Hey! Where the fuck have I been??
Oh… Doesn’t my title say “watch your language?”
Well, that’s not quite what I mean, though, it can’t hurt to clean it up a smidge.
So how have you all been? Me? I’m fairly decent and on the cusp of insanely awesome.
I’ve been doing a lot of inner work, and I’ve come to share some thoughts on that.
Wow… I really should have considered getting up from my yoga practice about 10 minutes ago and coming right in here to sit down and record all the brilliant ideas that I had regarding what I was going to say. Alas, I did not, so let’s just “alphabet soup” our way along and see what happens.
I have tried a great many things the past 15 years to recreate myself into … well … my self. My true self. The spirit within.
One thing I’ve found in the “wellness” community is that everyone wants you to subscribe to their way of learning, healing, and growing. Why? Because they will get money (probably lots of it) for whatever it is that they’re selling.
Look, I get it. Your “thing” may have helped you greatly, and you may want to share that with the whole entire universe, and we all have bills to pay. Another sad reality is that people don’t generally trust what they don’t have to pay for in some capacity or other. Generally, though, the end result of all that is that a lot of people may be helped, but the reality is that they may only be helped for a little while. The problem starts all over again, and what do the modality sellers do? They start with the infernal babble:
“you aren’t doing it enough.”
“you aren’t doing it correctly.”
“here… buy more sessions, buy this other book, come to this ridiculously expensive weekend event“
And thost things may all help again. For a while. Until it doesn’t and you’re left again feeling like a failure because we are all comparing our real-life experiences to the highlight reels portrayed in infomercials, advertisements and, let’s be honest, social media.
A couple things about all this:
- Self improvement, growth, wisdom, and change are very much like a 12 step program. My alcoholic ex taught me all about AA and how important it is to “work your program.” What does this mean? It means that, once you see the need to change, once you accept that this has to happen, you show up each and every day, and you follow through. Once we initiate, we no longer have the luxury of saying “I don’t feel like it.” We get up, we go, and we do. 100% of the time, we fail because we falter.
- One modality of change may work to jump start you. It may not work for you every day for the rest of your entire life. Over the course of our lifetimes, we are many different kinds of beings, and, unless you’re dead (figuratively or literally), you rarely wake up the same person twice. What does this mean? You have to be open to learning and growing in more than one way. Don’t be afraid to revisit something you may have previously discarded as “bullshit.” When Oprah made Eckhart Tolle famous, I ran right out and bought a copy of “A New Earth.” I read the first couple of chapters and promptly threw it in a bookshelf and dismissed it as garbage. Years later, the aforementioned ex pulled it off my shelf and was reading it. I asked about it, and he told me that he learned about Eckhart a while back and loved his wisdom. We then had this conversation about becoming the observer of our thoughts. I tried it, and it made me incredibly uncomfortable, so I chucked it in the bucket again. Finally, after diving into Hermetic philosophy, I read something about ego that reminded me of the part of “A New Earth” that I did enjoy. Instead of running straight back to that book, I opted for “The Power of Now,” and it’s amazing the paradigm shift I experienced. Why? Because I was ready to hear it, and I was ready to accept the ways it applied to me.
- Focus on what words work for you. For example… I hate guided meditations where people tell me to “picture” something. I can never see the moonlit, primrose lined pathway they want me to walk along. I can never smell the lilacs they insist are present. I can, however, feel. I can feel that cool air on my face, or I can feel myself walking into that vast, warm ocean. Work with what resonates, and don’t beat yourself up for not being able to connect with what doesn’t resonate with you. You don’t have to be ashamed or feel like a loser because you’re not a visual person. You may be a sensory person. Maybe you are better with hearing. And since most of this paragraph has to do with meditating, let me just add… like most other things in life, meditation is a skill that must be practiced and built. No one out there has a mind-blowing, wonderful experience each and every time they sit down to meditate. If someone tells you they do, they are posturing.
- If you can only embrace one thing today, embrace this: your journey is your journey. Stop comparing yourself to the highlight reels.
At the end of the day, everything I have tried has helped me to get to the next stage. Now that I know there’s no one correct way to do this life thing, I am finally starting to believe that there is no stopping me. As long as I watch my lauguage (work with what resonates), and as long as I work my program.