Monthly Archives: August 2011
Start with yourself. If you start anywhere else, it’s a false start and you’ll just be forced to go back to the starting line and begin again. And again. (Sort of like Usain Bolt false-starting & being DQ’d at the World Track & Field Championships yesterday.)
Starting with yourself means finding the place within you that is not influenced by outside forces. It’s not affected by what other people say or do. It’s not discouraged by people wanting to stop you. It’s not even concerned with the negative things you say about yourself, which come from the conditioned part of our left brain.
When I was in my 20’s I spent a great amount of time running away from who I was; always trying to be someone else: wanting to be liked, or popular, or cool, or attractive.
But no matter how hard I tried to avoid myself, I kept coming back to me. By my 30’s I realized that who I was – who we all are – is the thing we keep looking for somewhere else.
In someone else.
Our essential Self (which makes each of us unique) is the part of us that is connected to something bigger than our egos. It’s like you are one of those limitless channels, plugged into the TV.
To receive the broadcast, you’ve got to keep your channel open. You’ve got to get out of your own way. You’ve got to get out of its way. Keep it open. Stay plugged in.
It’s not an easy job because the ego wants to get in there and take credit, or lay blame, or excuse, or rationalize, or defend, or judge.
To live optimally – the way we are intended to create and live – requires us to surrender to something bigger than us – but of which we’re all a part – that wishes to be expressed through us.
And because each of us is uniquely different, the expression of it will be unique, innovative, original, dynamic.
You don’t have to work so hard trying to do. You don’t have to put something on. You don’t have to show. Stop trying so hard.
You simply have to allow. Surrender. Align. Accept.
Watch what happens. Just. Stay. Open.
You are the vehicle. Let yourself be driven.
“Choose to be optimistic. It feels better.” — The Dali Lama
Life is about shortening the gap between where we are and where we’d like to be.
In all aspects.
Think about it. You want to get healthier or lose weight. You want to have a more committed spiritual practice. You want to be more creative and book more creative work.
The only way you’re going to get there is to keep going. There’s no other solution. No quick fix. No short cut. And that’s how you shorten the gap.
And it takes time.
NPR’s Ira Glass talks about shortening the gap in the creative process between your creative desires and your output of work. He says that when we first begin to create, we do so because we have “great taste.” But as we start creating, our work is bad. It doesn’t fulfill the picture we have in our minds of what we want to be doing. He says there’s only one way to get to where we want to go in our creative lives.
Most people stop during this phase because what they’re creating doesn’t match their vision. But by continuing to do the work, you eventually start to create better and better work. Work you’re excited about. Work that means something. Work you can be proud of.
I think the biggest gap we need to shorten is the gap we create by judging our creative selves. We have such unkind things to say to ourselves, that we shut down creativity before it’s had a chance to take root and flower. And so again, we stop.
The judgments force stoppage.
The only way you’re going to get past the loudness of the noise in your head is by doing. Constantly. And eventually, the outpouring of work exceeds the things you say about yourself. That’s the tipping point. And you’ve then shortened the gap and gotten to the other side.
Every time you judge yourself this week, what if you took the energy and time you wasted on those negative beliefs and put them toward creating something that means something to you instead?
This is how you shorten the gap.
“Life is diving off the diving board without knowing if there is any water in the pool.” — Richard Holbrooke
“The grass is greener syndrome.”
If you suffer from it, it’s yet another way of postponing your life. Putting the things you desire on the back burner. When we covet another person’s journey, we think if only we had what they had our life would be more fun. Or more exciting. Or more magical.
Your life already is magical.
We’re just not awake to it, so it feels as if we’re moving around in a monochromatic haze while everyone else seems to be living in Technicolor.
That’s the illusion.
The truth is that your grass is very green. It’s lush and tropical and exotic and fertile and full of possibilities. But it requires you to fully embrace it. All of it. Even the stuff you don’t like, because actually, that’s the stuff that becomes the catalyst for change.
That stuff is your grass’s fertilizer. It’s the essential stuff needed for your growth and expansion. And it holds the potential to unlock the doors you’ve shut to the things you’re seeking: your joy, your passion, your peace of mind, your self-acceptance.
We can never get to where we’d like to be except by starting in the place we’re currently residing – emotionally, psychologically, spiritually. There’s no escaping you.
Wherever you are, there you are.
We can move to another city or get another girlfriend or change jobs, but the common denominator in all these experiences is you.
So if you don’t like where you are then change who you are. But don’t think that being somewhere else or having a different lover or having a career like someone else is the answer.
The transformation occurs from the inside out. Not the outside in.
Start with your stuff. And watch how green your grass will grow.
“The grass may be greener on the other side of the fence, but you still have to mow it.” — Anonymous
We live in the world of action. No doubt about it. If you have great intentions but sit around on your couch all day eating Trader Joe’s Pirate’s Booty and watch 70’s sitcom reruns, it ain’t gonna happen.
Doing means converting possibility into actuality.
But what gives rise to possibility?
Possibilities are born in a place beyond doing; beyond action. They occur in moments of being. And as physicist, Amit Goswami says, “In between doing – possibilities grow and grow and grow. And if there are more possibilities to choose from – the possibility of my choosing a possibility that will lead me to my desired outcome will increase.”
So he says it’s not Do, Do, Do, Do, Do. It’s not like Judi Dench in Notes on a Scandal, screaming to Cate Blanchett, “Do, do, do!”
But it’s also not just being. It’s not chilling out in a cave in the Himalayas for 10 years. It’s not just Be, Be, Be, Be, Be.
It’s what he calls “Do. Be. Do. Be. Do. Be. Do.”
We’re taught how to do in our culture. How to go after what we want. To be aggressive. To win. But we’re not taught that finding a space within us actually connects us to the Quantum and maximizes our potential to create. So we can actually “win” more often without anyone else having to lose. Because it’s about tapping into our own potential. And that’s not competitive. It’s possibility.
So try to find moments in your life as a daily practice to just Be.
Meditate. Visualize. Go for a walk. Dance. Write. Listen to music. Spend time in Nature. Disconnect from the virtual Grid and get connected to the Infinite Potential Grid. We’re so “connected” all the time, but really lack connection. Especially with ourselves.
For five minutes every day, find a way to connect with yourself. Make it part of your lifestyle. Watch what happens.
“If you know you’re going to fail, then fail gloriously.” — Cate Blanchett
Astrophysicist, Adam Frank, interviewed on NPR says that the “experience of time throughout history is an invention. It is neither God-given nor physics-given.” It is a social construct that is built by a particular culture for political, economic or religious reasons.
Buddhists talk about dying to the past and that the future hasn’t yet been born. What they mean is that the past occurs only in our minds. But we use it to poison our present. Instead of being fully present, we measure now with illusions of the past. “I was happier then. I was younger then. If only it could be like it was.”
Or we live an imagined future. “I can’t wait until ____ and then my life will begin.”
We keep waiting for some future time before we allow ourselves to do the things we really want to do. Or take the risk. Or live more fully-expressed now.
But both the past and the future are a sort of fiction. They only exist – and will only ever exist – now.
Think about it. You daydream about your “past”. But those things – when they occurred – were experienced in your now.
Similarly, the future may mean two weeks from today. But when you experience it – it will be now.
There’s never going to be a moment in your life that will not be experienced now.
Your point of power is always now. The more you become aware of this moment, the more actualized you will become.
This week, take a look at how often you spend your day in your “past” or your “future”. Which do you hang out in most? And what’s the predominant feeling associated with being somewhere else? If you’re always thinking about your future, you might feel anxious or nervous. If you’re living in the past you might feel depressed or moody.
Just become aware that you are often somewhere else. The moment you realize this, you become present. That’s progress!
“Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday.” — Anonymous