How showing up, paying attention, telling the truth, and being unattached to the outcome can help us live with greater harmony, love, and success.
When Aristotle said “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it,” I like to believe that he was suggesting we watch our own internal voices, in addition to external voices. In a recent post I invited you to watch your thoughts and recognize the negative voices that may be holding you back from living your best life. Our thoughts make up our experience of the world—moment to moment—and being aware of our thoughts, and consciously rewriting the messages we are telling ourselves is important. This time I am going to recommend that we dig a little deeper. I believe there’s another tool we can use to expedite the process of internal positive change, which allows us to be even better creators of our lives.
My favorite Rumi quote is this: “Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” I whole-heartedly agree. I also believe it’s our job to look inside and find the barriers within that prevent us from living our best life. To the best of my ability, I actively live what author Angeles Arrien coined the Four Fold Path: show up, pay attention, tell the truth, and don’t be attached to outcome. This wonderful methodology can be applied not only to our everyday lives, but also as a way to assist us in finding the barriers we carry within. After all, how can we ask ourselves to show up, pay attention, tell the truth and not be attached to outcome with others if we are not able to do so with ourselves?
I shall break through my own barrier and agree with Ronald Reagan when he said, “There are no constraints on the human mind, no walls around the human spirit, no barriers to our progress except those we ourselves erect.” The man was right on this one. He was an actor turned President after all, so he certainly knows about breaking through constraints. It’s time to love ourselves enough to watch our negative thinking patterns, and courageously face the underlying emotions holding us back.
For this exercise, set mental programming aside.
First, show up for yourself by turning inward. Sit comfortably, close your eyes and turn your attention inside your body.
Second, pay attention to what is going on within by naming it. What is the emotion behind the thought?
Third, tell the truth. If the emotion is fear, embrace it. Our emotions are simply there doing a job, often to protect us. Be honest with yourself about what is behind the emotion.
The fourth and final step is not being attached to outcome. The opposite of attachment is release, and it is through release that we can get to the other side. Know that the emotion served a purpose, thank it, hug it, and say something like, “You are no longer needed. Goodbye.” When this is done with intention, it works surprisingly well.
It is time to take your own power back and courageously face barriers head-on. Know that you are so worthy of having the best life you can live. Les Brown said, “You cannot be wimpy out there on the dream-seeking trail. Dare to break through barriers, to find your own path.” I invite you to dig deeper to look at what you are letting stand in your way. By courageously facing that which is holding us back, embracing and releasing those blocks, we free ourselves to move through life harmoniously and successfully on our true soul journey.
By Antonia Hall
Photo by Patrik Jones via Flickr