Welcome to the latest issue of The Qi of Self-Sovereignty. The newsletter exploring what it means to be free in an increasingly not-so-free world.
Whether you're looking to locate your authentic self or investigate sovereignty, you're in the right place! In each post, with just a few minutes of reading, I aim to expand your awareness through a quote and a piece of content that made me go hmm...
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"The Self is just beneath the surface of our protective parts, such that when they open space for it, it comes forward spontaneously, often quite suddenly, and universally." - Richard Schwartz
Genuine question... Are you in control?
In our quest for self-sovereignty, the pursuit of control over our lives takes center stage. Typically, this quest is associated with gaining mastery over external forces—government, finances, and relationships, to name a few.
However, we often forget to consider our own internal forces impairing our self-sovereignty: Controlling forces from within, from the intricate realms of our subconscious.
I don't blame you if you're thinking, "What is Seb talking about? Does he need to seek help?"
Hear me out!
As we navigate our external landscape (government, finances, cultivating relationships...), what frequently escapes us is our internal, subconscious influences—our parts. Like characters in a play, these parts shape our thoughts, decisions, and actions in ways we might not be aware of. They are the silent architects of our responses to the external world.
For me, I grew up with limited interaction with my father. As a result, I have come to realize that I have an inner child. This inner child, a part of my psyche, harbours a sense of intimidation when faced with authoritative men. In situations requiring interaction with such figures—interviews, podcasts, meetings—I've observed a noticeable shift in my demeanour. I often find myself entering a freeze mode, a shutdown that isn't a reflection of my entire being but rather a manifestation of my inner child with unmet needs.
So, while the external factors of life undoubtedly demand attention, without turning the spotlight inward, our journey to self-sovereignty will most likely fall short.
With this in mind, I want to share a book that has had a deep and lasting impact on deepening my relationship with myself, "No Bad Parts" by Richard Schwartz.
Within this book, Richard discusses this idea called Internal Family Systems (IFS), a psychological framework that sheds light on the multifaceted nature of our internal dynamics.
In essence, the Internal Family Systems model suggests that our psyche is composed of various internal parts, each possessing distinct thoughts, emotions, and motivations. These parts often represent different aspects of our personality, shaped by experiences, beliefs, and coping mechanisms developed over time.
Consider it as if your mind were a diverse family, each member having its own unique voice and role. There are protective parts that shield us from potential harm, ambitious parts that propel us toward success, and wounded parts that carry the scars of our past experiences.
Understanding and building a relationship with these internal parts is pivotal in our quest for self-sovereignty. It's akin to deciphering the intricate language of our inner family, allowing us to recognize how each part contributes to how we show up in the world.
The Power of Self-Awareness
First and foremost, building a deeper relationship with oneself is a cornerstone of developing such relationships. At its core, this involves cultivating a heightened sense of self-awareness. This awareness helps us distinguish the various parts of our internal landscape.
Self-awareness acts as the compass guiding us through the labyrinth of our internal world. When we become attuned to the nuances of our thoughts and emotions, we gain the capacity to navigate life with greater clarity. It's the flashlight in the darkness, illuminating the recesses of our internal family, making visible the various parts that play pivotal roles in our decision-making.
Therefore, let's look at some strategies for building a relationship with these parts.
Writing is a potent tool, providing a tangible space to externalize thoughts, observe patterns, and trace the threads of our inner narrative. This can help us gain a better perspective as to which part may be governing how we show up at any moment.
This is another practice that helps develop our self-awareness, as it offers moments of stillness to observe the ebb and flow of thoughts and emotions. It serves as a bridge to the quiet spaces within, where our internal family reveals its presence.
This is the catalyst for connection to our inner world. To be self-aware, we must be curious. If we are not curious, when triggered, fear will close our aperture of awareness. Instead of recoiling from these triggers, invite curiosity. Explore the emotions that surface and direct your attention to the physical sensations accompanying them. Question what is coming up with intrigue. What part of me doesn't want to be seen right now? What is the reasoning behind why I am feeling the way I am? Understanding the needs and fears of these triggered parts is the first step to building relationships with aspects of ourselves that might otherwise remain in the shadows.
Sound money, like Bitcoin
While not directly contributing to the development of our self-awareness, sound money plays a crucial role in providing us with the capacity to be introspective. With its increasing purchasing power, Bitcoin grants us the luxury of time—a contrast to our current monetary system, where prices consistently rise, demanding more of our time. Consequently, we gain the opportunity to engage in self-reflection and nurture a more profound relationship with ourselves.
For me, incorporating a blend of these practices above has profoundly enhanced my connection with myself. Throughout my life, a persistent lack of confidence led me to pursue endeavours that I thought would bring visibility and acknowledgment. Yet, it wasn't until I deepened my relationship with myself and acknowledged the parts of me that felt unseen that I realized it wasn't about being seen by others, it was about cultivating self-love and embracing those neglected aspects of myself instead of dismissing them.
Overall, to embark on this journey of self-discovery, consider incorporating practices that amplify self-awareness.
So why do all of this...
As we cultivate a deeper relationship with ourselves, we naturally progress into a more conscious state—A state where we are aware of how we show up in this world. But, this is only possible through an intimate understanding of our internal family dynamics. Such awareness allows us to show up in the world with intention, authenticity and self-sovereignty.
Moreover, as we begin to identify and label these parts that often emerge and take control, we gain the ability to recognize that these feelings or behaviours are not us, our entire being. They represent only a small facet of ourselves.
We are not inherently flawed. Instead, this is a specific part within us reacting based on its past experiences, often in an attempt to protect us, even if this protection might be unnecessary in the present moment.
This awareness plays a powerful role in cultivating compassion toward ourselves and why we feel/act the way we are.
Can you imagine an existence where you could navigate the complexities of life with a profound sense of control, resilience in the face of adversity, and an enhanced capacity to meet the needs of those around you? Well, it's possible.
In this state, triggers become opportunities for growth, and our responses are grounded in a conscious understanding of our internal landscape.
Our journey toward self-sovereignty involves navigating both our external and internal landscapes. As we wrap up, I encourage you to embark on your own exploration into your inner world. Dive into the depths of your internal topography, understanding the various parts that shape your thoughts, decisions and actions. And I am willing to bet that along this journey, you'll find many of the keys to unlocking greater control over your life—a journey towards profound self-sovereignty.
Thanks for taking the time to read this issue of The Qi of Self-Sovereignty. I hope you found it insightful.
I always welcome feedback and thoughts. So, do not hesitate to respond to the newsletter email, comment on the article or reach out via Twitter.