In the realm of personal growth and transformation, most of us are seeking some level of hyper-awareness as it relates to our greater purpose and our connection to the world.
Establishing an 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.
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 many of us, this can be a tough pill to swallow.
Establishing a sincere connection with ourselves, and consequently, our spiritual existence, has less to do with the seminars we are attending, the coaches and healers we are visiting or the personal growth books we are reading.
Getting connected—both in practical and spiritual terms—involves shifting mere philosophies into real life practices and making a personal effort to actively participate in building the lives we desire.
And, guess what?
All of this requires that we get over ourselves.
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 straightforward tools and logical philosophies for the sole purpose of practical life integration.
The energy is high as we discover hidden gems of personal wisdom, just waiting to help us catapult forward.
Every angle of these gems is illuminated 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 make us feel deeply disconnected and even discontent. For instance, we don’t get the job we applied for, nobody agrees with our point-of-view in a meeting, we lose 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 to happen, do happen.
So now what?
We begin to ask ourselves, “where is all of the wisdom I have been working on?” 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 in agreement, then props to you for being honest—we’ve all been there!
Of course we will want to revert to a natural state of victimhood when we are feeling victimized, and of course we will feel frustrated and angry when our value-system is deeply challenged.
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. 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 our coaches, therapists, seminars and books to give us the magic pill to get our lives flowing successfully.
Will they plant seeds of transformative, or even breakthrough wisdom? Absolutely.
True growth happens after we put the book down, step out of an invigorating session and step into life and actively participate in it with a new lens.
And, let’s face it; real life is not a controlled environment like our reading, therapy or coaching sessions. Real life involves a lot of factors that fall outside of our control, and they can and will challenge us.
The question isn’t if we are going to experience challenges and opposition in our lives, it’s more about when we do, to what extent are we going to allow these experiences to control how we feel, think and live? Where are we going to focus our energy—spending endless amounts of time forcing square pegs into round holes, or wasting our and other people’s time complaining about the very things that drain us? Or, are we going to get over ourselves and make a concerted effort to actually apply something new we’ve learned to our actual lives? 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 ourselves 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 align with our values and heightened awareness, or we can ignore the very tidbits of knowledge that have us posting empowerment notes all over our refrigerators, desks and Facebook pages.
Again, it’s so easy to nod our heads and thumbs-up a great quote, but it’s another thing to actually lean into it and live it. It takes an insane amount of courage to leap, face challenges, speak from the heart, listen to intuition and live the life of our dreams.
These things often involve a complete rewiring of life as we 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 lives we want.
This means facing challenges, listening to new perspectives without feeling threatened, allowing ourselves to be swayed, engaging in opposing points-of-view, speaking-up for ourselves, focusing more attention on things that motivate us and instead of trying to force or control the people or things outside of us, allowing ourselves to flow and connect more freely with the world as it is.
We don’t have to like everything in it, and at the same time, we have the choice to focus our time and attention on whatever we’d like.
Instead of waiting for the world to mold to us, we need to get over ourselves and take active steps to engage and connect with it…exactly how it is.
Now, that’s a magic pill!
Author: Nina Cashman:
Apprentice Editor: Caitlin Oriel / Editor: Cat Beekmans
Image: Flickr/Bill Strain