Wednesday, June 16, 2010

My consciousness is getting cleaner by the day . . .

So yesterday (or was it the day before?) was Day 2 of the Consciousness Cleanse. Now that I'm not working at a 9 to 5 job, I sometimes find it hard to keep track of what day it is. Especially when the kids are out of school.

My flakiness aside, I did Day 2 but found it surprisingly difficult. Day 2 is the day of self-awareness. We're counseled to "invoke the agent of change called self-awareness" and begin to "digest" some toxic stuff or something. I have to be honest. That's the kind of self-help mumbo jumbo that turns me off. I get it - we can't begin to change unless we know who we are and what we want to change. Right? If you know you want to get to Point B, you need good directions. But the directions will be different depending on whether you're on Point A, Point C or Point Z. And that's where self-awareness comes in.

Day 2 also involves changing our perspective on our lives and the decisions we've made along the way. We're supposed to pretend that our lives are movies that we're watching without judgment. And once we stop judging things to be good or bad we can, presumably, release the emotional attachments to those events that are holding us back. See - I can totally talk the talk. I read this stuff, I can explain it to other people in words that (I think) sound pretty good and I really do understand what these exercises are supposed to accomplish. But it doesn't seem to work for me.

There's really only one thing I regret in my life and that's the fact that I wasted a lot of energy in my late 20s/early 30s worrying about the future. Two things in particular - getting the right job/career and finding a husband - a father for the children I wanted so desperately to have before it was "too late." But I don't judge myself poorly for that. I think. I bought into the cultural party line that was, and is, so powerful. I wasn't alone. I feel kind of sorry for younger me in fact. She missed out on a lot of amazing adventures because she wasn't focused enough in the "now." She made decisions she thought she had to make in order to have the future she thought she wanted. She was somewhat delusional. All the other stuff - the little and big things I would have done differently - it all comes from excessive worrying about the future.

So Day 2, for me, didn't really lead to any epiphanies because I'm already fairly self-aware. I already know what things limit me and I'm working on changing those things. In fact, I think my problem with getting paperwork done stems from living too much in the "now." I'm not thinking enough about the future and the work that needs to be done today in order to have a more peaceful and happy tomorrow. So I guess I just didn't get much out of Day 2. I did make a little more progress on my paperwork monster (a little, tiny bit) and I reminded myself - several times - of the Reiki principles to try to keep myself in a peaceful mood. So it wasn't a complete bust.

On to Day 3 which is the Gift of Release. This is where we take the limiting and toxic beliefs and behaviors and release them so that we can move forward. One of the concepts Ford talks about is that all the negative things that happened to us and all the negative self-talk, release toxins into our psyche. By the way, that's the same principle that Don Miguel Ruiz talks about in Toltec wisdom book (also known as The Four Agreements). (I highly recommend this book, by the way. My friend, the fabulous Judah Kurtz at Judah Buddha, recommends it to all his clients. If I had money, I would be a client but I don't so I just take advantage of his good advice as a friend!)

The Four Agreements resonates more with me because although the book is totally woo woo, the agreements themselves are very down to earth and easy to follow. I won't go into all of them (that's a post for another day) but the one that's relevant to today's Cleanse is "Be impeccable with your word." I think most people read that initially as meaning "don't lie." And it does mean that. But it really means to be very careful about what you say. Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Do not speak poorly about yourself (even in your head). Don't gossip or be mean to others. "Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love." I don't know about you but I think that the world would be a much better place if more people did just that.

So I'm already working on being nicer to myself (and everyone around me). I already know that the only thing standing between me and the life I want to live is fear. I have a daily wrestling match with fear. I stopped keeping score awhile ago because you know how much I hate keeping track of details like that. Fear is pretty strong and he's had the best of me for a long time. But the daily wrestling is making me stronger and I'm gaining ground. Haven't found his Achilles heal yet but I'll keep trying. Now I'm going to do some more paperwork stuff - baby steps. And then I'm going to do some yoga to help me feel more peaceful.

Now I'm curious about you. What are your self-limiting beliefs? What can you do today to start getting out of your own way?
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