Is “Normal” Different for Those with Autism?

Is “Normal” Different for Those with Autism?

Is there a “normal”? Where does that word come from, and how come it has such power?

Statements other people throw at you, such as “That’s not normal.” or “You’re not normal.”, can set you on a downward spiral into a life of isolation and addiction.

Behaviors or habits that divert from the social norm in even the smallest way are now labeled “not normal” and a disorder. The freedom to be unique, eccentric, or just different is almost gone. All the new diagnoses leave little room for you to be you and me to be me.

These days, if you’re different, you have a disorder, and there is a label for you. You get put in a box, and that is now who you are, what you can do, and how you can be expected to behave. My labels are “recovering alcoholic” and “autistic”, not to mention “depressed”, “anxious” and “bi-polar”. For the purposes of this article, I’ll stick with “autistic”. Of all my labels, “autistic” is most truly outside the code of normal.

I looked up the definition of “normal” at http://www.freedictionarydefinitions.com: “conforming to a standard; usual, typical, or expected (of a person) free from physical or mental disorders.”

Well, if we are considered normal when we conform to a usual, typical, or expected standard, we are dependent on “the instruction book of normal” for each community we try to belong to.

And whatever “Book of Normal” people go by, it is usually downloaded at birth and doesn’t exist in hard copy.

Of course, plenty of books discuss social intelligence and provide behavioral guides, and we are welcome to read them and improve.

Still, there is nothing like the original download that gives you the ticket into society and allows you to be one of the normal people, one of the team, one of the group, and one with friends – right from the get-go.

To have that wonderful feeling of being loved and belonging with people who care about you…to have the book, the ticket. Oh, I so wanted that! Instead, I just knew I didn’t belong…anywhere!

Most people have a normal way of behaving, an intuitive way of moving in society, making friends and finding groups to belong to.

The challenges come when you’re not normal, like me, and you don’t have the download, the ticket, and there is nowhere to get one. You feel doomed to be considered different…forever!

You can walk around looking like a question mark, and no one feels motivated to speak with you. Regardless of the reason for gathering, the people you meet will have an untold and often accepted code of behavior that is their guideline for “normal”.

Outside those lines, you are just weird, on a scale from a little different, a little strange…to just plain weird.

However, hang in there. There is hope! I know!

After having been judged and labeled once, I found that there was no restitution or recall on my character. I had made my impression, and even decades later, I still had my label and was treated accordingly.

I have found that few people exhibit the compassion to give you a ticket into their social arena. Few people are interested in giving you space to show your love or to demonstrate that you have healed the reasons that made you who you were…back then!

After people have made up their mind about what they think of you, their most comfortable position is often to keep what they once thought of you alive and stick with that.

Consequently (and here’s that good news I promised), the work is ours to do.

  1. We can succumb to the norm of normal behaviors, where we don’t fit, and see our Self as only governed by our old labels. We then work desperately to become “one of them” and fail miserably – because we don’t own a copy of the book…
  2. …or we can say, “Screw it,” and blame “those people” and their evil-ness for our misery and isolation, thus staying stuck in who we are and who we have always been…
  3. …or! Yes! There is a third choice. We can negotiate our behaviors while staying true to our Self. We can take 100% responsibility for our lives and stop blaming. We can come alive!

We can become willing to take an honest look at our situation, take stock in what we can change, what we want to change, and what we are not willing to change.

We can change within our own standards and without losing our Self.

Imagine if you had the self-esteem, the self-worth, and the self-compassion to put your Self first and judge the world by your standards.

If people do not feel “right” to you, take a closer look. It may not be about you! They may just not be “your people”.

However, be honest about it and go a little deeper. Maybe there is something in your behaviors you could change.

And, if so, become willing to look, not so much for what’s “normal”, but for what’s comfortable…to you!

Who do you like to be around? Who do you want in your life to learn from and help you grow?

How willing are you to take responsibility for your situation and recognize that maybe, just maybe, you have something to do with your own isolation, addictions, anxiety, or depression?

When we work on our Self first, and give our Self a chance to settle into who we want to be, what we want to stand for, and how we want to show up in the world, we can look at what we like about the world, and recognize that we have choices.

We do not need to beg for friendship or belonging. With a healthy sense of Self, we will find our Self in situations that are fertile ground for growing new friendships, discovering new groups of people to join, and finding a new sense of belonging.

Just do you own work first.

We may not have the “Book of Normal” downloaded, and we may come off a little different, but that does not have to be a life sentence of “not normal”!

We can feel the wonderful feeling of being loved. We can feel the comfort of belonging. We can feel okay in our own skin. It’s possible! I know!

I know it’s possible! I have arrived at a place in my life where I am comfortable being me, have a few good friends and belong to a group that holds me as an equal. I have arrived…at a life of Ease and Comfort!

And you can too…be comfortable being you!

If you have any questions about how that is possible, contact me! It’s possible!

To learn more about Eva, go to www.EvaAngvert.com

Call. 510.825.7574 or email me at Eva@EvaAngvert.com

How Someone on the Autism Spectrum Finds Friendship

How Someone on the Autism Spectrum Finds Friendship

I used to look around and see people in groups, congregating, laughing, and looking happy.

They seemed confident, as though they knew what they were talking about…were having fun.

I didn’t know them as close friends, but I had seen them before. So I would tell myself, “I think I’ll go and join them.” I wanted to have fun too.

I would wonder, though, “How do I get into this group? How do I start talking? How do I know when to talk?” None of them really invited me. So I would just walk up to them. That’s what I saw others do. And if I didn’t just join a group, I would be standing alone, and that hurts more than standing in a group and not being addressed.

So out of two evils I would pick the less painful one.

I’d smile and say “Hi.” I would get “the look”.

God, how I hated that look.

I never knew what to do with it. It cut through my body like an ice-cold sword, and I would start sinking…down the vortex of shame.

What was it about me that deserved that look of disapproval and distaste?

Did they all know something about me that I didn’t?

And with the look came the shoulder. That little turn of the upper body, just enough to tell me I wasn’t welcome.

After the look and the shoulder, it would take everything out of me to stay there, to stay connected with ME, and most of all, to stay conscious.

So I would stay…and keep on trying to belong.

It was so tempting just to float away, leave my body, hide in my imaginative brain, go somewhere safe…the buffet table, the rest room, or even the bar.

For quite some time it was the bar, full of people I called my “friends”…as long as I bought them drinks.

For almost 20 years my “true friend”, the bottle, protected me and stood up for me when I needed help. After a couple of drinks, life didn’t hurt that much.

I didn’t get any prettier, any funnier, or more popular. I just stopped caring. “it” stopped hurting.

If I miss anything about my drinking years, it’s that wonderful feeling of “I don’t care.”

It’s been 27 years without that feeling. Life has been real, confusing and often painful; life’s been raw!

Now, I endure the shunning without a buffer. It can feel like a heavy wet blanket weighing me down, a wet lukewarm sense of “I’m not worthy of belonging.”

I would ask myself, “What is it about me that acts like a repellent?”

And, then, after my diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder, I wondered – is it my autism? Do I wear a halo of “I have autism; run away.”? But just like everyone else, I am sensitive. However, I have had to develop thick skin just to survive.

The shunning is just so painful. I’d rather get physically hit. At least I have your attention.

Attention, that’s what it is! I want attention. I need someone to look at me, so I know “I’m here.” It would be nice if the person also smiled, but looking at me can be enough.

Attention can sometimes feel like oxygen, and it is a connection with the world.

I have heard it said, “I was just like the moon. Without the sun, I didn’t shine. Without other people looking at me, I didn’t exist.” That was me!

In the past, I would settle for the crumbs, just to receive a little sunshine. I’d settle for anything…just to be part of something.

NOT ANY MORE!

It took a long time for me, too long, with many detours, before I figured it out. It doesn’t need to take that long for you!

We don’t have to beg for belonging. We don’t have to be subservient to be welcomed.

We have the same right to belong as any other human being, and we can practice exercising that right by first taking care of our Self, by recognizing our own worth.

Do you have a clear picture of what you want your life to look like? How can you find the confidence to do what you want? How can you develop the courage to BE…You?

Support, support, support. Find people like you – your tribe. Start or join a group on Facebook, Meetup, or other places that advertise their own struggles with friendships and belonging.

Find a place where you can feel gentle attention from someone who cares about you.

For me, it has been amazing to “wake up” to a feeling of belonging.

And, I know in my heart that there is someone out there who cares about you!

Don’t stop trying; reach out, stick your hand out, say “Hello,” say something, start somewhere! It works.

We must be willing to own our own struggles and do what it takes to get out of our bubble of isolation.

We all have a reason to be on this earth. We all have a gift to give. Don’t hide your gift.

Show it to the world. It’s beautiful. You are beautiful.

Because…you’re human, and because we humans belong…together! We can do this…together!

If you want to know more about the BEAM LiFE process and how it can help you discover your own sense of belonging, visit www.EvaAngvert.com.

Or, call her directly at 510.825.7574

Also, our on-line course Social Ease In The World of Autism that has help many adults on the Autism spectrum to find ease and comfort guides you through a process that will help you to become more at ease with your Self and the world.

Coming Out With Autism

Coming Out With Autism

silvestri-matteoPhoto by Silvestri Matteo

Coming Out with Autism

By Eva Angvert Harren, Core Coach and Educator

Often when we get into recovery we think, “Oh, THAT’s what’s wrong with me! Now that I know what’s wrong with me, I know how to fix it.”

If I use the 12 steps and do what they tell me, I’ll become a better wife, mom, daughter, friend…a better whatever! That great awakening happened for me in 1990.

The support in the 12-step programs is incredible, and many participants of these programs create a life beyond their wildest expectations. It works!

And, what if there is more going on? What if you spend a decade in The Program and still have not succeeded to develop friendships, feel a bond with others, or even that you belong to the fellowship?

What if you spend two decades in recovery and you are still alone in the fellowship?

“Oh, sure, I’ll call you.” “Let’s go out for dinner.” “You’re invited to my party.” “We’re going to the movies; do you want to join in?”

These are conversations I was not invited to participate in. I was painfully aware that, not only was I an alcoholic, I was outside looking in; I was different and could not for the life of me figure out why.

The greatest struggle was with the thought “What’s wrong with me?”

To finally get the verdict “You have an Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD)” should have settled it.

However, then there is step 2: telling people, owning who I am, truly, honestly, without shame…or with shame and facing the feelings of shame, embarrassment, or inferiority, a sense of being damaged goods or mentally ill.

It was easier to “come out” saying “I have alcoholism” than it was saying “I have autism.” Why is that?

Because, when people talk about you and say “Watch her; she’s an alcoholic,” the responses can still be, “Well, yeah, but she’s so funny,” or “I know, but she’s running a hell of a business,” or “That may be true, but she’s still so good with people,” or other responses to that effect.

When people talk about you and say “Watch her; she has autism,” people’s responses are more like this: big eyes, open mouth, silence, and then, “Really, oh that’s what’s wrong,” or “Hmmm, I thought there was something funny about her,” or “Oh, that poor thing.”

There is nothing about being funny, running a great business, or being good with people. Just this empty look with an “understanding” comment about how hard it must be.

I know I am not obligated to tell anyone in the same way you don’t tell people you’re bipolar, alcoholic, or have cancer. It’s a personal thing, I know!

However, in my case, with my business, it affects where I now put my focus. I have alcoholism, and I have autism – a double whammy. And I have a keen understanding of what that feels like.

I want to attract others like me so I can share my gifts and solutions.

When I got the verdict, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), at 58 years of age with 26 years of sobriety, it all made sense. That was the missing piece.

Now I found myself asking, “Was I an alcoholic because I was born with autism, did I have autism because of childhood trauma, or was it all PTS?” In other words, was I just a trauma survivor who had chosen to self-medicate until she became a drunk?

There are no experts out there who can answer that question!

If I have learned one thing on my journey to a wonderful, successful life with husband, children, and a thriving business, it is this: the “why” does not move you forward!

The moment I could accept my past as it was, had been, and will be remembered as, I could leave it behind, accept my “condition” and find the gifts, “come out” and be…me.

It’s funny to think about how hard it’s been to tell people.

That’s the common fear, “What are they going to think about me?” Well, what are they thinking now?

Who cares?! What people? They are not my friends anyway! They don’t call me, invite me, or check in to see if I’m alive. And, yet, I still worried!

That doesn’t mean I walk around town saying, “Hi, I’m Eva and I have autism” any more than I would say “I’m Eva and I have alcoholism.”

However, it means that I own all of me, including my brilliant brain, which doesn’t always agree with me. I have learned and experienced the wonderful feelings that come with Radical Self-Acceptance!

My life has become more exciting than ever, because…I “came out.” I enjoy the wonderful people in my life today, the ones who take me as I am with a sense of humor and compassion!

The price is worth the prize. Radical Self-Acceptance gave me the freedom to be…me!

I found my place in the world, the place that only I can fill. And so can you!

If you have autism and feel isolated, damaged, inferior, or even depressed and suicidal, I want you to know…You’re awesome, you’re brilliant, and you matter!

There is a place in this world that only you can fill, a place that needs your exact gift and wisdom.

The world needs that gift to evolve, and if you don’t share your Self with us, you rob the world of a piece of the puzzle that moves mankind forward.

Don’t keep us stagnant, don’t hold us back. We need your perspective, your humor, and your brilliance.

We need you! We need you to be…You!

Eva

If you want to know more about Eva and her Core Coaching, visit http://www.EvaAngvert.com

 

A View of the World from the Autism Spectrum

View of the World from the Autism Spectrum
By Eva Angvert Harren, Core Coach and Educator
There is something about autism that has made me suspicious about the diagnoses we are given. These diagnoses are made by non-autistic people – “normal, regular people” who appear to know how “normal, regular people” are supposed to behave and function.

There are social rules, I know, but the road seems to get narrower, and less and less diversity is allowed or considered within the range of normal social behavior.

These rules put me on the outside looking in, trying to figure out how to be, to be welcomed, invited, or even how to belong to society.

Or is it that my focus is misdirected, a little skewed? Because…when we are truly settled in the belief that there is something wrong with us, we start behaving based on that belief. And the world becomes a scary place. We become more and more scared and isolated. And we may try to belong anywhere, just to belong somewhere.

That’s the danger for people like me, like us. We settle for less, just so as not to end up dis-connected, dis-engaged, and dismissed. I just love the “D” words!

It is such a “spectrum,” such a wide range of “behavioral disorders”, and no one really knows the cause of these “behavioral disorders”. Now, we can recognize learning difficulties and the fact that we all have different ways of processing information. That could be a “pure brain hardware issue”. But…is it, though? Is it truly an issue, a disorder?

Is the world of psychology really helping the world of autism by putting us in boxes of acronyms, to be sorted by the nature of our disorders – defective, damaged, and destitute? Again, I just love those “D” words.

How many times have we heard about the wonderful, but “odd”, scientists whose work has pushed the human race to evolve? How many incredible artists have taught us about beauty, love, and compassion through their music, writings, and other arts?

Some of them would be diagnosed with autism by today’s standards. Scary. How many incredibly intelligent and gifted people are, today, put in a box with their wings clipped due to diagnoses and the subsequent prescribing of medications that dull their senses?

As Temple Grandin says, “Without us autistic people, we would still live in caves and sit around the campfire telling stories.”

If you are interested in learning more about getting unstuck from life-limiting habits or my BEAM LiFE program, connect with me on my website at:  www.evaangvert.com or email me at: Eva@BeamLifeCoaching.com.

 

How to Hold onto Your Self and Still Fit In

How to Hold onto Your Self and Still Fit In

 Gabriel Garcia Marengo

By Eva Angvert Harren, Core Coach and Educator

What is it about relationships that’s so hard to get?

I know that “everybody” has challenges with relationships. However, when you are also on the autism spectrum or suffer from PTSD, and on top of that are socially blind, the odds against you are just so much greater.

How can we keep friendships going without losing ourselves?

We can lose ourselves by people-pleasing or feeling forced to behave in a way that does not feel good to us.

How can we learn to put our Self first – our sense of self, our feelings of integrity and self-truth? How can we feel intact in who we want to be and still have room for a friend or two? How do we do that?

In my early life, I was overwhelmed with fear and shame, unable to see how those feelings affected my behavior.

Fear is debilitating and seems to come in a hundred forms. And when I take a look at those feelings, and follow the thread to their root cause, it always boils down to two things. As they say in the twelve-step programs: I am either afraid of not getting what I want, or I am afraid of losing what I have. Bottom line!

I am afraid of not getting love, approval, protection, respect and other such supports to my self-esteem. Or, I fear that I will lose love, approval, protection, respect, or maybe a loved one, a job, a business opportunity, or the like.

How can we learn to feel good enough about ourselves so that we do not need to run on the fuels of fear and shame?

How can we learn to develop self-love and use that as fuel for how we show up and move in the world?

I have learned to respect my Self through a lot of coaching and spiritual mentoring. It didn’t come easy for me.

My feeling of being waste material stuck to my soul early in life, and it’s been my biggest challenge to release that sense of worthlessness. And that sense of worthlessness influenced my behavior. It has been a struggle to crawl out of the emotional gutter of shame, guilt, and fear and recognize that I experienced those feelings as if they were my identity – for years!

I got so used to those feelings, I didn’t even recognize that I was actually comfortable being wrong, guilty, and worthless; it was just who I was. There is something weirdly comforting about sitting in the warm, icky, but familiar, fuzzy feeling of “I’m not worth it. That’s not for me. I just don’t matter.”

If you relate to these sentences, I can help you get out of that comfort zone!

In my last training with the esteemed Dr. Peter Levine, I was fortunate to receive a session. My issue was shame. In the session I said things such as “I don’t deserve that” as if that were true.

Dr. Levine pointed out this habit to me and told me to say, instead, “I have a thought that says, ‘I don’t deserve that.’”

Oh, wow! This little shift in perspective put space between me and the feeling of “I don’t deserve that.” I could find the neutral space inside where I could recognize that it was a thought; that was all it was – a thought!

Now, how old am I? 58 years of age. And I have worked on my Self for 26+ years. I know this stuff; I tell my clients this stuff.

However, when I say that I feel as though I don’t deserve that, I feeeeeel it personally and it becomes true. Then my behavior will ripple out from the standpoint of “I don’t deserve…” I give the feeling too much power.

But, when I feel the feeling – remember it’s just a feeling – “I don’t deserve that,” and say “I have a thought that says that I don’t deserve that,” it becomes just that, and nothing more – a thought.

Now there’s enough space between me and the thought AND the feeling so that I can allow the old feeling to surface and dissipate while I hold the thought at a distance. I look at the feeling and think, “Wow! There it is again, that feeling.” I feel the sensations that bubble up – that old, nasty-tasting tension. Sometimes it feels like throwing up a hairball. Still, I just let it surface and then let it go.

Shame used to feel as if it had a taste and smell to it. “I’m not worth it” smelled like a skunk that was living inside my house, spraying me daily. I couldn’t even breathe without getting that nasty taste in my mouth, “I’m just not worth it.”

And other people’s looks seemed to say that they could “smell” me.

Now, after many sessions and exercises, my experience is more like this: I know there was a skunk living here; I remember the taste, smell, and feeling. And once in a while I get a whiff of it. Then I can say, “I have a thought that says __________.”

And, I’m free! I’m free to be . . . me!

 

So, I’m diagnosed! I have an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

So, I’m diagnosed! I have an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

What It Means to Be Diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder

By Eva Angvert Harren, Core Coach and Educator

So, I’m diagnosed! Crap!! I have an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). I would have been diagnosed as Asperger’s three years ago, but as of 2014 they call it all ASD.

It wasn’t a shock. I had been searching for what was wrong with me as long as I could remember. So when the verdict came, I felt a sharp pain in my chest, my stomach turned, my throat closed, I felt panicky, my eyes welled up, and then it clicked. I knew it! I had expected it. I almost wanted it!

Now, I could stop asking, “What’s wrong with me?” Still, I cried. Damn it! I knew there was something wrong with me. Now I knew what it was. It still didn’t feel good.

“There isn’t really anything wrong with you,” he said. You’re just different. Not wrong. That is always easy for “non-different” people to say.

“I’ve been different my whole life, and all I’ve ever wanted was to be normal! Instead I got the verdict…ASD. That’s not normal! That’s just different with a label.

As long as I can remember I just wanted to know what was going on, so I could know how to get included in the chatter, the laughs, the parties, the stuff that “they” seemed to have so much fun doing.

When I had children, I wanted to be like the other parents around the sandbox, at the pool and the parties. They talked and laughed and planned parties and coffee dates. I wasn’t invited. I never knew why; I just knew it was because something about me wasn’t right because, somehow, I was different and not fun to hang out with.

Well, now I guess I can speak with more “authority” on what it means to be “on the spectrum”, socially blind, and having no clue about what’s going on around me. I know firsthand what it is like to be absolutely isolated in the middle of a crowd full of people you “know”.

Still, you’re supposed to be a good friend, a good worker, a good wife, and raise your children to feel good about themselves. How do you do that? What if you don’t feel good about you? What if…you don’t know what to feel good about?

What if you’re so insecure that, when you think you feel good about something and someone disagrees with your view of it, you change your mind? Just because you don’t know…how to feel…about anything!

Well, that is the story of my life. And before I was introduced to Dr. Levine’s module of trauma healing he calls “Somatic Experiencing”, I was at the end of my rope. With a great husband and two awesome daughters, I wanted “it” to end. I didn’t want to kill myself. I was too chicken. And I did think about the girls without a mother. That would just be too selfish.

I just wanted “it” to end – the pain in my stomach, the pressure in my chest, the ITCHING under my skin, the anxiety, depression, and absolute cluelessness about how to “be” …right. Then…I learned how to connect with my Self, and everything changed.

I learned about Somatic Experiencing, added some other training, including Tipi and touch work. I implemented it all into my coaching and created the BEAM LiFE Process.

This is an Integral Core Coaching approach to “Getting Unstuck and Reaction Free”. The goal is to end reactive (compulsive, repetitive, negative) behaviors by releasing the triggers and pain that repeatedly ignite reactive behaviors and develop skills to respond by choice.

In the BEAM LiFE world, “Autism Spectrum Disorder” is just a bad Skype connection. “It” is all there; “it” just needs to be connected and re-connected. So…we have some behaviors, some traits that are not beneficial as we try to connect with others and society at large.

I have let go of the “why that is” and focus on “how” I can polish my edges and thrive…not just function, but thrive.

I call this the 4-Step BEAM Process:

Balance – Body, Behavior, Boundaries

Energy – Emotions, Effect, Engagement

Attitude – Authenticity, Attunement, Action

Motion – Mindfulness, Meaning, Maintenance

 

This is a process that helps people work through and release the anxiety, anger, and addictive behaviors that keep them in their isolation, their dis-connected situation, in their bubble. This process will help you to become free…to BE…that awesome person you are.

To be able to connect with others, I believe we have to have some kind of balance in our own lives so that we do not feel overwhelmed. When we are overwhelmed, we tend to retreat into survival mode and just function to get things done.

This mode doesn’t leave room for spontaneity, curiosity, or connection. And if we are not curious about life, about others, about how to connect, we won’t…be spontaneous or curious or connect with others.

Often the pain of loneliness becomes the motivator to change, and the desire to connect becomes the driving force behind the willingness to change behaviors, take a risk, and connect. And to be able to connect with others, we have to connect with ourselves first. This means we start with the body.

How do you know if you’re connected with yourself? It’s a feeling. It’s a knowing, an internal awareness. As you read this, are you aware of your body? Do you feel how your body is touching what you’re sitting on? Do you feel it internally?

We’ll start with the body connection.

Practice #1 for the Brain/Body Connection (The BodyMind)

Morning-Midday-Evening for 30 days

Set a timer to 10 minutes and sit; just sit.

  • Bring your attention to the wall furthest away and rest your eyes on that wall for a minute.
  • Then bring your attention to something much closer, such as a piece of furniture, and rest your eyes there for a minute.
  • Next, bring your attention to your hands and rest there for a minute. Notice how you can direct your attention to different locations.
  • Now, knowing that, rest your eyes on something, or close your eyes altogether and bring your attention to your nostril; notice the sensation of your breath.
  • Now, direct your attention inward.
  • Notice…you can feel your breath, your lungs, and if you can tell how deep you’re breathing. As you’re paying attention to your breathing, notice how you can even give your breath your attention.
  • What is coming up for you? Sensations, Emotions, Thoughts? Can you allow it all to be there and just “watch” it?
  • Now spend five minutes there and explore your internal landscape. As you follow your breath, you can allow any feelings to emerge because you know…it’s only a feeling. And then you relax and see where your breath will take you next.

This exercise will give you “the space” you need to “find yourself” and release any resistance to connecting with yourself.

You are now starting to connect with your body. Sit for 10 minutes, Morning – Midday – Evening, and take notes on your progress. Each Saturday read your notes and see if you find a pattern.

If so, see which behaviors are toxic and which are nurturing to the person you want to be. Make two columns and write down your answers; own them and be willing to truly feel into them.

TOXIC      vs.       NURTURING

Next, when you discover that you are exhibiting one of those behaviors, notice how you feel in your body, and really allow those feelings to be.

In the world of BEAM LiFE your “mind” is an integrated version of brain and body. After 30 days of “sitting”, you will notice that you’re thinking differently, that you have gained a greater awareness of you and your world and maybe also a new perspective.

Enjoy!

To reflect on your day and your behaviors is a great way to “see” if there are behaviors that you may want to change. If something seems glaringly wrong or embarrassing, by all means, focus on that.

In my experience these kinds of behavioral patterns will surface in the sitting practice.

What I do is to start with just sitting…without an agenda…and actually bring my attention to sensations in the body.

The “weird” thing is that those sensations seem to bring my attention to what I need to focus on…and “up pops a memory” from today, last week, or years ago, a behavior, a situation, or what have you. And I realize… “Wow, I shouldn’t have done that!” or “Why did I do that?” Then, I don’t get stuck on the “why” but just bring my attention to the sensations.
Then I “see my part”; I feeeeeel the embarrassment of seeing my behavior…REGARDLESS of how others behave…and in that moment I become willing to feeeel the sensations that triggered that behavior…and the wave of emotions that comes with the realization of what I’ve done (sometimes again and again and again, a repetitive behavior I just don’t seem to be able to stop).
This doesn’t have to be anything horrible. Often it is a repetitive behavior that rears its ugly head again and again in a particular situation. My most frequently repeated behavior is often a “pit-bull grip” on something I just HAVE TO KNOW! I become very demanding and exhausting to “deal with”.
I have lost friends and business opportunities because of my “demanding nature”, and in the moment, I think I am just asking a question 🙂

It isn’t until I can feeeeel what triggers this behavior…which in my case is often fear…and become able to allow those feelings and sensations that I can change the behavior. The sitting practice makes this possible.

So, the magic comes when you realize that you can stand the feelings from the trigger without reacting to them. You just let the feelings pass through your body like a wave of discomfort without being a “puppet reacting on the strings of the past”.

And then…You’re FREE! Reaction Free! To be that awesome person you truly are…YOU! 🙂

If you are interested in learning more about getting unstuck from life-limiting habits or my BEAM LiFE program, connect with me on my website at:  www.evaangvert.com or email me at: Eva@BeamLifeCoaching.com.

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