An Introduction to Self
We live in a culture that promotes the notion of opposition; the idea that there is only categorization and segregation. If something is not “this”, then it must be “that”. If someone belongs to “them”, they cannot be “us”.
The new way that I propose is the notion of balance. Expand and include. Yes, and. This expansive thinking requires a fundamental shift in our perspective of what is real and what we have been taught is truth. Life is beautiful, wild and free, as well as painful and unknown.
Human beings are no exception. We must expand to include all parts of ourselves, the parts we love and the parts we despise. This is the beginning of true compassion, first for ourselves and then for those around us.
Our Self (with a capitol “S”) encompasses all parts of us. It is our pain, our power, our purpose and our passion rolled into one unified being. The future of our species and our civilization is dependent upon more and more people discovering and living from our Self.
Your Self is who you are without doing anything at all. It is who you were born as and it is you in your most natural state.
When we live in Self we act as whole and complete human beings, we look out for our own best interests in a healthy way and we can discern what is beneficial and detrimental to the planet, our community, our families and our own bodies.
But here is the other important piece of being in Self: when we are in Self we are present, in present time, fully engaged in the moment we are residing in. We are not thinking of yesterday or tomorrow, what we should have said to our boss when they upset us, or how we will be good husbands this upcoming weekend to our wives. Being present means you are here, now.
A Little Story About Self
If you are not your emotions, or your thoughts, or your identity – then who are you? Who are you without being a father? The boss? The breadwinner?
Let me tell you a little story: I used to run away. I would travel to all kinds of exotic places; China, Cambodia, Peru, and I ran because it was the only time and space in my life that I could be authentic. It was the only time I could breathe. What I learned was that without all my “stuff” I was so much more than my stuff.
After about three weeks of living out of a backpack, shuffling from train to taxi and winding deeper into mysterious territories of foreign lands, the initial culture and one way ticket shock would wear off a bit and I would begin to empty.
I poured out my doubts, fears and shame. I poured them into journals and onto cobbled streets. I poured them into the incense at the temples, sending them back to the sky, back to the Unknown from whence they came. I walked and walked, over Koras and through Zen gardens. I contemplated. I surrendered.
And I hated every minute of it. In all honesty, I think I was completely miserable! Severe lack of sleep, poor nutrition and constant solo traveler’s vigilance wears on a person. But the gift in these excursions was that I could touch that deep part of me. That Self at my core, even if it was just for a few moments. I had to travel half way across the planet to find my authenticity, but it was better than not having it at all.
Who I was on these trips was a sort of slow moving, reflective, spiritual wanderer, drinking the world around me through my senses. It was all beautiful, and I discovered that I was beautiful in it. But then I would come back to the US and I would loose all that knowing and wisdom, that peace and solitude, that equanimity that I strove towards for months and traveled vast distances to obtain, was compromised in a matter of days. Days! And I was left heartbroken and in the same place I started.
I didn’t know how to maintain the feeling of my Self because I didn’t know how to be authentic anywhere else except a foreign country.
Who is Your Essence Self?
The key is to find this authentic Self at least once and then find ways to stay there for longer and longer periods of time. We cannot do it alone. We need others to bump against, combine with, and transform alongside. It was useful to me to have assistance; coaches, therapists, and caring friends that helped me go into myself and permeate my being and life with the qualities of who I am. The intention of this section is to help you find and stay in your authentic Self.
Self is our natural essence and qualities. It is who we came in as, and who we are on a transcendent level. There is a simple and clear distinction for what self is, and you may find it uncomfortable and new, or you may not. There are many experienced reactions, and what ever you feel is right.
When you are in Self, you feel compassionate and curious, and, usually, you feel a sense of humor. If you are not feeling compassionate and curious, you are not in Self.
We can be feeling other emotions in addition to compassion and curiosity, but if those two qualities are not present, it is a clear indicator that we are not in Self. I realize that this is an overly simplified distinction, but making the conscious effort to practice this awareness in our every day life will grant a notion of how much of our existence, lifestyle and relationships we spend not in our natural state.
Take Action: Know the Qualities of Your Authentic Self
In the Spanish language there are two forms of the verb “To Be” – Estar and Ser. The former verb refers to states of being, temporary conditions and physical characteristics. The latter refers to inherent character qualities such as kindness, curiosity, or joyfulness. What happens when you strip away who you are (Estar) and uncover who you are (Ser)?
Take a pen and paper and write a list of everything that you are, include everything that comes to mind. Write a list for 3 to 5 minutes. When time is up, go through the list and cross off anything regarding your physical appearance, job, or duties. Next, cross off everything about you that is temporary (your age, your weight, etc.) And finally, cross off everything that you cannot take with you when you die. What is left at the end of the list?
If the previous exercise is causing some trouble, or you want some external confirmation, another option is to ask your parents or someone who knew you between birth and about 4 (and before any significant traumas occurred, if possible) what you were like.
Write down the qualities you have discovered about your Essence Self. Some qualities might include: Playful, Inspiring, Curious, Loving, and Calm. Some words might overlap, try and simplify the list as much as possible until you have the feeling of who this person is that lives at your core. Capture your qualities in the space below:
What’s the Big Deal?
The single most important thing you can do for your life and your relationship with women is to stay in this present moment with your whole Self.
This first foundation of Self and who you really are explains that by increasing your presence and your awareness, and bringing that most essential part of you to your connections will directly increase the level of pleasure and sensation you are able to feel – because you are there to feel it.
Presence is power, and power in sex and relationship allows more spaciousness to explore, create and get curious.
And that is hot!
The Secret Back Door to Self
After we have discovered the qualities of Self we must then move to embody these qualities in our physical form. Meaning, you can theoretically understand who you are, but until you are being who you are, the exercise is meaningless.
The traditional route for embodying, or living daily, the qualities of Self is to go through the front door, to figure out what is blocking us, what are our traumas, to engage in talk therapy, etc. And then, eventually, our body will catch up with our brain and we will feel the exquisite calm that accompanies Self.
While I believe this route is useful and has its purposes, I am also aware of a quicker, back door approach. Do not misunderstand, there will be a time (later in this content!) where we will discover and evaluate these non-Self entities. It is my belief that we are stronger, more capable and make better decisions for our health and well being when we are in Self.
Thus, the back door approach.
The back door to Self is through the body first and then through the mind. When we focus on the central point of Self (within the body) the qualities of who we are naturally come to the surface in our lives.
Take Action: Self in the Body
We are going to do a simple exercise to find the location of Self in the body. In a moment, we are going to do a full body scan and what you will be looking for is the calmest point in your body relative to the rest of your system.
The calmest focal point is the physical location Self is residing at the moment.
Begin by sitting or lying down in a relaxed position. Imagine there is a scanner that is beginning at the tips of your toes. Remember you are looking for the calmest spot in your body.
With your attention bring the scanner up the tops of your feet and up the front of your body. Send the scanner over the top of your head and down the backside (remember to also scan in your arms, hands and fingers). Send the scanner down your back and to the heels of your feet, completing down the bottoms of your feet and ending at the tips of your toes.
If you are having trouble, try slowing the process down. Go over your knees, elbows and other not-so-intuitive places. Take deep breaths.
Now, what was the calmest place in your body?
The next step in this practice of Self is then to focus your attention on that calm spot and speak. Connect to another human being from that place of Self within your body.
We are accustomed in our western society to speak to one another from our head space and, although this is not altogether a bad thing, it keeps us from having the intimate and real connection that we crave.
Women crave this kind of connection from men. When you are speaking from Self (from the calm spot) you are emitting a signal that says you are present, you are listening and you care both about yourself and her.
A Few Things to Remember…
There are a few important points to remember and to implement into your use of this tool:
- Self is located in the body at the point of most calm
- This point of calm will move around. Today it may be in your heart, tomorrow your pelvis and the next day your right eye. Where Self is residing at the moment is not significant, what is important is that you check in to determine where the calm spot is in this moment.
- Speak from the calm spot, open your mouth and just spit it out. Your attention is a powerful tool – when you focus your attention on something (Self and Calm in this instance) you transmit the essence of what you are focusing your attention on. Trust your Self, you might be surprised what it has to say!
There are lots of places to go from here. I suggest:
Snoop around the other available items on the Resources page of my website.
I also have a kick-ass gift that will get your life in Self started right away.
Or, you could check out the many different ways to work with me.
No matter what you choose, I wish you lots of luck and love!
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