Part 1: Who are you?
Part 2: How to connect to your Authentic Self - Inner Twin
Part 3: Be one with your Inner Twin = Amazing Life!
“Who are you to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?... Who are you not to be?” – Marianne Williamson
When I was 10 years old, during a casual conversation, my mom told me, “You were born as such an ugly baby, you came out with a full head of hair, and you looked like a cat! No nurses wanted to hold you!” Mom even gave me an endearing nick name: “Ugly Duckling”. As I grew up, this stuck with me. While I occasionally received compliments about my physical appearance from others, I never believed them. My self-esteem was gone by the time I was a little girl.
Many of us struggle to find who we are. We take on other people’s points of view and make them our own. If people think we are physically fit and attractive, our self-esteem goes up, if people criticize our appearance, our self-esteem goes down.
In the case of not liking the way we look, it may drive us to binge eating, drinking excessively, using illegal drugs, you name it… all kinds of addictive behavior! All we want is to get rid of that yucky feeling inside of us. In reality, we ARE the same amazing human beings whether our weight goes up or down! What we really need is to know who we truly are, and the truth will set us free! We no longer need to use substances to numb ourselves and run away from our emotional pain.
If the idea of “Living fearlessly” is appealing to you, I would like to invite you to go on a journey of self-discovery:
Step 1: Remember who you are:
As a human being, the essence of who you are is pure love, pure peace and pure joy. You don’t need to earn love, find peace or pursue joy, it is in your DNA!
LOVE is why you are here. Living a life without feeling loved is like a guitar without strings, there is no live music anymore! You walk around like an empty shell. You feel like you’re missing something, but you just don’t know what it is.
The definition of love is “An intense feeling of deep affection.” When you love someone, you show interest and affection to this person. Constantly criticizing and beating up someone is not an act of love. Unfortunately, we all are guilty of that. The question is, are you ready to learn how to love, honor and cherish yourself?
Step 2: Love yourself:
Having self-compassion is a learned skill. We live in a fear-based world, and practicing love and kindness can be very challenging, especially when everyone around you is negative or critical! When you set your default on love instead of fear, your loving energy overrides negativity just like the darkness disappears when the Iight comes in!
How do you love yourself? Personally, I spent the majority of my life searching for love – in all kinds of wrong places. I thought if I loved someone selflessly, someone eventually would love me back. WRONG! No one can love myself for me just like no one can eat or breathe for me. I needed to learn how to love myself first, so I could love someone freely without attachments. I went to many therapists to learn how to love this person I hated so much and had to live with. No one could give me a concrete answer. They told me, “Just meditate, think positive, and be kind to yourself.” They all sounded great, and I gave them a try, they would work for a while, but eventually none of them worked for me. Why? It took me many years to figure this out: I showed no desire to be with the person I am. I hated myself so much, I just wanted to disappear or be someone else.
One day, after I acted out again feeling so ashamed of myself. I grabbed a chair and started to talk to myself. I admitted to myself that I had been an asshole to myself, then I switched chairs, again talking to myself, “It’s ok. I love you just the way you are.” “Let’s start over. I’ve got your back.” In that moment, I experienced an enormous amount of love and compassion. I starting to cry uncontrollably. I couldn’t believe that after years of abandoning and hating myself, there was actually a person inside of me who would forgive me and take me back. That was the beginning of my self-healing journey. This was how I created my signature therapy “Inner Twin”.
Who is your Inner Twin? Your Inner Twin is your conscience, your higher self, your authentic self… that part of you that tells you the truth whether you’d like to hear it or not. Your Inner Twin has your best interests in mind, and will always love you unconditionally. This is about learning positive self-talk. It extracts that part of you that knows how to care for and love someone, such as your pets, your family and friends. Instead of offering love and compassion outwardly, you are offering it to yourself. I call this part of you: your “Inner Twin”, simply because you are connected to this part of you just like identical twins are connected to one another.
People constantly ask me how to build self-confidence? My answer is always the same: You must get connected to your Authentic Self, your Inner Twin! Your Inner Twin is like the world’s biggest bank that belongs to you. Once you are connected, you’ll have access to unlimited wealth. Spiritually speaking, you will feel confident and comfortable in your own skin, wherever you go!
True love comes from within. Nothing from the external world can bring you long lasting love. Continuing to look for love outside of you is like jumping on the train that goes to “Crazy Town”, you will never feel good enough about yourself!
Maybe you have tried very hard to get approval from others. Here is the good news! You already have the approval from your Inner Twin! You don’t need to earn love or prove yourself to others. It is your birthright to be loved! The only person in this Universe who knows how to love you just the way you want to be loved is YOU! It’s time to be with your Inner Twin and get on a fearless journey that brings you abundant enthusiasm and self-confidence!
“I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.” ~ The top five regrets of the dying by Bronnie Ware
Step 1: Give up false Self Identity
Step 2: Give up being perfect
Step 3: Give up being right
Simplicity is one of the most attractive qualities in life!
In this fast-paced ego-driven world, we often forget about who we are and attach ourselves to false self-identities. False self-identities create confusion, anxiety and depression. It’s like wearing clothes that don’t fit, yet pretending that you like it. Eventually you lose touch with who you truly are. You strive for perfection. You believe that who you are is based on the things you own, how you look, and your position on the social ladder.
Here is a story about how a false self-identity can destroy a human being. When I was 7 years old, my father had a very prestigious job in Taiwan. After working decades for the government, he was about to be promoted as the head of the aviation administration for all of Taiwan.
My father was known for his brutal honesty and upright personality. At that time, many government officials were taking bribes. He wasn’t good with the political games and was disgusted with all of the corruption and bribery in the system. Eventually and ironically, he was framed and accused of bribery.
The lawsuit lasted for 10 years. In Taiwan a person could be tried repeatedly for the same crime until a guilty verdict was reached. Even though there were 3 verdicts of not guilty, the 4th verdict was guilty. My father ended up having to serve 6 months in prison. He went from being a brilliant charismatic strong man to an unemployed sad broken man. My father was completely destroyed because his entire self-identity was based on his career.
It is common for people to hold on to false self-identities. You can misidentify many things as your self-identity, such as what you do, how you look, your thoughts and feelings, who you are associated with, or your social status and possessions. In reality, you are much more than all of these!
So how do you train yourself to recognize that you are holding on a false self-identity?
#1: If you feel awful about yourself, that is an indication that you might be holding on something that doesn’t reflect who you truly are.
#2: If you feel like you are better than everyone else, then you might be holding on a false sense of security.
Make a commitment today to identify and give up all of your false self-identities. Your true self-identity is pure love, pure peace, and pure joy. When you have clarity about who you truly are, letting go becomes much easier. This is the first step of simplifying your life!
Life really is simple. Just be your true self! Allow yourself to be the flowing energy that is full of love, peace and joy. After all, life is like a box of chocolates… let yourself enjoy every piece of it!
“What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway. In the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.” ~ Mother Teresa
Week 1: Be Forgiving
Week 2: Be Present
Week 3: Be Connected
The best present that your life can offer you is “The Present”! This is why every second of here and now is called the “Present” moment! Unfortunately, we often spend the present moment stuck in the past or the future, and our lives are slipping away right in front of our eyes without even being noticed.
In the winter of 1992, I was driving in a very bad snow storm on the US highway 23. It was about midnight, and I was afraid that I would get into a crash because I couldn’t see the road, which was covered by snow. To avoid switching lanes unknowingly, I came up with a brilliant idea to keep myself safe: Just follow the white line and stay on the far right side of the highway. Everything was ok, until about an hour later, when all of a sudden I had no choice but to stop. There was a huge airplane parked in front of my car. I was speechless. “Holy shit, where am I?” I panicked, and I stepped out of my car, the snow was deep, up to my knees. In the far distance, I saw a building. There was a man in the building who saw me walking around in the snow. He screamed at me, “You are trespassing, this is a domestic airport! What the hell are you doing here at one o’clock in the morning?” I was scared, confused, and frozen to death. All I wanted was to be able to get home safely.
This life experience taught me a precious lesson: Being present is the ultimate key to keeping myself safe, especially when I am freaking out. My brilliant idea was narrow-minded wishful thinking. By following the white line, I did not pay any attention to the exit signs on the highway. I was not being present and aware of my surroundings. That was how I ended up running into that huge airplane!
Most recently, I saw a TIME magazine cover titled: “Mindfulness - The new science of health and happiness”. It seemed odd to me that they called it the “New Science”, since the practice of mindfulness has been around for thousands of years. One of the most important qualities of mindfulness is the ability to be present. The benefits of being present include: better concentration and self-control, higher productivity, less stress, and increased self-compassion and acceptance. Thankfully, mindfulness is now becoming a mainstream practice in the western world.
Here is a very simple tool to help you be present. I called it “3 Boxes”. Imagine there are three boxes in front of you, on the left the box represents the Past; on the right the box represents the Future, and the box in the middle represents the Present.
Now, if you want to experience shame and guilt, which box do you focus on? The Past! If you want to experience fear, which box do you focus on? The Future! If you want to experience love, peace and joy, which box do you focus on? Yes, the answer is the Present! Just that simple!
In reality, the past is done, you can’t go back to fix it no matter how remorseful you are. The future is not here, but you can scare yourself to death by thinking about the worst-case scenario and all kinds of what ifs. You will end up being paralyzed by this kind of neurotic fear.
If you use this moment and focus on your past and/or your future, you are creating a life that is absolutely delusional! The definition of Zen is that there is no reality outside of here and now. So, why would you create a life that is delusional? Why would you choose to spend time being paralyzed? Do you have power to choose to be present? Yes! Absolutely yes!
The untrained mind will constantly take you to the past and the future. That is why it is very difficult for you to stay present. Here is a simple exercise you can do to stay present: Identify everything in your surroundings in a very quick fashion. You will notice that your anxiety goes down, simply because in the moment no one is attacking you, your house is not on fire, you are ok exactly where you are!
If you are depressed you are living in the past; if you are anxious you are living in the future; if you are at peace you are living in the present. – Lao Tzu
“My name is Wen, I am a recovering Worryholic!” I used to be a 24/7 worrier. If I had nothing to worry about, I would invent something to worry about. If you can relate to me, this blog is for you!
In 1992, I got my first job in America working in a group home in Whitmore Lake, Michigan. One day, at about 2am, I was asked to go to the market to get $300 worth of groceries. After I reviewed the grocery list, I started to have a panic attack. Sitting alone in a huge empty van, my palms were sweaty, my heart was pounding and my knees were shaky. I had no clue what “Q-tips”, “Jell-O” and “Kleenex” were. I looked them up in my Chinese-English dictionary. Nothing showed up. All I remember was that horrible sinking feeling in my stomach, “I am going to be fired…” “I won’t be able to pay my rent, my gas, and my food…” “I will be homeless…”
After 15 minutes of panicking, I decided to face my fear. I turned on the engine and took off. As I arrived at the grocery store, I was greeted by three very friendly staff. I let them know that I was a foreign student, and I had no clue what the things on the grocery list were. The staff was extremely helpful and within 20 minutes they brought me three full carts of groceries. They even loaded the things into the van for me. Mission completed without fail. This experience taught me to put my worry aside, focus on what IS under my control, and let the Universe take care of the rest.
The law of attraction means that whatever we focus on, we attract more of it into our lives. The more worrying we do, the more fear we will experience. If success means more love and abundance, failure means more fear and losses, and who in the world wants to fail and attract more fear into their lives?
We are creatures of habit. Unfortunately, many of us have developed a very bad habit called worrying. A lot of times, we zoom in and worry about things that have not even happened. We are paralyzed by worrying. It eventually becomes anxiety, depression and all kinds of addictive behaviors.
Here is an example: As I was driving on a highway, I saw a car broke down on the side of the road. I immediately started to think, “what if my car breaks down...bla, bla, bla…” Instead of living in the present and doing something about the funky noise my car was making, I was consumed by my worry that my car would break down. Sure enough, in just a couple of days, my car broke down! What happened was a picture of a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Worrying is a waste of time and energy. The question is, how do we turn off the WORRY switch? When you are worrying, you are trying to control what is going to happen in the future. Since the future is not here, how can you control something that does not exist? If every second that you got stuck in the future box, it cost you $1,000 how much money could you afford to lose? In reality, your life is more valuable than $1,000 a second. No amount of money can buy the time you have lost worrying.
As a human being, you are wired to win! You can manifest anything you want in your life. All you need to do is to turn off the WORRY switch! The definition of Zen is: “There is no reality outside of here and now.” When you decide NOT to live in the future box, you are turning off the WORRY switch! When that happens, you open up a world of possibilities. You are creating an opportunity to live a life that is full of love, peace and joy!
“You have wings. Learn to use them and fly!” ~ Rumi
Wen Chi Chien, M.A. LPC