By Jane Straus
Step 1: Recognize you are enduring. Do you feel you never have time to stop? Do you distract yourself with eating, working, volunteering, cleaning, etc.? Do you resent that you never have time to do the things your spirit longs for? Do you feel resigned rather than inspired? If you wake up most mornings feeling anxious, bored, or numb, looking forward to some imagined future time when you will feel happier- "when my children finally start school," "when my bills are paid off," "when I retire" - then you are enduring.
Step 2: Release your self-judgments. Your negative beliefs about yourself that are holding you back - you're untalented, too fat, not smart enough, etc. - are probably rooted in your childhood. Why would you let your "inner seven-year-old" run your life? These judgments are real but are only as true as you have believed them to be. Give yourself compassion for having carried the burden of your self-judgments. Replace them with affirmations and find new evidence to support your willingness to believe in them. Affirmations are as true as you allow them to be.
Step 3: Question your limiting beliefs. When you tenaciously hold on to the belief that the world works in one particular way (against you), or that there is only one right way to do something (and you are doing it wrong), or that your actions will inevitably result in a specific and predictable outcome (bad), you are strapping on blinders. Make a commitment to take off those blinders. It will take practice and patience to stay out of "limiting belief territory," but eventually it will become second nature. You'll quickly start to see that life no longer feels boring and predictable.
Step 4: Drop your acts. When you put on the armor of an act, you sacrifice your authenticity for protection. For instance, you think no one can hurt you if you're tough enough.or that everyone will love you if you're nice enough.or everyone will respect you if you never admit to being wrong. Your acts will become your prison. Instead, give yourself joyful permission to become more of who you really are. You will feel free and will find that who you are is much more interesting than any character you could possibly play.
Step 5: Face down your fear. What fear is keeping you from living your extraordinary life? Whatever it is - quitting your unfulfilling job, leaving an abusive marriage, telling the truth about your past - you must face it head on. Recognize that F.E.A.R. means "False Evidence Appearing Real." Think of the worst case scenario and see yourself living through it with dignity. Get support from others. Create an affirmation, such as, "I am now courageous." Then, just do it. Remember that no matter what the momentary outcome of facing your fear brings, your worth as a person is constant and never in question.
Step 6: Free your feelings. If you feel bored, you are probably ignoring or avoiding something. Make an effort to connect with your feelings. Sit in a quiet place and close your eyes. Take some deep breaths. Check in with your body. Do you feel any tightness or pain? Give that pain or tightness a name, such as fear, hurt, anger, resentment, sadness. If your body feels light and open, give that an emotional name such as joy, love, happiness. Whatever emotions you feel and name, just allow them to be. If they change, let that be. Let yourself be. Learn to honor your emotions. Give them an opportunity to inspire you.
Step 7: Heal your anger and resentment. When you can acknowledge that your resentments are fueled by your personal regrets, you free yourself to step out of the victim role. It is not that you are letting others off the hook for unkind or unfair behaviors; they are still responsible for their intentions and actions. But the moment you uncover your regrets, you are empowered to let go of resentment.
Step 8: Forgive yourself. Make a list of the wrongs you have done to others and to yourself. See them as results of survival strategies. Acknowledge the consequences of these strategies to yourself and others. Grieve for your losses and your mistakes. Make amends with yourself and others. Create an affirmation to replace the self-judgments that drove you to using your survival strategies. And remember to treat yourself the way you would want others to treat you.
Step 9: Know, speak, and live your truth. Commit to being truthful in all you say and do. Realize that being truthful is not synonymous with being honest. Truth is a complex blend of honesty mixed with compassion and vulnerability. When you are "brutally honest," you are expressing your judgment but not expressing your truth. Your spirit knows the difference between truth and honesty. When you express your highest thoughts and intentions, you are able to live a true life, not just an honest one.
Step 10: Create your extraordinary life every day. To live in your truth is to allow your spirit's energy into every cell of your being and into every thought and action. Here's what this means in everyday terms: When you tell the clerk at the grocery store checkout counter that she has given you too much change, you make truth and spirit matter more than money. When you hear gossip and don't pass it along, you make truth and spirit matter more than your momentary desire to feel important. When you tell someone you love him or her, unsure of whether he or she will say it in return, you make truth and spirit matter more than your fear of rejection. Make these decisions every day. It takes courage and commitment to be your extraordinary self. You will be amply rewarded with a rich and fulfilling life.
------------ --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- -
Jane Straus, mother, facilitator and award-winning author helps individuals, couples, and families using the principles found in Enough Is Enough! She also speaks to various groups, provides consulting services for companies trapped in negative cultural patterns, and conducts in-depth seminars . For more information, visit stopenduring. com. www.awakeninghearta ndsoul.com