We recommend the following twelve keys to seeing your life through new eyes.
1. Allow yourself to feel and experience what is happening in the moment, to become aware of yourself through self-observation.
2. Stop coping in habitual ways. Begin to change old patterns. Be creative.
3. See apparent incongruities as separate but not contradictory or paradoxical events -- such as between gifts and hurts, or love and pain. This lets you appreciate the possibility that these different events can be connected in time and space and yet, more often than not, separate in terms of significance and implication. Try not to create a fixed meaning out of paradox. Leave uncertainty into the answer.
4. Stay with the discomfort of moving past old meanings and reactions to life's new experiences.
5. Acknowledge your unmet needs and meet them for yourself, as you would for your best friend. Be your own best friend. Perhaps your greatest calling is to meet your own unmet needs. Perhaps they were purposefully not met in order that you might begin the journey of reclamation. It is often the crack in our psyche that lets in the light.
6. Face your shadow, reclaim your disowned parts, and discover all the hidden faces of love. It is essential to bring your most cherished gift into balance with its opposite. It is also important to realize that the hidden gifts within the hurts can become addictions and obstacles to intimacy.
7. Find security in both aloneness and togetherness. This will give you choice: the choice to react in an old manner, which at times may be appropriate, or to opt for a new and different response.
8. Offer yourself in service to others, not out of fear or the need for approval, but from the outpouring of a heart in overflow, from the fullness of having met your own emotional needs.
9. Begin to live in partnership, seeing yourself as a mirror -- not only with your mate, but with all of life. We were all born dependent, and must live in continuing interdependency. With renewed awareness, dependency is no longer seen as weakness, but as an opportunity for shared joy, intimacy, healing, and interconnectedness. Co-create with life in life.
10. Breathe! Allow both pain and joy in and out as rapidly as possible. To cling to either joy or pain creates suffering. Breathe deeply, feel what it is to be human, and watch for the moment-to-moment clues that lead you to the next step in the journey of life. Life is a treasure hunt.
11. Practice "outrageous containment." To be outrageously contained is to feel as if life experiences were created just for you. Live your Insights. It is a balance between radical aliveness and healthy boundaries, between living in joy and living with compassion.
12. Create and sustain an attitude of gratitude (or, as we like to call it, "great fullness"). Gratitude is the key to the door that opens the heart.
Once you begin to practice these ways of being, the signposts that point the way toward your unique gift to life, your calling, will start to become more evident. Remember: Life meets you where you are.
Seeing Through New Eyes
When you have begun seeing through new eyes, it might still appear to others that nothing about you has changed. However, you know inside yourself that everything has changed. A Zen proverb says: Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water; after enlightenment, chop wood, carry water.
There is even more to life than enlightenment:
Life is process.
Life is purpose.
Life is service.
Life is play.
Life is painful.
Life is joyful.
We are a "work in progress." Today's solutions can easily become tomorrow's problems.
Finally, if our genetic imprint affects our environmental preferences, and if environmental experiences can shape our given behaviors, then by becoming fully conscious, we have the choice to live what Carl Rogers called the "good life," which is "a process, not a state of being ...a direction, not a destination ... when there is psychological freedom to move in any direction." [Rogers, On Becoming a Person]
Here's to the good life!
With the drawing of this Love and the voice of this Calling
We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
-- T. S. Eliot
Reprinted with permission from the publisher,
Beyond Words Publishing. ©2000, 2012.
For info., visit http://www.beyondword.com.
Seeing Your Life Through New Eyes: Insights to Freedom from Your Past
by Paul Brenner, M.D., Ph.D. and Donna Martin, M.A.
Wouldn't it be wonderful to do self-discovery in the privacy of your own home? By using The Family Triangles process and answering three simple questions, you can uncover unconscious patterns that define how you love, what you value, and what unique gifts you have in life. This book reveals those obstacles that too often interfere with loving relationships and creative expression, and it includes diagrams to use for your personal exploration and growth. Paul Brenner and Donna Martin describe an invaluable psychological process for anyone looking to live with greater authenticity, joy and love. The clarity of this guide makes it practical and powerful for individuals and therapists.
About the Authors
Paul Brenner, M.D. Ph.D, is a physician and psychologist widely known in the medical community as well as the self-help field. He holds an appointment in the Social Behavioral Studies Department at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, and received the International Concern for Human Life Award, 2004. His two other books are Life Is a Shared Creation and Buddha in the Waiting Room. Dr. Brenner maintains a private practice in psychological counseling in California and teaches and speaks extensively throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe.For more info about Dr. Brenner, visit https://sdcri.org/dr-paul-brenner-m-d-ph-d/
Donna Martin, M.A, is a body-centered psychotherapist and international trainer in the Hakomi Method. Donna has a background in teaching yoga and meditation, as well as stress management. She travels throughout the world teaching and speaking to people who want to be more consciously compassionate and skillful in service to others. For more info, visit donnamartin.net/
Video with Dr. Brenner:
Video with Donna Martin: Hakomi as a Spiritual Practice