NOTE: I will not be posting these on social media so as not to inundate. But, will post on my blog daily. http://www.nataliebreazeale.wordpress.com (‘Drama Cleanse’ tab)
NOTE II: I realize that I can come across as preachy when I am writing these. Please know, when I say ‘you’, I am saying ‘me’…just trying to make it applicable.
I decided just to stick with same ‘rituals’ as day 2…baby steps. Except I left out something that I try to always do. I always try to visualize once a day for around 5 minutes.
There are many versions and recommendations out there. You can dig and see what resonates for you if you are interested. I mostly follow recommendations from Mike Dooley. I have been following him for years. He believes in the same ‘power of the mind’/manifesting your reality’ philosophy that I have followed for decades. This is what I believe, clearly not what you have to. Long and the short of it- whatever your thoughts, feelings, and actions are, become your reality. This has been proven true for me time and time again. It is my truth, but again, might not be yours.
Anyway, I lay in bed in the morning or take some time during the day to just sit quietly somewhere and I visualize what I want down to the tiniest detail… how I am feeling, what I am wearing, the smells, the temperatures, even what I might be saying or hearing. Something I have trying to be very intentional of late is to avoid attaching these visualizations to a person or specific thing that might not be ‘how’ my dreams are supposed to unfold. Dooley calls them ‘cursed hows’. In other words, if I want to be super successful or fulfilled in my career, but I believe this will only happen if I am a writer, then I am preventing the manifestation of what might actually be a better path. Another example: if I want a beautiful, magical, healthy relationship, but I attach this to a specific person, well, guess what, that beautiful, magical, healthy relationship might involve anyone but that person and you block the possibility of that person showing up.
This sounds complicated. It’s so not. First, just get very clear on what you want. But just try to strip that down to the absolute basics. Is your pathway to happiness that specific job with that specific company, or is it that you want to be in an environment where you are valued, supported, creative and accomplished? Is experiencing true and enduring love only possible with a specific person? What if that person isn’t capable of fulfilling that role or just doesn’t want to be with you. Well, then you are screwed, because you made it all contingent on that person. You can’t control that person and you can’t control the HR department of that specific company. So, I try not to ‘play god’ and instead, let the universe work it’s magic for me and through me.
I know, a little esoteric, but just what I do and believe.
I finished Brene Brown’s podcast, Creativity, Courageous Vulnerability and Wholehearted Living that I was listening to… SO POWERFUL.
My takeaway from this portion was the concept of Wholehearted Living and B.I.G
What I understand the foundation of Brown’s approach to life is, ‘Whole-hearted living’. She believes that most of us operate from a place of shame (self) vs. guilt (behavior). It’s the whole ‘I am’ tendency again. “I am an idiot”, ‘I am not worth…”. You are defining yourself and solidifying these labels/characteristics as who you are. This is very different from, “I can’t believe I did that”, “what I did was stupid”, etc. Those are behaviors that can be changed or avoided. Brown found a high correlation between shame and addictions, disorders, depression, etc., which makes sense. If you define yourself as worthless, unlovable, etc., these will most likely turn into ‘behaviors’ that mirror those beliefs.
In turn, to live wholeheartedly, you have to allow yourself to be vulnerable, to admit your weaknesses, your issues, your fears and destructive behaviors. You have to accept your mistakes, realize you were doing the best you could with the tools you had at the time, and do your best to forgive yourself. I believe, until you do these things, you will continue to act from a place of fear, shame, self-loathing, etc. You simply can’t improve your life and accomplish/get what you want in your life otherwise.
So, what do we do to change these beliefs? As discussed yesterday, we monitor our self-talk. We listen to what follows “I am”, either in our heads or when we are talking to others. If we hear it, we change it to a positive or try to turn into an ‘I did’. Again, this is not an instantaneous transformation. It takes diligence, self-awareness, and a commitment to make a positive change in your life.
Self-Actualization & B.I.G (Boundaried, Integrity, Generosity)
This was the most profound part to me. It’s so clear when I hear it explained so well, but so hard to see when I am in my head, battling my demons.
We are all born creative. If you think about how you were and what you did when you were young. You were an unstoppable creative force. You drew, you sang, you danced, you played, you made up stories and acted them out. You performed and expressed everything about who you were. Until, one day, someone made fun of you or told you that you couldn’t sing/dance/paint well, or you felt like you failed at something. So you stopped. Someone who was so insecure with themselves needed to make you feel inferior. And you let them because you valued their opinion so much that you let it define you. And, for a lot of us, this transferred into other aspects of our lives. So, we quit trying to do that thing that we loved, or taking risks to try new things, or letting people get too close or feeling like we were worth having friends or love.
At least this is what happened to me. I can’t pinpoint the exact incident that happened. I just grew up in a rough environment where love and affection and affirmation were not handed out regularly, if at all. This primed me as a target for those who needed to prey on others to make themselves feel superior. I was bullied from the age of 10 on. I was insecure and kind and had very thin skin. Clearly, this only compounded all the terrible things I believed to be true about myself. Oh, I faked it pretty well. I still tried to fit in and win everyone over/please everyone. But this manifested as a constant need for affirmation and attention. When I didn’t get it, I withdrew or accepted that it was because there was something terribly wrong with me. It took me decades to realize that there was actually not something wrong with me. I was just surrounding myself with the wrong people, people who were almost certain to find everything wrong with me and try to convince me that those things were true.
Brown’s point is, in order for us to come into our own- to express and share our gifts with the world, to achieve our dreams… to self-actualize- is to dig deep and access our innate creativity. For those of us with deep wounds and visible scars, this is terrifying. But not expressing our gifts is even more destructive. We will forever have a feeling of inadequacy or feel a void that we will constantly try to fill- with addictions, with a relationship, with work, with things. Those will never fill it. Those will never make you whole, because you are denying your very essence. Expressing yourself, sharing your gifts is one of the most courageous things you can do. But, it involves the risk of people rejecting you/your gift. I think this is our ultimate fear- to not be accepted by those from whom we crave acceptance, i.e. love.
I thought I had conquered this one, but recently discovered I had not. I’m just so grateful that I was able to recognize it and remove that person from my life. But it has not been an easy process, and I still find myself longing for his acceptance or affirmation that I am worthy of love. This leads us to the next big one.
B.I.G. (Boundaried, Intergety, Generosity).
PLEASE PAY ATTENTION HERE. This is so very profound and crucial to self-actualization
Brown’s research turned up a fascinating discovery about a defining trait that the most successful people have, which contributes to why they are so successful… and happy.
She interviewed dozens of people that are admired, respected, and loved for their contributions- in their work, in their relationships, in their accomplishments, etc. She realized what they all possessed and implemented in their lives was ‘boundaries‘. They were able to be respectful, tolerant, and loving with others because they would simply not tolerate anything less from those around them. And they would remove those people from their lives if their boundaries were not respected.
You have to know who you are and what you need and accept those things about yourself in order to tell others what you need and are willing to tolerate from them. Only until you respect and love yourself enough to do this, will you find the people who give you the support, respect, and love you need to fully express yourself.
Anyone who crosses your boundaries is someone who no longer needs to be a part of your life. But, again, only when you define what those boundaries are for yourself, will you be able to define those for others.
I thought I was clear on mine. I was not, and I let someone define them for me… and it almost destroyed me.
So, I’ll go ahead and define mine here:
- I will not surround myself with anyone who focuses on my faults and says or does anything to try to make me feel less than.
- I will not surround myself with anyone who is unkind, vindictive, manipulative, or destructive.
- I will not tolerate intolerant thinking, and above all, cruel behavior towards others.
- I will allow someone to make a mistake (saying/doing something hurtful, betrayal, etc.). I will give them a second chance, but I will not give them a third.
Those are my 4 non-negotiables.
So, for day 4, baby steps:
- Five-minute journal
- Read/watch something inspirational
I hope this helps you start to heal, and I hope you enjoy a day, drama-free
Interview with Opera: Brene Brown
Why Guilt is Better than Shame
Mike Dooley (Tips on visualization)