Winks From the Universe
“If we are demoralized, sad and only complain, we’ll not solve our problems. If we only pray for a solution, we’ll not solve our problems. We need to face them, to deal with them without violence, but with confidence – and never give up. If you adopt a non-violent approach, but are also hesitant within, you’ll not succeed. You have to have confidence and keep up your efforts – in other words, never give up.”
– the Dalai Lama
The quote above came to me this week, and it spoke volumes to my journey. I started this blog almost a year ago, and while I was inspired for a time, I suddenly stopped attending to it. Some changes happened in my life which took my energy and attention elsewhere. I’ve felt what I call “Blogger’s Guilt” – the sense that if one blogs, one owes it to the world to be consistent at it. But I know there are times when we need to direct our energy inward so we can do the healing work that enables us to be more present for our journey, and for offering our best to the world.
I’ve heard the Dalai Lama’s message in countless permutations. But why didn’t it really grab me before? I believe there are two reasons; I needed it to be gritty and honest, and I wasn’t ready for it yet.
The words spoke to me in the way I needed to hear them. There are scores of self-help sources that might tell you to manifest, create, intend, and simply be who you dream of being – as easy as that. I wholeheartedly agree with them. Manifestation can work. But what I needed was some advice that was grittier, more straightforward. I needed to hear this is not a freebie. If you sit back, you will not succeed. Don’t think that simply your desire for change will create that change. There is work to be done. You must dream, manifest, and act. The recipe is only complete with all of its parts. And if your level of involvement isn’t creating the changes you want, it’s time to take a new perspective and approach it differently.
My yoga mentor taught me that sometimes it takes months or even years for an instruction to truly take hold. There will be times when you just aren’t ready yet, but when you are, it will happen as seamlessly as the sun rising. In yoga, you may hear an instruction in many different forms, but you just can’t get your body to do what is being asked. I’m not talking about “Stretch your arms toward the sky,” but instructions that are more involved, integrating complex levels of awareness. Then one day, you hear the instruction and BOOM you get it. It just happens. On occasion, it has something to do with the way the message is phrased. But more often it has to do with being ready for it. The same applies to our life lessons; we get them when we are ready.
What makes us ready? I wish I had the answer for you. But I believe one factor may our openness to change. Our willingness to tread outward on unfamiliar ground, to risk a bit of faith in ourselves. To step outside of our familiar zone of complacent discomfort and risk raising the bar a little. Risk being better than we were, to live up to a new standard. Doesn’t that sound a bit scary? The fabulous catch is that if we reach that place, we are there because we are completely capable of it, and the fear of not matching up is moot; we’ve already become what we dreamed of, and what was “the bar raised” is now our new normal.
So, back to the topic of the world offering up advice; when I notice these messages (and sometimes bonks on the head!) coming my way, I lean in and listen. They tend to come in groups for me. I’ll hear a quote, see a book title, read an article and hear a conversation in a café – all in one week, all on the same topic. Pay attention. This is for you. This matters. When it happens, I know it’s because I’m ready for it, so I had better pay attention. This is a window to personal evolution, and it may not be open for long.
How do you notice the world whispering to you? Is it a lifelong stream of wise advice? Periods of intense input that is impossible to ignore? Do you get inspirations that float dreamily into your mind, or is it that old person on the street who grabs your arm and suddenly mutters words that could only apply to you?
How do you deal with it when it happens? What do you resist? Why? How do you help yourself to be more open to the message coming your way?