50 Shades of Motivation
“Life is filled with unanswered questions, but it is the courage to seek those answers that continues to give meaning to life.”
~ J.D. Stroube
My month started (and why I was a tad absent) with a wonderful healing retreat that I was honored to hold space for. We laughed, we cried, at times we were puzzled and even a bit annoyed, and at other times we were profoundly moved. I cherish sharing all of it with others and I truly look forward to the next chance I get to be in that space again.
And as usual, my experience in witnessing my clients’ journeys leaves me inspired, humbled, and excited for all that is possible when we are willing to understand ourselves at the metahuman level.
THE METTA PRAYER
May all beings be safe.
May all beings be healthy.
May all beings be happy.
May all beings live with ease.
May I be safe.
May I be healthy.
May I be happy.
May I live with ease.
In that spirit, I want to share in today’s article one way that I like to personally practice understanding myself better. It is to turn myself inside out a bit with an inquiry into how some of my frustrations or obstacles (outdated beliefs) might be serving me.
I know that this is a loaded question and I do not suggest you ask your sibling this type of thing at the Thanksgiving table, but with compassion, space, and perhaps a trusted friend we can practice on ourselves.
The comments below illustrate where our inquiry begins…..
- ”I’m exhausted and I feel if I don’t continue doing what is killing me, I will not have the ability to sustain myself.”
- “I am completely drained from the pressure I feel not to fail.”
- “I am stuck here in this circumstance. It is real and I see no way out.”
Inherent in these proclamations are often the intricate puzzles of paradox. As the seeming dilemma quite regularly originates in an old operating system that we are not keen to let go of anytime soon, if ever.
But, what is great about the statements above, is our mere awareness of our predicament and or the feelings that accompany them. For It is with this knowingness, and perhaps the presence of exacerbation, that we can find ourselves willing to share out loud, with ourselves and another, the true nature of how we are feeling.
Energetically, the simple act of speaking and or journaling allows the energy that binds the frustration to our reality to begin to soften, and the alchemy process to begin. If we tune in closely, we can even feel or hear the hardness of thoughts such as
“that’s just the way it is”
“no one understands”
as it begins to loosen and crack. allowing the ache in the belly that one experiences when they feel trapped, to become effervescent; tiny bubbles of curiosity begin to flutter upward through the heart and towards the communication center of the throat.
Then as we recognize, acknowledge, and continue to explore our feelings into this realm, the alchemic process continues.
“At the end of the day, the questions we ask of ourselves determine the type of people that we will become.”
~ Leo Babauta
This is where we can compassionately turn the tables on ourselves asking and wondering how these feelings, thoughts, and or life circumstances, might be serving us (this question is meant as a kindness exercise and not as an accusation. It is also not the same as “what am I supposed to be learning from this?” That type of questioning is not helpful in uncovering the beliefs that are no longer serving your journey). When we compassionately turn inward in this way, we not only begin to see the paradoxical nature of our plight, we also feel empowered, knowing that if it is ours we can change it.
Within the answer, we often stumble across a paradoxical puzzle, that goes something like this….
- “If I do not have the feeling of lack constantly following (or even chasing me) I will not know how to be motivated.”
- “If I do not continually hold myself at gunpoint to not fail, I will not know how to be strong, resilient, and safe.”
- “If I no longer am in this “horrible” circumstance, I will not have the motivation to stay true to my spiritual growth.”
When beliefs such as those in the examples above begin to see the light of day, we can “GRACE”fully, and with ease begin to hold the idea of letting the belief go.
At this point, we choose a new operating system such as…..
- “I know what it feels like to be motivated by the joy of what I do. I know how to feel motivated without the fear of lack.”
- “I know what it feels like to be safe, resilient, and strong at all times. I know how to feel strong, safe, and resilient in the absence of threat.”
- “I know what it feels like to be motivated by the joy of learning. II know how to feel motivated in the absence of pain.”
Something I would like to note, this type of practice in itself is quite effective but of course, there are always layers to go deeper. We can delve into what we have lived in this life or previous lives, tracing the sometimes convoluted roots back to one or perhaps multiple experiences that have deposited layers upon layers of the particular belief into our current situation, but this is not always or even often necessary to feel a shift.
In closing, I invite you, if you are feeling stuck, trapped, or simply lacking clarity, to bring this idea into your current meditation (A metta meditation is a great accompaniment), and or journaling practice and I would love to hear how that goes for you.
This has been a valued practice on my journey and I am happy to have this place to share it.