Accepting Yourself—You Are A Gem!

“When you love you fall under the waves,
if you never fall you can never be saved
sometimes it’s grace, sometimes luck
when a hand reaches out and you take it up.”
—Kathleen Dunbar, from my album The Storm in Our Head 

There is a wonderful therapist who was a leader in his field many years ago named Carl Rogers. When he was a boy he grew up on a farm. All winter the potatoes lay in bins in the cold basement, and there was only a small window far up on the wall in that basement. He was fascinated that even though the potatoes were given so little nourishment, that they nevertheless sprouted and sent their long tendrils upwards towards the light. He believed that the thirst for life in people is the same, that there is an inherent wholeness that seeks to grow and express itself.  

“From the oak, the mighty acorn grows.” —Folk Saying 

They might begin small, but seeds are powerful and grow into great things, the things they were always destined to be. When a client first arrives for sessions, I let them know I hear their greatest ache, and understand their greatest longing, and through the somatic work I do I give them an experience of their longing being met so that they can walk out the door with more of a sense of who they truly are. Then we continue to build on that. 

“The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.” —Carl Rogers 

People want to know how they can “fix themselves” and often have a whole gallery of internal critics telling them what is wrong with them. The problem with critics is that they are so toxic that they stop any growth. Our critics and “voices” miss the main point, that just as we are, we are a gem. As we grow to realize and accept our own unique and valuable nature, and that we are precious just as we are, then we become freer to express, learn, grow and thrive. When we recognize the amazing seed of our unique nature, then we can care for ourselves, and help ourselves to grow into our full expression.  

The following are our birthrights. Which ones speak most potently to you? Likely you may find yourself believing the opposite. For example, you may have learned to believe that you have to do everything yourself, and you took on this belief because of experiences growing up where exactly that was the case. But if you sit quietly and go all the way under the belief, you will find a longing for just the opposite—that you don’t have to do it alone, that it’s okay to need. And—you made it this far! It’s your time now, your season right now—and just as you learned the limiting belief, you can learn to return to your birthright belief and experience. It may take a therapist or mentor or new community, and it will take some work on your part to let go of the old voices and the old belief, but you can learn to reach out, and you will be able to learn who are the very people who will reach back and give you a hand up. Healing and growth are possible! 

So tell your critic to take ten steps back for two minutes, and then take a look at the following from your sense of longing. That longing is key. Longing is the seed of you calling out. It is a direct line into your essential nature. Your amazing self is awaiting you. Yeah you! 

  • You matter.  
  • You are loveable. 
  • You are welcome—there is a place for you. 
  • All your feelings are natural. 
  • It is possible to be safe.  
  • It’s okay to be powerful. 
  • It’s okay to have needs, and it’s possible to find others who will meet them. 
  • It’s okay to ask for help.  
  • You’re don’t have to be alone—there are others who will help. 
  • You can learn to ask. 
  • It’s okay to be real. 
  • Being vulnerable and authentic is a strength others will appreciate.
  • You can say no and do it your way, and you’ll still be loved. 
  • There’s nothing you have to do to be loved—you are already loveable just as you are. 
  • There are people who will be willing to see you and hear you.
  • You are a gem!

Gratefulness Reset Button Exercise for Calm

You can do this anywhere, anytime. Gratefulness and appreciation of things like beauty, nature and witnessed or received acts of kindness switch our neural circuits. It’s like changing the channel on the radio from a dire news story to a meditative talk or music channel. This simple exercise flushes out the stress hormones and chemicals produced from fight-fight-freeze responses, and engages our parasympathetic nervous system to produce feel-good hormones and chemicals that help regulate us. A few moments of doing this exercise can really facilitate a shift. Making it a regular practice helps it be an important tool in your toolkit of wellbeing.

  • Stretch your hands over your head and yawn and sigh aloud—this primes the pump of the right brain. 
  • Feel the little flow-and-glow of the stretch and yawn. 
  • Sit comfortably, neither slouching nor trying to sit up straight: find your sitsbones, let your spine rise from your pelvic bowl, allow your head to float on top of your spine. It’s okay to use the back of the chair to lean on, (just don’t slouch as slouching compresses your chest cavity and breath, which makes your brain start to be fearful as it isn’t getting enough oxygen). 
  • Breathe in your nose and out your mouth three times. On the outbreath make an audible sigh (ie, make a sound)—Ahhh. Making a sound when you sigh automatically signals your parasympathetic (calm down) nervous system that you are safe and allows it to produce the feel-good chemicals. 
  • Now bring to mind any of the following: a scene of beauty; an act of kindness you witnessed or received; the face of someone who cares about you (an easy person, not one you are having any difficulty with—the easier, the better), something lovely in nature.
  • Let yourself feel appreciation for this scene or person. 
  • “Take the elevator down”—bring the beautiful sunset, the caring face, down into your chest and notice the sensations in your chest that accompany the sunset, the care, the kindness. Pay especial attention to any of the following: softening, spaciousness, slowing, flow. 
  • If you want, you can put your hand on your heart and feel what happens with that. 
  • Notice who is feeling grateful—this is your True Self. 
  • Thank whatever is beautiful and kind; thank yourself for participating. Notice what this thanking brings.

If you’d like to hear some calming and inspiring music, please check out my original trance-ambient-world music album that is up for an award. This is my Blue Lilah project and the album is Medicine Songs, find it here:

Simple Grounding Exercise

Comfortably seated, close your eyes and wiggle your sitsbones. Now imagine your feet on grassy earth. Breathe deep. Let go with a sigh. ⁣

Inwardly track your body for a pleasurable sensation—the chair supporting your back, the feel of the cloth of your pants on your hands, the warmth or coolness of your breath. Say, “Hello! There’s you!”⁣

Now track your body and find an ache and just be with it. Say to the ache in as friendly a way as you can muster, “Hello! There you are!” Remember the earth is turning, and that tomorrow will bring something different. ⁣

Lastly, track your body for an unknown place, somewhere you usually aren’t aware of, a mystery. Greet that place, “Oh hello! There’s you!”⁣

Take a deep breath, and enjoy your breath.⁣