Learning Self-Responsibility

12 Principles We Believe In

1. If life has any mean­ing, it is this: each event of life has the poten­tial to bring wis­dom. The wise per­son is able to see through the events of life to their essence, in a moment of sim­ple engagement.

2. It is impos­si­ble to live life free of anx­i­ety. There is the anx­i­ety that comes when decid­ing to shift one’s way of being-the anx­i­ety of change, of pain, of growth. And, there is the anx­i­ety of try­ing to stay the same, in denial, pre­tend­ing. Shift­ing, to me, seems the bet­ter choice. From there, I can be inti­mate, and choose to love well.

3. For each of us, the path to self-knowl­edge is a cir­cle. We go inside and review what we are about, what we “know,” and what we are enact­ing. We look for blocks, fears, ter­rors. We reveal our thoughts, feel­ings, fears, and joys with a select few‑a prin­ci­pal part­ner, ther­a­pist, spir­i­tu­al direc­tor, and Body­work­er. We devise ways to let down our walls and let out the repressed mate­r­i­al. We then take in the per­spec­tives of those whom we respect, and use this feed­back to nour­ish more self-knowing. 

4. At The Phoenix Cen­tre, we teach our clients to be in charge of their lives through both accep­tance and trans­for­ma­tive action. We encour­age life­long self-actu­al­iza­tion. And the key to that is self-accep­tance, self-respon­si­bil­i­ty, self-know­ing, decon­struc­tion of the ego, and the recon­struc­tion of a fuller sense of self.

5. The use­ful­ness or valid­i­ty of an action is always deter­mined by the result. If it ain’t work­ing, doing more of it isn’t going to work either. If you’re ham­mer­ing on some issue and no one else is inter­est­ed, maybe you need to let the thing go. If you’re ignor­ing some­thing and hop­ing it will go away, and it isn’t, maybe you have to deal with it. If you find your­self say­ing, “It always turns out like that,” maybe you need to try anoth­er approach.

6. We have the poten­tial, in dia­log, to exam­ine and re-exam­ine both our beliefs and the sto­ries of our life. We can lis­ten to what we tell our­selves, how we describe our sit­u­a­tion, and we can begin to under­stand that, far from being “true,” our sto­ries are sim­ply sub­jec­tive inter­pre­ta­tions of neu­tral expe­ri­ences. Once we accept and enact this, we are able to drop the sto­ries, and choose to live in This End­less Moment.

7. Grow­ing up means hear­ing hard truths about our­selves and, rather than get defen­sive and run around whin­ing about being ill-treat­ed, deal­ing with what is revealed. This process begins from where I am, as I calm­ly accept myself, and then incor­po­rate into my self-know­ing all aspects of who I am and what I am doing. 

8. I must take full respon­si­bil­i­ty for my choic­es, deci­sions, and direc­tions. Just as there is no one to com­pare myself to, there is no one is to blame for any choice I have ever made. I am where I am and I know what I know based sole­ly upon what I have cho­sen to learn, to absorb, to assim­i­late and to find with­in myself.

9 . My “I‑am-ness” is lim­it­ed only as I choose to lim­it myself. If I iden­ti­fy with “good/bad”, right/wrong lists, or with what oth­ers think or what oth­ers want, my “I‑am-ness” becomes a small, tight box. I must real­ize that I am not a noun. I am a verb. The ques­tion, then, is this: how much of my “I‑am-ing” will I bring into con­scious­ness, and how much will I choose to live?

10. Hap­pi­ness and con­tent­ment is an inside job. Because of our cul­tur­al train­ing, we look out­side of our­selves for mean­ing, for com­ple­tion, and for secu­ri­ty. Self-know­ing requires 100% com­mit­ment to the under­stand­ing that noth­ing out­side of you con­trols you. How you are, and who you are is always and only about you. Dis­cov­er­ing your own lev­el of con­tent­ment is the chief goal of life.

11. One of the tough­est “sells,” both in ther­a­py and in life, is this: there is no need, nor is there any way, to resolve the issues of the past. There is not a hope in hell that water, once under the bridge, can be pushed back upstream and fil­tered until clean. There is let­ting it go, or let­ting it own you.

12. You are all of you-body, mind, spir­it, and ener­gy. In a sense, this is your “known uni­verse.” Through coun­selling, med­i­ta­tion, breath and body­work, you learn to empow­er your­self, free your blocked ener­gies and thoughts, and expe­ri­ence the free­dom that a full release (a “non-hold­ing”) brings.

© 2008 Wayne C. Allen and The Phoenix Cen­tre for Cre­ative Living 

Lessons in Ele­gant Liv­ing

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