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Image by Emilie Ogez via Flickr

Self-esteem‘ is a fairly vague concept that is thrown around by self-proclaimed life-coaches and anyone selling pre-packaged collections of ‘how-to’ ebooks. It all starts with awareness of how one views oneself.

Realistically, who has never had any periods of self-consciousness or doubt? I’ve taught classes and workshops for decades that promote self-awareness and positive self-esteem building techniques, and even self-help counselors have fleeting moments of what I like to call, ‘human-ness’.

Being human, and specifically growing and building character, mandates that we experience some lack of personal confidence until we conquer any new skill, as we try on new behaviors, and as we consciously alter our self-image. The first day of school is an example. Think of how it feels to walk into a classroom of strangers. How confident does anyone feel entering into new unchartered circumstances? Despite increased fear levels, we force ourself to put on the public persona and move into the moment, into the classroom, and soon we are immersed in the experience of school.

It’s like that in all human experience. There is a moment of shifting, and then we find our balance.

Every month, a new group of strangers enter into my Gestalt classes. None has any real clue as to what transformations will take place in this setting. All are strangers with personal fears, expectations, biases, beliefs, dogmas and the gamut of potential emotions and thoughts. And every class is identical and simultaneously unique, because every group participant is unique.

Over the years I have learned that the one most important personal trait to success is the ability to see clearly. To be fully aware of one’s perfect self, in spite of not feeling particularly ‘perfect’ in the present human condition is a challenge that brings about fast and lasting positive self-esteem growth. When we, as human beings, can learn to accept the parts of who we are, and can embrace our totality, our gestalt/wholeness, we can then determine what internalized messages are really helping us to grow and reach fulfillment, and we can consciously release the internalized messages that have kept us stuck in erroneous beliefs of poor self-worth. This is the beautiful gift of awareness, of gestalt techniques. The most profound awareness, the most powerful insights are inside of each of us. NO ONE KNOWS WHAT’S BEST FOR YOU, BUT YOU! I am not to become your guru. I am to guide you to your guide inside of yourself. You are the guru of your best path and interests.

As for my side of the agreement, when I write here, I make a vow to be authentic. I make a promise to readers as well as to myself, that I will speak the truth at any cost. There may be some who come here and leave quickly. There will be others who will stay and play and share. This truth I have learned as a valuable ‘self-filtering’ mechanism of life. When they are ready to take the journey inward to the spirit of them self, they will have a spectacular voyage. If not, it couldn’t be helped.

At any rate, if you are among the readers, I so hope you will comment and build a relationship with me as I ponder the ins and outs of existence. Time is scarce as I age, and I value yours as well as I value my own. For that reason, I will try to limit my words, even as I have gone on far too long on this page!

~Ahimsa (Harmlessness)

~As always, from Paris, with love & light, and the intention of balance.