[Posted to Huffington Post Living, 13 October 2010]
There were two working titles for this piece: “Authoring Your Life” and “Raising Your Vibration.” I chose “authoring” because it’s a bit more accessible (and because it took me over 10 years to stop cringing when I heard the word “vibration” mentioned with regards to my energy or my practice). It’s an elusive word for most, and I will take a brief moment of your time here to describe how “authoring your life” and “raising your vibration” are actually one and the same.
“Raising Your Vibration” is the title of a workshop I’m co-teaching with Laurie Gerber, the head of the Life Coaching division of the Handel Group. Laurie is a powerhouse, although you wouldn’t know that from looking at her. Then she begins sharing her experience and understanding with clarity and such candor in her teaching, and it’s positively riveting. From Laurie I’m learning the art of authorship; really, how to take responsibility, moment to moment, for the life I’m leading. In my previous Huffington Post piece, “Art of Attention: Stand Still and Choose,” I touched on the assumption we make that things are the way they are, and the option we all have of truly choosing our state of being. This post takes it a step further: Would you like to be the actual author of your life experience?
Let’s first elaborate briefly on three popular obstacles to authorship:
- Saying that we can “feel bad” about something does not absolve us of responsibility. Notice how many times a day you say to yourself or others, “I feel so bad about (that habit),” or “I feel so terrible for (that thing that I said).” I was shocked to see how often I say or think that, and I am now working on remembering that “feeling bad” is just another excuse to back away from telling the truth in an uncomfortable situation. Lay it out, free yourself (and everyone around you) by telling the truth; and watch how you begin to feel more magnetic, more vibrant, more resonant and clear in your daily life.
- We complain a lot, and with enough repetition, complaints can become the words that define our existence. For only one day, write down every complaint you say or think. You’ll be amazed. When I first did this in earnest, I complained to fill space and make others feel better (or so I thought), over 12 times in one day. I saw the deleterious, dulling effects on my own system, and by day two I was down to half as many complaints. It only takes a week to eradicate this from your life if you’re really dedicated to it. Carry a pad and pen. Get this done. This will help you get closer to the clean truth-telling that is required to be the author of your experience.
- We simply don’t tell the whole truth about the tiniest, silliest things. This includes exaggerations, partial truths, misrepresentations, secrets and avoiding something that might “hurt” someone. If you want to stay young, confess to yourself and to the folks around you, and you will see years literally erased from your face. Yes, eating dark leafy greens and taking plenty of Omega 3s helps a lot, but I believe telling the truth all the time, no matter how uncomfortable it is, relaxes your face and keeps you young. I’m here to tell you that turning 40 is actually a dream — when you’re in the practice of telling the truth in every aspect of your life.
Presenting Manly P. Hall, author of “Road to Inner Light” (p. 102-3), with my notes in brackets:
Take time to realize that all the different moods and conflicts that arise within yourself are causing great disasters to this vast empire within your own nature. If you could see what happens inside of you when you have a temper fit [or tell a lie] you would be far less inclined to have one. You would be amazed if you could see the tremendous death rate arising from the conflicts of ambition within yourself — how you are destroying whole populations [your healthy cells and organs that are destroyed every time you get angry or lie to someone], how you are taking free beings within your own body and casting them into slavery and serfdom [all your systems and functions become slaves to such negativity], how you are denying the rights of citizenship to all these different levels of yourself.
And on governing yourself inwardly, continuing this metaphor and bringing the idea of true authorship home, more from Mr. Hall. This bit brings back a critical point raised for me years ago by my teacher Hugo Cory. “Your purpose of government is always the same: to give the greatest freedom and the greatest opportunity to all things within the broad pattern of a constructive legislation. Freedom is never apart from law; and good laws, prepared with wisdom, permit all the different forms of life [within yourself] to fulfill their natural purposes without distortion, without conflict.”
Lastly, and perhaps most impactful: “We’ve seen what happens in mob violence — [can you see] how quickly this tyranny breaks out in us…” Exactly as we hope for our world, we want an inner environment of kindly, generous, constructive citizens [systems, organs and cells]. Every time we tell the truth, we are moving in that direction, we are authoring our lives, we are raising our vibration, inviting the highest, cleanest-burning energy to light us up and become our state.
Special gratitude to Libby Weintraub for the vision piece entitled “I Will.”