Monthly Archives: October 2011
Joseph Campbell said, “We are so engaged in doing things to achieve purposes of outer value that we forget that the inner value, the rapture that is associated with being alive, is what it’s all about.”
For many of us, we’ve never been taught to identify with an inner journey; how to self explore. So we seek continuously outwardly. Partly this is due to our living in a culture that only measures results by the things we achieve, the amount of money we make, how things can be categorized into price-points and sales.
The problem with an externally-referenced (i.e., outward) journey only – is that we can continue to achieve results on an outer scale, but we eventually find that we’re unfulfilled but can’t understand why. So we keep trying to acquire more stuff or do different things or get new boyfriends or girlfriends or a better car or more designer clothes and again feel anesthetized within.
The journey we’re all on – which you might be now realizing after 44 weeks! – is a journey of discovering the inner self. The inner world offers us everything that we think the outer world provides.
You gain access to imagination and discover hidden meaning and deeper feeling. You tap into resources of potential and possibility you never knew you possessed. You realize you’re much smarter and stronger and talented than the outer world either confirms or denies. You begin to take outer experiences less personally because the inner can’t ever be affected by the outer. It’s impervious.
The outer (whether we like it or not) is always temporary. Always transitory. Things don’t last. You grow tired of something. You become bored. You want something bigger or brighter or prettier or younger or flashier.
The inner is your cornerstone. It’s changeless. It’s with you always. It actually is you.
The inner is the clay. It’s the filling in the cherry pie. It’s the grist to the mill. It’s the part we mistake for the outer – which sadly often then distracts us with its window dressings – that we never even discover we have an inner.
Let the inner inform the outer. Not the other way around. And as you do, you’ll start experiencing your outer life becoming more free, more fun, more abundant, more exciting, more fulfilling.
In short, all the things that you wanted to have happen in the first place.
“Everyone who wills can hear the inner voice. It is within everyone.” – Gandhi
You gain thirty pounds. Your essential nature is the same.
You get dumped. Your essential nature is the same.
You turn 30. Your essential nature is the same.
Your agent drops you. Your essential nature is the same.
Your essential nature – who it is that we all are – transcends our age, social status, accomplishments, physical appearance, successes or failures.
It’s not derived by the cars you drive, the shoes you wear, the zip code you live in.
It’s not affected by the ups and downs of your life. Your challenges or disappointments.
It’s the part of each of us we are born as. You could call it your essence. The truth of who you are.
The essential nature of who you are is child-like. Perfect. Innocent. Expressive. Whole. Not lacking in any way.
It’s the part that can’t be influenced by the prejudices of others. By the things people say or the actions taken against us.
So many of our doubts, insecurities, fears and worries are generated by outside influences that use “compare-and-despair” tactics to make us feel like we’re not good enough. Or that we’re a failure. Or not attractive. Or have nothing to contribute.
Stop letting the influences of Madison Avenue and its marketing campaigns and media images distort your self-image.
Our culture sells dreams. It preys on our insecurity that who we are isn’t enough. That our lives are lacking and unfulfilled in some way until we get married, or have millions of dollars or have our own TV show or get invited to that A-list club or buy these products we “can’t live without.”
Accumulation of things – of stuff – doesn’t make us happy.
Happiness is a state of being. It’s who we already are. It is our essential nature. It’s the creative child within all of us. We don’t lose this essence when we become adults, but we do misplace it. We forget we possess it.
You don’t have to work so hard to “do.” You already are.
You don’t have to push and always make things happen. Simply allow.
You don’t have to control. Be in a let go.
Stop trying to become what you already are.
“Children aren’t bored when they wake up in the morning because they don’t know what’s going to happen to them that day. Adults are bored because we think we do.” ~ Marianne Williamson
People often ask me, “Why do we have ego?”
Well without it, you wouldn’t be able to know that there’s another part of you. Something grander. More brave. More joyous.
The soulful part of you. Spirit. Infinite Intelligence. The Creative Matrix. Potential.
Living in a world of duality, you can’t know something without having the experience of its opposite.
We know joy because we’ve experienced sorrow. We know what compassion is because we’ve been indifferent. We know what generosity is because we’ve experienced greed. And so on.
So to have ego creates the possibility to know the bigger part of you.
But ego tries to keep us in the dark, hiding from our Light. And its incompatible with creativity.
The journey of our lives in general – and of our artistic expression specifically – is to try to dismantle the ego so we live more and more in potential. But that’s difficult because the ego’s job is self-preservation. And its been preserving you for a very long time.
When we work on things creatively that bring up our vulnerability – which is (ironically) our natural state – the ego will kick in to preserve the self – our identity. When we hear criticism in this state of vulnerability – it’s not what we hear now that causes the ego to rear its ugly head. It’s that you actually hear it incorrectly from your 8-year old wounded self who was made to feel unsafe or unprotected or exposed. Your ego protected you at that time (perhaps legitimately), but instead of hearing the criticism from a neutral place of now, the ego misperceives and distorts how you receive it, confusing it as an attack. Just like when you were in the 3rd grade. Ego goes into full-on preservation mode. And it shuts out possibility.
But like anything, awareness is the first step to change.
This week, if you’re in any of the 8 “S’s” you’re in a state governed by the ego –
Stuck — Shut down – Shut Out – Saboteur – Safe – Separate – Small – Self Centered.
They are just states of self-preservation. Become aware of them, breathe, and let them go. Your 8-year old self can thank them. But they don’t serve you anymore.
“Are you placing enough interesting, freakish, long shot, weirdo bets?” ~ Tom Peters
The paradox of Schrödinger’s cat is indeed weird. It demonstrates that in a hypothetical experiment – in the world of the quantum – a live cat put in a box with radioactive decay that could possibly be released and therefore kill the cat, experiences two different wave forms superimposed on each other.
In other words, there are two possible outcomes for our feline friend.
The cat is both dead and alive until the observer opens the box to find out.
Like life – they’re everywhere. But we don’t see them. We ignore them. We shut them out. We deny them.
How? We continue to observe life from a place of limitations, instead of possibility.
No one is putting limits on you. No one sees you as limited, except yourself. You could argue that out in the world you’re constantly being met with people trying to limit you (an agent saying you’re “too old,” or a boyfriend telling you “you’re stupid,” or a well-meaning parent expressing, “it’s a brutal business.”) but really, those limitations are projections of their stuff. Their fears. Their insecurities. Their doubts. Just because someone projects their stuff onto you doesn’t make it real.
You limit yourself by what you put your attention on. What you focus on increases. So you shut out access to possibility because of the myriad ways you say “no” to something.
You listen to other people’s projected limitations.
It’s a closed system. Saying “no” is incompatible with possibility because in order for possibility to occur you have to experiment. You have to try. You have to play. You have to say “yes.”
You are both the scientist of your life and the experiment. Your life is this gigantic laboratory. There are no rules. There are no directions. You make it up as you go along. But you need to get experimenting. Creating. Exploring.
Without experimentation there is no discovery. Without discovery, there is no possibility.
Stop tethering yourself to the world of “no” and all it’s black & white blandness.
Light up your Bunsen burner, put on your goggles, mix some potions in your beaker and get creating.
Harry Potter had fun doing it in his potions class. Why don’t you?
“It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.” ~ Paulo Coelho
Do you realize how powerful you are? How you can become actualized in your life in a way that empowers yourself and others?
As you become more and more self-actualized (which is really self-empowerment) you move from a preponderance of insignificant upsets, distractions and nuisances in your life to greater accomplishments.
You stop spending time with people who drain your energy. You stop killing time doing things that . . . well . . . kill time. You stop complaining and gossiping and getting caught up in petty aggravations.
You start feeling better. You have more energy. You give up the drama. You contribute more. Become more impactful. Make a difference. Have more fun. Show up in your life in a new way.
And have you noticed that as you start tapping into this reservoir of empowerment that lies within each of us, many of those people who used to distract you from being your best self start to fall away? You stop hanging out with them. They magically stop calling you. You meet new people who inspire you and encourage you to be your best self.
And isn’t that what we’re all after? To be our best self?
Our potential – how empowered we can each be – is the largest bulk of what makes up our being. This is your best self.
It’s analogous to water.
Our bodies are made up of 75% of it. You possess the same powerful properties. You are transformative, expansive, fluid, resilient.
Water is a conductor.
Start conducting! Become the conductor of your own life.
Channel this expansive power you possess into things that serve you. Inspire you. Delight you.
You’re never going to conduct the left brain. Ever. It’s got its own discordant symphony going on in there and it’s mostly loud, off-key, distracting noise.
But you can learn to minimize it.
Try this week. How? Don’t judge yourself for one day.
That’s a way to start.
“Brick wall, waterfall man u think u got it all But u don’t, I do, so boom with that attitude; Peace punch Cap’n Crunch I got something u can’t touch Bing bang choo choo train wind me up I do my thing; Reese’s Pieces 7 Up don’t mess with me I’m going Up, Up, Up!”