I have been thinking lately about how much I grow myself by revealing myself and being witnessed in a Live Conscious Retreat. Revealing is a powerful personal growth tool.
By nature I am an introvert. I sometimes shy myself in groups. But the more I reveal myself in retreats and gatherings, the more I comfort myself with revealing me . . . which spills over into the rest of my life. Being relaxed in any situation becomes easier. Self-acceptance, even self-love, is my reward for revealing. Remembering not to praise or blame myself with others-in-me is my key to getting me there.
What is it that we are revealing anyway?
During a retreat, workshop, or a gathering, I can reveal how I am doing myself right now. “I am struggling, fearing, fascinating, joying, saddening, criticizing, angering, intimidating, profounding myself with . . .whatever.”
Or perhaps I discover an old pattern that I struggle myself with. Revealing this discovery can be powerful. I can begin a whole new relationship with this pattern. We give ourselves different names during retreats, which can change throughout the retreat. If I cannot reveal myself, maybe I can name myself: “Not Yet Able To Reveal.” Or perhaps, I name myself something about myself that I resist revealing. That may be all that I reveal, at least until I am ready and able to offer up more of me. But I won’t pressure myself to reveal. In Live Conscious, there is no obligation share myself, unless I choose to grow myself this way.
Even if we don’t reveal a lot, we can still benefit through self-discovery and processing internally, and hearing others share themselves. But, if we want to stop judging ourselves, become more spontaneous, empower ourselves, and become more whole, we eventually have to reveal ourselves and be witnessed. This will generally make the difference between a retreat that is helpful and a retreat that we perceive as profound and life changing.
Some of us profound ourselves at a retreat and make great changes in our lives and others get less out of the experience. I scared myself a little at the beginning of my first retreat, as a student, and didn’t reveal much. I am grateful I did not stop there. If we want more out of the experience, we need to ask: “Am I revealing myself?” For me, I took a while to get comfortable with revealing. And still at times I resist this part of me, but once I do reveal, I wonder what all my resistance was about.
Some of us profound ourselves in a retreat, but do not sustain what we’ve gained and lose the sweetness that we felt at the retreat. If this is the case we might ask ourselves: “Am I really practicing Live Conscious? Or am I back to victimizing myself, blaming others, being critical of myself and/or others, not taking responsibility for the world I am creating? Am I using Perception Language?”
If I take nothing more away from Live Conscious than understanding that I am making up meaning all the time – even now as I write this post – I have the opportunity to make healthier choices in my life. But I still need to practice and keep reminding myself that I am making meaning (consciously using Perception Language helps). We are so habituated to our old ways of thinking and being and speaking that integrating this new paradigm into our lives takes time and commitment and practice.