“Everything in our lives is either a blessing, or a blessing in disguise.” – Joel Fotinos
Week Twenty One
Do you hold yourself in the highest esteem? When we appreciate and value ourselves, enabling our well-being comes naturally. This exercise allows you to contemplate all the ways in which you can most completely support yourself and explore how you really want to feel as you live your life. As you engage with this exercise, let go of the image you think others would prefer. If it does not allow for your best health, then they do not truly have your best interests at heart. Also, let go of the ways in which not taking care of yourself appears to serve you – This is an illusion providing only false security.
Make three columns labeled ‘Priorities’, ‘Make Peace With’ and ‘At Peace With’
1) In the first column, note down all the things that are priorities for you to experience a life of vitality.
2) In the second column, add items that interfere with these priorities. What would it be like to wholly embrace these aspects of yourself and be compassionate?
a. This could be something physical: anything from a struggle with weight, to having goofy teeth, to talking too much, to being messy and unorganized.
b. Or it could be something in our attitudes and emotional response. Oftentimes, the lessons learned as we experience this about ourselves are some of our greatest gifts.
3) In the third column, write everything that is just part of what is that you are okay with. These are parts of life or your experience that you accept that do not interfere with your well-being: The things that you allow to be and have no issues with. Note, this is not the same as being resigned to something – these items should be in the second column.
4) Looking at what you have written, what can you do to shift items from column two to column three or from column two to column one? Consider “Is there a growing edge for me in what other people say to me or what I say to myself?”, or “Are these demands that I make on myself out of alignment with my needs and values?” If you answer yes to either of these questions then you can make adjustments, and perhaps add it to experiences you want in your life. If not, choose whether to make it okay and add it to the items you are at peace with.
a. Things that you could make peace with might include aspects that other people have a go at you about, complain, or comment about or that we hold ourselves accountable for.
b. These messages could be anything from cultural expectation, religious viewpoints, and gender biases to personal beliefs.
c. When criticisms come up consider:
These questions are directed at loving and accepting the unique brilliance of who you are. They also expand you vision of how you want to feel about yourself and be treated, and the ways in which you can best sustain yourself. By incorporating these new insights into your daily life, you will benefit with greater presence and grace.