Author Archives: Marlen

About Marlen

I share my realizations and perspectives within learning how to live life in self-honesty in the Desteni Process to expand and grow as a person in this world. #IMatter

617. To Be A Part Of

 

Sharing about developing empathy and nurturing my life experience in my community.

I had quite a shift during my day yesterday where I consider I finally understood what was missing in my life experience before, wherein I used to be very ‘utilitarian’ in a sense and judge things based on them being useful for something tangible or not and within this, write off a lot of experiences that had to do with what I judged as a waste of time like getting together in a concert to presence live music, or going to the movies, or seeing a play, or attending a conference about some kind of creative process.

I actually considered that the ‘click’ of realizing this emerged yesterday with a series of small moments of contact and connection with people that renewed this understanding that I’ve actually been expanding on throughout this first half of the year for the most part and getting to genuinely enjoy my human experience – at last – lol.

If anyone has a recollection of me, I defined myself as a Grinch, the person that hates family reunions, large crowds, having to ‘deal with people,’ would rather be alone and isolated from everything that didn’t just ‘make sense’ or ‘agreed’ with how I view things or would be zero productive in a utilitarian sense. I stopped watching anything entertaining and only focused on sucking all kinds of information I could and placed myself in a higher ground where I believed that ‘everyone else that seemed to be enjoying their life were fools and disingenuous about reality.’ Well, the joke was on me, because I truly got bitter and lifeless to say the least, and it was only through a decision to challenge this ‘me’ mindset that I’ve been – slowly but surely – cracking open from that hardened shell.

Now, this is something that I would not have been able to do alone at all. Yes, I had to make the decision to – as they say – put myself out there and actually give myself the time to stop moving from ‘task to task’ for a moment and give myself some time to stop and ‘smell the roses’ so to speak. For example, I’m so used to taking a walk everyday for over a decade now, and I had the phases where I’d do something ‘productive’ in it like taking pictures and videos and so forth – then It was just me walking, going to get things somewhere and come back, have the least contact with people throughout that and be quite generally ‘lacking’ something in my life in doing that,  yet being very disciplined about it and believing I was achieving some form of self mastery in doing so.

Well, from the past year I decided to not only do the walk but actually use the time to also get to interact with others and actually establish relationships through that. It all started with opening up to enjoying listening to music in the street and standing there enough time where I’m not in my usual ‘rush’ of having to leave the place or having this race against time, but genuinely set myself to enjoy observing ‘life passing by’ which is something I had avoided doing – again – within the mindset of: ‘Oh this is just a waste of time, no one is getting anything out of it, I’m not getting anything done’ etc. But over time, I realized that it was through that sort of dedication and openness that I got to connect more with people in my environment and stopped seeing it only as a nice ‘background’ or ‘scenario’ to look at or walk by, and instead I decided to be more a part of it all, to actually stop seeing myself as an outsider, as someone that will most likely ‘leave at any time from here’ and actually grow some roots as I heard someone in a documentary I watched yesterday say.

Man, it’s been such a change and I don’t mean to turn my bleak view on the world into a suddenly rosy everything is fine now mindset, nope, because in actually getting to create relationships with people, getting to know more about their lives and relationships, one does realize a lot of messed up things going on, which have also opened up my eyes tremendously to realize how much I was sort of deluded into just blabbering these higher than life principles but in reality there was no actual decision from me to create an actual Empathy with people, to actually connect, to actually step out of my misanthropy and get to really connect and decide to care about others. That’s the change that I’ve been working on and has definitely changed my life experience in quite a significant way and I’m only starting with this.

How did I got to this? By deciding to grow roots, to finally settle in and ‘go out there’, and instead be more present, be more HERE which I thought I was doing by keeping myself in a semi-monkish way with little to not distractions and very few interactions that I could be perturbed by. I avoided people, that’s the reality – and now it’s sort of the other way around and it’s not a 100% change, but  I definitely now push through to show up to meetings and places and family reunions that I would usually talk myself out of, giving myself certain excuses like being able to use the time for something ‘more productive’ apparently.

Looking back, I can see all the many things that I cut myself off from, like cousins that had kids and I wasn’t there at all when they were baptized or born or had their first birthdays, I always said no to any of it. Now that I’ve been rekindling those relationships, there is a bit of sadness about having missed out on all of that growth and now I see them with 12, 18, 5 years old and missed out on all of their initial developmental phases, including that of my direct nephew and niece because I was in such mindset of detaching myself from everything and everyone and believing that way I would not ‘be hurt’ if I had to leave this place that I live in. I deliberately created detachment to things and that definitely wasn’t the way… and yes, I’ve also gone through the route of being resentful to myself for making such decisions, looking back at ‘all that I didn’t do’ or that ‘could have been different,’ but, at the same time I’ve deliberately decided to not beat myself up for it, to make peace with it because that was me back then, having a very rigid mindset going on about my life and what I should do and how I should think, and yes I deliberately separated myself a lot from virtually everything around me, I was like an alien living where I am but not really TRULY seeing myself as a part of it all, I was just like an observer, a temporary observer. Of course this may sound like I didn’t connect ‘at all’ with people, I remember having had equally enjoyable time when being in art school, but once that was done, I did isolate myself quite a bit.

How did I come to open this up today at last? I was listening to Joe Rogan’s podcast, which is something I’ve been listening to for several months now and I’ve genuinely nurtured myself from it because I find that it is through people’s lives and experiences, the challenges they create for themselves that they create successful and enjoyable lives that do not come easy, they come with hardship, but see the benefit and satisfaction in doing so. So, yesterday’s podcast was about a guy that went to live with a certain kind of monks – not Buddhists – for 15 days and the stuff he gathered from it, and as I was listening to his description of how the monks lived, I realized that for quite a few years I lived like that, I’d like to say these past 7 or more years I sort of did that kind of detachment and unwavering discipline for certain things where one is living in the world and believing one is cultivating certain things – which yes I probably did – but are not really going ‘out there’ and really being a part of the world. I did this detachment for several years and I didn’t have to only go and live somewhere else in a similar seclusion for a year to do that as part of this process, but I sort of continued living that way even when coming back and I consider that was entirely my comfort zone and – still is in many ways – to not challenge myself further, even if I know that doing so is the most supportive thing to do.

Here I want to leave things clear that no one told me to do this but myself, that’s how I saw ‘the way’ to become a better person in this world, by not participating in a lot of what I considered useless, a waste of time, harmful, pointless, brainless, etc. And with that, I lost touch with actually being in reality and being able to enjoy and savor the various seemingly ‘meaningless’ living experiences.

I have to say that I actually have benefitted a lot from the various years I’ve spent going to documentary festivals now, like Ambulante festival here in Mexico, it was through that that I got back to seeing how people are living in the country I live in, the things that are unfortunately going on around me and that I was fully oblivious of, because I was focusing more on expecting some kind of world-reset-overnight-change in the economic and political level and a somehow miraculous ‘saving’ grace for this world to the point where I wasn’t concerned or rather interested at all in what was happening at a local level. It was through the documentaries and actually showing up to the screenings that I started getting ‘in touch’ with people in my community, it was a matter of deciding to care and push through the idea that it was pointless, that it was just entertainment and not judge it as that, and place myself there, learn to watch/hear/see the stories and kind of allow the idea to sink in that this that I am watching is not just some fictional story for entertainment, these are people’s lives.

It’s been such a nurturing process and it has assisted me a lot to finally develop that care, consideration, empathy and – god I will dare to say – affection for people. I never thought I would say that! Lol ‘so out of character’ and sure it damn is! It is as if the center of my being is finally ‘opening up’ in reality, not at an intellectual level in which ‘I thought’ that I cared about people and life on earth…. Seriously? By me having this constant ‘fighting’ mode and bitterness from the moment I’d step out of my home?   No way, how could I have in fact been ‘best for all’ with that sort of misanthropy exuding from my pores? Nope, yet I thought I was the most caring and self aware person walking on the streets…

This is what I was chatting about with my partner today, how much I have benefitted from art or artistic expressions actually, specifically documentaries and going to screenings and start getting to know of my community, and start seeing people that are presenting their work and realize I know them from another contact and getting to see their work and what their interests are and their different views on life and things… it has assisted me a lot to slowly but surely be stepping out of this rigid mentality where I thought that ‘everyone has to be like me’ or ‘think the same way I do’ because ‘it makes sense and it’s best for all,’ and instead, realize it’s about me being open to the myriad of living-ways that each human being represents, each one has got fascinating stories to tell in their own way, their own struggles and motivations to live and with their own purpose. I am now definitely interested in getting to know them, and savor it, and enjoy it.

This is me here writing it out at last, but this has been an accumulation process of several years now, like 3 at least where I noticed that I decided to step out of this ‘Grinch’ mode and started opening up to few things here and there and currently I am a lot more settled into this ‘newly’ found enjoyment and interest in being a part of a community, which I just didn’t care at all to do before.

Yesterday I got to confirm and kind of finally realized why I started being so drawn to these activities like going to watch documentaries or certain live acts downtown and through that developing a kinship to people that are more involved with this kind of activities, people that I had always just ‘passed by’ that I am now deciding to actually talk to and get to know and possibly collaborate with. I went to this short film festival from locals and it is so out of character for me to say this, but it was heart-warming to see some of the youngsters share their story of why they got to do certain works like an animation – which I personally didn’t ‘get’ much – but I got a lot more from seeing the nervous-stricken guy tell the story about his dad leaving home to do some PHD and having certain legos left with him that he got kind of an obsession with and developing an entire animation with them which surely must have been a LOT of work to do, but it was a way for him to deal with that sort of situation of how he lives his life, his own ‘isolation’ if you will and how genuinely happy  – to the brink of tears – he was to be able to show his work, his many hours of production to the people in his community, to his co-citizens, as he called us and at that emblematic place that is built for that kind of local reunion to watch certain acts live – music, theatre, movies, etc.  His words were a way to finally ‘put words’ to the reason why I also showed up, it is a form of care and interesting in other humans and their lives and creations.

Lol, I kind of finally ‘got’ why art is relevant. I laugh because I ‘studied’ it and practice it, but I had not truly given words to the reason ‘why’ it is relevant.  And this I also got from listening to someone in a podcast or so say that we need kids in this world, newborns, that will grow up to be the next inventors, the next artists that enrich our living experience – and that hit a core right there. See, I had no ‘clear’ idea why I would like doing art, or watching movies now on a regular basis as part of my time with my partner and going out to be a part of a communal show like it is to go to the movies, or going to the documentary festivals which I also very much enjoy as those activities that have genuinely made my life better, building myself as a part of the world through these activities. Showing up to all of these is a statement of ‘hey I’m here, I want to commune-icate with you, you are part of my community, we’re all here, let’s connect and support each other’ which to me, is becoming ‘the’ thing that moves me and drives me in my life: developing these relationships and connections with others.

This is quite a big change because I like being productive, there’s no way around it, I ‘dwindle’ if I just place myself in non-action consuming only information or watching something and not ‘doing’ something at the same time, which is why going to the movies is almost a requirement for me to watch something and be still, and it also forces me to go out, to meet with others, to be ‘part’ of a community for a moment, even if I don’t get to speak with the rest of the attendants, I’m there, we’re there and sharing a moment.

I guess that’s what it also boils down to. I was so glad to arrive yesterday to downtown’s theatre and see this long queue of people waiting to come in to watch these 4 short films made by locals. Sure, it could have been that each one of them invited all of their friends and family, but so what! It was such a nice thing to witness and again, be a part of, where I decided to make that time of my day to meet up with these other hundreds of people, fill out an entire auditorium to watch these emerging film makers that share the same city with us. It certainly isn’t the same as watching foreign films, because these are people around you, growing in the same culture, moving through the same spaces and seeing that on film kind of creates a form of bond that I had completely disregarded as ‘pointless’ or a ‘mind thing’ before.

I’ve talked about how I realized the actual care and enjoyment of people around me nowadays and how I went from hating crowds to enjoying the moment of standing in a crowd and watching musicians play, or being sitting around many that are there watching documentaries, and enjoying their laughter and their sadness which at times comes with watching these stories and knowing that we all got that experience right there to stay with us. And that’s – I guess – the power and purpose of the art sharing experience, or simply sharing experiences through film, music, seeing some visual art… but even more so, I get to enjoy hearing the voices behind those creations, that to me is essential nowadays. Yesterday I got to see that as well how some of the things that I watched were just ‘meh’ or not ‘my style’ but hearing the story behind it, about the connections they had to create to have it done, the challenges, the dedication, the effort, the resources pulled for it, that definitely became interesting and inspiring as well.

I was also very much touched by a guy that told his story of how he initially started his documentary wanting to share about how much he loathed his family – lol – because of a treason situation his uncle did, but through making the documentary and getting to know his friends’ stories about their relationship to their family, he realized that his initial premise for the documentary was going to be shitty and not inspiring at all. So through the making process, he literally said it was an act of forgiveness and him realizing the importance of family even if one feels like the ‘odd one out’ which I very much could relate to, so this documentary definitely spoke to me quite a bit because I had been so reluctant about family, family gatherings and such and it is only now throughout these past months that I’ve come to enjoy it and cherish it for what they are and represent, and this documentary also made me realize there’s plenty of people that felt like me, some that are still in that detachment phase – which seems to be related to being a young adult – and others that accept and have come to make peace with the variety of characters that a family represents yet, sticking together for the network of support and community that it is.

It was very cool for me to see this in the shape of several stories linked with this common denominator, somehow seeing people from your same city talking about these things turns a moment into an enriching experience where I felt a little more ‘connected’ to everyone around me and within that, taking one further step out of my bubble. Even with hearing another person next to me laugh at the same situation I could personally relate to from the documentary, became an ‘Ah! I’m not alone!’ type of realization, even if it is very obvious that we live in a city with lots of people and we barely communicate to each other – yet, it is in this kind of gatherings where to me the movie is a bridge to connect with each other, and that’s awesome. I’ve made a couple of friends now this way because of seeing what they created and wanting to get to know more about them and finding that kinship within their drive for this kind of creation.

After I went out from that whole after-film discussion, I was walking down the street with my partner and we saw one of his friends playing at a café, there was barely anyone there so we decided to join in. The sheer fact of seeing him see us decide to come in and drink a cup of coffee while listening to him play was enjoyable in itself, a decision to say ‘Hey I’m here, came to see you!’ and it surely was also enjoyable and ‘out of routine’ to do this kind of decisions, sitting there for a moment and share about our day became such an enjoyable moment as well, where we could later talk with his friend – our friend I’d say now – and get to give him some ideas of how to get out of a rut he was stuck with and impulse him to test out other ways to use his kills and make money out of it. It was a short meeting, a ‘moment’ only if you will, but to me this is the kind of substantial bits that make my life experience a lot richer… and it would not happen if I didn’t take the time to be ‘out there’ and actually have the disposition to connect with others too. I’m grateful for the connections like this that I’ve been able to make through my partner who is also very much linked to the local community and I am appreciating the benefit of having that starting point to be able to relate to many more people. In a way, I’ve come to definitely no longer enjoy myself only being ‘isolated’ and not having this sort of connections around others, and realizing more and more how no man is an island and when I pretended to be so, I definitely sank in it.

One thing I realized as well is that it’s not about creating ‘best friends’ with all kinds of people, but definitely relating to many more and being open to the variety of people in a community is part of what living life is… a complement to the rest of the personal doings, productive ways and personal achievements. I am opening my eyes to see how I definitely want to become a participating-part of my community and use the ways and means I have to start doing so, starting relating to others, instead of living like a hermit even when surrounded by people.

So, it feels like I had some kind of writing constipation for several months – I’ve certainly been processing several things and rerouting a bit my life and deciding to ‘grow roots’ here, which I am finally doing and looking forward to continuing developing.

I also realized that the most important thing is to share my story, how I’ve changed, what I’m busy changing, instead of wanting to come here and stand in a moral highground about how things should be or could be – I’ve been there and done that – so, there’s a tendency for me to want to end this with a note of ‘find your passion’ or ‘find your way’ to enjoy life, to genuinely get to experience that your life, your presence, your words, your doings are creating a form of meaning to you and others that is supportive, that is nurturing and expansive.

I am finding and developing that in ways that are very simple currently, as I shared in my past blog, that still stands and continues to be developing where the sheer process of getting to know one person and having that common stand point of creating a relationship in a way where living together becomes enjoyable and supportive IS worth living for, and seeing how that ripples out into the lives of others, without even ‘wanting’ to have an effect on them. That’s quite the remarkable thing I’d say and not to adjudicate any credits here to myself or anything like that, but simply seeing the effect of deciding to be a part of something and dedicate time to it, dedicate willingness to it, that’s quite an enjoyable thing to do.

This is currently the path for me, but I also understand it’s not everyone’s -and thank god for that, what would be the point if everyone would think or do the same things? – It’s all about being able to challenge ourselves, our ways, our ‘views’ and ask a very honest question: if we are dissatisfied about something in our lives, then what do we need to change and stop doing to stop making them shitty, meaningless and feeling miserable? And then dedicate the effort, time and actions to change that. I know the obstacles, I know the doubts, I know the fears, so, just taking the first steps over time is all I can say will open up new paths in how to get to enjoy living and seeing the benefit of it. I definitely am grateful to all of the people that have decided to share their music, share their films and documentaries, their stories with me and with many more. I get to enjoy my life more ever since opening up more to them and that’s great, otherwise, life would be too bland as I used to experience it.

Thanks for reading.

 Ambulante Puebla Marlen

 

Join us in our process of Self-Expression as LIFE

 

 

 

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616. Savoring the Moment

Or enjoying living and substantiating one’s day to day living

I listened to the audio It is Not About Oneness but About Living  and what caught my attention of it is how I’ve been reflecting on what it means to live and how we’ve extrapolated this word ‘living’ and have elevated it to something separate from ourselves, almost turning it into something that we are supposed to ‘get to do’ someday, or get to ‘attain’ somehow ‘out there’, instead of realizing that we are already IT, we are already that life and we are that potential that we have been dreaming/thinking about, we just haven’t been LIVING as it. So what does that mean?

I see how daunting it can be to look at ‘life’ and ‘living’ and try and substance these words in an ‘utmost potential’ type of idea right away with ideas, projects, dreams ‘out there’ in the future… and so we spend most of our time thinking, wishing, hoping, dreaming, planning of a moment where we can ‘finally live’ instead of realizing that we are already living, and we are wasting those moments chasing a moment that doesn’t even belong to us.

I’ve also been recently listening a lot to Jordan Peterson and something he explained in one of his discussions with Joe Rogan is how living is about all of those moments and things we repeat on a daily basis, all of those hours that we spend sharing our meals with our partners/family, all of the time spent with our children, all of the time spent on cooking, cleaning, grooming ourselves, going to work, having the normal day to day activities that we many times become frustrated with, tired of or even resist doing as a basic part of living a life in this world.

This caught my attention and particularly correlates to how I’ve been deciding to take on my day to day and really get to live my routine in a different way, because in the past I was resisting to do the basics, there was a time where I came to loathe having to eat, having to take a shower, having to do the basics for living, seeing them as a drag, a waste of time. So I had been working with seeing routine as something that assists me in structuring my day, yet it still only became a doing in a structured manner, a ‘getting things done’ only – but not yet really living, which is where I’m focusing on now.

I am learning and practicing to imprint me/ enjoy myself more in the moments of doing the day to day thing from the moment I wake up, to getting dressed, to making coffee and breakfast meals and genuinely enjoying sharing those moments and the expression that I decide to create of me while preparing meals, enjoying to decide what I’ll wear in the day, enjoying the simplicity of communicating and sharing the basic living activities; enjoying attending to my responsibilities and integrate myself fully into it to get it well done, to not half ass it or do it with the ‘least effort possible,’ but really live the decision and realization of: this is my moment, this is what’s here in front of me, for me to do so I do it the best way possible.

Interestingly enough this has also currently been including the dimension of the ability to enjoy these day to day routines, and even if the activities are basically ‘the same’ day after day, I am realizing how I can truly decide to be present and enjoy the living of these activities and discovering how it is a decision based on – in my case – doing things the best way that I can. To me that’s what satisfies me and it’s even better if I get to share these moments with others or do something that I know will benefit/support others at the same time.

In essence this also correlates to another very cool interview on Eqafe.com A Well Made Moment is a Well Made Self which I definitely could relate to and enjoyed for the same reason, where this emphasis on what we do moment by moment and doing it well, doing it to the best of our capacity is what substantiates and gives meaning to our lives.

This might seem very obvious or simplistic, but I’ve also been reflecting a lot on how many times I projected ‘my life’ as something I’d be doing in a future, way out there at some point in my life where I could finally say ‘I’m living, I’m satisfied with myself’ and kind of building this bubble of ‘greatness’ as ‘living’. I’ve been instead learning to actually appreciate the day to day moments that we take for granted, just like someone reminded me today, we take for granted the ease with which we can do ‘the day to day’ things and forget about the fact that it is a marvel that we are alive, that we can have food in our fridge and have the ability to prepare these meals, to have running water, to have a roof over our heads, to live in an environment where we can walk around and enjoy ourselves in spite of the regular things that may go astray in our societies.

I stopped for a moment to realize how true that is and how many times I had taken for granted the simplicity of enjoying being able to eat, to take a shower, to walk around, to chat with people, to enjoy hanging out with people that you enjoy being with… there are so many things that in the past I would experience as things I just have to ‘deal with’ or ‘swallow’, kind of experiencing them as these little ‘obstacles’ that I had to get through while ‘looking forward’ to something ‘more’ or ‘greater’ in my life out there/somewhere else and far away in the future. That means, I wasn’t really living, but pursuing something outside of myself while dismissing the actual life and living that happens every single moment we are here.

So this is more like a reminder for myself of how many times I’ve almost defined these basic aspects of living mentioned above that are part of my ‘living routine’ as a waste of time or ‘loss of time’ or ‘tedious things’ to do and how I am currently deciding to enjoy them, to be creative in them, to make them interesting based on how I decide to express myself while doing them all.

What I’ve noticed is that my satisfaction does emerge from doing things the best possible way, to add that spark of enjoyment and liveliness to what I do, even if it’s ‘the same’ day after day apparently, I’m learning to enjoy the simplicity of these moments in fact, which again I didn’t use to do before.

I am more and more realizing that life is happening in every moment, it is only us that may be stuck in our heads in plans, ideas, hopes, dreams of ‘what our lives can be’ instead of actually living and enjoying the totality of what we are doing in the moment, no matter how repetitive, how simplistic, how ‘monotonous’ it might seem – all of these adjectives in fact exist as experiences in our minds that become the way that we live out our day to day, always in our heads longing for ‘something more’ instead of realizing this is it! This is where we are, this is what we got, we got ourselves, we have the absolute capacity to decide how to live the moment.

So that’s how living the best that we can in everything we do actually changes the world, because we are the matter that matters and shapes the world – and yes I take this quote from that initial audio I quoted at the beginning of this blog, but it also correlates to what I’ve been hearing from Jordan Peterson – which confirms what we’ve been walking and sharing within the Desteni process – on the importance of focusing on the individual change to create social change, instead of the other way around, which is where people get lost in social justice movements, identity politics and finding culprits for why their lives can’t be as fulfilling as they compare others’ to be. 

Living out day to day to the best of our ability is a real gift that we have and that I’m deciding to stop taking for granted or ‘zombing-by’ anymore. I’m grateful also for the people that have assisted me to realize how much of my life, my context and situation I had taken for granted and was getting too lost in life happening ‘out there’ and instead get back to what it means to be in physicality, its potential and enjoyment, in its simplicity.

What has emerged for me to work with/look at and fine tune from practicing this? I noticed that there is this underlying anxiety that is constantly there as a form of ‘rushing’ from all the times I have imprinted an almost ‘anxious’ way of existing where I used to take these day to day living activities as ‘obstacles,’ as things I just had to ‘rush through’ in my day to day to get to ‘do’ things, to ‘be productive’ and all other kinds of things that I regarded as my life’s mission, missing out enjoying the actual living that happens in every moment that I’m doing the day to day activities and routine.

Sometimes we do need reminders to slow down, to enjoy the ordinary in life, to enjoy the moment, to decide to live it and create it as if it was truly ‘the last day of our lives’ which I came to discover in a rather interesting way at the same time with having the idea of leaving a certain place and I made the decision to ‘enjoy the last moments’ there and then I asked myself ‘well, why am I not living this way every day? Why did I have to have this idea of ‘leaving’ as a crutch for me to decide to see things differently, to enjoy my day to day in a genuine way?’ And that was in fact a key point for me to start appreciating my day to day routine because of seeing my day to day with a different set of eyes so to speak, and I’m quite grateful then that I decided to take this new way of living the ‘day to day’ now, because it makes living much more enjoyable and not only that, but I am more aware of the expression that I can imprint in everything that I am doing, more aware of the kind of words I’m living in the matter that I am, and so making sure I matter in the basics, in the ‘little things’ that I do as part of my day to day living.

So that’s something to try out, to live everyday as if it was your ‘last day’ and then see how to integrate that into one’s day to day living as a new way of living – of course not with the fear of loss or fear of dying or whatever else – but as if it was truly one’s last chance to fully enjoy that meal that one likes eating, fully enjoying that cup of coffee, that walk out in the streets, that going to the movies, that doing our tasks and job the best that we can, that simple conversation with someone that we can enjoy communicating with, that best version of ourselves that can interact with others, enjoying the basic elements of living and living responsibly with it all.

I don’t intend to sound all ‘blissful’ and magical here, lol – because this entails actual doing, actual dedication, actual focus and detail into what one does because giving or creating that best of ourselves in every moment requires that, and that’s what I am deciding to integrate as part of what makes me fulfilled, satisfied on a daily basis, savoring the moment if you will instead of living more in my head and waiting for ‘better times’ in the future – nope, instead I realize I’m here, I decide what I make of it = I decide how I live myself, that’s my essential creative power.

Thanks for reading.

 

 savoring

 

Join us in our process of Self-Expression as LIFE


615. Breaking Through Self Definitions

 

There was a recent interview on Eqafe that assisted me a lot to see beyond my current limited view on things as I’ve been leading them in my life and it has to do with pushing through the limitations of who I define myself to be and in that, realizing how much of the confusion, fears and doubts about myself and my life decisions have their roots and source in having an idea of myself, of who and what I’m supposed to be at my eyes and consequently at what I project to be the eyes of others.

In this I also realized how much of an ‘ideal’ idea of myself I’ve held within my head where I’ve held myself and my life in this crystal clear box of perfection, where everything always seems right, timely and somehow optimal in my life. Yet, this time things went the other way around – or I broke-through that crystal box I had kept myself in. I found myself rooting all of that out and going for the unexpected, the ‘not so me’ type of decisions that I surely feared taking on yet experimented a lot of inner conflict about it all, because of how I saw all of that as being out of character, not ‘me,’ and certainly not matching the idea or definition I’ve held of myself all the way.

I broke the pattern in which I am used to carrying things forward, and in that I caused disappointment within myself and others and that became a hard thing to swallow and admit to myself, almost like not wanting to admit that I could be wrong, that I could make mistakes, that I could give a 180 degree turn to what I thought I should be and do and that certainly became a source of personal dissatisfaction, because I could not comprehend that I could be doing things ‘all wrong’ according to me, which I only defined as such because of holding this perfect, good, always-right idea about myself.

Now, why is this so much of a source of suffering, instability, indecision, shame or guilt? Because of judging myself about it all, because of wanting to hold on to an idea of how I thought things ‘should be’, how I was supposed to deal with it and do ‘the right thing.’ However, I’ve been realizing how this is also a form of control, wanting to keep myself aligned within a particular set of parameters of ‘how I am supposed to be’ and because I certainly started deviating of that, it all became a great source of reactions that led me to feel too lost in them, it was certainly hard to see a way through because of not being able to comprehend why I was doing things in a way that didn’t represent ‘the best of me’ – or so I thought – and in that creating an inner split about what is right, what is wrong, where I should be, what I am supposed to do and be.

In this I had to confront reality as is. This has not been easy, but I see it as a way to face one of my greatest fears at the same time which I didn’t even realize was there, which has to do with holding myself in this positive idea of being an immaculate, infallible version of myself that I tried to hold on to, only to realize I was going to step out of that track and do just about the opposite of that and eat it whole.

This is why it all became a source of worry, distress and suffering, because I had to face other aspects of me that I had not been aware of existed within me, yet they were totally there as myself. So that’s how holding myself within a particular light, holding on to a very finite idea of myself – how I am, why I am, who I am – became a reason for me to feel that I was screwing myself up all the way, because it didn’t match the idea that I’ve held and ‘known’ about myself, or the idea that I’ve wanted to present about myself towards everyone else.

This point is also another one that became a source of distress, the thought of what everyone else will say, think and consider about me based on my actions and decisions. Well, now I can say that the only way to walk through that is to realize that I am the only one living my life and owning my decisions. Of course we always do affect others with our actions and decisions, and yes it is my responsibility to also take care of that, but at the same time I cannot prevent harm, pain, suffering to others based on my decisions and that’s something that’s hard to swallow and work with, but it is also part of being alive in this world. We cannot always avoid pain and suffering, we can only learn how to understand the experience, write it out, self-forgive it and walk the healing process with time and a new direction to our lives.

Another fuckup is to try and see things black or white through the eyes of morality: “Did I do the right thing? Was I wrong?” That definitely doesn’t help a bit, at all. All that’s left is choices, decisions and walking through either or path and taking responsibility for whichever one I decide to walk through.

We discussed this subject in our group chat yesterday called Self Definition and Breaking Through Limitations, where many more share their own experiences and supportive realizations when facing similar situations in life, and it became a great source of reminders and support to see how we blow things out of proportion in these crossroads of our lives, and how we do have to take a plunge into the unknown and trust ourselves in being able to walk through the point, no matter what it is.

What would I have done differently? I wasn’t willing to admit certain things to myself because it would mean breaking a point of personal control, of certain idea of stability and definition of what is the right thing for me to do. I had to break through the pattern of who I thought I had to be and what I thought I had to be and do, therefore, it took time for me to actually admit it, let go and direct the necessary points to embrace my decisions. And this is something I cannot hold against myself either, it is part of those more difficult things in life that sometimes we cannot face in any ‘better’ way.

So here I am seeing I’m trying to justify myself and it’s not needed either, I can only say that not beating myself up for it is the most supportive thing I can do as well as stopping playing out possible scenarios of ‘what could have been’ in my head or what I could have done differently. I realize that I have such tendency and it literally leads nowhere, not being here and living my reality and decisions, nor living in such other alternate path, because it’s only happening in my head, so that’s something to transform into embracing my reality and doing the best I can to own my reality, while accepting that there’s no ‘set path’ for me, there’s no one ‘right’ way to things either. I can only trust myself on it all in my capacity to understand my choices, take responsibility for them and keep walking within self trust because that’s ultimately the only certainty I can have: I have myself, my capacities, my skills, my ability to stand through things and not judge myself from it, but learn from it and set a direction forward.

It’s easier said than done, but this is a decent foundation for it and another point is to not get caught in ideas of where I should start sharing about it or how much of a solution I am sharing this time around, because there are only guidelines that I have set myself to walk through it and the rest will be unfolding as it is lived out.

The relevant thing for me here is to share how important it is to identify the source of the conflict as a finite, limited, controlled idea of ‘who I am’ or ‘who I am supposed to be and do’ and be willing to break through that all the way, to step into the ‘unknown’ or out of the pattern and realize that even if it comes with some pains and distress, we can still make it through to the other side and realize: it wasn’t as bad as I thought, I got myself and I got my will to keep at it.

 I recommend the following audios which assisted me a lot to precisely nail down this topic to what I just opened up about and shared here, and they are a great reminder of how we tend to narrow our view to a few things in our lives instead of reminding ourselves to see the greater picture. I also want to thank everyone that continually walks this process with Desteni, because without each other, it would certainly be most difficult to face things our lives in a supportive way.

 

Unfolding

 

Join us in our process of Self-Expression as LIFE


614. Understanding Mistakes

 

I want to share how I’ve redefined my relationship to ‘making a mistake’ which I have shared before in terms of how it’s relevant to not judge myself for it or go into a guilt trip and so forth. But here I’m focusing more on realizing that there are mistakes that I see I have created in a rather conscious and ‘aware’ of myself level where I believe that all that there is to the mistake is being taken over by an experience and acting on it without a thought, causing consequences for myself and affecting others as well, while knowing that I would have to deal with the consequences, that I would have to confront others with regards to it and even if being fully aware of it all, I did it anyways.

So, to me it became a bit of a mystery as to why I was doing it with ‘full awareness’ apparently yet I didn’t stop myself. I looked at the aspect of being taken over by an energetic experience and being so caught up in it that I could not stop myself, which is an aspect of it. But I knew that it wasn’t just something that happened in a moment of being caught without awareness or anything like that. This was something I was deliberately concocting for some time that developed into a situation where it became obvious that I had to dig deeper within myself to look at what is it that I was exactly missing out of myself that I had led me to create this moment of consequence.

This is where the support of a second person is indispensable when it comes to assisting me to understand my experience, because I would not have been able to do that at all if it wasn’t for people walking the Desteni I Process as well and having walked through similar situations being able to relay back their own experience and realizations upon having faced similar circumstances, and this point of support opened up a whole aspect that I had not seen before as the reason, cause and origin of that which led me to create this mistake.

And this is why I more so than ever believe that we sure cannot do this process alone, we do need the support of others to assist us to see other aspects that we have maybe just ‘swiped through’ in our days and not really looked directly and with intent on it to investigate what could be the origin and cause of an instability within that becomes a source of consequences for myself and others without.

Through this, I was able to see how I had suppressed certain things within me that I didn’t address appropriately with myself, that I knew were bothering me or causing an experience of lack which led me to then develop a way to ‘fulfill’ certain aspect of myself through an external way, without questioning what is it that’s leading me to want to fulfill something in a non supportive manner.

So the point I learned here is to not fall into the victimization or blame and guilt trip when it comes to making mistakes, because that only becomes another comfort zone to not investigate further what is in fact behind the creation of such ‘mistake’ in our lives and how we can change things and take responsibility for it.

My attitude was that of being responsible for it all the way, owning my creation, blaming nothing and no one for it, but I wasn’t seeing or admitting to myself all the bits and pieces that eventually accumulated as the reasoning and justifications for me to create such mistake. And that’s where the assistance of another individual within the context of the Desteni Process is essential to see these points, because I would not have been able to move on as accurately as I did if I hadn’t have such reference and support to ask myself more pertinent questions to find what was really the origin and cause of my experience.

That is how I was able to move on to solutions and experiment the creation of an acknowledgment about certain needs, certain aspects of myself that relate to how I want to experience myself, how I want to live my life, admitting that and so being able to focus on creating it within and without. That was also an eye opening process for me to see how things that I was suppressing within me became a form of ‘lack’ that I tried to find ‘out there’ in a rather consequential manner, instead of looking at what is it that I genuinely want to create and live in my life and taking the steps to create it, to do it, to communicate about it, to explore ways to live that in my life.

So this is how my relationship with making mistakes or facing consequences changed from simply feeling bad, guilty, shameful and emotional about it  – which yes, still comes up and yes it is still part of an initial process of realizing what I’ve done and become – but in that also making sure I am moving on to create solutions, to ensure I am taking the bull by the horns which is what I did and so far it’s been a much more fulfilling thing to do than continuing to make the same mistake, which I frankly haven’t looked at throughout my life with such clarity as I do now.

Therefore I wanted to share this because many times we only feel bad about making mistakes, we feel awful and that’s it, we believe we can let it go or ‘ask forgiveness’ and that’s it. But to me besides taking responsibility for myself – which is the process of forgiving myself -and everyone else that was affected by my actions or inactions, to also ensure that I discover what of myself was I suppressing that led me to create such mistake and so now instead of suppressing it, find a way to express it, to live it and so focus my attention and expression on doing just that.

This is also a point linked to facing addictions, which I’ve learned quite a bit about over the years but also been recently supported by and through Matti’s share on the topic here: Day 359: Addictive behaviors as an indicator of suppressed and underdeveloped self expression and here I share some perspectives on the matter as well.

We all have one, no matter how small or big, we might not even question these attitudes and treat them as addictions because we justify them, we see them as something that’s become an inevitable, natural part of ourselves. We only start questioning when shit hits the fan and we see ourselves in a moment or experience that we believe we were in control of and suddenly realize that we cannot really stop it or prevent ourselves from seeking more of it. That’s where I realize I have to in fact define a behavioral pattern as an addiction and as such, I have to understand and investigate who I am behind it.

One of the constant struggles with addiction is that we tend to place it as a very black and white process of having to ‘give up’ a part of ourselves like having to give up a certain thrill, excitement, buzz or any energetic experience that we are getting through our addictive behavioral pattern and that we have to simply cut it off and be left ‘without it.’ This is part of it sure, there is such decision to give it up upon realizing the consequences, the self that one is creating and recreating through acting these cravings for any experience out.

However there’s also something else that is opened up through identifying and understanding an addiction, and that is the redefinition, recreation and self-determination process that emerges when firmly deciding to change an aspect of ourselves for once and for all. And yes, to begin with, it will most likely involve no energy high or thrill, but certainly a new expression of ourselves can come through when deciding to redirect our effort, our diligence and commitment to ‘get the fix’ so to speak and instead put all of that into creating something that becomes supportive of our expression instead and that’s precisely the process of redefining ourselves from living out our minds to living life, to deciding to do something that is supportive instead.

In my case, my process of aligning myself once that I understood the creative process behind ‘the mistake’, allowed me to move on to solutions that became a much more liberating, fulfilling and enjoyable process than what I thought my ‘outlet’ or ‘fix’ was for a moment as the ‘alternative route’ for me to deal with certain aspects that I wasn’t admitting to myself. So, I’m quite grateful as well for the support all around from people that have walked through addictions and have redirected their expression to precisely express and create themselves in a supportive manner, because sometimes we take the quick way out to get a fix, believing it is a liberating experience but it is not, the only real liberation process comes through understanding what is it that we want to truly live, express and fulfill or satisfy within ourselves and what can we do to create that in a supportive manner.

To me it also became relevant to remind myself of how I can affect others at the same time, so as to not be so self-centered when it comes to focusing on getting ‘what I want’ and in that, affect others by doing so, but instead regard doing onto others as I’d like to be done onto. But at the same time, I’ve realized how there are things that I might have only been able to see once that the consequence was created, and that might be so for certain things that we create in our lives, it’s not the suggested or preferred way, but also to not vilify or beat myself for it – but rather understanding and why not embracing mistakes as part of getting to know an aspect of me that I was hiding from myself and that it was only through consequence that I was able to open it up and see it with clarity to acknowledge it and admit that there is a point where I abdicated my responsibility to self creation and so that becomes the way to sort things out at the same time.

Of course, what’s done is done and there’s no going back, but these situations remain a constant reminder with a sufficient impact on us to make sure we don’t make the same mistakes again and rather now apply the process of immediately getting to ask myself deeper questions to see what is it that this ‘mistake’ is reflecting about myself ,my life, my self-creation, my experience, and that becomes a much more supportive way to approach mistakes in general, to see it within a context of who I am in my past, present and future rather than just a ‘momentary loss of awareness’ or anything like that because to me that doesn’t really exist. We are all quite aware of everything we do, but that’s also a point of self-honesty to admit and acknowledge.

That’s another aspect to consider here how to move through mistakes, through addictive patterns or behaviors in a supportive way as a real recreation process, so that it’s not just avoiding the mistake or creating a sense of ‘quitting’ or ‘withdrawing’ from something, it’s a process of redefining our relationship to whatever we have defined as our addiction, our mistake, our ‘point of falling’ of any kind, because I’m sure we all face these in one way or another.

So, follow through and also share your perspectives on the Desteni Forum about it, so that more people can understand the relationship to these patterns that can wreak havoc in our lives if not addressed and understood properly.

 

If anything I am rather thankful for this mistake opening up in my reality so that I could address a very relevant aspect of self-creation, so as much as it can be hellish and yes consequential, if taken as an opportunity to address the problems, the suppressions, the ‘lacks’ then it becomes a real source of awareness to fulfill and satisfy ourselves in a supportive manner, which again it is part of creating our lives, of living life and facing ourselves in this process.

 

Thanks for reading

 

Supportive audios at Eqafe.com

Then, Now, and What’s to Come

Then, Now, and What’s to Come: Consequence and Creation

 Shame

 

Join us in our process of Self-Expression as LIFE


613. Understanding

 

This has been a keyword for myself over this year that’s closing today and I’ve found great satisfaction and even pleasure in getting to understand myself – and not only myself – but also get to know and understand others better. It makes everything much simpler and much more enriching and expansive to place myself in a position of unconditionally getting to know myself and others, getting to know more facts and details about each person that I’ve come to establish a relationship in one way or another throughout this year, which started with rekindling a relationship with myself after having placed myself in a ‘second position’ in my life for a while based on having focused too much on others or trying to change people in and through relationships.

This last point however is one that I have to constantly be aware of within me, which comes along with believing I can say something that can suddenly inspire others to be better or change things in their life. I noticed how this desire still comes through as ‘subtle suggestions’ that I believe would better people’s lives in one way or another. I had fun discussing about these things with someone that has had the same ‘weakness’ as I have when dealing with people or standing in a position of guidance or leadership, and the conclusion is that there is a need to let go whenever there’s this imperious need that comes like an urge to want to influence others or make them change their mind or just do things the way I do. It is ludicrous, I know, and not every person may experience this, but I’ve found people that go through this exact same ‘inner conflict’ at times to know when to step back, when to intervene, when to give a little push, when to open up something that is quite obvious to be talked about with another and the realization is that there is no magical formula for it.

It is and will be something that one can direct according to the person, who we are in relation to them, the nature of the relationship, how far we are able to walk with the person through a certain process and how involved are we in fact able to be within such process of assisting others in ways that are actually sustainable, without compromising one’s own life or maiming another’s growth and realizations. Ultimately what I see is that this also comes from a desire to prevent people from walking consequence, but I’ve also come to understand how for myself and probably for many more people, walking through consequence is at times a needed thing in order to learn things that we might not have gotten to understand unless we had walked down the ‘wrong’ path so to speak, so I had to understand this ability to make mistakes and learn from it as part of the learning and growing process.

To me it’s relevant to check out whenever I am stepping into the ‘savior syndrome’ or wanting to ‘change others’ as a primary focus in my life, and how that is also indicating that I am not focusing on myself sufficiently, which is why I go focusing more in others’ lives in an attempt to provide ‘guidance’ or ‘support,’ but as I’ve been there and done that many times, I can’t base my whole life in being ‘that’ for others, because it leads to bitterness and dissatisfaction. I’ve also come to understand my role is to live myself to the best and fullest I can and stop trying to diminish myself and my existence to be ‘there for others’ all the time.

More so than before, I am realizing how each one has a very specific path to walk and that it doesn’t really require my direct intervention on it – yep! As far fetched as it may sound some of us have this idea that we have to be constantly ‘intervening’ in things and people’s lives if they are any close to us to ‘change them for the better,’ which is quite the impossible savior task that I definitely have to let go of. I’ve instead come to understand how this is simply a more natural process that opens up based on being part of someone’s life and process – but, it’s not something that I have to deliberately go finding or seeking to do either.

I used to be existing within this almost anxious state of being of having to constantly be correcting, suggesting things for others to be changed or wanting to save them in whichever way I came to be aware of. As I was discussing this with a friend of mine recently, I realized how it is still quite a thing for me to let go of, that urge and need to tell others that they are messing up their life if they continue to do this/that or question their detrimental habits and ways in an attempt to make them think about themselves and their lives a bit further.

So, a point that I have to continue working on is letting go of this need to ‘create an impact’ on others and deliberately seeking to do that, and instead focus on creating myself, focusing on being that very person that I’d like to become as an example and inspiration for others to consider what living a life in a supportive manner means. Therefore this is the end of the preacher and converter for a better life and instead get fully into working on myself. Sure, I can give feedback and support if asked for it, but I will continue to watch out whenever I feel an urge or ‘need’ to change someone’s life with my words or actions.

This is all to me part of my process of understanding myself, understanding my design, my needs and experiences in order to now let others be, let others walk the path they decide to walk and simply be here when and if people ever want to ask and know more about myself or different ways of living – and if it never happens, that’s ok too. Actions speak louder than words and that’s what I want to focus on: living words and that’s where I meet with myself, instead of trying to find myself through having an impact or influencing others in their own life.

Here’s to the closure of a life changing year where my world was flipped upside down in various ways and where I decided to mark the beginning of the new me, the creation of myself and this point explained here is a key stepping stone in this new phase in my life.

Thanks for reading and walking with

 

Understanding

 

Join us in our process of Self-Expression as LIFE


612. Self Appreciation and Self Acceptance

 

One of the gifts from walking through the specifics to see what is behind the pattern of assuming and projecting what I am thinking and experiencing onto others is being able to see what I am still thinking, perceiving or believing about myself. The overall character within these assumptions has to do with ideas of me not being good enough for certain standards that I believe others have upon me, not being able to fully embrace me and particularly my creations and instead cowering up and preferring to not show anything because of still giving into all of these ideas of others being able to determine how good or bad something that I do is.

This is so particularly in the realm of showing artworks, and it’s similar to what other people that perform would experience as stage fright, that moment where one fears what others will say, how it will be criticized, judged, but never realizing all of that is self-created, it exists within me as all the thoughts, judgments, beliefs, ideals I’ve imposed onto what I create.

It has taken me some time to start breaking through it, and it also required this point of inner conflict for me to see to what extent I was holding myself captive with these beliefs about it. I also knew that just writing about it won’t sort it out, because I understand in theory what self acceptance is, what embracing myself means – but in terms of doing and living that in relation to my art, it had to do with actually taking the steps to show it. Art is meant to be seen and shown – yeah some people might say it’s not true, but here I focus on my current relationship to it – it’s a visual thing, it’s something that’s meant to be shown and so by preventing me from showing paintings for example, I had to confront the truth of why I wasn’t doing so, and that has to do with insecurities, ideas of my stuff not being good enough or creative enough or expressive enough – interestingly enough doing this within the realm that has very subjective and movable standards though.

This year has marked the return to creating art in general and that means painting for me, and walking through the plethora of judgments that I had imposed onto the process of creativity over years which led me to stop and give up on it for some time, holding a conflictive relationship with it all because of the judgments, the limitation, the standards, the ideas I projected about ‘how it must look’ and also trying to please people with it, within the consideration of also being able to sell it.

That’s a whole different point as well though where you have to make stuff that others can like in a particular market, but I’m sure that there can be different kinds of people for different kinds of expressions, which means that the real problem isn’t about ‘having others liking it to buy it,’ but it still had to do with me being able to embrace my creations.

I’ve spent many hours listening to creative individuals, mostly movie directors and artists that have gotten to a point of success because of standing behind their creations, completely embracing them as themselves, ‘sticking to their gut’ as they say and with that being able to persevere, not give up, embrace their mistakes and not be afraid of showing their creations to the world even if to them were ‘aberrations’ at first. I laughed at myself a few times while listening to them, it assisted a lot to know how it’s not easy to embrace something you create even for very successful people in the business and how everyone goes through this trial and error and dissatisfaction phase – even in a constant manner throughout their career – with their creations and how all that it requires is to keep at it, to keep moving, to keep testing.

Something I did differently this time around is to not say ‘no’ to doing commercial paintings involving themes I would have ‘never’ dared to paint before because of thinking it would go against my personal preferences. However it is through having said ‘yes’ to those things I resisted doing that I started breaking through some of my core limitations when it comes to creation and self-beliefs, which has been quite supportive.

Also on the practical realm, it assists with practicing stuff, being able to test out techniques and ways of painting I’ve never done because I had always only done ‘stuff I like’ which I’ve been able to still do and test out, but I’ve been mostly spending my time with fixed commissions which has assisted me to get comfortable and back into the practice, into the actual ‘doing’ that painting entails.

As part of walking the process of correction for these fears of judgments and comparison, I decided to start sharing and posting my paintings online on my Instagram page, because I had refrained myself from doing so throughout most of the year, so now I’m sharing some of the ones I made this year.

It is now the moment for me to test who I am within sharing: am I looking for recognition? Am I looking to be accepted by others or have positive feedback from others? And in that I decide to make it about sharing, unconditionally showing because that’s the key point I had been struggling with, showing my stuff. And yes it’s crazy because as simple as it can be for many to share stuff on Instagram or Facebook, to me it’s become a source of nervousness that I have to step into and simply direct myself to share and walk through the nervousness and insecurity in a moment before posting and then it’s done, it’s out in the open.

I realize that I have to continue developing the habit of sharing and walking through those moments that to me feel like taking ‘leaps of faith’ where all that exists is trusting me, being able to stand behind my work and let go of ‘what ifs’, it’s there, nothing more and nothing less. 

So the overall outcome of this is realizing how I can only be the one that can stop me from creating judgments, standards, ideas or beliefs of how something must look, I simply have to be there every step of the way it takes to create something and that then becomes the accumulation of me being able to stand behind my creation in whichever way it results.

This reminds me of how unconditional I used to be when it came to art creation before, I was unable to destroy or get rid of anything that wasn’t ‘good enough’ because I understood it as part of my creation process, a part of me. That might sound a bit ‘too much’ but in principle it assisted me to be much more unconditional when it comes to sharing/showing my stuff, I didn’t hold a ‘high regard’ on it or anything, I had no standards and that’s what I want to go back to again.

I also recognize how preposterous it is to compare ourselves to someone else’s expression. I definitely agree how the process of comparison is one main distractor that keeps us from genuinely focusing on our own expression, weaknesses, talents, strengths and the rest of it.  So this is an active process for me, it’s probably one of the most ingrained things along with judgment, and that means that I also have to realize that what I do as art or creativity is not all that I am as a person, it’s a part, an expression – but at the same time realizing there’s much more to share, give and express as myself beyond creative expressions, which to me has a lot to do with being able to share, coexist with others and that’s basically one of the points where this self-acceptance and embracing myself has become a more settled aspect of me, and getting to enjoy that individuality that I represent, just like anyone else does.

So I have to essentially apply the same process to my creative process and results thereof, where I have to be the first one that has to stop nullifying myself by fearing showing myself to others in whichever form or way. What’s the worst that can happen?  If any criticism, judgments, dislikes come my way, that’s then a cool aspect for me to face and confront in my life, which would only allow me to know where I am still fearing to not have a ‘spot’ in someone’s preferences, where I still as a weakness, where I am still defining myself based on others’ preferences or judgments or where I would be measuring myself only according to certain traits or characteristics and diminishing myself to only that one aspect, while neglecting the rest of the person that I am.

What I mean is that it is also totally possible that even if we embrace our creations and stand by them, If we want to make a business out of it and people are simply not buying it, it doesn’t mean that everything I am is ‘lost’ or ‘a failure’ either. It would mean that I have to keep testing out ways to see what works with others in terms of selling it. And if not, I also realize this is not the one and only thing I’m able and willing to do in my life, so in this it also points out where I have to expand my horizons and not get fixated only in the idea of ‘having to be a selling artist’ in order to survive and develop myself in this world. This is something I’ve also been considering and yes, it exists as a point of awareness and consideration, yet in practicality for now, I am dedicating myself to it, because it is only through doing this that I can face many points I had neglected to look at before because of fears.

This is also how I’ve been able to stop judging doing artworks as something ‘menial’ or ‘unimportant’ for the world, because I stopped wanting to save the world or change other people’s lives. I want to focus on developing myself in whichever shape or form I can when it comes to art, relationships, work and in relation to how I interact with other people in my reality and see where I can give the most of myself, where I can contribute the most to make something work or be taken to the next step of functionality and success.

That’s also been a major shift for a while in my life, which in turn doesn’t mean I become inconsiderate towards the world or others, it simply means I stop neglecting my life, my creation, my potential and instead of trying to sort ‘everything and everyone else out’, I now focus on creating and developing myself, because through doing that and being the best for me, I am best for all at the same time.

So, I’ll keep focusing on these aspects in my day to day

I recommend listening to these series which was also supportive to walk through these points of comparison and stepping into self-creation and self-acceptance in it.

Monsters Born From Comparison

Stopping the Comparison Monster

 

Self Acceptance

Join us in our process of Self-Expression as LIFE


611. Assuming What Others Are Experiencing

 

I’ve written a couple of blogs about assuming and how I have to take a breath, and slow down whenever I see myself doing this, but the reality is that stopping is not the only solution because there is a righteousness veil within considering that ‘I know that what I’m seeing, perceiving, sensing is right’ as in ‘I have a right to keep assuming/thinking that this is really happening.’ Righteousness is one of those lockdown experiences and self-beliefs where we become tough-heads and don’t take a moment to question what is it that we are really defining as real, as truth, as ‘how things are,’ which is what usually leads to assuming and within that projecting onto others what we believe ‘they’ are going through, not realizing that we are in fact the source of such assumptions.

I have found it actually entertaining to see how is it that whatever I assume a person ‘is like’ becomes completely debunked once that I get to talk to them more or get to actually have a moment to see how they express and share themselves beyond just me seeing them ‘from afar’ so to speak. I had this recently with a couple of people that I had perceived that ‘they didn’t seem to like me that much’ just because they weren’t as ‘expressive’ or ‘friendly’ in my definition of how I express friendliness, also considered that when comparing them to others in their midst in terms of being talkative or interacting in a more extroverted way.

Though, once that I had an opportunity to actually talk to them, things were quite different and I got to see how they are simply a different kind of person – lol –  in that they might not be a boisterous and sociable as others, they just like to share in a more calm, cool and collected manner, or have more specific conversations rather than relating to people in the midst of a group.  In that I also realized how much I tend to from the get go still judge certain people based on just observing them, trying to ‘label’ them as a certain kind of person without having any actual moment of interaction, but more assessing ‘who they are’ for example in the context of a larger group of people, which at times can be limiting for certain people that feel more open and comfortable when being in one on one interactions, rather than on a casual/social context.

I’ve found that assumption comes as a desire to control, a desire to believe that ‘I know’ what I am dealing with when it comes to being with people or certain environments, certain activities, it’s like this ‘crutch’ that I believe I need in order to ‘know where I stand’ or ‘know what I’m dealing with.’ But, for the most part I’ve seen how this has fueled a lot of judgments towards others and it’s become a preposterous limitation because even when I am creating a seemingly ‘positive label’ towards another, then anything that they do that doesn’t match such assumption of ‘who they are’ within this ‘positive light’ I project upon them, then it creates a noise within me where I then tend to get disillusioned or disappointed about such person, without realizing that ‘Hey! I created these parameters, labels and definitions of ‘who they are’ as judgments all by myself! So, how can I be disappointed about someone’s actions or words based on me being the one that created such idea of ‘who they ‘entirely’ are’?

I’ve observed how assumption is born out of lack of actually communicating, interacting and understanding the person in any given moment or situation, which means at the same time that I am thinking more ‘up there’ in my head making conclusions about ‘who they are’ and ‘who am I’ in relation to them instead of actually getting to know a person, ask questions, establish communication wherein I can get to know and understand others better. I definitely enjoy asking questions, getting to know another, but this is not necessarily so easy to do with people you’ve just seen a couple of times or just met, which is where I see my inner experience towards them being rife with assumptions and a point that I have to remind myself next time I’m in the presence of people I’ve never been with in my life. I’ve also been realizing how much time it actually gets for some people to open up about things, and within that I have to understand that I might approach things in a more direct or immediate way, but not everyone’s like that.

I saw this with how one of these people I had assumed ‘didn’t like me as much’ opened up only after months of being around their midst, and completely turned around my prejudices only to show me and remind me how quick I am to jump into conclusions and project an idea I create – judge – others for and place them into these cookie cutter ideas that are only in my head… definitely relevant for me to remain present, to rather ask and be direct in my interactions and communication, while also considering the time it takes to develop such communication with others.

On another line of assumption, I’ve also seen how the negative assumptions I’ve created about someone’s experience or ‘state of being’ in a moment is definitely a cool mirror I can use for myself. An example is how I can assume that someone is irritated about something, that they are displeased or just not feeling as their usual ‘stable self’ and in that, I noticed I went into the experience of ‘there’s something bothering them, annoying them, they are not being their usual cool self so what’s bothering them?’ And the next step went into believing that it’s me/my presence that might be bothering them, or whether I did something wrong. That’s an example of a moment where I allowed myself to go into a reaction based on what I believed I was perceiving and let it fester for a some hours until I simply had to ‘let it out’ in the open and discuss it, but I missed taking the point back to self first to see how I am projecting my own self doubt, self-judgment or inadequacies onto another and believing ‘that’s their experience,’ when in fact it was entirely first of all related to something I had to look at within myself first.

Therefore there’s two things I am practicing to do: first, take the point back to self, seeing how I am reacting to Assuming someone else is reacting or experiencing themselves in a particular way or are a certain ‘kind of person.’. Say I react in insecurity when seeing someone feeling ‘off’ or ‘bothered’ or ‘annoyed’ – I have to first look at where am I actually feeling annoyed, off or bothered by seeing, perceiving a change in another and how I am then reacting to the assumptions I’m creating in my own mind, making me then go into an emotional experience about my assumptions, and that definitely doesn’t assist in actually getting to know what the source of this change is all about starting with myself.

Second point is to work with my assumptions, to see what is bothering me, what I feared losing, what I was desiring as an experience or outcome in something and that usually leads me to see where I become bothered or irritated myself, so that I can take responsibility for those expectations and calm myself down about it, which happens when I acknowledge my own experience as my own creation.

Third point is to actually communicate about it once I am settled and have worked through it within myself, even if it’s not in a thorough manner but once I can notice I’m more grounded and not ‘taken over’ by a reaction, I can ask the person if there’s something going on, if there’s a change in how they experience themselves, or simply share how I’m perceiving this/that experience in their voice tonality or in their presence.

Now doing this comes with being unconditional about it, not expecting to ratify what I was perceiving, not expecting the person to even open up entirely about the situation, but simply sharing and expressing what I was seeing and experiencing, maybe even share what I saw and how I worked with it myself and now simply opening up to see if there’s anything that the other person could reflect back on.

 Being unconditional within communicating about things after I’ve cleared my own assumptions means also being OK and embracing if the person is actually going through reactions or experiences that they would rather not speak about or have to first deal with themselves. That’s part of me applying understanding in how I cannot expect someone to ‘share it all’ and ‘have it all sorted’ in one go – each one of us deals with experiences in different ways, and I have to embrace that, remind myself of that each time that I am even slightly expecting ‘another’ to say or do things a particular way that resembles ‘how I do things.’ That’s where within living the word understanding it means embracing and accepting different people in how they deal with their points, walk their lives and experiences.

Another aspect of understanding and being unconditional when communicating about points that were noticed, perceived or assumed about a person or situation is not taking it personal if another in fact is going through an experience based on a situation we are directly involved in – or something we did or say – it’s about placing myself in the shoes of another and be able to understand how these experiences can emerge in them, and use that to get to know them better, which is actually quite cool and supportive for me because I enjoy getting to know people at deeper levels, it’s just like that kind of nutritional value or richness that opens up when one is able to learn more about another at deeper levels, I thoroughly enjoy it even if that means that the person is actually having to go through some difficult points at times, I then get to know or understand more about them, and that’s very cool and something that can only unfold through communication.

A funny one is where I perceived one guy to be sort of timid or shy with playing an instrument, and kind of feeling uncertain to move too much – compared to how others do it – and yesterday I told him ‘hey! I noticed you are getting more loose and at ease with yourself, being more playful in your expression’ and he explained how he had always been that way, it’s just that the other instrument he was playing was too heavy for him to do that kind of stuff, so his movements were limited – but this time he was playing a lighter one so could move around with ease. Lol, again I had to laugh at my own assumption of ‘how the person is’ and not considering physical reality contexts that sometimes yes, limit one’s expression in very real ways.

Another example of assuming things and not considering physical reality limitations is when believing or perceiving that someone is in an emotional reaction and not really getting to know that they are in fact going through the initial stages of an illness or are in physical pain. So in my mind I went too far into making all kinds of ideas and theories as to why someone is seeming ‘off’ in a certain moment, yet not really asking about it directly to know more about what’s going on or what’s really ‘off’ in them? So in this case again, clarity and awareness of what’s really going on only happened through communication and go to know that yes, the person was having a low in their physical body, which is something I had not considered at all.

Of course this process of asking and getting to know more about what one is perceiving about something or someone in a situation is more plausible with closer relationships, but it can also be a way to get to know another more whenever we clearly notice there’s something going on with them, while also making sure that I’m clear in my starting point and being willing to assist now that I’m deciding to take that step further into opening up a point with another.

These are some of the recent examples I’ve faced when it comes to assuming and projecting onto others my own judgments or experiences, and overall it has become a humbling process that reminds me how I have to stop myself on my track whenever I am jumping into assuming what another is going through, and if I am close with the person then communicate about it, share, because that then leads to getting to know and so understand someone much better. But, there are also those times when I might not get as much ‘info’ on it, and that’s ok to, I have to also be considerate and so understanding if someone would not want to share all of their details and experience about something.

The word that comes up is how demanding or exigent I can become with ‘wanting to know’ all the details there are to something or someone’s experience, and that is also then like mind-thirst that I have to moderate, because as much as I can be naturally curious, I also sometimes go a bit overboard in asking people questions about themselves and their lives, and not everyone is open and willing to do that… I can try, but definitely have to also get to hear more who they are within what they are willing to share, rather than going straight into ‘deep stuff’ from the get go. This is a side point to assuming because I’ve also at times created ideas of ‘the life that someone has gone through’ which leads me to ask questions about themselves, their personal lives in order to verify ‘my assumptions’ and well, that’s not entirely cool if the other person is really not willing to ‘go there’ when it comes to sharing. To sum up: I have to step out of being an ‘analyst’ all the time and instead be more unconditional within the time and interactions I get to have with others!

So, the words that have assisted me to walk through this is understanding, both to understand my own reactions and experiences upon assuming something – and understanding another based on actually communicating what I am seeing, perceiving and within that debunking the myths and beliefs about it to then get to a solid ground of what’s really going on, which to me is an awesome thing to do, it creates clarity within reality, which to me leads me to stop theorizing too much about things, and stick to the facts,.

I also recommend checking out this recording released through Eqafe.com which may seem like not related to this at all, but it was actually supportive to hear how someone else is dealing with perceptions he can have about others in his life and how to ground them practically in reality, because of all of the reasons described above with approaching someone and opening up about something one might perceive they are going through or experiencing. So I can take that practical explanation to my process here with assumptions and perceptions as well, check it out!  Developing Sensory Abilities – The Quantum Mechanics of Paranormal Events – Part 51

And Cerise also made a cool vlog about it which became a cross-reference to the points I’ve been looking at for quite some time now, so check it out as well Projecting Makes an Ass of Me

I’ll continue with the points that have been revealed about myself when going into these moments of assuming things, because that’s where there are some ‘ingrained fibers’ of my personalities and experiencing coming through that I definitely need to work with.

Thanks for reading 🙂

 

 Assumption

   

Join us in our process of Self-Expression as LIFE


610. The Mirror Process: Changing How I Look at Myself and Others

 

I watched a couple of videos from SOUL about the mirror process which is based on how we tend to judge, compare ourselves to other people based on certain appearances and expression that we judge as being better than our own or us lacking what we see in others, and I could relate a lot to what Sunette explained based on her own experience related to this.

What I recently found is that even if I thought I had worked through this kind of physical appearance self judgment, I definitely faced new aspects of it based on how I related in an instant to a certain woman that I got to meet and how intense this reaction was which certainly too me aback, shifting the way that I experienced myself in one single moment from being the regular comfortable self to suddenly feeling super heavy, stifled and generally tense where I could feel that any smile that I was able to muster in that moment was mostly coming out of the politics of meeting someone for the first time, but I knew that I wasn’t myself in that moment, I knew that I was in fact experiencing a mini-possession that was entirely based on how I defined someone’s appearance to be ‘everything that I am not’ as the ‘opposite’ of myself and regarding that appearance and expression as the epitome of being a graceful, beautiful and feminine woman.

Now, this is about experiencing jealousy and envy based on thinking and perceiving in my head that ‘this is what a female should look like’ and in that by default going back to assuming, thinking and perceiving that I’m not that, I’m not good looking enough, that I don’t have such fine-toned and perfectly shaped body – which I’ve defined as a tiny/small body structure and slim body – and how I immediately got a bit impressed by how this person would have a smile on their face and almost radiating such graceful expression that I judged as overwhelming or ‘too much for my taste,’ which mostly has to do with being intimidated by such ability that some people have to appear almost radiant to my eyes and my perception, almost like beaming with joy or happiness or simple grace that turns it all into an elusive expression for me.

This is also because of how I had previously judged that kind of people in my past and had not entirely resolved my judgments, which led me to see those expressions as fake or not genuine, etc. But! I later on found how these were my ‘defense mechanisms’ to make another ‘less than me’ and project and define all these negative associations to immediately ‘protect’ me from looking back at myself as the origin of every single one of these definitions, assumptions and judgments that I had concocted in a matter of minutes that such interaction lasted, and that was enough for me to have to take care of this whole stifling reaction within me based on appearances, judgments, ideals, projections that led me to feel insecure, less than, seeing myself as totally incapable of ‘ever being someone like that’ which I’ll be sharing how I’ve been walking through this in order to ground each aspect back to reality.

So what I had to do was to first understand and remind myself that every single judgment, idea, perception and experience was a creation of my own, and that I had to realize that whenever I am going into this insta-comparison towards other women based on appearances it means that there are points where I have yet to work on embracing my own physical body as is, my own bone structure, physical form, shape, weight and general appearance as is, because there is no way we can ever change how those essential aspects of our body look like, and no matter how much we would ‘like’ to look in a particular way, it’s physically impossible to do so – and instead the question would be what am I imagining, perceiving or thinking that I would ‘feel’ or ‘express’ differently if I had certain shape or form in my physical body, with a particular skin type or color of eyes or hair and overall looks? And why would I create such scenario within me to create a conflict within me as a hypothetical situation that is not realistic at all?

If I answer that then I would feel more comfortable, graceful and joyful in my expression, then I can already see where am I not living those words as myself because of believing that ‘It doesn’t suit my physical body’ or ‘I am not beautiful enough to express myself like that’ or ‘I am not fit enough to wear such clothes’ and so forth.

Here it’s also convenient to say how I’ve learned a lot from other people walking similar processes in their own lives and bodies and how I’ve taken note of many aspects they’ve shared in relation to appreciating their body, there’s Matti who has shared and walked this point as well as Anna Brix, she has been very open in walking her process to embrace her physical body and I suggest checking them out to see how they walked their points.

I realized that I also have to learn to appreciate seeing certain types of people and acknowledge when they are in fact appearing as beautiful to me or others. This applies to both males and females and see it for what they are, when people have a particular physiognomy that one can regard as beautiful and see it for what it is, a pleasing aesthetic experience. Though in this, also not to reduce the entirety of a person to an aesthetic experience, this doesn’t mean that I have to ‘be that’ or ‘look like that’ in order to be ‘pleasing’ to my eyes or others’ eyes. This is about changing who I am behind how I decide to look at myself and others.

That’s where the point of change comes in as well where I am the one that has to change how I relate to people at first sight, from remaining at a very superficial level of seeing shapes and colors and forms and defining them as beautiful or not – or whether I acknowledge that as the ‘first impression’ that it is and move towards getting to know the person and see who they are as an individual, rather than going away with that first judgment of ‘oh they are beautiful, they are so graceful and joyful, I am not any of that’ and immediately going into an inferiority and self-diminishing position that I created in my own mind and so making it a limiting experience for myself, because it prevents me from actually getting to know the person.

So I had to take a moment to write this situation out and write all the self-forgiveness related to every single judgment, belief, fear, desire, perception that I created that led me to have such an overwhelming reaction to seeing this person for the first time and also ‘caging’ the person in a particular ‘type of person’ that I would not regularly decide to approach or relate to in my life based on the sense of inferiority I would create myself when in the presence of someone that looks and behaves in a similar way, which I turned into negative judgments as a way to see myself ‘above’ that – that’s another mind-construct there that I had to understand in order to see how I perpetuate this inferiority and superiority based on my own judgments and perceptions, and forgive myself for that.

I’ve realized within this all how I am the one that is perpetuating this kind of appearance-judgments in my own mind and how I activate them in an almost instant manner where I am constantly assessing ‘where I stand’ in comparison to other females in my environment, especially related as well to females and fear of loss when it comes to relationships at the same time, where I then fear that my partner would ‘prefer a certain kind/type of body’ and that I am ‘not that for them’ and in doing so, create a plethora of ideas, beliefs, imaginations that I create solely on assuming that ‘I am not perfect enough in my physical body, I am not that pretty, I am not that feminine, I am not that graceful’ based on a comparison made towards another female that I judged to be embodying that in their expression, and assuming that ‘that is more desirable for a man’.

So, how I proceeded to assist me to walk this point is writing all of these judgments out and self forgive them one by one, so that I could see and understand I was the only one that decided to make myself inferior and so uncomfortable in the presence of another human being. I knew that I would not be ‘okay’ within myself until I could walk through this point and actually face the person at least a second time to test out my living corrections, which I got to do and actually get to interact with them for more than 5 minutes – lol – and focus on easing myself in my body, being comfortable and embracing who I am in my body and in my expression in the moment – that means stopping any judgments in my mind.

What did that practically entail? I had to decide to get the idea of me having to ‘be like her’ out of my mind. I had to remind myself of my individual expression which comes in the shape, form and type of body that I have, the face that I have, the weight that I have, the bone structure that I have, the color of eyes, hair and type of skin that I have and that in no way could I keep tormenting myself with aspiring to ‘look like’ another person in any way. It would be like a certain kind/type of tree wanting to become another kind of tree, namely a pine wanting to be like a palm – that is the basic analogy I can remind myself of whenever I am going into this body/appearance comparison, which means I have to embrace me being this particular type and kind of body that I have which I have been aware I can embrace and enjoy as myself and how I can be particularly fine within me and my expression whenever I am not desiring to be someone completely different in order to fulfill an idea or belief of ‘what I would prefer to look like,’ which is again, based on my own limitations of what I’ve defined as beautiful or aesthetically pleasing.

So the real change takes place when I stop focusing on judging myself, my looks, my demeanor ‘when compared to’ other females that I’ve particularly defined as more gentle, feminine and graceful. This also means that I had to instead look at how am I living those words in my own way already or where I can expand my expression and embrace ways of expressing that I’ve suppressed because of thinking that it looks ‘fake’ or not genuine’ – not realizing that I am the only one that knows ‘who I am’ behind any smile, any expression through voice tonality, gestures and words. That’s my self-honesty point and within this, I saw that I am expressing such femininity in my own particular way already and how I simply have to let go of expressing a particular ‘form’ or ‘idea’ of femininity linked to a particular physical appearance that I have defined as ‘more feminine’ that my own, which means: I can embody femininity in my own particular way.

Same with joy, I am aware how I can express joy in a boundless manner yet in a different way than if compared to that particular person in such moment, which means that, of course! I’d always be setting up myself for ‘failure’ whenever I start comparing myself to anyone else for that matter based on how I am living certain words and how they are living certain words or aspects within themselves. This is an interesting trick we create in our minds where we are always setting up ourselves to feel ‘less than’ when trying to ‘have exactly the same’ that others have, instead of simply focusing on what we are/have and seeing what we can develop within ourselves, within our own particular body and expression, because that’s ultimately what individuality is all about, not attempting to ‘be just like someone else’ in form, shape and expression, but learn to see others as sources of words and expressions that we can mirror back to ourselves to see what can I learn from them? How can I express such words in my own body and living experience?

An example is how based on how I had judged similar ‘kinds of people’ in the past, I got to experience my own backlash in that moment based on how I had defined me as not being able to be ‘genuinely’ expressing myself in a joyous and graceful manner without ‘faking’ it a bit – but I’ve realized that it all has to do with how I decide to stand in relation to particular words and expressions and how I had for the most part judged such expressions as ‘fake’ based on my own perceived inability to express them myself. But, once that I got to see how I can in fact enjoy and express myself and how I can relate to people, I can see that I am already being quite comfortable and joyful in my expression, it simply won’t be expressed ‘the same way’ as I can see it in other people, and that’s OK lol.

It’s astounding how much we can keep ourselves stuck in our heads trying to be like/look like ‘somebody else’ which is a pointless thing to do or even attempt; although yes some do go to that point with all current surgeries and stuff like that and I’m not judging it, because now I understand how far we can take ourselves to do something like that to ‘look the same’ as someone else and how it is all driven by an idea, belief or perception of how we think we will FEEL about ourselves IF having this/that physical appearance, while in fact it all exists within ourselves.

We each have the power to decide how we feel, experience and express ourselves within our one and only physical body that I definitely have to, for once and for all, stop seeing as an image presentation that can be ‘compared’ to others, and start acknowledging it as the marvel of life it in fact is, where the skin and structure of the body is only a part of it, yet there’s so much more to this that we are that enables us to live and not only in a ‘basic vital’ manner, it enables us to have the ability to embody/live and express words, actions, decisions, intentions and creations.

That’s how I want to establish my relationship with my physical body, not to cage it or define it in a particular form, shape, color, weight, bone structure or skin type, but seeing it as the actual breathing body of life that I am embodying in order to give myself the opportunity to actually live in it/as it, which means, stopping for once and for all perpetuating the judgments, the comparisons, the envy and jealousy towards other bodies and their appearance and instead focus on seeing me as the life that I can express and live every single moment of every day.

This sounds easy as a solution, but the actual challenging part is to physically change my experience, my expression in those moments where comparison and envy are rearing their head within me and remind myself every single time of the decision to focus on myself as a person that lives and expresses, to expand from the limited immediate definitions and judgments based on what I immediately see through my eyes and go one step further to generate interest and consideration to see what other people are all about, getting to know them, talk to them without being comparing myself to them every single moment. This is the challenging part, but in the situation that I’ve shared here I realized that ‘the next day’ after I had processed a lot of these points through writing, I was able to change my behavior towards that person and be more at ease. This resonant or personality of ‘inferiority’ experience wasn’t completely diffused/gone in that moment, but it definitely was quite a change from feeling heavy, stuck, stifled towards the other person to a more flowy and expressive self which is more like ‘me’ on a regular basis.

What I’ve found in terms of these points that I’ve faced with both males and females is that we tend to essentially make everything that we see as a potential expression within ourselves a source of desire, which is why towards males it led me to ‘desire them’ as in experiencing attraction – which is something I’ve walked in detail at the beginning of this year as well – or towards females in the form of jealousy, envy and comparison, which is more related to wanting to ‘be like them/look like them’ so that ultimately I could be liked/desired/wanted by males the same way I assume/perceive that other males would find them attractive. But, who is in fact defining all of this? I am! Therefore that means that I can change who I am in relation to seeing males and females and comparing myself to other beings in the form of ‘lack’ or ‘desire’ and instead move into seeing: What can I learn from them? How can I expand my own expression and life by integrating a word/living action that I see they are living in their own lives?

So, just as I did with males and instead of seeing them as ‘objects of desire’ because of particular words and expressions they portray, I can do the same with women where instead of immediately seeing myself as either ‘more’ or ‘less than’ someone based on judgments, ideas or perceptions – no matter how subtle or overwhelming – I can always take the point back to myself, work through my emotional reactions towards it, understand them as my creation and originating from me – not anything or anyone else, not society, not stereotypes but my own mind and judgments – and within that rather learning to see, embrace and appreciate someone else for the totality of who they are.

There are times where people tend to say that we have to only focus on what’s ‘in the inside’ and nevermind the outside, but I consider that’s also diminishing or relegating the physical body to a ‘lesser’ stance. It makes one push aside the image factor and make it ‘less than’ the actions, words and expressions that a person represents, instead of seeing a person as the totality of who they are as a body, mind, expression as a whole, no need to make one aspect more than the other. It really all boils down to how I relate to myself and my physical body, whether I am still living in judgment towards myself or whether I am more focusing on living me, living in the flesh/body that I am and using it – for a lack of a better word – to live and express the person that I am in the process of creating as myself.

By doing so, I learn to see people as an expression of their individual and particular body, mind and being and see them as sources of inspiration – when it applies – to see what expressions I am admiring, liking or enjoying in them that I can see I can integrate or incorporate into my own life and day to day experience. That makes me see people as equals, as living bodies that I can always learn from in one way or another, that I can get to know and understand rather than keeping myself at a very limited experience of judging certain appearances and expressions, go into an emotional experience of ‘lacking that’ or ‘desiring that’ and separating myself from that person… yep, that’s not the way to go here.

I also acknowledge that as much as I got taken over by this experience, I also I had the diligence to work on it as soon as I was able to, because I could not be ok within myself and my physical experience based on that reaction, so that’s also based on how I am living that honor and regard towards myself as a living being that understands how stiffing, uncomfortable and generally destructive it is to remain in that kind of reaction and separation towards another human being. And it was sincerely a relief to test my own decision to see them as a person – rather than a source of qualities ‘I don’t possess’ – and relate to the person in a very different manner.

Of course there’s much more to learn and change myself when it comes to seeing these ‘resonant symbols’ as women particularly that I have tended to compare myself to for most of my life, and in that remind myself of the basic steps I’ve shared in this blog related to recognizing, appreciating and embracing individual’s expressions in the totality of who they are, getting to know them – if the opportunity arises – and rather using those moments whenever I am seeing I am about to get possessed by the comparison-judgment reaction into a reminder of embracing me, which implies understanding that equality also means embracing each one’s particular and unique bodies, expressions and living experiences as they are, starting with my own.

Thanks for reading and check these SOUL videos out to understand more about the mirror process for yourself:

The Mirror Process

The Mirror Practice – Part 2

  

Self-Honesty

Join us in our process of Self-Expression as LIFE


609. Courage in Self-Expression

 

I want to share about the ways in which I’ve been opening up to a new understanding of what ‘living’ is about and letting go of a stifling rigidity that I’ve kept within an idea of what I like, enjoy, the kind of person I, what I dislike, what I’m supposed to be and do and I’ve been seeing how limiting all of that has been when confronted with new people, new ways of living, behaving, talking, expressing in day to day living – and of course also related to arts and music.

Well, it’s no mystery that a lot of my life is influenced by fellow creative people, especially when they are the kind that represent a joyful expression which to me contains a pinch of innocence, they seem to be ‘boundless’ and without a care so to speak in terms of how other people might see them, perceive them – in essence being carefree in their expression, not holding themselves back with ‘second thoughts’ or ‘what others will think of them,’ and to me that’s quite a precious quality in ourselves as human beings.

I recently learned from an interesting explanation about The Jonah Complex and the Fear of Greatness how we fear being different, we fear truly expressing ourselves, we want to conform and ‘blend in’ because we fear ‘standing alone’ in our own ways of being, essentially daring to be unique and so start fearing ‘to exist’ which means to emerge, appear, stand out and this eventually creating a ‘fear of life’ or fear of living, where we don’t want to be our own creators, we don’t want to achieve our greatness – which I read more as in creating our living potential – because that would mean changing, that would mean standing outside of our comfort zone, that means doing the actual work it means to create our individuality and own our creation. Yep, that’s the paradoxical nature of ourselves as human beings in our own minds and can definitely prove that. 

I really enjoyed listening that explanation because throughout my life I’ve struggled in that polarity of realizing how much I could ‘stand out’ – which I’ve shared in a previous blog – yet because of caring too much about everyone’s feedback, I decided to step back, ‘cease to exist’ and seek for more ways to hide out, blend in, stand in the back/to not stand out, to remain limited and inevitably becoming and embodying that fear of truly standing out and being ‘me’ in whichever way I genuinely wanted and could be.  

I went through a phase of first rebelling against anything that I didn’t want to achieve based on what everyone else was doing, which still led me to a form of limitation and still defining myself based on ‘not doing what everyone else is doing’ – which is the whole antagonistic personality I’ve shared a lot about in this blog before. But, I hadn’t really stepped outside of the paradigm to genuinely ask myself: what do I want to live? What do I genuinely enjoy? What do I want to create regardless of the ‘kind of person’ I think I am supposed to be? Or the kind of topics of interest that I thought ‘I was supposed to ONLY be interested on’? And I noticed how I was slowly but surely caging myself into an idea of who I had to be, look like, dress like, care about, act like etc. even though I could see all those moments that would come up within me wanting to do something different, wanting to test out certain expressions that I would see in others and would only ‘judge them’ for daring to express something that I wanted to express deep inside myself.

One of these aspects in the sheer ability to enjoy life. I know, sounds as if I’m veering into a ‘self conceited’ topic, but I will step outside of my own projections and say nope, this is actually the one point that I had refrained myself to do in an almost religious manner – and hell, I am still getting out of my cocoon on this one! – which has nothing to do with going into extremes of ‘libertinage’ when it comes to associating enjoyment with ‘parting’ or all kinds of excesses that we usually associate ‘enjoyment’ to be about.

Nope, actually this enjoyment is more of a decision in the most simple of moments, it’s not something that will suddenly ‘take over myself’ either or come up as an energy that I have to build up into ‘enjoyment!’ – no, this that I’m talking about it is more like an opening, a decision to express, to ‘step outside of myself,’ in essence to decide to exist in moments where I knew I wanted to express myself in such ‘carefree’ ways – yet would allow my ‘idea of self’ to dictate the way I was supposed to behave and look like at the eyes of others and the rest of it. But in fact, I am discovering that I am the most content, happy and joyful with and within myself when I have zero thoughts about how someone/others might be ‘perceiving me’ and in that I’ve found the most enjoyable quietness where I can simply ‘be’. And no, this doesn’t mean sitting in a quiet place and meditating, nope and it doesn’t also come as quick and simple as just ‘letting go’ – it is also the result of all of these years of working with myself, understanding my judgments, patterns and limitations, so that I can now be more comfortable in living the words that I want to ‘be’ and make exist as myself.

A clear example of this is how I started to listen to a type of music that I never thought I would get to be quite fond of. I would randomly hear a live band in my home town and they play very upbeat and generally joyful/happy music called Klezmer. I started listening to them every now and then around town 2 years ago, and I remember standing there with my then partner and having the impulse to move my feet, my knees, to kind of dance to the beats of that music – yet, the ‘rigidity’ of my own personality would come out in ways of ‘oh no, that would not be ‘me’ liking this kind of happy, joyful music’ – yet slowly but surely, I kept creating an interest in listening to them playing it and would stand still while listening to it, yet inside myself started kind of dancing to the tunes and enjoying those moments.

Well, long story short, after many times of listening to them in my frequent trips walking downtown, it is only now that I’ve been able to move my feet and legs and head around when listening to them, and yep knowing that people are watching and sometimes ask me if I’m ‘with the band’ lol, but nope and no, I don’t put on a show either, haha! But it’s been mostly children thus far that I’ve seen moving their bodies to the sound of the music, because that’s mostly what that music is for! Yet most adults – including myself in the past – would focus on enjoying the music and maybe craving to move around or bob our heads yet we kept bound to ideas of ‘how we are supposed to be’ or ‘not knowing how to dance that kind of music’ or ‘what will others say if we start moving around? I actually enjoy standing there while the band is playing and looking at people’s facial reactions, some do move around a bit while they pass by and so I’ve made it a point to learn from those few and in between that have dared to dance along or move around, including the guys in the band which is something I also appreciate from creative people in general, being quite ‘gutsy’ – for a lack of a better word – to own their individuality, show their courage in their expression and share it in a carefree manner – and by ‘carefree’ I mean without judgment towards themselves and therefore without projected judgments coming from others.

No matter how much one walks through ‘judging oneself,’ I find that one has to find an actual way to work through it in a practical and physical manner. To me, making paintings is one, learning to own my creation no matter how it looks, no matter if I ‘like it’ or not, but see them all as part of a process to express myself, to actually live my potential and I’ve met some people in the past weeks that represent that genuine expression of enjoyment in who they are through their creative process. And in this I don’t mean that everyone has to look at artists as a source of inspiration, to me that’s just how it has usually been throughout my life. It can be any other person that in their field of expertise or interest are really good at doing something and seeing how much they enjoy doing so is a source of inspiration, because they represent that potential that we can develop for ourselves in our own ways and lives.

Many times I’ve wallowed within myself when comparing ‘me’ and ‘my creations’ to those of others, and it seems that generally this obnoxious sense of comparison is a constant judgment that I bring up to sabotage myself – therefore what do I know? I can only remind myself about the uniqueness and individuality that each individual represents, to stop seeing others as a point of measurement for my own life or creations, and always remember that there is no point in comparing or judging how I express, what I express and the ways in which I go developing such expressions, because that’s a unique process to me and myself only. And in that, I can nurture myself from the many examples that I’ve found in people’s expressions, doesn’t matter how ‘simple’ it might be, it can start with having the ‘guts’ to sing out in public or play music in the streets – anything that I would consider as something that I would probably enjoy doing yet would not ‘dare’ to do it, I can then learn to see what words these people represent that I am not living myself. And what comes up is having that courage to express myself.

Yesterday as I was listening to this band playing live, they had no fears to change places in instruments and play in front of everyone their own practice of learning a new instrument, and even if the songs didn’t come out ‘perfectly’, I definitely appreciated the fact that they had no qualms about it or keeping their ‘practice/learning process secret’ but simply did it out there in public. And also being genuine when it comes to not lying about ‘enjoying every single moment of playing,’ but being quite honest on how tiring it can be, yet at the same time being inspired by the expressions that this music brings out in people  – and kids specially – which is quite awesome to witness.

So, this kind of music and the way these guys have come to create their band is quite unique in the sense that many of them might have been professional musicians, but some others didn’t know how to play any instrument, yet they had the will and courage to learn and be part of the band, so they learned an instrument in order to be part of it. It has made me consider how many times we admire people like musicians or any other form of performers because they have gotten to do something that we have yearned to do, which is to express, create and stand out with it in the world, to dare to exist beyond one’s own 4 closed walls.

Where am I in this process of having the courage to express myself? Definitely in the beginning stages, even more so considering how much I had to shed this idea that I could not enjoy life or had to suffer or could not just ‘be happy’ because ‘the world is not a happy place,’ yet I see for myself how people daring to do this in their lives becomes a source of inspiration for everyone else to dare to do what each one of us actually wants to do, and actually do it! Have the courage to do it, dare to ‘stand out’, daring to be unique, daring to not follow the crowd – not from an antagonistic or rebellious way but based on understanding our capacity to live in a very unique way that in turn, may inspire others to do the same in their lives, and that’s who I want to be and what I want to be, to give that back to the world based on all that I’ve learned from many, many people that have inspired me in my life and that have assisted me – without them even knowing – in becoming who I am today.

So, part of what I’ve been looking at in terms of embracing myself, my looks, my physical feature as the totality of ‘me’ – which I have judged as ‘odd’ – I can embrace within that uniqueness that I decide to live as myself, and reminding myself every time that I start going into judgments about myself and projecting it towards others, I have to remind myself how present I can be when I am judgment-less, when moving my limbs a bit when listening to this music out in the public in downtown and each time that I dare to do it more often, it feels more liberating and I become the most quiet and joyful and not in an ‘overt’ manner, but in that genuine ‘hereness’ of expression, because I’m simply there with the music, moving with it and there’s no thoughts, no fears, no expectations… and it’s hard at times to have those moments in one’s day, but I found that this is one of my moments of enjoyment, to have that ‘me’ time if you will yet sharing it with others at the same time.

And! No pressure if there’s no ‘live band’ I can dance to, I’ve been also playing some music that invariably leads me to want to dance as well, which is another interesting thing based on how I had thought that ‘I don’t like dancing anymore’ but I just hadn’t found the kind of music that I genuinely and almost naturally want to move my body to, which has been a cool discovery for myself as well and letting go of ideas that I had to like a particular ‘kind of music’ to ‘dance to.’ Hell no, we are the only ones that create our limitations. So I am definitely in that phase of challenging my own expression-limitations, breaking them apart and in that discovering the little bits of self-enjoyment I had held myself back from for such a looong time.

So for anyone out there, I can only suggest to have a look at where or in what/who do you find inspiration to self-express, what it means to embrace your creative self and I am not implying this is only an ‘art creation’ thing, nope – every human being is a creator, so in that we all are creating every single moment – most of the times without awareness! – therefore, if we become self-aware creators and in that determine the ways that we want to live every moment, the ways that we want to challenge our boundaries, our personalities, our fears, we will slowly but surely go realizing the potential that has always ‘been here’ as ourselves, just covered up with our fears, memories, excuses, reasons, justifications and preferences that have limited ourselves from getting to know ourselves and enjoy ourselves in the process.

Ok that’s it! Have fun

Here I share some of the music including this live band that I am speaking of here, which I actually got to record because I’ve become friends with the band J

Colectivo Klezmorino – Festival Rodarte

 

And! a taste of the other band I’ve been enjoying to move around to

DakhaBrakha: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert

 

 

And this painting I made within the starting point of expressing me, having fun, while being inspired by the music represented in the image of the band itself Sonrisa 

 

Klezmorinos

 

Join us in our process of Self-Creation as LIFE


608. Being Genuine

Or how to create the space to be real in our interactions while also working through our initial reactions or experiences in order to expand ourselves in our relationships

This word ‘genuine’ emerged as a solution to live when seeing myself in situations or moments where I was being slightly worried about the way that others would see me/perceive me and in doing so, having certain fears about what could ‘go wrong’ if I would not make or cause the ‘right impression’ upon others. That becomes a point of self compromise where one manipulates one’s expression in order to –apparently – create a better image of ourselves or a better outcome at the eyes of others. Though that usually comes with compromise because I had to realize the fears or perceived ‘missing out’ points that I was trying to avoid by trying to be seen/perceived in a particular ‘favorable light’ so to speak.

These are points that have to do with not fully trusting myself in my expression, which is cool that came up so that I could then in real time let go of any attempt to ‘hold’ a particular idea or experience within me within having ‘others’ as a starting point in my mind and instead, realize that any point of compromise I create in my expression – no matter how ‘subtle’ it might be – it would then become an unsustainable point to manage, which is what happens when we create different ‘personas’ towards different people in our lives, and one has to go ‘managing’ them and remembering ‘who we are supposed to be’ towards this or that person, and of course that’s not living.

This is how being genuine in my expression becomes the solution, where I stop the chain reactions in social relationships where we don’t ask ourselves who we are in approaching someone? What are we trying to achieve? What is our aim? Or what are our intentions or fears behind it? So that I can first clear up my hidden agendas and genuinely be able to live the word ‘genuine’ in my expression towards/with others.

In my case, I had to move in real time from believing I had to cause/create certain impression upon others, to deciding to be genuine and in a way ‘stay true to myself’ – yet this doesn’t mean being ‘righteous’ about my expression and not considering others or ‘remain exactly the same as I’ve always been’ – nope, it’s the other way around I’d say, where being genuine means walking through and working with reactions that may occur at first when meeting certain people or individuals that I may have reacted to before in my past, where I have to genuinely take a moment to see what reactions came up, what memories or experiences were triggered within me, so that I can then decide who I want to be and express myself towards such people/person.  

I recently heard in this audio  Return to Innocence – The Future of Awareness – Part 92

the following bit:

“It can even be one of those simple things of looking at feelings that we so briefly feel toward one-another where we think we’re good people because we’re nice to other people. But instead we’re lashing out a fakeness toward another person, and we might not even realize that the other is doing it to us as well and we’re picking up that fakeness and it’s resonantly leaving a mark of untrustworthiness that is spreading out in this world into the fact that we cannot trust anything of each other. So we’re lashing out and we are creating a world of distrust, and that’s if you even feel what distrust feels like, it’s a horrible experience. We’re resonantly doing that to each other. So practice the world you want to create even in those two simple moments where if you smile, genuinely smile at someone”

And it is a cool cross-reference to the solution I saw towards this reaction or point of self-manipulation as in creating a certain façade in moments to create a particular outcome. It also becomes very uncomfortable for me to ‘put on a mask’ so to speak, therefore I already know how that feels and that’s how I get to know, oh oh I’m compromising myself and get back to the writing-board to establish who I decide to be in relation to people that I might have an initial judgment towards, so that I can first clear my own bias as in judgments, opinions, memories, prejudices that I may immediately attach to a person which are usually there as a result of unresolved judgments and issues towards a particular ‘type of person’ that I haven’t worked through within myself.

I had a situation where I faced this point and what I had to do is first sort myself out so that I could understand my own reaction and experience through writing, seeing directly what was I reacting to, what were the points of fears, comparisons, judgments, prejudices so that I could take responsibility for all of that and so for my experience. So in the next moment of interaction with that person, I knew what I exactly had to work through and stop recreating all of the things that were previously preventing me to actually interact with the other person from a clear starting point.

So to me, the word genuine came up as the solution here, so that I can embrace and trust myself in being me, without pretense and without hidden agendas, which include working through any backchat/negative reactions I may create upon simply looking at and hearing another person for the first time, which is quite a common experience we all have as human beings and that I’ve faced many times where, upon looking at the judgments, ideas, initial perceptions I had about a person, I decide to deliberately get to know them more, talk to them and slowly but surely build more of a relationship with the person and yep, it turns out all of my ‘first impressions’ were ‘all in my head’ of course! as in being merely associations from my past that I was imposing onto this new person. Though if I hadn’t done that self-work to really look at why I was reacting to the person, I would have missed out the opportunity to get to know them and genuinely ‘see’ the person for who they are, rather than how I was interpreting, assuming or perceiving them to be.

With this, the tricky aspect to watch out for comes when we define our ‘being genuine’ as being ‘who we are and how we are and that’s it’ without really pushing to expand and open up to – for example – get to know different kinds of people that one would probably not directly go out and seek to start a conversation with. These are actually the most supportive moments and situations to face, because we are by design ‘programmed’ to only relate to certain kinds of people that are somewhat ‘similar’ to us, and those people that we define through personalities/ways of being as ‘too different’ or ‘the opposite’ of ourselves are usually people we would not directly approach to ‘strike  a conversation with’ or establish any form of contact with them, however that’s a cool question to ask as well, why would I regularly say ‘no’ to getting to know certain kinds of people?

It can only do with my judgments, prejudices, perceptions and bias that I cultivated throughout many years in my life, mostly out of comparison within a sense of superiority or inferiority, leading myself to simply avoid certain ‘kinds of people’ so that I would not have to deal with these experiences of comparison, judgment and inferiority.

That’s how ‘being genuine’ also becomes a decision, it’s not simply showing ‘my true colors’ so to speak, because if that ‘me’ is still existing as a particular ‘type of person’ or personality that is disliking other ‘kinds of people’ or having certain ideas, beliefs, perceptions or opinions that stand in judgment or in conflict with others, then, that’s more like being righteous in one’s stance, which would not allow any openness towards actually getting to know another, and I have definitely been there, done that for most of my life, which is why I find this word so relevant for me.

So being genuine becomes a decision that I make in getting to know another with a clear mind so to speak, with a clear starting point, not loading my prejudices, ideas, perceptions and associations in the moment of interaction with another person and genuinely Create an interest in getting to know them, create the space to get to know them.

I emphasize the word ‘create’ there because that space or openness usually doesn’t exist when we are still walking in real time through reactions and the barriers of ‘getting along’ with people we initially ‘right off the bat’ judge – whereas deciding to create this space, deciding to interact with another and deciding to be genuine in that moment becomes a moment of expansion and acknowledgment, as well as making that decision of how we decide to express and interact, regardless of the other person’s expression or experience within themselves, which assists in not making our interactions all about ‘how we perceive others,’ but rather how I decide to genuinely express myself.

This doesn’t mean that one has to become entirely open and embracing to the other person, lol, not about extremes, but simply ensuring that one is ‘giving ourselves a chance’ to get to know the person, which is a phrase I got from Sunette in the latest public chat, where she mentioned how we can give certain actor ‘a chance’ to interpret Bruce Lee in a movie, instead of jumping into conclusions of how he is not like the real Bruce and disregarding his acting and expression altogether.

 That’s exactly how it is when deciding to be genuine – and not only to not compromise oneself as in wanting to portray ourselves in a particular ‘light’ towards others – but also being genuine in our approach to others, deciding to walk through any resistances to do so with ‘certain kinds of people’ to then realize, they are just ‘people,’ and the ‘kind’ or ‘type’ of person I thought them to be is all in my mind, my prejudice, so I take responsibility for that and proceed to be ‘empty’ within me while deciding to interact with another, and that means stopping comparing, judging, perceiving or assuming – and simply take in the words as they come, in the moment and also deciding to be genuine in my interaction in terms of how I decide to express, to be ok to maybe not show an ‘equal expression’ of say, excitement that I perceive the other person is portraying as their expression, because that can just be their way of expressing themselves, and that means me being genuine about whatever expression comes up – or doesn’t come up – during such moments.

This application of being genuine, authentic in a redefined manner as in expanding myself or making space for the new and the previously ‘unrelated’ situations in my life is what I want to continue building and creating, which comes with the trust that whatever else I may face or whatever else I may initially react to, I know that I can work through those reactions first within myself, understand my own bias, work on it to clear it up and then make that decision to be genuine and learn to interact and get to know people with this clear-head and starting point.

I recommend the above mentioned audio on Eqafe.com because this is just one point that stood out for me based on what I had been looking at when it comes to what it means to ‘expand’ myself as one of the goals that I see as part of living and this process of ‘birthing life from the physical’ which is to be genuine and creating such genuineness whenever it doesn’t exist yet within us towards others in order to learn to see, embrace, understand and acknowledge others as extensions of ourselves.

Thanks for reading.

 

Mermaid

 

Join us in our process of Self-Creation as LIFE


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