Photo credit: Ravi Pinisetti on Unsplash

The Wisdom of 'Atmavishwas'

    by Anna Mini Jos

In Sanskrit, the word Atma means Self, and Vishwas means Confidence. Atma Vishwas, therefore translates to, confidence in Self.

What is Self?

In everyday use, self may refer to your own identity. However, in Eastern philosophy the Self is the larger source of interconnected wisdom that resides in all of us. It is what connects you and me. It is also what holds space for all of your parts inside of your internal family system. You might experience it as a flow, a surrender, a state of aliveness, a state of oneness, or a place of knowing. In Internal Family Systems therapy, Self has the characteristics of clarity, courage, compassion, curiosity, creativity, calmness, confidence and connectedness.

What does it mean to have confidence in Self?

Confidence in Self is the openness to relying on your innate wisdom, even if different voices or energies inside of you might be uncertain. It is the possibility of gracious space while encountering any moment. The moment may carry with it aspects that remind our parts of the past. Parts might respond with enthusiasm, apprehension, melancholy, or agitatation towards what they encounter. But, if they have faith in Self, they loosen their grip. They let go of the reins, and you get to act from the space of Self.

How does it feel to lead from Self?

It feels alive, it feels adventurous, it feels refreshing and light. It feels safe.

How can we deepen our trust in Self?

Self earns the trust of parts by with-nessing them. By being with them, in all their moments - moments of deep fear, pain, existential dread and sadness, moments of anger, despair and loneliness. Self stays through all those moments. It sees and it understands. It offers a helping hand. It stands up for vulnerable parts and embraces lonely parts. And over time, these parts let go and allow you to live from Self.