“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” ~ Nelson Mandela
The first step on the path to reaping heavenly rewards from the universe is a rule so plated in gold and studded with diamonds that it seems to pass most of us by, or at least lay dormant until we’ve reached forty or retired and moved to the Mediterranean. The most important thing to do before you die, in fact something that we should do every single day of our lives.
Be true to ourselves.
Expressing not suppressing is something that we may have heard time and time again, yet it’s surprising how few of us may be doing precisely that.
The problem, aside from the big ‘other’ interfering with our plans (and that includes so called ‘fate’; that which pulls us in all directions and appears to be some sort of pesky external force that is, in fact, more likely to be others expectations of us in cunning disguise), is that we are very good at being dishonest with ourselves.
What we SHOULD be doing, what society WANTS us to concern ourselves with, how there are a million and one excuses just poised to jump in and talk us out of what we’d really love to be. I need to wait until my course is finished, until I can drive, until I have that money saved, until I’m settled, older, more confident – anything!
Anything that distracts from the fact that this is the moment, the only moment we have and we possibly need to be gripped by the shoulders and have some sense shaken into us until we seize life by the balls and just go for it.
Before we can take action, we must be wired up to that part of ourselves that says yes, I would like to throw caution to the wind and just travel for a few years, or do some voluntary work or just spend a year sitting on park benches and engaging strangers in profound conversation. Why not?! If your inner voice is telling you to do something, stop ignoring it. It’ll only end in tears.
Having been honest with yourself, you’ll probably find that what your inner voice IS telling you is absolutely terrifying and out of the question. Either it doesn’t rationally fit with your life plan, or anyone else’s for that matter, or it’s just crazy full stop. If it feels right, then keep going. Do what scares you.
Although there have been times when I’ve pondered if this should be kept in strict balance with upholding your responsibilities and seeing things through to their end, I wonder if it is all that. To have courage is to jump off that cliff as the Fool does at the beginning of the major arcane in the tarot deck. To have courage is to do those things you’ve come here to do and to take responsibility for the repercussions.
Yes family members may be ‘disappointed’ with you, yes you may have to work some things out to make it financially viable, but why not take that first leap?
You’ll probably find that people’s reactions may not be what you first feared and that once you’ve made your brave statement to the universe that you’ll stop at nothing to achieve it that the details end up working themselves out on their own. It was meant to happen. Stop fighting it, and have courage.
Once you’ve stopped hovering your foot over thin air and just stepped off the cliff, you’ll need to detach. The moment you attach yourself to some fixed outcome or ideal and thoroughly worked out goal, then it will all fall apart. The very Zen and incredibly wise adage of not saying things to their completion works wonders on our dreams.
This is the stuff that every writer would love to get their greedy hands on; the stuff of life. Just life working its magic on us, life in its purest and most humble form. Life without second guesses and fighting egos, constantly resisting and trudging stubbornly against its natural flow.
Everything is already worked out for us. As soon as we take ourselves out of the picture then it all fits into place. Trying to be too big for our boots only gets us into trouble, and it is when we stop fighting this fact (as Muslims say – God is great, we cannot be bigger than the universe and its intricate design), let it flow over us and submit to even begin to reap its rewards.
Life is bliss, in its natural state, life is how it was when we were children; just GOOD. Time was nothing to us and we revelled in every moment as it slipped through our fingers… we were unattached.
Overcome your attachment to money or fear of lack of it, detach yourself from other’s opinions of you, detach yourself from your egos petty bickering, from its fight with itself. Detach from society’s ideal version of you, and all its forced ideologies, detach from what the world wants you to be. Take a good look at what YOU want to be.
An extension of detachment is letting go. Accepting that we really know nothing takes humility but also the courage to trust everything will be OK. In a cruel irony, it seems that the more we distrust or are disconnected from our higher selves, the more we float aimlessly and attract things that confuse us further.
Without a direct connection with the divine we lose focus and get surrounded by fuzz. Distracted enough to take the long way around we lose our way and become lost.
Being purposefully lost, on the other hand, is the adventure of life at its best. Planting the seeds of potentiality, as Deepak Chopra suggests means that we leave it at that; we sow the future with each action we chose, and then allow the seeds to ride the wind. Give your higher self the chance to know best. Connect to your angels and trust that they will see you through.
If you’ve felt abandoned in the past then it’s probably because you stopped asking for help. Open yourself up in prayer, then let go and leave the magic up to the forces of the universe. Only then will you be able to reap rewards – more marvelous and soul-shaking than you could ever have imagined. The universe knows best.
And finally, cleanse. To open yourself up to such energies and profit from the BIG changes and acts of courage in your life, you’ll also need to cleanse yourself on a smaller scale. Every day, every waking moment (and dream moment) that you remember to do so, watch those layers of ingenuity simply flake away.
Joyfully shed those layers of pain, hurt and fear and turn them on their head. Don’t be afraid to be the best version of yourself, this is what you came here to do. Step up and shine. Make friends with yourself. Know yourself better, laugh at your own vulnerability and shatter the norm.
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