Salina Storozuk

7 Steps for Authentic Self-Forgiveness

Recently I came across an interview about self forgiveness and untangling the energy of conflict on the website Buddha at the Gas Pump with guest, Mary Reed - an “accidental” mystic.

Personally, I applied what she said in my life the day I heard her interview and every day since about authentic self forgiveness. I even dedicated my Ashtanga Mysore yoga practice solely to self-forgiveness the next morning and it felt amazing!

To be honest, the work of self-forgiveness and untangling conflict that I have done on myself in the last week has had a pretty big ripple effect on my life and relationships in a huge and positive way!

Mary's interview is robust and about an hour long, so I put together a shorter version of it. Click here if you'd like to read the generalized transcript of Mary's interview.

Or better yet, you can click on the link to Mary’s interview and watch or listen to that section (1:24:22 – 1:29:51) if you’d like to hear it in her own voice, which I highly recommend.

From Mary’s interview, I identified these 7-Steps for Authentic Self-Forgiveness and Untangling Conflict:

1. RECOGNIZE conflict energy as an entanglement. Imagine it like a bunch of tightly wound up messy tangled thread around yourself and the other person you’re in conflict with, and around all the people you’ve involved (and that the other person’s involved) in some way in your conflict story.

2. EVALUATE earnestly, taking the time to go in and see your own role in this, your own part, your own feelings in the conflict.

3. OWN everything that you feel – take total responsibility for you in this conflict situation.

4. ALLOW yourself time and any rituals to get to that place of authentic self forgiveness for your way of seeing things and the things you have done. It’s only about forgiving yourself – there is no need to forgive the other, as that would be judgment based. The key is to leave the other person out of the forgiveness process completely.

5. OBSERVE that once you’ve reached authentic self-forgiveness, the thread that was once wrapped around you, opens up and begins to fall away, because you have done the work to transmute your own fears and judgments, into compassion, understanding and love.

6. TRUST that through your self-forgiveness process, the thread that was wound around the other, and around your people (and their people) begins to also release and fall away.

7. WATCH for the manifestations of this self-forgiveness work and releasing of the energetic entanglement of conflict, in the good things that come of it!

You too can begin today to apply these 7 steps in your day to day life and conflicts in relationships from the past or current ones to gain resolution and relief from collective suffering.

As a personal example, I’ve come to a place of self-forgiveness for being me, for being just the way I am. Specifically I applied it to the area of my home life. I share a house with my roommate, and it has been quite a tension filled relationship living together as our values, interests and personalities differ. I am more of an extreme introvert in my home environment, and consistently choose to take more personal space while at home (among my other probably not so cool habits and quirks that may be irritating to others!).

After using the 7-step process of self forgiveness and untangling conflict, I was able to take time to see that I’m fine just the way I am, as is my roommate. Through the steps, I was able untangle my side of the tension in the relationship without really expecting results. To my surprise after I did that work on myself, I noticed my roommate being nicer to me than usual, extending kindness towards me, and I really appreciated the gestures and positive energy.

I don’t know if that’s because I’ve gone through that work on myself, or if it’s because I’m moving out and she’s happy for that?!  Either way, I feel better about myself, and about choosing what makes me happy without guilt. I was able to let go of any judgments I had about my personality and my choices in my living environment and that was huge for me, because I was constantly not feeling good enough in general in our living situation and relationship in the past.

In other areas in my life I’ve applied this self-forgiveness work too. For example, in the deepest and longest relationships of my life--with my parents. I’ve forgiven myself for being the rebellious and often disrespectful child I felt I was.

This has lightened my communication with my parents instantly! To my surprise, I’ve had easier and more pleasant phone calls and email exchanges with my parents in the days following my self-forgiveness process.

Most importantly I feel the affects most profoundly in the relationship I have with myself. The more authentic self-forgiveness I feel towards myself, and for all the so called "mistakes" I’ve made in the past, the more I like and love myself. In fact, I actually love myself for all that silly crazy tough stuff I've gone through and done! This process has led me to compassionate acceptance of who I am, and gratitude for life and all the choices I've made.

Now it's your turn!

Do you find that you have been hard on yourself for way too long and it's creating stress in your life? Are you looking for a way to smooth out relationships with people you notice you no longer feel good about? And most importantly, would you like to stop beating yourself up for all of your past choices that still haunt you til this day?

I've gathered some helpful tips to share with you in order to help you get through this journey of self-forgiveness and achieve more peace of mind.

Today, and through this week, take a few moments to sit quietly by yourself and:

  • Ask yourself if there are any past or current conflicts that you’d like to resolve.
  • If anything comes up, first use your intuition to allow those things to be understood by your highest self and follow what your heart tells you is the right process for you.
  • Then apply the 7-Steps for Authentic Self-Forgiveness and Untangling Conflict above, to resolve your energetic entanglements if it feels right to do so for you.
  • Remember, be patient and see what comes about when you simply give yourself this space to forgive yourself and return to a place of love and compassion. It may not be an instant fix, and you may need to do this process over and over again until all the threads become freed.

My wish is for you to love yourself more as a result of practicing authentic self forgiveness and to be able to resolve conflict in your relationships. As a result, we can together affect the world in a positive way by easing our collective suffering through this form of self love and compassion for others!

And finally a huge thank you to Mary Reed and her amazing insight and sharing of these useful tools that have already benefited me greatly and I hope will benefit you too!

 

Om Shanti Shanti Shanti.

May you be happy,
May you be at peace and
May you be healthy in body, mind and spirit.

Love and hugs,
Salina   

 

Find out more about Salina and Flo Yoga Hawaii’s yoga class schedule at:

www.floyogahawaii.com
www.salinamaxine.com

Connecting from the Heart, Caring from the Soul

Imagine waking up to the expansive view of terraced, morning sun lit green rice patties from your lanai in Ubud Bali, where the sound of a running stream down below you welcomes you to a fresh new morning as the birds chirp happily. This was my morning every day of this past week. Heavenly.

At first I was mesmerized by the beauty and culture of Ubud that flooded my day to day experience - the countless Hindu temples with intricate sculptures of other worldly beings, and Balinese facades of masterful craftsmanship every couple yards.

Underneath these sensory experiences, the lesson I learned that was most valuable is that of human connection and the empathetic sense of caring that comes with that, and it’s utmost importance to our individual and collective happiness.

My reason for going all the way to Ubud was to take the NLP Practitioner Training from Global NLP’s founder and teacher, Nicole Schneider. Nicole is a masterful teacher-- her words are purposeful, her presence impactful and her compassion, huge.

It goes without saying that I highly recommend this course even if you don’t know what NLP is. If you simply want to be a better human being, learn deeply about yourself, become authentic based on knowing yourself, and learn how to communicate empathetically with others, you’ll get this and more out of the course.

Nicole has the sharpness and effectiveness of a Zen master when it came to teaching the NLP techniques and concepts. And when it comes to being a human being, she has a heart like that of the Dalai Lama. Her willingness to be vulnerable and real, to befriend us, her students, to be present with us in a humble and genuine way was truly a blessing and a gift. She connected and cared for each and every one of us on a deep level.

There were about twenty of us gathered from all around the world and of all different walks of life. It was an amazing collection of curious, open students who I spent the week with, and who followed the lead of our teacher in being vulnerable and authentic, even with practical strangers.

I was fortunate enough to take this training with one of my best friends of 15 years, Angela Maki. Maki and I spent all our time together recounting our experiences of the course and enjoying the serenity of our rice paddy view from the the hotel room we shared every morning after our yoga practice.

Through the exercises we learned and practiced in the NLP course, I learned things about Maki I didn’t know before, and mostly I got to know her heart from the deeper unconscious level of my own mind and heart. It was a newfound soul connection perhaps, which is probably what true intimacy is all about among friends, family or a loved one. I realized my heart has so much more capacity to connect with and care for a dear best friend as well as new people in my life.

I also discovered I had some disconnected relationships back in Hawaii, where I call home, and in all the years prior on my life journey. I can recount the many relationships that broke down, where I lost my connection and caring. I got too caught up in myself, I lost the ability to truly empathize in those situations. I saw that my closing up and shutting down is a learned defense mechanism that serves to protect me. It’s an outdated strategy though, and I’m willing to let go of it for the higher purpose of true connection.

I can see a brighter future now, where I can learn how to deal with conflict which is part of life, in a truly more empathetic, caring and connective way. It’s the bigger view of life, the expanded view, kind of like the vast bright green rice paddy vista I enjoyed each morning in Ubud!

This week in Bali, I experienced and felt in my heart of hearts that we are all truly connected, with all beings in fact, and this made me feel I can do better in my “real” life back home. And that I can forgive myself for the past when I was only doing the best I knew how at the time.

I believe that what life really boils down to is the connections we create and how much we care for our own hearts and the hearts of others.

Have you been looking to deepen your relationships? If so, here are a some key questions to consider and things you can do to practice being more mindful and how to connect and care from your heart:

  1. Firstly with yourself - are you kind to yourself? Are you taking time out to see what it is you need and then fulfilling your needs in a healthy way? Do something nice for yourself which shows that you care for you.

  2. Friends and family - have you checked in and asked how your family members are and shown your gratitude for them- or those who you consider family? Are you taking inspired action in showing you care for your friends by doing something nice, saying something nice or simply sending a positive message in some form to a friend? Even if these relationships may be difficult at times, it can be a blessing to hear from a friend or family member you love. So be that friend this week and call someone you love to say something nice and listen to them with an open heart.

  3. Special loved one - if you have a special someone how have you been connecting and caring for that person? How have you been actively caring for the connection you have together? Are you able to be kind and empathetic towards them and be the first to extend the olive branch when there are conflicts? Perhaps be the one to foster more connection and caring based on love and giving, without any expectations or motivation for return this week with your honey.

  4. Community - as a whole are you feeling connected with your community? And what about your greater community, not just your immediate tribe and comfort zone--how about those that you live amongst in your city or town, who don’t necessarily feel familiar? Are you able to offer a smile, a helping hand, or inquire as to how a neighbor is actually feeling? Perhaps you can do something like that this week and then dream bigger to seeing how you are really part of the global community and how connected you are with each and every human being on this planet.

We are all one, connected, and our hearts flourish as we care deeply for one another. Let us be the change we wish to see in the world (a saying often attributed to Mahatma Gandhi), fostering this connection, caring and love together!

Om Swasti Astu.
Blessings of peace and health in Indonesian.

 

May you be happy,

May you be at peace and

May you be healthy and strong in body, mind and spirit.

 

With love (from Brisbane Australia, on my 10 hour layover!),
Salina
   

 

Find out more about Salina and Flo Yoga Hawaii’s yoga class schedule at:

www.floyogahawaii.com

www.salinamaxine.com

Shedding the Layers Part 2 of 2

Last Monday we explored the metaphor of a lotus flower blossoming and the layers of an onion peeling away, in order to shed the superficial layers of self, revealing the deeper inner Self.

But, what does this really mean? What are the layers anyway? And what is the need to shed them at all?

Well, that’s really for life to show each individual --there is no formula or prescription for this process. There’s no need to even be spiritual, nor meditate, in order for it to occur naturally in your life.

Meditation (and any form of introspection) and quiet time (being in nature, journaling, free movement, etc.), can however be beneficial to bringing awareness to these things.

For example, I used to have a major sugar addiction which was learned from an early age. I have fond memories of going for a drive with my dad as a young girl and getting a scoop of Baskin Robbin's famous mint chocolate chip ice cream. And that was treat for me!

Not only did I get one on one quality time with my dad, but on top of it a sweet treat that changed my inner biology and got me hooked on that high of sugar, which was associated with this attention and love from my father. That’s a powerful hook for any child - sweets as a reward, associated with a warm loving memory with a caretaker.

Years later, as an adult, I realized the sugar addition was a superficial outer layer embedded in me during my childhood - not so healthy habit. And I decided, it was no longer serving me. I found myself craving and gorging on sweets daily.

When emotional lows hit, I would medicate with loads of cookies and chocolate anything in order to numb the pain or suffering I was going through at those times. The results were disastrous. After years of sugar binging, I noticed my body, brain and emotional well being were not in a good place each time I would eat too much sugar in one go.

I realized my addiction to sugar was just a learned habit. It was linked to two things I desired—rewards and comfort. Knowing this, inspired me to kick it.

I realized my addiction to sugar was just a learned habit. It was linked to two things I desired--rewards and comfort. Knowing this, inspired me to kick it.

It took years of battling the addiction. I even utilized the Lent period, for a few years, to fast from all forms of sugar. By allowing my physical body to detox from sugar, breaking the biological and emotional addiction, another layer was shed. And now from time to time I do have a sweet treat, but I no longer crave sugar like I used to. I no longer gorge on sugar when emotions or stress levels get high. Instead, I turn to healthier outlets and tools to deal with the challenges of life.

This is only one example of a long, conscious and not even necessarily spiritual shedding of a layer. There are many other forms that this shedding process can take place.

In your own life, think of a time when you felt controlled by a negative habit or deep unhealthy craving that was almost compulsive.

In your own life, think of a time when you felt controlled by a negative habit or deep unhealthy craving that was almost compulsive. Maybe it was an eating or substance use issue, or an emotional or behavioral habit that was not so wise (like anger, jealousy, insecurity, fear or judgement). It could also be a way you saw yourself before and now that identification no longer feels so true.

How is it for you now? Has it mellowed out? Is it still full on ruling your life when you feel stressed or worn thin? Has a specific way of being or acting changed for you over the years?

Some of those habits and cravings may have naturally fallen away, in time, or with the awareness of your once negative habits and cravings not fully benefiting you. You may have had to do a ton of work on it. It could have been a spontaneous freedom from that bad habit or tendency.

Either way, there are countless layers that shed throughout our lives, in a myriad of ways that allow for us to simplify and get down to our core. Not all of them even have to be so called "bad" habits either.

When these outer layers fall away we tend to feel lighter and more free.

And when these outer layers fall away we tend to feel lighter and more free. We can start to explore what is truly of value to us, because our energy is no longer caught up in the incessant chase for the next hit of whatever your pleasure is; or in holding up what we falsely believed to be our self.

This gives us the space to explore, discover and act on the deeper purpose and clear intention of our being, leading us to live a more happy and healthy life.

Think of it as if you’ve been carrying around a super heavy suitcase your whole damn life. It’s full of all these “layers” that you innocently adopted as yourself. And over time, your suitcase gets lighter and lighter. Imagine losing one item here, another there, until you chuck the whole suitcase or downsize altogether to a sweet little and light tote bag! The journey becomes much more pleasant with a lighter load.

It’s important to be kind to ourselves when we explore these so-called layers of self - in that they are not “bad” and we are not “wrong” for having them.

It’s important to be kind to ourselves when we explore these so-called layers of self - in that they are not “bad” and we are not “wrong” for having them. Furthermore, it’s good to realize that  it’s not really our fault - nor our parents or caretakers for that matter - it’s just the way it is.

By keeping kindness at the forefront, as we bring awareness to our many layers, as well as resisting the urge to fall into victim-hood due to our conditioning, we can keep ourselves open to a process in which the timeline is almost totally out of our control.

In any case, whether we are conscious or not of this shedding of layers, in my experience it happens regardless. And it’s a good thing! Because in that lightness of letting go of the layers or the weight in the suitcase of so-called-self, we truly can get down to the essence and purity of our true Self. We shine from that place, interacting with others from a genuine and deeper level of connection.

This week, when you take a moment to reflect:

  • Quietly sit and be open to the feelings of freedom from the layers that have already peeled away in your past, whether through your ardent effort, or from a spontaneous letting go, and honor that.
  • Take notice to what is coming up for you in your life, that you know is ready to be let go of, during the present moment (be it anger, impatience, judgements, low self esteem or some kind of unhealthy habit, or just ideas or self-identification that no longer serve you, etc.)
  • Allow for the shedding and release process to unfold, fostering the letting go with a gentle kindness, like a mother towards a small child - you being the mother to your own self, as these outer layers fall away.
     

Om Shanti shanti shanti.
Peace, peace, peace.

May you be happy,

May you be at peace and

May you be healthy in body, mind and spirit.

 

Warm hugs from Ubud, Bali,

Salina    

 

Find out more about Salina and Flo Yoga Hawaii’s yoga class schedule at:

www.floyogahawaii.com

www.salinamaxine.com