FROM SHAME TO SELF-CONFIDENCE

FROM SHAME TO SELF-CONFIDENCE

Self-worth. Self-respect. Self-confidence revealed by self-sabotage of success. 

There are many reasons we self-sabotage. Unconscious inner drives make us go round in circles, related to past traumas, undigested fears and internalised shame. Shame and self-confidence are both on the same continuum, I explain more in my forthcoming book, Reclaiming Our Wellbeing.

Negative thoughts, beliefs, patterns and reactions reveal a healthy underlying need for self-protection. These surface to be explored, expressed and embodied so we digest internalized past traumas through clarity. Clarity and identifying patterns is connected to our Fire’s ability to act, do, give light, transform, energise and discern.

Moving from shame to self-confidence can be really hard because its one of our deepest emotions for social survival.

 

Research shows shame is correlated to autoimmune dis-ease, cancer and other inflammatory conditions. It’s an internalised biological expression of the belief that we are not welcome, worthy or wanted. It’s one of the most excruciating emotions a social creature can endure, and therefore we internalise it.

To move from victim to victorious means leaving behind the safety of the known. When we can’t stomach the shame of our past, our identity or present relationships, disgust arises as self-protection. That self-protection allows us to take distance, reflect and identify what causes us to feel so ashamed. For this we need the energy and heat of fire.

 

 

FIRE TRANSFORMS ONE STATE TO THE NEXT

Emotionally, mentally and physiologically our digestive fire consumes, assimilates, integrates and eliminates. Absorbing what’s good for us and excreting what’s harmful. We discern, clarify and get to the point by moving between two extremes. And fire initiates that shift and discerns what’s needed and what’s not.

That’s how we find a middle ground, which leads to feeling confident, enthusiastic, empowered, passionate and worthy. To get to those feelings we need fire to bring light to the unconscious drives, digest the undigested and get clear on what we’re angry and ashamed of, so we can eliminate it from our system. Understanding if your fire is excessive or deficient helps you know if you need more or are over doing it.

 

  • Deficient  WORTHLESSNESS, SHAME, SELF-SABOTAGE, BLAME, RESENTMENT, FRUSTRATION, ANGER.
  • Excessive JUDGEMENTAL, CRITICAL, ARROGANT, CONCEITED, HAUGHTY, DISDAIN, NARCISSISM.

In a relationship where one person has excessive fire, the other is almost always deficient in fire. So often you’ll find these dynamics at play.

By allowing yourself to feel shame, see if you can let it shift into resentment and then anger. Maybe you supress anger and it becomes self-sabotage. Anger gives us plenty of energy and power to move onto self-worth because we honour our core values. Using focus, determination and self-reflection we find our own way and shift towards self-confidence, by focusing on what we really want, being honest even if its not what someone else wants to hear, and that clarity leads to brilliance. 

 

 

TRANSFORMING SHAME INTO SELF-CONFIDENCE

The following journaling prompts come from my new course the Yoga Teachers class, which leads us from self-knowledge to self-confidence and self-expression. These prompts can be used for facing your shadows, neurotic behavior, limiting beliefs, self-destructive habits, painful patterns of emotional reactions, unclear projections and stressful relationship dynamics, and the underlying positive intent that wants to be brought to light.

Write down what have you self-sabotaged in the past; a project, a relationship, your life, career, studies. 

Now apply the next three steps to that experience and understand what your subconscious was trying to bring to light.

 

1. DREAM BIG

Turn your self-sabotage situation into your dream, ideal situation, if you believed anything is possible. Write down your DREAM situation and be limitless in your imaginings, courageous in your abilities, and generous with its impact.

* What would your ideal situation consist of?

* How would your life feel, sound and look different to what it is now?

* What would it change in other aspects of your life?

* How would it affect other people’s lives?

Name five associated emotions that means ideal to you? (Example; Safe, Freedom, Connected, Empowered, Alive, Satisfied, Joyous, Engaged).

 

2. NOTICE LIMITING BELIEFS

As you write the above you most likely have a voice saying ‘You can’t do that because …!’

So hear the voice and what is its main message? ‘You don’t have enough time, energy, resources’, or ‘It’s impossible because…’ or, ‘Who wants another…?‘, or ‘I know I can do that, but am happy as I am.’

These beliefs, thoughts and mindsets help us avoid growth. Growth means change, moving into unknown territory, and out of our comfort zone.These beliefs let us off the hook of leaving behind our outgrown self, and say, ‘Stay small, because you might fail, fall, waste time, need to change or leave behind…, …,’ 

Self-sabotage leads to frustration, anger and resentment, critical, arrogant and conceited communication, because subconsciously we know we’re not moving on. Sitting with these beliefs and associated emotions is key to releasing the charge and undoing our limiting habits. RAIN is an easy effective practice to move through pain.

 

3. IDENTIFY SHAME JOURNAL

Now you know which beliefs keep you in shame and away from self-confidence, self-respect and self-worth, identify which emotion is holding you back and find the opposite of that emotion. 

Examples; 

Shame – Dignity

Anger – Radiance

Resentment – Autonomy

Critical – Authentic

 

JOURNALING FROM SHADOW TO RADIANCE 

 

Remember a time when you experienced this emotion, say it’s radiance, and you were ridiculed, ignored, shamed for it. Or it was taken away, in some way or form. Use this in the journaling prompts below. This is your shadow, even though its a positive emotion, its connected to a negative experience. 

This is key to realising why we go round in circles, hold ourselves back from making our dream a reality. Dig deep, until you find the one memory when feeling that great hurt that much. Maybe you can’t remember because you were an infant, then just feel into the emotions, you’ll know when you have found that one that’s excruciating.

Dear (radiance) ___________  your shadow,

I’m angry with you because

 ___________ ruined my life because

I hate ____________ because

I’m scared of ____________ because

I feel bad about ____________ because

I feel sorry for myself regarding ____________ because

I feel excited with _____________ because

I love me with _____________ because

I’m happy with _____________ because

This makes me feel _______________

I hope this helps you get under the deep dark shadows of self-sabotage, and bring to light the radiance that you deserve to embody, hold and share with others.

Much Love,

 

Shira.

 

The journaling prompts have come from Ashley Turner and Mona Miller.

 

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EMOTIONS & IMMUNITY

EMOTIONS & IMMUNITY

Our Immunity is our sense of self. When we feel attacked so does our immunity.

Right now our world is upside down, and everyone is feeling overwhelmed, down, lost, anxious, angry, and confused by the many different voices and facts, on some level. When I voice my counter culture opinion or feelings I’m sometimes met by rigidity, hostility. It feels like heresy. It’s a scary feeling.

So I asked myself, why do i want to voice my opion? Alleviate suffering and prevent dis-ease. What can I do instead?

Educate. The only way. All I want to say is that if you look at the above adjectives of our states, it’s emotional content. Hypervigilence, makes us reactive. This article explains how emotions enhance health or harm.

OUR IMMUNITY IS OUR SENSE OF SELF. WHEN WE FEEL SAFE SO DOES OUR IMMUNITY.​

You can decide if you need to move out of the fight and flight, and into a tend and befriend. If only for your health and everyone around you. Only then can we move into an honest, more sustainable world. Environmentally, emotionally, psychologically and physically.

How Emotions Change Our Tissues

Zach Bush MD, physician of internal medicine and endocrinology states emotional toxins are the third contributor to damaging health, after food and environmental toxins. “Emotional toxicity will shorten life and damage our quality of life more rapidly than any other biological process can.”[i]

Have you noticed how our minds are scattered lately? Our feelings have more effect than mainstream medical science acknowledges. According to the HeartMath Institute, the heart actually sends more signals to the brain than the brain sends to the heart. And has significant effect on brain function, influencing emotional processing, higher cognitive faculties such as attention, perception, memory, and problem-solving. Stable pattern of the heart’s input to the brain during positive emotional states facilitates cognitive function and reinforces positive feelings and emotional stability. This means that sustaining positive emotions, not only benefits the entire body, but also profoundly affects how we perceive, think, feel, and perform.[ii]

Robert Sapolsky, professor of neurology and biology, says there’s no real centre for our emotions, it’s an immensely complex circuitry[iii]. Which runs through the entire body. Our molecules of emotion, hormones and neurotransmitters, affect our brain and our brain affects hormones. The effects, visceral, reach far into our tissue development. A two way stream. We have as many hormone receptors in our gut as in the brain. Often called our second brain, because digestive health and receptivity affects our overall physical as well as mental wellbeing.[iv] The dialogue between gut hormone, bile acid and the brain plays an important role in energy homeostasis.[v] And the building blocks for our entire being.

According to Christiane Northrup MD, our beliefs become our biology. Beliefs shape our perception, filtering emotions, initiate thoughts, actions, reactions, responses, physiology and physical matter. Our daily thoughts and emotions, which are accompanied by a multitude of biochemical changes in the body, set up an electromagnetic field around us, and seeing like attracts like, every cell in our body attracts our vibratory equivalent.[vi]

Emotions As Energy & Matter

Quantum physics and Samkhya, see matter and energy, at the subatomic level, as being interchangeable. Expressions of the same manifestations at different frequencies. Energy vibrates and moves, when energy moves at lower and slower vibrations, it’s more solid. Experienced through our senses to hear, touch, see, taste and smell. The more conscious, imbued with awareness, a manifested form, the less condensed, and therefore receptive. The more solid, the less conscious and closed the body or system is. 

Just like matter, thoughts thought over and over become solidified. They form neural wiring so solid they eventually think themselves. Manifesting a belief. Moving into the less explored consciousness. Thought without awareness. It becomes subconscious, and if we don’t go and clear it every once in a while, through meditation, contemplation or reflection, or any form of non-doing and just being, it becomes unconscious. The energy becomes so dense it’s an energetic blockage, and turns into a matter. 

When we hold a certain vibrational energy pattern long enough, it solidifies. Emotions felt often enough often manifest as issues in our tissues. And physical manifestation of dis-ease is a long way down the track from when we first got off track. It’s a very loud, and often last call, from our soul.

Psychological and emotional factors influence our physical health greatly because our emotions and thoughts are always accompanied by biochemical reactions in our bodies. These reactions are mediated by cell membranes, which are the actual “brains” of each cell. The mind-body continuum can be adequately understood only when we appreciate ourselves as an everchanging energy system that is affected by, and also affects, the energy surrounding it. We don’t end in our skins.[vii]

Beliefs inform biochemicals, biology informs our cells, and cells copy themselves continually, taking on a new structure with each imprint and becomes the new template. This embodied attitude is then passed on as a solid reality, a certainty.

Beliefs & Body

Beliefs, mindsets and associated emotions pave the way for breakthroughs, or breakdowns. And seeing this isn’t a one way stream, we can use our biology to affect our beliefs.

This is what Yoga does so seamlessly, using the body, breath and movement to initiate change and transformation in body, mind and psyche. Mind with matter and matter with mind. Not over, under, nor around. Through. Not fighting with some infantile imaginary of an ‘enemy’. Once we own our enemies as shadows of self rejected and projected, emotions, mind and psyche become tools. Empowering, lifelong companions. We embody our emotions and move toward real evolution. We stop reacting and being rigid in our opinions.

An exchange between inner and outer worlds creates this shift in ebb and flow of energy within us. Every sensation within your body is just an expression of these two, body and mind, matter and spirit, meeting. Surrendering to the emotions as they arise, releases the tides and allows us to harness our energy and return to our true nature, biorhythms and being.

Express your voice from the full conviction we’re all at heart good, healthy and whole beings. Our fullest manifestation is love, power and beauty. Letting ourselves be, live, breathe, enjoy, relate, communicate, create, nourish and rest with more passion, enthusiasm and deliberation without constraint. And daring to ask and explore how we, each of us, can bring this profound way of living into day to day life? 

We regulate, guide and transform our emotions by understanding the messages of emotions. We can retrain our brain, beliefs and biology to become the creators of our experience.[viii]

3 Steps to Calm Emotions & Mind

The tend and befriend, also known as the rest and digest activation of our autonomic nervous system calms us down. It gets us out of our heads and into our bodies. It makes us feel safe. Held. Secure, trusting, calm and grounded. It’s us going into parasympathetic activation. It’s our social pathway of the Vagus nerve coming online. The vagus nerve travels from the carnium to the reprductive system and is 80% afferent, meaning it brings information from our senses to the brain most of the time. When we move our body and this long nerve, we’re sending our brain, nerves and endocrine system the message we’re safe, held and ok.

Notice I said social pathway. Being social makes us seek connection. Just having a conversation with a friend, loved one, or eating a delicious warm meal in welcoming company heals. Being together, joking and tending to each others needs activates our rest and digest system.

Social distancing, or is it physical distancing?… we have less access to this pathway. Setting us up for distress and hypervigilance. Simple Yoga practices activate our tend and befriend pathway by stimulating parasympathetic response.

Three simple practices move us out of hypervigilence and into tend and befriend.

  1. Doing spinal flexion and extension, cat cow, or just lying on your back doing pelvic tilts will get us in our body and out of our minds. It stimulates the entire vagus nerve and that inturn activates rest, digest, tend and befriend.
  2. Extending our voice with a long sound. Either a long vowel such as AAaaaaa, OOoooo or UUuuuu, or singing something healing like Enya, Ajeet Kuar, Patti Smith, chanting or prayer.
  3. Extending the out breath. Breathing in for 3 seconds and out for 6. Just 10 rounds will work.

Once we’re in this state we communicate, relate and honestly, really heal and feel all that’s going on. Both inside us and around us.

All the hard stuff and the goodness most of us seek. We all know there’s something more going on. It’s just not clear what and why. But we’ve got to stay connected, honest and immune by having real conversations, with questions, with the ambivilance and ambiguity of the uncertainty.

Please feel free and welcome to write me back, leave a comment and tell me how you’re feeling.

Much Love,

Shira


[i] Zach Bush interview by Fran Drescher at https://vimeo.com/409457528

[ii] HeartMath Institute -https://www.heartmath.org/science/

[iii] Robert Sapolsky, – Behave, (2017), Penguin Random House

[iv]  https://www.austinhormonedoctor.com/connection-mental-health-hormones/

[v] https://www.researchgate.net/publication/47348954_Gut_hormones_and_the_brain

[vi] Christiane Northrup, M.D., – Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom, (2010), Bantam Books

[vii] Christiane Northrup, M.D., – Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom, (2010), Bantam Books

[viii] Lisa Feldman Barrett – You aren’t at the Mercy of Your Emotions-Your Brian creates them, Ted Talk

CREATE BRILLIANCE, CONFIDENCE & POWERFUL PASSION

CREATE BRILLIANCE, CONFIDENCE & POWERFUL PASSION

This is the month of Light, Fire and the returning of the Sun. The Hindu festival of Holli starts this week. Celebrating the returning light in our lives. Light is the power to see, the energy to move and the ability to do.

Our fire in body and mind, bestows brilliance, confidence, will power and the passion to create our gifts and bring them into the world. When our Fire is lit we glow. We radiate an energy that inspires others.
Understand the power of fire and learn to create brilliance, confidence, will power and passion.

The Power of Fire

Fire is all about discerning, distinguishing and discriminating clearly what it is we need, want and absolutely don’t want at any given moment. It’s being awake and alert. Know the difference and choosing what’s right for us. Whether pertaining to food, activities, impressions, friends, family, social events, books, films, you name it. All these things have the potential to feed our fire or dampen it. 
Truth is the clearest of light, piercing through all illusions.

To be brilliant, to be alight and alive, we need a healthy fire. That intelligent discerning light shows us the way, and the wrong turns. It gives us the ability to choose what we except and what we want to leave behind. Just like truth, there’s a sharp edge to fire.
Through that cutting edge we distinguish ourselves from other. We shine and radiate confidence when we know who we are, what we stand for and what we want.

Our fiery insight and clarity to see things as they really are, gives us our sense of self and uniqueness. Our autonomy and individuality makes this universe so amazing and wonderful.
Without fire our boundaries get murky. We begin to lack clarity on our needs, wants and desires, and those of others. We lose self agency, responsibility, and allow others to abandon their responsibility.
The possibility to take advantage and abuse power opens up when there’s a lack of fire, clarity and truth. We should own our separateness. Our own ability to shine our light of consciousness, like no one else can.

Belly Brilliance, A Healthy Fire 

So how do we create a fire that’s strong, healthy and releases energy and gives us and others light? 
Just think of a real fire.
We need to feed it good wood. Material that’s not too heavy and damp, nor to brittle and empty. We need substance, something that will sustain us. Every fire needs enough activation, fuel, space, rest and continual consistent interaction, checking in.
A fire doesn’t need to be overfed or undernourished. We don’t heap huge amounts of wood on a small fire, nor expect a blazing fire to last with tiny twigs. Nor does fire continue to give us warmth and light if we feed it inconsistently. Either it begins to smoke, goes out, or rages out of control, or smoulder. 
Its exactly the same for each of our fires; physical, energetic, mental, psychological and spiritual.

Increase your willpower, confidence & passion 

  1. Discern, Release energy

The first thing is to discern. When we discern we recognise, understand and see, and separate different aspects from a single experience. We get clear on what we need from any experience, what drains us and can be left behind or ‘burned’, and what actually feeds us on some level. Discerning helps us breakthrough, break free, and releases the energy within. This can then by applied to all levels of living; physical, social, mental, psychological, emotional, spiritual.

  1. Tend your digestive fire- Body Radiance

Our fire burns bright when we feed ourselves according to the seasons, our inner urges of feeling of hunger and thirst, and in a balanced and rhythmic cycles. This means we eat fresh foods grown in our local areas, when our viscera sends signals that we actually are hungry and according to our activities and needs. So it’s much less a science and head thing than a feeling and urge from within.

  1. Awaken your energetic fire- Pranic Glow

Do the practices of Bhastrika and Kapalabhati. These both activate our energetic fires. Seeing fire is the balancing force between inner and outer, matter and mind, when our Pranic fire is alive and awake we know which activities will enliven us, or drain us. A Pranic body that is alive helps us to glow, to discern energetically what we need and don’t want. 

  1. Focus your Mind- Mental Brilliance

Trakata, flame gazing, strengthens mental fire and it’s a wonderful practice just before bed. Sit in front of a candle that is both at arms length and eye height. Gaze gently for 1-5 minutes, then close the eyes and see the after image. Keep bringing back this image until its completely gone. Do this daily for at least a month. This gives enormous mental clarity, focus and sharp eyes. You’ll miss no detail.

  1. Empower your Soul- Wisdom

Journal about all the things that are going well in your life. Find all that you’re grateful for. Focus on the good. And then in a different book, or page, note all the things that bring you down; people, places, practices, circumstances, and choose to spend less time, energy and focus on those on a daily basis.
If you feel stuck because its part of your life, such as family or work, then begin to make choices about creating change. Either you can stop giving your emotional energy here and create very clear boundaries. To do this you need to know what is it exactly that hurts, irritates, frustrates, saddens or depletes you in these situations? Use your fire of inquiry.
Once your fire is applied here by discerning what exactly it is that drains you you can use the fire to change these dynamics. 

Fire is power, will, passion and the audacity to be You, fully, unapologetically, amazingly unique and perfectly empowered. With clarity and desire to inspire, awaken and enliven others to step into that same power.

Dare to Step Into Your Power!
Share your fiery practices and leave a comment below.

Much love,

Shira.

EMOTIONALLY EMPOWERED BY SEEING YOUR LIMITING BELIEFS

EMOTIONALLY EMPOWERED BY SEEING YOUR LIMITING BELIEFS

We can empower ourselves emotionally and live fuller lives. These two simple steps will help you overcome fears and understand your limiting beliefs. Giving you more control, calm and resilience. 

Last weeks blog about was about how feelings and thoughts can’t be divorced. And how our vagal nerve allows us to enhance our relaxation response with a smooth, slow and rhythmic practice, of breath and movement. Helping us switch from active to responsive. Using the body to calm the nervous system and mind.
Yet sometimes, even though we do relaxing activities, our body is still tense and our mind restless. “Where on earth has peace and calm wandered this time?” I find myself wondering.


We all know we have the power in our hands to create health in body and mind. Especially when we educate ourselves and apply that knowledge. But even then, sometimes it’s really hard to switch from active to calm, and somehow, we jump to reactive.Trivial events trigger us. And it feels violent when we have a ‘Creating world harmony’ ideal.
Even after practicing mindfulness and yoga for over 29 years, it’s still a work in progress.
Why?  

Obviously, emotions.

Emotions, those wonderful messengers between body and mind. Energy in motion. They’re transient. They have no substance, but they’re very powerful forces!
There is an inherent intelligence behind each emotion. A message between our inner experience and the outer stimulus. Underneath each emotion lies our body-mind intelligence communicating with us in waves of change. And the way we experience and express that e-motion, depends on many things.
Often our inner experience is strongly influenced by past memories, thoughts and perceptions associated with the outer event.

The crashing of fear

And the strongest wave is that of fear. Because our brain was intensely wired to fear for more than 2 million years, ensuring our survival, we have a fear bias. Fear triggers us to react and fast.
Using the vagal nerve is called a bottom up approach.
This week it’s a top down approach. Using the mind to understand our fear and calm the mind, nerves and soma. Both bottom up and top down complement and enhance each other. To move us away from fear we need to use all tools in our toolbox.

Somatic practice and psychology is a beautiful marriage  

1. Create Mental Space to See Triggers
Using the body, breath and mind to create mental space we can start to see triggers earlier.
The reflective moments we create through yoga and meditative practice, especially breath centred, calms the nerves and creates more mental space. Chittakasha is expanded.
Because there’s more space in our minds, we take distance from our fears. Emotions are like waves, the come crashing on the shore of our consciousness from the unconscious. Spacious mind sees the waves of fear coming from afar.
This spaciousness let’s us see what undercurrent thoughts triggered the emotion. Emotions don’t happen to us, but move through us to change. A better change, a positive change. Opportunities to improve next time round. And there’s always a next time. (Remember nothing is perfect, especially the first time, we have many opportunities to try again.)

2. Find the underlying thought 
As we see the wave of emotion coming earlier the underlying thought also becomes clear. Underneath any reaction surges a fear. And behind every fear lies a good intention. Every negative habit has a positive intent. To protect us. Find that positive intent. Hear the fear behind it. Most reactions stem from one of 5 fears.
Martina Sheehan and Susan Pearse in Wired for Lifespeak of 5 fundamental fears:
1 Fear of rejection or standing out
2 Fear of losing out or scarcity mentality
3 Fear of losing control
4 Fear of failure or not good enough
5 Fear of facing the truth or being responsible
Socially, we need acceptance of our ‘tribe’, to survive. This desire to fit in is deeply ingrained and stems from our brain, the limbic system, the oldest part of our brain. All emotional triggers, especially fear, ensure we please our tribe. That may be our society, family, peers, colleagues or friends.
So find the fear. Hear the story you keep telling yourself subconsciously.

And then take action, move with emotion

Let that energy move through you not to you. 

1 Fear of standing out – Find our voice. Diversity is beauty. Only you define yourself, not the opinion of others.  
2 Fear of losing out – See the abundance. Know whatever you have to offer, there are people out their who need your gift. Think win/win, not win/lose. When others succeed see it as prove that you can too.
3 Fear of losing control – Let go. Accept things as they are. Uncertainty holds opportunity. 
4 Fear of failure – Take the chance, the challenge and grow. Progress not perfection is key to moving forward.
5 Fear of facing the truth – Take responsibility. Own your life, thoughts, feelings, actions and situation. Then take the steps to create the life You want to live.

So, hear the story you keep telling yourself, and find the underlying push your subconscious is trying to give you to move you toward a greater self. A less limited self. And if you dare to be really brave, a limitless self in a world with certain limits.
Namaste dear friend, so much love to You, Be that brave One,

Shira.

 Next time reaction happens ask which of the fears is asking You to change and move forward.

 What limiting belief or fear holds You back?