Do you meet others’ expectation of you? No? Don’t care? There is a price to pay…

If you are on this site, you will find yourself, more or less, in this article. And it may change your life.

A student writes,

Hi Sophie, I think I take trivial and superficial things too seriously. How can I let go of these immaterial incidents or people and focus on important things that truly matter to me?

this was my answer

“This is the sign of two things: 1. your map of reality isn’t very similar to reality. 2. you have too much importance attached to nice words about you… i.e. you want to be defined by words not by your actions.
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20 Blunt Truths About Life No One Wants to Admit

blunt truthsI have found this article on the Inc.com website

Some of it is true, some of it was new-agey b.s. So I am culling it… And in some of them I am going to add my two cents worth… for example the pursuit of happiness… I have learned something about that from Ayn Rand that surprised me.

Just one more thing: my students in my coaching program struggle with the concept of principle.

A principle is a fundamental truth or proposition that serves as the foundation for a system of belief or behavior or for a chain of reasoning.

A principle is not something that you just pull out of your, ahem, mind. We all want to be “independent thinkers” but the path to independent thinking is through learning the principles others discovered… precisely, verbatim. So, for our purposes: a principle is quoted from someone a lot smarter than us.

A quote. not rephrased, not your take on it, but a quote. Not every quote is a principle, but every principle is a quote.

These so called truths are not principles. They are the author’s opinions. Don’t honor them as principles… And if you find that your life is based on personal opinions… try to find principles to replace them with. Really. Every single one of them. You’ll thank me for it, guaranteed.

You’ll notice that I am a lot more interested in giving you the principle of principle guidedness… than those brutal truths the guy made up… Sorry guy!

20 Brutal Truths About Life No One Wants to Admit

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Healthy and socially unacceptable behaviors…

Negative-healthy-behaviorsThe healthiest behavior is simply for you to be authentic. Yet often we avoid our own authentic behaviors thinking they are unhealthy ones. Your own mind and body know what you need. And if you need a reminder why it is important to follow your authentic self, look at these common behaviors which are often considered negative which can actually be healthy.

1. Anger

Anger is something many of us avoid expressing and yet it can often be very liberating. Being angry and expressing it in a healthy way can create powerful and positive change in our lives. Anger is simply a type of emotional energy that rises up in us when we have been wronged and a personal boundary has been crossed. That energy is set out on a mission to dismantle the inappropriate situation that has caused our suffering.

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How to get a master’s degree in beingness?

freedom in an unfree worldA lot of people use famous quotes for guidance, and, if my observations are correct, those quotes increase your sense of inadequacy, your sense of doom about 90% of the time. And 10% of the time you don’t even need inspiring quotes, you are already inspired.

So, what do you do? You pretend how much you love it, how much difference it makes… while inside, the gap between your authentic self and the horizontal self is growing with every lie.
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What is the Self? Part 2

fingerprint-unique-as-self

What is the Self? Part 2

So, the question is still: what is the self, the self that you honor when you talk about integrity? Integrity is being true to your self…

What is the self that you esteem in self-esteem. (Esteem means ‘hold in high regard’)

series-of-fake-indentitiesWhat is the self in self-expression? What is the self that is through and through in authentic self? What is the self that pursues its purpose?

You have no answer, and neither have any real and useful answer the videos on youtube, or philosophical books. What they do is create more confusion, lump the self together with ego, or with consciousness… well, they are all confused puppies, sorry.

So what is MY answer, and why is it more valid than famous people’s “answer”?
Why is it, that wherever you look, there is verbal and real confusion, and no one has an answer.

The question is: is this part of the millennia old effort to reduce humanity to sheep?
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Postponement: are you guilty of it?

postponing stuffWhen I think about procrastination, I limit my thinking to stuff that I don’t do that has to be done, should be done.

Today I saw another category of stuff, that I didn’t know it was procrastination, because that is the below the water level of stuff I don’t do: postponement.

I am playing the Avatar Audio in the background, now 24/7. To my surprise, the water level seems to go down and more of the hidden stuff emerges.

You can’t catch what you don’t see… and I am seeing stuff I have never seen before, or if I have, just glimpses, you know the kind that you even wonder if you saw anything at all, or if it was a dream.

I am planning to move in a few months, and this is a great opportunity (albeit unpleasant!) to look at the stuff that has been neglected, postponed, not dealt with, swept under the rug, treated as if it didn’t matter or didn’t exist.

It is very un-guru-like, very not Avatar-like to have heaps of stuff swept under the rug, but truth is truth, and that is what I am starting to see.
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Spirituality and Personality: The Psycho-Spiritual Controversy

If you have been involved in either therapy or counselling, or spirituality and meditation, in recent years you have probably encountered two basic, polarized viewpoints concerning personality. Essentially it amounts to this: therapists are pro-personality (and its improvement through healing neurosis etc.) while spiritual teachers proclaim personality a big waste of time, since neurotic or not, you are more than your personality.

This is not particularly surprising, since therapy and counseling tend to be concerned with the individual, while spiritual practices are concerned with higher matters. But it does lead the novices and beginners into a quandary where they are faced with the decision of what to do about personality. On the one hand, therapy could be an expensive, futile effort to better the personality, whereas, on the other hand, spiritual practice may offer an excuse to leave personal problems behind, with the justification that you are moving on to more lofty concerns.

In the extensive time I have been engaged in therapy and spirituality I can say that I have discovered the answer to this controversy! And I don’t say it without reluctance and a certain caution, since my answer is liable to offend both camps — therapists and spiritual teachers. Perhaps my answer is less a rejection or abandonment of one viewpoint for another and more of a synthesis. This may be an answer of the best kind – the kind that doesn’t marginalize or dismiss anyone’s experience or viewpoint. For my answer, while radically new and innovative, does not fundamentally disagree with either point of view, but considers each appropriate to the complex, total unfolding process of our human nature and potential.

My answer to the dilemma is to propose a third band of human experience. I call this “the authentic self” and since I am not using any unusual words I need to define this term, because I do mean something specific. The authentic self, in the way I use the term, is the bridge between the personality and the spiritual self. It is arrived at usually, but not always, after a lengthy period of intensive, deep, applied and consistent inner work. This inner work consists of a journey of self-discovery in which one circumvents the self, becoming increasingly aware of the conscious and unconscious material that comprises one’s sense of self, or ego. This involves character, which is essentially defensive strategy or an intelligent, protective reaction to early conditioning, which becomes increasingly calcified and adapted throughout adolescence and adult life. Character is composed of the way in which we survive and protect ourselves from inner and outer stimuli and ultimately avoid really meeting life. It creates a self-imposed prison — limitations in which we feel falsely safe.

Self-discovery also involves cultivating our awareness of personality, or the way in which character (defenses and strategies) is experienced. Both inwardly and outwardly we erect a barrier to experience — life events and other people — which is a mask, façade or persona which eclipses the real person, or our true nature.

We also raise emotional and behavioural patterns out of the murky stratum of the unconscious, out of unawareness, and see just how much our life is lived automatically, as an automaton without real human response, emotional feeling, resonance, empathy or even awareness.

The process of self-discovery involves witnessing, reliving and remembering, practicing awareness and releasing pent-up emotions, returning the bodymind, through self-regulating, self-healing and self-referral, to a natural state of balance, ease and relaxation, and opening to insight and experience. In the short-term the experience is enriching, enlivening and full of dramatic changes. In the long-term through achieving personal wholeness, soul nourishment and insights we reach a threshold, a bridge, a chasm – all variously transitional metaphors that signify a quantum leap, a fourth dimensional change that I have termed “the threshold of transformation”.

The significance of this threshold, and what distinguishes it from all the changes that have gone before, is that is effects are irreversible — it is a step from which there is no going back. Once taken, this step across the threshold will lead you to the condition of authenticity and intimacy with your own true nature.

This insight renders the controversy about personality redundant. But it does depend on our ability to clearly distinguish the psychological from the spiritual.