Sources from Counseling with cliff.
Brach, Tara, “Radical Self Acceptance”
I am a big fan of Tara’s. I believe that many of us grow up believing that there is something wrong with us, that we are deficient and unworthy. Tara talks about how to deal with the anxiety of imperfection. She believes that a feeling of deficiency is at the root of much of our suffering. We are afraid of being rejected and carry a sense of shame into many of our endeavors. She addresses hoe to bring Radical Self-Acceptance into all phases of our lives. Most of our early care givers were doing the best that they were capable of but left us with a feeling of unworthiness. I believe our society in general supports this belief as well. Our school systems reward the students at the top but leave the majority of students feeling like they don’t measure up in some ways. Freeing ourselves from shame. She talks about self-aversion and feelings of unworthiness. She provides many meditations to help us deal with these issues. I like the fact that she assumes that many of us deal with the issue of imperfection.
Brown, Brene, “Men, Women, and Worthiness”
Brene believes that shame is under most of our struggles with self-worth. She believes that feeling shame is universal for all of us. It shows up differently in our lives but at some level most of us feel that we are not good enough. Her work is designed to help us learn to feel that we are worthy. She believes we have to experience our shame. She says “If we don’t claim shame it claims us”. She compares guilt to shame. According to her, guilt refers to us “doing something bad’ while shame is “we are bad”. We can learn from guilt and not repeat behavior that we were uncomfortable about in the past. Shame on the other hand triggers our feelings of negative self-worth. Women experience shame as rejection, as not being able to do it all, as being an outsider, as not being attractive enough, etc. Men experience shame as being a failure, as being wrong or defective, being soft or weak. A man can’t be afraid or show fear. Shame is usually present underneath anger. Brene wants to help us all with our Journey to worthiness. She would like us to feel that we are enough just the way we are.
Cushnir, Raphael, “The One Thing Holding You Back”
Raphael’s work was motivated by his own life struggles at a time that he describes as his own personal “Dark Night of the Soul”. He had what seemed like a perfect life and then all at once he lost his job and his marriage fell apart. An older Monk, a mentor of his at the time, encouraged him to emerge himself in what he was feeling. This was the beginning of Cushnir’s work around emotions. He eventually came up with a metaphor of surfing emotions as a way to ride them out as opposed to resisting them. If an actual surfer contracts and tenses up he often falls off his surfboard. If he relaxes into the wave he has a better chance of riding it out to the beach where the wave subsides. Cushnir believes that as most of us grew up we did not learn how to handle emotions. He believes that emotions are not the problem. Resisting emotions is the problem. Most of us are in some form of resistance most of the time. He believes that any form of resistance is always resisting a feeling. Resisting a feeling can cause it to dominate our lives by our always living to avoid that feeling. He believes that emotions always reside in our bodies. The trouble we experience comes from the way our minds deal with our feelings. Emotions are sometimes accurate and sometimes inaccurate. They are feedback as to what we are experiencing. Cushnir offers his ideas about Brain Chemistry in his discussion of the Triune Brain and the work of Dr. Paul McClean. This model divides the brain up into the Reptilian or Primitive Brain, the Limbic System where emotions arise, and the Neocortex where reasoning takes place. The Primitive brain is concerned with our safety and it is our first response to our world. This is where the Fight or Flight phenomenon occurs. Cushnir adds Freeze and Freak to the original 2 f’s. A problem arises because the Primitive brain can’t tell the difference between a real external threat and an internal threat such as being afraid of making a fool of ourselves. We therefore get kicked into Fight, Flight, Freeze, or Freak inappropriately. I found this work to be very helpful. It presents many experiential exercises to help us learn to deal more effectively with our feelings.
Chopra, Deepak, “Buddha A Story of Enlightenment”
Chrodron, Pema, various titles
Ferrini, Paul, “Creating A Spiritual Relationship”
Gray, John, “Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus”
Hendrix, Harvile, “Getting The Love You Want”
Johnson, Sue, “Hold Me Tight”
Moore, Thomas, “Dark Nights Of The Soul”
Sanchez, Nouk and Viera, Tomas, “The Miracle Of Trust”
Tolle, Eckhart, “A New Earth”, and many other titles
Weil, Andrew, “Spontaneous Happiness”
Williamson, Marianne, various titles
Burroughs, Augusten, “This Is How, Surviving What You Think You Can’t”