Who is the "real" me?

By Ann W. 

“Is this the real Sr. Ann?” were Doug Moore’s first words to me when I met him in March of 2007 at a workshop he was facilitating to introduce Eden Medicine Energy.  At the time I was practicing another energy modality and was interested to know and understand complementary modalities. A journey began that night and continues to be ongoing to discover the answer to that question. (Of course that night I was sure I knew.)

In 2010 when Deepening Presence® began I joined the class and an extraordinary, meaningful part of my life journey began. It is and has been learning, developing and practicing skills for personal transformation. The goal is to live in harmony with our true nature and it never ends. The class is a chance to develop skills to help the transformation process. They include energy work, mindfulness, meditation, self-inquiry, transformational topics, check-ins and process time. And of course regular practice (homework) supports the transformation and integration.

Another way of speaking of this process is that it is about Awakening. I have had a book of poetry by Kabir for many years and always when I read from it I read:
You have been sleeping for millions and millions of years, why not WAKE UP TODAY?” Once I began Deepening Presence® I began to understand what he meant. As I embarked on this journey I began to experience soul qualities of peace, love, gratitude, oneness more often and more consciously than ever before.

I believe we are called to live free in the truth of who we are. Often layers of illusion, false hopes, and learned fears block that ability. DP is a journey back to our true essence. It is done in a loving, supportive environment where all is respected and loved. DP is a journey from Surviving to Thriving, moving from being closed to open; bound to free; attached to non-attachment; fear to trust; separate to one.

Taking this class is the greatest gift I have ever given myself; my refrain is “Free to be me….free to be me.” I am forever grateful that it was available to me.
I would like to share briefly some of my experience of two of the Thriving Tools: Acceptance and Self-Compassion.

Growing up in a wonderful Catholic home and culture, I interpreted life was about doing good and avoiding evil. It was about God first, helping others next and self last. And I rigorously pursued that mandate, judging all, separating right from wrong, etc. it seemed to work for a long while. I did not actively question what I was taught, and when there was conflict within I also felt I was in the wrong and needed to shape up. I never knew or realized that I was creating my reality by my thoughts.

So as we began to explore “Complete Acceptance” in Deepening Presence®, I began to realize that I was not accepting half of life, “the bad, dark side”. I did not bring presence to it, I pushed it away. DP has led me to experience a truth I first learned mentally in Catechism Class that “God is Everywhere.” It was the answer to the 16th question in the Baltimore Catechism and I accurately recited it year after year and earned my star or A, but had not a clue about practicing it.

Through DP I have begun to accept life on life’s terms and to be present to what is with an open loving heart. An example is watching the news on TV. I had decided some years ago to stop watching it; now when I watch, I ground myself, becoming present in my body and open my heart in love to what shows up. I don’t (mostly) get caught in the drama and judgments and accept and love myself when I do. When I am awake and aware, and in the now I practice today with whatever life experience shows up. It is often freeing, peaceful, expansive and loving and sometimes agonizing, fearful and challenging. Always love surrounds and enfolds me.

Self-compassion is another great tool! Because I believed that I had been gifted with a good life (and I have) I mostly judged myself for falling short and “should know and do better” all the time. Accepting me as I am and beginning to embrace the parts I used to judge is freeing and humbling, it brings me to tears and gratitude. I experience our oneness with all that is. It is awesome beyond words and it is ongoing.

“The real Sr. Ann” is unfolding and awakening to the Love, Light, Joy and Oneness that she is and we all are!

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