The other day, I was talking to my coach (yes, life coaches have coaches because we practice what we preach) about feeling overwhelmed with all I want to do in order to make the most of my life. As coaches, we surround ourselves with books, articles, websites and audio downloads on how to think peacefully, find our authentic selves, unleash our creativity, handle fear, make decisions, set goals...It's an occupational hazard. The to-do list goes like this: Wake up early to write in journal, do yoga, make a gratitude list, listen to a class, work on a negative thought, read in my latest book. And squeeze in 15 minutes of meditation so I can feel relaxed, damn it. Oh, and don't forget to breathe deeply throughout it all.
The thought goes like this: I have to DO all of the above in order to BE myself and BE happy.
Well, that thought doesn't make me happy. Because it's a lie.
Here's the truth: Any practice that improves your life does so by uncovering the beauty and perfection that is already within you. It's not about layering habits and thoughts upon yourself; it's about letting go of anything that covers you up and weighs you down.
On January 7, 2009, Michael Beckwith summed this up on Oprah (This is a rough quote and I thank my DVR):
All spiritual growth is really about letting go of something. It's not about gaining anything...We can't add anything to us. Spirituality is about letting go of the false concepts, the false ways we've identified ourselves, false identities, false habits, misconstrued ideas, so when we're in the midst of a crisis, we're being asked to let go of something...so that something new can be born.
As a coach, I believe the most powerful things to let go are negative, useless thoughts (Letting go of a dated haircut and tight shoes can also be helpful, but our thoughts change before our actions change).
What sort of thoughts can you release today? What beliefs are not serving you? Judgments ("should")? Rules ("have to")? Attachment to a particular outcome? Your mother's beliefs? False assumptions? Regret? Expectation of perfection? Let go and allow the delicious truth to bubble up. More later.