There’s a belief that is, I think, cultural, that “doing our best” means some kind of militaristic, ultra-aggressive form of white-knuckling it.
Is this really true?
I am not saying there isn’t room for hard work and discipline. There are, I believe, times in our lives when we do indeed have to step on the gas and take our commitment and dedication to a whole other level. We can tell, though, when this is a joyful endeavor, full of risk-loving laughter and delight – the delight of being the co-creator of our reality – and when it is an endeavor coming from fear.
When it’s coming from fear, we tend to push ourselves into a corner and threaten punishments.
This is how we leak and eventually lose our creativity.
Remember, the voices of fear are never the voices of Truth.
Instead, is it possible that our best can be as effortless and light-hearted as a summer river flowing over the rocks? No sense of obstacles ~ just finding the path of no resistance at all times and Deeply Honoring what wants to happen.
Because here is the secret to keeping the faith when times get tough, I tell ya:
Deeply realize that, once you have seeded an intention, become absolutely clear on what you want in your heart of hearts and communicated that to the universe, everything that happens afterward is working to that end.
Even and especially the things that don’t make sense.
Because, if your dream is big enough, it won’t be something you can figure out the steps for in your conscious mind. In fact, it’ll require of you to transform into an entirely different being in the process, to become the soul you know in your heart of hearts you already are, you just haven’t embodied it yet (and sometimes it seems like the furthest thing out of reach).
Example here, a recent one: I had this vision of Curb the Binge, of writing and podcasting for you all and completely offering myself to this endeavor for the rest of my days. I saw clearly the coach inside of me that wanted to come out, and the coaching style that I’ve never been taught, but is arising out of me organically. I saw my students and readers and clients and loved you all, instantly. I fell in love with a life that was not yet realized in the 3D-reality, but in my heart of hearts, it’s real as anything.
Then, the fears got to me. I started asking myself who would want to come to me as a coach when I don’t have an upper level degree, even though I know inside of myself that the kind of coaching I offer is not a series of methods or techniques – it is coming straight from my heart, straight from the Gift I have been given to help others see themselves clearly and realize their potential not according to anybody’s standards ~ but by their own rules of the game. I know I have that gift.
But I was scared. I thought about money. I thought about my parents getting older and how badly I want to support them. I thought about my family and how we want to have more kids. I thought about how I was going to make this all happen and I panicked – lost touch with the knowledge and deep understanding that there is something larger holding me.
I bought into the idea that I had to do it all myself.
Bad things come out of this separation.
I decided to apply to grad school. I thought, the clear, step-by-step method for achieving my goal was to get a master’s in psychotherapy and become a licensed counselor.
That’s how you climb a ladder, is it not?
Well, I got in. And part of me felt good. I felt more safe. I had the sense that I was taking matters into my own hands, and the accompanying belief – as separate from the Source of all creation as it was – that I was “doing the right thing” (an entirely conditioned response).
But I also started to see ways in which my inner being was shrinking away from ~ rather than magnetizing toward ~ this prospect of grad school. In my heart, I feared that a psychotherapy program would fill my head with already established methods and the voices of other people, squashing the whispers of my own soul that were bringing forth my innate wisdom.
I feared that I would forget who I was and lose touch with my own Truth in exchange for the the inevitable biases of an established program.
In short, I realized that what I wanted was less conditioning, not more.
I am not saying this is right for everyone. But I was slowly becoming aware that there was a deep sadness inside of me about giving up something that is precious to me because I thought I had to.
Alas, two weeks before the start of school, I meditated with Great Spirit in an intense way. I sat with myself, in the dark, for many hours. Eyes closed, I searched for the Deep Guidance of my own heart, and into that space I asked what I already felt might be true:
Is this grad program just a distraction from the real work?
The answer was a clear, resounding Yes.
Then I felt the fear of what it might mean to actually act on that truth, and I asked for help and strength to act on the right decision.
Lo and behold, despite all my fears, taking the necessary actions to pull out of the program was amusingly easy. It was like strings that were never meant to be tied in the first place were happy to be cut, and disappeared without an echo or a trace.
It was then that I saw how more than any degree, what would most lead to the fulfillment of my dream was to work on that which I had already started.
“The work is the work,” as one of my students said.
A saying comes to mind, “God helps those who help themselves.”
I would adjust that to:
The universe meets you halfway.
My life is full of experiences like the one mentioned above, where I thought I was going to orchestrate my destiny to be exactly how I wanted it, only to be thrown off that path rather unexpectedly so that the Divine could take over.
What I was doing was, with my own willpower, actually getting in the way of what I wanted.
To recap, if you don’t know what you want, sit with that until it becomes clear.
Once you do know what you want, communicate it to the universe. Write it down, pray, put a message in a bottle, walk in nature and share your longing with the trees. Find a way that resonates with Who You Are and works for you.
Then, once you’ve made yourself clear, Let Go.
Let a much bigger intelligence take over. When things don’t go the way you planned, say a prayer of Gratitude into the ether. Take it as a sign that something bigger than you is moving the pieces. Let It.
And that is how you keep the Faith.