by Remi Pearson
For many years I lived day to day, rolling with what came along, reacting to the events of the day, busy tending to whatever happened. Years passed this way; an aimlessness that I was unaware I was caught in.
I learned about goals, began to set them and go about achieving them, and because of this became less reactive to my day and more proactive. A day could become more rewarding. More satisfying. A little more meaningful.
Then I learned about values and began to consciously choose what values I needed to have to help me attain my goals. Values such as courage, drive, persistence, and growth formed the focus on my day. As I strove to achieve goals, I brought these values to life with determination. My results improved even more.
And so did the quality of my life. I discovered that goals alone weren’t enough. They drove me to be too focused on “getting” or “not getting”. It was too “win” “lose” for me. Making decisions about how to achieve my goals in a way that is aligned with my values definitely added a dimension of depth that had been missing. I became a better person. More well-rounded, I think. Less about the “win” and more about how I got there.
Over the last ten years or so I’ve been exploring another dimension to my life. This is the dimension under the surface, invisible to all but me but more significant than my goals and my values.
This dimension sits within me. It’s a consciousness I attempt to bring to most moments. An awareness of myself that goes beyond mindfulness. I call this dimension My Truth. It has come about by studying attachment theory, Internal Family Systems Theory, Buddhism, and by noticing me and how I show up.
With mindfulness, we are asked to be attentive to this moment. To fully focus on here and now, bringing our attention and energy to it. To let go of the past and the future and sit with what is present right now. We can go beyond simple awareness and guide ourselves toward the Buddhist practice of acceptance and surrender to this moment. We can be mindful in a way that invites us to accept fully this moment without resistance and allow it to be fully expressed.
With My Truth, I am inviting myself to be present to the moment in the most compassionate way possible for me. This isn’t always easy for me. I can be judgemental of myself, see the flaws of my struggles, resist what is and try to control the moment. Letting the moment be as it is can often morph into “I will get this how I want it. I’ll surrender later.”
Because I can make something so simple so challenging for myself, I find myself consistently needing to come back to the practice of being present, accepting, and embracing. Over and over and over and…
I was thinking about how I approach this (or avoid this) one morning and realised for me, much of what happens in the day within me is shaped by how I start my day. Where I am within me when I start my day tends to come along for the ride throughout the day. A random start to the day can have random consequences later in the afternoon. Connections can become less deep. Moments can flit past without my attention. I can get lost in distractions that have nothing to do with my goals and my values. I can find myself justifying doing more pleasant, less challenging activities that “fill” my day, rather than fulfill me.
When I fade away from this moment, I am fading away from my life. I want a full and fulfilling life, but to have that life, it comes down to this moment. Life is this moment.
To bring more attentiveness to this moment, I start my day with a focused Truest Self Statement. It’s a statement that reflects the person I am growing into becoming, and who I see glimpses of each day. It’s a statement that helps me remember what matters, especially when my day has challenges that can bring out my reactiveness or anxiety. It’s a statement that helps carry me through dark times. This statement (she) is my angel, next to me. keeping me company when I forget who I truly am.
My Truest Self Statement sits in the front of Remi’s Book of Dreams. It’s a little notebook where I write thoughts about who I’m becoming, what I love to do, and what I see myself doing as I grow and evolve.
This is my Truest Self “My Truth” Statement. ( I’d love to know your thoughts in the comments, and perhaps share what yours could be!):
My Truest Self Statement is always changing and growing and adapting as I change and grow and adapt. What I can see is available to me expands the deeper on this journey I go. This is not a fixed-in-time statement. It’s a living embodiment of who I am based on what I am capable of being aware of.
To write it, I gathered thoughts over a few weeks that resonated with me. Ideas about how to live. How to show up. I drew on the spiritual masters and also what I believed would serve me in situations where I feel unsettled or out of alignment with my values.
I drew on attachment theory and thought deeply about how I have not always been on my team. How I’ve surrendered my needs to accommodate someone else and what they want. Then, when I’ve become aware of the imbalance, I have seen how they have not “approved” of me wanting to change the relationship. There have been times when I have expressed my need and its been ignored. Debated. Treated as if I was being “mean” for expressing it.
I drew on Buddhism and its reminder that nothing in this world is personal. It is all one. It is all exactly as it is meant to be. As much as my ego wrestles with this, it’s still true.
I drew on the work of Dr Richard Schwartz in IFS and how we have parts within us that need our compassion and presence and comfort.
And I drew on my experience as a trainer of coaches. We all crave to be known. To be seen. To be understood. To be accepted. This is the work. This is what we must be able to do for ourselves.
Sometimes I forget what is true. I act as if what I have written isn’t the truth. I act like the unhealed child within me who feels she is not worthy and has to prove herself. I act like I am not centred and loving. I act like I have to defend myself. I act ask if what others think of me is more important than what I think of me.
And sometimes I remember her and the truth of who she is, and it brings me back to what matters for me. Yes, I pursue my goals, and I use my values as my guide for how to achieve them. But now there is something deeper to draw on and turn to that isn’t based on how I am performing “out there” in the world.
This statement is my way back home to within me, to My Truth.