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.
Working on a long-term dream or goal? Oh, I see workshop participants worry like grandmothers, patting down an imaginary apron, as they talk about their perceived lack of progress. Because those of us daring to live unconventional, inspired lives often feel plagued by this: Why does it take so long to succeed?
I don’t know about you, but I kept thinking I must be doing something wrong. It was obvious everyone else had it altogether.
I saw other’s perfection on T.V.--- though I managed to ignore the drug commercials for depression, high blood pressure, fatigue, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts---which should have been a clue. I kept looking for my pattern, my ancestor’s pattern, a fly in the ointment, something to blame for still sorting through a life in process.
Maybe I just didn’t go to the right astrologer, business-coach, or witch-doctor. Maybe I should have seen John of God or spent a tiny bit less time plundering Nordstrom’s and thrift stores. Maybe I should have shoveled out my subconscious mind, gotten a chiropractic adjustment for my karma, taken an internet marketing course, or moved to the Bay area. And don’t get me started on family.
But finally, I’ve come to realize: The reason I couldn’t find “the something” I needed to change was because it didn’t exist. I assumed that if I could just track down the one defect, then I could make life perfect—and it would stay that way forever.
But that’s not how it works. There was nothing wrong with my life. There is nothing wrong with your life, either.
Yes, I know my fellow savvy eye-roller, it’s a harps and patchouli “spiritual” thing to say. But it is a spiritual thing. It’s water in the desert, a jug of holy water, if you ask me. It’s the absolute turning point—a departure into another way of living.
What if nothing is wrong with your life except your judgment of your life?
In the wisdom teachings of A Course in Miracles , it says that your fearful self teaches you: “If this were different, I would be saved.” Essentially, it’s a way of making sure you never land in the life in front of you. Instead you look for a rescue, a fix, a guarantee, or a finale. You push away the circumstances that are here to serve you, convinced you know what is true. You deny your own love—separate from what is—and guarantee an inability to thrive.
Yet in life, there will always be uncertainty. There will always be a gap—the space between where you are and where you want to be. This isn’t failure. This is life, especially for someone who continues to grow.
You have every right to desire progress.
But it’s disabling to condemn where you are.
Thriving comes from loving, not from withholding love.
If you want to grow, turn your focus toward the sun. Begin to ask yourself-- What am I doing well? How have I progressed? What feels good to me? What’s been moving in the right direction? How can I be self-affirming right now? This isn’t Sesame Street for the vapid or resigned. This is Open Sesame---the unlocking of more than you knew you could have.
You’re always moving forward. You may have a narrow definition of what success would look like. You may feel as though the rug has been pulled out from underneath you. I’d say you’re on a magic carpet ride. You’re no longer in the life you planned. This is a life that is bigger than your plan. This is inspired jurisdiction.
Sorry Dorothy, you’re not at the big box stores at the mall anymore, where everything is as usual-- and you have the illusion of order, control, and manageability. Because when you’re growing, opening to your own signature soul adventure, nothing is going to be predictable.
This is not a path of thriving through manipulation and control. You are learning to fly—to lose ground-- and find grounding wherever you are.
Thriving means trusting your own experience to lead you where the deepest part of you longs to be, instead of fighting your life and yourself at every turn.
I know it’s scary to “let go of control”—as though you have it. We live in a world of intellectualism where we’re taught that if we just learn enough or do it right, we can take charge and manipulate results. We will never have to face ourselves, our badgering fears, and trust in an inspired process that’s so much bigger than our brains. We’ll also never really know that things are working out. This is such a small way to live.
I see this in my programs. Students want the 3 steps, the 8 steps to success. They just don’t want to hear about the only step that makes all the difference. It’s the one step that sometimes feels like a free-fall, yet it’s the fast-track to everything you could ever want: Trust yourself.
Love yourself. Study and bless your own inspired journey. The mystic Andrew Harvey says “You have to leap into the fire. Nobody will do it for you. Nobody can do it for you.”
Of course, “official steps” make our pointy-headed egos feel like they’re accomplishing things. But who cares about what you get done…if it doesn’t catapult you into peace and joy? I care about how alive you feel. Are you tingling with presence? Are you dancing in the moonlight, even when it’s just you alone in your kitchen, underneath an environmentally sensible halogen bulb? Do you know something inside yourself that can’t be taken away, even if circumstances change? Let me tell you-- love is so much bigger than control.
It’s always been love that has moved me forward. All the data or strategy in the world couldn’t give me the solidity of one inspired moment.
I’ve had times when I felt this sweet crazy freaking divine connection and I’ll tell you right up front it didn’t happen when I was judging myself or my life. It didn’t happen from planning my life and following through like an automaton either.
I needed uncertainty to stay open. I needed to stay open to receive more than just an answer, but a true way of getting every one of my answers. Uncertainty forced me to discover what I really knew inside. And this connection rang all the bells. This connection is the One True Thing that has made me feel alive and made everything worth it. This startling power didn’t add on knowledge. It peeled away my limited “knowledge,” revealing the knowing that is always there. My progress wasn’t immediately “provable.” But it was irrefutable to me. Love reveals conviction, not of the mind.
I no longer need to “fix something” or find a perfect answer or repair for a life that will always be in process—and in grace. I am less concerned with what the deluge of information on the internet or media suggests. I want to hear the still, deep, dark, electric truth within me. I want to follow what only I can know. I am not rushing to be somewhere else-- so that I can finally accept myself.
I am not blaming anything for why I am held back. I am never held back. I am standing on holy ground---because wherever I am standing-- I am standing wholly. I am no longer measuring my progress by my circumstances--- but by my experience of and response to my circumstances.
Finally, I trust uncertainty more--- because I am never uncertain--- as to how much I will choose to love myself--- and every fiber of this fluctuating, emerging life.
To me, this is success. I want you to have it.
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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