Happy New Year Everyone.
And so we have arrived. This seems very a very fitting winner to be announced on a January 1st. It was a close race between the first seven winners but the last three were all way out in front, with third, second and first all being roughly 50% larger than each other. This enormously popular posting is like a hybrid in that it features a short story by the great guru Tony DeMello. I’ve seen this story presented in a variety of ways but I’ll admit that I personally like my version best. 😉
This is a blog posting about Realization. The Realization that you are awesome beyond your dreams—that you are connected to a sea of love by every fibre of your Being. And the only thing that prevents you from experiencing that wonder is your own limiting thoughts. You tell yourself a rigid little story and then you volunteer to live within its borders. This post is about pushing those borders outward. It’s about making that into a habit. It’s about you deciding to abandon the Pursuit of Success in favour of Engaging with Expansion. So yes, we can choose to be alone at the top. Or we can be connected to All. One feels hollow, the other feels full.
You’re ready. You were always ready. You can change at any time of day on any day of the week. But since 2014 is rolling in anyway you can use it as an official starting point. Just remember: a Resolution doesn’t have to succeed on January 1st. You can go in steps. Of course you’ll still get lost in your thoughts. Of course you’ll still have experiences you’ll wish you could figure out how to stop. But if 2014 is the year you truly dedicate yourself to raising your awareness , and if you work toward managing your thoughts more and your life less, then I can absolutely guarantee you that you will see progress.
So you can finish becoming the new person you want to be on the next January 1st. Because you get good at doing things by doing them. So you have to keep doing them. Just keep quietly moving toward maintaining your Awareness more of the time. That is why they call it a Practice. You don’t succeed 100%. You just practice. Get conscious. Trust me, it won’t take as long as you think and you’ll be steadily improving along the way anyway. It’s easily worth it.
This is your year. It’s time to clear the decks, throw out the old baggage, and especially and most importantly imagine yourself not as the person trying to become who you want to be—imagine yourself already being that person. Because that is how you get from here to there. It’s that simple. All you have to do is believe it. The people with great lives—the people who soar—they all have great lives because they believe they are worthy of great lives. Just like you. So as you work toward your own increased awareness of the incredible power of your own thoughts, I offer you this little piece of encouragement, also known as The Blog of the Year:
You’re sitting there trying to figure out which road to take. Are you this, or are you that? Should you be in school or at a job? And what job? Working for who? And who should you be in a relationship with? Or should you be in a relationship at all? Should you choose this city or that one? This car or that one? Should you have skipped this party to be at that other one? Should you have said this or that? Blah blah blah goes your head.
Shoulda coulda woulda. If your aunt was a man she would be your uncle. Why are you even thinking/talking-to-yourself about what-ifs? Your speculation is meaningless. Stop using your thoughts to want to be somewhere or someone else. Stop using your internal conversations to discuss a different history with yourself. Can’t you see that your life is sitting still while you have those incessant internal conversations?
There are no wrong choices, there are only the choices you make. Be Present where you are because no amount of planning will give you a safe and secure path through life. You being safe and secure is not the point. You being alive is the point.
Your life is not a set of events. Read that again: your life is not a series of events. Your life is a stream of experiences. Stop trying to manage the events and start trying to manage the experiences. Because two people can be at the same event and have vastly different experiences. The difference between them is not where they were or what was happening outside of them. The difference was what they chose to focus their attention on within themselves.
That choice—the choice of what you invite into your awareness—is what forms your life experience. So st0p thinking about how you wish you could fly and start re-imagining yourself as someone who already can. Because the only thing keeping you grounded is your belief that you can’t fly.
You’ll see me post Tony DeMello talks on the page occasionally. Tony was a Jesuit Priest, but more importantly he was an enlightened psychologist and a hilarious guy. He used to tell a story about you that I’ll paraphrase from memory:
Someone once took an egg from an eagle’s nest and placed it under a barnyard hen. A chicken sat on the egg and eventually it hatched. All his life the little eagle grew up with chickens and he did as the chickens around him did. He walked around pecking at the ground for worms and insects, clucking and cackling, and like them he occasionally fluttered his wings for a short hop through the air.
Years passed and the eagle grew very old. One day he was pecking away with all of the chickens in the yard and a large shadow passed overhead. The barnyard eagle looked up in awe at a magnificent, giant golden eagle. It hovered effortlessly over the farmyard, held aloft by only a small breeze. The little bird asked his chicken-friend, “Who is that?!”
The other chicken looked up to see the eagle floating majestically, high above them. “That is the eagle. He is the king of the sky. He has the freedom to fly wherever he chooses.”
“He’s magnificent,” said the eagle. “I so wish I could fly like he does.”
“Yes, that would be nice,” replied the chicken. “But the eagle belongs to the sky. And we are chickens, and chickens belong on the ground.” And so the eagle looked back down to the dirt of the barnyard, where he began scratching and picking at the dry ground again.
And in the end the eagle never did fly. Instead he lived and died just like all of the other barnyard chickens. Because that is what he thought he was.
You are not a chicken. You are an eagle. So stop looking downward in some panicked effort to find more or better worms than your neighbour. Forget competing with the chickens of ego. Stop using the weight of your own judgmental thinking to hold your spirit down. Instead, use the wings of your imagination to lift you to heights you previously did not know belonged to you. You’ll not only have a much greater perspective, but your freedom will be an inspiration to all of the other chickens.
There is no right or wrong way to fly. There are no good or bad paths through the sky. There is only flying. Now go be an eagle.
Following a serious childhood brain injury Scott McPherson unwittingly spent his entire life meditating on the concepts of thought, consciousness, reality and the self. This made him as strange to others as they were to him. Seeing the self-harm people created with their own overthinking, Scott dedicated part of his life to helping others live with greater awareness. He is currently a writer, speaker and mindfulness instructor based in Edmonton, AB, where he finds it strange to write about himself in the third person.