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Most of us want to be better people, but it can be hard to figure out where to start. We get all sorts of conflicting advice. People say, ”You’ve got to do this, you’ve got to do that”.
And especially if you’re like me, you like to read books and listen to podcasts, so there’s a glut of information coming at you that you have to sift through to decide what to implement.
In today’s video, I’m covering key practices for self growth that I’ve learned over the past 30 years of my own growth path and over 20 years of facilitating growth for other people.
The first piece is that growth doesn’t happen in an atmosphere of shame. Many of us grew up in a punitive environment where we were punished if we didn’t behave, so we tend to do the same thing to ourselves.
We beat ourselves up when we don’t do what we want to do and we have shame about our behaviors that aren’t great.
So the first step to effective and lasting growth and change is to deliberately practice self-acceptance, self-forgiveness, and self-compassion.
Then you want to choose daily practices in three categories based on what they target: body, mental, emotional, spiritual.
1: Body Practices
Move your body in some way every day, whether that’s stretching, Qi Gong, yoga, walking, cardio, dancing, or strength training, whatever is best for your body that gets the energy moving.
Preferably you enjoy it, too. I mean, not all movement is enjoyable, but you want it to be something that ultimately feels good, even if it’s challenging in the moment.
If you can keep your Qi moving, if you can keep the energy flowing freely through your body, it actually helps your mind and emotions.
Conversely, if your Qi is stuck, it’ll affect your mind. You’ll express more symptoms of stress, worry, and looping thoughts because your energy isn’t moving.
2: Mental-Emotional Practices
This is where you really get to put into place this practice of self acceptance, self compassion, and self forgiveness, as you try new things. When you mess up and don’t behave the way you want to behave, watch what the narrator says in your head.
Do practices that disengage you from your thought stream being YOU.
In other words, become an observer of your thoughts. This can be through meditation, hypnosis, journaling and reading over your thoughts and seeing that they’re not all of who you are, that there’s a YOU that’s other than your thought-stream.
When you can gain a witness perspective with respect to the content of your own mind, that is a huge step to change, freedom, and being able to make new choices in your life.
3: Spiritual Practices
Make sure you’re regularly connecting with something greater than yourself.
Connecting with the vastness that is beyond the habitual narrow concerns of your own thinking, whether that’s through being out in nature, going to church/temple/synagogue, or listening to a guided meditation, it’s important to regularly put our human concerns in perspective.
Choose something that connects you with something bigger than yourself and reminds you that this thing that you’re hopped up about right now is not a big deal in the grand scheme of things and there’s something larger, benevolent, and mysterious that’s holding all of us.
When you tend to yourself on a daily basis in these three arenas — physical, mental-emotional, and spiritual — you keep growing and expand your capacity to show up for yourself and your relationships with more equanimity, spaciousness, and love.
Watch the full training HERE.
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