It's easy to forget that we are all perfect in our own design. Sometimes we muck it up with habits and choices that do not serve us.
I am seeing more zombies lately, and I’m not talking about Halloween. I’m talking about the walking tired. Deadened eyes, pale skin, broken hearts. Yes, we live in interesting times. But I’m more concerned with the casual sadness we inflict upon ourselves.
What if you’re not drained? What if you’re pained …and the pain is a cry for honesty, passion, and the dazzling happiness that is your soul’s intrinsic birthright?
This month I offer you these three revolutionary questions to ask yourself. And to answer with the rest of your life. (So please don’t go for perfection. Let’s do this gradually…and consistently…because you’re worth this life-changing change!)
The Benedictine monk David Steindl-Rast once said that “The antidote to exhaustion may not be rest. It may be wholeheartedness.” It’s the half-life that hurts us. And if wholeheartedness is tonic, then fake-heartedness is toxic, though often very socially acceptable.
This is what being less than true to myself feels like to me. It’s like swallowing gallons of sea water and then trying to sing an aria-- proving that you can die with your music in you and it will kill you exponentially. But you knew that. For example, it’s when your boundary-less neighbor asks if she’s keeping you, as she launches into another story about her grandson’s adorable antics, and you say, “No that’s all right,” when really, you want to poke both of your eyes out with a stick. “What did the little bugger do this time?” asks the Judas in you. “Or tell me again just one more time about how you’re sure that Elvis Presley is really still alive on Mars.” And there goes the photographs you wanted to organize. The article you were meaning to send in. Even the nap in the hammock.
Or maybe you’re at the office and you smile a smile full of daisies and honey at the manager you think should be locked up. That smile is poison, killing cells, burning up fuel you might have used to launch your business or a TED talk. I’m not even exaggerating here. It takes everything you have to be everything you’re not.
Here’s some more questions to ask yourself: Who would I be if I weren’t trying to impress someone else, be overly polite, or fit in? Who would I be if I didn’t lie or hide in plain sight?
The wisdom tradition of A Course in Miracles teaches “you are not capable of being fatigued. But you are quite capable of wearying yourself through the strain of constant judgment.”
Oh, that strain of constant judgment. Nails on the chalkboard obstructing all birdsong. Are you listening to a broken record that goes something like this: I thought I’d be further along by now. Everyone else is doing so much better than me. I’m not smart enough. I should have more money than I do. What if I’m stuck here forever? How did this happen? I’m afraid to try because I don’t want to fail again. Maybe I won’t get to live my dreams in my lifetime. These are not rational thoughts. It’s not rational to listen to thoughts that dim the frequency of your life and excitement.
You do have a choice as to what you think about and where you place your attention. And your attention creates your days, years, and opportunities.
I used to think that judging myself was helpful, as in, it might prevent me from being a sloth or loser, which of course was imminent if I accepted myself for just a half a second. But I’ve learned that every time I judge myself, I break my own heart. I pollute my oxygen. I snap the necks of songbirds.
Because my identity is not comprised of my limitations or circumstances. I am the love within me . And an empowering thought isn’t a placebo or fertilizer for a pansy, as my inner critic so deftly suggests. It’s a weapon of choice and opens the floodgates of expansive possibilities.
I’m no longer running on empty trying to fly. I’m running on self-love and flying already. And the more I give to myself, the more I have to give to this world, which always comes back to me.
These days, I give myself permission to accept where I am. I give myself permission to try and dare again. I give myself permission to be unlabeled. I give myself permission to discover my life instead of judge it at every turn. With less scathing opinions, I’m more curious and available.
I find that faith just finds me of itself. I just had to stop being so cruel. And, so do you.
Here’s some more questions to ask yourself: Who would I be if I weren’t telling myself that I’m doing it wrong, that I am wrong, and that’s it’s too late, or that I’ll always be defective or stuck?
You have a genie within that is up and ready and wanting to help you create the life you love. It has instructions for you every single day. But you ignore this superpower. You even berate yourself for considering it. “Maybe I’m delusional,” you think to yourself, right after your heart skips a beat with electric hope. Because you’ve been trained to trust your brain more than your genius. But genius can be a flash of the future, while your brain rehashes the past, and, often, in a sour, compromised way.
Recently I heard Dr. Eben Alexander, a neurosurgeon who had a near death experience, say “Your brain is a filter. It’s not consciousness. It’s a filter.” In laymen’s terms, that means your brain is telling you a familiar story, but not the whole story. The genie within you has a bigger story. You’re meant to live that bigger story. That’s why it calls to you—letting you know there’s something more for you. Yet some part of you still thinks it’s more practical to shut yourself down to potential. And then you wonder why you feel numb or hollow or strangely sad?
You’re driving with your brakes on. You’re hoping to fly, but you’re unwilling to leave the ground of being that saddens you. It’s normal. But that doesn’t mean it works. It’s exhausting to give up on what you most desire. Consider this. You may be working three times as hard to get what you don’t even want. But what if you dared to believe in your heart’s truth again? This is the origin of wild inspiration. And even a shade less, is a path of resignation which can hurt you like Chinese water torture combined with Muzak.
Here’s some more questions to ask yourself: Who would I be if I weren’t telling myself I was delusional for believing in bigger possibilities? Or if I weren’t telling myself that my future could only be like my understanding of my past?
And before I send you off here, if you’re tired, please do get some sleep. Do drink some water. Do breathe in some canyons and oceans or whatever nature you can immerse yourself in. Your body is an amazing vessel meant to carry you into your ultimate expression. But do keep in mind that it’s your ultimate expression (whether that’s writing a screenplay, running for office, or forgiving your past) that will rest your body and your soul like nothing else can.
Join Panache Desai every morning and for support in reconnecting to the wellspring of calm and peace that lives within you and that has the power to counterbalance all of the fear, panic, and uncertainty that currently engulfs the world.
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