Rev Dana’s ‘3 Steps’

Lifting Your Awareness Here & Now

How do I get ‘There‘ from here?

 I want my Life to feel better.

I want to awaken and develop my awareness.

I want to feel better in my own skin.

How do I do that?

Rev. Dana’s ‘3 Steps’ to Greater Awareness

1.  Listen to Your Thoughts:

What are you telling yourself day in & day out?

What does your mental dialogue sound like?

What ‘tone of voice’ do you use with yourself?

2.  Self-Kindness:

Exercise Self-Compassion.

Something worth knowing ~ Any exploration into self-awareness

without a healthy dose of Self-Kindness becomes self-abuse.

3.  Appreciation:


I am so grateful.

Focusing on what is rather than fixating on what is not.

I am so blessed.

When you know you are blessed, you are doubly blessed.

[When you don’t know you are blessed, you’re not.]

Gratitude Lubricates The Miracle.

Step 1 – Step 2 – Step 3 ~  Rinse and Repeat.

Exercise.     Stretch.     Grow Your Soul.

( You will find videos of Rev. Dana elaborating on ‘The 3 Steps’ at YouTube/Maylaigh. )

Step One: Listen To Your Thoughts 

What is going on in your mind?    Your ‘Commentator’, Your ‘Narrator’ ~ What do they fill your thinkery with?  What are you telling yourself inside your own head day in & day out?  What is your inner mantra?

Does your inner conversation sound anything like this?  “Nothing I try ever works out.”  “I am so stupid.”  “Nobody likes me.”  “I look like a pig next to them.”  “It’s not worth the effort.  I won’t get it anyway.”  “She/He won’t have anything to do with a loser like me.”

If you were to listen to your thoughts for a day, and keep score:

How many of your thoughts are negative, painful, self-limiting?

How many of your thoughts are positive, uplifting, self-actualizing?

By the end of the day, I’m bettin’ you can guess which ‘side’ would’ve scored the most ‘points’.

Even listening to your thoughts for 5 minutes, the ‘score’ would be pretty clear.

Of course, the trick is to actually listen to your thoughts. 

Thoughts have a slippery, elusive quality.  There you are thinking about one thing, and the next thing you know, you are miles away, thinking about something totally different ~ “I should’ve said that to Coach when he embarrassed me.”  “Which shirt should I wear to the interview?”  “Will that new fragrance have the alluring effect it promises?”  “How far is Syracuse from Iowa State?”  “Her disgusted tone of voice really hurt my feelings.”  “Are the Orioles going to win the pennant?”  “Is today Tuesday?”

This chatter thought takes you into the past, into the future ~

anywhere but this moment.

Your unconscious thought activity takes you everywhere, anywhere ~ but here.

 You’re so used to it, you hardly notice.

Rushing along in this torrent of continuous chatter, the perpetual commentary on your self, your Life and all that is, has you spinning in a deluge of stinkin’ thinkin’.

This negative self-talk becomes habit mantra.  There you are chewing on yourself inside your own head, obsessed with all that is ‘not right’.  Over and over, again and again, you pour over all that is objectionable, shameful, and generally not cool about yourself and your life.

Listen to the way  you talk to yourself.

Listen to what you are telling yourself about your life.

About who you are.

Actually hearing yourself thinking about how stupid, ridiculous or naïve you are, you can’t help but notice the harsh tone of your inner dialogue.  As you listen to the tone of your thoughts, it becomes clear, “I am stunningly self-critical!”

Truth is  ~ If you talked to your friends the way you talk to yourself,

you wouldn’t have any friends.

The only way you can develop your awareness

is by changing your caustic thoughts ~

your harsh judgments, self-limiting beliefs and pessimistic attitudes.

Change your mind, change your thoughts, and you do change your life.

Don’t let the stinkin’ thinkin’ win.

Attitude IS everything.

Actively choosing to be more aware of your thoughts, you also become more aware of your feelings, and your emotional reactions & responses.  Your increased inner awareness allows you to bring about change in your emotional self  ~  which is where your transforming work truly resides.     

 What is this transforming work?

What is this ‘developing my conscious awareness’?

As you begin to wake up, you begin to do the work.  You become aware of your deep inner beliefs and attitudes ~ and how these both guide and constrict you.  As you deepen your awareness in your own inner process, you are, in fact, beginning to refurbish your thoughts and transform your emotional reactions.

You realize you CAN change your Life ~ inner and outer.

 You are converting your inner life, your inner terrain, from distress, anxiety and self-hatred, to a more knowing, compassionate and accepting inner landscape.


“The personal life deeply lived always expands into truths beyond itself.”   Anais Nin

 Give yourself the gift of self-awareness.

Your life will never be the same.

Thank goodness.


Step Two: Self-Kindness

As you deepen into your journey of self-exploration,

you will save yourself a lot of wear & tear,

by being gentle and compassionate with yourself. 


 Apply Self-Kindness.

Cultivate the ability to smile at yourself,

and your short-comings,

“Silly old bear, there you go again.”

Self-Kindness is a stunningly effective life-strategy.

It is one we seldom think of.

Pick, pick, pick . . . how we do love to pick on ourselves.

As it turns out . . . Wired the way we humans are, your journey into inner awareness, your exploration of self-accountability, will lead to harsh criticism and self-abuse, without Consciously Applied  Self-Compassion.

Our struggle, as humans, is to rescue ourselves from our own self-condemnation, to redeem ourselves from self-hatred.  The realization of this truth, about your human struggle and your redemption, is cultivated by being kind to yourself.

Self-Kindness is the healing balm

that transforms and uplifts your awareness.

Choose compassion within yourself.  Speak to yourself with kindness.  Be gentle.  You will begin to develop a simple and direct relationship with the way you are.

You begin to accept yourself . . . the way you are.

This awesome, clarifying power of Self-Kindness, releases you from your own inner neglect and abuse.  Relating to yourself without over-moralizing, without harshness, you release yourself from self-imposed pain, shame and inner conflict.


Becoming more aware of your self-limiting beliefs and habit patterns,
you continue to unfetter yourself
as you realize
you can let them go.

At times, self-improvement efforts seem to have short term, temporary results.  Overrun by the pressures of Life, the surrender, the realizations, the ‘high’ does not endure.

Without Self-Kindness, without Self-Compassion,
this process of opening to transformation doesn’t work ~
because you are resisting your own energy.

Lasting transformation occurs as you honor yourself.

Gently honor yourself as a source of wisdom, understanding and compassion.

This process of Awakening To The Truth of Your Being,

calls you to interact with the vulnerable, anxious parts of yourself

with a gentle, kind, self-understanding.

Resist the temptation to turn your path to Greater Awareness into a litany of self-abuse.


Becoming aware of how you hurt yourself, you begin to see
that you have other choices.

The healing balm of Self-Kindness is a gentle, effective, guide ~ leading you to consider . . .

~  The possible truth of your own goodness

~  The possible truth of the contribution you are here to make

~  The possible truth that our world is a better place because you’re here.

You are here for A Purpose ~ Your Purpose.

Your Life is A Positive Contribution to All That Is.

As you apply Self-Kindness, you begin to take that in ~

Possibly, crumbs at first.

Initially, it may be almost too much Goodness to handle.

Work your way up to it a little at a time.

Build your tolerances.

I am a positive influence in my world.

Build your tolerance for Goodness.

I am an instrument of good.

Other people in your Life see that about you before you do.

Build your tolerance for the truth

of your own Goodness.


Believe it’s true.              Because it’s true.

Save yourself decades ~ lifetimes ~ of self-inflicted pain,

begin practicing self-kindness right away.

Let yourself see your Good.

Place your focus on what Is, rather than what is not.


The only difference between an enlightened person and an unenlightened person

is a sense of satisfaction.

That is the only difference.

Satisfaction comes with seeing what Is.

With embracing what Is.

Life is not always fair.

Don’t fight the paradox.

When you fight with Life, Life fights back.

When You Love Life, Life Loves Back.

As you exercise your Self-Kindness muscles,

and practice opening to new panoramas of possibility inside,

you come to the realization that all you can do is say

Thank You.

I Am So Grateful.     I Am So Blessed.

As you awaken, you begin to see The Sacred in everyday Life.

Something magical happens ~

Ordinary Life becomes Extraordinary.

Transformation occurs.

The very process of Life itself ~

the little things, the challenges, the daily knowings ~

begin to nourish your Soul.

As you begin to relax within,

You release yourself

To perceive and appreciate

This splendid, transforming process that is

The Glory of Life.


Step Three: Appreciation

A Life-Transforming Force.

Crossing the threshold into Appreciation,

You open to the moment.

You call the wisdom of the moment out to meet you.

You say “Yes!” to The Great Possibility.

As you send thoughts of Appreciation & Compassionate Blessing

into your Life Environment ~ It responds.

The Power of Gratitude.     Great Fullness.     Great Attitude.


For a week, each night as you prepare for sleep, allow your mind to sift thru the moments

of your day, and find the nuggets of blessing.

In the eye of your mind  ~  in the eye of your heart

as you go thru your day,  your week,  your Life,  consciously seek out the moments of Goodness

~ Kindness ~ Connexion ~ Serendipity ~ Fulfillment ~ Grace.

They are here, too.


Just because you don’t look for them, doesn’t mean they aren’t here.

Look for them.  Tune your inner filter to see the miraculous.

Little miracles.  Kindnesses.  Moments with a certain glow.

Make note.

Find 3 nuggets of blessing from any aspect of your Life.

Say ‘Thank You’.

Be Grateful.  FEEL Grateful.

What would your Life be like, if you thought about

the good, positive, uplifting parts of your Life

even as much as you think about

the negative, constricting parts?

Give mental energy to what you appreciate

about your Life ~ for a week, each night ~

See what happens.

This being human occurs in a paradoxical arena ~  one minute you’re feeling pretty good, confident, on top of things.  The next minute you’re consumed with doubt and anxiety, convinced you are messing up.

A compelling Native American tale tells of a young brave’s inner struggle as he prepares for his first vision quest.  His anxiety grows as the day approaches.  He is nervous with both excitement and trepidation.  One minute, he is sure he is going to have a meaningful vision.  He will be a hero for his tribe.  The next minute he is sure nothing will happen.  He will be a failure and let the tribe down.

The day before he is to leave on his quest, his doubt and fear ripping at him, the young brave seeks out his wise, old grandfather.

“Help me, Grandfather.  There are two vicious dogs battling inside me.  One is certain that my quest will go well and I will return to our people with a bold vision.  The other is howling that I will fail in my quest and be a disappointment to the tribe.  They are each fierce.  Their fighting inside me is making me crazy! Help me, Grandfather.  Tell me, which one is going to win?”


His grandfather replies, “The one you feed.”

The one you feed.

Make the choice.

Notice the good stuff, too.

Tune your filter.

Give mental energy to what you appreciate about your Life. 


Feed that dog.


Allow yourself to feel appreciation for your life.

Oh, go ahead.

Exercise those gratitude muscles.

Feel grateful.

Give it to yourself.        Stretch.      Embrace Gratitude.

Be embraced by Gratitude.     Practice.

Then there’s that mocking inner voice, “Yeah, right, that gratitude stuff.”

Note to self:  Cynicism is not the ally it pretends to be. 


This transforming work, your movement toward greater self-awareness is not nearly as effective, if you’re all, “Yeah, yeah, gratitude, shmatitude.”

You’ve got to be willing to work it.    Exercise.

Generate appreciation in your heart, in your mind.

It’s worth the effort.

You’re worth the effort.


Gratitude is The Key ~ The Portal to Enlightenment.

As you say Thank You,

you open the door in your own awareness for clarity, growth and context to flow in.


Unless you are grateful for what you already have,

little vibrant and new can come into your life.


Exercise your gratitude muscle.  What do you know?!

You find more to be grateful for!


You see more of the things already in your Life that you are, indeed, grateful for.  And, here’s the groovy part, as you look for things to be grateful for, more things to be grateful for show up in your Life.  It’s true!


Don’t take my word for it.    Try it.

Emotional Aerobics:

Drop your conflict.     Release the past.     Forgive yourself.


Each day, with Gratitude and Gladness embrace the blessing that is your Life.  And you know what happens then!?!  You find more things to be glad about, more to be grateful for.  You do!  And, then, lo & behold, more things begin appearing in your Life to make you even more glad and more grateful.

God is alive.    Magic is afoot.

“The only difference between an enlightened person and an unenlightened person

is a sense of satisfaction.  That is the only difference.” 

Tarthang Tulku Rinpoche

Imagine yourself satisfied.  How does that feel?


As you experiment with these awakening tools, you do yourself a favor to take into account:  It has taken your awareness decades of

struggling in limiting beliefs and negative self-talk to calcify into your current state.


You must be willing to invest in yourself ~ to invest in the time and exercise, the practice it will take to open to your own becoming, your own enlightenment.  

Perseverance Furthers.

 Don’t let your stubborn negative self-talk win.

Be kind to yourself.    Compassionate.

Open to your inner Life.          Exercise Appreciation.


This human instrument comes equipt

with a fully-operational Capacity for Gratitude. 

The key to activating this feature is to remember that it’s here.


Give this gentle, yet profound, transformation

an opportunity to unfold.

Gratitude Rocks!


( You will find videos of Rev. Dana elaborating on ‘The 3 Steps’ at YouTube/Maylaigh. )