Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Our Life's Purpose

“To truly laugh you must be able to take your pain and  play with it.”
                                                                                                                                                               -Charlie Chaplin

Many of us think about our life’s purpose and know we have one, and don’t always know what it is. Sometimes our purpose is to shed light on something. Sometimes our purpose is to meet and be with our soul mate….sometimes our purpose is to break a pattern that has been repeating….and so on. Sometimes, what we think is our purpose really may not be. On that same line of thought, sometimes what we think we want and what we think we are here for consciously is not really what makes us more of who we are in our essence. Sometimes, our eyes are bigger than our stomachs and we want something that really isn’t in our best interest. Sometimes, the opposite is true where we play it small and don’t really stretch into who and what we can be. 
I am here, in my small way, to help to ease the pain and suffering and to help us to hear our soul’s voice in our bodies. I do this through my chiropractic work, through facilitating Family Constellations, and through blending Imago work, image, and meditations with my chiropractic and Family Constellations into a whole entity. I call this Body Presencing. Here, I help others to heed and to heal their souls through listening to their own voice as unique, sacred, and separate from their families, even over generations. This took many years for me to know, accept as my purpose, and to find words for it.
Once we find and know our purpose, the rest becomes easier. There are many struggles and challenges along the way. Usually, this is because we fight ourselves. We may not want what we see as our gifts, we may want something grander. We may want something familiar and because of this we miss what is under our noses…because it doesn’t smell like, tastes like, or feel like what we are used to. 
In my 2015 blogs I will be writing tributes to my father who is at the sunset of his life. He knew his life’s purpose in some ways, and in some ways he didn’t. He grew up in the south side of Chicago as part of a religious Jewish family in a very Irish neighborhood. This was also a land of gangs. My father being a small, cantankerous, angry boy had to prove himself to these gang members. He did this through fighting. Because he was so small, he won by default in that he was often the last man standing; or so he says. He didn’t care about physical pain so he turned off his pain channels. This was mostly because of a series of traumas he endured as a two year old, which I wrote about previously where he was regularly abused by his caretaker while his mother and father were at work. There were pain days and there were torture (fear) days. He much preferred the pain days where he learned to stop feeling the pain. Of course we know that the emotional pain has endured. 
Being part of a gang gave him a sense of family and he was proud of that. He always thought  he would grow up to be a “hobo” and travel around by rail box car, or a physical education teacher because he loved sports. As a high school student, his class was shown a movie in which the main protagonist was a psychiatrist. He was so moved that he knew he wanted to be a psychiatrist when he grew up. After two years in the Navy in WW2, the use of the GI bill gave him the means to go to college and onto medical school, where he became a psychiatrist. He successfully practiced for over 50 years and became renowned in his field. He helped many people to become more whole. He listened to their emotional pain and helped them to know themselves.
This was his life’s work and his passion, but was it his purpose? He always wanted more. As he got older, he wanted more money as he wanted to leave a legacy…of money. He became confused and lost his focus. He helped others in order to help himself and he helped others to navigate their emotional pain as he longed for someone to help him. He wanted to start a foundation to help other lost souls and got “hooked” by scammers who “listened” to him and supposedly cared about him. All they cared about was money…just as he did towards the end. When he was younger that confusion of self and purpose wasn’t as obvious, but it was there. He helped others for himself. There is nothing wrong with helping others for us, if we know it. Many of us are in the ‘helping’ professions to help us; and we know it. It is the not knowing, the unknowing of the intent that is our undoing. So he thought his purpose was to help others but really his life’s purpose was to listen, love, and help him. If he could have accomplished that he would have helped to break a generational pattern in our family. We had generations of family members, mostly the men, who hated themselves. 
Can we know our life’s purpose? Yes, I know we can. Can we become confused regarding our purpose? Absolutely we can. Our purpose is tied to our hearing and loving us where we can see our strengths, our gifts, our weaknesses and allow us to follow the path that is true for us. This is different from what we yearn for or fantasize about. What is hardest for us uses our strengths, makes us grow, and become fuller people. This is usually the path to our true purpose. What is yours?
If you would like help decoding yours, please feel free to contact me by sending a private email to: gail@bodypresencing.com.

Shift Your Story Shift Your Life: Guided Meditation
The stories we constantly tell ourselves often determine the paths we take in life. So get comfortable, place your feet on the floor, and close your eyes.
Tune into your breath. Feel your chest rise and fall as you breathe; 3, 4, 5 breaths.
Ask yourself, what is my life’s purpose? Then let that thought just go. Notice the next thought that comes up for you, and let it to. Ask then for help so you can know your true purpose. And just breathe.
In a few moments, in your mind’s eye, you will find yourself at a favorite place for you. It could be a waterfall, it could be by your favorite, tree, or a path you walk and you like to take, etc.  When you are there become aware of your senses. How does it smell, what colors do you see, and what do you hear?
A path might open for you….follow it and watch and listen. A person might come up to you. Ask him/her what they have to tell you.
You might hear a voice speaking in your ear. Listen. You might get a deep sense of knowing. 
Once you have received some kind of message, become aware of your breath, and count to 5 and open your eyes. Write down your experience so you can come back to it. Do this meditation whenever you are in the need of some guidance.

If you didn’t get anything this time around, no worries; just enjoy the experience.


Saturday, March 14, 2015

What Is the Cause of the Pain?

“The only gift I have to give is the ability to receive.
If giving is a gift, and it surely is, then my gift to you is to allow you to give to me.”
                                                                                                     -Jarod Kintz

As a Chiropractic physician I work with many people in different degrees of pain, dysfunction, and even illness. I look at my patients through the lens of finding the cause of their pain. The cause is not only on the  physical level, but also the spiritual and metaphysical levels. Almost every physical complaint is tied to a spiritual cause. We often dont listen to our internal issues until or unless we are in some kind of pain.

As this year also ties me and my work with the influence of my father and his life, good and bad, I am taking the time to relate my father and his beliefs to mine. He is a child psychoanalyst who believes in the power of the mind over the body and in the body/mind connection. He liked to say that our bodies are our minds. Our bodies certainly influence our minds, and visa versa. Every complaint can be traced towards an emotional/psychological/spiritual root. Listening to our voices is key to understanding ourselves. My fathers forte was listening to what is behind the complaint, or it shoes, as he called them. He loved to make fun of us in a playful way. He particularly listens to the words people use to understand their unconscious minds. He even had a special dictionary he used which traced the root of most words to their original use and ethnic meaning. As he listened to his patients he would often look up some key words to see the root meaning to better understand them. On word in particular which comes to mind that he loved to play with is the word, nice. We often use nice as noun; she was nice, or he looked nice. The root of the word,nice, means, ignorant or unknowing. When we take the time to think about when and how we use that word, the root does make sense at a deeper level. 

Ironically, in his dementia, he has a condition called aphasia, where he can no longer locate words in his brain. He can see what he wants to say, but no longer has the words to express his thoughts. Words that were so important to him are no longer available to him. Now he has to understand in a whole different way; through image and feeling.

Finding the cause of pain is very important. Often just shedding light on a situation shows us the path to recovery. I was working with a woman who came in asking what she could do to feel better. She had been struggling with one condition after another for the last few months. First she had a knee injury, then shingles, and next a very bad respiratory infection. She does take a lot of supplements and yet feels like she is constantly sick. She knows something is missing. 

We spoke about how chronic and even acute stress can affect our immune systems. I knew she had been dealing with a lot of family issues and reacting to other people rather than being able to listen and respond to them without reacting. In her mind she knew better but something was preventing her from just being able to listen. I reminded her of a discussion we had recently had regarding her over sensitivity to her mother in law and its relation to her unresolved feelings with her mother and her over sensitivity to her own mother. She is very affected by her mother in law as her husband of many years is too close to his mother. She has always been second to his mother in many ways throughout her marriage. There has been a continued sense of competition with her for over 35 years. That dynamic alone over a period of time can affect our stress levels and our health. In her history her father had immigrated from Russia and never spoke of his past; it was taboo. She remembers her mother as being stoic and she, my patient, always having some competition with her brother for their mothers attention. Her mother didnt have enough resources for her own inner support system. 

My patient then remembered that what should have been a very happy moment recently was marred by her own internal reaction. She had found out she was going to be a grandmother. Instead of just being happy, she began to feel jealous of the other grandma because she lives near her daughter and son in law, her son, and my patient doesnt. She recognized she was jealous and in competition but didnt know what to do about it. In fact, she felt shame and tried to push those feelings away instead of dealing with them and feeling them. 

When ever we try to push feelings away, we actually drive them closer to us; they want to be heard and acknowledged just as much as she wants to be heard and acknowledged. We spoke about instead of pushing them away, to bring them in, listen to them but not be ruled by them, and hold both her feelings of love and happiness and her feelings of intense competition, real or imagined. If imagined they are real. Next, we spoke of holding her little self and see how painful some aspects of her early years were for herso she can begin to mother herself and give herself a lot of love and nurturing as she didnt have back in the early times of her life. We then spoke about when unconscious beliefs (like not being good enough) collide with conscious beliefs (like being good enough) often our bodies also feel the effects of the internal battle through illness or pain. 

She began to understand and more memories began to surface for her with her mother and father. Making peace with our parents, exactly as they are or were, and our inner parent is a huge step towards our sense of peace, happiness and healthour true inheritance.

Recommendations:
We all have stories like the one above in our lives. To see our inner battle and to learn to love us is key to our heath; inner and outer.

On my website, www.bodypresencing.com, I have a non-reactive formula which you might find helpful as you begin to find yourself reacting to a person or situation in your life. 


Try the formula and see how it helps you. I would love to hear your personal stories and how it worked for you!


Are You Invisible

Your conscience is the measure of the honesty of your selfishness. Listen to it carefully.
                                                                                 -Richard Bach  
The other day I received a phone call from an old friend who was also a friend of my family. In our conversation she said something, which stayed with me and gave me pause. It caused me to think and work with the information she gave me in an enlightening kind of way. She told me a story which involves my father. The short story is that she was in town, lives out of town, and asked if she could come over to visit. He answered, yes, if she would be invisible.
I will elaborate on this story shortly. In the mean time, have you ever felt invisible, or were asked openly or tacitly to be invisible? For the many of us who have experienced this, it is not fun. It doesnt feel good, nor does it honor us. One good thing about old friends is that they hold many shared memories, some of which we remember, some we dont consciously, and some their perspective sheds light for us. Our friends are a true blessing. They can also hold memories of events we werent privy to, but ultimately are about us. This is another blessing. What does it meant to be or to feel invisible, and what can we do about it?
Back to the story; in this story we were already adults and my friend was in town to visit her mother. Her experience with her family has always been difficult and painful. This visit was a holiday time. We became friends around the age of 11 or 12 years of age, and have continued our friendship on and off since then. During those preteen and teen years, she would often come over to our house and she became a friend of the whole family. Each person had their own individual relationship with her. For awhile she was close to my father. He could be very helpful to her at times in his caring and yet self involved way. During this particular visit she asked if she could come over, and it was during the holidays. My father usually reserved holidays for family time, and it just happened that he had a patient staying with the family at this time. This patient involves another family story at another time. I tell you this to add context to the story. So when my friend asked to come over he told her she could but she would have to be invisible.
So she came over. I wasnt there at the time, and she sat next to my younger sister and shared the sofa with her as my father was nurturing his patient who was living with us. My friend turned to my sister who was just sitting there and asked her how it felt to be invisible. They both shared a chuckle. On another note, it was not funny.
This friend grew up being and feeling invisible to and with her family, as she wasnt really seen by them and longed to be seen. In my family we would be seen sometimes, usually at some events and always during some time of crisis, but otherwise most everything revolved around our father. Hearing her tell me this story helped me to see things more clearly and to understand myself on a deeper level. When she was telling this story I too felt a chuckle inside, but for a different reason. She was told to be invisible in this instance, and we and many others were tacitly asked to be invisible. In a way, this was a gift because it was clear and out in the open. When it is silent and unsaid, as with us, we can grow up wondering about why we act in certain ways, draw certain types of people to us, and feel a certain way about ourselves. When we were growing up we didnt really understand with words what was being asked of us. Taking it out of its cover is a very helpful experience and can give us a real ahaexperience. 

Small Changes that Promote Big Results:
A great exercise is this: write down some questions and answer them in a few sentences. Dont belabor this exercise. 
Do you feel invisible? How does this affect you in your life? What was asked of you growing up? Did you live in a household where both or one of your parents was all about themselves? 
Next week I will elaborate on narcissism a bit more, with stories that show where and how it can begin. 

A book I recommend is, Narcissism, Denial of the True Self, by Alexander Louwen.


Thursday, February 26, 2015

Trapped In The Mirror

The afternoon knows what the morning never suspected.
-Robert Frost

Are you unable to see yourself clearly and/or to separate your self from others needs? There is a great tendency to see others through our own window. In fact, it is so prevalent that we dont often know we are doing that; seeing others through our perspective. And, if we are used to not being seen it can be quite difficult to see us clearly, or at all.
I have two stories that relate to this subject. The first story I will address in this weeks blog and the second story I will address next month. The second story deals with a woman who is so eager to help that she doesnt realize that she is doing it for herself and sees others through her own perspective. This weeks story deals with a woman who is lost in the mirror. 
In this weeks story, I was working with a woman who had not been seen by either parent. One left when she was four years old, and the other was a teenage parent already with two children and not able to see her child from her own needs. Can you imagine what it is like to be very little and not be seen? In this case, her mother couldnt wait to get out of the house and married at the age of around 15. She had her first child by 15 and her second child by 17. Dad and mom tried to be good parents, and tried to stay together, but they were so young. Mom didnt realize that she wasnt available to her husband or her children. The grandmother, moms mom, lost her mother very young. The great grandma had an affair, so the story goes, and so she was sent away from the family by the great grandfather. She had to leave her young children. The hurt everyone felt was overwhelming, and unbearable. They all survived.but the grandmother grew up blaming herself and not knowing how to mother. Already in this story you can see how everyones actions were about them. The grandmother wasnt seen and she got trapped in the mirror of herself. 
The grandmother has two daughters. One of them, my clients mom, grows up and cant wait to leave. She was angry and sad. My client, as a little girl, just wanted to be seen and loved as herself. Her good memory is just being with mom, who allowed her to be with her, but all centered around mom. This woman, now grown, has four children and is having difficulty separating their needs from her own. She wants to do what is best for them, but she is confused. She loves going on stage as an actress or speaker because she feels seen. But who is the audience really seeing? 
She is trapped in the mirror with the big question, who am I? And, is it okay to be seen? All she sees in herself is a reflection of her. Who is she really? As she figures this out, it will help her four children as well as honor all the mothers and children who came before her. As a facilitator, I work to help her to see herself, in the mirror, and in herself.

Small Lifestyle Changes that Promote Big Results: an exercise
I think most of us have elements of being trapped in the mirror. Here is an exercise designed to help us come out of the mirror.
Give yourself about five minutes for this exercise; dont belabor it.
Find a good sized mirror, or the mirror in your bathroom. Just look at yourself.
What comes up for you? What do you see? Who do you see? Can you even look at yourself? As you look, do you really see yourself? How long can you look at yourself? Can you feel yourself? 
Next, write down your thoughts, feelings and experience. Do this every day for a week and see how it evolves for you.
Again the purpose here is to learn about you, gently, and help us to come out of the mirror. It is not unusual to have young thoughts and feelings come up for you. Feel free to reach out for help if needed, and to share your experience.           

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Who Am I? Who Are You?

Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live.
                                                                                    -Oscar Wilde
I have been on the subject of selfishness, narcissism the effects of being raised by narcissistic wounded people and how this also keeps getting passed forward to future generations. We all need to be seen and to feel like we are loved for who we are. Often this does not occur in our lives. Last week I wrote about being trapped in the mirror, seeing only a reflection of the self and wondering, who am I? This week I am writing about the opposite, which is really the same, can, we see others as separate from us? 
When we are merged with a parent, or when we feel like we have to take care of a parent or their feelings, we too often lose a sense of ourselves as separate from them. We may not even realize we are doing this. We end up wondering, who am I, and who are you?
In my family it was normal to have everything revolve around our father. We all looked forward to our time together, and we also knew that when we were with him, we would be doing what he wanted to do. He would love for us to be with him, but we had to do what was on his agenda; all the time. This was normal. We didnt know anything else. I am sure you all have your own story of some kind of wound which happened in your life where someone important to you couldnt see you. When we arent seen it is hard to see ourselves and to think we are worthy.
I was working with a woman who was having some personal difficulties and was struggling and asked for help. Through the Family constellation work in a small group setting, we had come to a deep wound in her and we were ready for some resolution. I asked a woman who was in the group and who had been studying this work to help out. And she didbeautifully, feeling what was needed at the time. The only difficulty was that what she said shut down the client by telling her what she felt instead of helping the client to find her own words. As I engaged (I hope gently) in stepping in and helping both women, I suggested that she ask it as a question rather than to state the words for the client. I explained that by telling a client what they are feeling, whether they are right or wrong, takes away from the client the opportunity to find their own words and experience of it. I further stated that when we do this it is more about us that it is the client.
After that, the woman helper got very upset with me and was palpably angry and adamant that this was about the client. She said, I want this for her, and I want to do this for her.So I asked her to repeat her statement, and she did. I asked if she heard herself, and the Iin the statement? It took awhile, but she finally heard what she had said. Whenever we want something for another person, no matter the reason or the intention, it is about us, not the other person. We want it. As it becomes more about us than the client, we also stop seeing them; an important part of them.
We may feel right, want to be right, have the best intentions, but as soon as it becomes about us, we lose the other person. My helper in this case could only see the issue from her perspective for a long time. This is what happens to us when we arent seen or even seen clearly. Then as we grow up we cant see clearly. Narcissistic tendencies are all around us. Learning how to love us and see us and value us is so important so that we can heal ourselves on a deep level.

Small Lifestyle Changes that Promote Big Results: an exercise
If you havent read last weeks blog and exercise please do before doing this exercise. It is really a two part exercise. Here we again are working with a mirror. In this exercise, we are going to envision someone behind us in the mirror, or have a friend step in and stand behind us in the mirror, or a picture you can put so you can see it. 
Now, as you are looking at yourself in the mirror, see the other person behind you. As you do ask yourself, do I still see me? Can I see both of us? Does my perspective of me change as I look at both of us? If so, how does it change? Can I see the other person clearly? Can I see myself clearly?
Again, spend about 5 minutes on this exercise. Write down your experiences See how this experience deepens or changes or adds to your experience of just seeing yourself in the mirror.
If you feel like sharing this experience, please feel free to do so.

The purpose of these exercises is to help us to heed and heal our souls so we can become the whole, vital, healthy people we can be, and to experience the joy.


Monday, February 23, 2015

Bodies and Souls

“You don’t stop laughing when you grow old, you grow old when you stop laughing.”
                                                                                             -George Bernard Shaw

Have you ever had the privilege of witnessing a person or animal die? It is an amazing experience. A few months ago I was with my 13 year old Great Pyrenees as we put her to sleep. She was here one moment, and in a last breath, she was gone. You can feel the presence of ones soul, ones being, and you know when it is gone. If you had ever questioned the presence of our soul, witnessing the soul leave and the difference in the body before and after lets you know there is a distinct and palpable difference. Our essence lights us up.

As we live in our bodies and often dont pay much attention to intangibles, we can easily get confused and begin to think our body is who we are. Our body houses our soul, and because it gives it a place to be, our bodies reflect what is going on within us. When we were growing up as children, our father would often discuss things like honesty, listening to ourselves, what it is to live in our bodies, and integrity. These discussions, really monologues, often took place over meals. When I was growing up, our family often ate at different times because of our schedules. But Sunday breakfasts were different. We were all together, and we would have a special meal instead of our usual morning cereal. 

My father would eat an omelet and I would choose pancakes. Then we would listen to stories my father would tell us. It was not unusual for him to use himself as a discussion point. He would talk about self healing and how he went inside himself and healed a cold, or flu, or a cut, and so on. An example would be him having a cold. He would go inside his body and talk with the white blood cells. You see, already he was making a distinction between him and his body. He would say our bodies and minds and soul are the same.  Yet, he would talk about working with his body. He would talk with his cells by asking and showing them how to work together as an army in perfect marching order. His white blood cells would then go and eat up every virus cell, one at a time, in perfect order not in a hurry, until every virus cell in his body was gone. This was the way he worked with himself. Often his colds would only last 1 or 2 days, as his working with himself in this way did help him. I have tried a similar method myself, but including my essence and it does work. It is a way to gather all of our parts in a conscious way, and for them to work together. 

When we as whole individuals, and all of us; our conscious and unconscious minds, want to be well, most often we are. When aspects of us feel overwhelmed, lost, sad, needing to be cared for and so on, often we do become ill to one degree or another. So who and what are we? We are souls living inside our bodies. Our body does give us much needed information about who we are. Sometimes we just need help deciphering what they are telling us. Do you have any stories that have had meaning to you in your life similar to this, or that speak to you regarding our bodies and souls and working with them? Or, have you too witnessed a being transitioning, and what did you notice? If so, I would love to hear them and welcome you sharing.


Small Changes that Promote Big Results:

How can you work with your body/self to help you to work with your soul in your body? Take a sheet of paper and write out a way or place that your body is speaking to you. This could be through physical pain, illness, injury, scoliosis, head ache, heart ache, and so on.

Now invite you to go inside and speak with that area. Ask it what it needs, and what it might be telling you on a more spiritual level. You may or may not get an answer. It is ok either way. The more you do this, the more you are attuned to hearing. 

Next, ask your cells to come and work together in some way to help your blood flow, or to bring nutrition or circulation to a problem area, or to work to heal a torn cell of a muscle, etc. Ask all your parts to be involved, and notice if and when you are aware that maybe not all your aspects are on the same board. If not, then just notice. Ask the parts with a different agenda if they can share their agenda with you. The gentler you ask the better. 

Afterwards, write down what your body told you, or what you heard from other parts of you, conscious and unconscious. The task here is also to bring the unconscious more up front so you can hear it or see it or even feel it. 

The more your parts work together, the greater the effect.


Again, here is to greater health, wholeness and vitality in our lives. And to my father who was able to communicate an intangible activity in such a tangible way. 


Monday, February 16, 2015

Are You Selfish?

Self absorption in all its forms kills empathy, let alone compassion.
                                                                                    -Daniel Goleman
I think we are all born selfish. We have to be for our survival. We selfishly need food and warmth and touch and love to survive and flourish. I love the word, flourish. To me it sounds like its meaning; to grow well, to thrive, and to prosper. I want to write this with a flourish. We need everything, and to us, the world revolves around us. In the best of worlds, our parents and caretakers sense our needs and provide them in a timely manner and with care, and most hopefully, with love. We survive and grow.
There comes a time when just takingand just having the world revolve around us is not good enough. As we grow older, and walk and think for ourselves, and to go school, we begin to need to be aware of others and to begin to give back in some way. This giving back, or sharing, begins small and slowly grows. We start making our beds, helping pick up our toys, washing our dishes and bathroom sink after ourselves, etc. We hopefully become aware of us in connection with others. At first it is with our families then our fellow students and teachers, our community, and so on. If something interrupts our growth through adoption, through the death of someone important to us, through an early move away from an integral member and such, this pattern changes. The give back doesnt happen.
It is not cute to watch older children become entitled and selfishly demanding. It is not cute to watch adults live and act only according to their needs; to be purely selfish. Are you selfish? We all are to some degree, and as well we need to be. The problems occur when we lose the perspective of seeing us as part of the whole and when we are not able to see ourselves, our words, and our actions as to how they affect others.
I have a nephew who I love deeply. He was adopted at the age of two days old. Even though he has known my sister almost his whole life and knows her as his mother, or adoptive mother, and knows she loves him and he her, he also knows, in his cells and bones that she is not his biological mother. He knows his mother and father chose to adopt him out and that for whatever reasons, he was not wanted. He knew his mother for 9 months and two days..a very formative time. He was bonded with his mother and at two days old she was ripped away from him.
Although he is loved and has a family he knows and loves, there is a very real part of him that is angry and feels that he deserves more. He is demanding of my sister and gets very angry when something is not about him. He gets angry if he has to clean his room, if he has to do his home work, and even if they rent a movie for both of them to watch, it is not just for him. At two this was still cute. At ten this is not cute. Something is off and hasnt been able to develop, grow, and flourish. Part of him is stuck at the age of two days. He is selfish. 
I know about selfishness intimately. During our Sunday breakfasts for example, all conversation revolved around my father. He needed to be heard and seen and everyones saviorall for him. Growing up this way felt normal to us. There is a problem when even his wanting to help and save others is really for him, not for us. My father wanted to be the center of attention for him. He tells us many times that the reason he wanted to have so many children, he wanted eight, is so that he would have friends. 
He too had very young traumas beginning with his birth when he was a c-section delivery and his mother became ill and was separated from her son for a few weeks. He knew his mother, and she was taken away from him. In a babys thinking, it was his fault as all has to be about him. Some selfishness is good and helpful and does help us to grow and flourish. When this care of the self becomes all about me, it morphs into something else entirely. 
Are you selfish? Again, we all are to an extent. To see ourselves clearly and openly without shame or blame allows us to expand ourselves and to become more and more aware of us in connection with everyoneand to flourish.

Recommended Resources:
To learn more about selfishness and our growth process and how to become unstuck and flourish, go to my web site, www.bodypresencing.com and click on working with Gail. Also click on BodyPresencing and Family Constellations to learn more.
In addition, a simple helpful exercise is this: one a sheet of paper write out ways you are only aware of yourself. Do you teach for you, or for others, or both? Are you aware of how your words or demeanor impact others? Why do you do the work you do? Is it just for you, to satisfy something in you, or it is also for others and how is it for others?

We are all a mixture of good and bad, dark places and light places, good selfishness and not so good selfishness. The important thing for us is to find a good balance to fulfill us, and to share with others so we can all flourish!