During our week-long Stay-cation, I had some revelations. That whole coffee thing was just one of them.
Perhaps the biggest one was the realization that I have lost contact with my core... our intercom system is totally down and all I get is static.
Why? Because I haven't been practicing what I preach. I have been bypassing the roses too often in the hot pursuit of my dream. At least, that's what I tell myself, and it's partly true.
My speaking career has sort of taken off like a rocket--beyond my expectations. Like a good American, though, I couldn't be happy totally with that. I have been pushing for more talks, more grants, more publications, more notoriety, more success. I'm a driven person and I see nothing wrong with that. In fact, I wouldn't want it any other way.
At the same time, I would never want to leave behind all that illness has taught me. That Which is Important, The Permanent Me, The Divine Healing of Dying--all the things which I write about in the book or present to people in my talks. Do you know why I started to lose sight of those things? I have let my "speaker's persona" take over. Dostoyevsky writes about this in "Notes from the Underground"--the way humans have a way of assuming the "role" of the activity they are doing. Whether it is the role of waiter, business man or public speaker--we create a persona to match the job.
In the past few months I have felt more confident about myself than I have in a very long time, maybe ever. What I now see is that I feel confident about my persona, not me. Take away my heels and my job title, and I feel little again. I suppose this is the difference between ego and self-esteem. If my self-esteem was high, I would feel good about me no matter what. My ego makes it so I feel good only when I am doing those things I associate with being impressive or powerful. Without those things I am neither.
Here's the good news: I know that I have the capacity to find my self-esteem. I did it when I was dying and had no list of achievements beyond who I was inside. I need to find my way back to that level of self-esteem (self-love)--I need to find the way back to me.
So, how? That's a good question. I don't know for sure. But I'm going to try some things and let you know how it goes.
I feel inclined to state that I think finding this level of self-respect is harder in some ways for me now than it was when I was dying. 1) I have far less free time on my hands than I did when I was sick--this will make meditating, pondering a more challenging prospect. 2) I have both feet back on earth now--less "other side" energy to ground me. 3) I like my speaker persona, I don't want to throw the baby out with the bath water so I will have to find a way for "the real me" and the "speaker me" to co-exist.
So here goes.
Step 1. Become my own best friend.
a. Clean out my mental closet and notice my self-talk. Am I hard on myself, critical? If so, replace that with the kindness I show my friends and family. Treat myself as well as I treat them, essentially.
b. Schedule time for quiet meditation or time to myself doing something fun, like a movie. You can't reconnect with yourself or anyone else if you don't carve out time to spend with them.
c. Write more. I connect with myself through journaling, blogging. Carve time out for this as well.
That's the start. Here I go--finding my way back to me! Wish me luck!
How do you find your way back to you??????