I got hooked on self-help books at 14.
I attended my first personal development seminar in high school. I’m still not sure if what drove me was the insatiable hunger of a curious kid or a big desire met with bigger impatience. For me, information is like crack.
Confession: I am a recovering addict of fancy guidance, expensive advice, feel-good self-help, and information—and I whored out my personal power to get it.
As I walked the streets roaming for answers when I needed them most, I realized I had lost my own power in the process because I tried to rush through the process itself. The process is how we learn and makes us who we are. It’s not about the answers we are seeking.
There are no short cuts in transformation—only tools to help you build you.
These are the lessons I learned (the hard way) to stand on my own, access my inner guidance, and take my power back.
The difference between guidance and manipulation:
Expert advice is to build your awareness to position you to make better, more informed decisions for yourself.
Manipulation is when someone wants to steer you to benefit them or their agenda, or make you dependent on a service, product or program.
There is a lot of advice out there that can actually harm rather then help if you don’t take responsibility every step of the way. If you aren’t advancing in some way, the odds are you are caught up in the hype and that won’t serve you in the long run.
Test everything and take it one step at a time. Transformation is a process but you should be moving forward in a measurable way. Are you being blindly led or is the guidance you seek serving you?
Three levels of information:
Learning the what, the why and the how makes information yours, and it empowers you to resource it later when you need it in a different situation. We are in an information age so we must know how to manage that information. As you learn, apply. If you can’t apply it, you haven’t learned it.
Don’t be led blindly. Question. Becoming conscious is becoming aware.
Do you really understand what you are learning, what the process is and why you are doing it?
The teacher-student cycle:
We are always the student of life—but we evolve. Staying put for too long makes you more dependent and you must stand on your own.
Are you stuck in the role of student because you are afraid to graduate? Are you learning and growing in a way that stretches you? If not, it’s probably time to move on.
Listening to (and hearing) intuition:
I learned from Caroline Myss that every choice you make—whether you are aware of it or not—moves you towards or further from your intuition. You earn access to your intuition when you stop, listen and turn your awareness to how you feel on a constant basis.
Your intuition is your internal guidance system. The more you follow your intuition, the stronger it gets. The stronger it gets, the less you find yourself having to depend on outside sources.
My intuition got clearer when I began to pay attention to how my body felt in situations. When I started to notice what experiences my intentions brought to me, I learned to make better decisions.
Remember, it’s not about the advice you get and what you read. It’s the process that information puts you through that builds your power.
Are you ignoring your own intuition? It’s sometimes that annoying voice in your head that tells you to do things that are often uncomfortable.
Getting out of your own way:
If there is one thing I know for sure, it’s that the mind is the biggest opponent and obstacle to happiness and success. I had trained my mind to seek out answers, question, and analyze everything.
I was completely wrong. The direction we are moving toward is to quiet the mind. Quieting the mind is where we are going in our evolution.
We get in our own way because we are in constant resistance in our mind. The antidote to resistance is acceptance and allowing. Learning to accept who we are first—flaws and all—changes our energy in order to transform and evolve. If we spend all our time in resistance to who we are, we can never change and we stand in our own way.
Get out of your own way by enjoying the process.
What are you resisting in your life? Is it the process? Is it a part of you that you don’t like? Sit with it for a while and welcome it in order to transform it.
There is nothing wrong with seeking out expert advice and guidance, but always remember your true purpose for doing it—to reach truth, independence and power.
Like I’m not “Spiritual.” I just practice being a good person on Facebook.
Ed: Dana Gornall