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Accessing Your Innate Goodness

In the consciousness of Nonviolent Communication (NVC), it is a given that your natural state is one of compassion (goodness).  Unfortunately, sometimes self-doubting habit energy can be like a thick cloud bank covering the light of your true nature.  You count yourself lucky if you see a glimmer here or there.

Given this foundational premise of innate goodness, any practice you do is really about making it easier for you to realize what's already there, what's already true.  Let's look at some practices that support this.  I will start with the most concrete and move to more subtle practices.

Expansive Thoughts & Behaviors

One gem reader writes:  "Practically speaking in my life, throughout my day, I notice that I unconsciously move toward being grounded in the illusion of my inherent defectiveness."

This gem reader has made a critical observation.  He knows that self-doubting habits are functioning in the background.  Unfortunately this is true for lots of folks.  Whether you can become conscious of these limiting thoughts, core beliefs, behaviors, etc. or not, you can work consciously to have the expansive thoughts, core beliefs, and behaviors.  The fact that it is impossible to do both in the same millisecond means that you are creating a break in the cloud bank of self-doubt.  

Expansive thoughts and beliefs include some version of the following:

  • I belong

  • I trust the natural unfolding of my life

  • I can do this

  • I am safe

  • I am loved (I am love)

  • I am okay

  • I am free

  • I feel anxious (insert any uncomfortable feeling here) and that's okay

  • My only job is to be compassionately present for myself and others

  • I am made of the same stuff as the precious cat on my lap and the majestic Doug Fir tree out my window (insert any living being in whom you easily see the innate goodness).

Expansive behaviors might include:

  • Looking up at others and smiling

  • Feeling nervous about speaking up and doing it anyway

  • Relaxing your shoulders

  • Taking full deep and slow breaths

  • Relaxing the muscles in your face

  • Breathing through your heart

  • Letting yourself play, laugh, sing, dance

Softening and Receiving

An ability to receive from others is based, in part, on your sense of worthiness of the offering.  When you intentially receive you send yourself a message of worthiness.

  • When someone smiles at you, soften your body and energy and hold the intention to open and receive.

  • When someone offers appreciation, maintain eye contact and say "I am taking it in."  Again, soften your face, eyes, whole body and energy and hold the intention to open and receive.

  • When someone offers you a hug, let yourself melt into the embrace and put all of your awareness in the feel of his or her arms around you.

  • Repeat out loud an appreciation that someone has offered.  Say it slowly, breath through your heart, and soften your body as you do.

  • Offer prayers, say mantras, or recite texts from your spiritual tradition and as you do so, soften your body and energy and hold the intention to open and receive.

Cultivate Compassionate Stillness and Release

  • FOCUS:  Sit upright in a comfortable position.  State your intention to maintain your focus on one object (your breath, sound of the rain, the flame of a candle, etc.) and to compassionately greet any experience in your body or in the happenings around you with a soft "that's okay".  Then return to your object of focus.  

  • RELEASE:  Sit upright in a comfortable position.  State your intention to release holding and tension while accepting whatever parts of you that do not release.  Start at the top of your head and with a soft voice tell yourself it is okay to relax, let go, expand (find the phrase that is right for you).  Move down your body at the same speed that an egg would move if you had cracked it at the top of your head.  

  • EXPANSION:  Sit upright in a comfortable position.  Feel your whole body at once.  Invite yourself to relax.  Put your awareness in the space just an inch outside your body and again invite yourself to relax into that space.  Continue this pattern expanding slowly out from your body.   

The key to any of these practices is consistency.  Choose one that seems do-able and easy to integrate into your life.  Because much of the main flow of the world doesn't support this kind of focus, it's helpful to make practices like these the first focus of your day before the world of distraction gets a hold of you.  It's equally important to participate in groups who are holding the same intentions and have a regular practice.

Take a moment now to choose any of the practices of above and try it on even for just one minute.  Then decide if you would like to choose that practice for the week.  Just choosing one practice allows you to have a sense of focus while not overwhelming yourself.  While the sitting practices are ideally done for an hour, any amount of time per day is good to start with.  You might also do a few minutes upon waking and a few minutes before bed.



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4 Responses

  1. Feb 07, 2014

    I'm very receptive to your current gem offering. I find that honesty is the way to liberation. In the moment the self-limiting negative belief is seen, perspective shifts and the goodness you write about is so obvious. A great release of love follows. Although awakening is simply a change of perspective, it's radical and only experienced. You can't think or will your way to it, but honesty delivers you there.

  2. Feb 07, 2014

    Finding 3 hours in each day to practise these exercises - What sort of lives do you think other people lead that would make this achievable? Setting the bar so high just sets people up for failure and I can feel my shoulders rising up just contemplating how on earth I would manage this!

  3. Feb 07, 2014

    Start with a minute on just one of them as suggested at the very end of this article... baby steps and making room for change could be way to find out something new. Practice perhaps not perfection.

    I am very thankful, LaShelle, as always for this article and offering of new things to try and to calm things down in my busy world and even just to breathe for a minute.


  4. Feb 08, 2014

    Thanks Julie for your contribution here. I appreciate your thoughtfulness.

    Katrina, I see that I wasn't clear with the last paragraph. Thanks for pointing that out. I didn't mean to suggest that folks meditate 3 hours a day. I meant to provide a menu of ideas that I would hope you would adjust to what's right for you. I have re-written the end of the article.

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