As I learned in the book, Honoring the Self:
“The refusal to see what you see (and know what you know) is a betrayal of your integrity AND a commitment of treason to your own judgment.”
What about you? How do you practice honoring your self, your truth?
Let explore of a list of ways to do so:
1. Be genuinely committed to honoring reality. That’s the first step. The willingness to get honest with yourself about yourself. Which is not an easy thing to do if you’ve been saluting your illusions for so long that you actually believe in them. What reality are you feeding on?
2. Feel the existence of that which you have been evading. Ever seen those bumper stickers that read, “Go see a play”? I wish there was one that read, “Go feel something.” We need it. We think too damn much. And as a society, I think we’d learn a lot more about ourselves if felt a little bit more.
Might be a refreshing break to use our bodies more and our brains less. All we have to do is stop bullshitting ourselves and turn inward. It’s simple, but not easy. Remember: There is no thinking clearly if there is no feeling deeply. Are you spending enough time learning to listen to your own voice?
3. Relax into the feeling. My yoga instructor reminds us of this practice during every class. “Even if the feeling is fear, discomfort or dizziness, by relaxing into it – as opposed to resisting it – you partner with your emotions. Counterintuitive, yes. Effective, heck yes.
I started adopting this practice into my life several years ago. And what I learned was, by relaxing into (and partnering with) your feelings, you strip them of their ability to take you over. Ultimately, that gives you power to honestly explore the way you feel – then decide how to proceed from there. Are you constructively using this feeling or being used BY this feeling?
4. Allow yourself to experience what you feel. Even if you’re not a fan of the feelings you’re feeling, feel them anyway. And be available to any spontaneous emotions that begin to arise. Remember: Your body will never lie to you. It’s just trying to get your attention.
Kind of like the mechanic’s credo: “Your car is always speaking to you – but you have to listen.” Did you just get away with not having to face something again?
5. Don’t pretend to feel something. That’s a betrayal of your truth. And you compound the inauthenticity by apologizing for NOT feeling something. I know it’s tempting. I know it hurts. And sure, you probably feel like a jerk because you think you should be more upset than you really are.
But you’re not. Not feeling something doesn’t make you an jerk – it just makes you human. Weird, huh? You’re a good person because you feel miserable. What are you trading your authenticity for?
6. Don’t refuse to pause on this knowledge. This is a reality-evading strategy that will result in the slow accumulation of pockets of discomfort. That’s what happens when you don’t honor your first waking thoughts – they find a home in your body. And that’s when you find a home in the hospital.
Fortunately, writing Morning Pages is one of the all-time great therapeutic practices for pausing on your knowledge. Few strategies for listening to yourself are this effective. Morning Pages give you permission to pause, puke and poke around.
They help you shine the searchlight of consciousness inward toward your own being, as Julia Cameron suggests in The Artist’s Way. Best of all, they help catch up on yourself, pinpoint precisely what you are feeling and allow you to take accurate stock of your life. Start this practice tomorrow. What inner signals are you disrespecting?
REMEMBER: Nothing stings the heart more than looking back and realizing you were false to yourself.
All you can hope for is to embrace the whole, even if you wrestle with the parts.
To have faith that whatever you’re currently going through is exactly what you’re supposed to be – and NEED to be – going through.
And if you’re courageous enough to appreciate the rightness of every experience, you will never fail to honor your truth.
In summary, let’s remember what Ayn Rand suggested in The Fountainhead:
“It is precisely the self that cannot and must not be sacrificed. It is the unsacrificed self that we must respect in man above all.”
Find out what’s truest to yourself.
Stick with it, and stick TO it.
LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Are you courageous enough to extend honor TO yourself so you can make a name FOR yourself?
LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For the list called, “13 Sweeping Generalizations, Gross Assumptions and Ridiculous Oversimplifications about Life and Work,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!
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That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur
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