Step 5: Taking Inspired Action

 

STEP 5: TAKING INSPIRED ACTION is about making healthy choices that align with your values. It’s a practice. A moment by moment practice of receiving your life and sharing the gift that you are. Taking inspired action gives you a path to follow. You’re rewiring your brain to live a life that is aligned with your authentic self rather than your “shoulds,” your compromised self.

You now have a path that will lead you to the satisfaction you deserve. You could say your success and satisfaction is guaranteed because what you want is to express and live the essence of what you are. By giving yourself permission to live as your authentic self, you will naturally attract into your life your heart’s desire.

When you are sending out mixed messages, pretending to be someone you’re not or taking action that is not a reflection of what you truly value, what you receive back is a compromise, less than what is satisfying or sustainable for you.

UNDERSTAND THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN YOUR COMPROMISED SELF AND YOUR AUTHENTIC SELF

 

When we live our lives following the “shoulds” coming at us from the outside world, or even from within our own minds, we are following spoken and unspoken rules that may or may not express our own true values. When we are not doing what our authentic selves want to do, desire to do, then we are compromising ourselves.

When we align with our compromised self, it is because we have a misunderstanding of our value. We don’t believe that we can be our authentic self or that we even have an authentic self. We default to our compromised self when we are unaware of healthier choices, or because we don’t believe we deserve to have what we really want or to be who we truly are. We compromise and sell out when we feel it’s the best we can do, that we don’t really have another option.

When we compromise ourselves, we are going into agreement with one or more of our limiting beliefs. These beliefs can be very sneaky and slippery in their attempts to diminish us. We may hear ourselves saying, “I can’t even do this thing, that I don’t care about, right. What makes me think I could do anything better?”

Think a moment about when you compromise yourself. Too often, we are saying yes to thoughts, words and actions that do not align with our own values and desires. We are saying yes to “shoulds,” limiting beliefs and rules that are not ours to follow, often settling for the false sense of security that comes from doing what our compromised self tells us to do. Yes, sometimes a sense of rightness comes with acting on our compromises, however this sense is not lasting as it is not really expressing our true selves.

There are very clear differences between living as your authentic self and as your compromised self once you start really paying attention. Choosing to live as your compromised self can feel all right in the short term. Yet this compromised action is a short term decision that frequently reveals itself as just a booby prize. Sure, we keep hoping and wishing that following these unspoken rules and acting on our limiting beliefs will deliver what we want. Yet what we truly want is not delivered to us when we live as our compromised self, because what we truly want does not come to us by diminishing ourselves.The track of your limiting beliefs differs completely from the track of your authentic self.        

Limiting beliefs and Compromising yourself is a short term fix that does not satisfy.

Living your values and Being honest with yourself is a long term expression of your true self that brings satisfaction.                                                                                                             

In working with the 5 Receive Your Life Steps you can come to know the difference between living as your compromised self vs. living as your authentic self. This is a moment by moment decision that will become clearer and easier for you over time.

Choosing to live as your authentic self will be more and more obvious to you. Do not be concerned if you take a while to truly feel the difference between your compromised self and your authentic self.

 

KNOW WHAT COMPROMISING YOURSELF FEELS LIKE

Your pushes are valuable teachers. Become more and more aware of what your pushes feel like. When you are pushing against should-like messages coming at you from within or from outside yourself, you feel yourself resisting.

Watch for times when you feel you are pushing against, resisting, something. You will get to know this feeling better and better. While you are busy resisting the flow, listening to the “shoulds,” the limiting beliefs and the rules, your true desires are trying to get your attention. Be aware of what you are feeling when this is going on.

Remember, you won’t feel resistance when you are expressing a true desire, saying yes to your authentic self. However, if you are feeling resistance, then the communication is that your true, authentic desire wants to be expressed instead of the actions you are taking or the thoughts you are engaging in. Even while choosing to live as your compromised self, your authentic self is calling you forth.

On some deep level, we do know what we truly think and feel, and we do know what we truly desire to be, do and have. Yet the “shoulds,” the limiting beliefs and the rules stop us, or we tend to let these stop us, from being our true selves, from thinking our true thoughts, from answering the call of our true desires.

You can’t say yes to life when you are saying no to yourself.

When you become intimate with your compromised self you will notice when you are making decisions that are not aligned with your authentic self. Do yourself a favor and slow down your thought process. This will give you time to pause, to feel what you are feeling, and to make a different decision. Our compromised “yes” reflects things we think or do based on the “shoulds” we hear. Many “shoulds” such as these are quite common: I should play small; I should do what they want; I should want more; I should be happy with the way things are; I should be satisfied with all this; I shouldn’t feel this way; I shouldn’t say anything.

If you are taking action to follow your “shoulds” at the expense of your true desires, you will pay a price. And you will surely know you are paying the price by the way your life feels.

 

RECEIVING YOUR LIFE BY LOOSENING THE GRIP OF YOUR “SHOULDS”

At this point, you may be wondering why you would ever compromise yourself when your authentic self is waiting for you. The answer is quite simple: you compromise yourself because your “shoulds” are working hard to convince you that by following them you will get what you want. Your “shoulds” threaten you in order to encourage you to believe them. Your “shoulds” threaten you with things such as loss, telling you that you will lose something you value (such as love, or your job, or money, or your connection with certain people).

There is always an element of seeming scarcity attached to your “shoulds.” If you listen and follow them, you stay locked into your compromised self. We have been taught to believe that by following these rules, we will eventually get to be, do or have what we want.  But it doesn’t work that way. The “shoulds,” limiting beliefs and rules are on a completely different track than your values and desires.

 

THIS IS AN ONGOING PROCESS

This step, Step 5: TAKING INSPIRED ACTION, is about you making decisions and designing a life that reflects your values.

To prepare for this step, you will want to move through the understanding, compassion and forgiveness practice discussed earlier. Your understanding, compassion and forgiveness for both others and yourself will help you as you journey on the path of receiving your life. You can use the understanding-compassion-forgiveness practice when you are exploring your resistance and your desires. The importance of your having understanding, compassion, and forgiveness as you move through Step 5 and receive your life is central. As you work through Step 5’s ongoing process of making decisions that reflect your authentic self, you are asked to:

  

Have an understanding of what desire wants to be birthed within you and why a particular limiting belief has been and is gripping you, and then…

 

With this deeper understanding of the origin of this limiting belief, you will experience compassion for yourself, and then…

 

With the softening that arises out of this compassion, you can experience forgiveness and forgive yourself, and in so doing…

 

You will then give up the grasp that the limiting belief has on you, and…

 

Allow yourself to receive your life.

 

As stated before, going through these steps is not a one-time occurrence. This is something you do moment by moment. Initially, this may feel a bit mechanical because you are slowing down your thought process. But eventually, as you are more and more in the habit of living from your authentic self, your thoughts, words and actions will naturally align with your authentic self and you will be on the path of receiving your life.

 

Step 5

TAKING INSPIRED ACTION EXERCISE

This Step 5 Exercise uses everything you have learned in the first four steps. Now, to proceed through this Step 5 Exercise, move through each of the four parts of this exercise as follows:  

Step 5 Exercise, Part 1:

Find Information in Pushes and Limiting Beliefs

Go back to your log pages where you worked on Step 4. There you will find that you wrote down some of your pushes and then some of the “shoulds,” limiting beliefs, and rules you discovered inside of your pushes. Read these Step 4 notes over again and keep them out for use now, in Step 5.

It is now time to look more deeply into this information that you have gathered about yourself in order to see what is really going on. Keep in mind that your pushes reflect a moment in time.

While some of your pushes may be there over a longer period of time, many of your pushes may change in the future – or may not be the same as other parts of your life change. For example, just because agreeing to be the treasurer of the club is a push for you this year doesn’t mean it will not be a pull for you in a few years.

Remember, it is the limiting belief, the misunderstanding of your value, that is causing the pain, not the situation. Notice what it feels like if you deny the limiting belief and instead tell the truth about why you are resisting the “should.” Remember there is wisdom in your resistance. Your authentic self is alerting you that something is off. The rules are trying to convince you that you should be different from who you are, or that you are doing something wrong or that what you want is wrong.

Go ahead and copy into your log the blank Step 5 chart you find on the following page. Then on this Step 5 chart in your log enter your Step 4 pushes in the first column on the left of this chart, and your Step 4 limiting beliefs in the second column from the left side of this chart.  

Note: If you write in on your chart your limiting beliefs as “I am” statements, you will be able to see how you have been falsely identifying yourself.

 

Step 5 Exercise, Part 2: Identify the Desire That Wants to be Birthed

You have written your pushes and limiting beliefs into the first two columns of your Step 5 chart. Now you are ready to work on the third column in your Step 5 chart. This is the desire column.

Remember, you would not be experiencing a push were there not also a desire present in the situation. We are always experiencing our desires, always on the desire path, whether or not we are realizing this. We are always living in the flow of life, however thoughts and feelings (limiting beliefs) can surface that prevent us from experiencing being in the flow of our true selves and energy.

Take a moment and think about your pushes. Start with the first push on your list and then move to the next one. Before this push entered the picture, what was the desire path you were on? What were you truly desiring to express, do and be? You would not have been experiencing a push were there no values yearning to be expressed by desires. You are now at the fork in the road where it is time to make a decision.

But before you do this, it is important to identify the desire within you that wants to be birthed, expressed. In Step 3 you discovered some of your desires in your pulls. You can also uncover desires in your pushes. Whenever you find yourself resisting and pushing against, you can be sure there is a desire in there wanting to be set free that the rule won’t allow.

Now, go back to your Step 5 chart. For each limiting belief you wrote down there, identify the desire that is being blocked by this limiting belief. What is the desire you can’t live out, can’t express, because of the resistance you are experiencing? Write the desires that come to your mind onto your Step 5 chart, in the Desires Column.

Do not worry if the items you list on your Step 5 chart do not match up perfectly, you are brainstorming here, finding things out about yourself, about your authentic self.

Remember, desires are how you live and express your values. You may have the desire to speak up, play music, travel, work on a project, go to a class, call a friend, cook a meal, take a walk, exercise,  invest, etc. It is how you choose to interact and share yourself on the physical plane.

  

Step 5 Exercise, Part 3:

Identify the Value That Longs to Be Expressed

Keep in mind that some of the desires you have are desires for what may seem to be little things in your life. These are things such as being home on time for dinner, talking about your project, planning a party, and so on. Just know that behind each of your desires are values, your own values. Also know that many seemingly small desires you have are about you expressing yourself, being yourself, and sharing the gift that you are.

So now let yourself look at whatever values behind your desires come to mind. Just notice what comes to your mind here. No need to explain it all to yourself at the moment. Over time, when you later repeat this step 5, you will uncover more about yourself and the values you have, the values that long to be expressed through your desires.

Now go to your Step 5 chart and find the values column there. Write the values you would be living were you following the desires you listed. Note: when you write in your values as “I am” statements, you will be expressing and feeling the energy of your true self. This is because your true self, your I am, is who you are, and is a compilation of your values.

You may have a desire to bring your vision to fruition and then notice your values of adventure, freedom and independence. Add as many examples as you find in your own life, whether you have two examples, or three or five or ten or more. You decide. Also note that you can return to this exercise as often as you want, and you may want to add to your list or make new Step 5 charts each time.

 

Step 5 Exercise, Part 4:

Listen for Your Inspired Action 

Now, go to your Step 5 chart. Read this chart again, studying your entries so far. It is now time for you to make a decision: In each example that you have written there next to each value, ask yourself –  what am I being called to be, do or have? What would the true me, my authentic self, choose to do based on my own true values and desires? Write this down for each of your values. Do this in the TAKING INSPIRED ACTION column on this Step 5 Exercise Chart you have been filling in.

 Receiving your life is aligning your thoughts, words and actions with your authentic self instead of with your compromised self. Your Inspired Action may be the decision to take a certain action, to shift the inner dialogue you are having with yourself. Or it may just be a subtle feeling of relief as the thought washes over you that you are perfectly designed to fulfill your desires.

Your list of inspired action is the path to receiving your life. You are training yourself to live from your authentic self more and more of the time.

Examples of Inspired Action

  PUSH LIMITING BELIEF

(False I Am)

DESIRE VALUE

(True I Am)

INSPIRED ACTION
1 When Michael, who I am working on a project with, didn’t return my phone call. 1.              I am needy. 2.              To discuss the project and move it forward. I am a collaborator.

I value productivity and movement.

I realize how much I love collaborating on projects and what a great collaborator I am.
2 Talking to my friend about her retirement plans. I am a failure. To live my life in the moment. To appreciate each day. I am  spontaneous, flexible and adventurous. Admit I love my life.
3 Agreeing to be the treasurer of our club. I am lazy. I want to spend more time with my family. I am loving and caring.

 

I am going to tell the members of my club that now is not the right time for me to take on the position of treasurer.
4 Noticing a colleague’s hourly rate on his website. I am not valuable. To share my work with many people. I am valuable and I value the work I am doing and how I do it. I will stop comparing myself to others.
5 Not having the money to pay off my credit card bill this month. I am foolish. To give my parents an anniversary party. I make wise choices.

I value family and connection.

I will allow myself to enjoy the whole process of my parents party.
6 My boss scheduled a late afternoon meeting. I am unimportant. To prepare dinner for my wife. I am punctual. I am present.

I value time with my wife.

Have a discussion with my boss and tell him I have to leave no later than 5:30 p.m.
7 Hanging up my new clothes. I am irresponsible. To buy a new dress for the party I am responsible. I trust myself to make wise decisions with money.

 

Step 5

Taking Inspired Action Exercise Chart

 

                                                The Limiting 

              My Push                     Belief                       My Desire               My Value                    Inspired Action

                                                 (False I Am)                                                 (True I Am)

         

          ____________    ____________     ___________      __________        _______________

          ____________    ____________     ___________      __________        _______________

          ____________    ____________     ___________      __________        _______________

          ____________    ____________     ___________      __________        _______________

          ____________    ____________     ___________      __________        _______________

          ____________    ____________     ___________      __________        _______________

          ____________    ____________     ___________      __________        _______________

          ____________    ____________     ___________      __________        _______________

          ____________    ____________     ___________      __________        _______________

          ____________    ____________     ___________      __________        _______________

          ____________    ____________     ___________      __________        _______________

          ____________    ____________     ___________      __________        _______________

          ____________    ____________     ___________      __________        _______________

          ____________    ____________     ___________      __________        _______________

          ____________    ____________     ___________      __________        _______________

          ____________    ____________     ___________      __________        _______________

          ____________    ____________     ___________      __________        _______________

          ____________    ____________     ___________      __________        _______________

          ____________    ____________     ___________      __________        _______________

          ____________    ____________     ___________      __________        _______________

          ____________    ____________     ___________      __________        _______________

          ____________    ____________     ___________      __________        _______________

          ____________    ____________     ___________      __________        _______________

          ____________    ____________     ___________      __________        _______________

          ____________    ____________     ___________      __________        _______________

          ____________    ____________     ___________      __________        _______________

          ____________    ____________     ___________      __________        _______________

 

 

NOTE ABOUT YOUR INSPIRED ACTION

When you are really listening to yourself, you are listening to who you truly are. This is when you are uncovering the desires and values that are YOURS. This is when you are seeing the instances where you may have been compromising yourself to satisfy the “shoulds,” the limiting beliefs and the rules.

Many of the items on your list may be small and you may hear yourself asking how is this going to lead to a purposeful and satisfying life? Remember, receiving your life is a moment by moment decision. What may appear to be the small moments may actually culminate into the big moments in your life.

Now that you see this, you are able to see where you can make a conscious decision of how you want to live your life. This is the choice only you know enough about yourself to make.

In the practice of understanding, you are becoming aware of the limiting beliefs, the diminishing thoughts that stand in your way.  You are also becoming aware of what is the life force, the desires, that want to be expressed through you. You wouldn’t feel any resistance at all if they weren’t obstructing the expression of you.

LIVING IN INTEGRITY WITH YOURSELF

What you will notice, when you make the decision to be true to yourself, is that it really doesn’t matter what caused the initial push. That initial push is not really about the particular circumstances or situation. Typically, we want to blame other people for a push we are feeling.

So our first inclination is to feel we have to straighten those people out. It appears that they are the problem and need to be fixed. However, with further exploration, we realize the push we are feeling is not really about them or the situation. They and the situation were the catalysts that helped us realize that there are some unhealed wounds within us, some misunderstandings we are carrying about who Le really are.

These unhealed wounds and misunderstandings about who we really are can be quite painful for us. This pain we feel is actually the belief that we are less than who we truly are. When we go into agreement with the limiting belief, we are selling out on ourselves. This is what causes our pain.

When you feel this sort of pain, remember that with awareness and understanding you can more fully realize the beauty and truth of who you are. This will bring you back to your authentic self, to your wholeness. And this is always your deepest desire, to be your true self.

 

The Practice of Receiving Your Life

 

Once you know the basics of this 5 step system, you begin to see that this is definitely an ongoing process. You begin to see that there are always new opportunities to recognize and work with your pushes and pulls. You can always find out more about your authentic self. There is always more of yourself to reclaim, to know and to share.

Look at the information you have gathered from each of the 5 Step Exercise Charts, one for each of the 5 Steps. You can gain information about your authentic self from all parts of this process, from your push/pulls, your values, your desires, and your resistance. These are your pieces and your pieces are unique to you. Each of these pieces guides you back to the same place, to your true self who wants to live a purposeful and satisfying life. As you work through these exercises:

 

 

Step 1

Seeing My Push/Pulls

Exercise

 

Step2

Revealing My Values

Exercise

 

Step 3

Recognizing My Desires

Exercise

 

Step 4

Understanding My Resistance

Exercise

 

Step 5

Taking Inspired Action

Exercise

 

 

Record in your log patterns that you are noticing. You’ll begin to recognize similar situations being played out in your life over and over again. When you take everyone else out of the equation, you’ll be able to identify your part in the unfolding of the situation. You’ll understand why you get triggered, you’ll recognize when you are taking the bait of the limiting beliefs and you’ll know when you are compromising yourself. You will also become aware of your values and what’s most important to you. You will recognize your deepest desires and purpose. And most importantly, you’ll begin to see that it is safe to be who you are.

 

When you take action on the inspiration you are receiving, notice how much better your life works both for you and for the people in your life.

 

MORE ROOM FOR OTHERS

When you first begin to work with these 5 Steps, you see that this process is all about you. You are focusing on who you are and who you are not. You are becoming familiar with your values and desires, and with where you get stopped. At times, you may even feel that you are focusing too much on yourself. However, something wonderful begins to happen when you come to peace with who you are.

You will find that you are no longer preoccupied with defending or trying to prove your worth. As a result, you will have the capacity to expand your focus beyond yourself. Once you are able to relax into who you are, you can be more present to the people in your life.

Instead of blaming others for why you’re feeling what you’re feeling, you have an understanding of why you took the bait of the limiting belief and began diminishing yourself. The practice of receiving your life is between you and you.

 

Ultimately, by setting yourself free to be who you truly are, you are also a catalyst for others’ freedom.

 

You will find that the 5 Steps offered here can be repeated again and again, thereby learning more and more about yourself, and experiencing greater and greater freedom to be. Your life continues to get better and so do the lives of the people around you and this happens without even trying. It is the result of you surrendering to who you are rather than attempting to fight against yourself. You become happier, more authentically happy, and so do the people around you. 

 

NOTES ABOUT RECEIVING YOUR LIFE

There are a few things to remember about receiving your life. First of all, this is your life. It is unique to you. You don’t need anyone’s permission to follow the inspired action that you are feeling. You are the one who is receiving this inspiration. It is not coming to anyone else because it is yours to do, not theirs. You can’t expect other people to be jumping up and down when you share your ideas. Your ideas are for you to follow. These ideas will benefit others once they come to fruition, but for now this journey is between you and you.

The concept of going smaller to go bigger will support you on this journey. Chances are the inspired action you are receiving is not going to be huge or more than you can handle at any particular time. When we feel our action has to be dramatic or extraordinary, usually there are scarcity thoughts in place and we are trying to fix a perceived limitation of ourselves rather than following the inspiration. Your vision, what you see for yourself, may be large but the moment to moment decisions and actions you will need to make to achieve it are always inspiring and within your reach.

Be very aware of falling into the comparison/judging trap. This is one of the biggest distractors from receiving our life. When our attention is on what other people are doing, we are not home to receive our life. If we are comparing ourselves with others and feeling we’re coming up short, we are elevating them and diminishing ourselves; and if we are judging others, we are attempting to elevate ourselves while diminishing them. Neither of these are based on the truth because we are either diminishing ourselves or others. Receiving your life allows you to live from your wholeness and when you receive your life you don’t feel threatened that your value can be taken away from you. Therefore, you have great capacity to allow others to live from their wholeness. As you practice receiving your life, comparing and judging will naturally fade away although it is something to be aware of while you are beginning this journey.

Each time you work through a push, you will feel a greater sense of freedom, peace and satisfaction. This may show up as a subtle feeling of relief or a stronger sense of peace. As you practice receiving your life, you will notice that you feel lighter. The reason is because you are releasing the dense energy of the “shoulds,” the limiting beliefs and the rules. You will also continue to feel better and better about yourself. As you move into greater integrity with yourself, your inner conflicts dissolve. Your inner conflicts are the result of you living in disharmony with yourself.

Even though each time you work through one of your pushes you feel better, this transition may start off slowly. However, at some point there is a tipping point and all of a sudden you realize you’re happy most of the time. Your anxiety, fears and stress have dissipated and you become very aware of the gift of being alive.

Receiving your life is not about setting multiple goals for yourself. By the time you get to Step 5 you will understand yourself in greater depth and you will witness your plan unfolding. By understanding who you are and who you’re not and gaining clarity on what is yours to do and what is not, the inspiration you are receiving will begin to call you forth.  Instead of believing that you have to chase after your life to be happy, you’ll notice your next inspired step coming to you.

By following these 5 Steps, you will never get that far away from your center, your true self. It doesn’t matter how old you are or what you have done in the past. Every moment is a moment you have the opportunity to follow your inspired action and to get back on track to living a purposeful and satisfying life. Once you are back in the flow of receiving your life, the feeling is the same as if you have always had it.