I have spent years meditating, practicing fancy yoga poses, cleansing my aura, clearing my meridians, and receiving energy treatments. I've read just about every popular self help book out there. I have done past life regressions, sweat my prayers, and focused only on happy thoughts. I have journaled, dropped loads of cash on shrinks and coaches, tapped it out with EFT, chanted heart-opening mantras, and sipped on gallons of green juice. I've drunk ayahuasca, taken strong pharmaceutical anti-depressants, analyzed my Enneagram type, and stayed far, far away from GMO foods. The list goes on.
And here's what I've learned on my long-term quest at self-improvement: Self-improvement is bullshit.
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Why? Because its foundation is rooted in the premise that you are inherently flawed, broken, and to be improved upon. It is invested in the idea that there is some point in the future in which you will one day be fixed, healed, secure, at home in your skin. It asserts that Nature has somehow made a mistake, and that if you were to just work harder, control yourself better, detoxify more often, you'll reach the pinnacle of happiness, and success, and peace.
I call bullshit.
Here's the truth... That static point in the future is not real. That ideal of perfection is a grand illusion. That person you're working so hard to become does not actually exist.
The thirst to change, or fix, or improve upon yourself is where the very resistance to self realization arises. By investing all your energy into a moment sometime in the future, it becomes dangerously easy to forget to be here now. And a life lived as an endless quest for self-improvement is really just a subtle war waged against the art form that you are.
Self improvement has a tendency to perpetuate the belief of "I'm not good enough." The more improvements you see that "have to" be made, the more of a rift you create in your heart. The more you resist what is right now, the more dis-ease of energy you feel in the core of your being. And the more you try to abandon the less than "me" right now for the fictitious improved "I" in the future, the more isolated you feel from your true nature.
I use to think that positive focused thinking would get me out of any "limiting belief" or "energetic blockage." I rushed right through every difficult situation in order to get to the juicy lesson or the improvement it was somehow making in my character. I thought that by "being the light," eating certain kinds of foods, singing "high vibe" chants, or meditating for an hour a day, I could transcend out of my shit.
(insert amused chuckle here.)
And then one day I woke up exhausted AF, and I surrendered. I threw my hands up. I let go of the quest to improve myself.
There was a gift waiting for me in that surrender.
I was suddenly given the freedom to just be. And strangely enough, by practicing being with all my perceived flaws, "blocks," belly fat, and inability to meditate "right," I stopped feeling the need to be at war with them. In choosing to accept who I was right now, with all the imperfections, difficult emotions, and personal challenges, I learned that all my present-moment self ever wanted was to be held in a place of compassion.
I witness myself whole once I chose to love myself without condition or expectation of improvement. I experience lasting success by affirming the abundance that already exists in the now. And I feel most at peace in embracing the messy fullness of humanity that I was born into this body to experience, rather than struggling to fix it in any way.
Tell me, Wild One—
Why do you keep abandoning yourself?
Must you continue to deny your innate wholeness?
It's time to stop resisting the unconditional love that exists right here and now.
In our world, it has become frighteningly easy to get caught up seeking an instant cure, a magic pill, a secret scroll of wisdom that will cure you, improve you, or give you all the answers.
But here's the truth: the answer has always been within you… And that answer is always just be you.
Plain and simple. Just be you.
There is no secret ingredient to enlightenment.
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No fancy meditation to experience ultimate peace. No elaborate ritual to connect with your divinity. No guru to tell you exactly what to do. No special practice to achieve lasting happiness.
There is indeed nothing but the eternal present, where all you have to do is wake up and remember that truth. There is simply the choice to be wildly authentic and true to yourself in this and every moment.... To believe in your dreams with the fullness of your heart... To trust that there are no accidents, knowing that you often meets your destiny on the road you take to avoid it... To rest into embodying the beautiful soul you are right now.
Ultimately, the most powerful spiritual practice is always remembering that you are here now, and that is enough.
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As you bask in the depths of yourself and stop always trying so hard to change, you realize the truth that’s been there all along: That you were never in need of improvement. That you have always been whole.
You cannot hope to gain what you desire out of life until you are first able to recognize and accept where it is you are here and now. Sustainable success and personal fulfillment rest on the knowing that right now you are exactly where you're meant to be. From this point of deep awareness rooted in the truth of your present moment experience, you access an abundant, empowered space from which to create from.
I know you've been working so hard at being a better person, holding your breath and waiting to exhale. I know because I've totally been there.
Please, take a moment to breathe and relax.
And remember, you are whole. You are healed. You are home.