November 23, 2017

Who Are You? Connecting with Your Intrinsic Self (Part II)

becomeWhoYouAreThe truth of who you are is inevitably beautiful, and living in alignment with that truth feels so good. There is no pretense required. You don’t have to psych yourself up to interact with this or that person, because you are simply you in every moment… and being you is effortless.

It’s when we live out of alignment with our intrinsic self that it feels like effort. But we get so used to it that we don’t notice that it’s happening. Last week, in Who Are You? Connecting with Your Intrinsic Self (Part I), I wrote about how we can get out of alignment—and the fact that no one deserves to live a life of “I guess I’m just used to it by now.”

You want to be living a “Hell yes, this feels right” kind of life!

What might that look like, you ask? Well… when you live in alignment with your intrinsic self you will notice that you:

•  Live a life of fulfillment that brings you satisfaction and joy
•  Become personally empowered to do and be exactly what you want and what feels right
•  Connect with your passion and creativity in new ways
•  Attract and connect more deeply with people who align with the real you
•  Gradually and gently disconnect with people who don’t sync with the real you and who bring you down
•  Live authentically in every moment
•  Feel peace permeating all the spaces inside you and all the moments of your life

“Is this for real?” you ask? To that I say, “Yes!” Perhaps you are, “Well, okay, this is a nice state to shoot for, and occasionally approach, but otherwise it sounds like a pie-in-the-sky daydream of Zen proportions.” To that I say, “Well, no. Not at all!”

Think about it: all you are trying to do here is be yourself. That is attainable.

Being aligned with you is not about becoming some different person, it’s about chipping away at anything that is false or inauthentic to uncover the you that is already there!

So if it’s so easy, why don’t we all live in alignment with our true selves? As I talked about last week, there are many reasons for why we get off track—as we internalize personas that don’t serve our intrinsic selves. But what gets in your way as you try to get back to that state of alignment?

•  Engrained habits or behavior. If you are a highly functional person, you have no doubt learned your roles well, and do them without thinking. Now it’s time to think about them—notice when a role has become a false version of you. Unlearning takes time.

•  Being vulnerable with ourselves and others. Remember Dr. Tom from last week’s blog? In order to reconnect with his true nature he had to show it to others for the first time since he was a kid. It can be scary.

•  Communicating our needs, wants, and feelings. When we are small children—nothing could be easier than saying what we want, or telling how we feel. Many people stop doing that along the way. First of all, what are your needs, wants, and feelings? Figuring that out is half the battle.

•  Fear. Probably the biggest enemy of the intrinsic self. What do you fear? Being rejected? Meeting with disapproval? Maybe you don’t know, exactly? We mask our true selves out of fear, then we keep the masks on out of fear. But here’s what I say: your approval of you and your acceptance of you trumps that of anyone else. And besides, being seen and valued for the real you will feel so much better than when others accept a false version of you. It’s a leap, I know. But take it!

•  Exposing pain or shame. We don’t want “the world” to see our weakness, our pain, our shame. Being in alignment means looking at those things head-on, accepting them with compassion for yourself, and releasing them. Don’t let your story of pain or shame define you.

•  Looking at the past. This relates to the bullet above. If shedding the false version(s) of yourself means you need to reexamine how you got here—aka a stroll down memory lane—and that is painful, realize that by doing so you only seek to accept and release all that baggage. It is simply a step on the path to being your intrinsic self.

•  Asking for help. Use the golden rule on this one. Do you judge your friends, kids, or other loved ones when they reach out to you for help? Exactly. So let that one go. If you need help, ask for it.

10 steps to reconnecting with your intrinsic self. This is a natural process that will take focus and intention.

  1. Take baby steps. Forward is forward. Look at where you can make incremental inroads.
  2. Be honest with yourself. Tell the truth to you, and you can show that truth to the world without fear.
  3. Seek self-awareness. Identify core values, set boundaries, and acknowledge weakness.
  4. Practice self-care. Everything from nutrition and sleep to massage or acupuncture and most important of all—give yourself time to just be. (Get off the hamster wheel.)
  5. Reflect. On yourself. On the now. And on the future you are creating. Recognize your positive characteristics and the value you embody. You will be stunned when you really look your own amazingness in the face.
  6. Accept. Accept yourself, flaws and all. Accept what is. Accept that everything that is can change. Accept your own power to bring about change in your
  7. Let go of people pleasing. The only person you should be pleasing is yourself. Decide what is and isn’t acceptable for you and then walk the walk.
  8. Meditate. Or—if meditation is not your thing—simply give yourself quiet space to see yourself. Try to center yourself in quietude and then feel where, inside your body, you feel when things are right, and when they are off. Tune into that place on a daily basis.
  9. Forgive. Yourself, others, the past, the things you can’t change. (Forgiveness really does help you let things go.)
  10. Face your fears. This means stepping out of your comfort zone. Once you do that thing—the thing fear held you back from—you will have an aha moment of monumental proportions. You did it in spite of the fear and… nothing happened. Except growth, and a closer alignment with the true you.

It takes time to relearn a lifetime of habits and behavior. Every situation is unique and every person has his or her own path to authenticity. There are as many ways to be on this journey as there are humans on the planet. But here is something to try, as you seek to tune in to your intrinsic self:

Imagine being your own shadow, observing yourself throughout the day. As your shadow self, tap into the intrinsic you, and as you watch your everyday self navigate the challenges and routines of life, ask, “What would my intrinsic/authentic self do, say, or be in this situation?” If the projected you is in alignment with what your intrinsic self is and feels, that’s wonderful. How does that feel in your body? If the projected you is not in alignment—how does that feel? 

Here’s to the you of you—the perfect, snowflake version of you that is being born, every day. Good luck and lots of love to you on your unique journey.

 

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