Over the last decade, I have been on a journey of self-discovery and self-exploration. My main driving force was, and still, is to become a better version of myself. Whether this be recovering from crippling pain and emotions, or simply finding a clearer sense of purpose and stronger inner confidence. This mission has lead me to try and experience 1000s of hours worth of various techniques, therapies, healing modalities and deep-mind work. This list is not exhaustive but includes: anti-depressants, psychotherapy, Vipassana mediation, Reiki, healing touch, travelling, massage, vegetarianism, organic juicing, acupuncture, mindfulness, hypnotherapy, coaching, counselling, unconscious mind work, yoga, Zen, fasting and many, many more! The effectiveness of all of the previous mentioned is not important for now and will be discussed in later articles. What IS important, is the deep and profound lesson that I learned (and learning) through all of it. Simply, I am enough!
One of my main driving forces in my life was to 'get away' from my problems. I wanted to feel less pain and be physically healthy. I hated feeling sad and anxious and resisted my experience. I ALWAYS compared myself to other men and found ways I was inferior. This list could go on and on. I never operated from a place of abundance; it was always scarcity. That being said, one overarching truth that emerged from my journey of growth (still going on by the way) is that, I am, without question enough! In addition, that holds true not only for me but also for you. In order to explain that I want to draw from three areas of thought that I have found profoundly transformative in my personal growth, which can all lend credibility to the idea that we are enough.
Zen Buddhism is built on the supposition that we are, already whole. We sit Zazen with nothing to attain, nothing to realize and with no place else to go and no one else to be. Fundamentally, everything we are is perfectly, ok! In fact the truth finding in Zen is not an exercise that happens outside of us, as the truth is already within. In the writing of master Dogen, "If you are unable to find the truth right where you are, where else do you expect to find it?" I will let you think about that.
My very first Zen teacher, used to say that we can't really change who we are. This used to bother me. I'd imagine alcoholics, bad leaders, myself, friends, family. All people with some issues that they clearly needed to address and change. Of course, being a young and naïve Zen rookie I took what he said at face value, imagining people who are destructive to themselves and others continuing their thinking, behavior and bad habits and not changing. In short, I was quite wrong. What he was really saying was that we, as people, are fundamentally whole. As we continue to experience life our interactions with the world, ourselves and with people can leave impacts on us. These impacts can turn into beliefs and ideas about ourselves and the world which eventually burden us with insecurities, anxiety, depression, anger, sadness, jadedness and all kinds of emotional 'baggage' which clouds us from experiencing and being in touch with our deepest, most authentic self. Zen and meditation, in fact doesn't 'give' us anything. It just gradually unburdens us to the truth about ourselves and the Universe. Once we realize this fully, we see things as they really are and no longer need to strive to be anything but ourselves.
The most important point is to accept yourself and stand on your two feet. ― Shunryu Suzuki
Hypnosis and The Unconscious Mind
Having experienced and studied hypnosis, it is very clear that the root cause of so many of our problems is the idea that 'we are not enough'. One of the wonderful benefits of hypnosis is the ability to derive and assign new meaning to past experiences so we can move in the world unburdened by the weight of previous imprints. Let's examine this point a little bit further.
There are people in the world who are consistently striving. They need more! More achievements, more fame, more money, more projects, more! In itself, can yield wonderful results. That being said, the idea that something outside of who we are can give us the eternal satisfaction (peace) that we all seek is wrong. People will get caught up in a cycle, an endless loop, constantly reaching. Without question, this has harmful effects to the psyche, the world and those around us. We can't have tunnel vision for one thing and think we are not blind to the impact we have on many others. Often, this void in people's hearts needs to be consistently 'filled' these achievements, money etc. It doesn't stop there, however, as it is an internal process which is defining us. So, we seek in all areas of our life to be more whole which leads to behaviors that are not conducive to harmony. Drinking, smoking, partying, drugs, sex, perfectionism, etc. Whatever the vices that accompany people of the previous mindset are, they are serving to dull pain that can only be healed internally.
“When you know and believe you are enough you don’t need more. When you feel and believe you are not enough you will always want more.” ----- Maris Peer
Another example is those, who don't even try to begin with as they feel they are not enough and there is no point. Why start something when it won't be good? Why try to grow when they feel they are always inadequate? So, they me be far more stagnant in their lives but still seek to fill the void in their hearts with similar or the same vices as the former group perhaps with the addition of Netflix binge watching, YouTube and excessive self-help. The idea, is that for both sets of people there is a way to develop a healthy relationship with yourself and 'success' or 'not success' so the experience of life is more whole, harmonious and peaceful. The vices often then slip away leaving far more room to spend time on things that are wholesome and meaningful.
Lastly, I want to touch on the idea that the Universe has already given us EVERYTHING we need. I want to ask you, what object, place, thing, experience has ever been created outside of the bounds of the resources offered to humanity here on Earth? I will let you think about this one.
Every person born, is assembled from the same galactic energy. We are all made of atoms (C, N, O mainly), we have to obey the same laws of physics, we contain within in us the miraculous organ called the brain and we are 99.9% genetically identical. I could go on and on but I hope you see the point. Each of us is imbued, at birth, with an incredible capacity to do amazing things. Those who we idolize and revere are no more human than you, or I! Yes, thy may have done things that could appear 'beyond our capacity' but that's only because we are comparing our innate potential to theirs. As Albert Einstein said, "Never judge a fish by it's ability to climb a tree." To support this I could spend days writing about people who defied all odds (physically and mentally) and lived extraordinary lives, you all know some of them.
Intrinsically, we all have something exceedingly unique about us but understandable and relatable enough to others to guarantee we can make an incredible impact if we so choose. Many hyper-successful people have taken FULL advantage of the resources at their disposal; both inside themselves (thinking, emotions, beliefs) and outside themselves. They were and are incredibly resourceful with what they have and focused on a clear vision for how these can be used to achieve a certain outcome. Often, they faced an abundance of adversity in their lives but repurposed themselves and took full advantage of opportunities at their disposal. This is not to say everyone has equal opportunities, they do not. However, for must of us able to access the internet and read this article, severe poverty, malnutrition and other serious challenges are not likely impeding you. So, that begs the question, if we have been born with such inherent and remarkable potential, why are we not need reaching it? What is really holding you back? How is it that you are allowing life to pass you by? What kind of legacy are you not creating?
Take a deep examination of yourself and where you are in your life. Ask the tough questions that you haven't asked before and see if you are in line with your deepest purpose. Inquire if you are offering the world the full range of your gifts. Give yourself a chance, even for a few minutes to believe (really believe) and feel that are you, unquestioningly enough. See what that does for you and let me know.