I have been hearing the word ‘sovereign’ getting tossed around quite a bit these days – within politics and within the worlds in which I play. Unsure of its definition, I actually had to look up of the word. “Sovereignty is a concept that a state or governing body has the right and power to govern itself without outside interference.”
How I hear this definition as it pertains to an individual is ‘standing in one’s truth without being swayed by the opinions, judgments, attitudes and wills of others”.
In the work I do as a healer, a teacher, mentor and Mindfulness Stress Management coach I see many of my clients challenged with the fine balance of independence (sovereignty) and interdependence. It can be a challenging place to navigate. On one hand we want to feel independent – to know that we can stand on our own 2 feet, make decisions for ourselves, take care of ourselves. and yet we want to be in relationship – to connect, to feel seen and heard, to have intimacy with another. The questions often they struggle with is “How do I be in relationship without losing myself?”
In the book “Dying to Be Me” by Anita Moorjani, she shares her message that came through in her near death experience. One thing that she shared that struck me deep was that each time we push our truth or our needs aside to accommodate another’s will, opinion, judgment, etc. we slowly chip away at our own life force and it sets us up for disease.
Of course we want to be kind and generous in our lives but if we consistently deny our truth or what is right for us or our Spirit it dims down our own inner light. Finding “your” way to sovereignty is a journey into truly knowing one’s Self. It is necessary to know one’s own truth in order to “govern oneself without outside interference”. When we have been used to accommodating other peoples desires, needs ahead of our own it can be a scary proposition to start advocating for our selves.
There are several steps to establishing one’s sovereignty.
I will discuss step #1.
It starts with an inward journey – an exploration into our own inner landscape.
And it starts with this moment. Right now.
I invite you to direct your attention and awareness in and down – meaning your attention drops from your head (thoughts, figuring this out, etc) down into the body into the realm of physical sensation – below the collar bones, into the torso, down below your solar plexus, down into your belly – as I call it “the deep belly of Awareness”. See if you can hang out there. When your attention floats back up to your head (and it will) gently and kindly invite your attention back down into the space of your belly. Invite the space in your belly to relax. Rest there. Notice what this feels like.
Linger here. Keep inviting your self back again and again. If you can, spend 20 minutes here. Or if you don’t have the time, invite yourself to this place several times a day for just a minute or two.
This is a really good starting place. and it can take time to cultivate this habit of attention and resting. Did you happen to notice that it is rather calming on your nervous system?
I recently took a pilgrimage to Pacific Grove, CA to the grave site and the former home of William and Adah Sutherland. William Sutherland is the founder of Craniosacral Work. On his headstone is the quote (from the Gnostic gospels, I believe) “Be Still and Know”. These words are a mantra for me and this is what is cultivated with this inward and downward journey to the deep belly of Awareness.This is a great place to rest into when you need to make a decision, to know what is true for you, to calm your nervous system, to find your calm center. I have found that this practice has helped me to truly trust myself and and to trust and relax into decisions I need to make.
I will address the next steps in a future blog . In the meantime, I invite you to spend time cultivating this deep belly of Awareness.