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Worthiness

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All of the challenges in my life stem from a feeling of unworthiness. I was constantly striving and trying to be someone of worth, never realizing that I’m worthy simply because I AM. I had a dream years ago where someone said to me, “You try too hard.” At the time I agreed completely with this statement. I did and do try too damn hard, but I didn’t know how to get off the spinning wheel. No matter how much I wanted to stop I couldn’t. It was a compulsion to keep trying, which often came off as desperation. I tried too hard with people, with work, with everything. Even when it made me feel horrible, I didn’t know how to stop: I was making up for the lack I felt inside.

Over this long-weekend, I suddenly realized that worthiness is a feeling, and like any other feeling I can access it anytime and anywhere. When I go into this feeling it’s like being wrapped in a warm blanket and all the desperation evaporates. I didn’t need something outside of myself to confirm my worth after all. The times I tried to prove my worth, I was doing it thinking that something external could finally validate me and prove that I’m okay; that it’s okay for me to take up space in this world.

It was within me all along – this place I’ve been searching for was always here, but I was so busy looking outward that I kept missing what was in my hands the whole time. When I’m in the space of worthiness, I feel like I’ve come home. I no longer need to prove anything because I’m worthy simply because of who I am. It’s a balm for my soul. I’m sure all the desperate trying was what kept me from reaching my dreams, so I’m excited to see what’s going to blossom now that I’ve finally stopped trying and can simply BE.

 

 
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Posted by on May 22, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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The Vacuum

I suck.

I suck dirt, lint, small particles; anything that fits into my nozzle I’ll suck into my belly. I’m great at it. My mistress loves me. You should hear the way she goes on about me when guests come over. It usually starts with the guests commenting over how spotless my mistress’s home looks. She’ll wave this off with a flutter of her refined hand and smile mysteriously. The guests will then walk about the rooms cooing about how everything is just so. Then they’ll come to it: the white, cashmere Persian rug; the one with the demure gold flowers, very simple, and decidedly elegant. I always take extra care with it.

They’ll stop, mesmerized by the beauty of it. My mistress will tell them that it’s been in the family for generations. They’ll look up at her stunned and stammer: “But…but…how do you keep it looking so new?” To which my mistress will reply with a light laugh, “Oh I just vacuum it once a week.” Sometimes she’ll take me out of my special room and show me off. The guests usually look at me with more than a glint of admiration and some will stroke my nozzle, which always sends shivers down my hose.

I like the attention. Who doesn’t like being admired for their work? Especially when they’re good at it. But lately I’ve been having moments. I’ve started to wonder if there’s more to life than inhaling bits of rubbish off the floor. Sometimes while reclining in my room, I hear guests talking about the exciting places they’ve been to: Paris, New Jersey, Prague. They talk of climbing up mountains, sliding down mountains, swimming in azure waters, and being chased by wild animals. I wonder what that would be like, and I sometimes spend hours imagining myself roaring after a lion, showing him who’s master of the kingdom. Then I’m off to Paris, charmed by its quaint bistros and patisseries filled with decadent cakes that fragrant the sidewalk. As much fun as these daydreams are they always leave me sad. I long to ride out on adventure and see the world, be the hero.

But I can never leave my mistress. She needs me. What would happen to the Persian without me? It would be disgraceful. No, I cannot go jaunting about the world. I have responsibilities. I’m needed. My place is here. Isn’t it?

 

 
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Posted by on March 24, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

The Princess and the Sprite

The little princess pirouettes around the immaculate room. She giggles to herself, and spins and spins. Her pink tutu giggles and shakes with her. Sunshine laps into the room through a big, tall window that reaches all the way up to the ceiling. Her feet makes a “shhhhhwooop” sound as she floats around the furniture. Shhhhhwooop, shhhhhwooop, shhhhhwooop she goes.  Now she slides one foot out like a speed skater, pulls it back in, spins with her arms reaching to the sky, her fingers bent just so, leaving a trail of giggles behind her. With the other foot she gracefully slides it out again. And again she twists, spins, slides.

The sprites watch this from the crevices in the wall. They’re fascinated by the little girl, so absorbed in her world, impervious to being watched. Or is she? Maybe she knows of the sprites and is dancing for them? Do you think?

The sprites, so entranced by her, move forward, lean out to get a better look. They smile as they watch. Suddenly one can’t help herself, and without thinking bursts out of the wall and joins the girl. Now they’re both twisting, spinning and sliding. The other sprites are shocked, horrified, terrified, “Oh no! What if”. But the girl dances on, seemingly oblivious.

Just then, the girl stops and reaches out a delicate hand toward the still spinning sprite. The girl watches the sprite and waits. The others in the wall hold their breath. No one moves except the still dancing sprite. Eyes wide, waiting; hearts pounding.

The spinning sprite begins to notice that the girl’s stopped moving and is looking at her. She’s looking right at her! She’s shocked into stillness. She and the girl stare at each other; their breathing synchronized. They watch each other, the girl’s delicate fingers still in mid-air, waiting. The sprite doesn’t know what to do. She looks to the others, but they’re frozen too; eyes wide and frozen. She looks back at the girl, sees the fingers pointed at her, beckoning her. She’s taken by a mad urge to flee. Can she make it to the wall before being caught? And what would she do if she catches me? She mulls this over. And yet, those delicate fingers and that angelic face look so inviting, so safe. A sliver of excitement enters the sprite’s fears, splinters them and takes over.

Slowly, cautiously, the sprite flutters closer to the girl, and watches as a smile appears on the girl’s face. It’s the kind of smile that melts snow and feels like a warm fire on a cold, wintery night. After a slight nod from the girl, the sprite abandons all fear and leaps onto the tip of the girl’s finger.

They bow to each other. Slowly, they begin to glide around the room together. The sprite holds onto the girl’s finger with her nimble feet and holds her arms out wide to enjoy the feel of cool air floating around her. The girl, with her arm gracefully outstretched, leads the spite around the room in delicate pirouettes. Together they dance as one in the golden sunlight.

 

**It’s been a few years since I last wrote here. Every day I’m shocked by how quickly time passes. I began this blog as a place to share my spiritual growth, and I thoroughly enjoyed every moment, especially the comments from kind, thoughtful readers. One day I simply ran out of things to say. Looking back it was a time for me to go inward in order to continue with the next part of my journey. Like a caterpillar that liquefies in its cocoon before re-emerging in a completely new form, I too had to dismantle my previous self so that I could become the person I’m happiest with. I’m not entirely there yet, though I sure I’m on the right path because I’m much happier and stronger than I was a year ago.

One day last month, I suddenly had an urge to write a story. I’ve never done this before even though I’m a freelance copywriter. Writing stories just wasn’t something I did, and yet these felt natural and fulfilling in a way that only creativity can satisfy.  I’ve been writing steadily ever since. This story is the first one I wrote on a very chilly February day while the sun spilled into my room.  It’s one of the first stories I’ve written in my entire life.

This is different from my initial vision for this blog, and yet it’s still true to it. I chose to name this blog “Finding joy and truth”, and that’s what these stories are for me now: my joy and my truth. They reflect the new me, more confident, and ready to explore, share and be vulnerable.

I’m going to post more stories, which feels like a huge leap of faith. I hope you enjoy them.

 
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Posted by on March 19, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Are you waiting for the perfect life, too?

I keep waiting for the magnificent moment when my life is perfect. You know, that moment where I’m happy and everything is as it should be. Happiness would be my constant state of mind. Every one of my relationships would be fulfilling, and I’d get along well with everyone. I’d live my life vibrantly, flamboyantly. Money would be easy.

I keep looking for this to happen. And maybe it’s the waiting that makes it so elusive. I’m living for another moment, a moment always in the future. However, when I take an aerial view of my life, I see major shifts. Some of the changes are so big they’re actually seismic. For instance, I used to be plagued with a habit of revisiting painful moments from my past. I would replay them over and over, and they’d feel so real that it was as if they were happening all over again. I did this most of my life, and it was so ingrained that even though I wanted to stop, I didn’t know how. Well, I don’t do that anymore. Through tremendous effort, I broke the habit. At the time I never thought I would be able to, I thought I would be stuck with it forever. Changing that part of me was a seismic shift. When I take a grander view of my life, I see these big changes. I need to keep reminding myself of these achievements.

Part of my dissatisfaction stems from undervaluing my achievements and over inflating my challenges. When I reach a personal goal, I lightly pat myself on the back. While my challenges get all of my attention and energy, making them seem even bigger than they are. We probably all do this sometimes – lose sight of the bigger picture and lament our shortcoming. Perhaps some days are for forward movement and others are for reflection. This reminds me of a Buddhist saying: “You, more than anyone else, deserve your love and affection.”

Perhaps kindness and self-love is what is in order for all of us at this moment.

 
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Posted by on April 9, 2012 in Finding Joy

 

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YOU are your own corporation. What are you selling?

I came across the idea that we are all corporations. We each have our own unique talents and gifts that are valuable to the world. Each of us has resources like: creativity, intellect, perseverance, health, determination, willfulness, intuition, and compassion. How we govern our lives affects everyone around us.

So if we’re each a corporation, what are we selling and buying? When I came across this question, I couldn’t think of anything at first. I’ve never compared myself to something as immense as a corporation. And I certainly didn’t see myself as selling or buying anything. Eventually I began to see that I do give away parts of myself in order to get something in return.

In a sense we all start off with 100% of shares in our company, ourselves, and then we sell or give them away as we create our lives. Our shares represent any part of us that we value – our time, self-respect, peace, or intellect. Without realizing it, we often give these away: co-workers who constantly want last minute help on a project, or family expectations that we cave into even when we don’t want to. As we do this, we’re also gaining something in return.

This weekend, I finally faced up to the fact that I’m always looking for approval. This was something profoundly missing from my childhood. It’s possible that the majority of what I do, wear, and say is to receive validation from the world. In doing so, I’m trading my shares away. It’s done in the form of my time, self-respect, and my uniqueness. Do I want to keep doing this? Is this making me happy? If I’m truly honest, I can see that in search of this elusive approval, I’ve given so much of myself away that my individuality is almost lost, along with my voice. There are moments where my voice literally gets stuck in my throat.

It’s a worthwhile exercise to take stock of everything that you are and see how much of it is the real you and how much is created for approval. I’m buying back my shares. The only way to do this is to stop looking outward for approval and find it within.

There’s also the question of what I’m offering to the world. Each corporation has something of value to offer. There’s my creativity, compassion, thirst for learning and bettering myself, and my perseverance. What are you offering? This is a great question to ask yourself because it makes you see that you have more talents than you probably realized. It did for me.

 
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Posted by on March 19, 2012 in Finding Truth

 

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Discover Your Happiness Without Lifting a Finger

We all want to be happy. The finish line for most people’s goals is usually in the vicinity of happiness. It’s a natural human desire. And it’s wonderful that we’re all trying to find it because it motivates us to create, explore and be better in general. And yet, it’s incredibly elusive.  

I’ve been reading Timothy Gallwey’s book, The Inner Game of Work. You may have heard of him through his other book, The Inner Game of Tennis. In both books, he recommends an interesting way to improve performance, including states of happiness. How do we make our lives more enjoyable? Don’t try to change anything. Leave everything as is. Instead, simply be aware of what you’re feeling when you’re doing the very things you wish were different. For instance, if work feels like drudgery and you want to add pizzazz to it, then focus on how you feel when you’re at work. Don’t’ try to do anything thing differently, just feel.

This idea is counterintuitive. If something isn’t working, then we change it or ourselves. But something has to change. Based on Gallwey’s years of experience as a tennis coach, he noticed that when students focused too hard on improving their game, they often make the very mistakes they were trying to avoid. Yet, when then simply noticed what was happening with the ball, they naturally improved.

It’s the thinking that gets in the way. When athletes talk about being in the zone, where they do everything just right, they all say that in those moments they weren’t thinking about anything at all. It’s when the conscious mind shuts off, and the intuition takes over, that everything beings to flow properly. You’ve probably had moments where you exceeded your own expectations, where you just knew what to do without having to think about it. That’s the zone. And it probably felt exhilarating.

So back to happiness – how do we get it? Based on Gallwey’s theory, the way to finding it is to stop looking for it. Just feel. This bypasses the conscious mind, whose job is to continually judge, criticize and give orders. Without it, enjoyment begins to flow naturally. This takes practice. It’s like meditation, except you’re not in a quiet, secluded room, you’re fully engaged in your life.

 
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Posted by on March 5, 2012 in Finding Joy

 

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Creating Success from Past Mistakes

Whenever something upsetting happened to me, I would spend hours afterward replaying it in my mind. Each time I re-enacted the moment, I would get more angry. I did this all the time. It was like I was torturing myself over and over again. Does this sound familiar to you? A lot of us do this. Someone does something we don’t like, we get angry. Then, we’re angry at ourselves for not dealing with it properly, and the moment becomes a recurring nightmare cycling around in our minds.

Instead of dwelling on what went wrong, visualize the solution. See yourself reacting the way you would have liked had you been prepared. This is much more productive than beating yourself up. There’s no point in feeling bad about something that’s already happened – you can’t change it. And by replaying mistakes over and over, you’re almost ensuring that it happens again because the more you run through a behaviour in your mind, the more it becomes ingrained and habitual. A double whammy. However, you can change how you act in the future.

Something recently happened to me that illuminated this insight for me. Someone I always had difficulty getting along with came back into my life. And instantly, all the angry, frustrated feelings flared up. Afterward, on the way home and well into that night, I was filled with anger. My thoughts were focused on what went wrong, how much I disliked this person and all the reasons why. When the anger subsided, I asked myself what I would do differently if I could go back in time. I reimagined the scene with me remaining calm and not reacting to her behaviour. I felt much better. I ran through the entire interaction with me doing and saying all the right things. I saw myself being poised and mature. This was a way of preparing myself to react positively in our future interactions. It was a way of turning a bad experience into a learning opportunity.

This moment led to the realization that I can do this with all of my interactions. Why not? Instead of feeling frustrated over past mistakes, all I have to do is ask myself how I could have done it better, then rehearse it in my mind. This way, I’m programming myself to react the way I want in the future. It’s okay to not know how to handle any given moment, as long as you learn from it and be better next time.

 
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Posted by on February 26, 2012 in Finding Joy

 

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