Am I Doing It Right?
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[dc]I[/dc] recently participated in Deepak Chopra’s latest 21-Day Meditation Challenge, and many of my clients did as well. During the three weeks, a few of them mentioned to me that they feared they weren’t meditating “correctly” or that they couldn’t sit still or quiet the monkey mind. When I suggested that they tweak how they meditate to better suit their needs, some responded with surprise. “Isn’t that cheating?”
I smile as I remember those conversations while I’m hiking in the nearby woods doing my meditation. Although Deepak is instructing me to “find a comfortable spot and close your eyes,” on some days, I’m much more present in my body when I’m in motion.
As I’m hiking up and down and all around, I’m silently chanting the daily mantra. I’m breathing fully. My energy is completely in tact and I feel centered, even though I’m not propped up on a meditation cushion in lotus position.
Who’s in charge of your emotional and spiritual journey anyway? You are. While it’s great to use all the wonderful resources we have around us to help us develop and grow, it’s important to retain your authentic truth at the same time.
For a number of years (and still now and again), I felt a bit like a square peg in a round hole when it comes to working in the self-improvement field. I love spiritual concepts and principles, but I’m also no ethereal, patchouli-wearing, flower child (not that there’s anything wrong with that!). I’m a straight-shooting, bottom-liner, potty-mouthed Taurus encased in layers of love and compassion. And I have a hefty dose of “woo woo” sprinkled on top.
I used to think that I couldn’t be all of those things and be spiritual. I thought I had to do things a certain way to be successful in life and in business. I thought I had to be just like that person who was where I wanted to be, and to be a lot more “woo woo” and flowery. While I do many things in a similar way to others in my field, I put my unique spin on it, too.
At times, that can make me not quite fit the mold, but really, is there “right” self-growth language or a “wrong” approach? Can’t it come packaged in all sorts of forms and even include, dare I say, a curse word or two? I believe it can. In fact, a lot of people who work with me choose to because of my down-to-earth style.
When it comes to your journey, your way is the right way, even if you’re not where you want to be. You’re exactly where you should be, and when you’re ready to make a change, you’ll reach out for the support you need, in whatever form that takes.
So whether it’s meditation, visualization, journaling, or any other spiritual practice to help you be more present for life, give yourself permission to approach it in a way that works for you. If you believe you have to do it the same way as a perceived “expert” does, then you’re handing away your power, which results in the exact opposite of your intention to heal and grow.
OK. Your turn! Where are you trying to be someone you’re not? Do you allow yourself to break the rules and do things your way when it comes to your journey? Let’s continue to stir the pot in the comments below.
I believe we have a lot in common concerning our outside of the box approach. When working with my clients especially people who are autistic the approach “what works for you works for you” most effective. As a matter of fact it probably explains what works for me. I tend to be a rule breaker and the more individualistic your approach the more will you have to be to go your own way. I am also a Taurean but definitely the child of the 70’s beating to my own drum.
so Vive la difference in all aspects of life!
Yeah, Sue! Keep on beating that drum!
This is comforting – thanks Kerri. I never seem to quite fit in with whatever church I’m going to (though the “new thought” path I am on now resonates with me more than my traditional Christian upbringing). But I don’t have to totally fit in, or completely agree with whatever teaching comes my way. I agree with the statement “your way is the right way”.
I like Elizabeth Lesser’s quote from her book A Seekers Guide, “Many paths lead to spiritual freedom and peace. You have a rich array of gems from which to draw illumination: the world’s religious traditions; mythology; philosophy; psychology; healing methods; scientific wisdom; your own experience. String a necklace all your own.”
Yeah, love that idea, Tim. Expose yourself to lots of different styles and teachings. Take what works for you and leave the rest. Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. Great quote by Elizabeth Lesser. Thanks for sharing it!
Kerri, you have nailed it! If each of us looked at what we already have inside of us with love and compassion, we would be able to know that we are exactly the way we should always be. The challenges we have are trying to meet others expectations and fulfill others desires, instead of being true to ourselves in Spirit. I decided to give those things up a few years ago, and people are still trying to figure me out! Living outside the box, as the previous person posted, is a very freeing experience. As Snoopy puts it – civilization is overrated! We have our wings clipped at a very early age, and we have to grow new feathers to fly again. Thank you for giving voice to that new plumage. Each of us has their own way – and you will love it once you find it. The search is the adventure!
Thanks for joining the conversation, Deborah. So true about the challenge being due to the struggle to meet others’ expectations. Let’s spend more time giving ourselves what we know we need instead of abandoning ourselves for others. Yes, living outside of the box is freeing and can be scary. But my motto is always, if there’s fear AND excitement present, go for it!
Kerri you couldn’t have said it any better. I too have basically been doing things my way and am now realizing that I can’t fit into the mold Ihave to make my own! I have have always felt creative people have had to bend to fit into the molds around us and some of us are better at doing this than others, so when I kept becoming so unbelieveably stressed at not being able to fit into the “mold” I made my own and have been feeling better and better as I go. I have learned to embrace my differences and now as a business person I have learned to use those differences to my advantage.
Oh, I love that, Shannon — don’t try to fit the mold. Make your own! YES!!