MAKE PEACE WITH YOUR PAST
Every experience that we go through in life has some purpose to our overall self-development. Whether we consciously chose to resonate it or not, the point is that whatever happens, has already been. You don’t necessarily have to like it; you can even bury it deep within your unconscious. But to be able to move on with a clear overview of what’s to come, you have to make peace with it. The unconscious part of the mind is very powerful and it is here all memories are stored. The unconscious mind has a sneaky way of bringing up past memories from experiences when it believes we need to be reminded of these. If you have not yet accepted or made peace to these, it will continue to bring them forward until you do. I am a firm believer of living forwards and never looking back to progress however I cannot deny the importance of each of my past experiences. Pretty or not, they helped shape the person I am today. Through each one, there is a lesson unfolding and since I am a believer in the spiritual pathway of living, I acknowledge that these lessons are customized to each of our individual needs in order to move forward and unlock another layer of potential. So if you choose to look at every experience as a lesson you needed to experience at that particular point in time, you are making way for new opportunities to come for you. This is because you are clearing blockages that may have occurred when dealing with past difficult happenings. Making peace with your past, can help you understand just how strong you really are internally. And this strength will shift into helping you develop new exciting ways for what’s to come.
EXTERNAL RESOURCES WILL NOT FIX YOUR PROBLEMS
We live in an exciting time when almost everything is accessible to us at a click of a button. We can Google motivational speakers and watch videos that will open our eyes to specific situations. We can read self-help books, read inspirational blogs, listen to podcasts. All of these however are resources to aid towards your self-development but they are not the solution to your problems. These external resources can help us understanding different ways in which we can gain our authentic power or climb the success ladder, but the only solution lies deep within us. It doesn’t matter how many books you read or Tony Robins videos you watch, if you are not there to learn and apply the lessons, whatever changes you are looking for, will not occur. The only way to resolving problems and to reach new heights personally is by making conscious decisions to use all the resources you have and apply them to the most suitable way for you. One of my mentors taught me this when I told him how excited I was to attend a seminar held by one of the world’s most successful motivational speakers. He said to me “Miriam, you only need to attend one of these events in your life. And then, you need to focus on how to apply everything you learnt and continue to do so.” If you keep searching for the answers to your prayers by listening to others’ you will become a spectator with a mindset of a genius. However if you start taking action towards what you have learned from listening to others, you will become the genius of your own life.
FACE THE DARKNESS
It is a known fact the from darkness there will be light, because without the balance of the two, neither would exist. When you are serious about developing yourself from all aspects of your whole being, you are going to have to face certain parts of you that will seem dark. You have to get to know yourself completely, all sides. Nobody is perfect, we all have flaws and different side of the self even we don’t like. When I began my psychology studies, 10 years ago I was introduced to the mind, how it works and how our thoughts affect our lifestyle. Later on, when I moved onto my holistic medicine studies, I discovered an even deeper layer from the mind, and that was the soul. To know your soul, all work has to be internal. I began looking at myself from a soul’s perspective and then from a personality perspective, which included my mind. With this, I discovered certain behaviors about myself that I didn’t necessarily liked or wanted to accept at first. For example, I discovered that I am very impatient and looking back at some past situations, due to my impatience I missed out on certain opportunities. I discovered that one of the best love relationships I had ended due to my impatience taking a lead characteristic to my self. So I pushed too hard too quickly, which resulted in a very abrupt end to that relationship. This brought me heartache but what I later learned, was that this was simply created by me. Therefore I had to face this and learn to become more patient. It sounds easy to do so, but the journey to self-discovery is anything but easy. It’s never fun to find out “flaws” about yourself, but there is a beauty in these. They are there to teach you something and if you are brave enough to do the work and apply yourself from a different light, the results are magical.
THE TRUE MEANING OF LOVE
With self-development, we learn a great deal about the true meaning of love and where it stems from. I believe we are all born with love in our souls, and this is something that we can choose to flourish from or ignore. But what I have learned is that the true meaning of love can only be discovered when you begin to love yourself. Only then you will be able to find out what it feels like to give love and receive love. Being able to love yourself through your achievements but also through your failures and mistakes, will strengthen the meaning of love. This teaches you to love others through their good and bad, without judgment. When we are judgmental, we are so only because we give judgment to our own self. Otherwise we would not know how to be judgmental or what its meaning is. So being able to love yourself without judgment will help you do so for others. When you are able to do this, you will realize that every human being you meet has their own soul and personality that comes from a place unknown to you and perhaps unknown to them. Therefore you will simply let them be for who they are and what they need to do to reach their truth. Focus on love as the main starting point and let everything else branch out from this feeling.
It’s not easy, but nothing about self-development is supposed to be easy. The best results always come from being placed in the middle of the most turbulent storms. Because only when you face the difficulties and find a way to acknowledge the storm but also commit yourself to solutions on how to get to the rainbow that comes from it, you will achieve a true sense of who you are
Constructive criticism or feedback are essential for our self-development and growth. Although at times it can be difficult to take on board, it’s important to recognize the value feedback brings to your circumstances. Every action that you take in life has a reaction, and this in turn is the feedback received. We can get feedback simply from the reactions of our behaviors or from other people. Regardless who is providing you with the constructive criticism, whether it is your romantic partner, friends, family members, teachers, boss, colleagues and the list goes on, the key to it is what you make of it. Over the years I have learned 3 different ways that have helped me use the feedback I receive in a positive way and I’d like to share these with you, in hope that it will also help you gain a better sense of what you do with the feedback you receive. It’s important to note that these apply only when the feedback given by somebody is genuine and comes from a good intention.
LISTEN TO THE MESSAGE, NOT THE VOICE
One of my greatest life lessons has been to acknowledge that everybody has a unique way of being and that I don’t need to judge that, but instead just simply acknowledge it. Not everybody has a compassionate, empathetic way of delivering information. Some people are quite direct in their approach and when it comes to giving constructive criticism this way, it can sometimes be taken on as a more aggressive type of delivery. Remember that everybody has their own state and how they express themselves can be guided by the current state they are in or can be circumstantial based on your and their energies combined. Instead of paying attention to their attitude and delivery, focus only on the context of their words. Learn to distinguish the difference between what is being said to you vs how it is being said to you. Communication is actually quite complex, and words are only a small percentage that makes up communication. Body language and tonality have a big impact when it comes to communication, but when it comes to constructive criticism, to make the best of the situation, allow your attention on the words and the meaning behind these. The only thing that matters in a situation when you are given constructive criticism is the message you receive and not the voice that brings it to your attention. The messenger is simply there to bring forward the message for you.
LEARN THE LESSON AND APPLY IT
When you have identified the context, you will then also understand the lesson that comes with it. Everything in life is simply a lesson that leads towards progression and self-discovery. We develop by acknowledging the lessons we learn and applying them towards better outcomes. The aim of constructive criticism is to bring forward what can be done in order to progress in your current situation, regardless if this applies to a work environment, a relationship or anything else that is part of your personal growth. Learning the lesson takes a certain level of mental, emotional and for some more elevated beings a spiritual maturity. To receive the lesson and actually apply it takes courage, because this shows that you are willing to improve or at least be open to the idea of learning to better your actions. It takes patience, bravery and being humble to accept that you need to change your approach to something. But when you do and are open to the lessons you are being given, you are becoming receptive to new ways of doing things and this can come with new opportunities. So learn the lesson and apply it.
PROCESS THE INFORMATION FIRST
Our egos love to take things personally. In fact it does so with everything. Its main intention is to “protect” us from situations that may seem or feel uncomfortable or challenging. Constructive criticism can come across as both of these, and sometimes you may want to instantly react to what is being said to you. That’s when the ego comes in for your “rescue”, and if your state at the time is more sensitive or reactive, you may feel like you are being attacked and want to defend yourself. It’s wise not to take everything that is being said to you personally and this is when the spiritual maturity can help. When you feel at peace with who you are, very rarely the words of others can make you doubt that. Give your brain time to process the information so that you can understand what is being said to you. Learn to take a step back, process it, acknowledge the feedback and then respond if necessary. You will not always agree with what is being said to you, but you can only decide this if you are patient with your response. When you respond from a good intention and not from a defensive place, you align with your internal power, the kind that can turn any situation into a positive outcome.
Greek philosopher Epictetus once wrote that “It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters”. If you learn to apply this to every situation you are in, you will realize how much power of choice you have and that you can deal with every situation you are in with a projection that ends up with a positive outcome.