I have started listening to a book by Vishen Lakhiani that I would like to recommend for you to think about reading. It is a book called "The Code of the Extraordinary". Vishen is the CEO of the MindValley Academy which offers an amazing array of learning opportunities for self-awareness and growth. I first came in contact with him several years ago through an ad and through some of the free seminars that he was offering with well-known speakers in an online seminar format. These would be about 90 minutes with the first 60 being real content followed by the sales pitch to buy the whole seminar package.
I found that listening to these online were quite inspiring, and I learned a number of ideas and techniques that I have built into my practice and my meditations over the last few years. So when I found this book, I was excited. He has taken a number of the ideas from his teachings and put them together into this book, giving advice, personal stories of his own struggles, and conceptual models for the reader to use to build on and personalize.
One of these was his story of his awakening to understanding an internal struggle in a new and different way by being open to the opportunity to listen and learn. He tells the story of being at a week-long retreat, and near the end, he was given the gift of learning from one of the monks who was one of the teachers. The monk told him that his problem was low self esteem. He was outraged by this suggestion as he always worked hard to show his confidence and worth. But as the monk demonstrated to him, that was how he demonstrated his weakness. If one has low self esteem in one's being then one may DO things to compensate for that. It is an issue of being and doing. When the Being part is suffering, the most logical thing would be to move into a Doing state to prove that this is not the case, that this is a temporary situation. And, as a result, we move into habitual states of Doing to keep proving to ourselves over and over again that we are okay. And since it isn't really the answer, we have to keep repeating this practice.
I have also found that when an individual is uncomfortable in his or her Being, he or she can become an over-achiever, an over-performer, a star, so that they can be seen and rewarded. This is looking to external approval as the internal approval mechanisms have failed to provide sufficient reward. This need for outside attention can lead to overt attention-getting behavior that sometimes is even more painful than the original condition, such as bed-wetting or excessive weight gain or unruly behavior in a child who is seeking to be seen and feel that just Being is enough.
As an adult, we have had years to develop strategies to help us cope with those aspects of us that we consider weak, bad, under-producing, or otherwise problematic. Depending on the stories that we learned as we grew up, we have adopted scripts for what life brings, what happens to us and around us, for explaining everything we see and know, and for the habits that we create to facilitate life, This is the human way.
So what if you have just had an AHA moment and learned that all of this Doing-ness might be covering up for old and unwanted stories about your Being-ness? I had that when I read Vishen's story. The AHA for me is that I do lots of proving my worth to myself (and in my child mind, to others, so they will appreciate me). And just like Vishen, I have found that Doing does not replace valuing my Being state.
So What's Next? I have been doing a morning meditation that focuses on both Being and Doing and gratitude related to both of these aspects of my life. I have shifted more into a focus on my Being-ness and being mindful of points of discomfort. These are the areas of growth, and each is worth pursuing.
I continue to focus on breathing exercises where I breathe in the energy of the Universe and breathe out my engagement with it. We are all part of the flow of Abundance, and just like our breath, we can just be with the flow in and out. I have added to this flow a mantra of "I am. I am Enough". My subconscious needs to hear this repeatedly so it becomes part of the new programming that replaces the old stories of inadequacy in Being-ness.
Breathing is simple and straight-forward, and as a meditation it can provide both relaxation, centering and grounding, and an invigorated self that is at peace with Being. It doesn't happen overnight, but then again, it took years for me to learn my biggest and most exotic stories.