Confidence comes from the Latin words cum fides meaning with faith. It means trusting oneself. I can handle this. Given the infinite possibilities for the universe to challenge the stability of our sense of self it can seem presumptuous to hold this belief. Indeed it is challenging for the ego who identifies as one or another part of oneself. This partial sense of me is fragile and cannot withstand the winds of change. Trusting oneSelf with a capital S requires us to hold the vision that we are not the partial selves that separate themselves from the whole. Anything that is a part is only relatively real as its reality is perceived in relation to other parts. On an absolute level no part really exists as separate from the whole as everything is connected. The partial selves that feel so real are subject to change therefore they are not real.
If we understand that we are not alone but rather all One, then trusting oneself is more possible as Oneself includes the infinite potential of the universe. My sense of faith in God is not faith in an entity separate from Me. It is all Me. Not a static Me but a Me that is constantly in a process of change. This Me feels the turbulence of its egoistic identification with its parts but it has the capacity to ride the currents by anchoring itself in saddle of faith while it rides this bucking bronco.
In Yoga philosophy the Sanskrit word asana means seat or posture. A ballet dancer might call it an attitude. The deeper meaning of asana is more than a position of our body. It refers to the stability and integrity that we can find when we are centred. On a physical level, if I feel a pain and fragility in my lower back, my yoga background has taught me to straighten my posture and engage my core to support my body and this relieves the stress of a collapsed posture as well as restoring a sense of an upright attitude. When I am centred I feel more balanced and more stable. In martial arts we learn that when one is centred one has the capacity to go with the flow rather than resist the forces of change which makes one an easy push-over.
Staying centred means not identifying with the parts of oneself that lie to one side or the other. In meditation we treat thoughts and feelings like birds flying through the sky of our mind. We learn not to try to chase the birds away nor to allow them to build a nest. Within the relative stability of the asana or seat of the meditator, we are able to restore calmness and clarity but this kind of awareness can easily become partial and fragile if we become attached to it. Why is that? Perhaps it is because it relies on the relatively superficial stillness of our body and the mind’s focus on the movement of our breath, mantra or whatever technique we use. In our everyday experience away from our meditation cushion, sooner or later our blissful state will be challenged. We need to develop the capacity to dance with the push and pull of the partial selves of our ego rather than take a position for or against.
One method of practicing this kind of meditation in action is Voice Dialogue*. This method involves giving voice to the different parts of ourself in a similar way that a mediator allows each part or party to express itself without interference from the other parts that perceive reality differently. With the help of a facilitator one cultivates an inner mediator that is called the Aware Ego. The Aware Ego is not a part of oneself but rather a dynamic process that allows us to not only understand our conflicting parts but even to embrace them as members of one’s psychic family, each with their own value and unique contribution to the whole of we are. In a harmonious family there are no good or bad members. They can all have their place if they are understood.
The Aware Ego can be compared with a martial artist who has mastered the art of being sensitive to the forces of change and gracefully dances with them by maintaining his or her center. The confidence of a martial artist is not founded on dominating opposing forces but rather on integrating them into his or her experience of life.
*If you are interested in learning about and practicing Voice Dialogue click here: https://www.darylvansier.com/about-6