“For many of us, we need to get to the point where we are finally ready to give up control so that we can experience the healing we so desperately need.” ~ Barron Baptiste, 40 Days to Personal Revolution
Week 1 – Presence
I was born and I began learning. From the moment I could hear, the moment I could see things clearly, the moment I could begin to copy my parents facial expressions I began absorbing every inch of knowledge I could get my teeny tiny baby hands on. However, this knowledge is then interpreted in the brain and then formulates conclusions based on learned behaviour. I learned feelings, expressions and even reactions. As an adult, I am starting to see how that knowledge I have manipulated into a perception of myself, that in so many respects is completely inaccurate. I have come to understand that this process of getting to know myself is actually just an unlearning of all the conclusions I have come to. These conclusions I have based on my interactions with others, and the underlying belief is essentially that: I am not good enough.
Each and every time I have done a 40 Day Challenge (this is now my third), I have discovered that no matter how much growth and change I was able to establish in my last 40 days, there will always be more to learn from, more to grow from, new situations to process and let go of and even new stages of life. I chose this time to do the 40 day challenge because I know, despite the level of difficulty it can bring on a personal level, I am so much better off going through it than sweeping it square under the lounge room rug.
Presence is ones capacity to begin to live in the present moment and yet equally become aware of the “sticky” thoughts that manifest themselves in my mind. The tool to becoming more present is by meditating. Sitting in meditation allowed me to become aware of how often I think forward into the future or think back into the past. Awareness of cyclical thoughts that clutter my mind, concerns that I have for others and myself. I think so much, and thinking often fuels a feeling, which then fuels a reaction, which then fuels a behaviour pattern, which then filters into life. WOOOOW, its a lot.
“Meditation cultivates presence” ~ Baron Baptiste
This week, I set an intention to become as present as I could be. I let go of my resistance and became the investigator of my own thoughts and I had moments where I literally see a thought write it’s self across my eyelids and I go “AHA! That’s the thought, and that causes that kind of feeling.” In that moment, I became David Attenborough with his cameras watching a lion in the African Sahara and then seeing it doing something interesting that he has never seen before. I began to see my stuff and it was both scary and electrifying.
I became present to the fact that I have a very cheeky habit of being sneaky with myself, tricking myself into believing that I am good, that things within me are great, but not always are they just that. I am a chronic perfectionist, expectationist, impatientist… and the list of made up words goes on. I beat myself up when I do things “wrong.” I create expectations about what I want for me, my life and the people around me that often don’t fruition in the way I want them to and I become frustrated, fuelling the “I’m not good enough” core belief. I am so impatient with life, often forcing things to happen around me. You get my drift. I am a typical “A” Type personality, someone who loves to strive for great things, constantly planning and forward thinking, every time at the sacrifice of the present moment.
Although it is quite confronting seeing my stuff sitting there in front of me, I also see there is so much to be excited about. It is just this simple process of becoming aware of these thoughts, habits and reactions that enables me to create a shift. The shift may not happen immediately – I can’t just go “ok I am awesome” and believe that straight away. It is a process of practice and patience in telling myself that “I am awesome” until I believe it. Similarly, I can’t just let go of a problem or situation, it will take practice by noticing it every time I feel myself holding on, seeing that and then actively choosing to let it go. For me this is the path to finding a little bit of peace and cultivate a little bit more happiness in my life. I am then not limited by these beliefs about myself. It allows me to move through and move past the things that no longer serve me and the things that I need to be letting go of. I am good enough and I refuse to allow myself to be trapped by my past or let it dictate my future. I refuse to be trapped by my own false beliefs about myself. It can be so scary to make these changes because it means stepping out into the unknown, the mind will tell you why you can’t, why you’re bound to your situation as it stands and there’s nothing you can do to change it – but that’s not true. Like me, you too are capable of anything you dream of. So why do we permit limitations on ourselves?
This very moment is the only one that truly exists in life. The beating of my heart in my chest, my capacity to breathe and notice any sensation within. If it’s true that I only get one life, then I am not going to waste my existence by planning and strategising about things I don’t have a whole lot of control over.
Bring on next week,