May 23, 2016
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Many times we do things that are expected of us. Sometimes our cooperation or contribution is really important for the functioning of a system or because others depend upon or rely on us. Even though we might prefer to do something else at that moment.
The problem arises if we don’t acknowledge this fact. If we don’t notice “Oh, actually I’d like to do this other thing. Yet I now choose to do this because I want to meet my responsibilities or because this is really important for somebody else… or because it’s simply ‘the right thing to do’, judging by my intuition”.
If we don’t do this and just keep acting like we don’t have another preference. If we don’t “listen inside” and ignore that voice which tells us what we are really feeling in that moment – we harm ourself. We don’t listen to that voice inside telling us about our feelings and needs. We ignore it. We practice violence against ourself. As we ignore that voice it gets a little quieter. The more and the longer we do this – the quieter this voice inside of us gets. Until there comes a point where we ourself can’t even hear it anymore. We might be faced with a situation or a choice – we try to listen inside – nothing. It’s because we have trained ourself to get numb. We learned to ignore a part of our experience and feelings.
How do we come out of this pattern?
First we can get aware of what is happening inside of us. We try to notice what we are feeling – or we observe that we aren’t feeling anything at all. And that’s okay. Then we gradually try to give that voice more and more importance. We start taking it serious. At first – there might be a decision. We might be unsure. But we just act and shoot in the direction of our gut instinct. People around us might not like it, our actions might even seem a little bit out of proportion or unreasonable – but we remember: This is a learning experience. Our goal is not to make a perfect decision- it’s just to give that little voice inside more room to be and to allow that energy inside to flow freely. It is an act of allowing.
If our environment seems like it’s trying to reduce this space we might need to protect this ever so precious room we are creating for ourselves and for our deeper feelings and needs, thoughts and impulses.
We can even tell those people in our life: “Hey. I’m trying to learn more about myself. Some of my actions and decisions might seem weird to you. Please be kind – as I am kind to myself by doing this.” We can be creative, to find spaces where we can do what is important to us.
Let me give you an example:
A really big need of mine is to have private time – where nobody is talking with me and I don’t have to react or respond to anything. In the past I have felt a little weird for having such a strong need for privacy. But I try to listen inside a lot – while trying to be aware of how my decisions make people areound me feel. So last week was busy overall and I was having an especially busy day. I was driving with a friend in his car – we had been shopping for an event we were helping to organize. The volume and complexity of the tasks and necessary coordination was really taxing and I wasn’t feeling very relaxed.
I felt like I needed a few moments to do some deep breathing and relax. I felt tense. Then I felt like: “Wow this is going to be weird. I’m rejecting my friend if I just don’t talk to him.” But I was like: “Okay, lets try it. It’s gonna be fine!” I told him that I’m gonna do some deep breathing to relax. He was like: “Okay! No problem.” So I did some really satisfying and rejuvenating deep breathing in the midst of this crazy day. It felt absolutely amazing. Having five minutes of quality relaxation time. When I was finished we resumed talking and the whole atmosphere had relaxed – within me and also in the car. Very beautiful. Another thing beside deep breathing I do every day is dancing to at least one song and especially: dancing in front of the mirror while making funny faces to myself. I just love doing this and it lights me up. I proactively make time to integrate this into my day. It pays off.
- How does being kind to yourself by listening to yourself feel like? Theoretically?
- Where in your life could you listen inside more and more in the coming days and weeks?
- Where in your life do you want to let yourself be heard more- first by yourself and then by others?
- What’s one thing that by proactively making time and room for it every day you know you could make your day and your life more beautiful, peaceful, light, joyful, focused and amazing?
Give it a go and let me know. Or even better yet: RPM it! Have an amazing day.