What would you try…?

(a classic post from 2008)



I’ve been diving fairly deeply into my stuff the last 14 months, and this morning during meditation, I think I hit a new level of integration. I’d grazed across it about four months ago, then lost it… so I’m not certain how long it will take for me to hold it. If past experience is any measure, I’d say about three or four more months. But the point I reached seems to be a resolution of several interesting dualities: black/white, male/female, child/adult, parent/child. Resolving the duality would allow me to function above the level of apparent lack or hurt, and would free up the energy currently locked in that emotional scar tissue.

Great, if I’m right. Movement from one to another level requires an increase in available energy: that either means MORE energy, or more exquisitely focused energy. Frankly, I like to go for both simultaneously.

What would you aspire to, if you KNEW you could not fail?

That’s our question of the day. We limit ourselves in so many ways. Our heads are filled with ideas of what is not possible — for us, or for anyone. And yet the leaders and shapers of the world dare to dream beyond those limits. Sometimes they fail. So what? I remember someone saying to me: “Steve, you dream too big. You’re setting yourself up for disappointment.” So what? I’m a big boy. I can handle it.

But you know what I can’t handle? Feeling that I’m not living up to my potential. That’s just me. I imagine two scenarios:
1) At the moment of death, it is revealed to me that my dreams exceeded my capacities.
2) At the moment of death, it is revealed to me that my capacities exceeded my dreams.

I don’t know about you, but the second one sucks. I would rather go all out, break my heart again and again and again, pick my self up bloody and bruised and hurl myself at the locked gate again, than slink off and nurse my wounds and join the “you can’t win” crowd.

Now, better still is to simply operate in a Zen state of awareness where your normal daily activities, approached with intensity but not strain, naturally takes you through your personal evolution. Just awaken every day, chop wood and carry water, love your spouse, play with your children, play with your toys, tend your garden, rejoice in the life God gave you, and go to bed each night pleasantly exhausted and ready for renewal and a new day. Effort, but no strain. Just hunting and gathering and loving and giving and growing.

And I think that it starts by re-claiming your dreams. So ask yourself: What would you aspire to if you KNEW you could not fail? Choose goals in all three major arenas. Begin to move toward them. Find role models in all three areas, and determine their belief systems, mental syntax, and use of physiology. As you run into barriers, mark them on your mental “map”: you are exploring the intersection of internal and external reality. As you experience fear investigate it, and see where your emotions are knotted. And every day, celebrate the joy of sheer existence.

Let’s make 2008 a fabulous year for all of us. There’s enough joy to go around. Love, health, and success are not zero-sum games.

-Steve Barnes, http://darkush.blogspot.com/2008/01/what-if-you-knew-you-could-not-fail.html


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