Tag Archives: personal growth

together – alone

I’m not sure where to start this post, because I am ad-libbing as I go, and I don’t know where it’s going to – so thank you for joining me on this meander if you’re here.

[in preamble – the post builder dashboard popped up in my browser tabs and I felt like it was a prompt for me to write a post, something I haven’t been doing very regularly in quite some time.]

I’ve spent the last several mornings attending a low-cost virtual info “training” that gave me just enough information with respect to the areas that would be delved into in their extended program, but not the means as to how the work need be undertaken .. essentially these are feeders into the pay programs on offer.

There are so. many. programs.

My social media feeds are flooded with them. Each with its own spin on how to transform your life, your side-gig, your business, your [whatever thing you feel you need to improve, insert it here]. Let’s face it – most people feel some kind of dissatisfaction with their current life situation – it is axiomatic that while we are in the human condition that we will on some level experience it.

Some of those programs and courses are what I would consider affordable (though that is always a relative term, isn’t it?) and some definitely less so. Affordability is always something that must be put into context with respect to one’s own individual situation.

There are many people in need of some sort of guidance in this bizarre world we currently find ourselves in, whether due to the large issues that parts of the world are experiencing, or smaller (though equally large in context to our own scale of experience) more personal ones.

As a person who has been intent on personal development throughout most of my adult life, largely through self-education, books a-plenty and through various (affordable to me) programs I’ve signed up for over time, I have found that in many ways progress does not happen in a vacuum, in isolation. It really does take a village to raise a child, and in this context child as a metaphor for the self that sits at the core of each of us.

Sometimes all the knowledge in the world is not enough to implement a transformation without mentorship. Some people are lucky to come across a benevolent mentor along their path, and others spend a lifetime looking. Sometimes the wisdom finally comes, through their own hard work and experience.

Last week, the nature of the meaning of ‘community’ came up in one of the online groups I belong to. Community has such a nuanced meaning, from the macro down to the micro. As part of that discussion, it was determined that to be a part of a community, one must in some way respond to it, participate in it, in what was thought to be a meaningful way but to me weighing what “meaningful” is, is just as ambiguous as defining what constitutes a community.

That got me thinking that communities are like fractals, that they spiral outward and the further away you look at it from, it appears to be one thing, but the closer you zoom in, you realize that it is made up of many disparate interlocking parts.

We each have a unique place in it, but we don’t all show up in the same manner, and perhaps the way in which we take up our own individual space doesn’t always meet the expectations of all of the parts within the whole, but that we still maintain our part in it in a way that only we can. The whole becomes better than the sum of its parts by virtue of all of its individual components.

I’ve been in situations where people have expectations on how one needs to behave; they feel the need to validate a person’s contributions against their own set of preconceived conditions without really seeing, or leaving space for, a person’s unfolding into who they are and finding ways in which to validate their contributions in an organic way – essentially, to play to a person’s strengths rather than hold them to expectations that, because of it not being in their nature, they will struggle or ultimately fail to meet. I have found this to be true in many corporate environments (though I am especially grateful that that is not currently my experience).

I think we have a lot of work to do as a collective humanity in figuring out how to hold space for each other, how to let each individual person shine their brightest and allow them to contribute in the best possible way.

I think we need more people who can hold space in that way; those who can see the value of each individual contribution, not only to give voice to those who speak the loudest, have the deepest convictions (and perhaps the deepest pockets). We need people who can coax out from those who are the most silent, in some ways the most disadvantaged, those who are risk-averse and reticent, the light that they keep hidden beneath a bushel, and in releasing of their light delight in their unique place within the fractal that is Us.

People like to say “it’s not about the money” but when we dig a little deeper, it really is, in the end; those who have resources will resource themselves further and those without will continue to fumble their way towards ecstasy, in whichever way they can find at their disposal. Thankfully there are those that see this gap and in their generosity aim to fill it so that everyone finds their way to wholeness.

Because aren’t we all, in the end, whether we are aware of it or not, reaching toward apotheosis?

authentic is the new “higher”

blanket_leg
Buzz words. They are created by virtue of their overuse in vernacular. Eventually they lose their sexiness and a new one is adapted, but until then the word pompously bombards us with it’s directive: BE THIS.

And I really didn’t want authentic to lose it’s charm… it’s punch… it’s fabulous weightiness of meaning.

Who doesn’t want to be authentic? At our core we humans all want to be seen, accepted and (gasp! even) loved for who we are at our most tender and raw. Who, then, could transform such an empowering word such as authentic into one that we have to strive toward rather than simply embrace?

Oh, again with the cult of self-improvement, we can no longer simply be ourselves, we must become our “authentic selves”.

To me, authenticity is a cyclical process. While we’d like a think that a new way of being can be somehow “downloaded” like some divine program, it is only through experiencing life and embracing all of its aspects fully that we can grow into ourselves. Just because we have a certain awareness of ourselves (and perhaps even the divine parts of ourselves) doesn’t guarantee that we will always be in alignment with that part – and that is fucking okay, see?

At twenty, I felt I was being authentic. Certainly, I knew when I wasn’t always acting from a place of authenticity. I chose my actions in accordance with imagined outcomes based on what I thought other people would say, think or feel about them. That would seem inauthentic, perhaps, but my choices propelled me toward greater learning about myself and how I operated in the world, and I would never have gleaned that wisdom without experiencing the other shite first-hand.

The thing is, we are all being authentic within ourselves, all the time – we merely perhaps lack the confidence to be ourselves at all times with others. Perhaps we must temper our behaviour to fit into certain situations because of cultural or societal expectations. We still know who we are at our core, even though it isn’t always practical to act out of that place. We don’t have to feel compelled to ram ourselves and all of the beliefs we so fervently embrace down everybody’s throats.

I’ve had many adventures so far, some I would have perhaps preferred to avoid but those seem (by far) to have been the ones I’ve gained the most from. I don’t need someone to tell me to tune in to my intuition, or show me how to listen to that small still voice that is warning me about something. On some level I am fully aware of the consequences of my choices and I make them anyway, perhaps because they are experiences my “soul” must have in order for it to get to a place where it is more receptive once again.

I think our life offers us the gift of adventure. Those who are naturally inclined toward self-inquiry will inevitably be delving deeper into finding a higher purpose or calling, even as we each stumble along our very human journeys on our road toward that ultimate fulfillment. Sometimes the strongest of convictions can lead us down a path that ultimately doesn’t truly serve us (or the ones we were hoping to serve).

In some ways we will never really know what our purpose in this life is – not until we are done and the fruit of our legacy is observed in hindsight. I don’t think one needs a blueprint to figure out what we are here to accomplish (individually or collectively), certainly not one proposed to us by someone other than ourselves. I think we must merely live our best lives, in whatever capacity that encompasses at each moment that we find ourselves in, and embrace all parts of our humanly imperfect journey.

Maybe it would make all of us just a little kinder, a little more compassionate and allow the journey to be a little bit more of a joyous one.

With love,
Adriane xo

More random thoughts and philisophical meanderings…

* Guilt, though a natural by-product of the human condition, is best utilized as a springboard for striving to better ourselves, not turned around to lay blame for our own shortcomings on another party
* You can not lay blame if you take personal responsibility (or ascribe to the concept of personal responsibility); attempts to control others, or mold them into our perception of what we think is optimal, is fruitless… a waste of time, energy, and personal growth for all parties involved
* Taking responsibility for our actions does not directly result in success/failure, which in and of itself is relative to our limited perception (like peering out of a straw to view the universe)
* Being attached to outcome limits growth; that is not to say that one shouldn’t always strive to do one’s best, but to realize that the outcome is fluid and it is what it is, taking on a life of its own, so to speak
* Embrace the duality of existence… both its darkness and its brilliance are integral to its wholeness, and not honoring both leads towards imbalance
* Humans, while we claim to embrace individuality, seem to be hard-wired to a herd mentality; any individual who asserts a perspective differing from the commonly accepted norms usually is vehemently opposed/ridiculed/ostracized/penalized/eradicated until his assertions are verified and become accepted, resulting in the resetting of the collective perspective or norm

Did you know… ?
* Quantum mechanics purports that previously chaotic subatomic particles, through the mere act of observation, become coherent