In the absence of noise, one hears things that are otherwise overlooked. Mental noise (Ugh – my to-do list!), emotional noise (XXX is SO annoying!), soul noise (Why can’t I be more like Pema Chodron?), and physical noise (Why is that idiot running the leaf blower when there is still snow on the ground?) When all that noise is present (and we’re experiencing it right now whether we realize it or not), one cannot hear the gift of the songbird. I’m embarking upon a small adventure this weekend, a noise deprivation experiment of sorts -a full day silent meditation retreat. I’m pretty much consumed with anxiety over it.
The wheels in my head screech out an insistent refrain, “You will hate it!”, “You’ll never make it!” “You will stink at it!”, “You have WAY too much to do!”, “Your hip hurts!”, “What about work?”, “Your stomach will growl the whole time!” (If the past few days are any indication, this last one might be true).
In short, evil voices from every direction are undermining my desire to go. I’m determined to go because I know I need to do it. I REALLY need to do it. At one point today, I instant messaged a colleague and said my blood pressure was 10,000 / 800. I get upset when people aren’t treated well, and upset leads to stress, and stress leads to… you know the drill.
Believe it or not, there is a link between this conversation and the Mastery conversation we shared last Sunday (click here to revisit it). How?
What if the purpose of life was to achieve self-mastery in the form of 360 degree view of ourselves? Self- mastery in self-awareness, self-actualization, self-motivation, self-acceptance, and my favorite subject, self-leadership (with all the other self-xxx’s in tow) so that you could reach your full potential – emotionally, spiritually, physically – in all that you do? Work, love, play, think, do, give, be…
You can’t lead yourself effectively unless you know yourself. Knowing yourself does not consist of perusing an excel spreadsheet of tasks and accomplishments – those might be outcomes of knowing yourself (or NOT knowing yourself – what were you designed to do? What piece of the universal puzzle do you fill better than anyone else?)
So. Back to me. I’m going, darn it. And I’m going to shut down the noise and hear what my spirit has to say. I’m going to incline my ear towards the universe, and listen for whispers. I’m going to exist quietly without putting myself on trial for my multiple troubles, mistakes, faults, and flaws – past or future. I’m going to, as they say, “Stop the madness!” And I’m not going to speak for HOURS! (no remarks about how amazing that is considering my ability to talk!)
Whatever comes to me, I will allow it to sit with me like a butterfly on my shoulder. I will greet it as if it is an old friend. I’m going to be who I am. Whatever that it is, it is good enough. I don’t need to fix me, I need to understand and embrace me to achieve self-mastery.
By stating these things to you, I won’t be able to chicken out tomorrow morning when I am scheduled to leave the house at 6:30 am.
Will you do me a favor? Will you:
- Send me positive thoughts and energy
- Spend some time this weekend, in a manner that works for you, looking at your heart, mind, and world – and note what you see? You can count it towards your 10,000 hours of self-mastery. Maybe share this and invite a friend or family member to do the same.
- If the gift of insight lands upon you, I’d love for you to share with us in the comments – we can all learn from our respective experiences!
I promise to do the same. Onward!