Editor’s Note: In one of those strange coincidences, I was listening to an NPR Tiny Desk concert as I was working on your post and the music seemed to match it perfectly. I’ve no idea what the lyrics are because it was your words in my head but the music itself was lovely. http://www.npr.org/event/music/236264498/daughter-tiny-desk-concert?sc=fb&cc=fmp
For the last few years, I have been on a constant journey. The nature of my journey has changed over time, but it is my journey, nonetheless. From the moment I was born, I’ve never been the type to follow the ‘normal’ route that most kids are trained to take. I’ve always done stuff outside the box; that tendency has sometimes propelled me forward and sometimes held me back. At all times, however, it has helped me see that I am the shaper of my destiny.
It’s easy to forget that we are imbued with the super-power of shaping our own lives when we fall too far into the mundane patterns of everyday existence.
Back to my journey: It started when I was 28. I had been working in my professional industry for five years and was essentially in the same place where I started. Sure, I was learning a lot, but I was spinning my wheels, brake pad-deep in mud. I looked at my life and realized, “Hey, I’ve stopped thinking outside the box. Shit.” So, I sold everything I owned and moved to Vancouver to ‘find myself.’
Over the next four years, I was essentially chasing shadows all over the place. “Oh, there I am!” “No, wait, I’m over there!” It seemed the only way I was able to identify myself was if I allowed someone else facilitate me in unlocking the secret truth about me and then…ah… there I was! It became this exhausting game of humility, self-submission, and shadow chasing followed by shadowboxing. At the end of those four years, I looked back at my life and realized, “Okay, I’m a foot forward of where I was four years ago, which means I’m a foot forward of where I was 9 years ago, which means… what? What’s this big secret all about? Why can’t I figure out ‘who’ I am?”
And then it struck me… I was that fish in the water—unable to see the water for what it was. I realized that there was nothing to ‘figure out.’ I am who I am and I can never be any different, and that’s a good thing. I’m not talking about knowledge or skills. Those can always be improved. But my inner me-ness, the thing that makes me me right down to my core, is what it is. The only healthy way for me to interact with that version of me was to embrace it. And I’m glad I did, because it’s no wonder I was so busy chasing shadows—the inner-core of me shines so brightly that it casts long shadows everywhere.
So, at that point, I decided there would be no more mentors. There is nothing wrong with mentors, per se. They did, after-all, help me move forward a foot. The problem was more that I put so much trust in others to tell me who I was that I failed to realize how to uncover my own sense of self. So, from that day forward, I decided two things:
- I am perfect. In this moment. There is nothing more perfect about me.
- I am love. It is the very nature of my shiny inner core.
I also decided three more things (I know, that’s five things but I needed to break it up):
- It will take practice to make my inner core shine at its brightest levels.
- I will fail, a lot, and, sometimes, I may even decide to cover up my light and label it ‘out of order’ while dealing with my failures—just as they do when they need to fix the beautiful steamboat Mark Twain at Disneyland.
- Because I am in this human body that can only absorb an extremely small amount of sensory data at any given point, I will most likely not be able to reach every dark shadow with my light, but I will certainly try.
This is where my journey has led me. I look over my life and my relationships, what I’m doing, where I am, and where I am going, and I realize that those five moments of awareness have taken me leaps and bounds forward, on my own. Just a simple understanding that I am perfect in every way, with a light of love to shine. It warms me through and through.
With that understanding, I am starting to collect mentors again, but with a different purpose. I am expanding my circle of support to those with like-minded values so that I may practice shining my light through a metamorphic experience of emulation and practice. I’m learning now in the same way that I learned about my body when I was a child. When I perceive a limitation (knowledge or skills), I can call on a resource, have them show me how they manage it, and emulate their approach until I can improve my own. A life-apprenticeship is really what I’m talking about. None of that changes who I am, deep down inside. It only enhances my sense of self on this journey.
And that is the message I hope to send to you.
Your mantra for the week:
I am perfect, exactly the way I am, exactly right now, exactly this moment. How my body feels and how my emotions are changing deepen my experience of my perfection.