Saturday, 20 April 2013

What did William Wallace say Part II

by James Kyle

Starting from Anthony Robbins' famous phrase, “If you can’t you must” this article is a continuation of the previous one on Personal Development seminars ...

The mirror concept does not stop there. Something that can become very apparent in the seminar room is how much love and beauty there is in other people. To be intimate with someone else does not require a physical relationship. In several seminars I have had the privilege of being in the presence of someone who is communicating with me from a position of inner alignment and authenticity, and found in myself the freedom to respond in like manner. This experience can only be described as one of true intimacy. In day to day life, outside of a seminar environment, this can often be missing from our lives. Of course it can be tempting to rely on going back to the seminar room every time I want to experience this depth of connection. However another valuable lesson I have taken to heart is that the real point of working on myself in these seminars is to take experiences like these and to manifest them in my everyday life. I now look on a seminar room as an experimental laboratory where I can see if new attitudes and behaviours add value to my life, and, if so, I then ensure I integrate them into my day to day life.

This level of intimacy of course is a two way process. I now know that when I look at someone else and see how loveable and how beautiful they are, that this is telling me something about myself. Yes - remember the mirror concept. Someone who is not resonating to their own inner love and beauty cannot truly appreciate these qualities in another. An example may help to clarify this. I know that when I am experiencing my life as negative and being despondent then this is reflected in the way I perceive my surroundings, and I really cannot see the beauty of the world around me. On the other hand, if I choose to be positive in my approach to life, the very same experiences can be transformed as I open up to appreciate the beauty that surrounds me. Similarly, in a very real sense, the beauty and love that I see in others is reflecting my state of being - the fact that I am in touch with the beauty and love inside me. A seminar room that is full of loving people can help us to truly realise that when we love others, we are loving ourselves.

Another of the joys of an effective seminar is the opportunity to celebrate the richness and diversity of the talents of our fellow participants. Some  of my most treasured memories are when someone has utilised the support and loving that can  be evident when people are being open with each other, to step forward and fully express their creative ability. It is even more magical when it is obvious that the individual may have not have dreamt before that they were capable of such depth of expression, or indeed, that they would have the courage to share this with an audience.  It can be a revelation to realise how talented all of us are, and how much we have to offer if we can only give ourselves permission to be more spontaneous. A good seminar will encourage playfulness and fun and laughter. Personal growth does not necessarily need to be accompanied by blood, sweat and tears. Laughter can be the best medicine.

Some of you may have come across the work of Dr Patch Adams. Dr  Adams, part time clown, firmly believes that laughter is a potent weapon to combat ill-health, and refers to studies which demonstrate that laughter reinforces the bodies’ own immune system by releasing endorphins, the body's natural pain killers. He also believes that a major contributing factor towards illness in Western society is a lack of connection with other people, otherwise known as loneliness. My personal experience would support these beliefs. I have had long running health problems and I have come to realise that, in the past, a failure to open myself up to people and to cultivate close relationships has played a significant part in this. I would also add that a lack of purpose and meaning in my life also contributed to past feelings of depression and hopelessness. This negativity has had a profound effect on my physical well being.

There are, from time to time, stories of physical symptoms being alleviated and illnesses cured by transformational experiences in a seminar room. I have witnessed this myself in other people. It should not come as a surprise when we realise that a seminar can offer laughter, and connection with fellow participants, and encourages us to focus on all that is positive. We also have an opportunity to carefully consider who we truly are, and what we want out of life, both in terms of what we want to contribute and what we want to receive. If we really embrace these opportunities then the experience can be transformational. The love and energy from our fellow participants can create an environment which enables us to heal ourselves. We can use this as an opportunity to get more in touch with the love we have for ourselves, and this renewed care we demonstrate for ourselves can be manifested in an  improvement in our physical well being - sometimes dramatically so.

My personal experience is that I have had the opportunity to redefine my attitude to my illness. I have become more accepting. And I do not see this acceptance as something negative. I still work to alleviate my symptoms as much as possible. However I am choosing not to waste my energy in resisting what is. I am choosing to focus on what I can do about my situation and not to spend my time feeling sorry for myself, seeing myself as a victim. I accept the fact that my illness exists, but I see this as yet another opportunity for growth and expansion. I choose to be positive and maximise life's possibilities by pushing the boundaries of what I can do, in spite of the illness I have. As my attitude has changed I have been amazed to find out to what extent it was my beliefs about my illness that were  imposing limitations on what I could achieve, rather than the illness itself.

We started with freedom and that is a good place to end. I personally have found freedom from several self-imposed limitations through participating on various self development seminars. I am now 'nice' to people when appropriate, and because I chose to be so, and not because of social conditioning that taught me to always put other's desires and needs above my own. An attitude that contributed to my own ill health over many years. Today my health and energy levels are better than they have ever been since my illness began twenty years ago. Nowadays, I do not impose limits on myself in terms of what I believe I can achieve. I am more spontaneous and I acknowledge my own creativity and talents. I have experienced many moments on seminars where I broke through limitations and on arriving at the other side found how much fun and joy I could experience from something I previously thought of as threatening. With a renewed sense of purpose and direction in my life I have  more energy in my life and a focus that helps me achieve results. I have begun to really appreciate  the lesson of being authentic in relationships and opening up myself to others, and the power of  being open to giving and receiving love.


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