“The widest possibilities for spiritual growth lie in the give-and-take of everyday relationships.”—Eknath Easwaran
Most of the calls I receive for spiritual coaching involve relationships. People are either experiencing a loss of connection with their goals, dreams, and visions, or they are confused about their purpose and where to go from here.
We all desire a vibrant life. We all want to know our life makes a difference, that we have a contribution to make, and that there is a purpose to our life. We form relationships in order to experience connection and commitment to a common purpose and to share our gifts. Everyone wants to be acknowledged, appreciated, and accepted for who they are. When that happens, there is a greater sense of possibility for change, growth, and resiliency. We need to love and to be loved. Not just an emotional love but also a love that accepts us and flows through us to accept what is right before us.
Joseph Campbell, noted mythologist, scholar, and philosopher from the 1980s, coined the phrase “the hero’s journey” to describe the classic coming of age story. Campbell says the hero is that indescribable part of us that remains constant and courageous, regardless of what is happening around us. It is our authentic self; the essence of who we are apart from our personality traits or the drama that sometimes surrounds us. It is what Charles Fillmore would call our “Christ” nature. It is our authentic self taking action in our lives, which fills us with a sense of vibrancy.
In order to access our authentic self, we must become mindful of our thoughts, feelings, emotions, and perceptions and ask ourselves questions that draw us into our essence. Some questions might be: Who am I being right now? Am I demonstrating the qualities of being that move my heart? Who am I willing to be in order to make a difference in this situation? Am I willing to move past where I have stopped before in the past?
We all have a courageous heart and a monkey mind. Monkey mind is a Buddhist term for the self-limiting chatter that constantly goes on inside our head that revolves around worry and doubt. It keeps us safe but never in the present moment. Our monkey mind is either in the past—blaming, resenting, judging, and critiquing—or in the future, worrying. If we can shift our attention from monkey mind to the voice of wisdom within us and simply take a small step forward, we will experience vibrancy.
To become more successful in life, incorporate these four things into your routine:
- Clarity—Know what aim, direction, or purpose you want to take.
- Focus—Become aware of how you are using your energy.
- Ease—Take a small action step forward.
- Grace—Be grateful for everything.
Let me give you a hypothetical example. Let’s say I feel drained by someone I work with. This person is so critical and negative, and I go home every night simply exhausted. I wonder what this person is even doing here. I have to tell him or her what to do all the time. I wonder if this person has any friends because he or she is so critical. It’s a struggle for me to remain positive with all the negativity. Can you see how my focus is completely on his or her behavior? How do you imagine I show up around this person? How do you imagine he or she shows up around me? Not a lot of ease and grace here.
So let’s shift my focus of attention. How could I be authentic and yet be generous, compassionate, and kind with my coworker?
First, what is my intention? I decide my intention is to be a powerful team player. I am willing to be clear, focused, kind, supportive, and enthusiastic. I write down these qualities and put them where I can see them throughout the day. So the action I will take tomorrow is to connect in a way in which my coworker can experience support, acceptance, and friendliness from me. Willing to be a powerful team player, I am kind and supportive as we work together.
By seeing the hero within my coworker, I will experience a different day. Whether he or she is negative is none of my business. My intention to be a powerful team player is more interesting to me than seeing him or her as a “drain.” You know, to achieve a different result we must do life a different way. See everyone as the “hero” for a day or part of a day and observe how you experience your energy. Be authentic. Love lavishly and you’ll be lavished with love. Enjoy a vibrant life!