Ean Weichselbaum

~Transcendence~

Category Archives: Habits

Simple Self-Acceptance


Sometimes we do not like certain things about ourselves. We judge. We say un-loving words and sentences out loud or in our head and then start feeling bad about ourselves. The problem with this behavior runs deeper than the apparent rejection of a single action or trait. The problem is the act of rejection itself. NO MATTER HOW SMALL OR FOR WHAT (yes caps is necessary). When we reject ourselves we create a cage for ourselves. We put up an invisible wall. We are locking away part of us and through that process we are impeding the natural flow of life. A natural process where events and emotions are coming and going. By judging we are resisting. The action or trait we criticize is solidified – we actually strengthen it by rejecting it, by putting energy and focus into it.

I suggest that instead we begin to find unique ways to accept what happened and move on, let it dissolve and allow for learning to happen. Effortlessly. When we watch our behaviour and start noticing certain things from a place of observation and acceptance the results can be amazing.

There is another dimension to it: it never feels good when we are rejecting or criticizing ourselves. It hampers our ability to feel good as we are and as the next step: to go out into the world and give what we have to offer. If we are constantly busy criticizing ourselves we have no resources to allocate to doing something loving and useful for others. On the other hand when we are loving with ourselves we can let this love extend out to others. Doing good becomes natural and an extention of who we are. If you put color into a bowl of water then it will take on that color. The bowl is the world and the color is us. Let us appreciate the beauty of that color and keep it strong. How we feel about ourselves affects SO many people, we can not even imagine. This is our responsibility.

What can we do?
As I stated in the beginning it is small things that affect the way we feel about ourselves. Tiny steps! Realizing moments of where self-acceptance is lacking and then giving it graciously, receiving it gracefully:

  • Find a phrase you like and then start using it day in day out. Use it often.
    “Yes, I have made a mistake. I still love you.”
    “Yeah, you have this or that flaw… and that’s just fine.”
    Acknowledge what has happened and then express acceptance towards yourself regardless.
  • Hug yourself if you want – anything to express that self-love to yourself. Expressing it physically is powerful. Another thing I like doing is touching my chest where my heart is and just making a few small circles with the palm of my hand. Small expressions of love are powerful.
  • Start writing a success-diary – Get a little notebook and every evening, write down 5 things you did well that day. Write in sentences or just list the tasks and accomplishments you feel good about. This is a great little habit. Just five things you did good or that you managed to do that day. Even if it is a small thing you can feel good about it. Keep focusing on the positive.
  • Right now. Write down 10 things you love about yourself or things you have accomplished in your life so far that you are proud of. Get a piece of paper and do it. Paper is stronger than digital. It only takes a few minutes and it really helps. Then evaluate how difficult it was for you to do that exercise – Did you get 10? Was it hard? If so it might be important to repeat this exercise some time later to keep putting your focus on the positive.

Okay..Once you give yourself some love: can you actually allow it? How does it feel to receive self-acceptance or self-love from yourself? Really feel deeply inside and ask yourself: “Can I allow that self-love? What would happen if I accepted myself completely, as I am right now?” Imagine how your life would be in a year from now if you loved yourself more. 
Give yourself as much love as you think you deserve in any moment – plus a little extra. Keep increasing the dose constantly. The more accepting and loving you grow of yourself – no matter what you do or what happens, no matter how other people treat you – the happier you will become. You will also notice yourself becoming increasingly loving and accepting of others. Have a beautiful day full of little opportunities for loving yourself!

Audio Recording Of This Article

The Magic Of Making Your Bed

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I am not your mother. I could never be. It is physically impossible for me because I am a man. Still for the sake of this article allow me to pretend like I was and suggest to you that you make your bed. But I will not just say that so your room looks tidy. I will give you proper and tangible reasons. Reasons that will shock you, astonish you and make you feel eager every day to make your bed as soon as you get up in the morning. You will be jumping out of bed only to make it!

  • Reason 1: Making your bed in the morning is a little success – a single doable task – and you did it! When I’ve made my bed in the morning I pat myself on the shoulder and smile: “well done!”. Maybe ridiculous but it cheers me up and motivates me! This feeling of success carries over into your day. One little success leading to another and before you know it your whole day will have felt like a big sucess. This. Changes. Your. Neurochemistry.
  • Reason 2: Habits give you familiarity. Stability. If you are having an intense or rough morning (maybe something has happened the day before or the day ahead is going to be very challenging) – this routine will give you something to hold onto. Stability. Peace of mind. A predictable little part of your morning. A ritual.
  • Reason 3: Doing this communicates to your subconscious:”Order is importan to me. Order is good.” This can help you become and be more structured and organized in other areas of your life as well. It seems simple but do not underestimate this habits’ power!
  • Reason 4: This is like dry-humping. It’s a harmless exercise for the real thing. Learning this habit you can experience yourself in the process of learning a new habit. You are learning how to adopt a new habit by adopting  a really simple behaviour. Plus when adopting the next positive habit you will think: “I can do that. Remember how I successfully trained myself to make my bed? *glances at made bed*”. Notice how good building a new habit feels and how easy it can be. Amazing, isen’t it?
  • Reason 5: The feeling you get when you go to bed in the evening – to a made bed! You can’t help but feel like a VIP.
  • Reason 6: Making your bed daily because you believe in the aforementioned reasons helps you build a success identity. One easy step that makes you feel more successful every day. You begin thinking about yourself as a person who optimizes, who is constantly improving and learning. As a consequence you are more likely to do other things that are in alignment with this identity – it becomes easier and easier for you to succeed. It reshapes how you view yourself. Research has shown that behaviour is always in alignment with and heavily influenced by identity (who we think we are). This reminds me of a quote by the Buddha: “Drop by drop is the water pot filled. Likewise, the wise man, gathering it little by little, fills himself with good.”

I started consistently making my bed on my own when I was on my first Vipassana course in October 2015. Since then I have barely missed a day. I do it everywhere: I do it when I sleep at a friend’s place, when I sleep at my girlfriend’s place – even when I sleep at hotels. It just feels amazing to start my day like this. I love it. Give it a go and let me know!

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1I used to be really really scared of dancing. As far back as I can remember it has always felt uncomfortable and weird to me. Even as a little boy and then as a teenager I was afraid of being judged by others and by myself. Afraid to look stupid. Afraid to “do it wrong”. It was something I avoided at all cost, something that made me feel stiff and numb inside. Something I dreaded.

Since I started doing improv about six years ago and then a few years later started going to five rythm dancing classes regularily my experience of dancing has changed quite radically. I found out that moving my body and expressing myself can be an incredibly fun thing to do – so far that it now is an indispensible part of my life. Something amazingly beautiful and deep, healing and envigorating, even therapeutic.

I feel like moving your body to music is something wonderful. If you’re just a little bit like I was then you might not really share this opinion. So that’s why I wrote this article. To give some suggestions as to why a little bit of dancing every day is so amazing and then: how to allow yourself to do it. Even though you might be really really scared. So let’s put our old opinions and views aside and try to look at it with a fresh set of eyes.

What does dancing in awareness do for you?
I’ll explain what it does for me, because it will probably do something similar for you.

  • Dancing for me makes me feel free, it helps me to relax and open up. It allows me to show my emotions and to feel my vulnerability and also to feel my strength. I’ve had days where the few minutes I was dancing were some of the best moments of that day. Just standing in front of the mirror in a hotel room and dancing to some music I enjoy. Looking silly. Feeling a bit weird –  but hilarious and happy! Or sometimes really really sad and mellow. It’s all good.
  • Connected with myself and with the music. Expressing myself. Feeling like there’s room for me to be and to show my emotions. Room that I might not have felt on that day.
  • Dancing energizes me and makes me joyful. When I move then I feel alive. It’s also challenging – trying not to do the same movements over and over and to stay connected with the music while expressing my own emotions at the same time.
  • It’s also moderate exercise – gets me moving and gets some Oxygen pumping through my body and I feel awake afterwards.
  • It helps me to clear my mind. If some thoughts are circling through my head and I can’t seem to shake them off – dancing helps. It somehow puts those thoughts back into my body – and then they can flow and change and the dam wall is broken. The water of my experience of life is flowing again.
  • It helps me to deal with difficult emotions. For example when I feel sad or depressed dancing can do wonders for me! It’s just amazing how a few minutes of moving to a beat or to a melody can light me up 🙂 Miraculous even…

How to do it?

  1. Set aside five or ten minutes where you’ll be undisturbed – best on your own if you’re a little shy.
  2. Finde a nice spot where you have at least some room to walk around and move.
  3. Put on some music you like (headphones or speakers) and then start moving. It doesn’t matter HOW you move. It’s not a dancing contest. It’s only important that YOU enjoy it.

Now some concrete tips for finding the right movements and expanding your comfort zone. Try experimenting with the following:

  • slow/fast
  • fluid movements/hard movements
  • center of gravity
  • lots of stepping around/standing in one place only using the upper body
  • let one body part lead your dance – like all movements being started and lead by your head for example

The most important thing is to be supportive and nice to yourself. If you notice criticism creeping up – that’s a bad habit. Be like: „Okay I might look stupid, but that’s okay. This is my time for enjoying myself. Who cares?“. Put on a big smile and continue 🙂
It is important to make it clear to yourself that everyhing is okay. All movements are valid. Try to find those that you enjoy the most yet keep experimenting. You will notice your brain getting really active – it’s like giving yourself a mental workout as well when you keep it open and keep changing your movement patterns.

If you have a hard time starting at all then just start very very simple. Just shift from one foot to the other. Bop your head. Then try to really enjoy this simple movement. You don’t have to do complicated stuff. Focus on enjoying those movements even though they might be simple and do them 100%. Play all out. Nobody’s looking (hopefully right? ;). Give it all you got. You will be rewarded with a much deeper and satisfying experience than if you hold back. It might not be easy to fully go into it, on some days you might feel like you’re in the flow – on others not so much. Notice these fluctiations and keep enjoying yourself.

  • When you’re done reward yourself. Especially if it was difficult! Encourage yourself and cheer yourself on. Nobody else will do this for you. Take good care of yourself.

Since I made dancing to at least 1 song a day a ritual a little longer than a month ago, I have noticed myself feeling much more alive and vibrant. The biggest advantage is during and after dancing itself. It just feels amazing. Afterwards I’m almost always pumped and I’ve had some of the most productive periods of work after dancing. Overall I feel much more balanced and my body and mine feel synced.

Find out if you would enjoy to dance more often. If so then decide to do it. Set aside 5-10 minutes, find a private spot, put on some cool music and enjoy yourself. Do 1 song for 7 days as a start. What a great reward and what an amazing activity. When you have finished those 7 days look back on what has changed and on how your experience has been. Write me if you want – I’m excited to hear about your experience!