In the realm of personal growth and transformation, most people are seeking some level of hyper awareness or truth, as it relates to their greater purpose and connection to the world. Establishing a true inner connection to a collective force that is far greater than any personal dilemma opens our spiritual valves to receive a sense of peace, contentment, motivation and true personal power, regardless of the obstacles we face. Now, I’d question the sensibilities of anyone who wouldn’t want to experience these feelings on a more regular basis!
So, how do we heighten our awareness to ultimately connect to what many people call a universal power? What’s the magic pill, so to speak? For some, the answer might be a tough pill to swallow. Establishing a sincere connection with yourself, and consequently, your spiritual and external existence, has less to do with the seminars you are attending, the coaches and healers you are visiting, or the personal growth books you are reading. Getting “connected,” both in practical and spiritual terms, involves shifting mere philosophies into real life practices (which is easier said then done), and making a personal effort to actively participate in building the life you desire. All of this requires that you get over yourself.
In my profession as a career and success coach, I often encounter clients with the utmost enthusiasm to grow themselves, their teams and their businesses to the next level. Together, we make profound progress acknowledging limiting beliefs and building awareness around the most straight-forward tools and logical philosophies for the sole purpose of practical life integration. The energy is high as we turn-over new rocks and discover hidden gems of personal wisdom, just waiting to help us catapult forward. Every angle of these gems illuminate themselves during our sessions, as we allow ourselves to occupy space within an invisible safety net, where fears and hidden truths are exposed without a hint of judgment. We are in a collective zone, where new knowledge comes easy and our sense of connection flows freely. As with all things, the session finally ends, so then what?
Well, the very life we are connected to… happens. And sometimes, it happens in ways that makes us feel deeply disconnected, or maybe even discontent. For instance, we don’t get the job we applied for, nobody agrees with our point-of-view in a meeting, we lost a major piece of business, we find a nasty-gram from a coworker or friend sitting in our inbox. You know the drill – things that we simply would prefer not happen, DO happen. So now what?
We begin to ask ourselves, “why isn’t all of the wisdom I have working?” or, “why do I feel like I’m climbing Mt. Everest backwards, despite everything I know?” Very quickly we turn ourselves into victims of life because it is the easiest way to process whatever is happening to us. We quickly default to old habits of stress management because we know them so well, and it just feels better to blame or shame everything outside of ourselves, in order to cope with a situation that poses a major conflict to our belief system.
Sound familiar? If you are nodding your head “yes,” then props to you for being honest—we’ve all been there! Of course anyone will want to revert to a natural state of victimhood when they are feeling victimized, and of course someone will feel frustrated and angry when their value-system is deeply challenged. We’d be hollow and inhuman if we could float in a bubble of “present joy” and “mindfulness” at all times!
At the same time, these moments of conflict provide the purest training grounds for personal growth and transformation. They are the most straightforward opportunities to finally take our high flatulent philosophies and endless spats of intellectualizing into real practice. Ding… the bell rings and suddenly, the fully supportive world, to which, we are fully connected, kindly supplies us with a real life opportunity to turn our mere concepts into purposeful actions. We are presented with a choice – do I revert to my old way of doing things, or do I actually utilize a new tool or tidbit of knowledge that I gained from a seminar, coaching session or book? The question then shifts from “why isn’t it working for me,” to “how am I going to make it work?” Goodbye victim and hello self-actualization!
It’s not up to your coach, therapist, seminars and books to give you the magic pill to get your life flowing successfully. Will they plant seeds of transformative, or even breakthrough wisdom? Absolutely. This does not change the fact that only you have the power to turn theories into working science on your behalf. True growth happens after you’ve put the book down, step out of an invigorating session and step into your life, and actively participate in it with a new lens. And, let’s face it, real life is not a controlled environment like your reading, therapy or coaching sessions. Real life involves a lot of factors that fall outside of your control, and they can and will challenge you.
The question isn’t if you are going to experience challenges and opposition in life, it’s more about when you do, to what extent are you going to allow these experiences to control how you feel, think and live? Where are you going to focus your energy – spending endless amounts of time forcing square pegs into round holes, or wasting your and other people’s time complaining about the very things that drain you? Or, are you going to get over yourself and make a concerted effort to actually apply something new you’ve learned to your actual life? How’s that for an enlightening concept : )?
Now, let’s get something straight, I’m not saying that the purpose of awareness is to observe and criticize yourself of “imperfect” feelings or reactions. We are all perfectly imperfect, so move on and get over yourself. The real gift of awareness is to alert us of what is or isn’t working, so that we might give ourselves a renewed chance to approach things differently. Awareness empowers us to determine if our focus is channeled on the things that disable or energize us, or if our pending actions will champion or impede what we ultimately want. Simply put, awareness brings us choices and more opportunities, which delivers personal power.
Okay then, what to do with all of this personal power? Well, we can utilize new opportunities to take steps in new directions that better comply with our values and heightened awareness, or we can ignore the very tidbits of knowledge that have gotten us posting empowerment notes all over our refrigerators, desks and Facebook pages : ). Again, it’s so easy to nod your head and thumbs-up a great quote, and such another thing to actually lean into it and live it. It takes an insane amount of courage to “leap,” “face challenges,” “speak from your heart,” “listen to your intuition,” or “live the life of your dreams.”
These things often involve a complete rewiring of life as you know it, only to face a vast unknown. That is freakin’ scary stuff! However, if we really trust the theories that seemed like utter no-brainers when we first encountered them, then we finally have to get over ourselves, and all of the meager things disconnecting us from the world we want to experience, in order to lean into our own connection to universal power and create the life we want. This means facing challenges, listening to new perspectives without feeling threatened, allowing yourself to be swayed, engaging in opposing points-of-view, speaking-up for yourself, focusing more attention on things that motivate you, and instead of trying to force or control the people or things outside of you, allowing yourself to flow more freely with the world as it is. You don’t have to like everything in it, and at the same time, you have the choice to focus your time and attention on whatever you’d like. Instead of waiting for the world to mold to you, get over yourself and take active steps to engage and connect with it… exactly how it is. Now, that’s a magic pill!