My pillars of self relating
- Containers and States
- Past, present, future
- awareness skills
- integration and disintegration
What’s my philosophy of personal work?
I focus on self relating. For all the moments we experience in life, our one enduring partner is ourselves. Having a positive, rewarding, encouraging and healthy relationship with yourself is a huge part of the journey of wellbeing and the journey to awesomeness. Noticing we are always here with ourselves, means that we can start to keep track of our personal container of experience.
That personal container can be divided into Content (“what am I noticing about my life at this moment?”) and Context (“how do I feel about that?”). While making this separation is helpful, the content and the context often get mixed up with each other. The content feeling, and the related thoughts and behaviour, get mixed up with the context feelings, thoughts and behaviour.
Have you ever had a grumpy day that you couldn’t seem to shed? It feels like a bit of a funk, like today is a “blue day”. It’s not just that one event or trigger makes me grumpy, it’s that once I am grumpy then everything I encounter afterwards will filter through my grumpy container experience. Chances are that there is one or more parts of my content or context that I am not addressing, or maybe I don’t even know how to address.
Once I start to see my container, that becomes something I can work with. Something I can improve, and something that I get to take away with me into the rest of my life. As I build a happier self relating container, I have better state based experience of life, even if I’m having a bad day.
The amazing thing about self relating is that the better I get at contextual awareness, the more clarity I have around my content and what feels meaningful to me. The better I get at practicing meaning, the more I get to have meaningful experiences. The more I get to make out of each and every day that I live.
Is self focus selfish?
This self focused exploration benefits other people too. We can’t help it because it’s impossible to live a life without bumping into other people! Other people who are also on a self relating journey, other people who are constantly showing us, “this is how I relate to myself” and asking, “how do you relate to yourself?” Do you let yourself be free? Or do you discipline yourself? Are you kind to yourself? Or are you mean to yourself?
Leadership is about demonstrating to other people the awesome ways to have a self relationship.
- Are you a champion for yourself and others?
- Are you listening to your inner children when they speak up?
- Do you trust your distracted self to bring your attention to what is important?
- Do you feel comfortable stepping into the spotlight? And comfortable to advocate for other people to take centre stage without feeling stepped on yourself?
- Are you self driven, while not feeling over worked?
These kinds of self relationships are the ones that show other people how to also be strong and self supported themselves.
The self over time
Life is uncertain. There’s always an open question of “how do I act?” in the present and, “how will I act?” in the future. My memories let me know “how I acted” in the past, and through my past experiences I can build expectations for how I will act in the future. When I reflect on my memories, I get to know my past self better, including their motivations, fears, intentions and passions. This leads me to feel more stable, grounded, predictable, and confident in my present self and confident in the skills and abilities of my future self.
During our childhood, many of our experiences had a mixture of good and bad. Examining memories and prior experiences helps us to pull apart these good and bad moments. This becomes a process of disintegration. When we can isolate the elements of our experiences, that allows us to get clear on what went well and what specifically we wish could have gone differently. This allows us to really understand what matters to us and helps us to plan for meaning making of the future. When we put those memories back together in an integration process, we can be clear-headed with where we want to orient ourselves in the future.
I want to know myself by the positive and the negative of my experience and my effect on the experience of others. Then I want to work with that reflection to have more of a good impact and less of a bad impact. My wish is to make the world a better place for myself and others.
Working with pure awareness
Have you ever noticed what your first person experience is like? It’s probably confusing, disjointed and filled with distraction. Our minds were naturally organised by our past experiences to juggle our awareness, which makes them naturally full of changing phenomena. This way of being leads to a greatly busy life. That is until we try to stick to any one task, and then we learn how hard it is to do something as simple as meditate on the breath, or show up on time to meet a friend. It’s not that a failure to show up deserves punishment, it’s that a failure to show up will demonstrate a whole variety of causes and strategies for survival that are built up over a lifetime.
One way of working with awareness is to sit and do nothing. As we do, we can notice the way the mind habitually turns to certain topics or relates to the world in a certain way. For example if I suddenly start remembering all the things I need to do, it seems that I’ve trained my mind to not be comfortable sitting still. Ideally our awareness should be free to do whatever it feels is right, and it should alert us to anything important while enabling us to focus when we need to. By sitting with our awareness, we can notice the bad habits we have picked up and start working with them, so that when we do let our awareness go free, it organises in a way to make our lives filled with states of joy, wonder, happiness, meaning and play.
How does this work?
I coach over zoom. We sit together and see what’s coming up for you today. That can involve you bringing a current struggle to a session, a past memory that is bothering you, or sometimes we will uncover an experience to work with as we explore how you are feeling moment to moment by being present to yourself.
Some of the modalities I use are:
- Internal Family System Therapy
- Non Violent Communication
- Systems Thinking
- Schema Therapy
- Shadow work
- Coherence Therapy
- Core Transformation
- Meditation (Awareness, Embodied, Jhana, Circling and more)
- Immunity to Change
book a session now to try it out.