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Click play below for a reading of today's intentional session from Matt.
We come to self-discovery for many reasons.
We may have always felt a longing to know our “true” selves and now want to dig deeper into who we are. We see patterns of behavior and wonder if our behavior is serving our needs. Our relationships are often strained and we wonder if we could be playing a part in that. Our desire to know and understand ourselves can feel like an immediate need or our ultimate, lifelong adventure, or both.
- We are on a quest of SELF-DISCOVERY.
- We are not broken.
- We do not need to “be fixed”.
- We have learning and growing to do (no matter what our age).
- Part of that learning and growing is releasing what no longer serves us.
The first step to self-discovery is self-awareness.
The practice of observing ourselves without analysis or judgment and documenting our findings will lead us to ask questions that bring clearer understanding.
We can use our feeling place as a guide to becoming aware.
How you “feel” will undoubtedly be painted with conditioning but it is our habitual conditioning that we are uncovering. Own those feelings without judgment. Document them without analyzing them.
Can we become AWARE of ourselves and just notice, through observation, the beauty in all of our states of being? I believe we can.
Your ability to acknowledge your feeling place, no matter what it is, is the key to authentic, lasting growth. If you can put to rest the “shoulds” or “if only” or “can'ts” by identifying them but not allowing them to take hold, you can answer with your own authentic truth.
Spend the day observing your feeling places and documenting those feelings.
If you are at work keep a post-it note near you to jot down these feeling places. Be specific enough on your post-it to remember, when you document in the evening, the person, place, or thing that contributed to that feeling.
Today, let's take five(ish) intentional pauses.
Let's take the first pause now:
Stop what you are doing.
Take three very long, very slow breaths and focus on your state of being.
It doesn't matter when you do these and three very long, slow breaths could be done under any circumstances without interrupting anything else you may be doing.
Notice how three breaths (even just one) can stop the momentum of any thought process that may be occurring.
Go ahead, try it.
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I am compassionate with myself as I identify and observe my feelings.
If you are out of the practice of acknowledging your own beauty it can be challenging.
Let's start with baby steps:
- Go to the mirror and feel your face with your hand.
- Focus on your hand as it caresses your face and focus on your face as it is being caressed by your hand.
- If you can, look into your own eyes while you do this.
This exercise is not meant to be “thought-provoking”. It is purely a sensory exercise.
Finish the sentences below using the following instructions. Read all of the instructions before beginning:
- Find a quiet space, free of distraction.
- Take three long, slow, deep breaths before beginning to write.
- Copy the first sentence fragment given, ONE TIME at thetop of the page then immediately write twelve endings.
- Continue with the next fragment below that one and repeat the process.
Please keep in mind,
- The ending does not have to make sense. They may even contradict each other.
- The endings do not have to be the “correct or ultimate” ending.
- They do not have to be “true”, logical or rational. You may even have to exaggerate (which is fine).
- If your mind goes blank-make something up, invent something.
- Move quickly through the endings and do not re-read what you have written while you are writing your endings. (You will reflect on them later).
- Keep your endings fairly short and simple.
- Once you begin, do not stop or give up. If after a few endings you feel like saying “That is all I have” say to yourself “Keep going, please” and KEEP GOING.
We know much more than we are aware of knowing.
Providing these endings is meant to bypass the conscious mind and access the subconscious. Oddly enough, the freedom to express an ending that is untrue may be the “permission” we need to express the truth.
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Date your page and begin with the first sentence fragment below:
Ever since I was a child …
Sometimes I give people the impression that I …
I feel powerful when …
I see life as …
I see work as …
I feel calm when …
One of the things I like about myself is …
One of the things I dislike about myself is …
I am becoming aware …
If any of what I am writing is true then …
Today, let's reflect on the sentences we completed in our Awareness Journal Prompt session.
- Read them as full sentences and become aware of the thoughts and feelings you are experiencing.
- Certain connections and realizations may unfold. They will unfold more fully as you continue.
- Document anything that you notice in your journal.
Today, let's create a journal page that feels like our Self-Discovery journey.
I know this all seems like a lot of words, work, and time.
Most of these beginning stages are just to become acquainted with the process. There will be fewer words as we move forward. There is no pressure to complete each task.
This is your journey.
Do as many of the exercises as you choose, in the amount of time you choose (days, if necessary), and use any feelings of lack or judgments as another part of the path to self-discovery.
Answering the questions won't take more than 5-10 minutes.
Reflection will take as long as you prefer. Your initial responses to the sentence endings are what needs to be documented as soon as you have completed your endings. You will reflect as you move through your day. That information is also noteworthy if you have a few moments in the evening.