Category Archives: authentic self

Three Tips for Keeping Your New Year’s Resolutions

Change your thoughts and you change your world.
~Norman Vincent Peale

It happens every year. You create a few resolutions that will hopefully get you back on track for the New Year. You follow through for a couple days, maybe even a couple of weeks. However, as time goes on, the enthusiasm fades and you’re right back where you started. How can you keep the momentum going and accomplish what you set out to do?

To initiate change and stay on your path, you must change the way you perceive your goals. Let’s take a look at the word resolution (re-solution). Resolution comes from Latin, meaning “to loosen or dissolve again,” which was the original meaning. So, it is about loosening your current perspective, transforming your old habits and thought patterns into something more productive.

Here are three tips for keeping your New Year’s resolutions:

1. Support your True Essence.

Rather than focusing on how something is going to happen, you will create actions that support your True Essence. This is the key to sustaining and spreading positive energy to help you move ahead.

When you examine your True Essence, you’ll find you are, at your deepest level, healthy, healed, whole, and complete. Learn to identify “should” behaviors that are not aligned with your core truth. “Should” behaviors are actions that you “should” be doing because of pressure from external sources, such as society, family, or friends. For example, you may go to the gym because your family wants you to be thin, yet you can’t meet this expectation. This inner conflict may trigger feelings, such as guilt or sadness. (As is often said in AA meetings, “Don’t should all over yourself.”)

When your emotions are triggered, receive three deep breaths and come back to the Present Moment. This will help you reconnect with your True Essence.

2. Change your thoughts.

In order for a change to take place, you must change your thoughts. This means discovering what your thoughts are and changing them so that you support your True Essence.

In your journal, keep track of your thoughts throughout the day. You may notice that you have thoughts about devaluing yourself, which will ultimately sabotage your progress. Next, meet yourself where you are and go a little higher. Begin with your belief and ask that your belief be raised. These are called Progressive Affirmations. For example, you may write the following:

  1. I need help remembering I am loved.
  2. I am beginning to remember I am loved.
  3. I am remembering more and more I am loved.
  4. I am seeing evidence I am loved.
  5. I am seeing more and more evidence I am loved.

3. Look for Positive Evidence.

During the day, notice positive evidence that supports your Progressive Affirmations. Make a note of what occurred that validated your affirmation. For example, if someone spoke respectfully to you, highlight it in your journal. Also, notice any positive change that takes place in your thoughts, emotions, and body. Answer these three questions in your journal:

  1. What are my thoughts?
  2. What are my feelings?
  3. What is showing up in my body? What physical sensations am I having?

For change to occur, you must look within, at the foundational thought patterns that initiate behavior. When your thoughts change, you will see your authentic self, and your outer world will be a reflection of your inner beauty.

Want an everlasting love?

One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.
~Virginia Woolf

Ready to embrace a “whole health” approach to your relationships? When you eat high quality foods and develop inner wisdom for optimal health and wholeness, your authentic self naturally shines through. As a result, your relationships become deeper and more intimate.

Incorporating whole foods into your diet can help to naturally boost energy, increase pleasure, and strengthen loving relationships. Here are three ways whole foods can impact your long-term relationships:

1. Whole foods nourish whole people.

Whole foods contain the all vital energy of the plant, which nourishes all levels of mind, body, and spirit. Eating organic, seasonal, locally grown vegetables and whole grains brings our bodies back into harmony with nature and its rhythms. For the best spectrum of vitamins and minerals, include a variety of vegetables in your meal plan and remember to eat the whole vegetable, including the ends and tips. This allows the energy of the entire plant to nourish your whole being – body, mind, and spirit.

2. You’re increasing energy flow to your organs.

When you eat seasonal, locally grown whole foods, you nourish and open up energy pathways in the body, which brings all organs, including your heart, back into harmony with the rhythms of nature. When your heart becomes open in a more loving way, your relationships become deeper and more intimate as well.

3. You’re building up strengthening energy in your reproductive organs.

Consider this – the more you increase energy flow to your kidneys and reproductive organs, the more strengthening energy accumulates in these organs. Now, when your reproductive organs are stronger, your overall energy and sexual vitality increases. When you’re feeling more energy and vitality, you are able to contribute to and experience the intimacy you really want.

Whole foods contain the vitality of life that contributes to health on all levels– body, mind, spirit, emotions, and relationships. A whole health regime can help reignite the spark of joy in your relationships through the natural energies of whole foods, creating deeper, more intimate relationships.

Food as a Mirror for Personal Growth

Learn to let your intuition—gut instinct—tell you when the food, the relationship, the job isn’t good for you (and conversely, when what you’re doing is just right).
~Oprah Winfrey

But the most exciting, challenging and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself. And if you can find someone to love the you you love, well, that’s just fabulous.
~Carrie on Sex and the City

Who is your significant other? The answer may surprise you. Your relationships include your relationship with nature, people, pets, career, money, food, and anything else with which you form an attachment. How you experience these relationships is a reflection of the greatest relationship in your life–your relationship with yourself. Because eating is an everyday ritual, your relationship with food is an important reflection or mirror of your relationship with yourself.

Your life experiences are based on your perception of these events. It all begins with your view of yourself. Are you living authentically or are you living by other people’s beliefs? You can find the answer to this question by looking at your relationships. Are your relationships supportive? Do they have healthy boundaries? Or do your relationships bring up inner fears? By deconstructing your stories or limiting beliefs behind your fears, you can find out more about yourself and how to listen to your inner voice instead of following other people’s stories.

Your relationship with food can also reveal limiting beliefs about yourself. If you choose foods that distort thinking, such as alcohol, this may suggest that you want to avoid facing your fears. Mindful eating without distractions allows you to focus on the present moment and nourish your inner voice. Then you honor and respect not only the food you are eating but also yourself.

Healthy Relationship Tip

To connect with your partner and yourself on a more profound level, follow this exercise:

3 Appreciations

  1. Sit crossed legged in front of your partner. Say three things you appreciate about your partner.
  2. Your partner says three things he or she appreciates about you.
  3. You say three things you appreciate about yourself.
  4. Your partner says three things he or she appreciates about himself or herself.

This exercise allows your partner to hear how you value him or her. You also hear how your partner values you, and you both hear how you value yourselves.

Creating Your Goals

As the creator of your life, you can design your vision as general or as specific as you like. Some people like to be in the flow with universal forces, accepting situations as they come, feeling grateful for the gifts they receive. These people are like reeds in water and bend with the current, moving in harmony with universal forces. Other people like to plan their life, taking an active role in creating their future, planting the seeds to harvest the fruit they wish to eat later.

In macrobiotics, the first approach is more yin in nature, passive and receptive. The latter approach is more yang in nature, active and direct. Since the universe is a balance of both approaches, I suggest making appropriate choices to create the life you want, while being open to unexpected gifts that come your way.

The following goal setting format is a general approach to creating your goals (this tool is also useful for New Year’s resolutions). If you want to get more specific with your vision, add some details like dates. Then visualize how you will feel when they magically appear.

Recipe for Success: New Life Goals Format

By Dave Cunningham, Front Runners LLC

  1. For each category below, consider the first things that come into your mind. Don’t question it or try to think it through. Just write it down (or ask someone to write as you speak). For some categories, you will immediately think of several goals. Again, just write them down (or dictate them to someone who will write them for you.

    New Life Categories

    • Physical
    • Spiritual
    • Mental
    • Emotional

    Optional Categories

    • Career
    • Relationship
    • Financial
    • Other
  2. After writing goals for the categories, go back and read through each one. Prioritize them. You may want edit them or add others or delete them altogether. Go ahead and do so.
  3. Finally, make a finished list of goals by category.
  4. Now make a sacred agreement with yourself that you will read them every day for two weeks or a month or whatever you are comfortable with. Then do it. Over the period of the year, you will think of re-reading your goals. When you do, do so. It will become less important, because the acts of writing them down and reading them regularly in the beginning (or January for New Year’s resolutions) will plant them in your mind and heart. You will effortlessly follow the path to achieving your goals.

To get the long term goals accomplished, you must do short term goals step-by-step in an organized fashion. Dividing the yearly goals into twelve monthly goals makes the vision less overwhelming and more attainable. When you surrender and release limiting thoughts and beliefs on the inside, you become open to the many opportunities on the outside that you were unable to see, because you were blind to them.

A Personal Note

Everybody has different needs in their lives, so your list may look quite different from someone else’s. When you try to determine your optional categories, think of what means the most to you. Is it playing with your children? Is it spending time in the garden? Is it trying new and different things? Whatever it is, add it to your list of optional categories. Only you can dictate your priorities, so make sure to include everything that is important to you.

Let’s reiterate these points by exploring two quotes by men who had a clear grasp on their life ambitions:

“There is no security on this earth, there is only opportunity.”
~Douglas MacArthur 

“When written in Chinese, the word ‘crisis’ is composed of two characters – one represents danger and the other represents opportunity.”
~
John F. Kennedy

I cannot stress the importance of opportunity enough, so it is a good thing that Douglas MacArthur and John F. Kennedy could!

Recipe for Success: Creating Your New Life

Create a recipe for your New Life in your journal. For each category, list your ingredients, which are the components you need to fulfill your vision. Then answer the following questions:

  1. How will you feel? Remember why you want this vision. What is your passion? Connect in with the essences of your feelings. What do you really want? Examples are Love, Freedom, Joy, and Peace.
  2. What thoughts and beliefs will you have when you live your new life category?
  3. What actions will you take?
  4. Every great person has a great team behind him or her handling the details. What team members do you need?
  5. What are you inspired to do right now to amp up your energy that will carry you forward?

Recipe for Success: Step-by-Step Guide to Monthly Goals

For each month, list the following for each new life category:

  1. What are your goals?
  2. What are your dates and time frames?
  3. What actions will you take to accomplish your goals?
  4. What is your progress so far?
  5. What are your limiting thoughts and beliefs that are holding you back?
  6. What you will allow Spirit to offer you? How you will allow Spirit to love you?
  7. What you will allow for yourself? How you will love yourself? (Connect with your Bliss Guide for the answer to this one.)
  8. Visualize yourself receiving the gifts in Technicolor.
  9. List the opportunities and positive evidence as they appear.
  10. Be grateful.

Actively participating in the creation of your life instead of reacting to what comes gives you more awareness of your own power as you follow your bliss. This trust of your intuition will become stronger everyday, and you will be better able to speak your truth and teach others to do the same. As each day begins, you will reflect on what your goals are and visualize yourself attaining them.

Because the mind does not distinguish whether the event is happening now or in the future, the emotions of gratitude that arise will create a flowing energy that manifests the event. The most important thing you need to improve your life is to remember that you are connected with the universe and to speak your truth, using your inner guidance. In this way, you can live a balanced life in peace and happiness.

Unveiling Your Authentic Self

This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.
~William Shakespeare in Hamlet

Some people say that we must not be attached to our expectations. However, it is important to think about the end result, because the level of thought is how the visualization materializes. There is a difference between being attached to the end result and being focused on creating. Focusing on creating the goal with passion and emotion allows universal energies to flow, bringing about circumstances for the image to appear on the physical plane. But attachment to the goal with fear that it will not materialize creates suffering and blockages in the flow of universal energy through the energy centers of the body, called charkas. Focusing on what you desire rather than how it may appear moves you ahead with greater efficiency.

Move from holding onto the past to creating new opportunities and experiences in the present moment. Live from your true self, which knows no judgment and preconceived limitations. This your Life, and you are one with the Divine, living in the eternal present without boundaries of any kind.

There are four levels of living your truth. First, do what you can, setting aside the time and energy to create your dreams. Second, do what you must, performing the actions and priorities that define your life as you see it. Third, do what you love, following your calling and reason for living.  Finally, be Love, just resting in your being-ness as human being, not human doing. At the fourth level, you realize your true self and co-create with the universe. What is your passion? Passion drives your soul to choose your experience. If you determine what you are passionate about, you will have the motivation to see it manifested.

Actors have the great challenge of incorporating a role so well into their being that they become the part. They take on the core character and identity so well, in fact, that they think, feel, and behave as if they had been born for the role. People who live from their passion are open to universal energy, and thus integrate their power and confidence to manifest their dreams. To create your vision, you must take on the core character, the feelings, thoughts, and behaviors, of your true identity. The first step is to unveil your authentic self.

Recipe for Success: Unveiling Your Authentic Self

Ask yourself these questions to help you uncover your Authentic Self. Remember to write your answers in your journal.

  1. What is your passion? If you had all the resources (money, time, etc.) in the world and could create anything with your life, what would you do?
  2. What is stopping you from living your life to the fullest now? What are your fears and limiting beliefs?
  3. What are your perceptions of who you are? What role are you playing now?
  4. What role do you want to play? Who is your role model? Tune in to the energy of the person. As if you were researching a role for a play, observe how your role model acts and lives. Take notes and pictures. Practice that person’s movements and dress in every detail.

Remember to follow the great Indian Guru Paramahansa Yogananda’s advice: “Do not take life’s experiences too seriously. Above all, do not let them hurt you, for in reality they are nothing but dream experiences. If circumstances are bad and you have to bear them, do not make them a part of yourself. Play your part in life, but never forget that it is only a role.” Now is your chance to let your true self shine. You are beautiful!

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