You know those days when you are feeling delighted by yourself? Where life seems light and easy? You’re content in your skin, in your outfit, in your organizational skills, in your relationships, and things just seem to be humming along? Do you also find that those days, or dare I say, moments, can be quickly impacted by one simple abrasion? Thinking you’re proud of your finances and your client for the evening calls and cancels? Feeling proud of your body until you slip on those hopeful, hidden in the back of the closet, jeans? Flowing smoothly along until you realize you’ve missed an appointment? How do we consistently hold our self-love and tap into its abundance?
I think one of the key factors here is expectation. The expectations we place on ourselves. We are constantly inundated with marketing and media that hints at what we are ideally supposed to be, or accomplish in our lives. Not to mention that it is in our egoic nature to compare ourselves to others, to find our place and ranking in society. And, whether you are someone who actively participates in these concepts; judging others and ourselves through this lens, likely many around you are. When expectation is set by external forces we are likely to fall short, and thus those ‘easy, breezy’ moments seem to prove fleeting.
What I have been practicing, to counteract these external pressures, is self-acceptance on the grandest scale. This goes beyond telling yourself that you know you are not perfect, but rather, tapping into something greater than myself that shows me my place in the wholeness of life. I have been dearly admiring Dr. Wayne Dyer’s book, “Change Your Thoughts – Change Your Life.” In this book he exams all eighty-one verses of the Tao Te Ching written by Lao-tzu. Now, I have been reading the works of Lao-tzu for years, as Eckhart Tolle, one of my greatest spiritual teachers, had suggested, but Dyer’s interpretations are so poignant and succinct that they are allowing me such a deeper understanding of these writings. I bought this book at a used book store for less than ten dollars, and I highly recommend it to every one of you! Dyer writes: “The main problem with listening to the ego is that you’re always caught in the trap of striving and never arriving. Thus, you can never feel complete.” “Make an attempt to reverse ego’s hold on you by practicing the Tao’s teaching to “serve the needs of others, and all your own needs will be fulfilled.” “The more you pursue desires, the more they’ll elude you. Try letting life come to you and begin to notice the clues that what you crave is on its way.”
These words do not hold expectation; they hold allowance and acceptance. They speak of serving others and trusting in life. If the word “Tao” lands wrong to you, replace it with God, or Source, or Oneness… because to most of us spiritual seekers they are interchangeable pointers; as it’s about growing and serving, not defining and labeling. When we stand rooted in this perspective, it takes more than a minor life abrasion to challenge the peace held deep within us. That fleeting moment of feeling like you’ve got it all together, now no longer is pinned on external factors, but rather the presence you bring to each moment to fully engage and trust in life.
Setting goals can be another way to hold this deeper feeling of acceptance, while also growing us. External goals are fine, like the goal of losing fifteen pounds, but what if we reached for them by setting internal goals. For example, what if your goal is to trust and listen to you body, to let it tell you when you are hungry. What if your goal is to investigate the angst that comes over us just before we binge eat, or zone out in front of the television? These goals are more than just markers of weight loss. These goals ensure weight loss because we’ll not just be crash dieting and repeating our cycles, but rather because we can interrupt the cycle with understanding and self-acceptance. Knowledge is only powerful if it is applied to action. When we stay in service to ourselves, looking on ourselves with love, this is how we stay present and aligned with the oneness of life.
Enjoy Valentine’s Day! Celebrate the universal love that flows through all living things, and as you form your actions out of that love, may you find true fulfillment. It is in this stillness that abundance resides.