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I Am Who I Am: A Reflection On The 3 Principles

I woke up this morning with the thought “I am who I am” on my mind. A peculiar thought for me at 6AM in the morning. Intrigued I started reflecting what that might mean for me and everyone else for that matter. The bible tells us God said to Moses: “Say this to the people of Israel, I AM has sent me to you”. ‘I AM’, no qualifier, not quantifier, just “I AM”. No more and no less. As if anything more would be limiting, taking away from, not doing justice to the speaker. And by doing so it can become everything.

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So, here I am who I am (we are who we are). Not what you think about me, not how people judge or put their cherished expectations on me, not even what I think about me and my cherished expectations of myself. I am not a sinner nor a saint, not a mother, a teacher, a therapist, a lover, a cook, a wife, a sister, a daughter, or a philosopher. I am much more than that! I am neither clever nor dumb, soft nor harsh, beautiful or ugly, fat or thin, kind or malicious. I am all of that and none of that. That complexity is what makes us human beings so exciting as well as scary to be around. For the ‘Other’ we are what they see in us, but that’s not really who we are, it’s only the bit they recognize, the tiny bit that was revealed to them or they became aware of.

We are an expression of nature or in other words ‘the life force’ I like to call it MIND, others call it other things like ‘God’ that breathed life into us and gave us the power of THOUGHT, the ability to think and make sense of the world around us and within us. The third principle is CONSCIOUSNESS, our ability to become aware of and bring to life what we think.

Who AM I? Who are we? We are the sum-total of how we used Mind, Thought, and Consciousness to come to an understanding of ourselves and our world. Everything that ever happened to us or around us, we interpreted and we came to conclusions what that meant about us and about the world. How safe is the world? How safe are people? Is Life benign or malignant? We all are a product of how well we used Mind, Thought, and Consciousness over our life span.

How I have used the 3 Principles of Mind, Thought, and Consciousness over time to make sense of my past and my world has made a difference when I hesitated to cross certain ‘bridges’, not trusting the bridge, the people, or myself. I am sure I missed many opportunities to create something positive that way. How I used the principles to make sense out of my world has at other times enabled me to cross bridges with verve that sometimes lead me to a ‘better’ place while at other times left me ‘stranded’. Like the ‘Bridge to Nowhere’ – it was a pleasant walk, a very pleasant walk, but it didn’t lead anywhere.

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I am who I am! Not how I have made sense of my past, or achievements, or disappointments. These are just thoughts. They are not reflecting reality, they reflect my current thinking of a certain time. My past was my past. It really happened. But how and what I think about it has been changing over the years many times depending on my state of mind. When we can see that our thoughts are just thoughts, not reality based evaluations about us or the world but fluctuating all the time, we become free. Then everything is possible, then “WE ARE WHO WE ARE – I AM WHO I AM.”

Am I at peace with myself? Yes and No. At times, when my mind wanders to pleasant moments, attached pleasant feelings flow through me and I am happy and at peace. When my mind wanders to moments of unmet needs, discord, or conflict, unpleasant feelings wash over me like a tidal wave. At those moments I am not at peace. If at those times I know that these moments are just echos from the past, unpleasant thoughts that I now remember and that cause unpleasant feelings, I can let them go and they become a passing thought, soon replaced by another, and then again by another, and inner peace is restored fairly quickly. If at those times I forget that my unpleasant feelings are just passing through thoughts of my past, if I give them a life of their own, let them into my house and cherish them for an hour, a day, or even longer, inner peace will take its sweet time to come to me, usually taking longer than I would prefer.

This will go on and on as long as we live. Nobody escapes this law of nature, these 3 Principles. However, what I do know is that when I am surrounded by people who respond in a caring, supportive, respectful, and loving way my thoughts usually wander into hopeful, uplifting realm of possibility and creativity. When surrounded by criticism, disinterest, or even disrespect, my thoughts wander more easily to negative and painful realms, awakening difficult and unpleasant feelings. At those times I need a lot of energy to hold on to ME and wall up against the negativity which leaves me with less room for creative life choices.

I am who I am – and life’s circumstances do not determine my well-being, but the way I think about these circumstances do. However, just like a fish is more alive and agile in clear, healthy water, so am I – so are we. It pays to check regularly the quality of the water we swim in to make sure we swim the best we possibly can.

Does going into retirement mean to live without sex?

imageThere are a number of myths surrounding the older generation and  their sexual practices. I remember when I was in my late teens my friends and I discussed whether our parents would still have sex. The unanimous response was “NO WAY”.  Our parents would have been in their late 40s at that time. Not much has changed over the last 40 or 50 years. There still seems to be a ban on talking about senior citizens and their sexual experiences. What did you think when you looked at the above picture? Be honest! (more…)

New Beginnings

20140107-145801.jpgIn my preparation for coming ‘back to work’ I glanced through old comments and notifications and found a comment left in 2008 “How do I know I am with the right therapist”? I don’t know how I answered back then, but today I thought “What an interesting question”. How do therapists/counsellors know that they are right for a particular client, and how do clients know that they are with the right therapist?

Often both clients and therapists fall prey to the assumption that therapy is the only path to recovery and/or that therapy with a particular therapist is the only path to healing. This is a dangerous assumption. Let’s not forget, the client is doing the healing, not the therapist. The capacity of the seed to become a fully grown, healthy plant is within he plant, not with he gardener. He or she is only providing an environment in which that growth can accelerate. When the seed is not growing the gardener has failed to provide the appropriate environment. (more…)

The Art of Listening

woman-listening“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.”  This quote from Stephen R. Covey (The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change) describes succinctly the problem most people have when communicating. Most courses and trainings refer to ‘active listening’ as a desirable practice, yet it teaches people to listen to the words, the content, and then repeat it back to the speaker.

In contrast, deep listening as I understand it is listening for the meaning behind the words, is listening for the feeling that the words are pointing it. In a way, it is listening with a sense or curiosity WITHOUT checking with our own mind whether it makes sense to us, we can relate to it, whether it is stupid/reckless/naive to name just a few examples. If we would listen that way (checking with our own mind) we would only listen to our own thoughts about something and not to the other person. (more…)

#3 Mistake That Kills The Love In Relationships: Ignoring the Weather Forecast

stormy weatherMost people have enough common sense to mind the weather forecast. You can see that on the motorway when all the cars are slowing down as soon as it starts raining heavily. I remember back when we had a sailing boat, we wouldn’t go out when the winds were so high that the risk factor out-weight the pleasure that could be gained. Of course, there are most likely some exceptions, some people are dare devils who zoomed along the motorway with high-speed totally ignoring the conditions.

Most people however ‘drive to the conditions’. If the weather is particularly nasty, they might even elect to stay at home. It makes perfect sense considering that driving in stormy weather is not pleasurable, it’s dangerous, one’s field of vision is impaired, and you might not get very far. (more…)

Managing Life’s Pitfalls With Grace: Paddling Down The Whanganui River

W4This summer I went with some of my family canoeing down the Whanganui River. This particular trip is one of the Great Walks of New Zealand. If you are interested in some days of quiet surrounded by majestic nature steeped in history, I can highly recommend this trip. It has been on my wish-list for over 10 years – which might explain my enthusiasm and excitement. There are several options people can choose from. We chose the 3-day/2 nights trip.

Whilst I was prepared for 3 days of hard exercise in one of the most stunning National Parks, I was – and still am – amazed about the deep insights I had about the fundamental principles of life and about my fluctuating level of consciousness affecting my state of mind moment to moment. (more…)

Think for Yourself

This morning I came across an article called “How energy vampires drain your spirit and soul” suggesting that negative, demanding, inconsiderate, and un-boundaried people drain your energy, leaving you exhausted and depleted. To protect yourself from such drain it is suggested that you limit contact, set boundaries – indeed the author came up with 11 ways to do so. The only thing missing was garlic.

Of course, like all vampire stories, the idea that a person can drain your energy isn’t true either – even though there may be a lot of people who believe that other people, circumstances or events can ‘DO’ something to you. However, human beings are just not built like that. Sorry! We don’t come with power sockets or USB ports that other people can – without our consent – plug into and upload or download files, feelings, thoughts, or for that matter energy. (Actually, in ‘the land of psychiatry’ the notion that someone can make you do things or gives you thoughts or feelings, is an indication of psychosis). Let me show you what I mean:

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