More than a year ago, I received an e-mail that resonated with me so much, I kept it and contemplated it and I remind myself of it every once in a while. Now that the New Year is right in front of us, I feel it is the best time to re-hash the message of that e-mail.
It was about REGRET. I read it in many articles and books and heard it from people. But when you are on your deathbed, you don’t say, “Ah, I wish I would have worked more or tried harder to be the person my mother wanted me to be.” The last thoughts are usually about spending more time with family and friends and the awareness or acknowledgement that they wished they would have had the courage to live a life that was true to themselves rather than a life that others expected of them.
This is a tough one. Read that again…’the courage to live a life true to themselves,” an authentic life. A life filled with joy and real truths, with awareness and high energy. They want to really know themselves in order to know and strive to reach the things that make them truly happy. A life without compromise. But it also addresses the knowledge that it takes courage to do so. Because we don’t want to get judged and we want to please, and we want to do the things that are expected of us so that we fit into the tribe we want to belong to.
It is a bit of a conundrum that people wait until the last minute. When there is no turning back. No other choices to make. For some people, that moment before it’s all over is the very first time they reflect on their life, expand their mind, become aware of the many choices they have passed up out of fear or out of not knowing what it is they want or makes them happy. Even though we don’t KNOW if there will be tomorrow, we expect it. Maybe we feel entitled to it and we don’t accept that it could be any other way so we always expect the ‘next time, next year, this weekend, when I go on vacation, when I retire.”
Some of us have experienced the unfortunate event of loosing someone we cared about. It often makes us step back and examine our lives and determine if we are on the right path, on our path. In that case, the event itself was terrible, but the effect it had was a possible life saver. Because next time an opportunity came our way, we may have made another decision, one that served us better, made us happier and got us closer to be our authentic selves.
Our Ego dislikes change so much that it will continuously shut up our little authentic voice that tells us to make the decision that’s truly ours. Once we made the same type of choices over and over again routine sets in, ego is warm and cozy in the comfort of its sameness and our authentic self has moved up, deeper behind the boxes in the attic of what is our true self.
I’m very lucky because I have stopped to listen to my little authentic self. I make sure its beautiful voice rings through loud and clear, with ‘gusto’ and excitement, assertive and strong. I do it as often as I can. I put my hand on top of Ego’s mouth, tell it to shut up and I listen closely. My recent trip to Bangkok, which I can’t wait to tell you more about, was just one of the many things that I allowed my authentic self to go on.
So, even though it is already the latter part of December, don’t wait to make New Year’s Resolutions! Start listening to your authentic self RIGHT NOW. Close your computer, put down your phone and become still. What is it you feel? What is it that you want to feel? What makes you happy?
Don’t let the Illusion of Progress sidetrack you, or keep you in your Ego’s comfort zone!
You may think you are doing self improvement by reading books, meditating and other self work, but remember, practice doesn’t make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect. (But don’t be a perfectionist about it either because the perfectionist qualities we practiced as a child no longer serve us as an adult. Learn more from my blog “Perfectionist qualities saved us”)
So, listen to your authentic voice. Write things down if you need to, we all need a reminder sometimes and start practicing to be YOU.
I’m wishing you all an amazing New Year. Make today, and tomorrow and the whole 2016 the time to be You and only You, with no regrets! (And if you need some inspiration, check out my list of 25 Ways to live a Turned-On Life.)
Loving You, today, tomorrow and always,