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The Daily Moment of Self-Recognition

How Patting Yourself on the Back Strengthens Your Capacity to Serve Others

Self-honoring allows your gifts to overflow

It’s not all about improvement. Yes, we are constantly in a state of evolution ~ of change ~ of growth. Two steps forward, one step back as we trip along the path of life. Other times, we are skipping or running at breakneck speed. At times, we move with the swiftness of a sloth. It is all movement ~ it is necessary.

And it is not about being more than or better than what we are right now in this moment. It is about fully being who we are in our present state with the full acceptance and unconditional love of our own hearts.

Often when I speak about self-reflection with people, the main thing that seems to come to mind is this emphasis on thinking back over the day, identifying what happened, and looking for how it could have been done better.

Well, what about those things that you rocked today? How much time do you spend feeling good about what you excelled at? What kind words fill your self-talk to let you know that your accomplishments are recognized ~ not by anyone else ~ recognized, honored, and appreciated by you ~ and only you.

This is just as important ~ in fact, perhaps, more important ~ than this constant striving to have evidence that we have improved. You do know that life doesn’t move in a straight line, right? Some days are filled with opportunities to stretch and grow leaving us with very little evidence of success ~ other than the fact that we are still breathing. Other days are easier and filled with opportunities to be engaged in those things that come naturally to us.

Don’t Make It Harder Than It Is

In our society, we tend to place more importance on the energy of suffering, struggle, and hard work. We have a hard time honoring and celebrating anything that comes to us with ease and grace. What’s that all about?

It’s like it just doesn’t mean as much if it wasn’t borne of some kind of self-sacrifice and blood, sweat and tears. Like, if we suddenly had a powerful moment of insight and inspiration and became able to create or accomplish something in an instant that had the potential to be more labor intensive, it doesn’t have as much value. This is a line of thinking that I for one, am ready to cut loose.

The Universe does not say that it is necessary to struggle and work ourselves into the ground before we become deserving of our heart’s desire. That’s a human construct whose time has come.

Self-Acknowledgement Impacts Service to Others

I have noticed when it comes to being of Service in the world it is easy to be focused on external evidence that your actions have had some positive impact. We secretly hope that what we are doing is helping other people. Whether we are aware of it or not, we might get stuck equating our self worth and the value of our service with visible changes in other people. This is a slippery slope, my friend.

Transformation is often slow at the best of times ~ slow and subtle ~ taking years before we can see significant progress. It is messy and often doesn’t look like anything at all. That’s why it is so important that we learn to grasp the minute shifts that occur, the tiniest of victories that we win, and the simplicity of living life with honor and grace. And the easiest place to find this evidence is always going to be within. The beauty is that the better we get at recognizing our own value and worth in the most basic ways, the easier it will be to see it in others.

We’ve spent enough time focusing on what we did wrong, how we can be better, where we need to grow and improve. Let’s shift gears and put all our energy into supporting our natural gifts and talents and showering ourselves with our own admiration and gratitude.

Don’t worry about becoming conceited. This is a private dialogue with your own heart. This kind of self-encouragement does not overlook your humanity; it embraces it. This kind of self-love is an essential ingredient in the recipe for self-confidence ~ and that my friend has nothing to do with arrogance.

Practice ending each day with an internal private review of all the wonderful things you achieved today. Keep it simple and really give yourself a pat on the back.

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People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

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