Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Guide Thyself

This will border on sounding like a page out of the Narcicistic Personality Disorder handbook, but bear with me: At times when I'm funneling through a loop of indecision or conflict, I look back on my journal or blog to remind myself of my former wisdom and advice. Lessons I've learned and misplaced. I whole heartedly believe that writers write what they most need to hear anyway. This purging has to serve some actual purpose, right?!

We live in a time where self help and personal development is a multi-billion dollar industry: books, courses, retreats, podcasts, yogis, etc. It's not just Tony Robbins or Deepak Chopra now. Rather, vast swathes of people seem to be clambering for a career in the semi new age sector-as an Influencer, Life Coach, Speaker, or Healer. If not, they're probably imbibing some array of these offerings. Everything from the self-help section of Barnes and Noble to Reiki, $10k yoga teacher retreats, and weekly therapy.

Seeking for the sake of seeking is a benevolent enterprise, but it can also consume the weaker aspects of our spirit. See, there's a limit to the effectiveness of other people's advice. Not just people we hire or buy into as our Gurus either. At times the well meaning advice of those we love and respect can create the most debilitating disconnect from our often soft-spoken inner voice.

The risk is this: sometimes guidance outside ourselves creates an inner chaos rather than an empowering consensus. Other people's opinions begin to bleed into our consciousness as we move forward in our own lives. Lives that we are ultimately responsible for. Suddenly we aren't sure who has it right- the little voice inside us, distant as it may be, or the seemingly smart advice of those we genuinely respect.

"Confusion is a gift from God. Those times when you feel most desperate for a solution, sit. Wait. The information will become clear. The confusion is there to guide you. Seek detachment and become the producer of your life." -Rza

We have everything we need within us. We know ourselves more intimately than anyone else can or ever will. Yet we also impulsively rush decisions and ultimately, untimely results. Waiting is sooo dammmnn uncomfortable. Thus we crave an end to the manic pause. For me, coming to a conclusion that feels righteous and livable requires removing the deadline, or even a time frame.

We try to hand off the consequence of making our own firm decisions by asking for guidance that we don't really need. In fact, input from others can often distort a vision that would otherwise be clear (though rarely immediate). And even if not would certainly be ours.

We humans are such dynamic creatures of light and limbs. We need to practice honing our intention and discipline, without constantly relying on authority. It's hard work, maneuvering life and choices with tender execution. I have to be careful to enforce my own beliefs and dreams, rather than being imposed upon. We are forever responsible for ourselves and the decisions we make. It doesn't mean we won't fuck up, or wonder about a path we discarded, but I find myself easier to forgive than others. It's pretty hard to keep a wall up against your own soul.

"Does this choice enlarge or diminish me?" -James Hollis

We had another lovely Sunday in the church of Mt. Rainier. Actually this trail to High Hut is just outside the park boundary, and part of the Mount Tahoma Trail Association. The hut itself is available for rent but we simply used the stove inside to service our coffee addiction. The views from the top of this steep little snow climb were so astounding! Besides the obvious, full frontal Rainier views we also caught sight of The Olympics, Anderson Lake, the Nisqually valley, St. Helens, and a slightly obscured Mt. Adams. 

Even at our weakest, we are still fully capable of commandeering our own story. Sometimes I need to reflect on past moments of powerful unblocking to re-align with my inner conductor. Relationship is essential to life, but friends and lovers and even sages are meant to be adventure partners, not the authors of our biography. Take every bit of advice you receive with a grain of salt. Or better yet, a dead sea dose of salt.

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