In our world of how-to guides, it’s easy to think that the primary source for what you want lies outside yourself. I spent much of my life trying to find an ideal job, perfect relationships, better ways to make more money, and an airtight philosophy for living.
If the ideas in this book catch your attention and pull at you, try them out. See if you discover something new for yourself. But ultimately anything new will come from within yourself – whenever something draws your attention, it’s because there’s already something inside you that recognizes it.
This book of narratives tells how I found the “new” by peeling off layers of shoulds, comparisons, have-tos, and pseudo certainties. These heavy overlays made it difficult for me and others to see what was ready to shine through, if only I would/could allow it.
Throughout my process, I needed – and still use – reminders to be patient and to allow myself to grow naturally. I’ve so often been pulled to look outside for advice, instruction, or guidance about my path. But every time I made the outside into a primary guide, it felt like I was trying to grab something and glue it onto myself – to force something to happen rather than to let it be nurtured. I’ve found that allowance, not force, is how I grow best.
I was a person of logic and reason who believed in an objective reality. Since the objective outside world was the key to my happiness, I thought I had to learn to mold that world to create what I wanted. I thought I had to be in control because I was independent and self-sufficient, and the outside world is objective.
Now I’ve uncovered a different reality for myself. I discovered what it is to “Be” – rather than to just think and feel and do, which for me meant making things happen.
I began to see that when I put my primary attention on thinking, feeling, and doing, I was looking outside myself for fulfillment. It was circular. Since I believed the outside determined my life experience, it was crucial that I put all my attention on it. For me, there was no whole self and no depth of Being. There was only a surface self that had to meet the expectations of objective reality – a surface reality I thought could make me happy.
Accepting concepts, logic, and reason as “bosses” made my mind cling to the outside world. I thought mind-as-boss took precedence over my body and other people and things near to me. After all, the mind is amazingly powerful. It made sense to believe it could make things happen and force them into place.
It turns out that my mind is powerful but not in the way I had thought. It is powerful as an interacting part of a whole self in an interconnected world. It is powerful as a very limited tool. Once I realized that allowance nurtured more expansive growth, and that force and willpower constricted this type of natural progress, my life experience became what I wanted: a grounded feeling of gratitude for myself and my surroundings. It was no longer a battleground demanding a win, a great achievement, or the careful categorizing of items into “right” and “wrong”.
At long last, I found that the source of my knowing and growing was inside, not out. I hope you will find the same – that you are the source of yours.