I know the ‘having’ piece will come…it can’t help but come and is a natural outgrowth of being who you are, following your path, loving what you do and assisting others. It’s just not center stage anymore…it’s secondary to being a bright light in the world, sharing myself and the gifts I’ve been given and knowing that as a result, the Universe will provide me with everything I’ve ever desired that matters.