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 3 – May 4th, 2017
1 – Why do I default to “I want to be grateful” instead of “I am grateful”?
Self-acceptance and taking responsibility come to heart. I’ve deflected being what I want for so long it had become a habit. Despite not wanting this habit, it persisted. Possibly thanks to the overuse of “I want to” & “try”. Right now, it feels like a very short leap of faith to believe in being what I want. I’ve just lived a birthday week filled with so much abundance of joy & love, that I am grateful! I am loved! I am blessed. I am respected. I am acknowledged. I can go on and on.
The “I want to” & “try” are denials. Denial hasn’t ever worked for me in my desire to learn and grow. Denial has never brought me happiness or feelings of joy. Being is the key to happiness. Being is the key to being. Amazing how often everything comes back to “Just Do It”. It goes way beyond doing. It is all about being!
2 – Regrets, what are they saying to me?
Answer: Grow a pair of balls and do it!
It feels like a wake-up call to get out of my own way and take action then works with the results. It’s a seemingly judgemental statement, but I acknowledge that I am adding those emotions to it. They don’t exist in the statement itself. The funny thing is that I’m hearing my father’s “Ben, voyon donc!” exclamation* very differently for the first time. I put the emotion in his statement. I chose to hear it as a put-down, instead of a wake-up call to get the f*** out of my own way!
I am so grateful for this awesome realization. I can now listen to my father’s voice in my head as what I want it to be, a rallying call to action. It’s a “you can do it!” call now.
It really doesn’t matter what he intended, it only matters what I choose to do with it. I choose to believe the rallying call intention, and this feels awesome, so it must be a truth.
*Translates to something like: “Really? Come on!”
3 – What the f*** is wrong with me?
I have allowed myself to deflect responsibility for actions taken and missed. I made choices that lead me to learn slower than might have been possible. Who’s to know for sure? I am where I am because of my decisions and I am now taking decisions differently, because of what I’ve learned up to now. Everything happened as it was supposed to, or I wouldn’t be here right now writing this statement.
Therefore, I am what I am and that is exactly what I am meant to be right now. There is absolutely nothing wrong with me.
4 – Why do I accept my excuses?
Do I really accept my excuses? I have emotional reactions to most of them. I judge them as excuses, not factual & unchangeable events from the past. My emotional judgments indicate I don’t accept them. I make choices following my actions, that is all. I may not always act forward upon the results. In fact, I am most judgemental of my excuses when I choose inaction over action. Considering I make the choices either way; I am empowered to choose. Therefore, I may have developed some limiting habits as a result of these choices, and habits can be replaced. I am able to be mindful of my choices and I can choose different reactions. I am learning all the time, regardless of the outcome. I choose what I want to do with my learning.
5 – Consider: I want external approval because it’s easier than self-acceptance.
I can’t say with complete conviction that I don’t want external approval. I like it. It feels good to be acknowledged, appreciated, and approved of. There must be some truth to it because it feels good.
I can’t say it’s easier than self-acceptance either. As I’ve learned in the previous questions, I was deflecting responsibility and denying myself the reward of accomplishment. When I look at it this way, I feel both gratitude and self-love for this realization.
I can enjoy approval, accolades, acceptance from all sources, inside and outside of me. They are gifts and rewards for the fact an action has been taken.
6 – Why don’t I love my passions?
Maybe because I haven’t allowed myself to pursue them. Maybe because I haven’t been authentic with who I am on all things. These don’t feel right.
I say and believe I’m an explorer of experiences, and I’ve not pursued some of those explorations to the end. I can blame it on having many interests and only one me to go around, but that isn’t a fair assessment for not following my passions. I accept that I am always living in the present moment. I cannot change the past, not can I fully predict the future. I can only act in the now. I can and do love a great many of the experiences I’ve had in my life. I am deeply grateful for the skills I’ve acquired and I continue to be excited when I improve those skills. When I immerse myself into my interests, even after being away for a long time, I enjoy them deeply. Isn’t this love? Isn’t this being passionate? I believe it is. I choose to accept this is truth. It feels good.
I believe I love my passions and I am grateful I have so many of them to keep me from ever getting bored or jaded. My passions are fuel for my curiosity, learning, and growth. I love my passions!
7 – Consider: I am a listener who gets involved in my enthusiasm.
I feel the statement should be: “I am a listener who allows myself to occasionally get distracted by my enthusiasm for the subject.”
I always intend to be a good and active listener and sometimes the active part takes over. Awesome, I’m engaging in a conversation, not an interview. Well, I sometimes do this when I interview as well. I am what I am… especially when I’m excited.
8 – Statement: I accept myself as I am, without proof.
Hmmm. my new mantra is “I am what I am”. This overrides part of the above statement. The proof part. Being what I am, and accepting the fact I can only be what I am, I have proof that I indeed am what I am. I accept this as proof. I accept myself as a fact of the “Now-Me”. The me that exists right now, because of the experiences up until now. So, the statement could be changed to “I accept myself as I am, as a matter of fact.“
9 – When I accept myself, others will as well.
If I don’t accept myself right now, I never will and nor will anyone else.
Who other than me, understands me as well I do?
Again back to the factual statement-mantra of “I am what I am.”
This is such a fun and powerful statement for me. I’m really enjoying it. The more I say it, the more I get this sense of satisfaction and self-acceptance. It’s a judgment-free statement. It feels stronger than acceptance; It feels like stating a fact.
10 – Consider: Regret is the flip-side of acceptance.
In #2 I found my regrets diminish with acceptance. So, maybe acceptance is a countermeasure against regrets, but is it the opposite? Looking at the emotions associated with the words. With regret, I have feelings of sadness. The opposite of sadness for me is happiness. The statement “I am what I am” is a statement of accepting what I am and it fills me with powerful happiness. Acceptance brings me happiness, relief, closure, and opens doors to options, learning, and growth…. Again, all words that give me feelings of happiness. So, what comes with acceptance is the opposite of regret.
11 – Statement: “I am what I am”
This feels good to say!!! Why?
As elaborated in a few previous questions, it empowers me and brings me feelings of joy and happiness.
12 – Consider: I don’t accept others approval because I project my doubts on them and don’t accept myself.
I have a gut feeling this goes back to how I used to interpret my father’s “Ben voyon donc!” statement. How could anyone approve of my output, especially when it’s an absolutely subjective output? This was with my art & writing when I was younger, and it extrapolated as a habit on all aspects of my productivity. Suddenly, I’m seeing and hearing people’s comments in a new light. What I perceived as criticism was feedback, questions, or misunderstood compliments. Is all this from my head? I think much of it is. I’m not feeling the gut reaction of anxiety and fear in my belly I used to.
I do feel the statement was true and will probably be true again when I find myself not accepting a compliment.
13 – True or false: I want others to take a leap of faith on me before I do on myself. Why?
Oh, this is very true. It is a wishful thinking sort of thing and it is absolute because I am feeling insecure about my skill set on a new challenge and want to borrow some confidence from others. It’s part of my fixed mindset, where I fear failure as an end in itself. My new growth mindset is winning the fight, bringing motivating feelings that come with knowing there are always options to take based on whatever the results may be. The initial action is only part of the journey.
14 – Power Statement: “I am successful, regardless of outcomes, when I take leaps of faith!”
How do I feed this wolf?
Keep reminding myself of my growth mindset mantras. Outcomes can be either success or failure. What we do with the outcomes is how we grow. AND There are always several options to take based on the results. Each one yields new results and new options. It is an ever-growing richness of experience and learning.
Make this a practice of being, not doing! It is my purpose!
15 – Outcomes that I accomplish now:
i) I inspire creativity in others. How & why?
How? By modeling problem solving, critical analysis, and a willingness to play and explore alternatives.
Why? I believe there are several paths to any objective and this means many different ways to create the outcomes. Everyone is different and can bring something different to the solution.
ii) I bring beauty to the world. How & why?
How? I create art… in my sculpture, drawing, painting, writing, and I share all the beauty I can find or make, all in my own way.
Why? I believe there is something good in every situation. This belief stems from believing everything happens for a reason that we can learn from. I feel compelled to share this hope and perspective with the world.
iii) I show love is stronger than fear & hate. How & why?
How? Gestures big and small, hugs, handshakes, and smiles. They have always been contagious, with very few exceptions.
Why? This is the world I want and I believe fundamentally that I can change it with love, one person at a time.
iv) I model that growth is always possible. How & why?
How? When I chose to find a way. When I chose to consider my way can be improved upon. When I love the idea there are alternatives and different options. When I enjoy imagination and geek out when science fiction becomes reality.
Why? I get the deepest joy from imagining what doesn’t yet exists and then taking my imagination past that point.
v) I model optimism as a learning tool in resolving challenges. How & why?
How? By living the saying: “Where there’s a will, there’s a way”.
Why? Because the impossible is only a state of our current experience. Tomorrow is filled with possibilities.
16 – What is an accomplishment to me & why?
Previously, I defined it as completed work. There’s a great deal of satisfaction in closing a book when it’s done. It frees me to start another. The same goes for all projects I undertake. The funny thing is I often prefer completing a task before starting another, but I want to undertake many different tasks, so I don’t get bored. When I’m really enjoying what I’m doing, I simply don’t want any distractions, so I’d rather finish it.
Now, I define it as completing a step in continuous learning. No matter where I stop, it gives me a new platform to build and grow from.
17 – What drives my accomplishments?
Basking in my own glory.
The reward of relaxing.
Pushing boredom away.
Moving onto something new, because I have completed the previous.
I dislike unfinished things; not perfect things, but unfinished.
These all have different degrees of the same feeling; a sense of satisfaction. Am I satisfied by my accomplishments? As I ask this, I get a wave of dislike for the statement right from my heart and throat. I don’t want satisfaction, it feels like settling. I want more. I want the door to be open for the next learning opportunity. That is what drives my accomplishments. This feels authentic and light. Funny enough, as if the blood was rushing to my head in excitement.
I don’t want to brag, or bask in glory, or push boredom, or relax when I’m accomplishing something. Those needs are separate actions. My accomplishment is the key to opening more opportunities for exploring, for experience, for the love of learning. I accomplish stuff to move onto the next step of my journey to becoming and I’m not sure I always care what I may become. The mystery is part of the fun.