Light Watkins is hosting the 21-Day Meditation Challenge on Wanderlust TV, has performed on Wanderlust stages from Los Angeles to London, and has authored three books: Inner Gym, Bliss More, and the brand new book Knowing Where to Look, by of which the following is an excerpt.
Mark Twain famously said that our two most important days in life are the day we are born and the day we find out why. But I would add a third day to this philosophy: the day we start taking action for our purpose – our why.
People spend years pondering their passion and purpose without ever taking meaningful action, mostly out of fear of failure, embarrassment, or perhaps self-imposed racism, ageism, or sexism. But we could argue that of our three important days, the third day is the one most important. And the best news of all is that today may be our third day. We just have to take one action. A small but useful step will be enough. This could do some research or even forego missing out on an activity that will save time to gain momentum in the days to come.
What Can You Do Today to Respond to Your Why?
The wrong note
The pianist Herbie Hancock was Miles Davis’ protégé for five years. During their very first appearance together, they were playing against each other and improvising. Then Hancock accidentally struck the wrong chord.
“It was wonderful.” Hancock recalled, “Miles is at the height of his solo and then I played that chord that was so wrong. It was so wrong. I thought I just … we built a house of cards and I destroyed them all, you know? And Miles just took a breath and then played some notes that got my chord right. “
Hancock said he couldn’t figure out how, but Miles somehow corrected his “wrong” note. “It took me years to realize that Miles didn’t judge my chord. I did,” he said. Miles later explained, “It’s not the note you’re playing that is the wrong note – it is the note you play after that that makes it right or wrong. “
One more thing to note: As we mature spiritually, we understand that while an unintended event may occur on the surface, there are no errors in a wider range of consciousness – just learning and growth opportunities. By practicing looking at mistakes this way, you can move yourself into the space where you see them as opportunities. This will help minimize the evil will associated with it, and anyone can get around it ASAP.
Have you made a mistake lately? Have you tried to fix the problem? Have you been involved in a judgment? What is one step you can take now to get it right?
What feels right
An old man, a boy, and a donkey drove into town. The boy rode the donkey while the old man walked. As they moved on, people noticed that it was a shame for the old man to walk and ride the boy. The man and boy thought that maybe the critics were right, so they switched positions.
They later passed some people who said, “What a shame, a grown man lets this little boy run.” So they both decided to leave. Soon they passed more people who thought they would be stupid if they had a donkey to ride. So they both rode the donkey.
Next they passed some people who shamed them by saying how terrible it was to burden a poor donkey like that. No matter what you do or how you do it, there will be people who have an opinion about it. Since you obviously can’t please everyone, stand on your side doing what feels right for you.
More to consider: There is a saying that I like to remember when I receive criticism: You will never be criticized by people who do more than you – only those who do less. The loudest critics are usually the audience watching from the comfort of the sidelines. Those who take action don’t have time to criticize you for being too busy pursuing their own dreams. And true leadership requires you to stand up to criticism and focus on your dream.
The other day I had to force myself to exercise for about the millionth time. One would think that after more than twenty years of training it would be easier to take your time. But most days I still have to plead to move. And the excuses are often the same: I’m too tired, I have more important things to do, blah blah blah.
But when I investigated my apology that night, I found that the solution to my problem was hidden in the apology: exercising would give me the energy I didn’t have. It would improve the quality of my sleep. It would strengthen my will the next time I don’t feel like exercising anymore.
I knew what to do. And as is 100 percent the case, I was so glad I took the trouble. But I will probably resist again in the near future. And hopefully overcoming my last resistance makes it a bit easier to overcome the next resistance. I wish you the best of luck with your resistance. And remember, the more you defeat it, the weaker it gets.
When someone says, “I did the job on myself” (a phrase that is often heard in places like Los Angeles and Bali), it means that they have deleted their previous triggers and projections and are now accessing their most authentic selves.
When they are a little more developed, they can say, “I’ll do the work,” and they can even acknowledge that the process never ends. And when they’re evolved, they won’t say anything about the work because they’ll understand that how much work they think is done or how much they have left doesn’t really matter.
The most developed of us know that what really happens is the work that is done to us – whether we like it or not, whether we are aware of it or not, whether we have the language for it or not. Awareness of it doesn’t kill you. It just makes the idea of ”the work” a little easier to accept.
Excerpt from Knowing Where To Look: 108 Daily Doses of Inspiration by Light Watkins © 2021 Light Watkins, reprinted with permission from Writer and Editor, Sounds True, Inc.
Light Watkins is the founder of The Shine Movement and author of Knowing Where to Look: 108 Daily Doses of Inspiration, Bliss, More: How to Meditate Successfully Without Trying, and The Inner Gym: A 30-Day Workout to Build Happiness . He has been active in meditation and wellness for nearly two decades and has also given a popular TEDx lecture entitled “Debunking the 5 Most Common Meditation Myths”.
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