Sometimes, when I'm struggling with my sense of self-esteem, I begin to think of my accomplishments, good things I've done, positive things people have said to me, and so on. I was doing this tonight as I thought about who I am and where I'm at in life. I was navigating waves of doubt and insecurity.
Who are you to feel important in this world? What have you done to earn that?
And then I wondered... why do I feel I have to think of what I've done or am doing in order to feel my existence is valid and worthy? Have I ever felt a wild flower needs to prove it belongs in this world?
Just think of it - you are walking through a field and suddenly you come upon a glorious yellow buttercup. It has brightened the field and thereby brightened your day. Even better, nobody planned for this flower to be here. It arose from a mysterious and far-reaching chain of events that is part of the ongoing web of Earth life. The fact that you crossed paths with this flower is quite literally a cosmic miracle.
As you gaze upon this flower, do you wonder what it's doing with its life?
Do you wonder if it's actually earned that sunshine it is so freely soaking up? Do you ask yourself if this flower truly deserves, above all other existing and potential flowers, to be pulling in nutrients from the earth? Has this flower done anything special to be worthy of your attention and praises???
I mean, who does this flower think it is!
It would be strange and even depressing to put all of that on a flower, which is valid and important simply because it exists. We intuitively know this, and we allow this knowing to extend to all of the natural world.
We do not question if a moose is living up to its potential. We do not wonder if that hawk soaring in the sky is trying to find its purpose in life. We just know that they are here, and we are so glad they are.
Even the mosquitoes, which literally feed off of other living things, they actually do the opposite of contribute or work hard or share loving kindness, are things we know that do not have to ask our permission or approval to be. We are free to swat them to their death, but don't expect that mosquito to apologize to you or anyone or anything about who it is and what it's done (or not done) with its life. The mosquito knows what created it is something beyond you, and therefore, it owes you no explanation, not even a "thanks for the blood!"
And how wonderful to know that is true of you and I also.
We are also a part of the natural world, even if it seems our world has somehow removed itself. This separation is only an illusion.
Your body is nourished by the the water of the earth. The food you eat, which creates your body, was grown in this planet's rich, musky soil. That sunshine that is so vital to all of plant life is vital to you also. You are a natural part of this world, and whoever you are, wherever you are, the only person you must explain yourself to... is no one.
You are valid because you were created and you exist. You are a wildflower in the sea of stars we call the Milky Way.
You, with every breath you take, are deserving and important. You are a gift from a higher consciousness, and that divine, mystical energy is a part of you right now. It may seem your life is as random as a leaf on a tree, but the thing is, no leaf is random. Each leaf ensures a delicate balance is achieved on each branch.
Sometimes, I will feel that I am valid because I believe in kindness. I boost my self-esteem by reminding myself I am a loving person.
But even this is putting parameters and limits on what is important in this world. Who am I to say anger and angry people are less valid than I? And what about sad people? I used to be the saddest of them all. I was so depressed I scared the people closest to me. Would I, even for a second, consider that version of myself less valid, less worthy of the sunshine that radiates down? Of course not. Not even for a millisecond.
The same is true for other people who I don't always believe are acting in ways I wish they would. There are people who hurt me deeply in the past, and those very people were some of my biggest catalysts to get me to ask deeper questions, to seek what would ultimately become a path of meditation, curiosity and expansion of consciousness. I cannot say they are less worthy or less valid in their journey than I.
They are the leaf on the opposite side of the branch.
We may grow in opposite ways, but we also seek a certain harmony, a certain balance, a certain cohesion that often exists in a greater understanding than I usually look at them with.
And so today, I ask you to try, for the whole day, not to validate your existence.
Do not feel you must justify who you are or where you are. Wherever you are, there you are, and thank you for being there. You don't need to win awards or promotions or even be considered a good person in order to feel perfectly content about being there. All you must do is turn your face up to the sky, feel the sun upon it, and know that what you feel and how you feel about yourself is between you and your cosmic creator.
In my guided meditation Expect Miracles I ask you to start looking for miracles everywhere in your daily life.
The more you see miracles, the more you will believe in them and the more they will show up. It's using the basic Universe principle energy flows where attention goes. When you think about something, and you feel good about it, it makes an energetic connection in the quantum field, which then manifests that thing in your physical life.
In other words, get excited about the miraculous nature of life and your life will become miraculous.
Asking you to start looking for miracles everywhere can seem like a high order. Who in this world of struggle and conflict sees miracles all the time? All of us. It's simply a matter of changing your perspective. Miracles really are around us all the time, so long as we're willing to see them.
For real? I mean really. I'm just sitting here drinking my coffee. How is that miraculous?
The real question is, how is not?
Let's imagine you've just gotten a cup of joe from your favorite coffee shop. You're walking out with a paper cup full of piping hot dark roast. Let's take a look at that simple paper cup that's so magically holding your liquid from sloshing to the ground. And I do mean magically. Do you know that the atoms that compose you, me, cups, everything, never touch each other? That's right, it's an illusion. Between every single atom is an imperceptible cushion of space.
The fact that the cup appears solid, and that your hand holding it appears solid, is one of the miraculous illusions of this world.
How does this happen? When atoms reach a certain point, they are no longer attracted to each other, but start to experience repulsion. The closer they get the stronger this repelling force is. Which means the more you try to force them together the stronger the force is pushing them apart. How strong? Stronger than any force we're capable of producing here on this Earth. Which means that two of the most microscopic building blocks of life area capable of exerting more strength, more POWER, than the strongest person alive.
The smallest pieces of this world contain power. That in itself is rather miraculous. You are created of those pieces. You are created of billions and billions of powerful atoms, atoms which are working in their own divinely intelligent and miraculous way to keep you together - or at least, seemingly together. Let's not forget those atoms like their space.
So this cup you have is kind of amazing, and we've barely scratched the surface of its fascinating makeup.
If you collapsed the empty space of a cup and somehow overpowered those powerful atoms, the actual dense matter of your cup would be less than a fraction of a grain of sand.
Along with there being space around atoms, there is also space within the atoms. Around each nucleus, electron and proton is also space. A lot of it. The world is much less dense than it appears. We just take for granted that the way our eyes process reality is the whole story.
It's not. Far from it.
Now we're starting to understand how wild and strange your cup is. But we should go deeper. Let's consider the material that makes up the cup and take a look at this paper receptacle. Paper's not special, right? Okay it's got that weird space between the atoms thing going on, but beside that, it's just paper.
Is anything just anything? Where did the paper actually come from? It didn't just appear as a cup in the coffee shop.
It had to start as a tree. A tree has a protective layer of bark, which acts like your own skin, protecting its interior from the outside elements. It also has a system of veins that run sap up and down it in order to nourish the tree, much like your own blood system. A tree is a living, breathing part of this world. It's not just a tree.
But how do we even have trees that can be turned into paper? Where did the first tree come from?
In 2007, tree stumps that were 385 million years old were uncovered. Trees have been living and evolving on this earth longer than any human ancestor. A lot longer. About 379 million years longer. When you stand before a tree, you stand before something that connects back to a time that we know almost nothing about. The trees connect back to the mysterious and miraculous birth of life as we know it.
There's more to it than that. Trees are grown in special harvesting places called managed timberlands. The logs are shipped to sawmills for processing... oh but wait, that's not simple either. What are the trucks made of that ship the logs?
What about the person who drives the truck, the person who can never be again and was never before? That special person who is them self a cosmic mystery.
The tires for the truck had to be made, the metal was made somewhere. All of these separate parts of the earth turned into a truck, so that someone could ship logs to a processing plant to make paper.
And then there's the wax that lines the cup, which has its own mind boggling story of how it came to be. Nothing in this world is simple. Everything is connected to everything else. Those trees that make the paper? They were nourished by the water that cycles through the sky and earth, by the soil that has been on this planet for billions of years. When you hold paper, you hold something that is connected to all of time and creation on this planet. It's that amazing.
To say that the entire world conspires together to make a little cup that holds your coffee would be true. If that isn't miraculous, I don't know what is. Not to mention the fact that we've already established the cup itself, with all its space filled atoms, is miraculous in nature.
And that's just the cup. We didn't even get into the coffee inside of it. When you sip coffee, you sip something that is only made possible by a complex and fascinating series of events. It's something that passed through the hands of people half a world away, was shipped by fuels that came from inside the earth and was brewed by somebody who is made from the same materials as the stars in the sky.
Everything in this world can be looked at in this way. Including you. Maybe even especially you.
There are miracles all around us. Life is the miracle. You are a miracle.
It's often just a matter of change in perception to see how miraculous this life and world are. Why not take a moment and marvel at what's happening all around you right now? As I said in the beginning of this blog post, that which is like itself will be drawn to itself. Think about miracles, notice them, and notice how your life changes.
Whenever I'm working on a creative project there's always a moment when I begin to doubt everything I'm doing.
I start looking at what I've written and feel it's stupid. I feel my idea's are stupid. I feel everyone is going to think everything I do is stupid, and they'll wonder why I ever thought I was worthy of their time or energy.
As I was putting together a journal for this website, those doubts began to sneak up on me. They kept whispering from behind me, No one is going to like this. Just look at it. Admit it, it sucks. Normally, I listen to this voice without question. I feel myself sink into my chair, agreeing, Yes, this is stupid. And so am I. But the other day, as this voice came up, I just couldn't bear it any longer. And so I said to myself, I'm not going to play this game any longer.
And that's what it is. A game where I pretend I have nothing good to offer the world. A game where I pretend I'm nothing, I'm a nobody, and I will always be that way.
It's a game I play with my brain. One part of my brain gets scared. It fears all these uncertainties. And so it does everything it can to try and get me to stop. While another part of my brain, that knows nothing of this fear and is only excited, suddenly forgets everything else and agrees with this small part of me that has no vision.
It's amazing that this very tiny part of my brain can feel so BIG and POWERFUL and like it KNOWS SO MUCH.
This tiny voice likes to see if it can gain control of the show. It likes to see if I'll let it be in charge. It has no business being in charge, and it knows this. It knows there is a whole ocean of passion and power within me, and this little voice likes to try and convince me that IT is the ocean, rather than the drop.
This game has become so tedious for me. It's exhausting. And repetitive. And quite frankly, boring. Nothing interesting ever comes from playing this game with myself. The outcome is always the same. I feel lower and lower until I give up on myself. And then I wonder why things don't work out the way I want to. And then eventually I remember who I really am, and I start again, on something different. And then eventually, that little squeaky voice comes back, knowing where my fears are, planting seeds of doubt.
But I can't anymore. I can't play this game with myself. I refuse. I'm no longer going to pretend I have nothing of worth to offer this world. I'm no longer going to play mental chess with the part of me that acts out of fear and does everything in its power, including insulting me, to hold me back.
Instead, I'm going to give that small voice a hug and have a long, overdue talk with it.
I'm going to ask it when it first learned to tear me down in order to feel safe. I'm going to ask it why it feels safer criticizing me than encouraging me. And I'm going to ask it what it needs in order to give me love and support, to trust in the flow of my life, and to have fun with who I am and what I'm doing.
When the small, critical voice within me is ready to answer, I will listen with patience. I will listen with love. I will give it the love it never got, and I will remind it that self-attack is not the only way to feel safe. Self-love is another, and better, option. I will love myself so fully that what happens outside of me will be just that - things happening outside of me.
Although it's tempting to get angry with this voice, to blame it for my anxiety and my fear, I know it's just doing what I asked it to do. At some point in my life, I learned that the only way to be safe is to cut myself down before other people do. I internalized the belief that I'm not good enough, and it's only a matter of time before other people reflect this back to me, so why wait for them to say it? The other part of me, the bigger part that only wants to love me, tried to out maneuver this tricky little voice, but it was always quicker, always one step ahead, and thus, the game began.
Now that I've dropped my game pieces and walked away, that critical voice inside of me will have space to see things different. Rather than being consumed with planning its next move, it will be free to contemplate what I've known all along - I am worthy and I am loved eternally by Divine forces.
That part of me that is small and yet so LOUD will finally see that the only way I could have won that game was to lose. It was a game I was playing against myself and there was no way to come out ahead. The only way to win was to wave my white flag, surrender, and enter into peace talks with my own self.
If you need a little help getting your own thoughts off of self-defeat and onto empowerment, try this free 5 minute meditation. It's a sample from my Empowering Visualizations package, which you can learn more about here.
The following are some simple tools to keep on hand for anxious moments.
The first is a calming statement that will bring you into the present moment and help you to see things different. The second is an Inner Peace & Relief Cheat Sheet. It's a one page sheet for you to print out and keep on hand. The third is a six minute audio with empowering affirmations.
In this moment, I am safe.
I feel unsafe because of past experiences. In the past, things happened that made me feel unsafe and afraid. My brain has carried those past stories into the present, and it is distorting my perspective.
My brain is not doing this to sabotage me. In fact, it’s trying to protect me from being hurt and afraid again. But each day, I am growing stronger and my brain is learning to see things more clearly. Each day, I find more acceptance for how I feel and for the anxiety that is showing me how to love myself more. In this moment, I feel anxious, but that’s okay. It’s only for this moment. It will pass. It always does.
I just need to take a deep breath and let it out with a sigh.
Inner Peace & Relief Cheat Sheet
Download the following one page cheat sheet and print it out. If you can, fill it in by hand (rather than typing). When we write things out we take them in deeper and fuller. Hand writing also activates our brain more than typing, helping us to really get creative and find answers we didn't know were in us.
The following affirmations will reinforce and retrain your brain for confidence and empowerment. This six minute audio can be used in the morning, for a brief meditation, while driving to work, or any time you need a boost. These affirmations are for your solar plexus, which is your seat of self power. They are from the Chakra Balancing and Healing package.
For more support with your anxiety, I have several healing packages in my store. They are between $4.50 and $19.99.
Donations greatly appreciated!
Raise Your Vibration in 5 Minutes
Higher Self Awakening Package
The Blue Flame and Violet Flame guided meditations are included in my Higher Self Awakening package. You'll also receive three other guided meditations, affirmations, a healing audio, and powerful workbook and journal. This package is offered on a donation basis - pay what you can when you can!
A few wees ago, I felt guided to listen to The Golden Thread guided meditation every day for 40 days.
I created this meditation a few years ago (it's the first one I made!), and I play it from time to time, but this was the first time I got a specific message about it: try it for 40 days in a row and see what happens.
I wasn't sure why, except for the knowing that doing something for 40 days can be a sacred and life changing experience.
Now that I'm half way through it, I'm starting to understand what this is doing for me.
Usually, when people play this meditation they have a vivid dream, either right after playing it or after a few listens. I'm 20 days in, and although I've had interesting dreams thus far, last nights' was one that really told me something special was happening. In the dream I had traveled somewhere else, somewhere I can't recall, only that it wasn't where I live.
I had two choices: go back to where I was and what I had been doing, or follow whales as they swam around the earth.
When I saw the whales I knew instantly, I would follow them, and I did. Watching them swim and traveling through the oceans was the most beautiful, open, free and happy dream I've had in a long time.
I believe part of the reason this meditation creates vivid and interesting dreams is because the imagery works on very deep levels of the psyche. There is the conscious experience you have while you play it, what you feel in your body, and then there are subconscious things happening that unfold and reveal themselves over time.
The meditation guides you to look up to see a large white cloud. Hanging from the bottom of the cloud is a beautiful golden thread. The thread comes down from the sky, weaves through your entire body, and then drops into the soil, spreading out like roots. This is a very calming and serene experience, and one that will help you to feel supported and highly energized in the present moment.