The first time I heard someone speak about personal responsibility in depth, I had found myself sitting in a high rise apartment in Southern India. As my four month adventure was coming to a close, I made the decision to fill one of my last weeks with a meditation course. Surrounded by a group of Mumbai housewives, we listened to our instructor tell us that we were responsible for every single aspect of our reality. "Look at every part of your life, every problem and person that enters your realm, and realize that you are the creator," she told us.
She was intense, the kind of woman who wouldn't let you get up to use the bathroom during the class. Her assistant actually got in front of me one day, as me and my tiny-sized bladder attempted to sneak away. During a game of outdoor frisbee, she found it comical when the frisbee hit me in the face, causing my lip to split open. "Look alive," she shouted. As you can probably guess, I was not a fan of this woman. However, the experience left me wondering about this whole personality responsibility matter. Had I called her in to teach me something?
Fast forward a few years and I would find myself beginning a coaching program. Truthfully, I didn't really know what I was getting myself into, but I knew I needed help. I was tired of running from my problems, country hopping when things got hard. Not only did I struggle to stay in place for very long, but I found responsibility to be rather repulsing. And that is exactly what this coaching work was going to require- taking complete ownership of my life.
As I progressed through the work, using a mixture of Kundalini Yoga teachings and more traditional coaching strategies, I realized that a lot of my experience was in my hands. From how I spoke to the people who I was attracting, the way my daily life was unfolding was largely up to me. Here are a few of the areas I focus on when it comes to taking control of my experience:
CLEAR COMMUNICATION: This is a huge one. I've written on this topic before and find it to be SUCH a game changer. As women, we are often taught to stay quiet and keep the peace, but if you are anything like me, you came out of the womb doing the opposite. Finding the balance between passive and aggressive is crucial to clear communication. Rather than holding things in or lashing out at people with words, expressing yourself in a neutral manner is the goal. With a greater level of both honesty and compassion, my relationships have found deeper foundations of trust. With this trust comes more energy and a nurtured space of co-creation.
REACTIONS: While it doesn't always feel like we are controlling what shows up in our outer reality, we are in control of how we react. When I was younger, I had a very sharp tongue; if you did something to upset me, I would immediately let you know. As I've gotten older, I practice pausing. If I can't approach a situation with a neutral state, it is best to wait until the emotion passes. However, with all of the work I have done to tear down my protective walls, I now have to make sure I don't dip into withholding my truth. I recently made the mistake of responding to an email in a disempowered state. As a result of feeling energetically thrown by the way this person responded to me, I reacted by staying small and being overly apologetic. Once the fearful emotion cleared, my response no longer fit how I was actually feeling. While I wish I had handled it differently, it was a good learning lesson moving forward.
WHO IS SHOWING UP: As far as I'm concerned, we agree to meet people here on earth before we arrive. Now maybe that sounds too far out, but I think it's an interesting way of looking at things. From the partner who broke your heart to the person you look up to the most, you chose to have them in your life. If you begin looking at people in terms of patterns, they can be great clues into what you need to work on. If you are constantly attracting jealous friends, I would ask myself: Where am I jealous? Does this jealousy mirror a relationship I had with a close family member growing up? If you are dating one emotionally unavailable partner after the other, chances are that you are afraid of emotional closeness. This world really is just one big mirror.
BELIEF SYSTEMS: You can think of your belief systems as computer coding for your brain. Essentially, this programming becomes the blueprint for your reality. Unfortunately, 95% percent of our belief systems lie in the subconscious. This means that switching out deeply rooted, negative beliefs is not the easiest task. However, this does not mean that you give up or blame your life on your brain. For instance, if you grew up in a household where money was a constant struggle, you most likely will carry negative feelings towards money. Maybe you don't believe your deserve it or that you will never have a chance to have it. If this is the case, you need to start viewing money differently. Taking yourself into a meditation, can you begin to explore the possibility of a life where money flowed easily? As you move throughout your day, notice the moments where you go into fear around finances. When this occurs, immediately reroute the brain by acknowledging and saying thank you for the money you do have. More to come regarding specific tools to shift the belief systems that are holding you back.
In closing, there seems to be one more point I haven't made- I believe we co-create our reality. At times, there are things beyond our control such as loss and war, and times when we simply cannot manifest what we want. I aim to share the idea of personal responsibility as a way to empower you, not to leave you feeling guilty or overwhelmed. It is our job to show up each day in our greatest capacity, set our visions high, take the necessary action steps and then let go. Every day is a new opportunity to create a better relationship with yourself and your life and if something isn't happening the way you want it to, it might just be for a greater reason. Take ownership over what you can and trust that things will unfold as they need to.