Are your tools accessible to you?

Finding notes I’ve jotted down is as delightful to me as finding forgotten money in pockets. They are everywhere: in my Tasks, in Evernotes, Notes, emails to Self, and in actual notebooks. I can argue that this is even better than having them all curated in one place because when I find one, it’s like the past me sending messages to the present me.

Here’s what I found today:

Until something becomes a part of your operating system [os], you won’t know how to use it. Instead of using the tools to manage anger, unless it becomes a part of your os, you are likely to push it away.

Being yourself

Waking up to who you are requires letting go of who you imagine yourself to be.

–Alan Watts

Otherwise, we’ve got something to measure up against and our attention goes to where we are falling short.

Being yourself is being in alignment with your essential nature, which, because we may not feel used to being there, can feel really vulnerable. In our minds, to be rejected by showing up as ourselves without the bravado, the shell, the attitude is unfathomable. We reject parts of ourselves first for protection, disconnecting ourselves from ourselves and others and essentially hurting our spirit. We take solace in that no one can hurt us (as much). But it doesn’t protect us from being angry, frustrated, anxious, or depressed. It holds us back from being free.

We’ve built up reactive habits that seem to project “who we are,” and we’ve confused them for our identity. It’s not who we are. It’s just what we’ve been doing. Who we are doesn’t change. We are enough, and that is and always will be true. What we do– that’s a choice once we are aware of it, and we can make different choices.

At the end, the worst kind of rejection is the kind where we do it to ourselves, and if no one ever rejects us, it’s probable that we’ve done exactly that. The true you will not be for everyone, but it will be for you, and it is and always will be the most powerful you. Each of us is meant to have an impact in the world by our mere existence (no one is “extra”), and unlocking it means to let go of who we imagine ourselves to be and just be.

Your taste will change…

Your taste in people will change when you learn to love yourself.

–credited to many

Likewise, when you learn to love yourself, your taste in the decisions you make will change; what was once palatable no longer will be, and what was dismissed may become the cornerstones of your life.

When you learn to love yourself, boundaries change. What used to take an incredible amount of will power may become effortless. Even the experience of weather changes.

Patience and compassion happens naturally along with a healthy sense of urgency and spontaneity. Self-doubt, blame, shame, and justification takes a back seat, not because there is no memory of it but because self-love takes much of the edge off.

When you learn to love yourself, forgiveness happens towards the abusers that exist both inside and out, and you become the richest person you know.

And the best part is, you don’t even have to change anything about yourself to start loving yourself. Because you are already lovable.

Live your life in the best way that you possibly can

and stop trying to do it for others.

Inspiration is powerful, and we can only inspire to the extent that we live our own lives. And, we can only inspire when others are open to being inspired. We have control over the former and none over the latter.

When our focus is on how we can change others (aka judging), it robs us of the opportunity to honestly connect. By living our own best, and letting others do the same in their own way and on their own time, we offer the gift of something we all need as humans: to be accepted and understood as we are.

Let others get where they need to go on their own terms, giving them the same courtesy you expect. They might come to you if and when they need help, and if you are meant to be their source of inspiration. So let it go. Love and respect their process, and live your life.

When it's not a part of our OS

When our practice, or how we would like to be, has not become a part of our operating system, we often default to our old behaviors when things get crazy, tough, or depressing because those old behaviors are a part of our OS. It can feel too hard to operate differently when we have so many mountains to climb. The new tools can feel inaccessible. And that’s because they are new.

Or, we can find a new way to be during challenging times, because that’s our motivation, and we do it until things get a little better, and either the plateau or the perceivably good kind of busy takes over and we drop the new way back to our old. Until things get “bad,” and then we revisit the “new,” perhaps asking why we ever left it.

Either way, we often pick up new systems as a reactive measure and miss the real value in a daily discipline to integrate it as a part of who we are. If you experienced the miracles of your practice just over a few weeks or months, and you felt the potential of what it could do over time, imagine where it could take you once it became your new OS.