Who doesn't want to make their lives better in some way? Be healthier, more fit, have a comfortable home and more than enough money to spend. How about deeper relationships with your spouse or that special someone, and lots of really rich experiences with family and friends. Friends that are the kind of people you can really count on. Sounds pretty good to most of us, you may even say that's the kind of life you are shooting for, maybe with more travel thrown in. So what's stopping you from having this or your own particular version of it?
The answer is that we are missing some key elements to this process. Most of us are pretty good at the first piece which is envisioning. It's pretty self evident that we have great imaginations. How much of your day do you spend daydreaming? Imagining what things would be like if you were living a different life. Moving back and forth mentally between a past you can't change and a future you can't seem to create. You are not alone and it's easy to let days, weeks, months and years slip by in this state of imagining.
If you recognize that this may be you, an intervention may be called for. Nothing harsh just a gentle course correction to help you turn those wistful yearnings into a life well lived. Heck you already have the imagination piece down. There are a couple of really great options for you if you are ready and willing to become engaged in this creation process. First in April my Group Quest begins and we will embark on an 8 week journey to take back our lives. Small group change is a powerful dynamic in which a bond of excellence will be shared and expressed. This group will move through the creation cycle starting with intention, envisioning, embracing, releasing or exploring. This journey will allow you to see, feel and enter gateways of possibility, where you will plant the seeds of your potential future. The daily practice of Duty, Devotion, and Purpose will ensure that these seeds will remained aligned with our core intention as they grow . This creates a vital energy that propels us on the winds of change to unfold our hearts desire.
Secondly, If you feel that group work is not for you right now, I have other options. I offer support in the form of 3 month individual programs as well as one-off coaching and hypnosis sessions. Choosing to effect change in your life is the first step on the most important journey you will ever take.
Surrounded by people and feeling disconnected maybe even empty inside. Going to events with friends and feeling like you are just going through the motions. Kind of fun on the surface yet nothing real happening on a human level. Everyone busy on their phones telling friends who aren't there how much fun they are having. Consuming just a little too much of whatever intoxicant is available. If you are well off enough, you could really get ahead and make your loneliness footprint global.
Fast forward 20 years and the venues you are going to may not be as cool, your friends a little worn. We are all chasing it are we not? That something out there that will complete us, fulfill us. Make us happy. I have news for you folks, it's not out there!
Happiness is an inside job and unless we are willing to own that, we will never experience true freedom. To paraphrase Mathew 10:14, "Take that bushel basket off of your light". The more you practice opening your heart and sharing your humanness the less lonely you will be. This is not a new new understanding, though it has been pushed aside by the deluge of infotainment that masquerades as wisdom in our culture. Most would agree with what I am saying conceptually. It would be awesome to get together with a group of people willing to share their hearts. Sounds good, please send me some info and if I am not too busy I will check it out. For a lot of folks that is going to be as close as it gets.
Bottom line is that you cannot share your heart conceptually. It is a completely experiential practice and to do so you have to be willing to get some on you! You have to be willing to mix it up with others who too, are willing to touch their humanity. When you do this often enough it sticks. As my teacher Ten Bears would say, "That my friend is a life worth living"!
There is a belief that spiritual teachers ought to be gentle, possibly passive or even egoless in their interactions with others. They will always eat a clean diet and recycle their waste! This has not been my experience and if this is what your seeking you may find yourself duped by someone in a spiritual suit. Spiritual teachers are real people who earned their understanding the hard way by facing their fears and owning their vulnerability. Never mistake this for weakness as having nothing to defend is far from being defenseless.
Personality and ego are two different things! I worked for years with a teacher who had lot's of personality and yes, an ego. It doesn't go away when you become enlightened it just stops driving the bus! It still gets us out of bed in the morning and takes care of our needs while serving our deeper spiritual nature.
The fact that it was in control in the first place is some kind of programming error a generational default. When we human beings lose our trust in who we truly are the Ego fills the void. Then it gets a press agent and declares itself indispensable and it discovers fear as the greatest weapon that it could wield. We bought it just as we currently buy so many of the fabrications that support this structure.
The best way that I know of, for dealing with this errant program is to invite it to join with us on this journey of awareness. Once the Ego discovers that our spiritual nature does not want to eradicate it, a shift will occur. Seems that loving all parts of ourselves even those that we are not always proud of is the clearest action we can take.
I cannot tell you how to live your life, I can only live mine in a way that embraces for me, certain fundamental principles. The catch is that these do not feel external to me, it is as if they were written on my heart. Sometimes, I can see them clearly and at these times all of my actions flow from this place. Other times my vision is clouded by a barrage of thoughts and associated emotions. Actions become indecisive half measures defended by my old story.
It is only through a process of continually returning to this place, that my heart centered actions have grown stronger. Acknowledging this return with gratitude for having done so, leaves no room for feelings of shame or unworthiness. It's not about perfection, it's about practicing excellence which for me is making my best effort over time. This effort of course varies according to conditions.
It is this old story that serves to keep me separate from my deeper self and though it's voice is much more quiet than it used to be, it still grabs my attention. It is a fearful story of me and other, that preaches safety through vigilance and isolation. Yes, I know on a cognitive level that this story is a lie and in fact nothing more than a compilation of best guesses designed to keep me safe at all costs.
It's the at all costs part that really, really sucks as this is what weighs so heavily on my heart. In order to maintain the facade of safety and security based on mostly incorrect best guesses in the past, I did the following. Closed my heart to all people and situations that I was unable to control, manipulated others to meet my needs, isolated myself. I was trained throughout my early life to create connections in a sideways manner, testing and often rejecting so many potential friends, lovers and collaborators in life.
The surprise to me was finding that my behaviors though nothing to be proud of, left me well on the side of the majority of my fellow human beings. Wow, what a revelation to find that I was not alone in my apparent dysfunction, not that it actually made me feel better. Though it did help me process through the tremendous sense of loss and regret for what could have been. It also helped me find the determination to change this story the only way I knew how. Through strong intention support by resolute action I began living into a new story, one that became real for me.
This story is that of belonging, being a part of something bigger than myself! I learned through practice to catch myself while listening to this old story and call it out for what it is. Simply an outdated set of assumptions based on feelings linked to various emotional states. I have learned that safety itself is an illusion and that living my life with passion is not as risky as it first felt. My hope is that you will join me on this quest for a life well lived!
About the Author
Behavior Change Coach and Author James Barfoot CHt holds certifications as a Master Practitioner of NLP and is a Clinical Hypnotherapist who is registered to practice in Washington State. He developed The Primal Toolbox a behavior change and coaching strategy based on a tribal models. James lives in Spokane WA.