Untethered Soul, Chapter 7

It’s back! I can hardly believe it myself. But not to worry, I hadn’t actually forgotten about our chapter summaries of The Untethered Soul by Michael A. Singer. I just got distracted by some other things in life.

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And speaking of distractions, Chapter 7 of the book is called Transcending the Tendency To Close and it also has a little do with distraction as well. It’s the last chapter of section 2 which has introduced us to the idea of energy…energies inside of us, our reactions to them, and our natural tendency to create Samskaras or blocked energies.

This chapter wraps up Singer’s introduction to energy and your ability to cling or release by giving us practical advice for how to NOT develop Samskaras. Here, Singer talks about “falling behind” the energies as they come up, meaning allowing your consciousness to not follow thoughts that enter our mind, but allowing them to pass. These might be immediate thoughts like, “I can’t believe I did that! What would it be like if I hadn’t done that? What should I do next time? I need to figure it out now!” The alternative to following all those thoughts and getting yourself worked up into a state of elevated blood pressure would just be to fall behind those thoughts. Notice them, accept them, then stay centered as they pass.

Falling behind a thought could also be something related to an event that happened a long time ago. Singer gives the example of someone taking your favorite pencil at work. It might seem like every time you have to use a different pencil, you replay their indiscretion and get agitated all over again. He says deciding to fall behind those thoughts and energies is “simply a matter of taking the risk that you are better off letting go than going with the energy.”

Personally, I’ve felt this risk very acutely in practicing this falling behind tactic. When someone hurts my feelings (or maybe I should say, “When I let myself believe that someone has hurt my feelings,”) I want to be mad and I can feel myself shutting down towards them. In some of these moments I have really asked myself if I will be better off if I let it go in the moment and not follow the tide of anger. Sometimes it’s not an answer that comes easily! My established habit of closing down and getting defensive is a strong one. Trusting that I will be better–even that I will at least be okay–if I let it go and stay centered is a challenge to me. But I keep practicing and more and more I am beginning to see that yes, it is better. It is more free.

And this freedom is what we’re talking about. Freedom from being tossed to and fro with every passing emotional reaction. If we spend our lives consciously or subconsciously trying to protect ourselves via anger or resentment or isolation, we’re not really free, we’re not really protected.

But let’s talk specifics then. How do we not follow energy? How do we fall behind it?

“The moment you feel a change, relax your shoulders and relax the area around your heart. The moment the energy moves you simply relax and release. Play with letting go and falling behind the sense of being bothered. “

Singer says this is how you make “freedom a game.”

“You don’t fight the mind. In fact you don’t even try to change it. You just make a game out of relaxing in the face of its melodrama.”

Moments where you can practice this are simply moments to grow. There will be many, many times when energy captures your attention and you flow along with the current of negative thinking. But the more you practice the easier it will become.

“Your center of consciousness is always stronger than the energy that is pulling on it. …There is nothing wrong with feeling the energies of fear, jealousy, or attraction. It’s not your fault that such energies exist. All the attractions, repulsions, thoughts, and feelings don’t make any difference. They don’t make you pure or impure. They are not you. You are the one who’s watching, and that one is pure consciousness. “

On a  personal note, I have found a particular metaphor that best helps me be able to fall behind the passing thoughts and feelings. At my mother’s house in Illinois there is a porch that looks out over her front yard with the pink-blossomed trees and large ancient oak, past a two-lane country highway, and across the expanding fields and forest on the other side. It is one of the most peaceful places I can think of. There are birds and clouds to watch and maybe a cat sleeping in the sun by your feet. It’s really the perfect place for a cup of coffee or iced tea. Everything around is green and alive.

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Even the whir of passing cars and farm trucks adds to the total comforting experience. Now, this porch has become my metaphor for falling behind. I sit in my inner seat of witness just as I sit on the porch. I acknowledge the passing traffic of thoughts and feelings just as I acknowledge the traffic on the highway. I chase not after each thought and feeling that presents itself just as I move not a muscle in response to the passing cars.

What is your metaphor? Think of your “happy place” where calm and comfort surround you as you are observant and at peace. Got it? Now what is something that passes through your line of sight as you sit in that place? Maybe they are seagulls, maybe they are bees, maybe they are airplanes or pedestrians. The next time you feel the challenging energy rising in you, imagine yourself in that happy place. That thought, reaction, emotion is nothing more than one of those seagulls or pedestrians. You are not following them, not grabbing them. You are noticing them and letting them pass.

Go get your freedom and let’s transcend the tendency to close!

~~~Simone~~~

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Travel Tuesday: French Connection

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.
― Marcel Proust

A psychic once told me that she foresaw me taking a trip to a place where I had lived during a past life.

“Wow. I hope I’ll know it when it happens,” I replied.

“You’ll know. You’ll know it in your heart and by the intense feelings you experience.”

I’m not sure about the truth to all that, but nonetheless, it is an intriguing idea. There are those moments when you have such an unexpected reaction to a place as you step your foot on the ground. Similar to how a smell can elicit a strong sense of deja vu.

DeJa-Vu by HongNian-Zhan

DeJa-Vu by HongNian-Zhan

As I was thinking about this–about places I have been (in this life) and what feelings are attached to those travels–my junior year of college quickly came to mind. I lived and studied in France that year. As an adult, I carry a sense of disappointment with me about what I made (or didn’t make) out of that experience.

“I didn’t immerse myself in the culture as much as I wanted to.”

“I didn’t speak the language as much as I should have.”

“I am not the grand traveler my family wants to imagine I am.”

Simply, I feel like I wasn’t brave and that I came back a bit of a fraud.

As you might have sensed, it’s actually a lot of Me being too hard on Me….a habit I’ve become quite good at across life contexts.

Still, there is a seed of truth in all that self-flagellation which warrants a gentle, compassionate consideration. The seed shows me it is time to have that inner-child conversation of forgiveness and resolution. To let 15-years-ago be what it was. To love exactly who I was then and to be grateful for the part that year played in creating who I am now. (Look at that–I think I might be having the inner-conversation right now!)

There is another level of resolution that beckons to me too though: I want to reconcile with France. I want to return, sit down with France, and have a new conversation…the one you have with your ex once you’ve both moved on and truly forgive and appreciate one another. I want to just go love it for what it is and be in the moment amidst all it’s glory.

I wouldn’t go to France again carrying the burdens of the nagging “shoulds” with me. They are much to heavy no matter where you travel, I have found. No, I would like to be back on those Mediterranean beaches with no other goal than to feel the sun and taste the salt. I would like to walk in Paris with no other expectation than to be me in Paris. I would, with gratitude for it, speak my broken French if I wanted to, and I would be equally grateful for my fluent English whenever it came in handy.

I would like to make peace with a place, to help make peace with me.  I have found that innerconnection happens in so many different splendid ways. Why not on the TGV while humming past the countryside of Provence?

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Weekend To-Do (Good) List

Is it Friday already??

Here you go everyone, your to-do list with a twist. The weekend is more than mowing the lawn, taking the kids to soccer, catching up on your stored shows, etc etc. Let’s not just do our weekend like we normally do. Let’s inject a good dose of GOOD into the world. I’m making it easier for you by giving you these few leads. I’m sure some of you are doing good in ways that I can’t even imagine. Please…inspire us! Share your good actions so we can join you and get something done!

This week, I’m offering one item for each of three areas of connection that I write about : animal connection, inner connection, and ecoconnection. Enjoy!

~~~S Wave~~~

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1. Animal Connection: The Pata Zoo According to Mindful Wanderer

There is a couple I’ve been following lately. No, I don’t mean I’m stalking them around Los Angeles. I’m following them on Facebook and Instagram of course. Their names are Giselle and Cody and seem like pretty neat people to know. Their blog is called Mindful Wanderlust. They write about vegan lifestyle, animal rights, ecotravel, LGBT issues, tattoos and many other things. Just look at how fun they are:

Giselle and Cody of Mindful Wanderlust

Giselle and Cody of Mindful Wanderlust

Anyway, I digress.

Recently, Giselle and Cody were traveling in Bangkok,Thailand where they encountered the Pata Zoo. They visited this place to find out how animals were being treated at a small zoo in the Pata department store, a “decrepit building in the middle of a local area of busy Bangkok.”

Inside they documented images of isolated, neglected, understimulated, and abused (yes, restriction of any semblance of natural behaviors/stimulation is abuse) animals, including an isolated gorilla, an orangutan and her infant, and a penguin who lives all by himself and hides in his shelter almost all day. The pictures they shared on their blog are tragic (though, not graphic for any of you who worry about that.)  Click on this picture of Bua Noi to view the full story:

Bua Noi, the lone gorilla at the Pata Zoo. Photo Credit: Mindful Wanderlust

Bua Noi, the lone gorilla at the Pata Zoo.
Photo Credit: Mindful Wanderlust

Giselle and Cody were enraged and heartbroken for these animals which they rightly called “prisoners.” Giselle and Cody are used to putting their sense of injustice to work and that is what they have done.

They have started a petition on Change.org which you can find by

CLICKING HERE.

It will literally take you no more than 2 minutes to fill in your name and information, copy the URL and paste it to your Facebook. Can you do that? How about for Humbolt?:

Humbolt the Penguin Photo Credit: Mindful Wanderlust

Humbolt the Penguin
Photo Credit: Mindful Wanderlust

How about for this baby who has never touched grass and deserves to know more than concrete and metal?:

Baby Orangutan captive and Pata Zoo Photo Credit: Mindful Wanderlust

Baby Orangutan captive and Pata Zoo
Photo Credit: Mindful Wanderlust

Thank you for caring. From me, from Giselle and Cody, and most of all from the animals. May our travels be of compassion and kindness.

2. Inner Connection: Mindful 

Speaking of the word “mindful,” I recently started a morning meditation practice with more diligence than usual. A friend and I are doing it together and–not surprisingly!–I am already feeling the benefits throughout my day. Along with silent meditation, we are using the great book, Living In the Moment by Anna Black to learn some ways of carrying mindfulness into our everyday lives.

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I wanted to share one of the exercises in the book that I have found particularly enlightening. Black calls it, Who Are You Showering With?

“When you shower in the morning, take a moment or two to notice who has ‘joined’ you… Who are you thinking about–perhaps it is your boss, or colleagues at work, maybe it is someone you are going to see later that day, or perhaps it is someone you talked to yesterday. It might be your partner, your children, your parents, your next-door neighbor.. How many people are in the shower with you?

“Then, begin focusing on the physical sensations of showering… the water running off your skin… the temperature of the water… the soap lathering up between your fingers. Notice when you experience a sensation of delight or when there might be a feeling of pushing away or dislike. There is not a right way to shower and whether we are invigorating ourselves first thing in the morning, simply shampooing our hair, or cooling off after a hot day, all we are doing is paying attention to the act of taking a shower.

“Tip: Identifying who turns up in the shower regularly may give you some helpful feedback on where you preoccupations are at any one time.” 

Try this out this weekend. It’s amazing where our mind goes and who it goes with during such a short, sublime time of the day. Can you stay in the moment? Can you be with your own sensations of pleasure. I promise…you’ll like this one.

3. EcoConnection: Earthing

A few years ago,my father brought my attention to a book and video about “Earthing.” He sends me the most interesting things to read about, or to watch on youtube and documentaries. This was one.

Earthing is based on the idea that connecting to the earth physically, say by walking barefoot or lying down on the lawn, actually transmits the electrons from the Earth into our bodies. That in turn, is supposed to be beneficial for our physical and emotional wellbeing.

Because it is hard for some people to actually step (bare)foot on the ground (maybe because of urban dwelling or extreme temperatures for example), people have designed a device that you can attach to your feet while you sleep. It is “grounded” in the Earth somehow and is supposed to be able to transmit those healing electrons into your body.

I don’t know about the device. I’ve never tried it…yet. (I’m up for anything!) But I definitely believe in the healing power of nature.

So this weekend, let’s all agree that we’re going to get our green on!

Photo Credit: Life As a Wave

Photo Credit: Life As a Wave

One way or another, let’s get into nature. Yes, hug a tree. Yes, smell the roses. Yes, lie in the grass. Sit and be still…listen to the sounds of nature and notice the feel of the air on your skin. Notice a bug and watch it as it lives in its moment. Give thanks for the astounding biological system all around you of which you are just a small participant. Let yourself revel in that smallness.

Then tell me if you don’t feel just a little bit better!

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Now you can connect with Life As a Wave on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram. We’ll see you there!

Life As a Wave Learns to Hashtag

I’m excited to announce that it’s now easier than ever to connect with Life As a Wave! Not only are we alive and well on Facebook, but I’ve added us on Pinterest and Instagram as well.

On Pinterest, look for us at Healing Life Insights where I’ll be sharing boards for our 5 best-loved areas of connection: Interconnection, Innerconnection, Ecoconnection, Animal Connection, and Divine Connection

Follow us on Instagram, too, at @lifeasawave. I can’t wait to meet you there and follow your adventures!

With all these great developments, let’s give a quick bow to all the “old fashioned” ways of staying in touch with each other, ourselves and larger world.

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 See you on your device!!

Cheers,

~~~S Wave~~~

HEALING LIFE INSIGHTS…You’re invited!

Hello friends!

On this day of love I am so excited to share with you my latest life adventure which is described on a new Life As a Wave page here. The adventure is the official announcement of my energy- and consciousness-based support services, Healing Life Insights.

This has all been in the works for a while now. As hard-core followers will know, I have felt called to this specific work for a long time. HLI is the result of many years–two decades now– of fascination of, devotion to, and exploration of all things freeing, empowering, and happifying (yes, that’s a word). This has been one of my greatest joys and a way that I find the assurance of love in life. Find out more on the page!

Life As a Wave has been a big part of that journey, a place where I could apply and share the things I have learned or just ruminate on them with you. It has been a place where I have learned from all of YOU as well. And so, because this blog has been such a place of healing for ME, I want to extend that healing back to each of you: When you sign up for a HLI session, just mention that you are a Life As a Wave reader and get a 20% discount in all sessions you ever have with me. Hmm…this may be a good Valentine’s Day present for someone. *wink* Visit the page to find out how to start the process.

I look forward to sharing this experience with you. May we all keep walking toward our deepest callings and loves.

In gratitude,

~~~S Wave~~~

My Contract to Disconnect…Take 2

“If I could, I’d write a huge encyclopedia just about the words luck and coincidence”
― Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

I was combing through some files on my computer last night and came across a draft of a blog post that I couldn’t even remember writing. It was called, “My Contract to Disconnect.” My own title intrigued me so I read through the draft and thought it was darn good. I thought it would be worth cleaning up and posting with today’s date as if I had just written it. No harm, no foul.

But, when I looked at the details of the document I saw the actual date I had written it: 11/13/13. Oooooh. Eerie. The timeliness is hard to deny. I’ve been back to these same frustrations lately as one of my closest confidants, my mother, can attest. And now, I feel counseled by own words.

Here they are, just slightly edited…

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My Contract to Disconnect

As you know if you’ve been reading this blog long, I find it a challenge, in the pursuit of understanding connection, to truly feel connected to other people. Maybe the word “feel” isn’t’ specific enough. Let me try to clarify. I can intellectually grasp and conceive of an energetic and quantum connection to other people. The science makes some kind of sense to me. But there is a disconnect between the knowledge and my actual day to day life. Remember when we all said, “When am I ever going to use this algebraic formula of blah blah blah?”

In that example, though, there is a good chance that at some point in your life you might actually encounter a situation in which that formula becomes relevant. What a gratifying moment…you don’t even care that you were proven wrong and naïve because…holy shit! It’s the blah blah blah formula! That is the kind of moment that I look forward to on a more regular basis…except in terms of connection. I have had them from time to time, but not often enough to satisfy me and not in a way that didn’t include a sense of my forcing the realization to happen to some extent.

When I am meditating/praying I can “feel” connection to be true as well. (There is that vague word again.) With that feeling comes a sense of transcendence to the world and the physical barriers between us all and I can feel gratitutde for the connection I have to others, even those that pose challenges in my life. But imagine that I open my eyes from that place of mediprayer and am looking that person in the eye…poof! The sense of connection is usually gone and I am fully in the ego and at the mercy of all my different parts that try to situate us according to every other good and bad relationship I have had. It would again turn into an intellectual exercise to say, “I am connected to you.”

So why can’t I feel a truer connection to the people I pass on the street or even spend large parts of my day with? Why don’t I feel like we are simply waves of energy interacting and passing through our “time and space” which doesn’t really exist and that we are manifesting in this physical matter but that we are actually each an extention of the source that is god, that is the ocean?

Plenty have pointed out that the ego prohibits us from being able to experience deeper things like this connection.  I think for me it is just that. There is a persistent belief that connecting with people is one of the biggest risks you can take in life because of the potential of pain that could come from that connection.

I know we all have beleifs and “contracts” that we have made with life like Don Migueel Ruiz writes about in Four Agreements, so I’m not shocked or surprised to know that this is one of mine. And of course, as is the mechanism of most of our contracts with life, the associated fear usually proves itself to be true if we are not vigilant because we unknowingly comply with the things that will further embed the contract. Oy.

But a-ha, what a beautiful comic signpost from Life that I would have a deep, deep hunger to understand Connection (and even begin a blog to explore it) above almost anything else when my biggest contract is to NOT be connected! We really do know what we need most to be healed before we can even explicitly recognize it.

Well what to do with this contract. ….. I almost want to end the blog right here because I’m not sure what the answer is. This may be a to-be-continued kind of post. I recently experienced a painful connection and have had to remove that connection from my life. Blech. It hurts and part of me that clings to my contract wants to say, “See. I told you so.” Thank god there are other parts to hear as well.

Overall though, it feels like a great challenge to figure out what to dowith such a long-held contract. The other day I think that I did experience a little shift. A little crack perhaps in the monument set up for my contract. I was in the middle of a time of prayer and I was expressing how much I loved the spirit of god that is MY spirit too. That we are inseparable, that we are one. How honored I am to be one, unique expression of the spirit of god. But mostly just how much I love that spirit! The I sort of came to see that the spirit I love is the same one in each person. That when you look at someone, you are looking at another expression of the spirit, source, universal mind. It’s like in the scene in Being John Malcovich where they all are John Malcovich in his ego. But it is like that…each person is spirit. If I am in love with the spirit then when I look at someone else then I see the spirit in a different form but it is the same spirit that I adore. If I adore my neice, then imagine I could go to a different time and space and see her 60 year old self. Would I still love her? I would! It is the same with spirit.

I don’t know if this makes any sense. It’s hard to describe with words the things that are just shown in the heart. But, I’ve been trying this out during times of prayer and also during interactions with people and have been loving it. So here is what I do….

  1. Acknowledge what I am feeling toward a person. This is often judgement or sense of being judged. Be okay with that for now.
  2. Connect with the spirit in me with gratitude and adoration.
  3. Look at that person and see the SAME spirit acting out its manifestation as that person.

It’s actually been really easy and though this may sound like an intellectual exercise it is actually very heart-led. It is a little bit more of the “feeling” that I have been looking for…or at least it one step toward that.

IFS: YOU in the Pilot Seat

 For me as an individual to be free, I have to confront myself with questions about who I really am, and this is done in large part by examining the layers of false identity that I mistakenly call me.    -Deepak Chopra

On and off, over the past nine years, I have connected with a very special woman. Her name is Sherry and instead of a therapist, I like to think of her as a teacher. Yes, I began seeing her to get “therapy” for “depression” and “anxiety.” Or, that’s what I thought I needed. Sherry however doesn’t work like that. Sherry introduced me to a way of caring for myself that had nothing to do with meds, with diagnoses, or with criminalizing my own thoughts or feelings. The approach she used to get me to that level of self-care is called Internal Family Systems.

Internal Family Systems Therapy is based on an integrative model and believes that each sub-personality of the mind possesses its own characteristics and perceptions. This therapy technique sees each level of consciousness as having these sub-personalities, or “parts,” and each plays a distinct role in achieving self-preservation for the client as a whole. Every part within a person is responsible for warding off any behaviors, actions, or reactions that can result in dysfunction or disharmony within. In this type of treatment, each part is validated and recognized as significant because of its primary function. Parts can be identified as having either healthy, productive roles or extreme roles. The latter category is made up of parts that require transformation or alteration through the therapeutic process.  – Mona R. Barbera

In my own words IFS allows different sub-“parts” of a person to express themselves and receive the care and compassion that they need from the higher Self. These parts are like little personalities that we all have and ultimately they are all good. There is no “bad” part of you. Sometimes our parts just get a little extreme because they need some help.

There are three distinct types of parts in this model:

  • Managers: These parts are responsible for maintaining a functioning level of consciousness by warding off any unwanted or counterproductive interactions, emotions, or experiences resulting from external stimuli.
  • Exiles: These parts are most often in a state of pain or trauma, frequently resulting from childhood experiences. Managers and firefighters exile these parts and prevent them from reaching the conscious level so that preservation is preserved.
  • Firefighters: These parts serve as a distraction to the mind when exiles break free from their suppression. In order to protect the consciousness from feeling the pain of the exiles, firefighters prompt a person to act on impulse and to engage in behaviors that are indulgent, addictive, and often times abusive. In addition, firefighters redirect attention to other areas such as sex, work, or food.

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To understand “parts,” consider this hypothetical scenario. One day you wake up feeling so excited to do a particular thing but then you get a little nervous and don’t do it then you get mad at yourself for not doing it then you begin to fear that you’ll never be good at doing anything and you’ll always procrastinate then you start resenting someone else for how they used to procrastinate then you hate yourself for resenting them then you begin to listen to music that makes you feel more angry because in a weird way you kind of like it then you tell yourself to regroup and to stop beating yourself up and you make a list of reasons to not beat yourself up then you find yourself getting all excited about something again and on and on…..

Ugh! It’s like “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” except the dark adult version where an ending of self-destruction instead of happily ever after is a very real possibility. But consider for a moment all the instances of the word “you” in that scenario. There are at least a dozen, right? Can all those “you”s really be YOU?  Could it be possible that there is another way of looking at it besides calling all of that “you?” Try to consider that you are perhaps a multiplicity of fears, needs, dreams and comping mechanisms. It would make sense then that these fears, needs, dreams and coping mechanisms might be in an ongoing struggle to be heard. Once we take out the word “you” and give these other parts some identity, then the scenario isn’t quite so muddled. For the fun of it, let’s do just that. In the scenario above, let’s exchange “you” with a cast of parts. Introducing,

Adventurer

Insecure Child

Fatalist

Judge

Bodyguard

Mechanic

Let’s say these are the inner parts of the person experiencing the scenario. Now, the story goes something like this:

Your Adventurer feels so excited to do a particular thing but then your Insecure Child gets a little nervous and refuses to do it then your Inner Judge  gets mad at your Insecure Child for not doing the first thing then your Fatalist begins to fear that she’ll never be good at doing anything and she’ll always procrastinate then your Bodyguard tries to protect Inner Child by resenting someone else for how they used to procrastinate then the Inner Judge hates yourself for resenting them then your Fatalist begins to listen to music that makes you feel more angry because it wants to keep being fatalistic then the Judge tells you to regroup and to stop beating yourself up and your Mechanic who wants to fix, fix,fix makes a list of reasons to not beat yourself up then your Adventurer gets all excited about something again and on and on…

Once you see that “you” isn’t specific enough and that what is really going on is a complex dance between competing fears, needs, and dreams, not to mention managers each trying to step in and choreograph the dance in their own style…well once you see that, the situation is easier to manage! Then the healing can really begin. How does that happen?

First, believe that you have a higher Self. Remember that YOU are not ANY of these parts. YOU are something higher and wiser. You have a Self with a capital S that can approach these parts with genuine calm and confidence. Your higher Self has the ability to lovingly and confidently take care of these parts like you might imagine a good parent extending unconditional love to their child, or god extending unconditional love to us if that comparison suits you.

Second, get as connected with and embodied in your higher Self as you can. If you’re not sure how to do that, maybe this will give you some ideas: 6 Soulful Steps to Get Reconnected With Your Higher Self. For me, I like to take steps like these:

1. Sit still on the floor.

2. Take a series of deep, slow breaths.

3. Imagine all my cares and worries on shelves behind me. I can get to them later. They’re not going anywhere.

4. Turn my attention to god without making it into a conversation. I just sit with god and recognize my connection to it/him/her.

5. Imagine that I feel completely at ease, completely strong, completely confident, and completely peaceful with myself and others. It doesn’t matter if you really feel that way. Remember, how you “feel” is a reflection of your parts. The NATURE of Self is to be at peace. So you ARE at peace.

Once you have found yourself resting in your higher Self that is the time for the next part of the process.

Third, turn your attention to your parts and have a conversation with them! One at a time, invite them to sit with you and tell you their needs and their motivations. Don’t judge them, don’t hurry them, and don’t put words in their mouths, just let them tell you about themselves. This is where you DO have a conversation. When I am doing this, I get an image in my mind of what this part looks like…maybe it’s a person (man, woman, child,) maybe it’s an animal (like my dove,) or sometimes it’s an object. Let it show you what it is. Don’t force it.

Fourth, if you feel like to have been able to hear and understand what a part of you needs, invite that part to trust you to love and protect it. Ultimately, the idea is that all the love that they need—or whatever it is they need, only they can tell you—will come from your higher Self where there is no shortage of love and compassion. Invite a part to rest. Promise it that you will listen to it with love from now on.

This is as good a place as any to emphasize that I am NOT a trained IFS therapist. Obviously there are theoretical depths behind IFS and steps in the therapeutic process with which I am not familiar. But, IFS is known as being a “user-friendly”approach so go for it and start exploring yourself! If you really wanted to go deeper with this kind of exploration you could start by reading Jay Earley’s book or by searching for an IFS therapist.

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As for me, little by little I  began to operate in life from my higher Self. Now, my parts are more at ease as they continue to trust that their needs will be met. I can quickly recognize when one of my parts is spiraling into an extreme again and I can help restore it back to harmony. There are no meds. There is no more weekly therapy (though I would happily go if I needed to!) There is no sense of being destined to be defective. No, it is not a perfect process every time, but it has become so much easier for Me to take care of the me’s. 🙂

So why did I write this very long post? Because I want all of us to be free! I want all of us to be happy. Together. And recently I’ve had a lot of conversations with people who can’t seem to untangle themselves from all the thoughts and feelings swirling around inside them in a battle for attention. Hell, I am that person too from time to time and I am so grateful for the person who comes around and reminds me of my true identity so I can sit myself down and let the inner work take place.

If you are at the whim of every thought and extreme action of your parts you are like a plane being flown by the passengers. They don’t know how to fly that plane! Where is the pilot for this thing?? Your Self is the pilot. YOU have a license to fly that plane and it was given to you from the day you arrived. Only YOU have the ability to help each part find its seat, sit back and enjoy the flight. YOU. I don’t know about you, but I want to take my plane to wonderful places. I want to love my passengers so much that they can’t even believe how lucky they were to get a ticket on MY flight. Maybe we can all caravan in the sky….you get your higher Self in the pilot’s seat and come join me. We’ll see where we can all go together.

Be well. Always, with great gratitude for each of you,

~~~S Wave~~~