Ean Weichselbaum

~Transcendence~

Tag Archives: Awareness

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

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Breaking free from stress

Earlier today I was sitting at my desk in front of the computer:

cat on laptop - just browsing

I had a long list of things on my mind (and on paper). Things I felt I HAD to get done by the end of the day. I felt torn apart by the sheer amount. Thoughts about prioritization rushed through my head. But there was something a lot deeper going on. Something that took my breath and joy away. It would be a ridiculous understatement to say that I “did not feel good”. One of the things was taking time to meditate. Funnily enough the very thing that should help with this kind of condition I had placed in the future as well. The goddamn meditation was actually making my suffering worse. It just became another thing that I had to get done. All the plans were towering around me and shouting at me why I wasn’t making any progress. I felt full of anger and disappointment. It was just enough.

angry cat in front of a computer

I then managed to get up, away from the computer (turning the damn thing off). Always a great first step. Still my emotions did not change. I felt like my whole life was at stake. Everything depended on me being productive – NOW. Being productive like five people all on my own. Then it suddenly came to me.

I said “F*ck it all. I don’t give a sh*t about *insert your outcome and goal here*”. I let it all go. I just let go in that very moment…

Suddenly a feeling of deep calmness came over me. That moment I realized that it in fact on a deeper level it did not matter at all if I achieved my goals. If things went a certain way or not. If “I” was a certain person with certain skills and so on. All that was really important was that I was here now. Who- or whatever “I” was. That did not mean that I stopped caring about my goals. But by pushing them away harshly they somehow returned to their proper place. It became clear to me that I “wanted” those things, outcomes, skills, experiences and so on – but I did not “need” them. Because needing them equaled suffering.

Just by letting go of needing to have it happen in a certain way – all the pressure was alleviated. It suddenly felt ridiculously good. All that outcome-dependancy had shown me how ridiculous it is to be outcome dependent. Not enjoying the doing itself. I had lost connection with the present and with my emotions. Because I did not want to feel them: they were hurtful and not pleasant. The peculiar thing about this kind of emotional state is that by pushing the emotion away – one can not transcend the state. One has to go through the unpleasantness to arrive at peace and breath yet again. Fully taking in the irritation and suffering as part of what is at that moment. Observing it without judgement. If you start doing that – amazing things will happen.

It’s great to be really driven and motivated. Next: being independent of the outcome while still believing in it. Working at it. This combination then makes the whole experience even more enjoyable!

PS: Writing a blog post was on my list as well 🙂

The Lie Of Reality…(and products)

Have you been to the toilet yet? Because this is exciting! You do not want to spoil your experience by being forced to cave in to your natural urges. I in fact hope it is SO exciting that you HAVE to go to the toiled anyways (even though you might have followed my initial suggestion).

Just joking. 
This really is more of a calm meditation. A rave on an insight that I really enjoyed and that might be enlightening. So having this out of the way, let me start by asking the following:

What is a product anyway? I think a product is something somewhat standardized of which we expect certain things. Something that can and should be used for a specific purpose (or many purposes).
„Is a stone product?“, you might ask. You can use it as a paperweight. In fact a stone can fulfill a countless number of different purposes. Still that somehow does not make it a product in our mind. To make it a product somebody would have to offer this stone to us (like for mixing concrete out of stones, sand, cement and water): A mining company selling stones to a construction company. But a product does not have to be physical. It can also be something abstract an idea or a concept. Thus I would write a proper definition like this:
„A product is something that helps someone reach a goal“.
For example feeding yourself or being warm when it’s cold outside. When there is no need there can be no product – because nobody would care. When someone becomes aware of a need and cares: then there is room for a product. So mother nature in fact constantly supplies products but without attaching a price-tag reading money.

Now it is getting interesting. Have you ever noticed how concept- and idea-driven most people are? I mean this in a sense that we often treat and see the concept or idea of something as the „real“ thing. Imagine taking a walk with someone and suddenly your look grazes a really beautiful tree. You say to him or her „Wow! Did you notice that tree?“. And they go „Yeah, thats a cedar.“, with a somewhat dry expression in their conduct. Then the shadow of a faint smile hushes over their face and one can almost see them patting themselves on their own back for identifying that tree. „Didn’t you know?“, they might add. Now I see that being able to identify plants can be a good thing for many reasons. Still if overdone and exercising this without detachment – we might be so lost in our own mind and associations that we never notice the actual cedar („tree“ I mean).

I had a very similar situation earlier this night. Having gone to the kitchen to smoke some of the cigarettes I had bought in a strange passion a few days earlier, I was watching the dogs and their people across the little ravine in our backyard. Over there a little path is gently skirting the approaching forest which is much appreciated at almost any time of the day. I felt very acute. Although my thoughts were racing there was an underlying sense of serenity. So I took another drag from the cigarette and doing this – noticed the little lettering right where the filter ends. Only a few millimeters into the white of the cigarette paper I read the logo – somewhat artfully – printed on the cigarette.
I had been thinking about the product design of cigarettes – also noticing the well-meaning negative suggestions saying „This product will lead to addiction FAST. Once you start there’s no turning back. Ever.“ At this moment however – some stray thoughts and unconnected dots found themselves in the same room together and I had an interesting realization. More a battle of impressions and interpretations that was taking place within me – while smoking and looking at that cigarette.

I had always seen and accepted cigarettes as something „normal“ – probably starting when I saw them being smoked by my mother. I just accepted the idea of „a cigarette“ and also the concept of different brands. So I was looking at this piece of paper, tobacco (and god knows what wicked poisons that make the nicotine shoot right up into the center of your brain) and maybe help to deliver on the slogan printed on the outside of the box. I was noticing the somehow not heartfelt and bland print and wiggling it around in my hand pondering that thing. Then a bolt went off in my head. „This is not a cigarette!“, I thought. „It’s only some tobacco, a filter and paper“. Or rather what I was feeling, smelling and seeing – however one might call it. While this might not sound like a profound realization at all – It certainly felt like one. Meanwhile the idea and concept kept crawling back – trying to convince me that in fact this WAS a „real“ cigarette. But to no avail. The direct experience instantly was way stronger and more plastic than my concept. It just permeated it on every level – without me actually doing anything.
Somehow the cigarette had started to feel different. Maybe by asking ourselves how many layers of interpretation and thought-perversion we are remote from actual sensually perceptible reality we can actually take a step towards experiencing what is there for us to enjoy.

Today meditating I had the most peculiar and wonderful inspiration…

…I felt like my reality itself was dissolving into something spacious with me being there and watching the process..

But let me explain: I have been meditating for a few years on and off but this year I have been meditating pretty regularly. From feelings of relief and relaxation to warmth throughout my whole body, even aggression, dissatisfaction, boredom, absent-mindedness I have experienced all of them. I have always felt like dropping a weight I had been carrying around previos to taking the time to meditate (especially when I felt I did not have the time to meditate). In the beginning I thought the main-purpose of meditating was relaxation. I still think it’s an important part but meanwhile there are a lot of other things going on I apparently haven’t been aware of.

Coming back to my experience earlier this day: I had started out as usual with a subtle guided meditation that I have been using for almost a year now. At first I had some problems finding a proper sitting position and felt some pain and discomfort in my back (probably from sitting too much and being at the computer beforehand). When I settled in and slowly calmed my mind I fought a little with my breathing, trying to establish an optimal pattern and movement and further adjusted my sitting position to allow my lungs to fill properly. Then I slowly began to stop applying mental force and let myself go. I concentrated on feeling my body and everything got very serene. It was a good feeling and I had a clear and very present mental focus from then on. I think that I was able to let myself go and immerse in just being for a few precious moments (irregularily interrupted by some random thoughts, interpretations and feelings).

Afterwards I stretched and opened the window to get a breeze of fresh air. While I did this the serenity stayed and I kept noticing the thoughts that were creeping up. I felt almost like I had dropped my persona for a short time and my old interpretations and the meanings I usually give to my enviroment and everything around me tried to impose themselves upon me. These emotions and thoughts, feelings, I don’t really know how to describe it constantly kept re-entering my mind. The action felt like some kind of soft force (like a habit that in itself is harmless and nonetheless keeps pushing just for the sake of it). In such a way I felt my old persona entering this space I had opened up within me and the blank canvas I had laid upon everything around me. I did not judge this (and maybe that’s why I stayed present this time) and just noticed the quality of my thoughts and the way they were entering my awareness. It was like my usually pretty solid reality was melting away and merely becoming a shadow in something much larger and more complete. Like I had been on a boating trip and now began to see the water my little boat was swimming on. The boat did not change – it’s just that I had become aware that it was merely a little part of the whole boating experience.

I became aware that I usually was taking life very serious – and of course (I would be stupid if I wouldn’t) was trying to control where and how everything was going. Through this constant process and the belief that I had to take things SERIOUS I was clearly getting caught up in my thinking and the reality I had been creating within my head. I have heard about taking life easy and staying detached a hundred dozen times already but this moment I really experienced it first hand.

Usually I never noticed when exactly my awareness was transforming into identification with my usual thinking and persona – but this time I clearly have. I must say it is a wonderful experience. So quiet and at the same time very much alive. For the first time I felt like I knew how I was usually making myself feel uncomfortable. I felt like I was watching my own thought-process through a magnifying glass. Although it was so very simple it was absolutely beautiful and entertaining. Though I have had a few conscious glimpses of my inner processes before I never was able to maintain it for any time longer. As I am writing this I can feel how I am again beginning to merge with my thinking and lose the angle.

I had a profound feeling of knowing how I was causing what I felt and experienced (unlike reading it in a book or have someone tell me). I felt like this state of comfortable emptiness and tranquility was being there all my life and I just had learned to cover it up with all kinds of thoughts, feelings and interpretations. It was like the connection someone makes with words and physical objects (like in this great video by Eckhart Tolle I was watching today). It basically means that for example when you tell a child asking that this strange thing hanging from a tree is a leaf – the person is inclined to take the word and concept for the real thing (the stronger the beliefs and concepts are the less focus is on actual sensual experience).

Many people tend to see some kind of bird (like in out in the woods or in a park) – then think and.. ah name it and that’s it. Job is done and their mind is looking for another task to accomplish without them taking the time to really fully enjoy the fascinating experience and moment they just had (you dont have to see a bird actually just watching a tree bend in the wind can be enough when you are being really present).

When rather than just perceiving an object as a trigger to a mental concept or even memories we take in our enviroment as what we can really perceive from it with our senses – reality is experienced in a drastically different manner.

Touching again on my experience earlier today I was experiencing exactly this phenomenon. My interpretation of my surroundings and situation was exerting some kind of pull on me to identify myself with it. At the same time I was totally aware of my thoughts and gave this process (the pulling and thoughts and emotions that were coming up) room to be and just accepted it as part of the moment. Which kept me from identifying with it.

At this time I got the sensation that the only thing necessary to be happy was air to breathe and being in the moment. That there was no urgent need to experience anything different. Though at the same time I was feeling a strange lust to experience life from this different angle where my mind was so comfortably silent and I was free to feel and savour the present – whatever it was giving to me.

— Talking to a friend I have described the state like looking at or being a very calm sea on which surface a stone is falling. After the impact the water is rippling in all directions in a conentric movement – and, at the same time feeling like getting sucked into becoming the stone forgetting you are, in reality, the sea in which the stone has fallen. The sea cannot resist the stone and does not judge it. The experience indeed was some kind of fading of resistance. If the sea would be feeling the impact there is nothing he would do. It would just feel the ripples and be the sea (if that makes sense). This is how I would describe my experience.

Try this: Another way to get into this state is: As you are being where you are right now – imagine and act as if you are about to meet someone. As if someone pleasant that you like is coming to visit you or meet you. Feel like this moment right now is the moment before you are meeting that person and just immerse yourself in this state of waiting while you take in your surroundings. Feel your body on the inside as well as where you touch something else with your skin. Look around and take everything in and listen to the sounds going on. All the while you are doing this keep waiting. Really enjoy the waiting and relax and just allow yourself to be and do nothing while staying wide awake and just being there – waiting.

When emotions or thoughts arise don’t fight them. Be aware of them and give them room to be within you and let them be. But keep waiting and really enjoy the sensation of waiting while experiencing your senses and being open. Feel like you are flowing into this situation and be very sure that the person or whatever you are waiting for is going to happen any moment.

xxx You can also try this exercise with other people by waiting together. Also you can give people room by just being in the present and flowing and awake and turning your attention on them. Make sure to tell them to give their feelings room to be so they do not get caught up in their own thought-process. In this way you can very easily infect someone with a state of awareness. xxx

I can only recommend finding a way to meditate that suits you as there are endless benefits of meditating that one wouldn’t think are possible. For me, this experience alone was worth all the effort and hours I have put into meditating up until now. I hope that something reached you and that maybe you can carry some wisdom or insight from my experience into your own life,

Ean