Have you been practicing being you? Do you have any idea what I am talking about? If not, click here to get the golden ticket of You practice—or read on and do that later. This is a cumulative blog, so it tracks better when you read them in order, so subscribing from the beginning will keep you and You in the blog flow.
Now that you know something about you and You, and have practiced it at least once, here are some more tidbits to help you be You.
Principles (Not Rules) of YOU: Trust and Control
There are a few principles (not rules—I really dislike rules) regarding you expanding into You. The first is simply to practice being You as often as you can. But in order to practice that effectively, it’s helpful to understand two other principles: trust and control.
In relation to practicing being You, they are on opposite ends of the same coin, or, more accurately, far ends of the same paradigm. You can’t be in both at the same time. When you are deep in you, you are generally practicing control—over your agenda, your beliefs, your identity, opinions, judgments, and such, keeping all your ducks in a very tight line to protect all you think of as you from being challenged or, heaven forbid, out of your direct control.
This is where you try to keep the details and people in your life orbiting in such a way that they reinforce what you believe to be you so that you don’t get your precious feathers tangled into a downy mess. This buttoned-up-tight way of living is what your you thinks it needs to be happy, even though it never really works. As you know, when you get in this mode, control is impossible and the more you try to control, the more stressful it becomes, until when one wee tiny thing begins to spiral out of orbit, like when you run out of toilet paper at a critical moment and the fresh roll is two feet out of reach, or your dog drags a dead mole onto your steam-cleaned carpet, it flips your wig and you come unglued or swallow back the frustration or rage or fear and it becomes a wad of burning magma in your stomach or chest.
Not very pleasant, which is your first clue that control’s not a viable life management tool.
Yea, but Trust?
But trust can be a hard pill to swallow, especially all at once. Because what you are learning to trust is You, and you’ve spent most of your life being taught that You are untrustworthy, because You lives so far outside the box of Normalcy that it is, according to bizarro world and the people who are desperately trying to control it, an evil, treacherous troll. Or at least that’s the twisted logic they taught me in school and life. If you’ve spent time around young kids, you can see their You’s effusing out of their little bodies like a particularly frothy tub of bubble bath. But somewhere along the line, those bubbly little You’s learn that You need to put a cork in it, to be seen and not heard, to walk nicely rather than skip, to slap your hand over your mouth instead of laugh out loud. Your You learns that it needs to play it small in order to fit in the little body and the little life allotted to it by the people who govern your world. For some people, this happens as far back as in the womb, so they’ve never had any experience of an uncontained life. And that’s a shame.
It also makes it much harder to trust You. Because your You has probably gotten you in trouble before—detention in school, those pesky time-outs from Mom, or perhaps an arrest record, because the law (and the rest of society) is set up to keep You contained in you, and so cops don’t understand that dancing naked in the front yard and howling at the moon may be just what your You needs to do to zap you into being a little more into You. Tragic.
Control and Trust: you and YOU
There’s a big clue in all this about what it feels like to be you and YOU. Control—or the illusion if it—shows up in your body as tenseness and rigidity—you know, those tight shoulders and neck, the tight jaw, clenched stomach—and not from trying to showcase your abs in the gym mirror. Any muscle tightness that is not in direct response to a need like lifting a can of creamed corn onto the shelf, is probably due to your you’s need to exert control, or holding on to one of the flavors of emotion that can go along with that—anger, fear, resistance, resentment, stress and the like.
Trust, which is part of the playground of You, is just about the opposite. Trust manifests in the body as an unclenching, a sense of relaxation, a feeling of “ahhh” as something beyond the reach of the mind slips into place, leaving you no with a map of why things are going to be okay, but a sense that what is, is okay, even if it is uncontrollable.
So here’s your homework with this…Check in several times a day and see if you are tense and tight in any part of your body, mind, or experience, then simply pause your mind for a moment and breath into the deep diaphragm (belly) for several breaths until you feel your body begin to relax. This kind of breathing signals the body that it is okay to let go of stress and relax, and just changing from a stress breath (short, shallow chest breathing) to this longer, slower, deeper breathing can reduce your baseline stress level, even if nothing else in your life has changed. If you’d like a longer, breathing/stress-reduction experience, I have a free stress relief mini-hypnosis you can try.
Relax, your You is all about relaxation and being. A weird shift when all you’ve been taught is to do, do, do in order to get somewhere. But where has all that stress, control and doing really gotten you anyway?