August 1, 2017

3 Steps for Chronic “Seekers” to Find their Inner Gurus (Without Expensive Retreats & a Collection of Self-Help Books).

I was a chronic “seeker” for most of my life.

As far as I knew, I was searching for a deep sense of inner peace without a real knowing of what that looked like. I went looking in churches and temples and, eventually, personal development programs. I was continuously trying to recall a feeling I wasn’t sure I had yet experienced.

When I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism at 19, not only were my symptoms persistent despite a high dose of medication, but the medication was causing heart palpitations and a host of other new symptoms.

The search for answers now carried a deeper sense of urgency. It felt like I was no longer just searching for peace, but trying to attain it before losing complete control of my body.

Almost nine years later, after completely healing the imbalance (without medication), resuscitating a marriage, and thriving in my third year of motherhood, I realized that I had been convincing myself of a huge myth for most of my life. And looking out into the ocean of other seekers who were signing up for every program and retreat out there, I realized I wasn’t alone.

Don’t get me wrong. I love the transformational space. But, there are ads out there that market this myth, targeting seekers. And the myth (from the inside) goes like this:

“I don’t have peace and I must look for it.”

Replace the word “peace” with love or abundance and you’ve covered the two other big myths, as well as the two hottest subjects for online selling.

After experiencing guided meditations with powerful, renowned teachers—experiences that have been in Shutterstock- picturesque settings where the only concern is where you will meditate and what’s for lunch—as well as spending countless dollars on coaching, I really started to ask myself: How can I bring that sense of the monastery (my conceptualized version of inner peace) to my regular, everyday Mondays?

In other words, how can we keep peace, love, or abundance from being this elusive and fleeting feeling reserved for retreats and “me” days? We all get a high from those occasions, experiencing the feelings of peace, love, and abundance that come with them. We get a taste—and then it seems to escape us.

So how do we experience it daily, week after week, year after year?

The premise is this:

The moment that you “want,” “desire,” or “seek” something, you create real, physical separation from the very thing you want, seek, and desire.

You are affirming to the universe that you do not have that, or that you are not that quality (or its essence—which is really what we seek), so you must go looking for it.

The alternative is claiming that we already hold that essence within our body and finding ways to joyfully bring it out. Because we are not separate from the divine energy that we seek.

This premise took me from chronic seeker to being a guru in a matter of days.

For those who like practical strategy, here are the three steps for empowered transformation:

1) Practice being the thing you desire, every chance you get.

Dare I say, obsess about it. Be it.

The moment I reignited my passion for writing, it was clear that I needed to work my way back into a creative groove. I scheduled 30 minutes of writing into my calendar each day and committed. Note: Not every practice will yield ultra-poetic prose like the Odyssey.” Not every meditation is an out-of-body experience. Being grateful, kind, and happier may not be your default every day.

But, scheduling and practicing keeps you in flow and, most importantly, it trains the brain to keep showing up regardless of the “results.” The universe sees your effort and, with time, it sends its love right back to you.

2) Embrace the challenge.

The challenge is two-fold: mental and physiological.

Therefore, there are two entry points for embracing the challenge. You can learn how to work with energy and sensations to transmute feelings, like fear or doubt, into creative life force. Or, you can take the logical approach and use things like neuro-linguistic programming, positive psychology, and affirmations to help re-wire programmed thoughts. The double-whammy is when we do both, helping the mind and body. This gives us a super boost. (Hint: meditation does both!)

3) Get excited about both the practice and the challenge.

As soon as we lose passion for the practice, challenges will seem insurmountable and defeating. The practice and the challenge are actually our entire journey. If we can infuse it with joy and meet our commitment with happiness, then practice becomes genius and challenges become creative breakthroughs. My meditation teacher calls this concept “happy discipline.”

If you’re reading this, then it’s proof that this method works and I encourage you to take it on.

May we all be what we seek and embrace our inner guru.




Author: Bianca Ricoy
Image: Courtesy of Leigh McCloskey; Photo Vanova/Flickr 
Editor: Catherine Monkman
Copy Editor: Leah Sugerman
Social Editor: Yoli Ramazzina

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