“When we make peace with ourselves, we spontaneously make peace with the world.” … Debbie Ford
A friend of mine in Vancouver saw an author who came to town who my friend admired. I looked up this author, Sarah Peyton, who wrote The Resonant Self Guided Meditations and Exercises to Engage Your Brain’s Capacity for Healing.
I love this book because of Peyton’s mixture of sharing the latest in neuroscience together with her deep knowledge of Non-Violent Communication and Constellation work as well as Focusing. These are all approaches I am familiar with, but the way she puts the ideas together are helpful and soothing. She promises meditations and techniques to transform “your inner critic into your most compassionate advocate.”
The secret sauce is self-warmth and self-witnessing to heal our inner tormentor. Sarah’s book dives deep into how to strengthen that voice inside us that can either be a voice that dismisses our emotional needs or a voice that turns toward ourselves.
I see Peyton’s book as a precursor to the book I co-wrote with Judy Zehr, Hold On To Yourself. What I learned through writing my book with someone who specializes in neuroscience, emotional healing and mindfulness, is that conflicts with others start to heal through healing the conflicts within ourselves. Judy and I suggest tips and tools to help when you are triggered and Peyton’s focus is on the strengthening practice of being with oneself. This is the foundational practice to be able to be with oneself in conflict with another as well.
Peyton gives an example of what she means early on in her book, inviting us to bring our “sense of self to mind” while at the same time feeling “affection, curiosity, and welcome for yourself.”
Let’s try it together. Stop for a moment and take a deep breath. Feel your belly lifting up as you fill your abdomen with oxygen. Then let go. And again: a second breath in. Taking the time to do so. And again let it out. Let’s do a third breath together – in. And out. Lovely!
Now conjure up a sense of your higher self – a wise self, adult self, witness self – your spiritual self. Some being, originating within you, who holds your higher good, that part of you who is wiser than your every day self. Imagine a larger than life figure who can hold your emotional self in their arms. Jean Houston calls this inner-originating being our “Entelechy.” An entelechy is a word Aristotle used to describe the source of our higher guidance and purpose. It is the entelechy of an acorn to be an oak, of a baby to be a grown up.
As you imagine your wiser self, standing in front of you, feel a warm, caring and understanding wave coming back at you. You are loved and accepted just as you are. No need to be anyone else, to do anything else, to have anything else.
This is the foundational practice of self-acceptance and of self-love. Over and over and over again.