“Your faith can move mountains but your doubt can create them”
I've talked about my inner critic before and here I go again. There are so many layers, it's like peeling an onion. You see one layer, peel it back and then there is another one to make you cry!
As an entrepreneur and someone who is building an online business that is quite different from anything that's out there now, I have many moments of 'what am I doing', 'is this bringing any value to anyone', 'should I just pack it all in and go back to working in the tech world' and I'll be honest, they are the times when I do come close to quitting. But so far, I haven't and after some time I look back at these moments as a test from the Universe... how dedicated and committed am I? These are also moments where I realize I am gripping too hard to how I think things should be, I am operating from a place of fear and not having enough faith in the bigger picture.
In Gabby Bernstein's book 'The Universe Has Your Back' there are many exercises that help with seeing things through the eyes of love and letting go of our fear. One exercise is that when you are faced with a decision, pick a sign that will help show you that there's a bigger power taking care of you.
As many of you know, in early April I was on vacation in Mexico. Before and while on vacation there were a lot of those thoughts of doubt about my path creeping into my mind (see 'Have a great time on vacation' blog post). I decided fairly quickly that this frame of mind would not help me have a good time on vacation and that I would play along with Gabby's exercise. My sign would be the word 'faith' and If I saw it somewhere I would take it as a sign that as Gabby says 'the Universe has my back'.
So of course, I started looking and expected to see the word ‘faith’ written somewhere immediately. Surprise, surprise it didn't show up right away or even within a week. In the past, I would have give up but this time I didn’t allow myself to get discouraged. As soon as a doubtful thought came into my mind, I remembered Gabby's message about releasing control of how and when it would show up.
Fast forward to the last few days of our vacation... I had totally forgotten about the experiment and my brain was in full vacation mode. We were enjoying an evening of wandering through the shops of Tulum when low and behold I saw the sign, literally. On the wall were plaques of different words including a number that said ‘faith’. I was so excited I called my husband over and told him my story.
“Faith is like wifi, it’s invisible but has the power to connect you to what you need.”
This kinda stuff makes me feel so excited. A lot of people are disbelievers or skeptical. But I think why? Why not believe, why not have faith, why not think there is something bigger? To me it's much more pleasant to feel this way than the times (and they happen but not as often as they use to) when I allow myself to operate from a place of fear.
We are not our thoughts. This is hard for a lot of us to wrap our heads around. I love the blue sky and cloud analogy. We are the blue sky that is always there and our thoughts are the clouds. Sometimes the clouds are light and fluffy and come and go with ease. Other times the sky is thick with many layers of clouds and the sun disappears for days or even weeks at a time.
First we need to see that the blue sky and the clouds are separate. Then we need to look at the quality of the clouds without changing them. After that we need to decide if we want the clouds to stick around (I keep thinking of the rain cloud in the Charlie Brown cartoon) or if we can let them move on so the sun can shine again. There are seasons to our life and just like the seasons in nature, there are times when the sun shines a lot or times when it's pretty darn stormy. This is life and, just like in nature, it is okay. It never stays cloudy forever and the sun is always up there.
Like anything, thinking and living from a place of love (optimism, faith, positivity) takes practice. As a society, we are conditioned by fear. We are taught by the media and even by well-intentioned people to be afraid of the unknown, to stick with what we know, to be jealous, to covet what others have, to worry, to not take chances, to stay safe, to not stand out. To change these conditioned beliefs it takes practice. It takes reading motivational books, listening to positive podcasts, surrounding ourselves by people who lift us up. It takes turning off the news, questioning our beliefs and learning why we think the things we do. The good news is… if you’ve ever learned to do something in your life (which we all have!!) then you can learn to live from a place of love.
Love and fear, the only two things that motivate us. What motivator would you rather choose? What are some of the clouds (fearful thoughts) that are blocking out you sun (love)? Check out your next thought and decide if it’s from a place of love or fear. If it’s love… cultivate it, if its fear… let.it.go. Do this hourly, daily or just when you remember. Like doing anything new, the more you practice the more you learn and grow.