This Workshop was developed through my personal experience. It was first written in 1998, here it is presented in its original format and is still useful to people today. I hope you find it useful. Feel free to print this out provided you include the copyright information and website information intact.
I found that my image of self was cultivated during early childhood and therefore; this workshop is centered on childhood wounds. There are some people who may not fit into this category, who later in life found that they sensed deficiencies within themselves, or in their lives. I have included a couple of articles in this workshop to show some of the success stories of some of these people and how they turned their negative feelings into positive accomplishments. If you feel that these experiences speak more clearly to you than the childhood wound experiences, just alter the time line to be later in their development of self.
God is also used frequently within this workshop and I use this generically. The word God to me represents the Universal Force, Divine Spirit, Jesus, Allah, Eck, Great Spirit, as well as the many other names that are used for the One who is All. Because God is eternal, I believe Soul is eternal. We are all Soul which is energy; energy is never lost so I also believe in reincarnation.
The message within this workshop can be applied whether you believe in reincarnation or not. It is my opinion that if we do not figure out what our purpose is in this lifetime, we will have to go through the same “course study” in our next lifetime. This is not central to all belief systems, so any mention of reincarnation in the workshop has been omitted. I have decided to concentrate on the present lifetime and will perhaps develop a workshop at a later time dealing more with reincarnation.
I truly hope that this workshop helps you find the Divine within yourself, as I have found. It focuses mostly on the recognition of the whole self who is God. Once you recognize who you are, you may feel that the life you are living seems meaningless unless you are already doing what you were sent to earth to do. There are a couple of articles included to help you to fulfill your purpose once you figure out what it is. I will be developing a workshop in the future that deals with fulfilling your Life Purpose. Thank you for your participation. Namaste
Copyright 1998 © Kerri Kannan http://www.healingcenter.com
When I was a child, I used to believe that I was going to be famous. I was in love with Donny Osmond and watched Sonny and Cher every week. I can remember singing “Don’t go Breakin’ my Heart” by Elton John and Kiki Dee when I was five years old from start to finish. My mother was amazed at how I knew all the words by heart. I knew I would be a singer and told everyone that I was going to be a singer when I grew up.
One day, I was in the car with an adult relative and was asked the question of what I was going to be when I grew up, I replied, “A singer.” What followed next, changed my attitude about myself into my adult life.
My relative replied, “A singer, well you better lose some weight if you want to be a singer. Singers are skinny.” I was crushed. So young and impressionable, I believed that this was true. I tried thinking of all the singers I could and none of the ones I could think of were overweight. I remember thinking of Captain and Tenille, Marie Osmond, and Cher. Even the Magic Garden women were skinny. (I didn’t know who Aretha Franklin was at the time or I would have probably challenged the response.)
When I was 8 years old, I was in ballet class and had a mean old ballet teacher who probably loved ballet but obviously didn’t like kids, especially chubby kids. One day while warming up, we were doing splits, (and to this day, I can drop down and do a straight split at any moment.) This particular day, we were doing Russian splits and I couldn’t get my legs to be perfectly straight. She got frustrated with me and called me a “Fat tub o’ Lard.” I told my mom and was promptly pulled out of ballet class.
In addition to this feeling of being physically inadequate, I inherited a weak bladder from my mother. Both she and I had problems into early adolescence, (we outgrew it) of not being able to hold any liquid in our bladders. Once I had to go to the bathroom, I had to go immediately. If I didn’t get to a bathroom within seconds, I would have an accident. There was no such thing as “holding it” for me and consequently, I would have many accidents; sometimes, two in one day. Because of this, I was ridiculed by my peers and too often, humiliated by adults who thought that this method of humiliation would make me stop having this problem. This was something I could not control and felt ashamed and helpless everytime it happened. I was beating myself up enough, I didn’t need the help of unsympathetic adults to reinforce what a “baby” I was.
When I was 8, my parents got divorced. They were each going through their own pains at the time and didn’t realize how that was affecting their children. My mother who had custody at the time, I think had her first taste of freedom in her life and went a little overboard while leaving my brother, sister and myself with an aunt. She wouldn’t come to us after work, and this was a period of feeling very unloved and unimportant to me.
In my child mind, I couldn’t see that she was working overtime and doing the best she could with her situation. On the weekends, my father would take us, but he was always working and we didn’t really get to spend any quality time with him either. This made the little girl in me feel very unloved and unimportant. I was not mature enough to recognize that everyone involved was coping the best way they could with the situation at hand.
The memories of this crushing of my spirit, reinforcing feelings of inadequacy at a very young age, formed a pattern into my adulthood. I had a hard time finding a good job where I could support myself and feel I was doing well. I pushed love interests away by sabotaging anything that resembled a relationship, by either being too clingy or needy, or by being too aggressive. I often had a hard time standing up for myself in certain situations. I would just let it slide and cry about it later, as I did when I was a child every time I was humiliated by a judgmental adult.
In February 1993, I got a job in the Cayman Islands as an Interior Designer straight out of College and lived there for a year-and-a-half. I had a 2-year contract. However, when a Caymanian who had been a summer intern wanted full time employment upon graduating from college, I had to leave before the end of my contract because I no longer had my job.
On one hand, I was disappointed to have to leave and was going to try to fight it. I had finally gotten settled and made some really interesting friends through the Cayman Drama Society. I was also asked to produce the next show. Upon further contemplation, I realized that I was really not happy there and the only saving grace was the people I had recently come to meet.
Three months prior to my departure, a dear friend, whose family I had adopted as my extended family, left the island and moved to Delaware. When I really looked around, I saw that most of the people who I had come to know within the year and three months prior to my joining the drama society were leaving around the same time as me.
After I got back to the states, I moved back in with my parents and had a really hard time finding a good job. I was substitute teaching and working in my father’s restaurant during most of the year, jumping from job-to-job, in-between looking for something more fulfilling. During the summer, I would always land a really great job, but it only lasted a season. After 2 years of this pattern, I finally got kicked out of the house.
I spent the next month, November, with a dear friend who let me stay in a room for 1-month. In December, I started house sitting for my former summer boss who was going to be in the city all winter and needed someone to watch his house. During that time, I reached my rock bottom. I found a job in a trendy mall restaurant where I discovered that although I grew up in the restaurant business, I wasn’t cut out to be a waitress. I was so desperate to have a job, any job, that I was commuting an hour-and-45-minutes to get to this place and was making peanuts. I cried often and loudly and realized that there had to be something better for me.
My brother came home for Christmas 1996 and convinced me to move out of New York. I had 2 choices, move to Minneapolis and be close to my brother or move to North Carolina and be close to my sister. Although I had always been closest to my sister, I decided on Minneapolis for reasons which didn’t make sense to me at the time, however they proved to be correct. Something inside of me kept nagging that I had to move to Minnesota because my future husband was waiting there for me. I moved to Minnesota and sure enough, the day after I got there, I met my future husband.
During my first year in Minnesota, I was still jumping from job-to-job. I found a decent job in a furniture store as an in-house Interior Designer. However, the longer I stayed there, the longer I realized this wasn’t what I wanted. But I didn’t really know what I wanted.
I was getting married in April 1998 and decided that when I left for my honeymoon, I was leaving there for good. This time, I would find something more fulfilling.
We got back from our honeymoon and I started to look into myself again to see where I was going next. I didn’t really have to worry about money anymore because my husband was making three times my earnings and encouraged me to find my dream.
During this period, I had a “spiritual awakening.” I found through retracing my patterns from childhood, that somewhere along the line, I lost faith in myself. I saw myself as inadequate. Those feelings related to my increase in weight and my lack of what I called a decent salary. This is where I needed to do my work. I first needed to love and value myself in order to be valued by others.
I found that once I recognized what it was that I must do, an immediate recognition of spirit came over me. I no longer blamed the people in the past who hurt me. Instead, I joyously thanked them out loud while dancing around my living room while a whirlwind of emotions came over me. Without their harsh words and judgments, I would not have so profoundly recognized that I am perfect, the way God made me. Without those harsh judgments, I would not have recognized that I did not love myself. I recognized that in accepting myself fully, I discovered the unlimited supply of love that I could now feel within. I could now see what I was sent to do. I needed to teach others to love themselves by showing them the methods that I used to uncover my own divine spirit within.
It is through this work with myself and the lessons that I learned through spirit, that I am meant to teach others to love themselves. This is my purpose, the contract that I signed before birth that I must fulfill in this lifetime. I pray that you find that this is a useful tool and find that your life flows more smoothly with an abundance of joy, health, wealth, and love.
Copyright 1998 © Kerri Kannan http://www.healingcenter.com
The human experience is the one thing that we all share. When we were born, we were born into families that would teach us the lessons that we need to learn in order to reach our highest potential. This does not mean that all of us were born into the most supportive of circumstances. For the most part, the opposite is true. Throughout childhood, we are taught the illusion that things are done to us and we can not be responsible for ourselves. We are taught an illusion that we may have certain character weaknesses such as being overactive and unable to concentrate, abused and a victim of our environment, or any number of dysfunctions. It is up to us to recognize these dysfunctions, accept them as part of ourselves, and they will eventually be seen as our greatest strengths and a platform for our highest achievements.
When we look into our childhood, many of us do not see it as perfect. Many people were neglected or abused; we felt unloved or unappreciated. Children bury their feelings when they are not treated with respect, honesty, and consideration. Many children blame themselves if a marriage is breaking up or if there are financial difficulties. Children may carry the guilt of a parent leaving or feel responsible if they are shuffled from foster-home to foster-home. Children do not understand that these are problems that their parents have, not them.
Because of this, many children harbor feelings of worthlessness, inability to be loved and give love. They feel they were abandoned because they were bad, etc. Too often, these feelings are brought into adulthood and manifest as adult behavior. As adults, we can plainly see how other adults may not treat others fairly. We do not, however, normally recognize that this person is a product of their upbringing and has their own wounds to overcome.
You can see “Bad Parenting” every time you go into a supermarket. Oftentimes, the parent never learned how to be a good parent and is just leading by example. Unfortunately, the effects of “Bad Parenting” do not end with childhood. It manifests into the adulthood of the ill-treated child and, many times, the behavior cycle will be repeated in the next generation unless the person affected by “Bad Parenting” has the strength to look inside to see who they really are. They must dig really deeply to see the root cause of the pain within themselves that causes them to inflict this pain on others. If this is not recognized, the pattern will repeat. Unless the adult person is ready and willing to face the pain of the past, they will not mature and transcend it. They will, instead, deal with the problem later, on a superficial basis; or they will hope that it will just go away. Unfortunately, this does not usually happen and by the time they are forced to face it, the problem has reached crisis proportions.
In the following series of questions, we will uncover the areas of our childhood where we expressed our spirit through laughter and fun. We will see where we were supported and where we were not. We will see where we were stunted and where we were encouraged in our growth. We will touch on our perceived positive and negative qualities and how we came to recognize them as categorizations of positive and negative.
1. Write down something you loved to do as a child.
2. Do you still do this? If not, why not? Did you outgrow it or stop doing it for a reason?
3. What do you love to do now? What is your passion? Do you have one?
4. Can you think of any talents such as creativity or the ability to figure out how things work; maybe an inherent knowledge about materials and their properties or being able to somehow communicate with animals? Anything that you brought into your adult life.
5. Name between 3 and 10 things that you love about yourself. Can you think of any unique things that you know or can do?
6. Name between 1 and 10 things you don’t like about yourself. Is there a common thread between all the things you don’t like about yourself? If so, write that down.
7. Did you have a happy childhood? Were you supported in your development? Name as many instances as you can where you felt totally supported as a child.
Exercise to try:
Take a look at the traits and characteristics that you don’t like about yourself, compare them to the traits and characteristics that you do like. By themselves, can you see anything negative about these characteristics? If a child who you love told you that they had these negative feelings about themselves, what would you say to the child to help him or her to see past the perceived imperfections?
Copyright 1998 © Kerri Kannan http://www.healingcenter.com
Recognizing our Wounds
When delving into the depths of spirit to find our wounds, many of us have no idea where to start. We know that there are certain things about ourselves that we don’t like and on the surface we can even rattle them off as if they were a grocery list. What we do not recognize is where and when we concluded that these specific characteristics were unacceptable. We are also often unaware that they are often all linked to a central core or root that branches off and manifests as symptoms of the core hatred. We are so busy beating ourselves up for our perceived imperfections that we have forgotten why we started beating ourselves up in the first place.
It is against our conditioning to fully accept ourselves as whole and completely love ourselves as we are. Most of us beat ourselves up because of negative experiences in childhood where we learned to only accept some parts of ourselves and reject others. We take over beating ourselves up where our childhood experiences left off. Why do we continually judge ourselves and others for what we perceive as imperfections? What is an imperfection? Is it some physical or emotional trait that in the eyes of God is unacceptable? Is it possible for God, who is love, to create anything less than perfect, or is it a method of self-destruction that keeps us from truly experiencing love?
When we beat ourselves up for what we perceive as imperfections, we are denying ourselves of the true love of self. It is not possible to halfheartedly love ourselves; we either do, or we do not. We are all part of God and because of that, we are all perfect. If this were not true, God who lives in all things, would not be perfect. God is love and therefore once you find love for yourself, you will find God within.
Searching for the roots of our wounds is not easy. We must mentally relive the most difficult times of our lives; the events that made us feel the most inadequate. The moments when we were freely expressing ourselves and felt a choking of our spirit. The moments where we fell victim to insane judgments and believed that they were true. These moments are the pinnacle points where our feelings of self-love and acceptance were crushed because of our false perceptions of our own imperfections.
What sane adult would blame a child for being beaten by an adult four times his size? This is an insane perception. However, the child would most likely grow up believing that he was beaten due to some fault of his own. A child cannot step back to look objectively at his surroundings. The conditioning that we receive as children is normally what we believe as adults. The abused child will most likely grow up with a feeling of inadequacy, self-hatred and guilt for reasons he can not define.
Once we are brave enough to revisit the past and identify the core of our self-loathing, and identify the core, we are well on our way to loving ourselves again and finding God within.
1. Are there any incidences you can remember involving your parents or primary caregiver that were very powerful and left you with a feeling of being unappreciated, hurt, humiliated or unloved? Can you still remember the incident? Do you still cringe or get angry? Please write down the incident in as much detail as you can.
2. Are there any incidences you can remember involving a teacher or mentor that were very powerful and left you feeling unappreciated, hurt, humiliated or unloved? Can you remember the incident? Do you still cringe or get angry? Please write down the incident in as much detail as you can.
3. Can you remember any incidences involving strangers or other children that were very powerful and left you feeling unappreciated, hurt, humiliated or unloved? Can you remember the incident? Do you still cringe or get angry? Please write down the incident in as much detail as you can.
4. Can you think of any incidences that reinforce any of your childhood wounds as an adult? Any situations that left you feeling unappreciated, hurt, humiliated or unloved? Please write down the incident in as much detail as you can.
5. Can you think of any incidences in your adult life that left you feeling helpless or forsaken? Please write the incident down in as much detail as you can. Please include any feelings you can express.
Exercise to try:
Write a letter to the people who hurt you in childhood and explain to them how they hurt you. You don�t have to send it, just putting it down on paper should be enough. Many times, people have no idea what affect they have had on people. A passing comment may have an emotional impact for life. If you feel compelled, you can call the person and explain to them as an adult how this affected you.
Copyright 1998 © Kerri Kannan http://www.healingcenter.com
The Journey Toward Wholeness
For most of us, recognizing our true selves takes a lifetime of searching, discovering truths, regressing to old patterns, and then recognizing ourselves again. We will take “two steps forward, and one step back.” This is all in God’s plan. Each time we take those two steps, we see the next level that we will eventually incorporate into our lives and believe as truth. When we take the step back, we are reevaluating what we have already learned and landing on the foundation which we have already built.
During the time of my writing this, my two steps are fresh in my memory. I have realized that I must teach others what I have learned in order to truly understand my experience. A Course In Miracles teaches that we are all teachers and we are all students. Once we recognize what it is that we must do, we must teach it so that we can better learn it. Everyone taking this course is my teacher as well as I am yours. I am helping you to find your wholeness and you are helping me to solidify my truth.
It is through finding your truth that you must teach others. Only you can truly find it for yourself. This workshop is a guide and I hope you will use it often when you feel that you have taken that step back. I have given you a tool to help you find those parts of yourself which you reject. It is up to you to recognize, acknowledge, accept and transform those thoughts into love.
Most importantly, I have found that asking for help from God to release negative attitudes about myself has been most useful. God helps us through baby steps. We must first take the first step, then we are given the second. We may recognize God’s help through a song we can’t get out of our head, or a book that “jumps” off the shelf, or through a conversation at the next table in a restaurant where we feel they are talking directly to us. It is also helpful to remember that we are all part of God, working together toward deliverance. Wherever you are on your journey, do not get frustrated with yourself. Be patient, ask for help and you will find help in the least expected places.
1. Do people tell you things about yourself that you find hard to accept or believe? For example, have you ever been told you were a genius or a natural leader, or beautiful and thought that the person just didn’t know you well enough or was just saying that to make you feel good?
2. When you say this sentence to yourself, what does your rational brain tell you? “I am a wonderful, lovable person and I love every aspect of myself unconditionally.”
3. Take some time to evaluate your answers and write down any thoughts that you have. Write down any common themes in your answers.
4. Now, take some time to do a little inner self-reflection. What is it that you judge most harshly about yourself? This is the part of yourself that you must acknowledge and accept in order to start your journey toward wholeness.
5. Now, do this little exercise. Find a quiet place and sit in a comfortable chair. Take 5 deep breaths, all the way in and all the way out. With each inhaled breath, inhale love and happiness. With each exhaled breath, exhale self judgment, fear, and hatred. Once you are comfortable and feel the love bursting to break free, ask the God to take all your regrets, painful memories, fears, and judgments from the past and transform them into strength, happiness, acceptance and love. Give thanks and open your eyes when you are ready.
Copyright 1998 © Kerri Kannan http://www.healingcenter.com
The Power of Thought and Transformation
The power of thought is not yet fully understood. It is not just thinking that something will happen that makes it happen, it is also feeling in our hearts and down to our bones that something is true that makes it happen. If we say we are worthy of making a great salary, but do not feel that way down to our core, it is the same as not believing we can make a great salary. The good thing about thought is that we can train ourselves to believe whatever we want. We were trained to believe that we have inadequacies which we did not believe before we entered into this lifetime, and therefore, we can train ourselves to believe the opposite of those thought patterns. Just because we can change our thought patterns does not mean it is easy. It took us our entire lifetime to believe what we do about ourselves now. It could take that amount of time to heal our thoughts about ourselves.
There are many people who have publicly praised the power of thought and how it changed their lives. These people have used methods of visualization, affirmations and other tools to transform themselves and their lives into something more preferable.
In order to change ones mind, we must first recognize what destructive thought patterns we believe. Upon identification of these patterns, we can then work on changing those patterns. For example: We may think that we are fat and tell ourselves that we are thin. For me, this is not where my negative pattern is rooted. My negative pattern is in my lack of self-love. Telling myself “I am thin” will not work because this is only a symptom. By telling myself that I love myself unconditionally, this will allow me to accept my body as it is and not obsess over my weight.
I saw myself as unworthy of love, and therefore attributed it to my weight, not my heart. I may eventually lose the excess weight that I have, however, I will no longer obsess over it. I am for the first time in my life accepting myself as I am, and loving what I see. Now when I look at myself in the mirror, I see a sexy goddess, not an unlovable fatso. I now like the extra flesh on my bones, I look a bit like a Rubens nude.
The transformation of thought about myself has not made me look any differently than I did before I had the change of thought. However, I now see myself in such a positive light that I now feel ten times sexier and more lovable than before. It is I who previously made the harsh judgments about myself. If you feel great about yourself, people will see you as the self image you project. Whatever you feel about yourself is projected in your energy, nothing else.
1. Can you think of any tragedies that happened in your childhood or adult life? How did this affect you? How did you cope with the tragedy? Search your feelings, do you still feel emotionally scarred?
2. Do you somehow feel responsible for this tragedy? Do you have any regrets regarding this tragedy? Do you harbor any judgments regarding this tragedy? If so, please write in as much detail as you can the events and your feelings toward all involved with this/these event/s.
3. Can you see any patterns between these harsh judgments and the way you see yourself today? Do you feel unappreciated, stupid, restricted, fat, lazy, crazy, or do you have any other feelings that you are somehow not a wonderful blessed lovable person?
4. Can you find a link between thoughts and feelings in childhood where you were hurt and your thoughts about yourself today? If so, how do these feelings affect your adult life?
5. Can you see a pattern or patterns between your impressions as a child and your thoughts and actions as an adult?
6. Can you see how these thoughts are ingrained in you after years of self unacceptance? Do you see how these thoughts manifest in your body, love life, paycheck and your health.
Copyright 1998 © Kerri Kannan
I have found that there are a couple of tools that help me to remember who I am and what my purpose is in this life. The first is to say or write affirmations to myself. I find that the most powerful ones, are the ones that at first seemed the most contrary to my current thought processes. It is not so important that you believe them at first, because the more you say them, the more they become a part of your consciousness and the easier it becomes to change your mind to believing they are true. In effect, by saying them, you will eventually believe and they will manifest as reality in your life. The key is to believe it in your heart and your head. I will give you a few examples:
1. I unconditionally love and accept myself exactly the way I am.
2. There is a limitless supply and it is mine.
3. I am financially secure.
4. I am surrounded by loving, giving people.
5. I release my need to feel needy.
6. I have everything I want or need.
7. I release my fear of wealth and wellness.
8. I allow myself to prosper.
9. I trust that I will create abundance.
10. I have more than I need in every area of life
11. I am loved, accepted, acknowledged, and appreciated.
12. I have the resources to develop my creative expression.
13. I freely express my creativity.
14. I am living my dream.
15. I have plenty of time and money.
16. I can accomplish anything.
17. With Gods help, I can do anything.
18. I give my will to God for without me, God is incomplete.
19. I am a feminine, sexy woman and deserve to have a fantastic body. (masculine, sexy man)
20. Infinite intelligence within me processes whatever I eat to maintain my perfect weight of___.
You can also make up your own affirmations as these only scrape the surface of all that is good and needed in people’s lives.
Copyright 1998 © Kerri Kannan