Sally had always felt like a walking contradiction. Sometimes she did things she didn’t believe in just to get along. And other times she secretly did things that would not be favourably accepted my mainstream society. For these reasons, she felt conflicted, with a twist of shame. Shame, because she only displayed the material world wanted to see, as opposed to how she truly felt inside. This was probably why she spent so much of her time alone. She knew she could no longer play both sides, she couldn’t live in both worlds. It required too much energy. And to pretend to enjoy participating in the habitual and robotic daily circumstances of the world created a feeling of what she could only describe as cheating on your spouse. She was not in alignment. None of it felt right, never really did. What she was feeling on the inside was not what was showing up on the outside. She was not in alignment and it was starting to physically manifest and not in a positive way. At the time she wasn’t exactly aware of its purpose, she just felt that she was different from everyone else. This created inner anxiety, a knot in her stomach. She did not know that all of this inner-fuckery would turn out to be the greatest gift ever—freedom!
In hindsight, this turmoil was actually the work of the universe’s ‘inner guide’ system. ‘Trusting your gut’ refers to so much more than a warning of danger or of who not to trust. It is actually our built-in intuitive guide to inner peace. For instance, think about an upcoming event which you are not looking forward to. Then sit with it for a moment. How does it feel? Is there a tightness in your stomach? A pang of anxiety perhaps? Explore this. Why does it make you feel that way? Is there someone there you do not want to see? Or maybe you just can’t stomach the thought of sitting around listening to a bunch of strangers make small talk. Next, think about what you would rather be doing. Feel that. If the thought of doing that particular thing feels right in your gut, then that is exactly what you should be doing.
Of course there are still things that we have to attend to in daily life whether they make us feel good or not. But there are also many pesky little details we can do without. This is the first step to simplifying. Sally believed that everyone on some level felt a desire to simplify.
When Sally started eliminating certain things and people from her life, things that did not serve her, a great shift began to take place. One day she just stopped watching the news; she knew it was simply a way of keeping the masses scared and obedient. She deleted her Facebook account as this mostly just created feelings of ‘not enough.' She began consulting her inner guide. What felt right and what didn’t. She found that even the simplest daily circumstances could interfere with her peace. So either she eliminated them, changed them or accepted them. Acceptance is a hard one, it is more a different way of seeing things as opposed to accepting them.
She was getting a taste of freedom and she liked it. From here, everything just snowballed. She moved to a place where no one expected her to be who she used to be. She started wearing the clothes she was always drawn to wear as opposed to what the fashion magazines told her was acceptable. Her diet changed intuitively. She stopped dying her hair and discovered that she had the most amazing gray highlights that blended perfectly with her natural hair color. So not only did she not have to deal with the annoyances of hair appointments and sitting in that chair for hours, but she would also be saving herself $300 every six weeks. And the best part was her hair became very thick and healthy.
She spent most of her time in solitude, practicing awareness until deeply rooted. She became very drawn to the Tao principle of ‘not doing’—when nothing is done, nothing is left undone. But this can only be experienced when one is in true alignment. Again this means to live harmoniously with all that is. Inside and out. This ultimately led her to the beauty of the ‘choiceless’ choice. Sally discovered that there is no need to make decisions. That if she simply responds to whatever spontaneously arises, no choice should ever be required. This is what it means to get out of the way and ‘Let Go-d.’ However, we cannot sit still long enough to process. To inquire. To embrace. We get scared, we react, right or wrong, just to end the agony of the uncertainty.
Sally stopped making future plans; this caused some conflict, but she no longer cared. If she wasn’t feelin' it,’ she wasn’t doin' it. She wasn’t going to feel guilty for it, apologize for it or even give a reason for not doing it.
Imagine, if you will; It’s Friday night, Sally has previously agreed to attend a big Gala. She puts the key in the lock, smiles at the thought of another long week behind her. She feels a great sense of relief as she opens the door and feels the warmth and security of her apartment. And then BAM 💥, it hits her. The Gala, she committed to going. Ugh! Right now, the last thing Sally wants to do is attend a big formal Gala. What she really wanted to do was run a hot bath, pour a BIG glass of red, light a stick of ‘Nag Champa’ (the only incense as far as she was concerned), and light a big ass candle. But those old familiar pangs struck again. She could feel the anxiety. Everyone was expecting her. She said she was going. What will they think! What will she say? There was a time Sally would have sucked it up, turned the music loud, jumped in the shower, put on her makeup and headed out. And yes, she would probably have had a good time, because that’s just the way she was. But this time, she knew she didn’t need an excuse. She smiled, grabbed the already opened bottle of red, pulled the cork out with her teeth and took one full and delicious swig straight from the bottle. She smiled once more—this is freedom.
Sally got to the point where any given conscious breath would effortlessly bring the pebble to rest without disruption or obstruction. No knots, or pangs, guilt or shame. She knew all was right—no more contradictions.
Now and only now, could she fully explore and experience the wonderful magic of this big beautiful mystery we call life.
Check in with yourself. When you think about something, anything, how does it feel inside? Explore this, marinate in it. We are all entitled to inner peace, but there are certain keys we need in order to access it. It all starts with brutally honest self-inquiry. Everything we need is literally inside each and everyone of us. No teacher, Guru or method is required. It is available to all, but personal to each.
Be different, be you. Be ‘you-nique.’