Stop presenting yourself and start being present.
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How often have you heard the phrase, “Image is everything?” As a society, we’re mostly all about appearances. How we look, speak, and act seems to be the basis for how others view us. Most of us are very aware of this, and attempt to present ourselves as we wish to be perceived. Because most of us also feel we are somehow lacking or incomplete, we try to show ourselves as we believe we should be rather than as we are. We put up a front.
All of this image crafting takes a lot of work. We shop carefully for clothes; we may wear makeup; we have our hair styled. We try to move in ways we believe others may find pleasing or interesting. We salt our conversation with buzz words. We hope to appear attractive, cool, and intelligent. We want others to like us for what we advertise ourselves to be.
If we invest ourselves heavily enough in this process, we may even believe in the persona we try to project. We’re so busy trying to look good that we interpret everything that goes on through the lens of our projected image. We get far too caught up in how we think we should appear. In doing so, we lose sight of what actually is going on and we bury our real selves. We get lost in unreality.
When we focus on experiencing and appreciating life as is, things change. We’re enchanted by the rich variety of people, things, and events, and don’t get caught up in how others perceive us. Our attention is captivated by what is going on right now, and we care more about our interactions than our image. We stop being stuck on ourselves.
Being present in life has tremendous advantages. When we are focused on what is happening in and around us right now, we stop regretting and we stop worrying. All that matters is what experience in the moment. We no longer are prisoners of time.
Presence in the moment also intensifies our experiences. Without the distraction of regret, worry, or self-image, we are free to savor all the nuances of life. We feel and enjoy more deeply and existence is enriched as a result.
Focus on now also makes us more clear-headed. We perceive things more accurately without should have, would have, could have thoughts. When we see things as they are, rather than as we are afraid they might be or as we wish they could be, we are freed to make choices based on what is. Being present, we make better decisions.
Let’s take a few minutes to connect with our inner divinity and explore dropping our focus on self image. We’ll center ourselves with our breath, allowing it to become gentle and regular. While we do so, we will picture our inner divinity—our sharing within—as a ball of golden light in the center of our heart region.
Our breath in feeds the light, helping it grow brilliant and solid. Our breath out spreads light throughout us and our environment. We will feel ourselves progressively relaxing as we breathe slowly in…and out. We’ll continue the rhythmic breathing and golden light visualization until we feel calm, steady, and sure. This is our signal of conscious connection with our sharing within.
We’ll ask our sharing within to help us drop all artifices from our self image, for a moment, so we can see ourselves as we truly are. We will picture ourselves looking into a full-length mirror and then breathe golden light into the reflection we see. The light will obscure our image for a moment, and then we will rebuild our reflection with the light, breath by breath, showing ourselves without self-generated distortion.
The real vision of ourselves will help us understand what illusions about ourselves we need to let go so that we can simply focus on life experience. We’ll note these self trickeries calmly and without judgment, and simply release them one by one. Just as we discard worn or spoiled items as a matter of course, we will let go of outdated expectations of how we believe we should appear. It will feel simple, easy, and natural. We’ll exhale golden light with each release and note how we feel free and safe as we do so.
It feels so good to know that we are beautiful and perfect exactly as we are. We have nothing to prove and no one to impress. We’re ready to dive into the joys and mysteries of life right now.
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Divinely unique and beautiful reader, what self illusion has dropped away? Please share…