Love Yourself for Goodness Sake is a campaign we launched recently at our Loving Abundance site, emphasizing on the need to use our power of creativity to produce a better life for ourselves and others by first loving our self.
Dr. Deepak Chopra was one of the many teachers who inspired us to take this move. In his book The Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire, he spoke of the 7 Sutras that help us recognize the miracles that happen everyday of our lives and our capacity to manifest our dreams.
The Sutra, Tat Tvam Asi meaning "I see the other in myself and myself in others", caught my attention deeply. As I went further into understanding the concept I realized its value in my life and spent weeks meditating about it and going through the exercises given in the book.
Here's how it went for me. I discovered that the very qualities I loved about others were the same qualities I loved about myself and the very traits I hated in others were the very same traits I abhorred in mine. The realization kept me dumb founded for a time. It was to no wonder now, why I loved certain people and detested certain types.
I found myself being more aware of how my spirit was responding to everyone one I met, be they online or “live” in my midst. It became clearer to me then of why certain people rubbed me the wrong way. It was not to their fault really, it was more the fault of how I viewed myself. Soon I was able to identify the attributes, habits, practices, and manners that I found hard to accept in myself. Yes, apparently, I found many things about me hard to swallow. I tried to deny its presence in me. I rejected any semblance of them in my daily life which of course extended to the people around me, be they family, friends, clients or acquaintance. Can you imagine therefore, the many ways I was actually rejecting people in my life without me knowing about it?!
The more I thought of this reality the more I became determined to correct this error and use the power of creativity to help me along the way. Self acceptance would be the jump off point. The Carpenters aptly displayed this need when they wrote the lyrics; "You’ve got to love me for who I am for simply being me” Accepting the good in us together with the not so good and everything else in between in our self is full acceptance of who we are. But then again, how can self acceptance come easily. It doesn’t --- unless we first start with unconditional love. Unconditional love knows no boundaries. It sets no limits. It demands not a single criterion. Unconditional love simply is. Unconditional love accepts what is, as is, period.
Our creative juices began to flow and the next thing we knew we were on to spreading the need to love the self with unconditional love through video campaigns and articles. It made sense. Encouraging love of self is tantamount to encouraging the love for others as others are mirrors of our selves. In this scenario self acceptance becomes easier.
A poet once said “a man born blind can never know the meaning of darkness for he has never seen the light”. These lines explain the necessity of accepting both our ‘good’ side and our ‘bad’ side as they serve as a measuring tool with which we can gauge our personal growth. In a place where there, inside us is the quiet co-existence of both pleasant and unpleasant sides -- we are also able to recognize the reality that each one of us is “a work in progress.”
Love yourself for goodness sake and create a more loving relationship with others.
"No Acting Please" were words pasted in the four walls of the workshop room where I was to experience my first taste of the Eric Morris system of -- get this- "Acting". Now why were there posters screaming "No Acting Please" ??!? This intrigued me and only added to stress of having two of the Philippines' formidable and respected film and stage actor-directors as trainers of the class - Laurice Guillen and Gina Alajar. Who wouldn't be intimidated anyway?
Its essence came in the form of BEING, of TRUTH, of ACCEPTANCE, of RESPONDING, and of EXPRESSING. Laurice and Gina spared no one from cleaning up the obstacles that prevented us from becoming better actors and better individuals through the instrumental therapy sessions.
There was no room for "acting". There was only room for "truth" expressed in a moment to moment basis. I finally began to understand the presence of the "No Acting Please" signage and embraced its essence after four days of training. It was a major turning point in my life and I will forever be grateful for Laurice and Gina for pushing me beyond my comfort zone to reveal the dragons that blocked my way to success. Passing the training after all, paved the way for me to become part of the Actor's Workshop Foundation's training team. The workshop was apparently, my "baptism of fire" , as they teasingly called it.
Putting the icing on the cake, was the foundation's decision to bring in Eric Morris to train professional actors in Manila. This came a few months after I joined them and I was elated. I felt truly blessed being able to interact and witness how Eric conducted the instrumental therapy sessions. Spending many hours and days watching and experiencing his craftsmanship was simply heavenly, I ended up buying his books and gorged on them, some of which are featured here:
Now, 25 years after the first "No Acting Please" encounter, I have kept using all the principles of BEING in all my training programs and in fact have called my behavioral workshops the BEING Series Workshops.
The exercises contained in the various books helped me heal many areas of my life and have allowed me to become a more confident, self-assured, and empowered individual. To give you a glimpse of how I use some of Eric Morris' instrumental therapy exercises in my various courses here's an article called INVENTORY SYSTEM: Feel Fully, Express Totally
Now, what does "No Acting Please" have to do anything with creativity training. Well, it IS in itself Creativity Training with Therapeutic Proportions.