Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Who Am I Now?

We began examining the process of change in my last blog post, and I'd like to continue to explore that. If you missed that post, you can read it here. I'm breaking this down to minutia, in the hopes that by really looking closely at some aspects of what goes into our choices, we'll enhance our chances of success.

In that last post I wrote about stopping and spending some time with what we're actually doing that we may want to change, becoming intimate with it, what the pattern is, before thinking about making a change.

Let's explore one way to hold this examination.

There are a number of different traditions that describe inner personalities that all of us encompass. Carl Jung worked with the 'Archetypes' to access universal inner identities, Hal and Sidra Stone continued that work by developing a modality they call 'Voice Dialogue', a related coaching technique is called 'Inner Family', and some deep method acting classes utilize 'Sub-personalities' to achieve dramatic changes in affect on the stage or in front of the camera.

These models posit that we are not simple beings. If we were, it would be easy to make a decision to change something for the better in our lives, and then we'd just DO IT! Right?

But it often doesn't work that way. What's better for one 'self' might be worse for another. Using these kinds of techniques to explore who is 'in charge' of our actions at any given time can be immensely valuable.

Some of the inner personalities we're talking about developed in childhood. Some are from some more mysterious level of being, simply intrinsic to being human. Perhaps they're closer to our basic instincts, perhaps they come from some mystical realm. We can think of them as habits of thinking and feeling, that have very distinct structures.

However it makes sense to you, using these kinds of techniques can be valuable when approaching change. When contemplating the behavior you're addressing, ask yourself -

Which 'self' commits the behavior?  Who's wanting too much sugar, or the fifth beer? Who's saying 'I don't feel like going to the gym!'

You can sense the feeling tone of that mind set. Does it feel like a child? A teenager? A wild animal? Let your associations roam freely as you explore this. You may want to write about it or talk from that place with a friend or counselor. Let it express itself fully.

It might be saying  'I'm scared!', or 'I'm mad!' Perhaps 'I don't want to work so hard, you're trying to make me do stuff I don't want to do!', 'I feel cornered!', 'I'm just so tired'. Perhaps even 'I hate you!'

And in response you can ask that 'self':  'what are you afraid of?', 'what are you angry about?', or 'how can I help you feel safe and heard?'.

Really listen to the responses. Try not to jump ahead to how you're going to fix this, how you're going to convince this part of yourself it has to change. Just listen to it's story.

Sometimes just giving this part of your psyche all your loving attention will be enough for things to shift. It may have just been seeking attention. Let this 'self' rest gently in your awareness right when you're in the craving or pushing away moment.

This is an experiment, just to see what will happen. It may shift the behavior, or it may not. In my next post I'll explore some more possibilities of how we can work with these inner 'selves' in a skillful, loving manner.

Low Carb Almond Flour Muffins
2 cups almond flour (almond meal)
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup grassfed ghee or coconut oil, gently melted
4 eggs
1/3 cup coconut yogurt or 4 Tbsp coconut milk mixed with 2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla extract, alcohol free preferred
Alcohol free stevia to taste - about 1 - 2 droppers full
Optional: Add a handful of berries of choice.

Preheat oven to 375 F. Grease a muffin tin.

Mix dry ingredients together well.

Add wet ingredients and mix.

Put in muffin tins (about 1/2 to 2/3 full) and bake for about 15 minutes.

Let cool a few minutes in the tins, then gently remove and let cool on a cooling rack. Serve with plenty of grassfed ghee.

Makes 1 dozen muffins.

Proud to be posting in Kelly the Kitchen Kop's Real Food Wednesday!

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