Bring to mind someone who in your eyes is successful. Think about, or write down the "why" of their being successful. What is it that defines them as a success? Now bring to mind someone who in your eyes is a failure, or is failing at something or in life in general. How do you know that they are failing? What are the defining elements of that scenario? Now, tune into where you are at now. Where would you place yourself on the continuum? Are you more of a success or more of a failure? What internal or external experiences or conditions are you using to verify whether you're succeeding or failing?
For many of us, we're coming to the end of receiving value from defining something as a success or a failure. We're stepping beyond this model of evaluation and the thoughts, feelings and emotions that are based on the definition. If you define your or something or someone as a failure, the accompanying thoughts, feelings and emotions are typically negative, full of guilt and shame, permeated with this sense of wrongness, missing the mark, confusion, being left out or left behind, just not getting it, lacking support, lacking resources, lacking intelligence or motivation or the wherewithal to change. What comes along with the definition of success is feeling good, high, right, accomplished, celebrated, congratulated, appreciated by others, admired, part of the group, finding your way, on track, having your ducks in a row, being smart, having made good choices and more. Or sometimes the reverse is a reality, where success leads to isolation, people hating you for "being better" than them, separation, superiority/inferiority etc. and failure leads to getting help, people being there to support, having more company, having more connection, feeling safe in not being a threat to anyone etc. Tune into what it is for you.
Imagine stepping into the reality, "I am a failure." Embody it fully, notice the thoughts, notice the feelings, notice the emotions, notice the evidence, people who could confirm that for you, people who would agree with that assessment. Now take a deep breath and imagine the whole "I am a failure" reality dissolving, within you and around you, as though the universe was coming in and lifting it out of you. Are you ready to step beyond this?
Imagine stepping into the reality, "I am a success." Embody it fully, notice the thoughts, notice the feelings, notice the emotions, notice the people around, notice their affirmations, their praise, or whatever they are doing or being in that reality. Now take a deep breath and imagine the whole "I am a success" reality dissolving, within and around you, as though the universe was coming in and lifting it out of you. Are you ready to step beyond this?
If we're locked into the need or necessity to be a success and not be a failure, we don't get to be all that we are. We only get to be what will create "success" according to whatever version of that we've inherited. And, we spend an enormous amount of energy trying to avoid being or doing anything that would lead to "failure" according to the failure template we were given. When you choose to be you and step beyond the success/failure templates, you get to create a life that is true for you, whatever that includes. As you do this some people may perceive you as succeeding, some people may perceive you as failing, but it ceases to matter because you know it doesn't actually mean anything, other than the significance, meaning or importance that has been assigned to it.
So, what if right now you could choose to know what's true for you. If success and failure didn't exist, what would you choose? Where would you show up? With whom? What would you be doing? What would change? Tune into where you are, be willing to have the judgments and should/should not's lifted off, as if by magic. Now begin, as who you are, from where you are, with what you have.
Often we've been taught or trained to resist uncomfortable states and do what it takes to get rid of thoughts, feelings and emotions we've defined as negative or undesired. We've also been taught to see someone else who is thinking, feeling or behaving in a "negative way" as a threat to our state of mind or to the condition of our emotional body. These realities are the birthplace of the desire to give and receive advice. A lot of advice is about how to get rid of uncomfortable states, make your life better, not care what other people think, become successful, love yourself, become healthy, communicate better etc. It's claiming a direction, a direction that the one offering the advice decides is best for the other person.
In one situation the person receiving the advice will align and agree with what is offered. This will make the advice giver feel good. They may feel proud that they were helpful, or said something important, or made a difference. The person receiving may be grateful, appreciative and thankful for it and perhaps go to work on following the advice to the best of their ability. Sometimes it leads to true improvement, other times it leads to let down where either the advice giver watches the person over time and concludes that other person isn't following the advice or is going against it, or the receiver feels let down because they followed the advice and it didn't lead to the desired change or hoped for outcome.
In another scenario, when the advice being offered is out of tune with the person's needs or just not congruent with the space they're in, the advice is resisted, there may be a desire to rebel against it, or react to it. The voice of the rebel would be something along the lines of, "you're wrong, you don't know me, that doesn't make sense, why do you think you know what's best for me, you haven't even bothered to ask me where I'm at, you just jump in and provide the solution you think I need based on where you're at." In this scenario the advice is often offered from a place of the giver being uncomfortable with where the other is at, or wanting to say something that sounds good to prove that they're a helpful person, or to demonstrate their intelligence or understanding of a subject, or to display their mastery of an aspect of life that they've decided the other can benefit from. In other words, they don't take a moment to tune in and ask questions such as: Who am I offering this for? What is this person asking for right now? How can I be of benefit to them? What do they require of me? What do I require of them? There is no definitive answer to these questions, however they can serve to activate awareness and include both people fully in the experience, instead of it just being about one person or the other.
So, what else is possible here? How else can we be with each other that goes beyond the need to give or receive advice? Often we've been taught or trained to seek answers, as though that would solve what's going on in our lives and make it better. We hope someone will show up and deliver the advice that prompts us to change for the better and receive what we desire in life. I wonder how else we can approach all of this now, given that both of the above scenarios don't lead to true fulfillment or true acknowledgment of Being or desired change. How else can we each be loved and supported? What would contribute to us stepping into our greatness and being and receiving the gifts of embodiment? May we be blessed, loved, nurtured, nourished and supported in new ways that brings true fulfillment, honors our hearts and allows us to be met, seen and loved as and where we are now.
One thing I realized recently is that when I have a lot of ease in my life these feelings of guilt show up. I feel bad for having so much ease. It's a strange reality, that previously, rather than continuing to add even more ease and joy to my life, I would instead find someone who was having a difficult time, or suffering mentally and/or emotionally and put a lot of my focus and attention on them. Often I would offer them more of my presence, time and attention than they were truly asking for, however it was something I just did and wasn't overly conscious of why. I've recently become aware that I was choosing that to keep me from feeling the guilt of having too much ease. There were these points of views in place that somehow it just wasn't fair for me to "have it easy." It was just plain wrong. Often to avoid feeling wrong and guilty I would also prove to myself and sometimes others how much work I'd done to get to the inner space of ease, peace and calm that I can now choose, essentially it was an "I deserve this" type justification. I remember in academia doing something similar, when someone would say "that was so easy for you" I would often bring up all the time, focus and work I had committed to completing the paper or project. Have you ever received the message that it's wrong to have ease? What have you been or done to avoid having too much ease in your life?
There's this other belief too that if we have what we desire in our lives, and have total ease and unending joy, we'll stop growing or stop learning or become complacent. We're so used to pain, suffering, dis-ease and the wanting or desiring for something we don't have being a motivator to grow, learn and expand. It's safe to want what we don't have or have what we don't want, but if we actually have what we truly desire and receive the life, living, body and reality we are asking for often times we'll actually be quite uncomfortable with it. It's comfortable to want it, it's not so comfortable to have it. Or if you have it, you have to make sure that you lose it or destroy it, diminish it, or pretend it's not that big of a deal or important to have it. We also often have imprints or beliefs about not wanting to stand out or be too different or have what other people don't have, because if we do we'll be judged, hated, taken down or rejected in some way. I wonder how much of all of this can change now?
What if right now we can choose ease without guilt? And as we do, how many other people can we invite to have this too? It's not about convincing others that they should have it, or stopping ourselves and waiting until they ask or are ready for it, it's more about choosing to have it, be it, expand out and contribute that energy, space, consciousness and possibility to the world through our very Being. How much joy and ease can we add to our lives now? What would it be like to allow joy and ease to inspire us to create even more possibilities and generative realities in our lives? Keeping ourselves from ease doesn't benefit other people. Us having what other people don't have and then feeling bad about it doesn't help or assist other people to become greater. I wonder if something totally different is possible now, a different approach, a different reality, where choosing joy and ease invites more people to the celebration of living, or at least gives them the choice to have it. We can be the energetic bridge to something new. What would that be like for you?