Grit is living life like it's a marathon, not a sprint.
- Angela Duckworth
I've recently been listening to the audiobook Grit by Angela Duckworth, which I highly recommend for anyone who's either trying to find purpose in their life, or cultivate the strength to succeed with the purpose they feel called to.
It has so many insightful and motivating things in it, but it's not your typical motivational book. In fact, it's more of an exploration of why people have grit, or the capacity to continue on in the face of adversity. Through this exploration, there are many stories that helped me to see, first of all, what it is in me that keeps me going and facing challenges, and also, what it is in other people that I don't have (but want) that gets them to continually rise back up and overcome obstacles.
One thing in the book that struck me was a discussion on what makes us feel hopeful and what makes us feel hopeless. The author has a PhD in psychology, and therefore is aware of and shares a vast array of psychological studies. One of them was on this subject of feeling hopeful or hopeless.
What she shared is that a hopeful feeling comes from a sense of feeling you can control something. When you feel hopeless, it's because you feel you've lost all control.
I never connected these two feelings before, and I was only able to see this in my own life because I have recently begun feeling I can control something. I have learned, through a regular meditation practice, that I can control my feelings. I can control how I respond to things. Basically, I have let go of trying to control my outside world and have put all my eggs in the basket of my inner world.
And don't you know, I have been feeling so optimistic and hopeful lately that it's like I'm seeing a new world.
Angela shares that feeling hopeful is crucial in being someone that overcomes obstacles and setbacks.
She also shares that for many people, the feeling that they can't control something comes from negative self talk that speaks as if these states are permanent. E.g. "I am a loser" is a permanent state. When you think this, you believe it's fixed - it's out of your control. It just is.
On the flip side, when we phrase things in a way that tells us we can grow and change, we feel we have CONTROL, which makes us feel hopeful, such as, "I feel like a loser because my presentation went bad. However, with public speaking classes, I can master this skill and succeed."
Next time you are feeling things are utterly hopeless and you are stuck where you are, ask yourself to find something you can control. You can always control something. As I've learned, you can control your thoughts. You can trade a negative one for a positive one. You can control what your body is doing. You can stand up and go for a little walk when you feel stressed. You could even jump up and WHOOP for no reason at all. I'm not say you will. But you could.
At the very least, you can control your breathing. Right now, you can take a deep breath in at will. You can hold it. And you can decide when to let it out.
Take another deep breath. Focus on it. That's you doing that. That's something you can control.
When you feel you can control your happiness, or your stress, you become more confident in your ability to keep going. This does not change the obstacles you face, but rather gives you the courage and willingness to keep going.
You don't try to change what others are doing, or how the world responds to you or views you, but rather you change how you feel and what you believe, and you go from there. This, in turn, makes you feel hopeful.
And when you're hopeful, you find a way.
When you're feeling hopeless, you give up. So keep coming back to the hopeful. Keep coming back to your breath, that beautiful thing within you that you can control. You can do so much more than you believe you can. As I've learned through this book, the capacity to keep going, to find your grit, is more important than your talent, intelligence and education combined.
In other words, it doesn't matter if people seem more qualified than you. What matters is that you keep going. Successful people are simply people who never gave up.
For more on Angela and her book Grit visit her website. You can take her grit quiz there and find out how your grittiness compares to others on average.
Not feeling you have so much grit? Don't worry about it. Remember, who you are not is a fixed thing. You can change. You can grow. You can evolve. You just have to talk to yourself in a way that affirms growth. I may not feel gritty now, but with a meditation practice, I can master these negative thoughts, and that will make me more resilient.
Clay is shaped into a bowl, but it is the empty space that makes it useful.
- Lao Tzu
Emptiness is something we often think of as bad in this world.
To feel empty can mean we feel sad or lonely or even depressed. But just like so many things in life, how you look at it can give it at a completely different meaning.
To feel into a space of emptiness within can also be a good thing.
It can be a space free of mental clutter. It can be a feeling of peace, openness and lightness. It can be a space where we feel in harmony with everything, just as it is, without feeling a need to do anything. It's a space where we sit comfortably with ourselves and the world, free of borders, just open and free.
This kind of feeling can be found in many ways, and one is meditation. When you tune into that quiet, soft, slow space within you you empty out all outside distractions.
And when you have created that empty space within, you are ready and able to receive.
You can receive new ideas, fresh energy, a deepening of connection to your spirit, and a deeper connection with your own self. You can receive a new perspective, one that is free of the one the world around you is trying to impose on you.
With everything out of the way, you can receive what is true to you.
You can receive that which can't be put into words. That which can't be seen or touched with our physical selves. You can receive that feeling of something more, something bigger than you, something cosmic, that you cannot quiet explain, you just know it when you feel it.
Today, you might try meditating on being a cup or bowl. Imagine you are empty and ready to be filled, and energy from above is pouring into you. This energy could be pure love, bright light, God, the Universe, whatever you want to fill yourself with. Hold this visual, breathing slow, just seeing it pour in and fill you, your spirit and your life.
And then, return to the exciting and active world we live in knowing your soul has been nourished. You are full of what's real and true, and you are ready for whatever life presents.
One of the best ways I know to shift my energy into a state of lightness, ease and receiving is to meditate on the words, "All is well."
It's a simple phrase, but sometimes the simple ones do the most. I repeat the words while allowing my mind to drift where it wants. Sometimes I will focus the words on my body.
I will repeat All is Well while visualizing the cells of my body in their fullest expression of health and vitality. I will see a white light filling every cell, flooding me with healing energy, while repeating All is Well.
I will repeat All is Well while flowing the words through my bones, my muscles and my organs. I will send the words and energy of All is Well up to my mind, and see my mind as sharp, creative and energized.
Other times, I will repeat All is Well while allowing the words go out in an open way. I will see them like ripples, going out through my room, my house, my city and out and and out and out, making me feel that All is Well in my entire world.
I let the words flow, bringing me into harmony with where I am. It doesn't matter what's happening, because I start to tune into the feeling that all is well, all is working out for me, and I just have to keep going.
If you'd like a guided meditation with "All is well" I have one in my audio blog. It's free to stream and download, and you can get it here.
The cells of my body are on loan from this world.
They are a gift from the earth.
I did not manifest out of thin air.
I was first created from the nourishment I received in my mother's womb.
That nourishment came from her own intake of the earth's gifts.
As I grew, my body became able to recreate, regenerate and heal its cells on its own. I was no longer connected to a placenta, but instead, I began to take in foods grown from the earth's soil.
I began to drink water, the water that is our planet's streams and lakes, the water that is life.
And I took the first of many, many breaths.
With my own lungs I breathe the oxygen of the earth's atmosphere that is essential to every single cell of my being.
I am made of this world. I cannot exist without this world.
The cells of my body are on loan from this world.
Right now, they give my soul a space in which to exist in this rich and dynamic physical world.
My soul merges with the flesh. When my body is gone, so then is my connection to this world, and back I drift to the mystical place from which I came.
But for now, I am here, and I am able to move, breathe, think, speak, feel, cry and laugh because of the gift of a body.
The cells of my body are not mine. They are simply partnering with me for a temporary time, gifting me with all they do so that I may, for a beautiful but brief moment, be a soul in a body.
The cells of my body are infinitely wise, and they know exactly how to use the gifts of the earth so that they may form bones, muscles, nerves, tissues and all the parts of me that I think of as me.
The cells of my body are a gift, and I will treat them as such.
I will not lament the cells of my body for looking too fat, too thin or anything else.
Instead, I will wish them the utmost joy while we are partnered together.
I will wish them feelings of freedom, health and vitality.
I will wish them to be imbued with a sense of innate strength.
I will wish them to know that I appreciate them, and I will wish them to know that I understand they are not mine, but a loan, a gift, a miraculous support system that allows me to be here.
I will wish my cells to have all they need to feel their best while with me.
I will wish them to feel connected not just to me, but to the whole Universe, to the stardust from which all of this majestically was birthed, and I will wish them to remember that they are as divine as the Ohhms that are created in my physical chest, and that vibrate out and out and out, right back out to the stars.
I am I am I am.
I will wish my cells to enjoy the journey we go on together. I will wish them to know that no matter what, no matter how much it seems they are in disarray, we are in this together, and I will love and value them until my last breath.
And when I go, I will wish my cells a beautiful transmutation into something else. Where will they go? What will they become? I may never know. I only know that for now, I am here, partnered with this body that allows me to sing and dance.
And just for this moment, I shall close my eyes, take a deep breath, feel my body, my breath, my existence, and say thank you.
Auras are a fascinating thing. We've all at some time sensed somebody's energy. Perhaps an angry energy. Or a loving, welcoming energy. On some level, we knew there was an energy field radiating from them that we picked up on. But what are auras? Is there any science to the concept that we have fields of energy around us that tell people about our health and emotional state?
The first thing we need to know in order to dive into auras is that our bodies conduct electricity.
Often times people compare a human to a computer, and there's a lot of fair comparison in that. Our brains send impulses throughout our bodies using electric currents. Essentially, electrons flow throughout the billions of atoms that compose our bodies, sending a myriad of messages. From HowStuffWorks.com:
When we talk about the nervous system sending "signals" to the brain, or synapses "firing," or the brain telling our hands to contract around a door handle, what we're talking about is electricity carrying messages between point A and point B.
The second thing to understand about ourselves is that we consume and produce energy.
We are energy bodies. If you've ever felt the warmth of another person's touch what you've felt is energy. Heat is a source of energy, it's thermal energy, and it's one of many possible stages energy can move through as it converts its form.
If you're alive then you're radiating heat, and if you're radiating heat you're radiating energy. So if auras are energy, then your aura really does begin inside of you, with your body's self-created heated, and radiates out, flowing out through the pores of your skin. And if you're alive, you're also sending messages throughout your body.
The heat that radiates from your body comes from the same source as the electric pulses. Which means, it's entirely plausible that those currents of thought, feeling and emotion really are affecting your aura, or your bioelectric field. It makes sense for a merging of the two, as our bodies are essentially many separate components that operate as one. Every aspect of our body affects every other aspect. You really might be radiating the thoughts you think and the things you feel.
But why do some people say auras have colors?
This is where the science ends and belief begins to take over. I'm not saying it's a belief because auras don't have color. I'm just not aware of any studies done on why or how any aura would have color. As interest grows in our nature as spiritual beings, these kinds of things do get looked at more. We may see science explore this in our lifetimes, but if not, nothing says we can't ponder and wonder about it ourselves.
Basically, color comes from various wavelengths of biomagnetic light energy. Longer wavelengths appear to us to be red, and on the short end you have purple. Color is entirely based on perception and the way our human eyes perceive those wavelengths. So can auras have color? I suppose so. But it's hard to break this down because we see auras with our inner sight, not with our physical eyes. There's a possibility that we give auras color because that's what color we associate with them.
In other words, let's say someone has a lot of anger in their energy field from a lot of rage-filled thoughts. A person who senses their energy might associate anger or intensity with red, and therefore, they "see" a red aura. What they see is true, because it's a reflection of what they're perceiving. But another person may "see" something else, based on their own color associations, and that would be equally valid.
Whether auras have color or not, we do radiate energy, and we do send thoughts and feelings as electric impulses within our bodies.
Maybe those electrical currents, made up of messages that tell us who we are and what we're doing, merge with the energy. If so, then we do have an aura around ourselves that is a general map of our emotional and physical state.
So right now auras are a mixture of science and belief. There's certainly a lot to think about though. I keep visualizing the constant stream of thoughts that emit from my mind through a day, running through me as pulses and currents. I then see them merging with my energy and radiating out of me, and it does make me want to be more conscious of what kind of a cloud or aura I'm surrounding myself with.
If my energy is drawing more of the same to me, since this is a Universe where like attracts like, then I certainly want my aura to work in my favor. But please never feel you have to smother so called negative thoughts or feelings. If something is crying out for your attention, let it be heard, see what it's trying to show you, and then let it wash through you (this post called "Feel What You Feel" might help).
I recently came across this article in Scientific American about the importance of embracing all feelings. I have written on the importance of embracing negative thoughts & feelings on my blog before. You can read that post here - it's still one of my favorites.
This excellent Scientific American article focuses on why an ability to feel and work through a range of emotions is key to a healthy mind. I hope there are more discussions on this, because I have noticed a real trend in people obsessing over being positive ALL THE TIME. This is not possible, and also, counter productive. Sadness, anger and fear show up for a reason. They're showing us something.
Along the same lines, I have noticed a trend of people demanding others to be positive all the time also. This is part of the reason we feel guilty for expressing sadness or regret. There's always someone shouting back, "Be positive! Be grateful!"
This is rarely what we need to hear. More often than not, we need space to feel what we're feeling. We need to be heard, and to be able to get to the root of why these feelings are rising up.
And we need to not be afraid of other people's feelings, and know that if someone is sad and it makes us sad, it's because we forgot that we, at all times, have ultimate power over our own thoughts and feelings. Someone else's sadness or anger does not have to dictate how we feel. We must remember our own inner strength is more powerful than anything that comes from outside us.
I hope you get a chance to read Negative Emotions Are Key to Well-Being over at Scientific American. Below is a quote from the author, which I found to be so well said.
In my psychotherapy practice, many of my clients struggle with highly distressing emotions, such as extreme anger, or with suicidal thoughts. In recent years I have noticed an increase in the number of people who also feel guilty or ashamed about what they perceive to be negativity. Such reactions undoubtedly stem from our culture's overriding bias toward positive thinking. Although positive emotions are worth cultivating, problems arise when people start believing they must be upbeat all the time.
I woke up this morning at 5 AM full of nervous energy. I had barely gone to sleep a few hours earlier, but I knew I wasn't going to be able to get myself back to sleep. I could feel the wave of panic coming, and it was so strong I thought I was going to be sick.
I can't do this.
I could feel it, deep in my gut. I couldn't do this. I wasn't ready. Why had I agreed to this? I suddenly realized I hadn't made any sort of sign for my booth. I felt my stomach seize up in pain. How could I forget something so obvious? How would people know what I was doing? They wouldn't. Therefore, nobody would come. That seemed even worse than the idea that someone would come, and I would have to speak, clearly and confidently, about who I was and what I was doing.
I can't do this.
I had agreed, a few weeks prior, to lead students in meditation at an event at the local University. This would be my first paid event, and in the weeks leading up to it, I felt grateful and excited. I could do this!
Or could I? When I woke up in panic, I kept thinking about how many factors would be beyond my control. I had never led meditations in public before. What if the venue was too loud and no one could hear me? What if my mind went blank and I didn't know what to say? What if I said weird stuff and people walking by heard me? What if... what if... what if....
I knew the first thing to do was to stop making it all about me. I was showing up to share meditation with college students, hopefully so that their lives would be less stressful and more adventerous, creative and fulfilling. Introducing people to meditaiton could have real, positive long-term benefits.
This wasn't about my fears and insecurities. It was about sharing something. Giving away what I know, and receiving first of all payment in return, and second of all a sense of connection and expansion in my journey. I was doing this for them and for me. I would gain something and so would they.
But at the same time, I had to remind myself I was not doing this for their approval. Showing up to offer something I believe in is a lot different than showing up so people will tell me they love what I do. I can show up and share. I can't control what happens beyond that. I had to let go of my desire to have a specific result. Whatever happens happens.
As I laid in bed I began to repeat the word trust.
I trust myself. I trust in this world. I trust the Universe. I trust the forces that brought me this opportunity. I trust in who I am and who I'm becoming. I trust. I trust. I trust.
With each reiteration of the word trust I felt better.
I began to remember the other things I'd done that had scared me. I had once MC'd a spirituality fair. Each time I got on the microphone to introduce somebody and I heard my voice boom out through the auditorium my mouth would go dry and my eyes widen with panic. I was afraid for the first hour they were going to fire me, which would have been extra horrifying considering I was a volunteer. I had once done an open mic reading of my own work, and while on stage, my whole body visibly shook with fear. I had made YouTube videos, even though I would break out in sweat when I thought about people seeing and hearing me.
It's kind of scary to be seen. To be heard. To step into your own light and come out of the shadows.
I thought of all those moments, and I imagined I went back to myself then. I hugged myself and told myself, "Thank you." Thank you for showing up. Thank you for being willing to learn and make mistakes. Thank you for being willing to be unsure and vulnerable. Thank you for being unbelievably brave and shaking with fear as you stepped outside your comfort zone. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
I was in the trust. I was in the gratitude.
I can do this.
I could do this. I would do this. I want to do this, because no matter what happens, it's better than laying in bed all day, dreaming and hoping.
Hopes and dreams are beautiful. But there comes a time you have to get out of your pajamas, cast aside the nerves, and make those dreams happen.
All it takes is one step after another. Today I will take a step. And one day, many weeks or months or even years from now, I will look back on this and imagine I'm hugging myself, saying,
Thank you. Thank you for showing up. Thank you for taking a chance on yourself. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
Today my friend was telling me how she felt a huge urge to laugh during a yoga class she was taking.
A posture they were doing felt silly to her and she wanted to bust out laughing. I told her after about a similiar experience I'd had, and how now the urge to laugh or smile comes up quite often for me during yoga.
A few years ago I was taking Kundalini yoga, which is a type of yoga that uses repetitive moves with quick, sharp breaths. We were all standing in a circle kicking our feet in and yelling HAR! The movement itself kept making me want to laugh because it was so strange. A circle of adults kicking at each other yelling as loud as we could HAR HAR HAR HAR! I'm laughing just thinking about it again.
It wasn't just because it looked and felt funny though. Something about the movement was energizing me. I'm sure part of it was because we are so used to being proper, and this felt goofy and childlike. Part of it also was the strangeness - it was liberating me from patterns and the rigidity we develop as adults.
The urge to laugh was so overwhelming that I had concentrate all of my energy on stifling it. I didn't want to laugh because I felt that would be disrespectful. I thought it also might embarrass my yoga teacher and make him regret asking us to do this move. So with a straight face I continued to kick and yell HAR!
Thankfully, the teacher was my friend and I was able to share how I felt with him afterwards. I was quiet surprised when he told me I SHOULD have laughed! I said that seemed wrong, and like it would've ruined it. But he felt the opposite. He said that was my natural reaction, and I should have let it flow. I was feeling something and I had every right and reason to express it.
I realized he was right. Laughter is a joyous expression. It feels good to laugh. And it feels good to laugh with other people. If I had laughed and others did too, I can only imagine how much more fun and memorable that moment would have been.
Since then, there have been several times when the energy in yoga has felt so good that I've wanted to laugh. But I no longer stifle it. I just let the good feeling flow, and I smile big, and I keep smiling and feeling it as long as it's in me. I have never felt such a strong, joyous feeling as I did that day in Kundalini yoga. But I think of it often, and how when my teacher gave me permission to laugh, it liberated me into a deeper and freer experience in my yoga classes. When I smile now, I sometimes feel a little strange, but I think that if someone is curious why I'm smiling like I'm on drugs they can ask me after - and maybe it will help them in some way also.
Laughter in yoga is an interesting thing. Yoga is meant to feel good, and to tap us into deeper parts of ourselves. Sometimes those parts are just brimming with pure joy, but we often see yoga as a serious thing, which it really isn't. Yoga is whatever you want it to be. So if you ever feel the urge to laugh, I would tell you to go for it! There's nothing except your own judgement saying you can't.
Below is a quote from the 4 Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss. I'm enjoying the book, but it's not exactly a blueprint for how I want to live my life. However, what I am loving about it is the author's energy, and how he talks about the ability we all have to bend reality to our will.
I find that so fascinating, because it reminds me a lot of how Steve Jobs talked about life. Tim has a lot of interesting ideas about life, especially about doing what you value rather than doing what makes you feel you have earned approval. He just believes in what he wants and, as he says, bends reality to make it happen, no matter how crazy.
It'd be easy to dismiss this as overly idealistic self-belief if the proof wasn't in the pudding. The very fact that he wrote this book and sold millions of copies of it makes me question what's really possible. This book easily could have bombed. It doesn't scream best seller to me, because it's not like it was researched for years and contains troves of information dug up from an ancient cave in Nepal. Instead, it's just Tim talking about Tim stuff. But truly, he sees what he wants and he goes for it. Or rather, he just seems to command it into existence.
I have been thinking this over and asking myself how often I bend to what I consider reality, rather than the other way around. I'm going to give it a try and see what happens if I consider the crazy to be the rationale. What if I skewed my perspective so much that what previously seemed impossible becomes my new standard for normal? It'd be curious to find out!
“For all of the most important things, the timing always sucks. Waiting for a good time to quit your job? The stars will never align and the traffic lights of life will never all be green at the same time. The universe doesn't conspire against you, but it doesn't go out of its way to line up the pins either. Conditions are never perfect. 'Someday' is a disease that will take your dreams to the grave with you. Pro and con lists are just as bad. If it's important to you and you want to do it 'eventually,' just do it and correct course along the way.”
For most of us, the natural way to work with the Universe is to demurely ask for what we want.
When we're children, we're taught to ask politely for things we want or need, because this helps us to become respectful adults. You wouldn't demand your waitress bring you the dish you desire. You would ask politely, "Could I please have the fish?"
To just command and demand feels arrogant and rude. But when it comes to getting what we want out of life, this is exactly what we must do.
Consider that you are an all-knowing and powerful spiritual being. You can manifest any of your dreams by simply commanding them into being. However, we rarely think of ourselves this way, and we rarely put this energy out. Instead, we ask, "Universe, please please, bring me this. What can I do to get this thing in my life?" And this energy of desperate pleading, this is the energy that says I DON'T HAVE THIS loud and clear. It's the energy that says, I need permission from a higher, bigger source so that It will bless me with this. And this goes directly counter to the energy that says I HAVE THIS and I am a powerful creator, I am loved by the Universe, and that love brings me abundance and miracles and love in endless ways.
To simply create, without asking, checking if it's okay, or looking around to see if we're doing it proper, can feel strange and even uncomfortable. To just say I want this, so it shall be, that might feel arrogant, or even greedy. And so to get around this we engage in a rather facetious, if not ridiculous, mental dance.
We want something, we know we're ready for it, we can imagine it in our lives, but we believe we must ask in a humble way, and use certain words, and be respectful, grateful, realistic, proper, in alignment, and on and on until we've tricked ourselves into thinking we in fact are not worthy, there's not enough, we're not ready, and so on. We end up circling around and around and forgetting what's at the core of it all - we are energetic beings working with energy. That's all we're doing when we create things into our lives. We're working with energy.
So I suggest to you today to drop the pretense. Stop treating the Universe like a chastising parent, and instead, treat it like a partner in your life and creative processes.
Treat the Universe like the co-creator that it is. Treat it like an extension of yourself. You wouldn't think, "Left hand, if it doesn't trouble anyone else, and if no one will think poorly of me, would you please pick up that glass so I might have some water?" Doesn't that seem ridiculous? Yes? Well so is asking the Universe in a way that acts as if you need permission, because to the Universe, your request IS a glass of water. All requests are the same to the Universe, and it's not sitting around keeping a check list of who asked for what and how often. It doesn't care. It just expands and radiates with each and every request fulfilled.
And about being humble - would you feel a need to be humble in order to work with your left hand?
Doesn't that seem weird? Yeah, the Universe thinks so too. And it wishes you would relax. Inner energy, the higher dimensions, the stars and the heavens above are an extension of you - they are, metaphorically speaking, your left hand. The energy you create your life from isn't checking if you prayed correctly, fasted, kowtowed or anything else because that energy IS you. As you are, you're already worthy, you already are the desire and the manifestation, and if you want to pray and kneel and sing and dance, go for it, but just know, it's quiet alright if you don't.
So command away, and let go of needing others or even yourself to approve of your requests. Do you want it? Well then get on with your bad self and say, yes, I want it, let's make this happen! Make a request, let it go, and give it time to appear as a physical manifestation. And then afterwards, thank the Universe. Show gratitude, and by all means, be humble and awed. Just don't do it backwards and get caught up in the mental dance that slows and eventually halts the manifestation.
By the way, the Universe wants you to have all your desires and then some. The Universe wants you to have your desire as much as your left hand wants you to drink that water. The water nourishes all parts of your body. Your fulfillment nourishes all parts of the Universe. Your joy is the Universe's joy.
This morning I came over to my favorite coffee shop for writing, working and breakfast burritos. It was nice enough I could sit outside today, which I am so delighted about.
This is one of the best places to sit outside and work or do some reading (I've got a book in my bag that I may pull out soon). It is full of lush plants, has multiple fountains and there are succulents all around. Who doesn't like succulents?
The air is that perfect temp that is cool and awakening, without being so cold that it zaps my energy. In the picture above my computer is open and ready to write this blog post - how meta! Below I wanted to include me in one of the pictures because it's always fun to see who is behind a website.
This coffee shop always uplifts me, and if you don't have a place like this, may you enjoy through my photos. I lift my coffee cup to you in a toast.
I love this quote from Pirates of the Caribbean. I have no idea who wrote it, I only know Captain Jack Sparrow said it in the first installment of the franchise.
This quote sums up so much of what the real problem almost always is: how we view it, who we think is responsible, and what, if anything, we think can be done about it.
For example, I will oftentimes think I cannot achieve or get a certain thing because of someone else. I can't get that job - someone else is more qualified! I can't win that contest - too many other people will enter too, and the odds are against me. And so on and so on.
But the truth is, the only person in the way is me. My doubt is the problem, and not the other people. My fear of being seen is the problem, and not the people I want to work with. When I ask myself if there is something within me I can resolve rather than trying to change things outside of me, I usually find both an answer and a feeling of relief.
Next time it feels like you are stuck in a deep, frustrating problem, take a moment to sit quietly. Ask yourself where the root of the problem is, which can be difficult because it means transferring responsibility onto yourself, but if you can do that, you will find life doesn't feel so out of control. Instead, it feels like a series of inner challenges, each one leading the way to greater freedom, success and ease.