What I’m about to share with you has taken me a long time to really see. But I want to propose something to you that has the potential to change the way you show up every day in your life. What I want to propose is this…. What if, there is no where for you to get to? What if you’re already there? Before you dismiss this as rubbish, hear me out. Because what if I am right?
This insight has come my way via one of my teachers, Michael Neill. To help his students create the space to have this insight, Michael shares the story of his two dogs who he describes as having two very different ‘personalities’. One dog gets very bored unless she is engaged in her favourite game of fetch. Like the compulsive goal setter, the dog will keep going fetching the ball and bringing it back right up to the point of collapsing in physical exhaustion. His other dog on the other hand, seemed quite happy exactly where she was, whether that is at the park or at home. It didn’t seem to matter to her where she is, she seems relaxed and content with whatever comes her way. He describes his first dog as a ‘goal dog’, and his second dog as a ‘river dog’ – a dog that is content exactly where she is.
What this story allows us to see so beautifully, is that it’s not the type of behaviours the dogs are exhibiting that matter, but the reasons behind why they do what they do. In other words, the reasons behind why we set goals. If we believe that our happiness and self worth are attached to the goals, then we see our well-being as coming from how well we achieve those goals. The bar will constantly be being raised in an effort to succeed more, thus we never seem to be happy with where we actually are. I’ve seen so many women in this situation who just keep on chasing those bones until they reach a point where they burn out either physically or mentally. If our well-being is attached to achieving these goals, then ‘over there’ will always look better than where we are right now.
The flip side of this is to start to see that there is nowhere for you to get to, because you’re already here. When we can increase our awareness of where well-being is actually found – which is within – we can start to see that compulsively chasing it ‘out there’, will mean we will never actually get there. We may reach our goal, but it will never bring us what we hope it might. We might feel good for a little while, but then we will settle back down in to that same old feeling of ‘not being enough’. So our thinking will trick us by telling us that the goal was wrong, it wasn’t enough, so we have to race out to the next bigger and greater goal. It was the goal that wasn’t right.
When I first had insights around this – that I already has inside what is was I was searching for – I didn’t quite understand it. I had spent my whole life believing thinking that told me that if I wasn’t setting goals and consistently striving to achieve, I would do nothing. I’ve heard this so much from my clients too, that worry that if we actually accept we are enough, we won’t want to try anymore.
But this isn’t what happens when we truly see this universal truth.
Just because we might start to see there is nowhere else for us to be, doesn’t mean we won’t travel. It’s just that when we do, we will do so because we want to – not because we feel we have to in order to be worthwhile. We’re so conditioned to think that without that drive to be more, have more, do more then we simply will become lazy coach potatoes. But in reality, the opposite is true. Most couch potatoes I know are there not because they have had insight in to the fact that they are already there and their well-being is within. They are there because they feel they are so broken and so incomplete, they just don’t even know where to start. So to do nothing is a way of protecting themselves. They are in reality very far from seeing that their well-being is within.
Seeing you have everything you need within means you can start to live in your life and do the things in your life because you want to. You want to squeeze what you can out of life because living is truly a gift. You will show up, create, do and not because you are incomplete, but because you are fully alive. And you will know that no matter the outcome of anything you do, it can’t take away your wellbeing. Like the sun, that is always within us. When we have that awareness, life starts to look a whole lot less scary, and lot more fun, exciting, and experimental.
This story illustrates this so well.
Why Does a Bird Sing?
A teachers who had received much acclaim for his insights and discourses into the nature of the universe was asked by one of his students what difference he hoped to make in the world through his teaching.
After a few moments’ thought, the teacher replied that he had no such hopes.
‘Those who can truly hear what I have to say don’t really need me to say it; those who can’t hear could listen until I was hoarse without changing in the slightest.’
The student was confused.
‘But if you can’t make a difference, why do you teach at all?’
The teacher smiled.
‘Why does a bird sing?’
If we want to get something new, we have to allow ourselves to see something new. If this whole concept is uncomfortable to you, that’s ok. You know you can still learn and see new things even while sitting in discomfort. There really is nothing to fear. Try to sit within this idea and see what happens. What happened to me and what I see happen with most of my clients I point to this, is they start to relax a lot more deeply in the present moment. That may look a lot like slowing down to the point where their thinking tells them they’re not doing enough. But if you distance yourself from those thoughts, your vision will expand and you will start to be inspired by a whole set of new ones.
So what would you like to create in your life right now, knowing that there can be no mistakes, only experiences? How would your health start to look to you? Maybe it would start to look like the food you eat doesn’t hold your well-being either, and you could start to poke holes in the thinking that leads you to eat a whole lot of foods you know aren’t good for your health. What about movement? Perhaps you would start to poke holes in the thinking you have around what you like, don’t like and what you are capable of when it comes to movement.
It will look different to us all, which is why there is no prescription I can give you of how this will work for you. All I can do is sing, and share with you what has brought a whole lot of peace & joy to my own life.
If you’re curious to see more about how this works, have a look at my upcoming 5 week combined group and individual program. It could be the start of you starting to see that you really are already here.