Now is the time of year that many of us ask:
“Not so fast my friend,” as Lee Corso would say. Whether you are a sports aficionado or not – I believe you get the point. While these are totally appropriate questions -- when we start here, we might miss the most important first steps.
In my opinion, the first and most important questions to ask are: Am I fully Present? Do I… will I … can I …. fully accept myself…. just as I AM… in this present moment? Have I let go of some of my negative, limiting beliefs and emotions and started to accept that “I am good enough, just as I am?”
Simply put, the starting point is self-acceptance. As I wrote in the Appendix in “Be Happy NOW!: Ali’s List of Changes and Choices”, the opening quote is by Carl Rogers, “The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.”
It is a paradox. And, I have found it to be true! When I started to accept myself, I was able to start to step out of the box of criticizing, judging… or simply trying, trying, trying…. forcing change, rather than allowing change to flow. This Appendix is a list of over 30 changes I made in just 1 year. And the list continues to grow – as do I. Believe me, progress is not a straight line. There are ups and downs and loops and spirals – and, with commitment, the progress continues to this day.
Let us use inspiration -- rather than perspiration, trying, trying, trying --- to accept ourselves and to be open to change – to be in the Present Moment, to be in the NOW.
I am drawn to this poem by Hafiz, a beloved poet of Persians, who lived in the 1300’s. “The Time is Now” is a poem from “The Gift: Poems by Hafiz, the Great Sufi Master," as translated by Daniel Ladinsky.
NOW IS THE TIME
Now is the time to know
That all you do is sacred.
Now, why not consider
A lasting truce with yourself and God.
Now is the time to understand
That all your ideas of right and wrong
Were just a child’s training wheels
To be laid aside
When you can finally live
Hafiz is a divine envoy
Whom the Beloved
Has written a holy message upon.
My dear, please tell me,
Why do you still
Throw sticks at your heart
What is it in that sweet voice inside
That incites you to fear?
Now is the time for the world to know
That every thought and action is sacred.
This is the time
For you to deeply compute the impossibility
That there is anything
Now is the season to know
That everything you do
Can you feel the peeling away of self-criticism, judgment, and fear?
Ponder for another moment: “This is the time for you to deeply compute the impossibility that there is anything but Grace.” WOW!
Honor yourself – where you are right now on your journey. Honor your actions – irrespective of the outcomes outside of your control. Accept yourself – and Know – that everything you do is sacred.
I would also offer another source of inspiration. This is a meditation from one of my favorite teachers on Insight Timer™, Sarah Blondin, titled : Making Your Life Sacred There are so many phrases that resonate with me, such as: “release your worries,” take a moment to …,” “surrender,” “ask for help,” and “If you believe in anything, believe in joy.” This is a 12-minute meditation, rated 4.8 on a 5 point scale, and received accolades from hundreds of thousands of people around the world. I wholeheartedly concur.
Once we have started to accept ourselves, just as we are, then we are can move on to better self-awareness.
In “The Path to Empowerment,” a new 21-Day Meditation Series by Deepak Chopra, he says:
“When we are living in the present moment, our awareness is unlimited, unbounded by time or space. The limitless consciousness is our essential nature, our true self.”
I have been on a journey to greater self-acceptance and self-awareness for some time now. There is no end destination – it is a journey. And, as I said earlier, progress is not a straight line. I have found something to learn from the progress and even more to learn from my regressions – and the loop-de-loops can be fun too!
Self-acceptance is the foundation – the sine qua non.
Then comes better awareness.
With better awareness, we can make better choices.
With better choices, we achieve greater results!
One of the many reasons I love the High Performance Coaching™ Program work I do with clients is because we cover lessons including Clarity, Courage, Energy, Necessity and conclude with each person crafting their Purpose Statement. Along the way we are creating focus, clear priorities and action plans, blocking time for working on our dreams, and learning how to influence others to work with us and support our vision for the greater good.
So, by all means, pause and ask questions such as:
I am a big believer in focus and practice and hard work.
My point is: The first and most important step is to be centered and grounded in the Present Moment.
Till next time,
May you be happy now and always, Alison
Don't worry, your information will not be shared.