Just returned from leading a 5 day retreat on the subject of calling into our lives that which we desire, perhaps in the face of the naysaying thoughts, the old worn out beliefs and the ever so busy monkey mind chattering thoughts. It took every ounce of discipline I had not to succumb to the sometimes overwhelming ‘ imposter syndrome’ ruckus. Wikipedia defines it as a “psychological phenomenon in which people are unable to internalize their accomplishments. Despite external evidence of their competence, those with the syndrome remain convinced that they are frauds and do not deserve the success they have achieved. Proof of success is dismissed as luck, timing, or as a result of deceiving others into thinking they are more intelligent and competent than they believe themselves to be.” Even as I was driving there, I had this nagging feeling that ‘if I haven’t mastered the process, then how in the world would I ever be able to teach it?’ As a transformational teacher I have this facade that I sometimes feel a need to put forth (silly me), when the truth is, people feel a stronger connection when they see authenticity out front first and foremost. I become far more relate-able when I reveal my clay feet, snarky judgements, cave-fears, belly butterflies and temporarily trembling knees. I know I have greater respect for writers and speakers who are willing to strip off the symbolic robes and stand emotionally naked. As a book reviewer, I read tons of books, both for pleasure and critique. I can’t even begin to tell you how many authors have the voice of doubt screeching at them about whether their creation will a huge success or ginormous flop. Here I thought it was just me.
Recently I was speaking with a spiritually practicing yoga teacher, musician, minister friend and we both shared about our frustration with our dual roles of eagerly creative souls and necessary but reluctant business women. The first part comes naturally, the second with dragging feet, leaving trenches in the dirt. She commented that even in the midst of enjoying hearing other kirtan artists, she is thinking about how she can perform the song. Hmmmm….familiar to this wordsmith who in the midst of enjoying…whatever….I am thinking how I can write about it. Is there a way out of that goofy thought process? She also pointed out the paradox that doing the biz part of her right livelihood work in the world, feels like it pulls her out of the deeply spiritual connection she has. I am learning that they are not mutually exclusive. What if all of the details are a spiritual practice in an of themselves? My dear friend and mentor Yvonne Kaye would often say to me “Discipline is freedom.”. This made me cringe at times, since back then I was an airy fairy, cosmic foo foo type of person and it felt inhibiting. Since then, I have embraced that idea because I know that when I have some semblance of stucture in my life, I can play as much as I want. I am also learning that when I put my best foot forward, I will get to my destination all the sooner and when I let my true colors shine through, a rainbow prism reflects all of my facets and gives others permission to radiate too.
http://youtu.be/LPn0KFlbqX8 True Colors-Cyndi Lauper