LifePrints Hand Analysis and Flourishing In Tough Times: Embracing Exposure?

Jul 28, 2011 by     1 Comment     Posted under: Life Purpose, Success and Hand Analysis

life purpose, hand analysis, fingerprints, Ronelle CoburnIt seems like an indecipherable mystery—why do some people flourish when things get tough and others flag?

Even more interesting…Why do some people fail to flourish even during good times?  What’s going on here?  Why do some people succeed while others languish?

First, let’s stop  to define “success.” By success I mean someone who manages to merge money and meaning.  Making a life as well as making a living.  For some this means making a lot of money, for others it means living their true calling in whatever way they can manage.  For all it ultimately means living in the consciousness of Life Purpose, so you can navigate your life and its circumstances as skillfully as possible.

Are you flourishing in your life and living consciously in your Life Purpose?

What can we learn from those who flourish…especially when they do so during tough times?

When life gets difficult you’re being asked to change and what is not working in your life gets exposed.  This is the first level of exposure…when what we don’t like about ourselves comes into our awareness and we can’t hide from it any more.  We are exposed to our own shortcomings and the ways we do things that have stopped working.  When this happens most of us cling to the way we’ve always done things and we dig ourselves further into the hole of stagnation.  We hold ourselves back from the success and deeper sense of meaning we’re yearning for and that is actually trying to surface.

But first there are things that just have to get out of the way, things that are blocking our awareness and clearer view of our Life Purpose.  Things that no longer fit into the life of the person we are becoming.  It is this point of exposure that is our first incredible learning opportunity.  As painful as it usually is to be exposed to the things we don’t like in ourselves, how can we take this as an exceptional opportunity to become more fully aware of who we are and to truly subscribe to the idea that “the truth shall set us free”?  How can we say, “bring it on!” so we can build a stronger foundation from which to live our lives?

The second level of exposure is when other people can see the stuff about us that isn’t pretty or ideal or nice—the dysfunctional stuff.  In fact, often other people can see it when we can’t!  It’s bad enough to become aware of our mistakes and shortcomings in the privacy of our own hearts and minds, but this is the worst, isn’t it?  The thing we all want to guard against at all costs—other people seeing our dark stuff, our failures, our inadequacies. Ugh.  No way.  BUT, this is exactly what we need.  We need others to be mirrors for us when we stubbornly keep our stuff in our blind spot.  And we need others to accept us—even with our faults—so we can come to self-acceptance and do what’s right by ourselves and others.  And isn’t this the place we grow the most?

We’re exposed so much of the time, both when things fall apart in our lives and when we try something new.  But when it comes down to it, isn’t it the only place we actually learn?  And isn’t it this learning that sticks the most?  And if we are people who think we are on the path of personal growth then shouldn’t we be willing—even yearn—to be exposed so we can get aware of ALL of who we are so we can work with it?  Because if we don’t get exposed we just stay stuck and can’t flourish.  We stagnate and get frustrated.  We have trouble enjoying our own lives and we aren’t exactly wonderful to be around when we choose to live our lives in denial of our true selves.

So, how bad can it be to say, “Hooray!  My stuff is exposed! It’s up and it’s hanging out all over the place.  I can see it and can’t get away from it and (groan) others can see it too. It’s an “open secret” so why not be exposed and decide to expose myself further?  How can I take a deep breath, see what’s up—even if I hate it—and practice forgiving myself for having these things, and learn from them the best I can every day?”

This is what people who flourish do.  They want both of these levels of exposure so they can keep shedding what doesn’t belong in their purposeful life.  And they can keep taking on the habits (both in thinking and action) that root them deeper into what is most meaningful to them.  How can you be yourself and live out your true calling if you don’t know who you are?  You can’t know just pieces of who you are and expect to live a whole life wherein you reach your highest potential.

This is a practice.  It’s a life long process.  And because it’s so challenging I personally try to enroll in situations where I will be exposed repeatedly and where I have the mirrors of other people to help me see myself better from all angles—from the flattering to the embarrassing!  I need help with this, big time.  And it scares and unnerves me just like it does everyone else.  But I do it anyway.  There is the inner communications part of personal growth where I sit with myself and listen to my inner voice, and then I’ve got to put what I think is true to the test by communicating with other people and testing what I think and feel and believe in the real world.  I say “Bring on the Reality Checks so I can learn to work well with life instead of only being ‘worked’ by it!”

I promised the current hand analysis training students that I would expose my own learning process to them so they would know they are not alone in feeling awkward and nervous about exposing themselves in class.

Because, at the bottom line, the biggest learning happens at the point of exposure because our weaknesses are brought to light when we are under pressure

It’s then that we have the opportunity to address them.  The exposure makes the learning process go faster!  And not just for the person being exposed to the group, but for everyone in the group.

The pictures for this article are of me in my current aerial class.  I’m learning “straps” and I need a lot of help from the teacher.  In fact, I can’t yet do anything on the straps without assistance. The one time I did I injured myself and it took three weeks to heal.  Huge mistake.  The other students stand and watch while I huff and puff and groan and grit my teeth and just try to breathe, accept  help, and look very awkward.  I stand and watch them struggle and learn from their mistakes mistakes and from their successes.

I am the weakest and least experienced person in the class and it’s going to be that way for a long time due to the reality of straps. They require beast-like strength and exceptional flexibility and both take time to develop (I’m up to 40 push ups, 80 sit ups, 40 ab wheels, three 60-second hand stands and more, but can’t do a pull-up yet).  So, every time I drive to class I put on the attitude that I’m going to do my best and learn what I can from all of our mistakes and successes.  And if I get nervous about looking stupid…I tell myself, “So what!”  It’s just a normal part of the process.  And the joy in all of our accomplishments is in direct proportion to how challenging it was to gain the skill and worth every bit of awkwardness along the way.

So, are you willing to embrace exposure in your life?  Consider this:

1. What isn’t working in your life right now? What keeps you from flourishing? Be clear about what it is YOU do (or don’t do) or think (or don’t think) that is one way you hold yourself back. This isn’t about your spouse or your kids or your parents or your boss, it’s about YOU.  For most of us there’s always “something” going on in life that can get in the way.  Don’t be hard on yourself about this, just see if you can step back from yourself and take a look. Write it down.

2. How has this habit you have, thing you do, or way of thinking been of help to you.  Did it help you  survive?  What have you gotten out of doing or thinking this way?  What do you still get out of it?

3.  Instead of condemning yourself, can you thank this habit pattern you’ve got for carrying you as far as it has in your life?  Can you acknowledge its usefulness and the purpose it has served in your life?  Write down “Thank you X for helping me get through X in my life.”

4.  What change is trying to come into your life?  What does that change require?  How are you resisting it?  How can you begin to step into the change instead of being forced further into it?  Do you know what the change is about and how it’s a call to you to move towards or further into your Life Purpose?

5. How can choosing to expose yourself more, whether it’s letting a loved one know how you really feel or getting yourself out in public to find the market for your business?

It’s easy to get started with exploring yourself and living your true calling in life!
Where do YOU want to START???

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1 Comment + Add Comment

  • Thank you for inspiring me once again Ronelle. Your article has given me a deeper understanding of the value of exposure. Powerful indeed.

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