You’ve been fed some misleading stories. We all have.
One of the most salient stories is that there is a future that is better than our current reality, and if we strive for it we can have it.
The impression is that there is something “out there” that we haven’t yet gotten, and we’re constantly being sold the idea that things can, and will, eventually get better, —if only.
If only we work hard enough, if only we find the right partner, if only we study enough, if only we make the right choices, if only we heal ourselves enough, if only we stop thinking negative thoughts, if only we stop being so reactive, if only we figure out a way to make a real impact, if only we overcome enough hurdles.
If only. Surely, then we’ll finally arrive.
Stories like that of Serena Williams, Oprah, Steve Jobs, and Sonia Sotomayor, reinforce the idea that hard work and perseverance will lead to measurable success. Sometimes they do, often they don’t.
The story then also implies that happiness, fulfillment, satisfaction, and all the other warm and fuzzy feelings at the top of everyone’s most-wanted list will come, too.
Reality, of course, is much more complicated.
Conversely, we’ve also heard the stories that tell us that money, success, and power can’t buy happiness.
We’ve all read the news reports. Robin Williams is perhaps the most obvious example, but we can also imagine how strong the discontent must be in someone like Putin, to propel him to act the way he does, and for what? The hope of relief. The hope of arrival.
It’s clear that the problem isn’t what we think it is, and yet we all do this, don’t we?
It feels good to work toward a goal, it feels good to have something to hope for, to strive for, so we keep making new goals and keep looking for new ways to fix our discontent.
But what we don’t realize in all of our striving is that the act of seeking a more promising shore is the very thing that keeps us from the arrival we seek. If we’re constantly looking toward a future that we imagine will be better, we hold ourselves back from loving what is already in front of us.
This leads us straight into one of life’s most profound paradoxes.
The paradox is that loving what is doesn’t mean that there isn’t still work you can—and should!— do on the physical plane.
Because on the physical plane life’s only constant is change, and this means things will inevitably happen that we find unpleasant or challenging. As a being that is manifest in the physical world, you were born to grow and evolve through these changes, not despite them.
Your physical self is a part of the Great Mystery and is therefore holy and must also be honored.
But there is a plane that is beyond the physical, that acts as the stage on which life’s drama unfolds, and it is this constant, unwavering backdrop that is the core of who you really are.
It is from this backdrop that the strength is found to live life fully on the physical plane. When you are tapped into this space of BE-ing, the space that is the source of doing, beyond the physical, that you are able to navigate all of the changes, the ups and downs, the wanted and unwanted, with more ease and grace.
The foundation of inner work, therefore, is to cultivate the remembrance of this deeper truth beyond the physical, and from that space, allowing the next steps on your personal growth journey on the physical plane to be recognized.
Here’s a hint:
Any time you feel your heart close off, any time you get anxious, jealous, frustrated, dissatisfied, and wrapped up in life’s drama, and any time you experience symptoms of stress, (like insomnia, digestive upset, low immunity, headaches, menstrual irregularity and so on,) those are the moments that show you where there is work to do.
Ready to get started?
I can’t wait to see where it takes you!