Why Do I Post My Reflections on Self-Compassion and Suffering?
An image of a mountian range with empty sky above it and the sunset peaking over.
Shortly after I published my second book Life Is a Lazy Susan in early 2014, I started a blog. At the time, I told myself the blog was to improve my Google search and marketing position. However, after a few months of writing articles, I realized the pieces were really about me trying to understand this philosophy (Self-Compassionate Living) I was formulating. The blog became an online journal for me to work out my understanding and methods for navigating life with the least amount of suffering and the most personal satisfaction.
At the time, I also understood that self-help gurus, life coaches, spiritual teachers, and personal consultants were plentiful. I didn't want to add to the noise with more ...well... noise. I wanted to contribute a path that offered people a way of creating the life they genuinely wanted. Once again, this blog was a vehicle to help me.
In the beginning, as I wrote my reflections, I noticed I was repeating other people’s ideas with a minimum of vocabulary changes. I didn’t feel I was contributing to the conversation. I also wasn't separating myself from all the other consultants out there. Yet, I honestly believed that I had an original take on the paradigms which have been available to humankind for eons but were hidden behind the veil of religion and spirituality. The weakness at the time was my lexicon, my vocabulary, my method of describing the process of self-worth, suffering, and the Survival Mind.
So, after a few years of writing, I did what the masters for ages have suggested. I pulled away from the world and expectations of "knowing everything." Instead, I let my mind sit in the cacophony of all my thoughts, and begin to explore the silence between the thoughts. In other words, I chose to learn about me. I learned that I didn't know very much, even though I thought I knew more than most people. In the thirteenth century, the Sufi mystic and poet Rumi wrote, "Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I want to change myself." He was very wise, and I chose to learn from him. I went to work on myself.
One of the things I have learned in the silence and waiting is that Awareness is the most important gift I have been given (thank you, Tony D'Souza, for introducing me to this concept). Another thing I have learned is that people want to know how to improve their lives. There are plenty of people talking about what the problem is. Unfortunately, besides the usual meditation instruction, very few talk about how to move beyond the problem. Thus I set about learning methods to teach Awareness, Self-Compassion, and Communication.
Additionally, three years ago, I started doing corporate classes and workshops focusing on communication and awareness. I focus on communication because I believe communication is the biggest hurdle we have to overcome when seeking better lives through our work and our relationships. As managers, employees, and significant others, we need skills that help us navigate challenging situations without verbal, or worse, physical violence. I now teach many of those skills, and Awareness is the most important skill of them all.
The silence and waiting that I’ve chosen has been long. I published my first article on April 13, 2014, and my last blog piece on April 5, 2017. On November 27, 2017, I took down my website to make my silence more complete. I began the hard work of transforming myself, my thoughts, my emotions, and my life. As I write this today, it is January 28, 2020, and I am starting to rebuild my previous blog on my new website. It has been a slow journey, which has also been immensely fulfilling.
All the writing above is to say, here are some of my reflections. I'll slowly add my previous blog posts to them in case you're interested in the history of my transformation. I may even write a new entry every so often as the inspiration hits me. If I don't, please take this as a history of my personal growth. May you find some gifts in it so that your journey can be more fulfilling; I certainly have.
January 28, 2020