12 Steps to Intimacy (and ultimately, to freedom, love, connection, and a truly satisfying life)
First and foremost, intimacy begins as the relationship you have with yourself. Referencing the image to the left, the human Chakra system, the system of energy in which our entire reality is experienced, imagine the red ball of light is this relationship with yourself. This red ball of light is your foundation. Without proper functioning in this energetic center, no other center of energy will function to its full capacity, thus leaving the individual feeling incomplete, confused, unclear, guarded, unworthy, insecure, judgmental, with an insatiable craving to be loved. When the foundation of self-intimacy is not established properly, it is impossible to have authentic connection with any other being. When the foundation is functioning properly, the individual will feel at home, secure, in love with life, trusting, open, allowing, in flow, and confident. It is from this place of connection to self that one is able to begin to function in relationship in a way that feels fulfilling (whether this relationship be a partnership, a friendship, within community, or globally).
The foundation of self-intimacy begins in early childhood. We can define self-intimacy as the "knowing, accepting, and unconditional loving of oneself." The way one relates to oneself, to others, and to the world is established through early childhood imprints from the family of origin. Thinking back to your own childhood and your relationship with your family of origin, do you remember a sense of total acceptance, of unconditional love, of clear communication, of a sense of worth, of trust, of belonging, and of safety? If any of these aspects are missing, it is likely that you developed unconscious (and untrue) beliefs about yourself that have created unlovable, disconnected, and painful patterns that have been playing themselves out for the duration of your life. It is likely that you have been attracting people and circumstances to your life that "prove" you are unlovable, unworthy, incapable, insecure, unloving, that you don't belong here, that something's wrong with you, or otherwise. If you have any feelings of disconnection or feelings of not being loved, it is time that you put a stop to these destructive and painful patterns.
Destructive and painful patterns are the result of completely unconscious beliefs. To begin mastering your own life, fulfilling your destiny, and living a life that feels wonderful, you must begin to notice any and all beliefs that are causing you disconnection and suffering. By doing so, you begin to allow your hopes and dreams the space to manifest in your life.
1. Identify: What is it I am longing for? (Summarize into key words. For example: connection, trust, appreciation, to feel welcome, for more touch, etc)
2. Acknowledge: What is alive in me now? (What am I feeling, thinking, and what story am I telling myself?)
3. Observe: What am I believing that is in the way of fulfilling my longing? (List everything you are believing about this situation. For example: You are ignoring me. You must not really love me. There is something wrong with me. This always happens. etc.)
4. Admit: How does this belief make me feel? (Tap into your body. What is your body feeling? For example: Contacted, explosive, sad, heavy, depressed, helpless, hopeless, fearful, etc.)
5. Identify: What would be possible if I could release this belief? (Imagine the best scenario possible! For example: Life would be incredible! I would love getting out of bed in the morning. My business would thrive. I would be completely satisfied. I would love myself. I would trust him/her. etc.)
6. Acknowledge: Is this belief causing suffering in my life? (Be honest with yourself.)
7. Observe: Looking at the timeline of my life can I recall when this belief was created? (Everything that you are feeling now (contracted, disconnected, small, helpless, unlovable), trace it back and find all of the times you felt this way. Can you remember the first time? It might not be an actual memory. A teacher of mine, Shaman Bob, says that early childhood pre-verbal memories are more of a felt sense, and left unconscious, often lead to feelings of confusion in adult life.)
8. Admit: Can I see how this unconscious belief has played itself out throughout my entire life story? (Can you see the pattern that's been so cleverly created?)
9. Identify: Who would I be if I released this belief? (Your true self, of course! Who is this? For example: I would be trusting. I would be free. I would be lovable. I would be accepted and accepting. Etc)
10. Acknowledge: Am I ready now to become responsible for my life? (Of course you are!)
11. Observe: Who am I now, without this belief? (Feel yourself as FINALLY FREE FROM THIS UNCONSCIOUS PATTERN OF SUFFERING! Who are you now? For example: I am free! I am connected. I am in the flow of goodness. All is well. I am confident and competent. etc.)
12. Identify: Can I trust myself? Do I love myself? Do I feel capable? Is it possible? etc. (If not, repeat these steps. If so, continue identifying who I am now without these beliefs. Affirm what is true about you in your daily actions. Take action to love yourself, to do and say what feels good and connected to life. Take responsibility now for your own life. You are creating your story. It is from this place of self-intimacy that all things are possible.)
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Copyright 2013 Destiny White (all rights reserved)
Please obtain written permission to copy or recreate this model in anyway by contacting Destiny White directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you.
*This model (IAOA) was developed by Destiny White, inspired by years of self-observance, and by the ideas and influence of a few great teachers and healers, including Love Coach Scott Catamas, Shaman Bob and Trish, Louise L. Hay, Andrew Jones, and Norma Burton.