By Ronda LaRue, M.S.
I wonder what would happen in your life if one day you said:
"Enough! It's time for me! I am going to take time out to go in. I am going to make time to find and reconnect with myself and with what really matters!"
What would happen if -- when the "nay saying voice of reason" came in and filled your head with all the justifiable reasons you cannot possibly take the time, spend the money, or leave your family obligations for 3-4 days to retreat from the world and to reconnect with you -- if you consciously overrode that seeming logic, and took the "Illogical leap of faith" to invest in yourself, in your spirit, in listening for life's deepest meaning and purpose?
As one who has lived through my own struggles, many mistakes, grievances, addictions, dark night of soul despair and spiritual awakening -- and having now worked with hundreds of women and men who come to retreats with me for personal spiritual guidance and to learn the life-changing Soul Arts tools for finding and following one's own wisdom in every day real life -- I wish to offer you this:
You are absolutely not alone!
Each one of us carries an early wounding inside that has, at least in part, shut us down from remembering and fully expressing our true self. Each of us has places we feel guilt and shame over our failures and mistakes. Each of us has feelings of betrayal and grief. We each have insecurities we cover over with our "makeup masks" and personas we put in place to hopefully make us more like-able (a.k.a. safe). Each of us has very likely felt the fear of financial ruin and becoming a helpless, destitute "bag lady" (or man) if we dared follow our hearts.
What I have come to realize from my life work as a spiritual teacher is people who are not in this line of work don't have the benefit of meeting and talking with others and realizing you are not alone in your secret most inner feelings of self-doubt. These are universal feelings which arise from unconscious attachments and self-defining ego structures that block us from the realization of our true nature.
Our fear-thoughts and places of self-doubt are, in fact, an invitation to remembering who we really are. These inner struggles are what bring us to seeking, to awakening, and to growing in daily expression of authentic relationship with life ...We are simply not taught in our culture HOW to recognize these invitations to awaken, nor how to employ them in a healing and life-transforming shift of consciousness necessary to true self-realization.
Let me please ask you to consider this: If you realized by taking time out to go in, you were in truth making the greatest life investment you could ever make: for yourself, your loved ones and our world, would you pass it by out of fear?
What would you be throwing away with "reasonable sounding" excuses such as not enough time, money or self-confidence? What might your authentic self look like, feel like, have as its special and unique gift? Can you really afford to turn away from your own truth and beauty?
The truth I've come to see over and over again without exception, is this:
Our fears, obstacles, and times of deepest despair are seeds sprinkled on the ground of life waiting for each of us to say: "There must be something more!! I am going to invest this life in finding out what it means to awaken to life's riches meaning!"
This is the daily truth we forget: We only ever actually live, and are alive within each moment, here and now. Now is where your life is played, nowhere else! It is good to reflect and to recognize how we spend each moment reflects the values we are placing on life. Each moment, another coin of your lifeline is being spent. In what are you investing with the coins of your life?
Will you invest in finding your true self? Will you invest in following your life's very own unique genius? ...If not now, when?
For the next week, every night write down all the places you invested your time and resources. (Don't forget TV, alcohol, unfulfilling social engagements, time spent worrying on some future "what if"; on beauty, shopping etc.). Don't excuse or rationalize your choices, just remain curious and look. Simply get acquainted with where you are implicitly placing your life's values by way of your time spent. Don't judge as good/bad, right/wrong. Simply LOOK and SEE...
Then sit down for 15 minutes or so in a comforting place, close your eyes, breathe deeply, and ask your mind to go to the background for just a bit so you can hear from your soul (that inner quiet place). Then simply ask your heart what qualities long to be lived in your life. You aren't seeking an objective answer. You only need to go inwardly quiet and sense what qualities are longing to be more lived in your life. The seeing and sensing of this simple process is enough to sprout a seedling on your path of growing wisdom.
Ronda LaRue, author of two books on the art of spiritual awakening, and every day authentic living, offers personal spiritual retreats and self-healing programs. Her Center for SoulArts Retreat Programs in Ojai California have been rated one of the Top 10 Spiritual Retreats in the world. (Asia Spa Magazine, 2007) For more information visit http://www.CenterForSoulArts.com or http://www.rondalarue.com. Permission granted for use on DrLaura.com