Embracing personal power by loving our unique selves in our strengths and weaknesses . . . forever—is the key to joyous living. These seventeen in-depth workshops include written and creative visualization exercises designed for the individual, group, or class to: explore one's nature; deal with pressures from the outside world; free one's self from psychological traps; deal with guilt, anger, anxiety, and depression; meet deep down needs; go to the root of conflict; heal from difficult past events; develop better communication skills; improve familial and romantic relationships; understand the psychological games we play; explore beliefs about one's self and the world; learn ways to discover, embrace, and walk on one's personal path; and broaden our personal world. This book can also be used as a resource for information. Introduction: From the moment we are born, there is a general indoctrination into the precepts of those who raise us, and the world in which we live. It is understandable that the personal truth of who we each are as unique individuals would get challenged, covered, mangled, marred, and worst of all--forgotten. Being true to one's self is key to coming into fruition. This means walking your own path, your own way. However, sometimes it is hard to be true to yourself if outside influence has obscured your sense of who you are. Sometimes, who we think we are is a reflection of other people's subjective opinions and collective agreement, and not the deep down us, often unrecognized and seldom celebrated. In the story, Little Red Riding Hood, we are warned not to stray from the path already paved by the social group, or the big bad wolf will get us. While it is necessary to conjoin in a certain set of agreements and social rules that allow a community to function successfully, expression of individuality is paramount. If we cannot be who we are, we begin to display signs of distress: be it withdrawal, depression, bursts of anger, drinking one's self to sleep, or a myriad of other negative behaviors. This unhappiness affects those around us. Eventually, the distress ripples out to the community and the world. We are further 'submerged' by the commercial world's use of the mass media to decree how we should look and act, and what services or products we should buy to attain happiness. After awhile, it is difficult to know if we are striving to become the image that we are expected to be, or if we are striving to become who we really are, which is generally not encouraged. Once this is discerned, the next step is to become ourselves in the face of a social atmosphere that may not agree, and further exude false authority to judge our worth. In this self-discovery workbook, you will have an opportunity to discover your unadorned essence so exquisite in worth, it defies all judgment, even your own. Your quintessential self, like the snowflake, is unique to all. If the way you move through life reflects that uniqueness, you will be in your own flow, following the beat to your own drum, and thus experience a brighter, freer life. And just as your repressed self can affect all around you, so too can the expressive freed self. Each workshop will allow you to explore who you truly are, once all the imposed masks of others are removed from your face. And when you see that true face, it is this author's hope and belief that you will weep with joy, and embrace a new and better way of living.
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