Tag Archive | acceptance

A thought & a belief walk into a bar…

As I took a walk today, my mind took me back to a past memory, tucked away. I recalled a time when he and I were together at a gym. We had been  going through some rough times. As I was running on the treadmill next to him, I suddenly visualized myself alone, without him next to me, and the lightness of my body and the seemingly expansion of my soul was undeniable. It was instantaneous and lasted mere seconds but it was expansive to my soul in that moment. All I could do was feel, not think, but experience myself within that moment.  What was that all about? Why did I feel such exhalation? What did it all mean? It is only today as I study more and more about the processes of the mind, biology,  the power of intention, decision making, trusting the self and manifestation that I realize that  the clues have always been there just waiting to be deciphered.

I don’t know why the thought came to me to visualize myself without him but the results were empowering. Of course, then the guilt set in and I found myself judging myself for even thinking of the thought let alone feeling so happy within my mind and body.  It’s as if my soul was soaring with the visualization. How can the visualization of a separation be something so empowering and enlightening? How could not having someone by my side whom I love, be a freeing experience? I could not deny my powerful moment but I COULD ignore it, or wish it away. I could even lie to myself and tell myself it didn’t really mean anything or it didn’t really happen that way.

What I had not discovered yet was that my truth was sharing itself with me in the only way it could. Through my senses,  together with my mind.

I have always heard people say and even myself say, I trust myself or I don’t trust myself but what I see today is that I trust myself in every moment. Trust is an acceptance of a believing thought and that  what I feel in each moment,  as I define it by my perspective, IS the truth for me. If I believe thoughts that bring me pain, suffering, hopelessness, sadness or anger along with revenge, my body feels the effects of that thought. My body feels small, even sickly like my energy is draining. I feel out of control, loss, and fear. So much fear. So I can say with certainty that I trust myself. I am choosing to believe the thoughts that cause my self to feel the effects. I am trusting that the thoughts I have are my truth, in that moment and yet the effects bring me pain, smallness, anger, stress, jealousy, envy and hate. My world becomes small in an instant. My heart feels small, tight and constricted. The father of all of these constricting emotions is FEAR. Fear of rejection, being out of control, not knowing, abandonment, failure, looking inward, losing and being judged. Yet, I trust these beliefs so much. I trust them as my truth otherwise, I wouldn’t experience these emotions.

I’ve learned one big lesson since I’ve uncovered this connection between believing thoughts and experiencing an emotional response. It  is: Do not judge myself when I feel. Let me repeat that, do NOT judge myself when I feel!  I didn’t realize how much shame is involved in feeling. Somewhere along the way, I accepted the teachings that feelings were something to be controlled, not felt, or they should be denied. Especially if they were viewed as negative, in nature. Along with those teachings, I became my biggest critic. I would immediately judge any negative or fearful emotion and shut myself down, without having the freedom of acceptance to examine why I was feeling what I was. It was unacceptable to feel the way I was, so I would attempt to stifle, ignore or deny what I was truly feeling.

When  I was negatively affected by another person, I would immediately judge my feelings and to escape the dark feelings, I would put myself in the others shoes and start to justify why they would do or feel as they do. Unknowingly, I was honoring their feelings over mine. I was being dishonest about my feelings and not owning them first before viewing myself through the eyes of the other. As Author Byron Katy has written, “I was in their business when I needed to  be in MY business”.  I would start to talk to myself about how “wrong” I was to feel as I did. I was being inauthentic to myself.  I believe people are mostly afraid of negative feelings because we have too often been the witness of someone who has seemed out of control of their emotions. The result was usually some kind of destructive behavior being taken out on others and pain was the consequence.

What I didn’t realize is that when I feel emotion, I don’t have to REACT on what I’m feeling. I can just “be” with the feelings. I don’t have to act. I don’t even have to react and judge them. Just feel. Let the feelings flow through my body and take notice to what my body is feeling. This type of acceptance and “being” with my emotions, creates a space to delve deeper and explore the belief systems that lie below the surface of my emotions. I can find what I am believing that is causing me so much pain. Once I get to that belief, I can  question how true it is for me or not, not just for that moment but as a whole belief. I can question myself if it is something that is always true, has always been true for me under all circumstances in my life?  The next question is, do I want to continue believing this thought or do I want to change it? Now it’s time to get honest here. There are rewards in believing thoughts, even negative ones. It’s time to look at those rewards and see if I am really willing to give them up for a different belief system. Even if the answer if no, the action of taking responsibility for a belief system is powerful. Then I  can really claim this belief as an empowered individual instead of feeling like a victim by it. I  can believe it with vigor, knowing that I am  choosing to do so completely with awareness.

When a person is aware, they can claim what they feel and how they believe and it can become a part of them, instead of something they need to avoid, hide or deny. I have felt my wholeness expand as my belief systems are revealed and claimed. I no longer have to be afraid of my emotions. I am a safe place to feel without the damning judgements that used to be my companions.

On the other end of the negative emotions, there are other thoughts to believe in that bring me different physical and mental experiences. Feelings and emotions connected to the thoughts that bring me joy, love, confidence,  empowerment, strength, fulfillment, happiness, peace, abundance and prosperity. I am also believing those thoughts as well and feeling the consequences within my body. I find myself accepting of these types of emotions without feeling the need to explore my underlying beliefs. I usually allow these feelings to flow through me and the result is usually some kind of uplifting experience for me. My world becomes bigger and brighter with a love that can bring me to my knees, at times.

More often then not, I enjoy feeling my more uplifting emotions. I yearn to be at peace and have love in my heart. This is the type of experience I will attempt to choose over and over. Therefore, when I do feel a negative emotion or feeling, I now see these emotions as   messengers to examine what the beliefs are that underlie these feelings. If I am to shift and return to my home of peace, I must accept the offer to explore and undercover, decide and shift, if that is what I truly desire. It’s always a wake up call to get honest with myself and then see if I want to stay there or move on.

Knowing now the connection of belief and biology, what did that mean that fateful day on my treadmill and my expansive vision? Somewhere, below the denial and pain, I believed that I would be better off alone. I saw myself running on my own,  free. Did I come to trust that belief? Was I willing to risk it all to be free? I ran and I still run…FREE 🙂

 

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C.S. Lewis and a Mountain of Faith

“The time when there is nothing at all in your soul except a cry for help may be just that time when God can’t give it: you are like the drowning man who can’t be helped because he clutches and grabs. Perhaps your own reiterated cries deafen you to the voice you hoped to hear.”
C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed

When I was 32 years of age, I found myself alone, dehydrated, exhausted and desperately attempting to climb down the face of a large mountain on the hottest day of the year. My water had run out, the lack of shade was everywhere and yet as I looked to the distant west, I could vaguely see the area where I knew my house was sitting, waiting for me.

That was 19 years ago and now as a 51 year old woman, I once again find myself staring at this quote that I read many years ago, after my mother passed away. She died a few years after my adventure on that mountain and C. S. Lewis’s book was the only book that I found any similarity to my grief, any resemblance to the pit of darkness that was found at my core of her loss. But this quote, hit a different nerve today. This quote was the description of my desperate heart that described my spiritual journey on that mountain that day. I had prayed over and over, hour upon hour, pleading to my god and yearning for an answer to guide me down that mountain, to inspire my mind and find the path that leads to my salvation. Over and over, I heard noises and saw patches of dirt that I thought might be my answers. I continually followed the promptings that must be from god. Each time, I was led to a dead end or a dangerous direction that led to no path, no answers, no guidance, no safety.

Where was the calming, warm  feelings that have always washed  over me in the past? Where was the inspiration of heart and mind to be guided down a safe and nearby path? Where was the loving feelings from a god that had always burst from within me, like before? This was life or death for me now! I wasn’t huddled in a warm church house praying with a congregation, or praying over food with my family. I was here, alone, exhausted with 15 hours of traversing under my belt! It was so hot, not even an animal or insect was out in these conditions. Where was god then? Where was his tender mercies then? Pleading eventually changed to hopelessness, than to giving up, than to anger and fueled by that anger  a rebuking of an absent god.  It was if I saw myself lay down on the hard, hot ground and wonder to myself….this is it? this is how I end? I felt each thought, each inquiry. What did I want? What was I waiting for? Was there no entity, no person, no divine creature to save me? A deep burning bubbled up from the center of me as I realized that there would be no one, no “thing”, no savior to rescue me. If I wanted to live, then I would take the anger, confusion and pleading energy within me and get off the ground and get myself off that mountain! No longer would I wait for anything to save me again. I traversed and traveled through thick piercing  oak and hot rocky dry land until I  heard the faint sound of a stream. I quenched my anger and replaced it with gratitude as I swallowed the cold liquid of life and eventually, a worn path and hours later,  to the arms of my loved ones.

As I was driven home, I remember the shock of experiencing something I had not experienced before. Not only did I become lost, confused and endure a test of my strength and endurance but  I had begged and pleaded with god and got nothing in return. Not a goose bump, not a tingle, not anything from within to ease my pleading soul and comfort my asking heart. I had always felt “something”. I couldn’t understand that when I needed my god the most, to guide me, to save me, to help me…I got nothing in return…nothing. What did I do wrong? Why did god abandon me? Here is when I could have inserted C. S. Lewis’s pattern of thought and choose to pick the “fill in the blanks” with how unworthy or too desperate I was to hear god’s promptings and peaceful spirit. I could once again give god the benefit of my  doubt and my questioning, like I had done previously, over and over again with issues where I questioned my faith.

As I returned into my house of safety, I found myself once again on my knees. I started to pray once again and almost immediately I felt the familiar warm sweeping peaceful waves flow over me. I realized at that moment, that god had not abandoned me, that he had not refused to save me. He wasn’t an unloving god that abandons his children when they need him the most. I wasn’t an undeserving sinner that wasn’t worthy of his love or guidance. No, not at all! I realized at that moment, that those peaceful, warm flowing feelings were not from god but generated by ME, by my own BODY and the chemicals that make up my bodily system!! I had produced them when I felt safe and watched over. I had produced them when I knew I was taken care of and my safe heart could welcome god’s love. I could produce them when I heard a beautiful song or a touching speech. I could replicate peace, warmth, tingles and goose bumps over and over ONLY when I knew I was safe, warm and loved. That’s how the body works! That’s how MINE works and many millions just like me. Only,  I had been taught by my religion, what those feelings were. I was taught to define “IT” as coming from god, something good, something “out there” watching over me, some divine, unique gift of the spirit, the holy ghost.

Sure, I could choose to follow C.S. Lewis and make up multiple reasons of why my answers to my prayers were not given on that mountain. I could tell myself that my answers were given, just not in the way I was accustomed.  I could give god another “out” for my denied expectations and once again blame myself for not being an open vessel for god to communicate efficiently within.

OR, I could realize that  our bodies secrete different hormones and chemicals that are based on our emotional and stressful states. When we are at rest, the pituitary secretes a parasympathetic response and when we are stressed, our bodies respond in a sympathetic way. One leads to peace, calming hearts, joy, feelings of euphoria and love, the other leads to restriction, fear, anger, stress and narrow focus.

The Holy Ghost didn’t abandon me! I defined the holy ghost by the perfectly natural feelings that happen when we are at peace and feel safe. Based on our chemical, genetic make up, these feelings are in everyone, generated by everyone and defined by everyone in unique  ways. How we define the reasons for these feelings are included and readily accepted as we grow up in our environments and are  taught by our teachers that surround our existence, either literally or by example within our communities.  I had attributed them to a god, a holy spirit, to basically  something external all my life! I hadn’t questioned the definition of those feelings until I experienced the extreme absence and the easily replicated feelings, once home safe and sound.

The totality of this revelation wasn’t fully embraced by me for years but this day marked the beginning of that path.  Now, when I see that C. S. Lewis quote, I’m reminded of how far I have come. I learned to get myself off that mountain. I learned that no one or thing that was external from myself  was going to save me and that I had all I needed within myself to get down that mountain. I saved myself and I am no longer a victim in my life, spiritually or physically.  I take full responsibility for the choices and decisions I make. I can fully embrace others as they are without the mesh of a mystic  god to blur my view. I have never felt more peace and authenticity since that day. That day,  I refused to offer up one more excuse for an absent god. I refused to pick up another self-created beating stick to hurt myself for not being  “good enough” for god to answer my prayers and  save my life.

There is no anger, no issue to deal with here. I am not full of resentment or have feelings of being abandoned by some unloving god, only enlightenment that I can and do define the experiences I have! That is the beauty of choice. When emotions are attached to my experiences, I have the freedom to define them, however they serve me and I have found that embracing science with its evidence and replicated results bring me a joy beyond I’ve ever experienced. There is a certainty there and yet there is still room for doubt, exploration and continued openness to new evidence and new discoveries to be found.

I have found a new sense of gratitude for my ancestors who have evolved so that I may experience my slice of consciousness in this life.  I am in awe of the beauty that surrounds me instead of wishing and hoping for something greater. This is great and it’s here now, with each breath. My heart and mind no longer hunger for the balm of Gilead. I find no comfort in believing that there may be something more after this life or that I will be reunited with loved ones that have gone on before. I can’t possibly know what happens after, it anything, but what I do know is that I have now, I have breath now. I see the faces of my children and my lover and I live in this moment, fully embracing them as they are… now. This life is all I have been given and I will embrace it for all it’s worth. Today is my eternity. There is nothing more promised. It is enough.

Some people may read this and become sad. They may think I’ve lost my faith and that I have refused to no longer reclaim it and in a way, they would be right. There is nothing revering to me when one claims they have faith without the realization that they have bought into the concepts that define that faith.  I have found that facts, research of evidence and an open mind to explore other explanations to be beautiful companions instead of faith.  In a way, I have a new faith. One where I need not look to be saved but to savor each breath as I walk, whether upon mountains or anywhere else this slice of consciousness takes me.

 

 

 

 

The Dream

 

(I’m starting to write again. This was in my drafts. Sometimes I just don’t remember writing this stuff. This needs to be published. What was I waiting for? )

How long must I see your face in my dreams? I awake relieved and saddened, for even in my dreams there are no answers. Is there something more to let go, release, reflect or re-claim? What must I learn still from the connection to my created past? My definitions, my designs, why must I sculpt your face once again? I yearn to bring the peace but in the dreaming world it is out of reach. My hands that once skillfully saved can now only hang down in resolution.

Does not my soul feel complete? Don’t I embrace my full power from within? What more must my soul behold? What experience awaits my lessons? My heart is full. My soul flies free. My arms embrace the love that was once bathed in condition. Abundance and acceptance are my beloved companions now. Why must my dreams whisper of something in the shadows?

I will continue to explore, define and create my journey and paint the pictures that ring truth to my being. I observe the world of my conscious and find no closed doors. Love or fear, which do I choose? I can see the illusion of fear, for I am safe and for always. There is no loss or pain, only if I stroke the creation of its reality with my brush. I put down the brush of fear and embrace the colors of love. What picture shall I create next? Ah, the beauty of the unknown. She smiles as I drift and…. dream.

The Power of Beliefs, A Choice & The LDS Church

My nephew came to me today regarding a very serious matter that brought up so much of my own conflict regarding my self-created belief system, the LDS Church and my path in life as a young adult. He confided in me the conflict of his girlfriend in regards to their relationship, that is getting more serious by the day, and her beliefs in the LDS Church. She has put her beliefs in the dream vision of a temple marriage and activity in a church that warmly embraces all those who believe in the same view. Yet she is conflicted because of her love and passion for a young man who does not share these same beliefs. I believe it is a crossroads for her at this time in her life.

I feel her conflict for I shared strongly in a belief system that I found no longer coincided with my behavior and passions. I had to come to some type of resolution and in psychology, I learned that I can either stop the behavior that is in conflict with my chosen belief or change my beliefs. My belief in the truthfulness of a church that in my eyes, reflected God’s will, I had to change my behaviors and I  attempted to do so, over and over and over again. I had to see myself as “weak”, “being tested”, and “unworthy”, so that I felt the motivation that is required  towards repentance and change within the system.

With this type of belief system set in place and chosen freely of myself, I painted the picture of acceptance that only included a temple marriage, activity in the church, a forever family and a path that relies on the church to be my “parent” and dictate my self-worth, self-esteem, worthiness, and the exclusion/inclusion of people and behaviors in my life. This is a very serious position to allow in my life and dictated the most important decisions of my life. I gave the power of my beliefs to a church that I regarded as God. It never occurred to me to accept my beliefs as different from those of my parent (LDS Church). For to do  would be blasphemous, “giving in” to the sins of pride, disobeying God, or relying on the Self or the unclean “world” for my truth. I couldn’t accept that.

Instead I chose to accept a belief system that continued to bring me conflict for many years to come. It wasn’t until I was 35 years old that so many conflicts arose. After many years of trying to “squeeze myself into a box” that I believed the church supported and help create with me,  I finally came to accept, as quickly as a thought, my full Self, as I am. I chose LOVE. I chose to love myself, without judgement, without right or wrong, without good or bad, without redemption or hopes of the reward of an obscure afterlife.

In that moment, my vision expanded into a feeling of joy, love and abundance. I laughed with a giddiness like never before. I realized that all along I had a choice to believe in whatever way I chose. That I was the Creator of my life experience. I could choose the small boxes that others around me believed in, even a God that others professed to know or I could throw my hands up in full acceptance of UN-knowing. I didn’t NEED to be right anymore. I didn’t NEED to know truth anymore. I stood alone with my acceptance of Myself and conflict dissolved before me.

This new path wasn’t the easy path that some in the Church would profess. There was no “easy step by step plan” to adhere to, no “follow these things and we will call you worthy, chosen and righteous” plan.  There was no path set before me except for the steps I took with each breath. It was all new to me and each day I found myself looking within as the world seemed to shout at me, “ARE YOU SURE?”.  Since that moment, I have had no conflict arise again within myself. I refuse to demean, judge harshly, hate myself, or view myself with condemning eyes. I refuse to live another dishonest day within myself or towards others about who I am and what I am about. If a God somewhere at sometime does view me with judgement, I am ready. I stand naked before that God and utter, “Here I AM! Do with me what you will, for I followed my loving eyes and chose acceptance without judgement.” I would do it again and shout it from the rooftops over and over again, despite the consequences.

There were some around me who felt the pain from my decisions, who experienced a depth of loss that is beyond words. For that, I will sorrow with them but I sorrow for their choice of beliefs that caused them to feel what they experienced. It was never my intention to hurt anyone, EVER! I had to follow my path and I have continued to feel a sense of peace and spiritual connection like never before. I feel myself as a part of a divine Universe that needs no definition. I delight in the beauty of a spring day or a thunderous night. I see God in the eyes of my neighbor and I celebrate in loving arms that choose to hold me. I gave up on fear and guilt, shame and condemnation. In doing so, my eyes were opened to all paths and a never-ending exploration of a life that, for me, has no end.

I wish I could make my nephew’s  beautiful girlfriend see that she is the creator of her beliefs and that she doesn’t have to believe in theologies that stop her from experiencing a beautiful, loving relationship with a beloved young man, who loves her unconditionally and with tenderness. Nevertheless, her journey is her own and all that she feels, chooses and believes will be a step taken that is perfect and from which she will be able to look back on with full responsibility and gratitude for a life well chosen for herself and her journey.

The Consciousness of Transition

They call it transition. I don’t think I ever realized the full meaning of that word until today. I remember recalling the experience of Ryan’s birth. His labor was my most painful and I remember especially the period that many call, transition. With my other two labors, I don’t remember such a distinction.

Marisha: Everything was a door previously unexplored and so every sensation, every moment was new to my experience. I felt as if I was in a tunnel of focus, determination and surrender to the experience of birth. It was as if my ignorance allowed my utmost surrender to the process that was larger than I. My natural attention was looking straight ahead, not being able to acknowledge anything else but the tunnel of focus. I felt compelled to zero in on the “work”. My body was doing what it was supposed to be doing. I could not define it at the moment; my consciousness was enveloped by the moment of immersion into my body. My world was a tunnel with darkness surrounding my focus. Nothing else was in my world except my forward focus. The moment demanded nothing less than my full immersion into the experience.

Direction was given outside of myself and I was vulnerable to suggestion. I followed exactly what was directed and during one direction, extreme pain was the result as a part of me tore under the power of my efforts to comply. I was obedient to the process. I felt in complete control of allowance. I felt certain that all that I was experiencing was as it was meant to be. As time would have it, she was born. My exaltation was only matched by the wonder and awe I felt when I saw her. Only after the entrance of this angel was my mind trying desperately to organize my thoughts into some order to comprehend what had just happened. I scrambled for meaning but in the moment, there was none, only the pure surrender of experience. My only support was a loving husband who stood by my side every step of the way. Our mother’s had just arrived and they were there to celebrate after she was born with love and joy.

Derick: His transition came with such welcoming, it’s difficult to remember one stage from another during his labor. Since I had already experienced labor before, this time I was prepared. I had planned before how I wanted this experience to be. I had previously made requests with a certainty of confidence that all I was asking for would be granted. I would stand for nothing less. His labor was different from Marisha’s. The contractions were centered in the front and happily I was able and free to choose positions that suited this new challenge for relief. I found myself walking around, finding focus when needed and continually being open to the next wave of progress.

When I was in transition, my body knew it was time to get in position for the birth. I felt a deep sense of peace and enthusiastic anticipation as I made the necessary adjustments along the way. This birth experience would be my easiest and most satisfying. His birth was marked with celebration and a complete offering of unconditional love of which I had never experienced before. Within this birth experience, the transition phase didn’t feel as tunnel focused as Marisha’s had been. It was if I was able to take in more of my surroundings as well as have the focus of each moment. I had a wonderful support team around me with family and loved ones cheering me on with love throughout my labor and beyond.

Ryan: His transitional period was unlike the previous two. I no longer had the benefit of ignorance to each phase of labor as in Marisha’s, nor did I feel the complete surrender to the process as in Derick’s. I knew what lay ahead of me and I could see the path that would continue long after the birth of this child. I was impatient going into the labor and hoping for more advancement as time passed.. I sensed that his birth would be the beginning of a new stage for me. I knew that this would be the end of my childbearing years and the rest of my life’s journey was just around the corner. My impatience grew with each passing hour. I yearned for the beginning of the next phase of my life to begin and my impatience was weaved throughout my birth experience.

I found outside support irritating and intrusive. I requested to be alone without distraction and for a time, I labored alone. I attempted various positions but to no avail. Transition seemed to last for an eternity and it was hours before his preparation for entrance was complete. I attempted many times to surrender to the process as before but this pain was different for me. The more I attempted to relax and open, the more pain entered my being. Even after the transition period was complete, his arrival was slow and arduous. No position seemed to ease my discomfort and my impatience was coming from a deep place of pleading.

Finally his birth was complete and all I could feel was utter relief. There was no energy left for celebration, just a wave of finality. My birthing role was now over and I felt more than ready to begin to usher in the next phase of focus. In this transition there was not that sense of the unexpected, I knew what lay before me for I had gone down this road before. There was no sense of absolute surrender to the process for I sensed the new phase that was waiting for me. It was if I couldn’t experience fully each moment for I hungered for the end result. My impatience could not hurry it towards me and yet the sense of urgency was undeniable. Expectation instead of anticipation seemed to hamper my peace and joy through the experience.

How is my transition today any different? Am I accepting each moment with new eyes as I did with Marisha? Am I surrendering to the certainty of the outcome with celebration as my experience with Derick? Or am I looking with impatience and expectation to the outcome and beyond as with Ryan?

I have choice today. As I feel the labor pains of transition each day I can choose the gifts of all three and embrace the experiences of all of their glorious births. It is a trust that reaches beyond my vision. I get to support the process that is surely larger than I with celebration, anticipation and surrender to usher in the next phase that awaits my arrival. I look forward as I taste each morsel of my moments today.

Thank you beautiful gifts of life wrapped with perfection and love. Marisha, Derick and Ryan, I am honored to be called your Mother.

Our Most Important Relationship

When people speak about relationships, many of us think about our spouses, children, friends, work or family, but do we ever take the time to think about what may be the most significant relationship of all? Without a complete integration of “this” relationship, we might find ourselves at a loss as to why our external relationships are so difficult or painful. If you haven’t guessed by now, the most important relationship begins with ourselves. The way we define, believe, or even judge ourselves are the basic foundations of how we experience each moment and other people. Sometimes this seems too big of a claim. We are so sure of the truth of our experience that it seems ludicrous to believe that anyone in relationship with us is experiencing anything different than what we are feeling, believing or judging. This is where the conflict usually begins and true communication becomes so vital. When we are out of touch as to who we are, what we want or our true beliefs and boundaries, our world around us seems out of control. We may find our every day lives filled with stress, anxiety, anger or resentment. Only when we are in touch with who we are authentically and have a balanced relationship with ourselves will we see that reflected in the relationships that surround us. As we experience each moment in the peace of knowing ourselves with acceptance, love and gratitude, our external world becomes the mirrors of the creation that begins within each of us. The first step is awareness. When we stop to consider who we are, even for a moment, we are on the path to the most powerful relationship we will ever know…our Self.