For the past two weeks, we’ve discussed how comparative thinking has grown within us, manifested itself and flip-flopped around. Now we have an opportunity to learn about waking up from this dream (or nightmare) and what to do when we come to the realization of the results (wreckage?) of our learned behaviors.
Once more, the story continues: Now we’re aware. We know that we have been living life on a merry-go-round, bouncing from one carousel horse to another, and sometimes a boat. We’ve tried to grab the brass ring, but somehow it always seems to be just out of grasp – either that or we’re too dizzy from all the spinning that we’re just hanging on to the horse’s pole for dear life! Either way, we know it’s time to stop, and it’s time to change. But how?
Here we are waking up to the realization that we want something different – that we want more. But how do we define “more” and “different?” For me, of those two words, “different” has played a larger role. I spent much of my young adult life working in jobs and careers that I thought I “should” be doing. I was pleasing everyone but myself. I won’t say I didn’t like the various jobs – I did. As with many of us, I did my best to make the most of everything I was doing. I made friends, established great relationships and was successful. I was doing well. All the while, though, there was a nagging inside of me that said, “there’s something else; something different.” It took family tragedy to give me my moment of pause. And though I wish the tragedy never happened, I accept it as one of the greatest gifts in my life.
When I woke up and realized I’ve been living a life based on faulty comparisons and beliefs – I knew I needed balance. For me, the key to finding balance, and removing that revolving door from my life, is to give myself the gift of space and time. You can do this in many different ways: meditation, coaching, therapy, exercise, energy work, etc. By creating a small amount of space and time in your world, in your mind, you can actually allow the real you to start to bubble up to the surface. You can start to hear yourself, your true self – your essence. And trust me, once your Spirit realizes it’s being heard, it’s hard to shut up!
Now I know many of you will say, “But I just don’t have the time!” I know. I’ve said it, too. I’ve even tried to just use my time for this type of work – and in the process, I stopped living. So, I’m not suggesting you do ALL of those things. Just one. Choose just one thing that will give you pause in your week. One thing that’s only for you – not for anybody else. If you regularly work out, but you’re doing because you “should,” and you’d really rather be at home in yoga pants with popcorn and a chick flick; well then, I wouldn’t suggest exercise as your “pause” time. Rather I would suggest something that will get you outside yourself, possibly with someone who is trained to help you do just that. We all have the time to spend an hour a week honoring who we are inside. We may have to write it into our schedules, or block it out on our calendars, but we all have the time. If you need something totally concrete, schedule an appointment with a professional: a personal trainer, a yoga instructor, or me! If you need more flexibility, then make a commitment to yourself to take a walk for one hour a week – outside, with nature. Anything will do. It’s making the commitment and keeping it that prompts this process forward. Then what?
Well, for each of us, it’s different – but the process is the same. What we find as we step onto this path of becoming (or returning to) our authentic selves is that we never really lost who we were. We have known ourselves all along. For myriad reasons, however, we have had to become like the grass in the wind – blowing constantly in any direction. We have had to be flexible enough to be trod upon, and still stand up the next day. We have had to know what it is to be cut down and keep growing. And we have had to die in order to grow again in a new season. But here’s my thought: A willow tree has all the same characteristics: strength, flexibility, growth; but it cannot be stepped on, and it is not regularly cut down as part of its growth, nor does it die with the seasons. So – why not be a willow tree instead of grass? Why not be your authentic self, deeply rooted in who you are, yet flexible enough to move with your environment?
The willow doesn’t look at the fir tree and think, “if only I could stay green all winter long like him.” (at least, I don’t think it does!) The willow tree just is. It lives its life and fulfills its purpose as itself. It may get trimmed now and then, but if you’ve ever seen a willow tree that has been allowed to just grow naturally, you’ll see what I mean. It takes care of itself, and it bends to no one and everyone at the same time.
I know it’s been a really long story of trying to impart some knowledge and wisdom – but if you remember nothing else, remember this: however you’re feeling inside, will NEVER match up with what you see someone is being outside. It’s futile to attempt to make them match up and will only bring you discomfort. And however you appear outside, there will always be someone else who is feeling discomfort in looking at you, because they are comparing how they feel to how you look. It’s what we’ve learned. And we can un-learn it. It just takes a little time, space and practice.
Be yourself, and know that you are perfect, just as you are. And if you want to make changes, then you can, and you will – when YOU want to, for you.
Body – you are exactly as you are meant to be, at this moment in time. Love yourself.
Mind – you are learning exactly what you are meant to learn, at this moment in time. Honor yourself.
Spirit – You know everything is perfect, just as it is unfolding and happening, at this moment in time. Be yourself.
In Love and Light,