Welcome to the continuing observations that follow the discussions sessions between myself and my mentor, Berel M. Weiner for our book project tentatively called: “The Ladder of Awareness: The Process of Being Your Truth.”
These are my thoughts and feelings following each session and have already begun to change with each new week of discussion. Some of my notes are raw and vulnerable, which is valuable to the method. I ask you to be patient with your comments as the process will reveal itself in the end. Your feedback is very welcome and we encourage you to write them from a place of feelings, instead of thoughts.
Day two – April 27th, 2017
1- Exploring Shame:
If I say I’m better than you, I feel shame; I don’t want anyone else to feel bad.
I say anyone else, but does that include or exclude me?
That excludes me.
I am used to feeling bad and letting it go, sometimes.
Sometimes I keep it as a badge of valor. Look what I survived.
Idolize, respect and pity me.
Do I want to feel bad?
Possible, yes and sometimes, yes.
There’s a habitual voice in my head screaming reminders and warnings of humility.
Is it false?
Sometimes yes, sometimes no.
It isn’t my voice, is it?
My voice telling me I am not worthy of bragging rights.
If I cannot acknowledge my own successes, then who else will?
If I cannot be appreciative and be grateful for my own success, then who else will?
I can choose to remain silent or toot my horn.
I can choose to make my successes into stepping stones and quietly climb them to greater pinnacles.
I can keep moving forward, leading from the front.
I am growing forward and I am doing it!
2- If I believe in other’s testimonials, what do I do with that?
Accept them. Everyone has a life experience that influences their perceptions. Be grateful for the fact that you are the angel they needed at this moment in their lives. Say thank you and continue leading forward. Say thank you and choose to ask if you can do more. Say thank you and ask yourself, what more can I do now? Not only for them, or for yourself, but in general. Embrace a growth mindset and turn the question into a mantra for growth, momentum, and abundance. Shout, even internally, to the deepest parts of your soul, to the farthest reaches of the universe: “What more can I do now? Tell me, tell me! I can’t wait to find out!”
3- What is the opposite of a Growth Mindset?
The answer is giving up. For a time now, I’ve been telling myself that there is always a third option to every challenge. The answer sometimes goes well beyond right or wrong. We don’t need to embrace these two options as the ultimate truth. We can reach further, whenever we want to.
I now tell myself, because I have only told others in the past, and told myself it isn’t for me as well. It became a habit without any thought put into it. To be honest, there was little emotion in it as well. I believe this because the emotion is stronger now that I gift myself this excellent advice. It is easier that the advice is borrowed from the wisdom of others. I now own it in the sense that I take responsibility for what it means and feels to me. I like the feeling that there is always a possibility, no matter how implausible it may be. I feel that nothing is impossible and accept the fun game of words and mental challenges that come with considering all possibilities. My favorite question is “What if?”
So, the opposite of a growth mindset is also the opposite of fun, joy, playfulness, and wonder. It is… amazingly, I cannot even find the word that best fits it. It may be death, but even that might be just another adventure for the soul.
I don’t know what the opposite of a growth mindset is, but I’m open to discovering and possibly debating it.
4- What does “Unshakable Confidence look & feel like?
I first had to think of where I have unshakable confidence. What part of my thought process is always, or mostly geared to the feeling of confidence?
It is open mindedness! It’s the belief in possibility. It’s the acceptance that sometimes not knowing is the universe giving me an opportunity to grow or the opportunity to choose a path. It’s the belief in choices. I’m confident that I am always able to make a choice.
This basic belief leads me to the next step: what do I do with my choices?
This honest belief leads me to make another choice… I can always change my choices.
Unshakable confidence feels exciting and anxious around my heart. It feels happy and heavy in my belly. And it feels awesome to have such a range of emotions around this concept.
It feels good to have unshakable confidence and the power to choose expressing it, or not. I don’t need to change the perceptions of others, and I can lead by example. When my results are attractive, they will ask for help or follow. Focus on my own successes and that is how I will help the world around me. Lead from the front!
5- Why “YET” is a limiting factor in my mindset?
Adding “yet” to any statement propels the subject of that statement out of the now. Putting the subject, intention, or desire into the future places a feeling of lack in your thoughts and a sense of lack drives an emotion of want. That feeling of lack is the emotion we launch into the universe and the universal law of attraction responds with giving us more lack. It can and does only fulfill what we ask for with our true emotions.
We can change our intentions & thoughts when we consciously remove “yet” from our vocabulary. The path to consider is how to change from ‘having’ to ‘being’. Consider the statement: “I’m not rich, yet.” Take a moment to think about what the word rich is connected to. Is it money, love, accomplishment? Then remind yourself of the times you’ve had these things. You’ve had them, so they exist in your experience. You are not defined by these things. You’ve done them & had them. Something new will come for you to have and do them again, in many different forms, but you are not being them when you consider these concepts as being tied to the time restrictions of having. You must say to yourself: I am rich. I am loved. I am accomplished. Then replace the habit of adding limiting beliefs in the form of conditions to these statements. The mindset change will lead to real change.
6- Explore Statement: “In going for it, I have to have it in me.”
I’ve heard this in many forms, from “fake it until you make it” to “believe to conceive”. They all boil down to accepting the most simple and pure truth that being is doing, and doing follows being. Being is the motivation we use in our desire to learn. It drives us to take actions that demonstrate to the outside that we are what we say we are.
For example, “I want to be an artist” must be conceived in my mind and heart as I am artistic and I am a creative being. We play at what we want to perfect until we reach a level of mastery, then we either move on to playing with something different, or we discover a new level to pursue. We are what we aim to become and that goal is our drive to perfect what we already are.
7- Why don’t I allow myself to accept my laurels?
I’m really not sure about this answer, but I feel in my belly that I don’t accept my laurels because I want to never stop learning and growing. This is combined with some habitual voices suggesting that I have to right away jump to the next level. That I can never stop doing better. Interesting, I’ve never considered this before. I’ve thought it had more to do with a belief that I wasn’t good enough, and that might be why I didn’t develop the habit of rewarding myself for every success. The vicious circle here is that in not finding closure with a reward for the accomplishment, is that I stopped progressing. I stopped moving forward.
Accept that there is no such thing as failure and getting any result is a success that allows me, indeed propels me to move forward. All results are accomplishments and the reward is the opportunity to grow. I like this feeling!
8- After I’ve accomplished something, why am I not happy about it?
re: getting approval
This is answered in the previous question. I’m not happy because I’ve not allowed myself to define the result as an accomplishment. It was a habit to see it as something far less distinct than the black and white reality of success vs failure. I toss out these terms and replace them with a single term, a concept that feels deeply connected to rewards… all outcomes are results, and results are the reward of action, as well as the keys that open the doors to opportunity and growth.
9- If I know a man who wants to get approval, what do I say to them?
Now, say that to me!
You have the approval already. You have accomplished something and the fact is it done indicates you had permission to do it. It is done, so there is no need for further approval for it to be done. Congratulations, you accomplished your task. Now, what would you like to do next?
10- When I get approval, why not take it?
Because I feel the need to rush into something else, before acknowledging this accomplishment first.
Because I have not given myself a pat on the back, given myself closure, given myself the reward of accepting accomplishment.
I can and must use the magic words: “Thank you” as my mantra for acceptance. This magic closure feeds the universal flow and indicates to the universe that I am ready to receive more. What I put forth, propels me forward even more.
11- Why am I passionate about everyone else’s successes, but not my own?
This is connected to the previous answer. It is only a habit I formed to help others close doors that open others. I didn’t know I could do that for myself. It’s simple. Close one door at a time and let a new one open when it is supposed to. Everything is in the flow, so why be a dam, when what we resist always persists, the dam is just a misuse of energy. Go with the flow.
12- What stops me is overthinking! Is this true?
No, I don’t believe so. I believe it is the opposite that is true. I’ve accepted old habits as truth, instead of accepting the growth mindset of there always being another way. Overthinking is not the issue, under-thinking is.
13 – Truth declaration: “When I’m spontaneously challenged and I react spontaneously, I succeed!”
This is my unshakeable confidence.
I love overcoming my fears: What does this mean?
This is my affirmation for “I can do it”
Feels like pure joy
I am doing it, I can do it!
Feels like a refreshing swim in a cool lake: exhilarating.
My gut reaction to this is that I have no interest in what others think, I acknowledge that I am my harshest judge.
I have deflected the responsibility of criticism onto others to be able to blame them for my results. It’s been easier to shirk that responsibility and in retrospect, it never ended up feeling better. It just drags things on. As stated in earlier questions, the closure is filled with positive rewards, regardless the outcome of the action. Passing the buck ends up feeling like a punishment.
Why do I do it? I don’t know. Right now it feels distant from me and that the core of this train of thought has nothing to do with the core of this question.
Hmmm.. This is frustrating because I have no result to grow from. Can not-knowing be a result for me? Well, it is a door I can lead to learning. Ok, then! Let’s go back to the truth declaration and rephrase it.
“When I embrace a spontaneous challenge, I act completely with all I am. This act is a success because it has an end that can lead to greater learning. “
The most powerful feeling from this statement is that I have acted and achieved a result. Everything else is simply descriptive wording around this fact. The pleasure comes from the accomplishment first; helping others, learning something new, changing something is all secondary… or icing on the cake.
It’s not “I can do it” that matters. It’s “I am doing it” and “I did it. Now, what’s next?” That’s a feeling of excitement!
I just felt an anxious feeling of fear of disappointment at not being acknowledged by a further challenge. That is an outside-in thought. I can challenge myself. It is my reward for success. I don’t need anyone else to give me that reward. I am my own cake and it’s delicious!
14 – What does humility mean to me?
What is this to me, is it a truth?
This is at war with my NOT-growth mindset.
False belief: I don’t see value in what I’m doing, yet.
I feel anger for allowing myself to believe this as a truth.
Counterpunch Statement: I’m grateful for the realization that I no longer have to believe my limiting beliefs.
I value what I do because I continuously have an impact on others. (Why is this truth?)
Humility was connected to a feeling of being false. False with myself for accepting humility as a reason for not trying to grow and excel! False from others for the very same reason. Only what I disliked in others is actually what I disliked in me.
First, I wasn’t taking responsibility for my inaction.
Second, I was blaming my dad, and possibly others for filling me with their choices.
Third, I was accepting this blame from others as the truth about my possibilities, instead of taking my own actions.
Finally, I wasn’t seeing the beauty of my true humility. It’s my passion for learning that fuels my optimism and gathers teachers and mentors to me. My true humility is connected to the resistance of my arrogance. I was falsely arrogant about my knowledge and used that falseness as a protection against a lack of knowledge. Whereas, I could have been and am now accepting that I have the knowledge I have and it is always growing with each new challenge.
I can be arrogant & humble authentically and without the judgments, I previously placed on these words. I own these words now and how I define and feel about them. I am what I am!
15 – What is the difference between humility and gratitude?
Which serves me better & how?
My new acceptance of humility derives from a new definition of it. Humility is the ability to accept your audience, including when you are your own audience, as they are and not feel the need to express your perspectives or feeling disappointment for not expressing them.
Gratitude will always serve me better because it gives me closure and permission to move forward. It’s a “thank you” to myself and the universe for whatever just happened and the emotion that moves me forward in the flow.
16 – Why do I feel a strong desire to challenge the normal? What stops me?
I am not sure these are authentic questions for me. Neither one feels right, nor elicits a strong feeling. A strong truism, based on the emotion I feel, the warmth in my gut I feel, is that I like going with the flow.
This isn’t a statement of passivity. I feel that the flow has me and brings me where I should be. It brings challenges and allows me to achieve results, that in turn move me further in the flow. This is a very comfortable, loving and nurturing feeling. It feels very good.
My desire to change is more mischievous than strong. I enjoy engaging in discussion and grabbing learning opportunities. Maybe that’s one of my roles in the universe, who’s to say either way?
17 – Truth declaration: “It’s a pure pleasure for me to grow!”
I feel it would be more accurate to say: “I feel pure joy when satisfying my curiosity”. There are things I resist learning or have resisted learning, and true to the saying they persist.
I have to admit that even when I am challenged with unpleasant things, I feel very grateful for what I’ve learned from the experience, once I’ve taken some time to consider the event.
So, growth is learning for me and I love to learn, try new things, explore and experiment. I’ve always been this way. I really don’t care if I like it or not, I crave the experience. Funny thing is that like it or not, few things drive me back to trying them again. I like to have new experiences.
18 – When is seeking challenges stronger than seeking comfort?
If I consider this question literally, I don’t seek challenges, nor do I seek comforts. If the act of seeking is the crux of this question, what I seek is learning and experience. Sometimes it takes me out of my comfort zone, sometimes it redefines my comfort zone, and sometimes it beautifies my comfort zone. The experiences I seek are often sought with an impulse that ignores my comfort zone. I feel that my comfort zone is for my down time, not my seeking time, so they are living on separate levels of my whole being and don’t influence each other much when I am the originator of the challenge.
When the challenge comes from outside, without my consciously seeking it, then I much prefer my comfort zone.
What could say about me? Meh, it’s a judgment and feels like a silly thought, so I feel no need to give it the time of day.
I find that I’m less and less phased by the unexpected and my belief that everything happens for a reason, as well as, there being a learning opportunity & solution to every challenge increases daily.
Overall I’m a pretty happy and comfortable guy.
19 – Explore: My fear is a “Stoned Shit Fly”.
Fear has become something external but still tethered to me by a very fine thread. When it appears, it is as annoying as a fly buzzing around my ears, but in slow motion. I’m not sure when or why associated fears as stoned shit flies, but most fears no longer appear as walls to me; only as annoyances I have a choice to accept or walk away from.
20 – Explore this train of thought:
I can’t allow myself to be great.
I don’t allow myself to be great.
I don’t go against my Father’s values because I simply accepted them.
I’ve learned to accept external value narratives, over my own.
I feel sadness from this.
It feels like dependency on external approval.
I dislike this in myself and resist it.
What I resist, persists.
Growth Mindset – I can learn from this.
Fear declaration: I don’t know what I need to learn from this and it scares me not to know.
It’s now two weeks after I wrote this and a whole lot of self-learning has occurred since, including during the answering of the previous questions today. I feel strongly that most of these statements are in the incorrect tense, they are true to the past, and may occur in moments of self-pity, but right now, as I’m writing this, they are false.
Starting with my new mantra “I am what I am”, which makes me giggle as it reminds me of Popeye, I feel that all these verbs are actions outside of me. They are easily replaced with having, not being. So my challenge is the re-state them as being.
I am my great self.
I am always my great self and can be nothing other than my great self.
I am today, the result of all my life’s experiences, until today. Tomorrow, I will be the result of all my life’s experiences again, up until tomorrow, and so on, and so on.
I have been in sadness and may be so again, when I choose to leave myself, to be in someone else’s sadness.
By the fact of my actions, I already am experiencing the approval I seek. It is done, and I am what I am.
There is no denying I am what I am.
I am learning whatever I need to learn from this and it will find it’s purpose in my life when and where it is supposed to.
21 – How does it feel to say: “I don’t know” to myself, to others?
I don’t know anymore. This day has shown me acceptance and how to be ok with I don’t know. It doesn’t feel emotional at all right now. I’ll have to consider it on a case by case scenario to evaluate what triggers emotions.
22 – What is good about “I don’t know?”
It opens the doors of opportunity to discovering & knowing.