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Natural Awakenings Naples and Fort Myers

We Are Enough

Sep 30, 2015 07:46AM ● By Linda Sechrist

Madeline Ebelini

To understand how we might close the gap between “who we are” and “who we present ourselves to the world as” in order to fit in, a subject explored this month by Brene Brown in “Be True to Yourself,” Natural Awakenings tapped local experts for their perspectives on how learning to be authentic, vulnerable and imperfect led them to self-acceptance.

Madeline Ebelini, Integrative Mindfulness

I have found that my daily practice of mindfulness meditation is a gentle, patient and gradual journey into becoming acquainted with my authentic self, exactly as I am. By learning how to meditate and give my attention to one thing, such as the breath, and gently returning the mind to that object of focus when it wanders, I began to eavesdrop on my predominant thoughts about constantly wanting the moment to be different, an emotion to go away, my body to change or to possess a thing or a quality I felt that I didn’t have. These were the thoughts that continually pulled my mind away from the present moment.

The exploration of “wanting” allowed me to see this state of the mind is endless. Mindfulness practice trained me to explore what it’s like to let go of wanting, resistance, and denial for just this moment. As I continued to practice, I strung moments together like pearls on a string. I discovered that I could put down the filter of the wanting mind. My awareness broadened as I practiced letting go of wanting and became receptive to the direct experience of being alive in the moment just as it is and just as I am. I discovered that this is the birthplace of authenticity, self-acceptance, interconnection and ironically, positive and effective change.

John Patton, LMHC, Healing Arts Center

John Patton
John Patton
In the earliest years of my life, my sense of “belonging” was associated with feelings of being alone or relating to my peers as either interesting or unusual, depending on the time, place and person. Eventually, I began to live my life unconcerned with what "they” thought. I became happy in the fun of doing whatever interested me; individual sports for example, versus team sports. Belonging eventually became all about “being” excited—my inner life, following my intuitions and getting involved in whatever attracted me.

I believe that being authentic is a phrase that does not convey the whole experience. For example, the bigger picture is that I’ve come to understand that I belong to the universe and to all that is available to me, minute-to-minute. Being one with the greater essence and following or allowing myself to flow, I trust that I will be directed to where I want and sometimes need to go. Being in my flow, riding the crest of the wave where the energy is the purest, not knowing what will come next, yet feeling excited to see what unfolds is my state of belonging where I feel the most self-acceptance and authenticity.

Kenton David Bell, transformational life coach

Kenton David Bell
Kenton David Bell
I learned to be authentic through unfolding, integrating my inner life with my outer life and following the spiritual guidance of my intuitive heart. When I could feel in my core being the difference between a mental idea and spiritual truth, I could follow that directive or principle, whatever it was.

When I awakened to the fact that my life is about fulfillment of what I am here to express from my heart and soul, not what I am here to do, I consciously began living from this connection, which I have cultivated throughout my lifetime.

What I call vibrational alignment, which occurs when I’m standing in the universal current, which artists and athletes refer to as “the flow”, or being “in the zone”, is where I express myself through authentic self. This is the place miracles and synchronicities happen. Living from here allows me to evolve consciously and experience a deeply felt sense that I’m part of the universe because I am a personal expression of it. This is self-acceptance on a scale that instills great self-confidence because I know I’m connected to something much larger than myself.

“So much of our power, energy, and ability to connect are locked up by the false belief that we are not enough. Anyone who has ever made real progress against the status quo realizes that the power to do so came from the much larger universal truth of who we are: we are enough and always have been. We don’t need to work on ourselves to fit in. Perhaps as Dr. Seuss says, “Why fit in when you were born to stand out?”

“The sooner we come to terms with this, the sooner we discover that our gifts are in perfect alignment with the world's greatest needs,” advises Laurie McCammon, author of Enough!: How to Liberate Yourself and Remake the World with Just One Word.

Integrative Mindfulness, 3372 Woods Edge Cir. Ste. 102. 239-590-9485. IntegrativeMindfulness.net.

John Patton, Healing Arts Center, 1063-1065 Fifth Ave. N., Naples. 239-262-6828. HealingArtsCenterOnline.com.

Kenton David Bell, Fort Myers, 239-997-1623, 928-274-2026. KentonBell.Guru.

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