As the Rio Summer Olympics are now in full swing, the prize of a gold medal is on the mind of many of the athletes and competitors. Over the years gold has been a precious commodity. Not only with Olympians, but with investors or jewelers. Why is gold so sought after? Why does the value of gold increase during the bad economic times? The answer lies in its longevity, it’s simplicity and it’s transparency. Gold has stood the test of time – it is precious because it is pure, cannot be easily faked and because it can’t be created in the laboratory!
These characteristics mean that gold is also a great metaphor for the preciousness of our inner world. At La Crisalida Retreats we encourage guests to get back in tune with themselves, which we consider to be the most valuable treasure of all. At the retreat we aim to provide the space for our guests to find their inner selves, or to find the gold within.
Finding your inner self is really just being yourself. Here are some characteristics/indicators that you are being yourself:
You Feel Relaxed
. Relaxation is actually a state of letting go. No worries. It has nothing to do with laziness – you can be relaxed and immensely alert or working hard. For example, we have seen that the gold medal often finds its way to the 100 metre sprinter who can remain the most relaxed before and during the race!
You Feel Confident.
Confidence can be confused with arrogance, but there is an important distinction. Confidence comes from within – an inner sense of self-worth and self-esteem. Arrogance comes from focusing on how others perceive you and usually comes from an “I am better than others” attitude. Arrogance involves comparisons, confidence does not.
You are Happy Being Open.
When you are happy to be yourself there is really nothing to hide. You are happy to be expressive or not (as appropriate), and can trust people easily. Although it may seem to have connections with naivety – there is a crucial difference. When you are truly open it is very difficult to be deceived by others. For example, you may recognize the natural unspoken inner desire to be open and honest with anyone who is open and honest with you. This is why openness and trust fit so well together. If we are open, by definition we are also open to negative things. We cannot be ourselves if we insist that being angry is bad, being sad is bad, or making others feel guilty is bad. So being open involves taking risks too!
How to be yourself!
Here are some tips on how to go about letting go of feelings that we may not be worthy or good enough in any context so we can find the gold within:
- Live in your body (and breathe!)
In Western society there is a lot of emphasis on the importance of the mind and intelligence. Unfortunately for a lot of us it means that our attention is habitually in our heads. A problem emerges because the mind is not based in reality – thinking of concepts or the past or the future we can live a life of endless dreaming. Living in the body is the way to remain present and open to the reality of life. If you focus on the breath within the body you can become relaxed very quickly too.
- Listen to your intuition
Many of us do not have faith in our intuition or the calling from within from our hearts. Our minds convince us that it’s better to use our time “productively” for example at work or with our family. We can then feel more safe and secure in our lives. However, our heart is where our true authentic self can be found. Our minds are conditioned from the outside, but intuitive feelings come from the inside. Some of the best ways of getting in touch with our intuition quieten our chattering minds. So if you want to listen to your intuition more and feel happy with yourself, why not take up meditation or yoga or find time to build more relaxation into your life.
- Accept yourself, warts and all
It’s easy to accept the jovial and nice parts of ourselves that we often present to the world. However, the darker side of us (including the array of negative emotions) can be far harder to accept. The more we resist our darker side, the more it can take control our lives. Next time you feel a negative emotion – instead of judging it as a bad thing, try to accept it as part of you. Allow it to be. If you can be present with your emotions and don’t judge them they will dissolve, but you will need to allow space for acceptance and healing first.
- Take responsibility for all of your emotions
It’s easy to blame others for things that go wrong. However, if someone else is responsible for how we feel, it is them that has control over us. Blame is a way of giving away your power and therefore gives away your ability to remain centered within yourself. Blame is a way of masking some of our most difficult emotions like hurt or guilt. Next time you are tempted to blame others for your emotional pain, we suggest you think again. If you are able to stop and feel the pain inside (with awareness) you will come to the realization that it is your pain that is being uncovered (it is not directly caused by someone or something else). Once you have an awakening that in reality (here and now) the pain is centered in you, you will see that you are actually in control and you will be able to regain your balance and poise. Eventually you will be able to let the pain go of its own accord.
- Heal your inner conflicts
Many of our problems in life come from the perception that we are torn between one course of action and another – between a rock and a hard place. When we look deeply into these conflicts (and take responsibility for them as described above) we can start to see that these outer conflicts are reflections of inner conflicts that we have within us. Often we have parts of us inside that don’t want to work with other parts. For example, part of us might want freedom, but another wants safety and security which may sabotage any efforts for independence. We can only resolve these types of issues if we become conscious of them and work at uncovering the purpose for each part – we can then eventually integrate inner conflicts through understanding and acceptance of them all. We often carry out parts integrations in NLP coaching sessions at the retreat which can give rise to profound transformations.
- Work on Yourself
The last tip we have is to work hard on yourself. Becoming self-aware and courageous in order to find the gold takes hard work. Our suggestion is to start with picking up some personal development books, going to some seminars or attending some of our life makeover retreats to help you re-discover the courage and sparkle that lies within you. We also offer one to one life coaching.
Best of luck, and do let us know how you get on.