I’m afraid I’ve neglected my Blog page over the last couple of months due to much of my time being spent preparing my long-awaited online course. My last post was around the start of the desperate migrant crisis in Europe, and in giving my opinion and sharing my thoughts on the matter, the Natural Principle of Compassion was highlighted. As the Dalai Llama alluded to back in the 15th Century, practicing compassion is an absolute must for our survival in the physical realm. For the individual, compassion, expressing kindness, is often seen as something we do for others. We tend to neglect ourselves when practicing compassion, unaware that self-compassion is equally important to our personal well-being.
Which is why I have created the Mastery of Self-compassion online course.
There are many self-development, self-improvement, self-realization, and life-coaching courses and workshops out there these days. Over the past 30 years, I have done quite a few of them. A few of the few had a profound affect upon me at the time. I remember my mind being temporarily “altered” by a week-long intensive Psychosynthesis course back in 1989. My perception of speed when driving home (after not driving the entire week) was mesmerized by how fast it was possible to move, and I had an almost palpable sense of responsibility as I drove my dangerous half-ton box of metal through the streets of London. I simply couldn’t bare going faster than 25 m.p.h. And this of a 35 year-old male! The drive home took a while.
The Psychosynthesis course came at the start of a lengthy period of self-discovery, a period I know now will continue for the rest of my life. Like all the other courses I’ve attended, what I might have learned from the experience takes very little time to fade into insignificance. I’ll look through my notes after a year or two and wonder why I wrote “NB” next to an entry.
Why does this happen?
The answer to this question lies in our return to our everyday life. Once a self-development course has ended, when we remove ourselves from the experience and disconnect from the temporary community of like-minded souls, we revert to the official norms of behavior—back into conformity. We return to the forgiving arms of our contemporaries in the workplace (who thought you were a bit odd to do it), and our “conventionally minded” friends and family (who know all along you’re a bit odd, but find it rather endearing).
My MSc course aims to remedy this disconnection from the experience by sustaining it for as long as is necessary for the participant. On entering the course, you join a community of people striving to be their best expression in the world. Being in a community with the same intent certainly eases personal transformation, but to sustain a profound shift in the nature of our being, the initiating environment needs to remain in place as a constant source of support.
It used to be that an “alternative” community’s place was a physical one – the Findhorn Community in Scotland, for example. However, the advent of the internet allows us to form communities without a physical home. The advantage being that a community can have its communicative center online, whilst having the ability to choose where and when to come together on the physical plane. Moreover, the community coming together physically, at least once a year, remains an important element that my MSc course will explore for the future. Returning to my ongoing self-discovery for a moment…
Why did I, or why does anyone need to discover their Self?
For me, there were two things that set me off on this journey:
- I simply wasn’t happy (actually quite depressed) with my life circumstances, and
- I had begun studying “The Seth Material” and from it began to believe it was important to know fully who I am, why I came into the physical world at this time, what my life’s purpose was, and to begin living that purpose.
Twenty-five years on, spent mostly in study of… well, yes, my Self… exploring a wide variety of epistemological (ways of knowing) materials, from metaphysical literature to philosophical treatises and religious doctrine, I discovered one crucial psychological element required for well-being and contentment with life—Self-compassion.
You see, getting to know your Self is all very well and good (as you will discover on my MSc course), but being kind to yourself (we’re talking here about your “ego-self” – that part of you that rules the decision-making roost) as you expose the darker elements in your make up, is the key to real, sustained transformation. Practiced Self-compassion initiates a like for your ego-self and its oft-misguided efforts, which in due time turns into an appreciation and love for its contribution to the greater story of discovering who you truly are and why you are here.
My Self study, and over fifteen years of one-to-one psychotherapy and counseling practice in exploring other people’s Selves, has taught me that our real work in life is to get to know and appreciate where our ego-self is coming from—what thoughts and beliefs it puts its energy behind, and thus relies upon.
It is what a person believes that forms their reality. Your ego-self essentially makes its decisions on how to act, what to make real, by referring to the beliefs it has accrued over time. It categorizes the importance of a belief’s inclusion in the decision making process by the level of emotional energy underpinning its existence.
Dissipating the emotional energy associated with a belief or set of beliefs at the root of a problem often helps in resolving that problem. However, in order to prevent the errant belief regaining an energetic hold, it is important to be compassionate towards the ego-self and not ridicule it for what in retrospect may seem to be a ludicrous mental and emotional creation. Your ego-self is doing the best it can with the limited resources it assumes will make for a good decision—beliefs, thoughts, and intellectual acuity (only using reason and logic to ‘know’ what to do). Our ego-selves are taught to place most of our reliance upon these psychological elements when coming to a decision and to ignore our “inner senses” or intuition.
An MSc course with a difference
Mastering your Self-compassion is the first step along a clearer, less obstructed path to living without fear and finding value fulfillment from life. As you learn to be self-compassionate your ego-self will begin to open to the Self’s other ways of knowing what to do—its feelings, impulses, inspirations, and inner senses.
Being kind to your ego-self rather than denigrating its efforts, communing with it rather than judging it, befriending it rather than ostracizing it, and collaborating with it rather than letting it arrogantly stick with habitual responses, are all part of the process of being self-compassionate. My MSc course will teach you how to step outside of your ego-self’s narrow perspective and begin to help it do what it’s good at—planning your future actions. You will be able to release it from the constraints of its beliefs, and allow in all of your Self’s ways of knowing.
Don’t feel that your Self is worthy of a full expression in the world?
I’m aware from personal experience and from the stories relayed by my clients over the years that the fundamental psychological element that prevents us from being the best expression of our Self is lack of self-worth.
Many of us are completely unaware that a core belief about our unworthiness exists in our ego-self’s collection of beliefs. You see, our psyche contains all beliefs. Your ego-self’s collection of beliefs are “chosen” by assigning energy (particularly emotional energy) to the beliefs it acquires through its life experiences. The belief in unworthiness has been insidiously introduced into many an individual’s belief collection through exposure to certain religious doctrine and by the state education system. In Western society, if you managed to avoid a formal religious upbringing, you were still likely to adopt a belief of unworthiness as you made your way through the education system and into a society that promotes material success rather than spiritual maturity.
Feeling frustrated and unhappy with your life?
Unhappiness or frustration with life is an emotional message from your inner self. Your inner self is telling you that you are not living in alignment with your purpose for this lifetime. There is something else you need to pursue if you are to live a truly fulfilling life, and that something is to do with uncovering who you are, what you are here to do, and fully expressing the talents you bring to the world in the service of others.
The obstacles preventing someone from expressing her or himself fully in the world are:
- Ignorance of their true purpose (resulting in frustration over what to do in life), and
- Fear of self-expression (you might intuitively know what to do, but you feel that you are unworthy of offering your talents, that you are not good enough in some way).
How does the MSc course address these obstacles?
Fear is the constant companion to self-expression (for most people). From the very beginning of the MSc course we address the various fears that arise from within as your ego-self is introduced to the other “layers” of the Self and becomes acquainted with the inner self and the other “spiritual” aspects of your Self. You will learn how to dissipate the energy behind any problematic beliefs and redirect energy to beliefs that promote confidence in self-expression.
Each month, the ideas portrayed in my book It’s About You! Know Your Self are explored and clarified, not simply in terms of intellectual understanding, but also through experiential means that can better illustrate to your ego-self that it has nothing to be afraid of in the discovery and subsequent expansion of what it assumes to be the Self.
There are twelve months of content currently planned. Each month we will explore a crucial topic in the process of getting to know your Self. There is no rush. The month by month structuring allows you to set aside a period of time each week to devote to the course and your participation in the community forum—however busy your lifestyle is at present. You would need to allocate a maximum of two hours per week to consume the course material, and as much time as you like for sharing your angst and your achievements in the community forum.
The MSc course is an ongoing monthly membership. Access to the course material is triggered by registration date, and a month’s material is split into two packages, roughly two weeks apart. Access to the community forum will come after three months membership.
Where will the course ultimately take you?
The MSc course has been my journey in life. It has brought me to a place of deep understanding of who I am, what my talents are, and how to use those talents to help others. My ego-self maintains a state of supreme self-confidence, born from the knowledge that when things get troublesome, it can call upon the wiser spiritual elements that make up the Whole Self of which it is a fully appreciated part. Total Self-confidence fosters a fearless self-expression which results in a more joy-filled, often magical, definitely fulfilling, life experience.
In short, I live without fear and closer to Divine Love.
I believe my Mastery of Self-compassion course, along with the aid of the conscientious community it spawns, will get you to where I am—hopefully, without taking the 25 years or more it took me!