I am Learning
I hit the walls today and it surprised me. I hadn’t felt anger like this in a long time. I was emotionally and literally constipated. The emotions were stong in a way I wasn’t sure I would ever experience again after my recent breakthroughs. The idea of wrapping my mind around all the market concepts I was learning was mind boggling and felt impossible. It was in that space, when I began to meditate, that I found my block.
During one of my in breaths I found a form that I could feel was clearly blocking me. I breathed in using the technique I just created to bring doubt to my thoughts and beliefs. Once the doubt had shattered some of the hard structure I was left with this form and a thought rose from it showing me what it was.
“I am a failure”
This one is deep, perhaps not as deep as “I am not good enough” but still large and powerful. One of the biggest self-defeating beliefs there are is believing you are a failure. I mean who would want to keep learning and growing if they believed they were just going to fail anyway?
I then on my out breathe listened deeply inside and heard the force inside me, the silent pervasive truth which is always there. The one that this belief would like me to ignore. It shifted for a moment and the words rose to the surface reflecting the truth enough for me to let go.
“I am learning”
How could you possibly be a failure if you are still learning? Have the desire to learn and grow makes every step on your path a possibility for growth. If you are seeking growth, you are certainly not a failure.
You who are reading this right now, are probably just like me, and so many others. We work, work, work, or try, try, try, and find ourselves frustrated and unable to get where we “need” to go. I can’t count how many times I felt like crying in frustration but no tears would come. How many times I wished to destroy something with the anger that boiled inside me, frustrated at not being able to reach my goal.
For those of you who have read my first novel, my martial arts training was probably the greatest example of that in the past. Constant painful frustration and hopelessness.
I found myself here and wondered if I had really come full circle. It was right after revisiting the dojo for the first time in three years to get acupuncture done like a cosmic joke bringing me back to the feelings I had when I was training there. It felt like my nature as a failure had come to fruition again.
Over the last several weeks I had begun to lose faith in my technique and ability to create the change inside of me that I needed. We all lose faith in ourselves from time to time, and normally there is something sinister beneath the surface which we are not recognizing when this happens. This is why the practice is so important. When you slow down enough, you are able to begin sorting through the whirlwind of thoughts that we all have. Then you can find truth and begin breaking down the barriers that keep us from expanding into what we really are: Infinitely powerful creative beings.
Adapting to change is difficult and we all have road blocks, but the more that we learn to have fun with our work, say that I “get to” rather than “I have to”, the faster we actually progress. Sometimes our hard work ethic is really just a mask for our self-hatred. I found that out the hard way. Even some of our most helpful practices like meditation and creativity can actually just become another way to attack ourselves. In order to be able to become truly skilled we have to bring the energy of doubt into our awareness. Doubt is the tool that allows sort through the shit that is in our mind and listen deeply for the truth that is waiting inside us.
This is the meditation I used to get this insight and bring clarity to my life.
In breath: “Doubt Knowledge”
Out breath: “Listen”
Your doubt needs to be in EVERYTHING you think and believe. Don’t worry, if your thoughts and beliefs are really based in truth, they will survive the doubt.
Don Miguel Ruiz calls the thoughts that go through our head the voice of knowledge, which is just a reflection of all the beliefs and agreements we have made over time. I like the terminology because it’s so all-encompassing, and makes it easy to imagine that your thoughts and beliefs are not who you are. How else would you be able to continue to grow?
The truth is a mutable ever changing but infinitely pervasive thing. No words can truly encompass that force. However when we are skillful we can use words to transform the beliefs that have rooted us in self destructive ways that continue to make us suffer.
We have to be willing to doubt everything we have ever learned in order to truly begin to get a grasp on who we really are. This even includes your gurus or mentors. Authenticity comes from the inside from the outisde. If you want become self-actualized and enlightened you have to be willing to doubt everything, but still learn to listen.
For more on Don Miguel’s work that inspired my meditation read: “The Fifth Agreement” as well as “The voice of knowledge.”
Check out my video “Why Gurus are overrated” to learn more.