This guided meditation encourages self-awareness and self-compassion by acknowledging and exploring challenging emotions without judgment. Becoming aware of the nonjudgmental observer within us can help us better understand the underlying needs behind our insecurities and challenging emotions, which allows us to work with them in a way that honors ourselves and those in our life. This practice emphasizes our ability to coexist with challenging feelings while fostering a deeper connection with ourselves and others.
By embracing these feelings and recognizing their significance, we can use them as catalysts for personal growth and positive change. Regularly engaging in this meditation, alongside asking thoughtful questions, will help us cultivate the ability to respond to challenges in a caring manner and with self-awareness. It will become a valuable tool for enhancing well-being and fostering personal growth while guiding us on a journey toward self-compassion. Incorporating these guided meditations into our daily routine can be especially powerful and nurturing, leading to a deeper understanding of oneself through self-acceptance.
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Awareness That Heals, Episode 102.
The Awareness That Heals podcast helps its listeners learn to develop the capacity to have a more healing response to emotions and situations rather than becoming stuck. Your host, Robert Strock, has practiced psychotherapy for more than 45 years. He wrote the book, “Awareness That Heals: Bringing Heart and Wisdom to Life’s Challenges,” to help develop self-caring and the capacity to respond in an effective way to life’s challenges. Especially at times when we are most prone to be critical or to withdraw Together, we will explore how to become aware of our challenging feelings, and at the same time find alternative ways to live a more fulfilling and inspiring life.
Robert Strock (00:47):
A very warm welcome again to Awareness That Heals where we really do our damnedest to identify what’s most challenging to us and how we can best care for ourselves. Now, that’s a mouthful to do both of those at the same time. So as I’m speaking, please go inside yourself and identify, okay, what is my most challenging feeling? And have I really started to even begin to care for myself. Today, we’re going to really hone in on finding the most keen observer that we have inside ourselves so that we can see clearly what is challenging and how we can move toward caring toward that feeling as much as possible. Sounds simple, but in my experience in life, not only with myself, but everyone I know this is quite a challenge. So let yourself drop in now and just identify what do you think your most challenging feeling is either currently right now or through your years, one that keeps coming back again and again.
And just have a quick glimpse, fear, anger, anxiety. How much do you have the instinct, first to identify it clearly, but then be able to go, you know what, I actually really wanna care for myself here. Now that sounds so simple, but we haven’t been taught how to do that. So that’s what we’re gonna really dwell into. And the more you stay with yourself and look at these two features, the more you’re going to be able to develop self-compassion and compassion. We’re gonna be doing a guided meditation today as a central feature so that you have a chance to really drop into being the experiencer of your own feelings and see that these challenging feelings have needs underneath them that you can discover. And I encourage you to go to AwarenessThatHeals.org and download the free Introspective Guides, which identifies the 75 most challenging feelings and the 75 essential needs, actions that will move you toward caring for yourself. Hopefully you have those in front of you, not only now, but for the whole series.
One of the keys here is kind of the opposite of what we’ve been taught to believe a popular expression in the sixties, seventies, and eighties, and still largely practiced even in therapy, which is follow your feelings. Now, that’s a really good thing to do when you’re feeling good, but when you’re feeling anger or you’re feeling anxiety or you’re feeling inadequate, you wanna reverse that, which is, yes, you wanna be aware of your feelings, but you want to seek out this keen observer or your wisdom to be able to be really present. So, you can start a dialogue between your wisdom and this challenging feeling. So if your anger is arising, you want to guide yourself to how can I best take care of myself when I have anger? What would be the wisest way for me to respond? Do I want to just be impulsive?
Do I wanna suppress it? Or do I actually want to find a way to discover why I was angry in the first place in what I need? And so what we’re going to be doing again and again, is showing you examples and nuances of exposing what’s challenging to you, which we need your help to do that. And at the same time, remembering, oh, that’s right. I wanna care for myself and others and recognize that just staying in the feeling alone is just not enough. So it’s really crucial and very paradoxical that you center in on what is most troubling to you, what causes you the most pain, what causes others the most pain? And when you see the paradox, you see that you’ll be able to discover what you really need as you dwell into it and learn how to guide yourself to express the need in a way that dignifies yourself and the significant others around you. Now, does that make sense to you? Just pause for a second. Does it make sense to you that by identifying your anger or your anxiety in a way that’s a keen observer, that’s not judgmental, it’s also not flattering, it’s just simply seeing, ah, anger, anxiety, inadequacy, feelings. Oh, that’s right, I wanna care for myself. How do I do that? And then you have a dialogue between those two parts of yourself.
Hopefully, that’s starting to make a little sense. And also you realize this is not instinctive. Most of us go into these feelings and they become a monopoly. We don’t have this profound duality of our wisdom, our guidance, our capacity to respond, being central, to use our suffering as a catalyst to move us toward guidance to our hearts and toward others’ hearts. So we’re gonna enter into now the guided meditation, which I can’t possibly encourage you enough to put yourself in the center of it. So, you’re leading with your specific challenging feeling over and over again. Now, some of the meditations that we’re gonna be doing in the next series are going to be very specific. So I might identify anger or fear, but I’m doing that so you can understand some of the nuances of how to care for yourself and at the same time, substitute in your challenging feeling.
The only reason why I’m using specific feelings, sometimes it’ll be because it’ll hit you right on the target, but at other times, listen to the guidance as to how you can feel where you are, respect where you are, and have this profound dialogue of what would be the best way for you to respond while you’re feeling what you’re feeling. We’re not trying to do an act of magic where you are gonna make these feelings disappear. We’re talking about coexisting with honoring your feelings, the human side of you. At the same time remembering that you want to find this place that cares for you, that wants to care for you. And at first, you’ll probably find that when you’re feeling inadequate, you hate that feeling. Ah, I don’t want to hate on myself when I’m feeling inadequate. I wanna remember that life is gonna be a lot more enjoyable for me and all those around me if I can remember to care for myself.
Guided meditation is, for so many people, the best way to truly gain benefit in your response to personal challenges. As you invest and bring your own experience to the guided meditations, you’ll give yourself the best chance to change longstanding patterns from suffering toward a state of well-being. peace and healing,
It’s an, is important to put yourself in a comfortable body position in a private space where you’re not disturbed, turn off your phone and be ready to really be alert. And start off by just tuning into, just sensing how are you breathing? You know, are you breathing in your belly? Are you breathing in your neck? And notice the rhythm. Is there a rhythm? And no matter what you actually see, let yourself be guided. I want to be breathing in a way that is as relaxed as possible. Our breathing is such a hub of our experience. And allow yourself to just find a rhythm that allows you to purr. And especially on the exhale, allow yourself to, ahhh, just deep exhale. Now that you’re in your body and noticing what’s going on with your breathing, remember a time when you have felt insecure or perhaps it’s right now, and honor the insecurity by saying to yourself, insecurity, I see you. I know I generally scan over you or try to get over you, but I want to dignify you by recognizing this is insecurity. So take a few moments and recognize times when you felt this feeling and see if you really pause and let yourself feel insecure without judgment, wtthout suppressing it, without getting irritated.
Just pure insecurity. And then ask yourself the question, how can I care for myself? Or maybe even ask a more absurd question, do I want to care for myself? And recognize that, of course, you want to care for yourself. You may not like the fact that you feel insecure, but you’re not doing it on purpose. You’re feeling threatened. So, it’s so important to have a neutral or slightly caring attitude toward this feeling. See if you can say, yes, yes, I feel insecure, and it’s okay. It’s okay that I feel insecure. Can you find a part of you that wants to care for the insecurity? Insecurity, I wanna find a way to help you feel more safe, more courageous, and I accept you and I am doing my very best to just let you be as you are. And at the same time, cultivate this place that wants to move toward pairing in the form of courage or trust, safety, security, and see if you can develop conversations with yourself. Insecurity, what do you need? Tell me how I can hold you, respect you, and move toward a safer place. What actions do I need to take? What thoughts do I need to find? What communications do I need to deliver so that I can optimize my feeling, being cared for?
You may feel insecure because your partner isn’t being kind towards you, or seems to be withdrawn, seems to be spaced out, isn’t asking you questions about yourself. And so the part of you that cares for yourself recognizes that you need to say to your partner, I would really like it if you’d be kinder. I’d like it if you would ask me more questions about myself. Or I would like it if you would just be present with me. And that you start to get the knack, that the feeling, the challenging feeling, whether it’s insecurity or anything else, is a key that you have a need that you want to learn how to express in a way that has a quality, that is friendly, that is relational. Or there may be times where it’s not appropriate to communicate, where you need to communicate just with yourself. Insecurity right now, it’s not time to talk to my partner or anybody else. I want you to know, I want take care of you. I want you to know I’m not going to be criticizing you, or if I do criticize you, I’m gonna catch myself and I’m going to bring you back to remember that I want to care for myself in a way that uses the feeling as a catalyst to move toward well-being, toward the safety that I desire.
Now just pause and see if you can see the connection between the insecurity and the desire to care for yourself to be secure and understand that you’re not going to resolve it all in this moment. But if you can get the knack of the two-step process of, I honor the insecurity and I want to care for it as much as possible, it’s helpful for you to realize that when you have these challenging feelings, you’re not doing it on purpose, you’re not being insecure on purpose, you’re not in love with insecurity, and you’re just doing it to be self-indulgent. You’re doing it ’cause you genuinely feel threatened. And so it’s so important for you not to add on another variable. So making statements like, I know you’re not doing this on purpose, it’s okay for you to feel the depth of the insecurity because it will show you that there’s something that really matters, Otherwise, you wouldn’t feel insecure. So it’s a great awareness to know that the insecurity is there and notice your tendency to either suppress it or to get agitated or to withdraw. And instead keep coming back to, okay, I see that I have a tendency to move away from it or to make it even more challenging by getting agitated or irritated. But let yourself come back,
and again, say, insecurity, I see you and I wanna support you. See if you can hear the tone of kindness, not even so much in my voice, but in your voice. And know that the more you can embrace the insecurity and ask continuous questions, what thoughts, what actions, what attitudes are most gonna support me when I feel this feeling? So as we wind up, see if you can get the grasp of how helpful this would be to you. And also very likely how you are moving into territory is not extremely familiar, and that this is going to require a lot of practice for all of your challenging emotions, but for right now, the insecurity.
And that it’s moments, it’s hours, it’s days, it’s weeks, it’s months, it’s a lifetime that all of us have been taught to not even pay close attention to our feelings, let alone care for them. But you have a process now that if you practice it, you’re gonna learn how to be your own best friend. And my prayer for you is that you get the knack of whatever challenging feeling you’re facing. And for right now, the insecurity that you befriend it, you listen to what it needs, and whether it’s inside or outside, you start with the thoughts that are gonna be most supportive and let that guide you to the actions and the qualities that you need to care for yourself and your significant others.
So notice where the meditation leaves you. Do you feel more trusting in yourself? Do you feel like, oh my God, there’s no way I can pull this off? Or do you recognize hopefully that even if you’re beginning to be able to grasp the concept, that’s a great start, or perhaps you’re skeptical and think it’s completely unrealistic to care for yourself. And I challenge you to be open to seeing the impact for your life is so important that even if you’ve never, ever cared for yourself when you’re insecure, that if you have a bit of an understanding that that makes sense, that you dedicate yourself to this practice and see where you’re most challenged in implementing it, is it because you think, you know what? I am just insecure. I’m an insecure person, and you’ve labeled yourself. Or, ah, this sounds a little bit too simple and gimmicky, or whatever your thoughts are.
And I ask you to see if you don’t believe in your most wise observer, that this would benefit you and that it’s worthy of lifelong practice. And again, as I said at the end of the meditation, my prayer for you is that you see that this internal capacity that you have can change the quality of your life and can be so paradoxical because every time you’re challenged, it’s like a Pavlovian response. You know, you wanna care for yourself, you’re tired of rejecting yourself or withdrawing or skimming over. You wanna accept the feeling, feel it, continue to feel it, and at the same time, develop this capacity for conversation between your wisdom, asking wise questions to guide you and letting yourself feel exactly where you are. Thanks so much.
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