“Wholeness is the root of everything that the words health, healing, and holy signify in our language and our culture. When we perceive our intrinsic wholeness, there is truly no place to go and nothing to do. Thus, we are free to choose a path for ourselves.” ~ Jon Kabat-Zinn
Right at this moment, how do you feel about your quality of life? Are you feeling full of joy and gratitude for the state of your health, your career, and your key relationships? Or, are you living with silent regrets about choices made, or not made, that, in all honesty, are fueling the fires of shame, guilt and despair?
Take a moment now to become aware of your breathing. Is it shallow and tight, or is it deep and relaxed? I ask this question because your breath and your mental and emotional wellness are always interconnected. (Knowing this can empower you to use your breath to shift your mental and emotional states.)
Dr. Erickson’s first axiom reminded us of something we often forget: people are okay as they are. Imagine that. Right here, right now, you are okay! And not only are you okay, you are loved. Completely. Fully. Unconditionally loved!
In his national bestseller, Wherever You Go There You Are, Jon Kabat-Zinn writes, “[In] knowing our wholeness…we may find ourselves coming to terms with things as they are, a deepening of understanding and compassion, a lessening of anguish and despair.”
What if you could live your life, or at least moments within your day, with the mindset of being whole – of knowing you are unconditionally loved?
This, my friend, is a radical game changer because it would mean that there is nothing you and I can do, or not do, to add or take away from our humanity, our dignity, our worth, and our unity with God.
Like the other two axioms we covered from Dr. Milton Erickson, his third axiom focuses on shifting our mindset from seeing ourselves as broken to considering the concept of being whole.
A Person Always Makes the Best Choice He or She Can at the Time.
Wherever you might find yourself today – whatever the state of your health, marriage, career, family, or finances – what if the life you’re presently experiencing is based on making the best choices you could have made on the road of life?
Imagine. Breathe deeply.
Rather than looking at your present life through the lens of judgement, blame and criticism (something we often excel at), begin to see yourself and others through the window of wholeness.
Remember: We are creatures of habit, and our habits, or patterns, have been conditioned within us since the time of our birth. Every choice you have ever made conditions that same response in your body and mind. And every choice you ever made was either rooted in preservation or protection. (More on this topic in the next post)
To that end, if you are going to be a person who experiences a full and satisfying life, it is imperative to learn how to design your destiny. And Dr. Erickson’s axioms provide you and me with the necessary tools to shift our perceptions so that we are effectively equipped to craft a compelling future for our life.
Below are the first two master steps for designing your destiny.
Step One: Awareness
Awareness is nothing more than being in touch. In other words, awareness is being in tune, or in touch with the present moment. And the simple truth is, most of us are not. Most of us are very busy protecting ourselves and trying to prove our worth to the world around us.
And why do we do this? Very simply: you and I have a deep belief that we are broken – that we are not enough and unworthy of love, joy, happiness and abundance. As a result, shame takes root in our lives and our days become an endless feedback loop of reactionary living.
Awareness invites you to get in touch with your present model of the world and the beliefs and values that shape it. Dr. Erickson’s axioms liberate us to lay down our weapons of judgement and blame; equipping us to discover our intrinsic worth, explore our full humanity and re-create our life.
Awareness is like fresh spring rain on winter’s barren soil – the warm rains that nurture fresh, vibrant growth. Awareness is the first step into a new world of living life with clarity of being, purpose and action.
Step Two: Acceptance
Acceptance and awareness are dance partners who move across the floor with grace, passion, strength and ease. They are a joy to watch and inspire others to want to join in the dance.
If awareness is being in touch with the present moment, acceptance is fully embracing it for what it is. And what it is, is within your control to create.
You and I hold on to judgement, criticism and blame because of the meaning we give to the circumstances in our life. As a result, we may feel shame, guilt, isolation and despair. And to that end, these emotional and mental states influence our quality of life and relationships.
Awareness invites us to be in tune with what is happening around us and how our model of the world and underlying needs are shaping our thoughts, emotions and behaviors. Acceptance comes along side us, takes our hand and leads us in a new dance of observing our life and circumstance without judgment, criticism or blame.
In order for acceptance to take root and grow in our life, we must first nurture the seeds of awareness; cultivating heartfelt understanding for why we do the things we do. Secondly, acceptance is directly connected to a key principle: you and I have the power to reframe any circumstance in our life – past, present and future. (The power of meaning will be the topic of our next post)
Today’s Unitas Project:
- Recall a time in your life when you made a choice to do something that still causes the dark feelings of shame to rise to the surface.
- Breathe deeply and slowly through your nose as you recall this moment. Five counts of breath slowly in through your nostrils and then five counts of breath slowly out through your nostrils. Repeat for as long as you need.
- With the understanding that you made the best choice you could with the knowledge you had at that point in your life, what might you say to that younger version of yourself that could nurture awareness and acceptance; grace and compassion?
- I invite you to now receive this younger version of yourself into your heart and mind, embrace them fully as you share with them everything you are learning about being whole, loved and okay as you are.
Until next time…
Be You. Be Unitas.
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