Savannah Hanson: Radical self acceptance
I am witnessing what appears to be continually increasing waves of energy creating intensity in many people’s lives. For some, I have witnessed internal despair, meaninglessness, rage and grief. I have witnessed deaths, hospitalizations, separations, conflict, burnout. Also joy, unity, knowing. This being human gig appears to continue to accelerate in terms of the required mastery necessary to bode well in these times.
The Schumann Resonance can give us a tangible explanation for this intensity. Or just knowing it has been over a year of lockdown restriction and enforced separations. It can feel easy to perceive oneself as a victim of these restrictions. Is there another choice?
What is arising for this one is a continual increase in self appreciation. Rather than berating myself for those areas that never seem to improve, things I simply can’t get ahold of, instead I celebrate just my willingness to be me and keep on truckin’. Perhaps it is not ironic that in this radical self acceptance, continual gifts emerge.
A few days ago I laughed for over 12 minutes straight with the incredible joy of simply being 100% myself. I was on a call with a peer where we were sharing authentically. I could not stop laughing as such a simple awareness dialed in yet I had missed it for so long. All I had to do was simply be myself! Sounds easy, right?
Yet what I witness in self and other is an almost perpetual shifting, reading the expressions and actions of others to determine how one “should” appear in the now. It is often so subtle as to be unconscious. Yet once I got hip to it, I could observe these subtle people-pleasing, safety-seeking micro movements. Particularly as a facilitator, I could feel myself need to ante up to some perceived skill set or need to do an ideal job, never let anyone down, never hurt another. YIKES! The pressure of all that need to perform. One of my peers called it the trained monkey act. So as a facilitator I need to make sure all goes well for the participants and if I have to throw myself under the bus to make sure that happens, well alright then.
Ah, to stop these exhausting patterns of self denial. One of mine has been to witness another’s suffering, and then to jump in bodily to what I perceive to be the other’s experience, with the intent to mitigate the other’s suffering. Ugh! Yet as an empath, it seemed inevitable I would do this.
So I decided to conduct an experiment. For 32 days (an extended measure of the time it takes to create a new habit) I would track this behavior and see if I could shift this life-long pattern to one that is more self loving. I would see if I could be with another in their suffering, keep my heart open AND not physically attune to their emotions, feel their feelings physically in this body. Other sensitives will perhaps know how this initially felt like mission impossible.
For the first days, I would invariably either close off or feel tension in my body as I witnessed the suffering of another. Yet within about a week, the pattern began to shift. With continued intent and focus, I discovered I could stay open and yet remain relaxed in my body. EUREKA!
Now this is my particular challenge as an empath. Yet almost everyone I am speaking to has some shadow material surfacing during these remarkable times. What is your pattern? Are you worth setting an intention to shift maladaptive behaviors?
When I was in graduate school for spiritual psychology, we had zero training in trauma. Now it is all the rage. We are now more aware than ever of how trauma impacts our lives, how we seek safety in unskillful ways. Would you be willing to conduct your own experiment?
I am witnessing a clear divide between those that choose to resolve fear externally or internally. Some will seek eternal safety as feelings of fear mount, hoping someone else — some authority — will provide both safety and answers. Others will do the much harder work of exploring each and every crevice of internal fear and discover how to embrace, allow, surrender to what is arising in the now.
I have a worldview that says life is benevolent and thus anything it bring me is to provide me with greater awareness and liberation. If it arises in my field, I am the one responsible for discovering how to be with it in the now. My sense is as each of us takes radical care of ourselves, the self love will create the spaciousness to hold another with care. Ultimately, my vision is that with this internal spaciousness and self love, we as the human species will develop new answers, strategies to resolve the world’s pressing issues.
For me, all answers will rest on a foundation of inner self acceptance and love.
For information on private sessions or classes or to schedule a free 30-minute mini session, contact Savannah Hanson, M.A., MFT #40422 at 530-575-5052 or RisingasLove@gmail.com.
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Western Sierra Medical Clinic has announced that Family Nurse Practitioner Lora Lee Grutkowski has retired from employment with the nonprofit health center effective March 12.