My original intention with this blog was to not write about myself. Unfortunately, writing is how I figure stuff out, and I happen to be in a life stage where I don’t know completely where the journey is leading me.
My hope is that by finding the meat (almond meat for the vegetarians) 🙂 in my experiences, I can share something universal that may help others. One day, I would like this blog to have many different stories. But as you may know from other posts, for health and career change reasons, I haven’t been out much in the last few years.
So here we are. My own personal crossroads. An ex-ballet dancer with half of a college degree. A meditation teacher with a new gig. A writer with one tiny story published in a book of many.
Over the last few weeks, I have been conflicted over my purpose and mired down in comparison (that’s pretty universal isn’t it?). I even let this stop me from writing, which is usually my anchor and solace. I was left feeling dejected and without aim. This path always leads to judgement and negativity. These are not the fertile grounds for creativity to flourish.
Just when I thought I should give up and give in to the mental quicksand, I remembered two lessons. One from my personal teacher and mentor, davidji. Another from a teacher I have never met: Pema Chodron.
During certification week with davidji, the group was talking about what ‘authentic self’ means. It seems like something you have to go out of your way to discover, but I love what our dear teacher said:
“You don’t have to blow up your life.”
This means that the answers are within us. We don’t have to go anywhere to find them, unless that is part of our personal journey. We don’t have to become a totally different person to begin. We don’t have to make a grandiose gesture and leave behind everything we have ever known.
Pema Chodron teaches something similar. Through her books run the theme that the ground you are standing on is the one from which your journey begins. For many of us this means an ending of some kind, like the loss of a person or career. Probably something that we tied our identity too. In her book When Things Fall Apart she writes:
“If we’re willing to give up hope that insecurity and pain can be exterminated, then we can have the courage to relax with the groundlessness of our situation. This is the first step on the path.” (p.42)
When I was getting stuck in comparison, I was giving in to pain caused by the insecurity of the unknown.
But, once we lean in to the pain by not denying its existence, the compassion we begin to feel liberates us to find the solution. We can unburden ourselves by accepting the reality of our situation and remembering that the self that is contemplating life is indeed the true one. The original one.
I may not know where teaching meditation and writing is leading me, but I’m following what I love… so that’s something, isn’t it?
How To Deal With The Unknown:
- Meditate daily- immersion into our deep core helps us to stay true, and develop a sweeter outlook on life.
- Realize that if you compare someone else’s ending to your beginning, you are being harsh with yourself. If you are comparing yourself to someone you admire and respect, look back at their beginning.
- Reach out– talk to someone you trust. Explain how you are feeling. If you are deeply struggling, don’t hesitate to seek coaching, counseling, or therapy.
- Write it out- exploring thoughts on paper helps our brains to actively engage with our goals so that we actually start to notice the right opportunities in daily life.
- Understand that whatever we are feeling or experiencing, that is the material we have to work with. Working through it is our vehicle into the future. This way is much gentler than blowing up our life!