Thursday, August 13, 2009

Straight from the Students

I am repeatedly inspired by the wisdom of students that have taken part in Project: Inside Out, a leadership program that I lead for diverse teens. When students complete the program, I interview as many of them as I can and compile their responses in a document I call Straight from the Students. It is always a joy to hear the highlights of their learning and how they anticipate the program will change their lives.

One comment that stands out for me was made by a girl that was truly open to experiencing a new dimension of herself. When asked about a highlight of her learning, her response was "Confidence...I was very shy, even though I was a cheerleader. I realized I honestly didn't accept who I was. If I didn't accept myself as I could other people accept me?"

Obviously, the application of this beautiful piece of wisdom is not applicable to only teens. This little gem is one we all need to remember.

True confidence does not come from the compliments we hear from others. It does not necessarily grow with each award we receive, with each accomplishment we create or with every skill we master. It comes from the positive relationship we have with ourselves.

Confidence grows as we master the art of loving ourselves, unconditionally. When we "get it" that our value in this world is not dependent on our skills or accomplishments, we can enjoy the pure joy of confidence, regardless of how we are seen by others.

I agree with my student that it doesn't make sense to expect others to accept us, if we do not give the same unconditional respect to ourselves.

The literal bottom line.....Confidence is an inside job.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Give It UP

Whenever I have a little extra time after my morning routine, I pull out one of my inspirational card decks, believing whatever card I choose is exactly what I need to know. Today I pulled a card from my Inner Peace deck by Wayne Dyer. This message hit be between the eyes ( in a good way). The affirmation said "I release the need to determine how things 'should' be".

Whenever I feel myself getting hooked away from feeling joy and peace, I am more than likely attached to something occurring the way I think it should. Of course, I always know what's best for me. Of course, I know the most efficient and effective way for everything. Actually, the truth is, I don't......and when I am emotionally holding onto "my way" when events are occurring in a different pattern, my peace is left in the dust.

My intention in this life is to get this lesson down pat. I know that when I stop resisting and allow things to unfold, all will be well. Perhaps the route is different than the one I planned. Perhaps even the end result will be different than my goal, but allowing, rather than resisting always brings peace.