A Dose of Compassion

startup-photos-largeBy Coach Debby and Todd Alan


We’ve all been there, hunkered over a computer, busying our lives with an agenda, rushed to make something happen. 

We’ve been in the “separate-self” space where we believe we are on our own.  I’ve heard many people phrase it: “Everything is up to me.”  But if we stopped just for a second and asked ourselves, “What is this thing I’m working so hard to achieve?…” we might be surprised by the answer.

Most of us just want a sense of freedom, wholeness, and peace.   But we don’t know how to obtain that. Hence, the drive to succeed enters, takes over, and runs to show.

Todd and I were both trained in metaphysics where the common belief is that we came into the world completely connected to Spirit. We are not separate selves; rather, we are complete beings and we all contribute to the oneness of the universe.

Only our egoic mind keeps us feeling so estranged. 

I was reminded by a keynote speech given by Dr. Robert Holden that babies do not identify with their ego self, or as many of us might say, their self-image.

When babies are given a mirror to stare into, they will not recognize themselves until they are about 2 ½ years of age.

On the other hand, children of five, six, or seven years of age cannot get enough of the mirror.  Dr. Holden shared a testimony of his daughter’s collection of selfies.  She is enchanted with both her silly and more serious images of herself!  She has no fear to click away at the camera and delight in her own image.

By adulthood, however, that image has undergone a lot of experience that may include a bit or an enormous amount of trauma, and as a result we are competitive with ourselves and with others.

It is my understanding that a desire to escape the shame of trauma actually promotes the ego’s growth and takes over that innocent child’s experience of wholeness.

In other words, the ego naturally comes to our defense, and this is a great mechanism of protection, but we must ask if it serves us in the long run?  Or does it feed the mad and crazy idea that we must succeed to look good?  Does it keep us hunkered over the computer when it is late, our dinner is getting cold, and our family members have gone on without us?

Todd says that the great remembrance is getting ourselves into conscious awareness.  His coach Mary Morrissey encouraged him to get pictures of himself as a baby and just study the face and the expressions. Todd recalled, “When I first looked, I could see the innocence in my eyes.  As a baby, I had a sense of awe. So, I put the pictures on my mantel to help me focus on that time of pure innocence.”

Todd reminded me that these exercises do not have to be hard.

Our guest, TJ Woodward, shared his take on compassion, too:

“The moment-to-moment choices we make in our daily interactions with each other are what create the kind of world in which we live…Every situation is an opportunity to open up or to close off.  One of my favorite definitions of a spiritual experience is ‘a profound alteration in our response to [daily] life.’”

I invite you to go into your week and recall that innocent place within you. Be thoughtful about your stories that drive you to compete.

Share what is on your mind with a friend. I like to let the feeling of innocence be a wise reminder of life as a baby – so untarnished and unencumbered – with no agenda, no ego-mindset.

As Todd likes to say, “Babies have a new, fresh hard drive.”  Perhaps it is time to upgrade the hard drive with a dose of compassion.

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Before Valentines Day, Do This…

sun-heart-autumn-leaf-39379By Coach Debby

… I invite you to check in with your heart.  Are you truly having an experience of your heart today?  Are you listening to what your heart wants and desires?

I’m not referring to your dear Valentine.

I am talking about your own experience of knowing you are a loveable human being.

Without that knowledge—without really feeling the love in your heart for your SELF –- you may be experiencing just your personality, the part of you who gets stuff done.

Dr. Robert Holden, spiritual teacher extraordinaire, often asks this question of his students:  “Who are you when you are not judging yourself?” 

Some people say, “I am happy.”  Some say, “I’m really connected to something bigger and I feel alive.”  Some say, “I am free.”

Most of us can relate.  We are hungry for a sense of connection.

From his simple question, I have come to understand I am not truly happy, connected, and free when I entertain judgmental thoughts.

These are the times when I am actually turning away from happiness and freedom and busying myself with tasks, looking deeply into paperwork for my smarts and into the canisters of vacuum cleaners for a lovely appearance.

If that’s not enough distraction from my heart, I might have to employ people.  I might have to expect them to show up in a way that makes me look good or to only bring out the side of me that is smart, not raw and vulnerable and real.

What if this person is my dear Valentine?

It is at this point that I can see with great clarity that I am merely keeping up appearances and resisting my own heart. 

Therefore, it is with diligence that I revisit the question often:  Who am I when I am not judging myself?

The truth is then revealed.  I am a vulnerable human being with a big heart.  To know and embrace my vulnerability is to know my own heart AND be in a good space to share it with another.

Vulnerability gives me access to my heart.  It allows me to feel alive!  It dismantles all judgment.

Ultimately, vulnerability sets up the potential for a fantastic date!

Happy Valentines Day, from my heart to yours.

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