Updated: Feb 28
Hello and welcome to Part 2 of this post, 4 Principles & Practices For Mental & Emotional Healing.
It is not necessary to read or listen to Part 1 but it is recommended.
As always, please leave your comments and questions in this post or on instagram @Bron.Johnson
I look forward to hearing from you!
Practice #1 - The Shame Game Process
Did you know that most of your feelings of disconnection from love, joy, freedom and creativity are rooted in shame?
Shame is what we feel when we believe that there's legitimately something about us that is "wrong" or "bad." It is the fear of being unworthy.
World renowned author and researcher, Brené Brown, is regarded for saying,
"Everyone has shame to some degree, and the less you've talked about and processed it, the more you have it."
So how do we rid ourselves of shame?
For this, I developed a powerful practice called The Shame Game. It's very simple but the effects will change your life.
To start, get a piece of paper or your journal and set an intention to write out all the places in your life that you feel shame.
You will not share this list with anyone. This game/process is for you and for you only.
The more raw, vulnerable and honest you are with your shame points, the more effective the practice will be.
An example of a shame list looks like this:
I am shameful of:
1. My body
2. Not being in a relationship
3. Stealing from work
4. Not apologizing to my friend even though I know I was in the wrong
5. Knowing what I want to do in life but not taking action toward it
6. Not being able to cry or show emotion when I want
7. Not knowing how to make as much money as I want
8. Not knowing how to talk to my kids
9. Not knowing how to talk to my partner
10. For the mistakes I made in the past
11. For getting caught drinking and driving
12. Fighting with people I love
13. Eating junk food
14. Watching porn
15. Being lazy
16. Not being good enough for my parents
17. Getting rejected when I told her/him I liked them
18. The size of my penis
19. The way my vagina looks
20. The way other people look at me
Write down as many shame points as you can; aim for at least 10 but see if you can write 20+.
If you can't think of any, then stop searching with your head, and start searching with your heart, gut and belly. That is where we hold the majority of our emotion.
Now reflect on your list.
How does it feel to be vulnerable to the reasons you feel shameful? Is it uncomfortable? Is it eye opening? Is it empowering?
Up until now, you've been unconsciously hiding behind your shame points because we live in a world that, for the most part, does not know how to handle them appropriately.
You were taught to numb your emotional pain through all kinds of distractive behaviour, seeking a sense of fulfillment and purpose in all the wrong places.
This typically manifests in some kind of addictive behaviour by abusing things like food, prescription and non-prescription drugs, alcohol, TV, social media and anything else that is considered an honest distraction from your core values in life.
To win at The Shame Game, you must be brave enough to look at your list with a full open heart of compassion and recognize that these are societies made up reasons, which you have unconsciously adopted, to not feel worthy of the love, acceptance and connection you crave.
When you have this awareness, you give yourself the opportunity to take your power back from your ego's false judgments and give yourself the love you want, regardless of your shame points.
The easiest way to be successful with this game is by recognizing that there has never been a human that has walked the earth that has not felt shame. We all have it.
There is no such thing as perfectionism, and once you embrace that fully, your compassion for your flaws gets to a level where you don't take yourself -- your ego -- so seriously anymore.
Reflecting on your list really does become a game because you realize the awesome benefit of turning your points of shame into reasons why you always will be and always have been an unconditionally beautiful, imperfect human.
You start to see that the more vulnerable you become to your shame, the more vulnerable you can become to joy, love and true empowerment as well on a consistent bases.
The Shame Game can be played anytime you feel any kind of negativity coursing through your body, not just with paper and pen.
The moment you feel it throughout your day, become aware of it with compassion. Remind yourself often,
"Even though I feel ashamed, I deeply love and accept myself. I am worthy of feeling good. I choose to see myself as a good person. I deserve to feel good about myself no matter what."
The more you practice courageously looking at yourself with eyes of compassion, rather than eyes of judgment, the more you'll not only win at The Shame Game, but also at the game of life.
Practice #2 - Moving Up The Emotional Guidance Scale
As we learned in Part 1, every emotion you feel is your bodies reaction to the way you're perceiving and thinking about life in any given moment.
If you don't know where you currently are emotionally then it can make it hard to feel better than you do now.
The Emotional Guidance Scale, a tool produced by my favourite author, Esther Hicks, is a way to measure how you're feeling relative to where you really want to be.
Whether you're aware of it or not, everything you want in life is because you think you will feel better when you have it. In other words, your desire behind every external desire is to feel better than you do now.
So, it only makes sense that your goal throughout your life is to always move up the emotional scale.
Don't be distracted if a word feels out of place relative to how you feel right now; everyone will relate to the words differently to some degree.
The Emotional Guidance Scale:
Joy, knowledge, empowerment, freedom, love, appreciation
Enthusiasm, eagerness, happiness
Positive expectation, belief
Frustration, impatience, irritation
Insecurity, guilt, unworthiness
Fear, grief, depression, despair, powerlessness
In order to make this practice work really well for you, it's important to be aware that every step up the emotional scale is rooted in some kind of feeling of relief.
In other words, if you are feeling the crippling emotion of depression (22), it will feel better to you to feel anger (17), even though most people might tell you that anger is an inappropriate emotion to feel.
From anger, you might reach for a thought-feeling that relieves you to discouragement (16), blame (15) or worry (14), which all feel better than anger.
If you try to make the jump from worry all the way up to joy, empowerment, freedom and love (1), for example, there's a good chance you won't be able to maintain those thoughts because the emotional gap is too big.
Only you can know what feels better to you, no one else.
So your work with this practice is to be real with yourself and consciously find perceptions (thoughts/attitudes) that feel even a little bit better to you now.
Your journey up the emotional scale takes practice, but with the easy to understand knowledge that:
A) Your emotions are always an indicator to what kind of perception you're holding in your now moment
B) Combining that with setting the intention to lean into a feeling of relief...
You will, in a very short amount of time, make your way into a practiced habit of seeing your world with eyes of peace, compassion, joy and opportunity.
There is no limit to how positive you can feel and how often you can feel it.
You are the creator of your reality because you are the generator of your thoughts.
Take your power back now and begin the awesome daily practice of walking up The Emotional Guidance Scale.
Practice #3 - Ask Often The Fundamental Question of Your Life
What is the point of your life?
You wake up, do a variety of things throughout the day, whatever they may be, go to sleep, and then do it all over again.
How do you measure your success throughout all of that?
If you step back and analyze it, you'll see that the purpose of everyone's life is to follow whatever their heart is truly calling them towards.
"Success is the progressive realization of a worthy ideal," said Earl Nightingale in the best selling audio of its time, The Strangest Secret.
Practice #3 is about making it a dominant habit throughout your days to reflect on the question that ultimately drives every action you take, whether you're aware of it or not.
The fundamental question of your life is, "What do I truly want" (your worthy ideal)?
Most people are living the lives they were raised and taught to live. They spend their precious time and energy building the agenda of their parents, teachers, societies or even their "God's."
There is no right or wrong way to live your life, but there are ways that will make you feel passionate, alive, adventurous, creative, abundant, etc. And then there are ways that will cut you off from living your life full of these wonderful experiences.
To the degree you embody your truth to the answer of this forever evolving question is to the degree that you will live a deeply fulfilling life experience.
What do you truly want?
When the majority of people are asked what they truly want, they talk more about what they do not want. It also happens to be the reason why they aren't living their best life. They're giving all their attention to the lack of what they want, and so that is what they're creating by default.
When you think about what you want, notice how you feel when you give your answer.
The better you feel, the more you are focused on your highest truth. The worse you feel, the more you are resisting it. And so, in every moment you're alive, you can always know what you're focusing on by the way you feel when you ask yourself what you want.
Because everything you want is because you think it will make you feel better than you do now, decide today that nothing is more important than that you feel joy.
Set your intention to follow your bliss wherever you go. Even if you fail, that's okay, you weren't meant to always have "the perfect life."
You were meant to learn what you like and don't like from your past experiences, and consistently move towards that which gives you the most pleasure.
What do you truly want? You want to feel good first and then create the experiences your heart is calling you towards.
The better it gets, the better it gets, the better it gets.
Practice #4 - The Silent Watcher
“Be the silent watcher of your thoughts and behavior. You are beneath the thinker. You are the stillness beneath the mental noise. You are the love and joy beneath the pain.” -Eckhart Tolle
No matter how hard you try, you cannot get to a place of consistent peace in your life without developing a conscious connection to the spiritual part of who you are.
True peace lives beyond the realm of time and thinking underneath all the mental distractions of your mind and physical senses.
Being The Silent Watcher is the practice of becoming the witness to the habitual unconscious stream of thinking in your mind and the actions you take throughout your day, without labeling or judging any of it.
The reason for all of our emotional suffering comes from being identified with our thoughts, actions and opinions, believing that who we are is the thinker and the doer, as apposed to the Witness of the thinker and the doer.
Being The Silent Watcher is the practice of disidentifying with the voice in your head that is always commenting or complaining on yourself, life, other people, things or the past and projected future.
Even as you read or listen to this, notice the internal monologue going on in your head. Are you consciously thinking these thoughts, or are the thoughts being produced involuntarily?
When you practice being the Witness to this inner dimension of presence, you begin to introduce space between all the onslaught of thoughts throughout your day.
The Silent Watcher is fully present in the moment, consciously connected to the natural flow of peace, oneness and bliss within, the voice of the mind becoming less and less dominant and distracting.
The more awareness and presence you bring to the voice in your head, the more you will notice that its main function is to be dissatisfied with the present moment to some degree, which is sensed by you through some kind of emotional resistance.
The voice is always trying to get to a "better future," away from some kind of "negative past" or resist the present moment for whatever form it takes.
It's true that most people live their entire lives unaware of this inner dimension, constantly at the grip of this unconscious voice Tolle calls, "The Ego Mind."
They do not experience the sense of freedom they long for, but instead feel trapped and enslaved to the incessant needy demands of the voice in their head, believing in the illusion that the salvation they seek will come in the form of "someday, someone or some how."
Even when you do get the pile of money, your ideal relationship, the excellent body, it will all come to your life in the present moment. But like every thing, experience, relationship and success in life, it is all fleeting and impermanent.
Past and future are illusory mental constructs of the ego-mind that don't exist in reality.
The present moment is all there really is, and it is accessed by practicing bringing your attention away from the voice in your head, and onto the inner dimension of absolute presence and stillness.
Most people question this approach to life because they fear they will not desire anything better for their external lives if they are so happy with where they currently are.
The ego's motivation for life is one of fear, lack, worry and scarcity.
The Silent Watcher's motivation for life is not about changing the present moment to feel better, but instead realizes that the joy and abundance s/he is seeking can only be accessed through the now.
Instead of allowing your actions and goals to be dictated by the needy voice of your head, you allow your life to be inspired by the powerful, abundant sense of love and positive energy that pulsates within you, moving you to create whatever your heart truly desires.
Your dreams then become points of enthusiasm, fun and passion, rather than places you think you need to get too in order to be happy. The joy really does become "the journey" towards it all.
The best way to practice becoming The Silent Watcher is to engage in conscious breathing and moments of stillness throughout your day.
When you feel any tension or resistance within you, allow that to be your cue to become intensely still, present and alert of your body and mind.
Do not judge or comment on your ego, simply watch it in as much stillness as you can muster.
While you're doing that, it may help to close your eyes and become fully aware of the natural inhalation, exhalation process that occurs even when you don't put any effort into breathing.
Let go and focus on fully surrendering to the inner space of absolute presence.
The same intelligence that pumps blood through your brain, veins and heart is the same intelligence that is breathing your body.
You are one and the same as this intelligence. Let it enter and flow through your entire being as you stay focused and alert of your breath.
You are not your body. You are not your pain. You are not your suffering. You are not your thoughts, beliefs or actions.
You are The Silent Watcher behind it all. This is the space where yours and everyone's true purpose resides. It is the purpose of Being itself, consciously connected to the spiritual, non-physical space within you, while joyously moving through life in a state of acceptance for what is and enthusiasm of what's to come.
This practice will completely transform your life because you are supposed to feel good and live an abundant life. Being The Silent Watcher is the gateway to all of what you inherently know and want to experience fully.