Empowerment Through Self Awareness
For years I have lived, whenever possible, by four simple rules. My friend and mentor, Warren Jacobs, M.D., has shown me their wisdom, wisdom he gleaned from Dr. Dean Ornish. I share them with you here, and hope they work the same magic in your life that they have worked in mine.
1. Show Up. Be present and aware of what’s happening in this moment, rather than worried about the future or reliving the past.
2. Be Honest.
3. Be In Touch Your Feelings & the Feelings of Others. Feelings are different from thoughts. They inform or guide thoughts, but they sensations like joy, fear, hopelessness, sorrow, humiliation. If you are clear about your feelings, and the feelings of others an open dialogue can take place.
4. Don’t Be Too Invested in the Outcome. Whenever I am too invested in the outcome, one of the other rules gets forgotten, so I find that when I have my heart set on achieving a goal, it is best if I am also okay if the outcome is not what I was hoping for. When I can imagine both outcomes, and be content with either, I can maintain perspective, and remain in touch, honest, and present.
They are not always easy, but try these rules out the next time you face a situation where you are hoping for a certain outcome, and your partner, friend, sibling or boss is hoping for another. See if it makes things go more smoothly, even if the outcome is not what you were hoping for. Focus on the connection you have with that person, and notice if you respected the connection, and if it is now stronger. I find that stronger connections enrich my life more than gaining the outcome I hoped for every time. See if you agree. Post your feedback, if you like.
New Year’s Resolutions Revisited
Many of us resolve to eat less, exercise more and visit with friends or family in the coming year. Bert Hellinger looks at resolution as a process that includes truth, order, and acceptance.
As an example, if I am overweight, through three-dimensional mapping we can set up my family of origin and see who could not take sustenance, and who I am loyally “helping” when I overeat. I can share my feelings of helplessness and deprivation with my ancestor who could not find regular work or food during the depression. That ancestor can tell me it was his fate, and not mine, so I am not “helping” anyone when I overindulge. He can tell me how life went on in spite of difficult times and how I am the product of that life. I can be reminded that by living well I honor him, and all my ancestors. In this way I see (and feel in my gut and my soul) that my overeating was done out of love, as well as a connection to those who came before me, and that there are better ways to love and honor my ancestors. In this way I can make sense of my overindulgence, and feel the strength of my family, instead of the emptiness of my belly.
So don’t be too hard on yourself if your getting to resolution is sluggish. Maybe the systemic nervous system of your family has a hand in the habit you’d like to reform, and maybe a wider lens is needed to understand just how your issue with weight, exercise, relationships, or success relates to love and loyalty. A constellation could be just the thing to bring you a new perspective and lasting resolution in the New Year, so happy 2011!