The You-ness of YOU

In our competitive culture, our patriarchal culture, our left-brained culture we are all about comparison and competition. We have been sold on the belief, conscious or otherwise, that if we do not compete we will end up on the bottom of some imaginary heap. Or that someone will get the better……you name it: car, position in line, deal at the store, advance in career, innovative idea that earns millions of dollars and accolades that we dream will finally make us feel like enough.

It is a lie.

Your being enough is not a ticket to sit on the couch and play video games all day.

Your being enough is an alert to you that you are the only YOU on the planet.

Now bring the uniqueness of your “you-ness” to life and share it with the world.

What are your unique gifts, capacities, one of a kindnesses?  Are you great at putting together costumes? ( There was a “Hot Chocolate 15 K Run in Golden Gate Park today and one of the female runners ran in a tutu over her black leggings)

If you love to sing, let the birds and the shower and maybe five other people hear you sing.  Do not compare yourself to your idol. Learn from him or her, yes. But bring out your voice, your expression.

Are you a math whiz who loves crunching numbers? A hands on creator of some kind? Notice you. Notice what is wanted by your being. What gets you up in the morning.

Bring your “you-ness” out to play. Bring those ideas, personal expressions out of the clouds of the mind and put them into an active practice. Ground yourself through moving your body into the creative action of your dreams and desires made manifest.

Make a vision board. Tell a friend. Write yourself notes. Put you out there. Make you a contributing member of our world through your gifting us with your uniqueness. Give us a chance to share your uniqueness.

When Our Self Esteem Tanks

A silver-haired competent, creative man sat in my office with tears rolling down his cheeks.

His head bowed, his eyes closed, he shook his head “NO” as I offered him the mantra:

“I am precious and valuable.  I am enough.  I matter. Even if…”

His fingers clenched over his toned stomach.

“No?” I asked.

“No. I do not matter.”

“Ouch.” I said.

We sat and breathed together as I had taught him. In and out. In and out. Quiet. In and out. In and out. More Quiet.

“Lovingly accept that you do not feel like you matter.”
When we lovingly accept whatever feeling comes up, and breathe into it, it may well shift.

If we reason, analyze, counter that feeling, we will get blocked, resisted and land in a tug of war either within ourselves or between ourselves and another.
We sat and breathed.

I asked him when he had first experienced that he did not matter.
I invited him not to search for it, but the memory, time, experience come to him like a leaf on that river.

It came.

So did more tears.

He told me of his young four year old self being yanked up from his crying heap in the dirt, gripped by the arms and held eye-to-eye by his very disgusted-looking uncle and told to stop sniveling.

Breathe. Keep breathing. In and out.

“What does that little four year old need from you? How can you help him? What did he need back then? Imagine it and give it to him.”

As this grown man had the courage to go back in time and offer his little kid self the care and protection he needed in that moment, he shifted in his seat and visibly got taller, stronger, more integrated.

He wiped his eyes, blew his nose.

“Congratulations! You just proved to yourself you do matter.”

He opened his eyes with a shy smile said, “I guess I do.”

Managing Self Esteem

A long time ago my teacher, Pia Mellody, taught me a mantra I want to share.

“I am precious and valuable. I am enough and I matter. Even if…”

As shown in the stellar research work,“Daring Greatly” by  Brene Brown, all of us suffer from the fear of not being enough.  I used to think it was my private plaguing thought.  A cruel task master that had me constantly, anxiously, striving.  I would do something as innocent as baking a cake, enjoy a few moments of satisfaction and then my demon voice would point out the flaws.  Nothing was safe from her critical eye, especially around high-stake issues like where to live, who to marry, which job to persue.  From childhood to adulthood this voice ran my brain.

But through Pia and Brene I learned that we are greater than our thoughts, our feelings or our actions.  That it is actually my job to control my brain.  Just because thoughts come into my brain does not make them valid.

Over the years I’ve learned of four ego fears we all share:

  1.  I am not enough.
  2. There is not enough.
  3. I will be rejected.
  4. I have to control and dominate to be safe.

If we do not manage our egoic brain, we may easily and effortlessly let one or more of these fears run our lives.

But with “I am enough,” as an active internal mantra, I learned that I could direct my brain into better thinking. That thinking helped my mind and body relax. Instead of losing energy criticizing myself, I could invigorate myself.  I did not have to take things personally. I could breathe more easily.

It was a major step in managing my self esteem.

Try it.

You will like it.

You will feel better.

Your life will get better.

You too are precious and valuable. You too are enough and you matter.

Even if…..