Welcome to our February Newsletter
February is the month we celebrate love. In this newsletter, we will explore the most important love relationship of all, the one you have with your True Self. Without a strong connection to our True Self, all other forms of love will be challenged. Why? It’s simple. The relationship we have with our True Self is the model on which we base all others.
What is my True Self?
Think of someone who loves or loved you regardless of circumstance or behavior. Often when asked this question, clients remember a grandmother or their beloved dog or cat. Just to give you a reference point…this is the energy of True Self. It is authentic, unconditional and present.
We are all born whole, deeply connected to our True Self. But over time, overt and subliminal messages from our environment and culture “tell us” that if we act and look a certain way, we are okay, and if we don’t, we are not. From birth, we begin sculpting ourselves to be liked. We look to others for approval to confirm our self-worth and when that approval or love isn’t forthcoming, disapproval and rejection confirms our worthlessness. In the process, we take in energies and beliefs that belong to others.
As our own energies intertwine with external energies, we lose connection to our True Self. A chorus of negative voices in our mind begins to run the show, showing up in our bodies and in our relationships. These voices can be so loud and debilitating that they shut down our aliveness and potential. We begin to feel disconnected and lost…because we are.
How do we begin to identify and undo energies and beliefs that are not our own and connect with our True Self?
Our parts have an origin and history. Some may seem bossy, some like needy children some even like monsters. No matter what form they take, they are just energies trying to get our attention. They are rich with information and need to be heard. When we get to know our parts, we can have a greater awareness of how and why they operate, especially the ones that we find themost ugly and unlovable. In this deep listening and acceptance, we can safely loosen our hold on old patterns and access new ways of behaving and relating. Energies that were held captive emerge. Like a blood transfusion, the system gets a fresh flow of energy and revitalizes.
According to Richard Schwartz, Ph.D, founder of Internal Family Systems (IFS), the True Self has very specific qualities. He calls them “The 8 Cs of Self-Leadership”: Calmness, Curiosity, Clarity, Compassion, Confidence, Creativity, Courage, and Connectedness.
You can read more about his work in this link: https://www.selfleadership.org/about-internal-family-systems.html
The voice that delivers messages in a whisper with quiet confidence speaks Truth. This is the voice that reassures us that everything is fundamentally okay. Once we hear it, we may get a visceral sense of calm and “knowing” that settles over our entire being. Other voices and energies begin to fade. By cultivating this voice we align ourselves with True Self, gaining a relationship with an inner Authority that penetrates the noise of the world, creating more peace, trust, and confidence within.
If you are interested in exploring your parts, sit quietly and try the following experiment.
The empty chair technique is an effective Gestalt technique used to identify and integrate different aspects or "disowned parts" of a client’s personality. We move away from talking about something and towards experiencing and embodying it for mind/body/Spirit healing.
Think of something that has recently caused you to criticize yourself. Place 3 chairs in front of you or simply visualize these 3 places in your head. Each chair or place represents a different perspective to help you understand your self-criticism.
- The first chair represents a voice of self-criticism.
- The second chair represents the emotionality or sensation of feeling judged.
- The last chair takes the perspective of a supportive friend or loved one. Someone wise and generous of heart.
Your job is to play the role of each of these voices that are represented by the respective “chairs.”
I hope you found this newsletter helpful. I welcome any and all feedback.
Evoke the energies of these positions by giving them definition and form. Drop out of your head and down into your heart and gut. Animate them!
First, sit in the perspective of the inner critic. Notice the posture, eyes, face or general demeanor of the “voice” and take it on. Now, vocally express how you think about the issue that you have been dwelling on (out loud). For example “I hate that I am so lazy and can’t seem to get anything done.” Try to understand the tone you use. Listen and pause to take in the message. It is in the silent spaces that the integration and healing happens. It might be helpful to write it down.
Now move to the chair that represents the sensation of being judged (by yourself). Vocally express how it feels to encounter criticism (out loud). For example “I feel hurt” or “I do not feel supported.” Notice the same things you did before (your tone, emotions, posture, etc.) Listen and pause to take in the message. Again, write it down if you find this helpful.
Now, engage with yourself in a dialogue between the last two perspectives the (the critical voice and the emotion voice). Try to understand how each perspective feels.
Next, move to the chair that represents the wise friend or loved one. In this position bring your awareness to your heart center. Evoke the energy of unconditional love. Drawing on a sincere sense of compassion, confront the critical voice and the critiqued voice. Address both perspectives vocally. What do you say? What advice do you give? How do you relate to each perspective from a more detached point of view? Notice your tone and demeanor.
Allow yourself enough time to express everything you need to from each perspective. Make sure you leave time to reflect on the experience. Try to understand how you think, and how you could benefit from the perspectives you explored. How does that inform your inner critic and your experience with self-compassion? Ultimately, you are already capable of using a more supportive voice. Next time you find yourself being negative and self-critical, try to locate the compassionate voice.
Accepting all our parts and having an inner dialogue allows a deeper understanding of the motivation behind critical energies. What begins to happen is truly amazing, Inner dialogues begin to change. Other, more loving voices begin to show up. We gain more access to our inner Self. When clients do this work they report feeling “lighter,” their minds feel somehow more “open” and “free.” And, in addition, when we have a more loving relationship with our self, a grace enters into the space when dealing with others which allows us to communicate from the place of True Self. Being in this place of truth while being present with others is truly transformative.
If you are interested in reading more this subject the following website and books may be useful:
With love and light,