The majority of questions I receive in the workshops and retreats that I give, begin with ‘how’. How can I make this happen? How can I achieve this? How can I solve this problem? How can I make it better? How can I get this faster? How can I make others understand me? Usually I answer: there is no how. Then I see them all look up puzzled, just as if they expect me to present them with the ‘how’ on a serving tray and as if, with the flick of a finger, their life would be better.
Basing your life on gimmicks and methods to achieve things faster, is tricky, I think. It is looking for a constant shortcut, so that you don’t have to go the whole mile. In the end it can mean that you never want to make any more effort for something. That you don’t pick up your problems properly at the core, but always try and sail around them. Bad for your mentality and bad for your spirit, if you ask me.
Growing in levels
‘How questions’ are deeply rooted in our system. They keep thought patterns going which are better to break sometimes. But with all the information and possibilities that we have thanks to internet, it is almost crazy if you choose for the long route. With the long route I mean investing time in self-searching, in making your feelings clear, getting insights into your habits and beliefs and what you really find important deep inside. The knowledge is life changing. But it takes time. And that is just what we don’t have.
So, what is the alternative? A handy habit tracker. A 7-minute workout. A yoga lesson online so that you don’t have to go out of the door. A buddy in your pocket that reminds you of your next Zen moment. Saving time seems to have become our highest priority. I can look in amazement sometimes how many new apps and technology appear on the market every month to help us to transform the saving of time in our life, but we don’t transform… we fragment. Our emotional processes become shorter and shorter, just like our moments of happiness. We no longer grow in natural phases, but in levels. And in reality, from ‘growing fast and adjusting’ the main question is still the same: ‘How to I reach my next level?
Why don’t you just go through it?
The person who is on the way is happy. I repeat: happy are those who try and remain on the way. I truly believe this. The destination is always a disappointment. It is not because it was different than you thought it would be, it is the realization that you cannot remain standing still otherwise you might go mad. I prefer never to ask myself ‘how’. I don’t find that interesting, because it keeps me away from my feeling. I don’t want a ‘quick fix or an aspirine’, because I find it more interesting to actually live through something. This is what I often give to people when they feel down: why don’t you just go through it? Why don’t you just let it happen? Live through the emotions … let them flow. Perhaps they will lead you to somewhere you might never have gone.
I realize that this message does not make me really popular, because it is not what people want to hear. They want your magic, your ‘secret to success’, your key, your plan. They want to know how you managed it all, to be able to come up with something unique and be able to inspire others. Sure, there are ways you can analyze, and I could actually recite a list of points and in that way serve a ‘yes nodding’ audience. But who am I helping that way? My way is not your way. My filter is not your filter. I experience the world differently than you and therefore it’s pointless trying to follow me.
I love to inspire, but in a way that I am able put people into their own power. Claiming ‘how’ you achieve something is not powerful, just like saying that you can help everyone, whilst that is not the case. You can inspire and contribute something. You can show someone the right way. But you cannot put something on someone, because it has to come from within. The highest thing attainable should be freeing someone from the ‘how mentality’ and allowing them to move freely. Not emotions that are restraining but more leading: they bring you to your truth and movement – it is not without reason: E-motion = energy in motion.
Dare to experience
During this coming year, this will set the tone for all the events that I am going to organize. Daring to experience. Not being afraid of failure, giving up or falling out of the norm, but just putting your problems on the table without the feeling that you are not worthy. Not falling for people who want to give you the ‘how’ but connecting with people who want to experience it with you. Mentally knowing that we all know what we have to do, but it’s about the connection on an emotional level. What do you feel? Do you recognize this feeling in others? Can you go deeper together? Can you reach a turning point together?
Let’s bring back the warmth to the interactions that we have. Let’s forget about the ‘how’ and focus on feeling. Let’s enjoy the journey. Let’s make the journey the goal. In the 15 years that I have been doing this work, this is what is has always been about: keep growing, experiencing and making mistakes. And if I have to then attach the ‘how’ to my work, then it is ‘how can I continue to be a student of life?’
So, as the well-known artist Michelangelo said when he was 87 years old: ‘I am still learning.’
From heart to heart,