Loving yourself means cherishing your own heart, protecting your dreams, working to make your life as wonderful as you would want your son or daughter’s life to be. Simultaneously it means being willing to discipline yourself. I’ve had to tell Jason a hundred times: “I love you enough that I don’t care whether you like me or not, as much as I care that you are safe and strong.”
That means that no, he can’t have ice cream for breakfast. Or stay home from school and play video games. Or go to bed whenever he wants.
Because I love him, and if I let his threats to withhold approval or love influence me, I cannot be his father. The same thing is true with the little wild horse in your heart: it has the creativity and “aliveness” but also holds the space of chaos and “I want it NOW!!!” that can ruin your dreams.
The “Ancient Child” exercise divides (just for an exercise) your personality into Child, Adult, and Elder parts. Each fulfills a function. As a model of our emotions, it works great. The purpose is to create a life in alignment with BOTH your childhood dreams AND your “deathbed” ultimate values. If you live your daily life (the “adult” world) in accordance with both, that’s about as good as it gets.
So do a little checking:
CHILD: Are you in touch with your enthusiasms, your dreams, your creative flow, the things that get your juices running just because you’re engaged with them, not for what they might give you in the future? What do you love and fear?
ELDER: What are the most important values in your life, long term? What would you die to accomplish? What do you love more than your physical existence? “What was the shape of your face before your parents met?”
In other words, WHO ARE YOU? Really? Looking at each of these questions: what do you love, and what do you hold of deepest value, ultimately, will help you grasp who and what you are. Then…all you need to do to find the power in your life is find a way to connect your daily tasks to these dreams and values.
Do this, and everything you do has power and meaning…it is either a step toward your goal, is actually the fulfillment of your goal, or is in support of your goals and values.
EVERYTHING. What would your life be if you operated this way? There would be no job devoid of meaning. No interaction not a step along the path. No wasted day. No wasted moment. EVERYTHING becomes another brick in the fortress you are building to keep your “child” safe.
Depressed parents get out of bed to get their children off to school. Sick parents drag themselves up to care for their sick kids. Tired parents manage to get to work to take care of their families.
If you KNOW that there are behaviors, actions that will heal you, strengthen you, move you toward your dreams, and that if you could experience success in them they would lighten your load and generate positive emotions that you can then leverage to invest in the next day of joyful work…then the trick is to find a way to keep going when all seems lost, when in the “dark night of the soul.” Whether you are dealing with external events, internal perceptions, or neurological storms, IF you have ever dragged yourself out of the doldrums, fought through fear or kept going when all seemed lost…motivating yourself by love for another person…
You have the ability to do it for yourself as well. Clarify those values. Clarify what you love. Then find a way to relate your daily behaviors to them, and watch your life change.
(p.s.–on November 5th, we’ll be holding just the third FIREDANCE TAI CHI workshop, the reinvention of the “Lifewriting” concept, designed to anchor your dreams, goals, and emotions in a daily ritual of action. It is NOT for everyone. You have to have, or be willing to have, a healthy relationship with your body. Be willing to remember and protect your dreams, and be willing to live in alignment with your values. This is not “just” movement, “just” thought or “just” feelings. It is entirely possible that this will be the first time in your life you have aligned all three. If your heart tells you this is for you, please join us! WWW.FIREDANCETAICHI.COM)