Back in the early 1990’s I was one of the caretakers at a spiritual retreat center in the mountains of northern New Mexico. If only I could paint a picture for you that captured the essence of what that was like to live in the woods on a mountain that overlooked the Rio Grande with only the sounds of nature combined with meditation bells. So lovely.
Spiritual teachers from different paths would come and lead retreats where we would immerse ourselves into one tradition for a week or more. I remember a ten day Buddhist vipassana meditation retreat. The retreat was all in silence except for one hour in the evening we would gather and listen to the teachings of the tradition in what was called a dharma talk (which is basically a Buddhist sermon) by the presenter, Jack Kornfield. After being in total silence all day, hearing a voice was quite powerful.
So, I remember him saying “people are always wanting what they don’t have. Why not want what you have. It’s so much easier.” I love this on so many levels. When you really think about it, that short statement is actually the key to happiness, right? Because if you want what you have, the struggle is gone. You have arrived. You have everything already.
Now, trust me, your ego does not want you to get this concept. Why? Because your ego thrives on the idea of lack. That there is never enough. If only I had this, THEN I would be happy. It’s all about lack; not enough time, money. The ego would have you forever striving, never arriving.
But what it’s really doing is keeping you small and keeping you looking outside yourself for something better. It’s basically telling you that what you have is not enough (no matter how much you have) which leads to the message that ultimately YOU are not enough. The course of miracles says the ego’s mission for you is “Seek and do not find”. The ego is dangling that carrot somewhere out there ahead of you and stringing you along.
Yeah, the ego would have you forever looking out there, seeking. All the while the TRUTH is hidden in plain sight: You are already enough. The gold that you seek is not out there somewhere, it’s inside of you. And once you know that, you are free to create from your heart…in bliss.
YES, dear one, you are already whole. You are already beautiful. You are already perfect. In fact, there is no one else anywhere like you. And the irony is that when you stop always wanting and start living in gratitude for what you have, you start attracting so much more abundance than you ever could have hoped for with all that wanting. So, as it turns out, wanting what you have is the ultimate gratitude prayer!!
And yet as a culture, we all seem constantly trying to get somewhere else when there is really no destination out there to get to! I promise there isn’t! When you get to the top of that mountain, you are going to ask yourself “what’s next?” So where and why are you rushing to get to anyway? Don’t you think enjoying every minute of the journey makes more sense than chasing some point in the future when you can stop wanting more? We all imagine laying back and relaxing on a beach somewhere with a stockpile of money in our bank account, but there are no guarantees where any of us are going to end up or even whenever that might be.
Who is really winning in this chasing game anyway? I think it’s the ones who are enjoying the whole ride and not just preparing for the end of it…..
So how to get here, enjoying every moment of your journey? Well it’s all about having gratitude for what you have, but it can’t be superficial. Like you really have to feel it. It’s more than just writing a gratitude list. It’s like you have to start to fall in love with your life.
Now, if you are not used to this, you will need to start small. Just try to find some things in your life that are working. Find some elements that feel good to you. You can even start with the weather. When the weather is nice, I like to just take a moment to be really enjoy how it feels to be in it. I get excited about the rain…especially thunder storms. The sounds and watching the wind blow the trees. I find it amazing!
You can stop and appreciate your loved ones. Often we get so busy, we don’t even really appreciate them. I will just sit with my husband sometimes and just allow myself to feel how much I love and appreciate him. And because I take this time, it enhances the whole day to day living with that guy.
Or when I am hanging out with my kid, just stopping and listening to her stories and her experience of life…and just be in awe that I even get to have this special relationship.
My work is a huge part of my life, so I have put a lot of effort into establishing meaningful relationships with my staff…I take great care and love into every aspect of my company and because of that, every day I get to show up to a life that I love.
So try this. Start with one area of your life. And then choose just one aspect of that area and give it love. It doesn’t matter what it is. It could be your car or your toaster…it could be a plant or your garden…your partner or your best friend. Just allow yourself to feel so much love for that one element in your life. Give it a shot and see what you can come up with.
Now here is my challenge for you:
See if you can come up with 3 things that you can feel deep love and appreciation for and do something to extend that love. If it’s your car, maybe give it a shine. If it is a friend, maybe send them a message to let them know you are thinking of them. Make it your own. The point is that you allow yourself to feel it.
And this, my friend, is how you can step into the life you have always wanted…by wanting what you have. Because the only way to manifest the life you want is by realizing it has been inside of you all along.
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