In this season of celebration and also of retreat and renewal, I’m still hoping you might be able to squeeze one of my webinars on Sense of Self into your schedule this week and weekend. The sign up link and dates are below.
And in case you are interested in the exploration of your Sense of Self, but can’t fit in a 90 minute deep dive this week, I’m sharing with all of you the homework that I created for the webinar participants, which is also useful as a standalone exercise. When I created this homework yesterday, I worked through the exercise with one of my personal roles. Today I went through the process, looking at myself in the role of Wounded Healer and Trail Guide.
I met my vulnerability, my fear “that I am less than I am”, my “grief and shame for not having more or better to offer.”
Some of those emotional pieces are probably somewhat accurate, and some are off track – fear but not truth. Accurate or not, the emotional pieces are there, and can’t just be perenially ignored. Another thing I found in the process is that in touching my emotions, I felt more alive, I found some excitement, even illicit excitement, like I am getting away with something by stepping into the role of Wounded Healer and Trail Guide for you.
Before I get into this Self exploration process, here are the dates and times for the Sense of Self Webinar:
December 17 at: 8 PM EST/5 PM PDT/Dec 18 1 AM GMT (London)/Dec 18 noon AEDT (Sydney)
December 19 at: 4 PM EST/1 PM PDT/9 PM GMT/Dec 20 8 AM AEDT
December 20 at: 1 PM EST/10 AM PDT/6 PM GMT/Dec 21 5 AM AEDT
And here is the sign-up link for the webinar. This takes you to the landing page, where you can enter your name and email address to join the webinar.
Click here to register for the Sense of Self webinar
Here is the process:
An exploration of Self through the lens of Role
It has taken me about 20 minutes when I’ve gone through this process, you could probably do it in 10 if you adopt a faster pace, or I’m guessing you could spend an hour if you want to dive deep – or for sure if you want to do multiple pass throughs with different roles in mind.
* * * * *
Before we start, I invite you to take some time, a minute or more, to notice your breath, notice your body, feel the weight of your body on the chair, couch, floor, or whatever is holding you up, feel your feet, and gently look around and check out your physical environment, including sounds and smells. Take time to land in present time and space and to land in your body. Really, I mean it. Take an actual minute to do this if you are willing. Humor me. 🙂
I am also pausing to do that now myself, as I put these instructions together for you.
In reflecting on that minute of orienting, I am bemused at myself, curious that I don’t do these simple practices more often. I suspect it is a universal human trait to believe (or to try to convince ourselves) that we are more enlightened and healthier than we actually are. I noticed my mind protesting, “I know all this, I don’t have to do the practice because…” Yeah, I don’t think there was actually any real logic there! OK, so on with the study!
Think of a role that is important to you, where perhaps you might feel challenged in fulfilling that role the way you would like to. This can be a personal or professional, public or private role. Here are just a handful of the many possibilities: parent, partner, teacher, organizer, artist, activist, philosopher, leader, or volunteer.
Just be sure to choose a role that matters to you. (And you can always do a second pass reflecting on a different role, and a third and a fourth, if you wish.)
Thinking of yourself in this important role, consider the following questions. I invite you (as much as you can) to consider the responses to the questions that come from your body, your belly, and your heart. If you find yourself engaged in mental analysis, I invite you to pause and return to some moments of connecting again to your breath, your body, and your environment, and then return to the question.
I encourage you to take written notes if that feels ok. Research has shown that writing things down facilitates faster learning and greater insights, even if we never actually read our notes. I am reaching for a clipboard so that I can take notes on my process as I go through it with you now.
Here are the questions. I invite you to take at least 40 seconds with each question. Even if you are not having specific thoughts, feelings or insights, I invite you to just sit with the question and notice what it’s like to hang out with that question. And you are welcome to take longer, as long as you wish, or as long as something is happening or flowing. I timed this with my iPhone, but interestingly I found that on most questions it took me a minute or more just to get through my initial surge of ideas and feelings in response to the question. With one question, no answer showed up, and I just sat with that.
Here are the questions:
Who am I? (nouns and adjectives)
Who am I in this role? (or: Who am I as a _____?)
How am I feeling about myself in this role? (or: How am I feeling about myself as a _____?)
What am I feeling? What emotions?
What do I want?
Who do I want to be?
Who do I want to be that I am successful at being?
Who do I want to be that I can’t seem to manage being?
What has it been like for me sitting with these questions?
Now again, I invite you to take some time to notice your breath, notice your body, feel the weight of your body on the chair, couch, floor, or whatever is holding you up, feel your feet, and gently look around and check out your physical environment, including sounds and smells. As you intentionally again land in present time and space and in your body, sense your system integrating whatever experience you just had with the questions.
If anything really interesting or notable happened, please feel free to share it with me, I’m quite interested and curious.
And with that, I look forward to seeing a few of you later this week, and I wish all of you a safe, rewarding, connected, and nurturing holiday time. I will continue to be in touch!!