"No one else can do what you do," is an oft used phrase to motivate and inspire people.
In other words, no one has the perspective you have. No one has lived the life you have. No one will express themselves in the way you do, and the fact that you have your own unique way of doing things is powerful.
If you were to write a song, no one would sing it in just the way you do. If you were to create a shirt, no one would design in the exact same way as you. No one would teach, heal, or speak the same as you. You will have ideas and ways of executing them that will be entirely unique to you, and because you can put new things into the world, the world needs you!
Sounds great, right?
I guess so...
To be honest, for most of my life, this motivational message did not motivate me. It terrified me. It pushed on all my self-worth issues and made me not want to show up at all.
If I put my unique work out the world, which is essentially me putting myself out there, what happens if no one likes it? What if people don't actually want it the way I do it? What if my way is in fact the worst way? What if I'm in the way of someone better? What if my own unique perspective is one no one relates to? What if people just absolutely HATE what I put forth?
Does that mean they hate me?
And this is where people would say, "Don't worry what other people think!"
I mean seriously, UGH.
We're constantly telling each other not to worry what other people think while living in fear of being judged ourselves.
Can we all collectively stop telling each other not to care? We care, okay. We all care. Telling people not to care is like telling them not to be human. People never stop caring. We just put up walls upon walls, which is not the same as not caring - it's just shutting off the flow of our feelings. This in turn causes a major backup in the emotional system, which leads to depression, anger, and sickness.
I don't want you to get depressed and sick. I do want you to know it's okay to feel sensitive to other people's opinions. It doesn't mean you're not tough enough. You're not failing in some way. It's challenging to put yourself and your work out to a cynical and critical world. Especially a world where our humanity depends on us listening to each other and keeping our hearts open.
If people tell you that you should follow your passion because you're unique, and the world needs your unique vision, and that scares the shit out of you, I can relate.
In this world, achievement and ambition is almost always valued over self-love and self-care. And so for that reason, we are often quicker to encourage someone to "go for it" than we are to ask them how they feel and if they feel ready.
And so, if no one's asked you, are you ready to pursue this thing that scares you, or do you need a moment? It's okay if you do. In fact, I would prefer you took that moment to pause and breathe. That moment of recognizing your feelings and valuing them, that's the thing that's saying, I'm here, I'm alive, and I'm worthy of being heard.
You cannot value your unique gifts if you do not first value yourself as a person.
I wish you could. I know it seems it'd be so much simpler if we could do our thing, have everyone tell us how amazing it is, and then our self-worth would explode. But that would actually have the opposite effect - it would make you entirely dependent on other people's approval. It would not raise your self-esteem. It would just cause you to live and die based on outside opinion.
The only way to truly put your unique work out, and feel good about it, is it to start with a solid foundation. Start with you. Nurture yourself. Treat yourself like precious cargo. Do whatever you need to do in order to see yourself as a valuable and unique member of team humanity. Go to therapy, meditate, talk to a coach, float in an isolation tank, read all the self-help books you can. I've done all those things and more.
It took me years to build up the kind of foundation I needed in order to value my unique gifts and perspective.
It did not happen over night, and it did not happen because I charged ahead and overpowered my fear and did it anyway. I have put things out to the world when I was scared, insecure, and did not feel ready. It did not help. It only made me more scared.
How long it will take you to build your foundation depends on where you are and where you're coming from. I have no idea what kind of life you've lived nor how big your dreams are. All I know is, you have something to do that's entirely unique to you. And you will share and do that thing when you feel ready and in a way that feels good to you. Your way might involve two people, it might involve 20,000, it might involve the whole world.
It's all up to you, cause it's your life, and only you get to decide what your heart and soul need.
When you do not know what else to do, relax and tell yourself that other portions of yourself do know what do do, and they will take over.
Give yourself some rest and remind yourself that in many ways you are a very successful person as you are. Now success does not necessarily involve great intellect or great position or great wealth. It has to do with inner integrity. Remember that.
- Seth via Jane Roberts
The Early Class Sessions, Book 3
The state of being whole, entire, or undiminished
e.g. the integrity of the Universe
Take a deep breath
Let it out slowly
Feel your body move with the breath
Take another breath, feeling your whole body move and respond.
Notice your shoulders rise with the in breath,
and your stomach shrink with the out breath.
Each breath is a moment of freedom
It's a moment to feel your body rising and falling as it responds to you.
You choose to breathe, and so you breathe.
Whenever you feel you've lost control, that you are no longer the director of your life, return to your breath. Only you can make you breathe. Only you can stop your breath.
I choose now to breathe in.
I choose now to breathe out.
Each deep breath is a moment of your own design.
You command yourself to breathe and so you breathe.
Breathe in the freedom of this beautiful union between mind and body.
Breathe in the intimacy that is shared only by your own Self.
Breathe and know that freedom is always just a breath away.
When you return to your breath, you return to your point of power.
From there, you recenter with all the power, energy, and help that the whole Universe has available to you.
You are powerful
You are breathing as one with the Universe
You are the Universe breathing
I breathe in, the Universe breathes in
I breathe out, the Universe breathes out
I am the Universe
Breathe and know that all is well.
You got this.
There is a crack running through the cement in our backyard.
Awhile ago, a little plant sprang up from it. Although I know this should be seen as a nuisance, as it will only cause the cement to deteriorate further, I couldn't help but feel awe and wonder over how this plant so effortlessly brought life to a place where it seems no life should be.
I looked closely at this little plant, wondering how a seed got in there in the first place. Did it fall from a bird in the exact perfect way so as to land right there? Did the wind blow it in, knowing that below this hardened surface was fertile soil? And how did the seed grow a plant right up through the crack? It's not like it had a map to the surface!
As I looked at the crack it made me think about cracks within myself. Cracks from fear, cracks from anger, cracks from disappointment.
There is an oft repeated quote by Leonard Cohen that says, "Ring the bells that still can ring / Forget your perfect offering / There is a crack in everything / That's how the light gets in".
When I saw the little plant, I realized that cracks aren't just how light gets in, but also life, seeds, the possibilities we can't see.
What I see as a personal detriment, like overwhelming fear, is really a crack waiting to show me something unexpected and beautiful. The very thing that makes me so afraid, such as a big, scary new career step, is the very place something miraculous and transformative can happen.
To never feel afraid would mean nothing new was happening. It would mean I wasn't exploring, growing and reaching for new heights. And without that growth, which leads to the cracks of fear, I would never open up to seeds that come from places beyond me.
Just as the seed in the cement came from an unknown place in order to bring the exact plant that was meant to grow there, I too can receive unknown gifts which come in ways I cannot control or plan. But it will only happen so long as I allow myself to stop trying to be shiny and perfect. I must give myself space to crack open to my inner depths.
Fear and anxiety are some of my biggest inner blocks. But I am now realizing that they aren't bottomless voids holding me back. They are showing me hidden potentials.
Within the fear is the potential for something strong to grow. Something so hardy and centered that it would not only not be dettered by cement, it would break through it, calmly and patiently planting itself deeper and deeper, growing bigger and bigger, until that which seems bigger and harder has no choice but to cede to the beautiful, life giving plant.
The cracks of fear and anger and pain are not the things holding us back in life. They are places where the seeds of our courage and strength take root and grow, showing us the true meaning of persistence and the power to change the seemingly rigid and fixed.
Fear is something I think about a lot.
It's also something I feel a lot. Oftentimes when I tell people this, they're surprised, because fear doesn't seem to stop me from doing the things I want to do.
But I will tell you a secret. Fear doesn't always show up as a massive blocking force, like some mountain in your path. Sometimes it shows up as an overwhelming terror that says DO NOW GO GO GO. It's the fear that tells me I'm not good enough, and I must go as fast as I can because if I stop and think about that, I'll drown in my feelings of inadequacy.
Rather than asking myself why I feel inadequate, I put all my energy into outrunning the fear and insecurity.
If you move fast enough, it all becomes a blur, and you actually don't have to feel anything. You can go so fast you convince yourself of a faux confidence, which says, I'm moving and hustling so I must be doing something right!
The thing with movement is, it's not always accelerating us in positive directions. Movement does not always equal productive outcomes. Sometimes we're just racing towards a brick wall.
If you ask me at any given time what I'm doing, I've always got half a dozen things on the stove top. I'm writing a screenplay. I'm revising another one. I'm learning calligraphy. I'm learning Spanish. I'm making a meditation. I'm making another meditation! I'm writing a blog post! I'm writing a podcast! I'm doing a 30 day challenge!!! I'm tap dancing while juggling chainsaws!!!!!!
Okay, the last one isn't real. But pump me full of enough fear, and by God, I'd do it. Which is often times the exact opposite message we are told about fear. Most conversations around fear tell us it's the thing stopping us and holding us back. But for a lot of people, it's not stopping them at all. It's the thing shoving their foot down on the gas pedal, driving them 90 miles per hour through a treacherous mountain pass.
Sometimes it causes us to become workaholics. Sometimes it causes us to try a million different things in an endlessly frantic state. Sometimes it gets us travelling all around the world, forever on the go but never addressing the inner void pushing us on.
Fear has never stopped me from doing anything. In fact, it's acted like a fuel that's launched me at breakneck pace into all kinds of adventures. This probably sounds good, but it's not.
I'm not doing these things because I love myself and I'm excited about life. I'm doing them because I'm too scared to pause and ask myself if I feel worthy when I'm doing nothing.
Could I feel worthy in a state of nothingness? At this time, no. If I had nothing on the stove top, and I had to stand before you with nothing to validate my existence, I would crumble like a sandcastle in high tide. Here's the plain truth: my ambition is more often than not an armor to my inner vulnerability.
We sometimes see people who achieve great things and think, wow, that person must really feel great about themselves! And they very well might. They very well might have healthy self-esteem. But they also might be like me, needing ever greater accomplishments to prove their worthiness.
To try and feel worthy without anything but my own self makes me feel like I'm walking around naked.
My need to overpower my fear and go faster and faster only creates deeper, more catastrophic fear. Without ever resolving the core issue, I'm just lighting the fuse to my inner TNT. I am so afraid I'm not good enough for the things I want that I leap before looking, not pausing to ask why I feel insecure, and never bothering to stop and check if there's broken glass in my path. The only thing worse than the thousand cuts I get is the inner pain of always shouting down my inner voice.
Be quiet inner voice, I'm trying to be fearless, which is only making more fear, and I need you to shut up so I can concentrate on over powering all this fear and if I stop to listen to you I'll actually feel all this fear and I can't do that!
I can even be found going at the speed of light when it comes to spirituality. I read every book I can on meditation, self-help, and divinity. And then I journal, reflect, and read more. Then I meditate for hours. I do yoga. If it sounds like it'll help me to heal, I'll do it. All of it.
Except for the part where I just stop and breathe.
My inner voice is constantly whispering to me, Please, just slow down. Just pause and breathe.
Because all my fear is basically rooted in a fear of rejection, and I am now rejecting my own voice, I only end up digging myself deeper into the fear hole. I push down on the gas harder, knowing I'm going too fast, I'm losing control, and this is making more fear, and so I just go faster, until I either run out of gas or careen off the side.
It's at this point, when I've been forced to stop and rest, that I begin "self-care". But it's not really self-care. True self-care is what we give ourselves far before we ever reach the point of burn out. Self-care and self-love administered when there's no other choice is more like crisis management. Real, heart based self-care and self-love is preventative, and not done retroactively.
It's the thing you do that says, "I am valuable and I am worthy of my own love and attention. I don't have to go a thousand miles an hour to earn this nourishment. There is nothing to earn. I am valuable just as I am."
Which isn't to say you shouldn't do self-care when you've reached burn out. We all have to start where we are. But learning to value and treat ourselves with respect before our inner world is burning down is something few have mastered.
Maybe especially me.
After all my years of meditating, studying spirituality, and reflecting on my self and my path, I have come to see I am still a beginner in it all. The facade I built that made me believe I know what I'm doing has cracked and broken wide open. I have so much to learn about myself and my inner world. I have an ocean of feelings that sometimes rise up like a tidal wave, reminding me of my own power, and what happens when I use that power in self-destructive ways.
In the past, I have done things that literally made my legs and voice shake with fear.
At the time, I felt like this was a good thing. I felt like if I didn't do this, life would pass me by. But what is life if it isn't about honoring and treating our own selves like precious cargo? Bullying myself into fighting my fear wasn't life. It was exhausting. I no longer see pushing myself so hard that I want to panic as any sort of positive quality. I just see it as fear based motivation, and nothing in my life that was fear based ever worked out in a positive way.
I now choose to take action from a place of love. If I feel myself pushing too hard, I stop. If I'm tired, I stop. If I feel insecure, I tell a trusted friend (shout out to Susan and Rachael!). I give those negative thoughts space and let them know that there's no shame in having them. They are a part of me. I don't have to juggle a thousand plates in order to distract myself from their existence.
I will get where I'm going. I will get there in my own time. I will rest as much as necessary on the way there. And when I'm there, I hopefully won't collapse from exhaustion. Rather, I will rise up higher, full of energy for whatever adventure lovingly shows up next.
We've all said it. Even me. Yes, me. I make meditations, but I have said many times in my life, "I hate the sound of my own voice."
But I won't ever say it again. And I'm going to ask you a favor. Please, don't do it either. Not for me. For you.
Your voice is the most valuable thing you have.
Your voice is your expression. Your voice is your ability to speak your truth. Your voice is what you use to cry for help and sing for joy.
If you tell yourself, "I hate my own voice," what you're saying is, "I don't want to hear me." And what happens when you don't want to hear you? A million other voices rise above your own. Voices that might not know what's best for you. Words, thoughts and beliefs are powerful. If you believe your own voice isn't worth hearing, how can you ever hear your soul when it whispers to you? How can you hear You?
Your voice isn't just that thing you hear when you leave a message. Your voice is your guidance, your inner compass. Your voice is the clarity that rises above the chaos, guiding you like a candle in the dark.
Valuing your voice means you value it in all forms. When you hear your voice in your mind, nudging you this way and that, it's still your voice. You cannot hate one part of it and cherish and connect with another. Hating your physical voice while honoring your inner voice creates disharmony. That kind of inner discord is not serving you. It simply allows you to devalue a vital part of your physical being.
DO NOT EVER TELL ME YOUR VOICE HAS NO VALUE.
I won't accept it. I won't ever agree that your voice is worth hating. I want to HEAR YOU. I want to hear your dreams. I want to hear your pains so can I heal them. I want to hear your victories so I can celebrate them. I want to hear you in every way, and I want you to hear You also.
I want to hear your voice when it shakes with fear. I want to hear your voice when it sings off key, because fuck perfection, we're here to live. I want to hear your voice when you've got the spark of an idea, and you need a safe space to speak it into existence.
I want to hear you.
You deserve to be heard. You deserve to speak free and clear and to never doubt your voice is worth hearing. You deserve to trust your own guidance, which is powerful and divine, and leading you to your greatest potential at all times.
I promise you, there's nothing wrong with your voice. You're just not used to hearing it. You're used to hearing everything but it. If you want to learn to love it, give it a chance.
Here's one way: Make a small recording of yourself. Thirty seconds or so. Say something like, "I'm here. I'm with you. I believe in you." If you play it enough times, the judgement will fall away on its own. What sounds off will disappear. What sounds right will come to the forefront. Trust me. I know. Because I was you.
I used to dread hearing my own voice. But now I know it wasn't my voice that bothered me. It was the fear of being heard. It was the fear of making noise and calling attention to myself. I felt safe in the silence. I could bury myself and hide, and so long as I didn't make a peep, no one would know I was there.
We're so used to smothering our voices that we don't trust we have something worth saying. But we do. We so very much do.
So please, don't tell me you hate the sound of your own voice. Tell me about the time you laughed so hard you cried. Tell me about the scar you have that no one can see. Tell me loud, so loud that people look and turn to stare, because you don't just deserve to be heard. You deserve to be seen. You're here for a reason, and I want you to shout until your throat hurts, and to hell with anyone that doesn't like it.
I bet there's a lot that's been bottled up for a long time, and ain't nothing like a good scream to break all that up and set it free. Trust me. I've been there. And if you don't want scream, then sing. Sing so loud you feel it in your whole body. Feel the vibration of your voice, that powerful part of you that speaks worlds into existence.
A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of hearing Liz Gilbert speak at the Nourse Theater in San Francisco. It was a conversation guided by Lisa Congdon, a fine print and graphic artist. As I post more quotes and selections from her talk, I'll be tagging them all under Elizabeth Gilbert for easy finding
When I think of creative entitlement, I think of the poet David Whyte. He says that one of the qualities that you have to cultivate to have a spiritual and creative life is what he calls the "arrogance of belonging."
I love the re-appropriation of the word arrogance. And what the arrogance of belonging is, it's not pumping your first in the air and saying "I am the best." It's putting your hand on heart and saying, 'I Am.'
That's it. I am recognizing that I'm here. And I'm part of this story. I'm part of the human family. I'm part of what we're all creating here.
I'm not going to pretend that I'm not here.
There's a great Leonard Cohen poem in his recent book where he says something like, 'If there were no other artists in the world, my art would be very important. But there are are, and they're really good, so I'm willing to take my place at the end of the line, and to keep making art.'
Now that's the arrogance of belonging, which is saying, "I belong in the line." I'm not sure if I belong at the front of the line, or the back of the line, but I'm going to put myself in line along with all of this. The humility that is intrinsic in that is not the false humility of self-deprecation, which is not humility, but a kind of a sin.
Self-deprecation is a sort of violation of the remarklebeness of you.
The exceptionalness of you. The extraordinary miracle of the human life. It's a sort of a sin to pretend that you're not a big deal. You exist, and you have consciousness, and you have dreams, and you're here. It's extraordinary.
Every morning after I wake up, I tell myself the Universe loves me. I say it in my mind, slow and soft. The Universe loves me.
As I wake up more, I take some deep breaths. I then remind myself that everything in this Universe was created from one source. I remind myself that this is more than a spiritual philosophy, but a fact.
The entire Universe, at one time, was compacted down into one primordial atom.
Everything that the Universe would be was in that atom. It all exploded outwards in what we call the Big Bang, and as those original elements sped outwards they crashed into each other, creating new elements, and fusing together to become stars.
From those stars, even more fusing and birthing happened, and somehow, in stars that died billions of years ago, a chain of events began that would lead to me.
The Universe loves me.
I remind myself each morning of the cosmic beauty of this world and this Universe. This Universe that I am a part of.
I remind myself of the vastness, of the power of it all, and how it's all love. It all came from one source. It always has been love. Always will be. And all of that out there, it sees me with as much wonder, awe and love as I see it.
And then I remind myself, that every single person who walks on this Earth was created from that love also.
The Universe loves me.
And all the people with me? They're the Universe too. In the same way I look out at stars and see the Universe, what's out there can look back at us and see the Universe also. So if the Universe loves me, and people are the Universe, then everyone in this world must love me also.
The Universe loves us.
Which isn't to say everyone likes me. Nor that everyone approves of me or even wants me here. That's a different subject all together. It's only to say that within each person is a cosmic love, a love tied to the primordial atom from which everything originated. The essence of every person is tied to creation, and that creation is love.
People are love. People are the Universe.
The Universe loves me.
Then I remind myself that every tree I see, every strip of concrete, every house, every bird, every star in the night sky, it all came from that same powerful, intensely hot and mystical singular source of energy and matter.
It all came from that one source of love, and it all loves me, because it all is love. It's not that the trees and the birds choose to love me. They just are love. They were once the Oneness as much as I was. It's all love.
Love is radiating from the core of everything. It's up to me whether I decide to focus on that or not.
I used to wake up and focus on worry.
I worried about what negative things people would say. If they would like my creative projects. If they would yell at me and make me want to retreat inside of myself. I worried people would offer me opportunities, only to decide later I wasn't good enough and then rip them away. I worried about things hurting me, physically and emotionally.
I looked out at the world and the Universe and I did not see love. I saw only things to be afraid of.
When that worry starts to creep back in, I breathe in I am the Universe, and I breathe out The Universe is Me.
The Universe loves me.
It also loves you, and you are love.
Which means, because you, at your core are love, you naturally attract love to you. It's harder for you to conjure up thoughts and feelings that reject love because that's like swimming up a river. So if you aren't feeling the love, if you're feeling sad, afraid or worried, take a deep breath, and know, the Universe loves you.
Everyone and everything around you, in its cosmic core, loves you. Relax, let go and fall inwards to your core, into the love. It's already there. Breathe into it.
The Universe loves me.
Every cell of my body is a cell flush with Divinity.
There was never a moment I became divine.
My divinity is infinite.
It never started, and it can never end.
I was created that way, and I shall always be that way.
Nothing can change this, and if it seems it has, it's only an illusion.
I was created from a single cell, and in that cell was all the cosmic love and magnificence of all the Universe.
From that single, divine cell, I grew into hundreds, and then thousands, and then billions of cells. Each one divine. Each one created from the same Source as the first. Each one mystical. Each one as valuable and spectacular as the stars in the sky.
With each cell, my Divinity expanded with me.
When I took my first breath, I breathed as a divine being, and the Divine breathed with me.
The Source of Creation did not stay in some parts and not others.
There was no part of me that separated from the divine Source of all of that is.
If it seems some parts are separate, it is only an illusion.
There is divinity in every cell of my body.
I am a holy temple.
Each breath I take is a breath of divinity.
There is nothing in the Universe more holy, more divine, than my own Self.
There is divinity in every cell of my body
If there's one thing I've learned in my life, it's that a truly self-empowered state comes from feeling, with my whole body and soul, that the Universe sees me as a vital part of it.
When I feel into how much the Universe loves me, how it just knows it would be incomplete without me, I feel how truly loved and supported I am.
I feel the love in my heart, the love that connects me to all the beautiful things I dream of. I feel All That Is shining onto me, and I feel myself shining back. As we commune and I drop my walls I feel like I'm coming home. I feel the power of higher dimensions of consciousness guiding me, wanting me to succeed.
They want me to feel happy and expanded and safe and powerful because I am as important to to the Universe as the whole Universe is to me.
If one cell in my body, one single cell, fell into dis-ease I would give it unconditional love and support. I would send it waves of love, nourish it with good food, drink plenty of water, and all in hopes that it returned to health and harmony. I would do this, because it is a part of me, each cell is vital in making me whole.
You are the same to the Universe. The Universe wants you to be happy, healthy and whole because without you, it's incomplete.
When I feel into that, into the knowing that vast and powerful resources are asking, begging, pleading with me to stop trying so hard and to let them help, I feel empowered.
I feel it as I go about my day. I don't have to think it or affirm it or keep reminding myself of it. Whenever I feel lost, alone, sad or scared I close my eyes, take a deep breath, and I feel that the atoms of my body are composed of the same material as the stars. Then I feel the cosmic connection I have to those stars, and then I feel the power, the literal power of all that mass, all that hydrogen burning and churning and crushing down on a core so hot it lights up entire worlds.
This state of empowerment within me feels like warmth. It feels like ease. It feels good. Really, really good. And that's all being self-empowered is. Feeling good from within.
If you would like to tune into this feeling further, my Self-Empowerment meditation will take you on a journey to your cosmic core, to the You that is fully connected to your true magnificence and power.
You are the universe, you aren't in the universe.
- Eckhart Tolle
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.
Last night, I had the immense pleasure of hearing Elizabeth Gilbert speak. Ladies and gents, this woman is a legend. I heard so many insightful and thought provoking quotes.
The entire show was recorded as a podcast by the Nourse theater. I'm going to listen to it and pull out my favorite quotes over the coming week. To get you started, here's one I kept thinking about on the way
A common obstacle to having more ease and grace in our lives is believing we don't have time to pause and center.
However, taking a moment while at your desk to focus on an uplifting, empowering thought could completely shift your day for the better. Below are some quick and easy mini-meditations to use for various situations.
As you read a specific affirmation, slow down your breathing. Put your shoulders back, soften your face, and relax and ease into the words, letting them flow over you. You deserve a break. You deserve to feel good. This moment of ease is here for you.
Take some slow, deep breaths, find the words you need, and read them a few times in your mind.
I release my need to rush and feel impatient, as that creates stress in my body. I am a beloved being who thrives when I am feeling my best.
For my own highest good, I relax into the present moment. I ground into my heart and feel into the infinite wisdom there that tells me all is well.
I slow down, breathe, and nourish my soul. I breathe in and restore my energy. I breathe out and release the stress. All is well.
I am a cosmic being, infinite and connected to every star in the Universe. Abundance is as natural to me as a summer field full of wild flowers.
Although I can't see it, I am connected to endless possibilities. With each breath, I am breathing with the energy of All That Is. I am taken care of, I am supported, and I am free to create my life anew in every moment.
Courage to Change
Change is the most natural thing in the world to me. In every moment, I am breathing in a new breath. In every moment, my body is regenerating. There is nothing static about me.
The world around me is changing too. Seeds are sprouting. Clouds are passing. The world is turning. I flow with it all, because change is the most natural thing in the world to me.
In each moment, I am thinking new thoughts, and these thoughts will naturally evolve my life in brilliant and unimaginable ways. As I think, so do I change. It's so effortless, I hardly even notice I'm doing it.
There is a power inside of me that can never be broken or taken from me. It is the power that is in each atom of my body. It is the power that comes from knowing my atoms are connected to my source of creation.
I was created from the mystical source of Love and Divinity that breathed life into the whole Universe.
I am the Universe.
There is nothing around me nor in this world that could ever overpower the Universe.
I am the Universe.
Deep down in my core, the primordial source of everything beats within my soul. This can never be taken from me, and it can never be destroyed. When I feel lost and alone, I return to that hot, pulsating source of life. It is within me now, beating with my own heart and whispering to me, I am the Universe.
If you enjoy these affirmations, please share with others who might also!
Winter Relaxation Meditation