“Every human being must have a point at which he stands against the culture, where he says, this is me and the damned world can go to hell.”
- Rollo May
The mind is a trickster.
First we’re up – “I can do that” – and then, in its usual morose way, it chides us for ever thinking…we could improve our circumstances – “Who are you kidding?”
I’ve been there for large tracts of my life.
But, call it arrogance or a misplaced sense of the possible, I’ve never stopped believing in myself. And when I say myself, I don’t mean that ego-centric, faux character. I’m referring to the person who sits underneath all my chatterings. That person doesn’t think – certainly not this or that. He just acts. In this space, I’m not alone. I know it sounds hackneyed but my daemon’s in the vicinity or there’s this extra sense that I’m not acting on auto-pilot but instead something or somebody has come to my aid.
Over the last few years, spurred on by a wonderful mentor and coach, Ando Perez, I’ve reconnected with this higher self. And in turn this person has lived through my work. When I refer to ‘work’, I don’t mean the usual grunge we’re forced to do but the material where my mind shuts off. I must admit to not completely understanding the process, but I know when I’m in the zone because time stops, my blood heats up and I lose myself for eternity. Perhaps it’s my age, but I recognise how precious (and precarious) these moments are. (Of course, like you and thousands of other people, we have to generate cash, and it’s rare, particularly where you’re working for someone else, where you can say the money thing ever converts to this place of no mind. I haven’t lost my sense of needing to provide but, unlike the past, it’s not more first than anything else.)
Looking back on my exit from law in 2010, I now see that one of the overriding factors for me leaving was to put myself in a position where I could answer the call of becoming the most of anything. I knew that, for as long as I worked for someone else, I would be miserable by dint of being controlled, hemmed in by the system but, most of all, not being able to bring my true, authentic self to work.
I must admit that for any employer I’ve always been a challenge. On the one hand, you could never question my reserves of energy and commitment to the money-making cause, but running alongside this was my mischievous self. This person must have been a right pain in the arse for continually challenging the status quo for no other reason than I felt like doing so. Of course, now, subject to not putting myself or my family in harm’s way, I can do what I like. (Yes, I’ve been known to blog and record my podcasts in my boxer shorts!)
I recognise to the established order that this looks reckless. Who, after all, would give up on the security of a job in law (of all things, eh…!) to pursue my best self? Well…err…me. But I don’t care. I’m not living my life for them let alone the bloody system.
For anyone who knows me, beyond reading or listening to my work, they will know that I’m not in the habit of telling you how to live your life; but all I would ask you to consider is whether you are living true to who you are and that is expressed in your work? If not, given that you don’t get a second chance at life, are you willing to put your dreams on hold for another day, and to stop talking to yourself and do something?
One of the reasons that I continue to push the Awaken the Genius Within message isn’t because I want to sell you a ‘make-a-new-life’ programme (yuk!) but, instead, because I’m passionately invested in trying to help people come alive to their true, higher self. It’s not that I’m particularly altruistic or that I don’t think there are bigger issues to focus on – climate change, poverty and food security – it’s just that I have this overriding sense we’re wasting so much of life when we could be invested in living a richer, happier version.
I know that change for all of us is incredibly difficult but even if I only succeed in getting you to look up and see the world through a different pair of eyes then that may be enough to start a process that means you reconnect with the real you, the person you’ve buried away in pursuit of an economic life.
If I’m honest I’m still not sure where I’m headed. In the past I would have had a detailed set of goals. Now? I live one day at a time, not least because you never know when it could be your last. Trust me, when you wake up to a subarachnoid haemorrhage, as a fit 42-year-old, you come to realise how fragile life is.
At this point, it would be easy for me to start writing down my top 10 things for you to do but I’m going to resist the temptation not least because you know what you have to do to change your life for the better. But if I can give you a pointer it’s simply this. Focus on your habits. If you can focus on changing one thing and one thing alone and see change then that will give you the confidence to tackle bigger projects.
Below are a few recording on Audioboo that you might find helpful too.