Is there a repeating pattern in your life that keeps causing you problems? This happens to us all, and the brilliance of it is to see that this could in fact be your super power, your unique flavour that you’re here to live. But it’s been misappropriated along the way. Read on and notice what occurs to you.
I was listening to Russell Brand’s latest podcast episode with Duncan Trussell this weekend. Russell talked about how different cultures say a different number of wives is right but no culture says someone will be applauded for running away in battle of for letting their friends down.
I’m not even sure the latter are consistently 100% true but I get Russell’s point that there are some things that we just know, in our hearts, that are out of alignment with who we really are at core. A deeper knowing of ‘real’ good, ‘really’ the right thing to do. But it can only be known for this moment now. It can’t be packaged up and carried into a future moment — which is what we’ve built societies on — instead this knowing is before any of our conceptual ideas of good/bad, right/wrong.
This essence, this goodness: pure honesty, genuine care for others, pure passion, deep connection, unbridled joy, definite yes’s and no’s, unfettered learning, a whole-istic being. This is who we are at core. This is what we’ve all been searching for, and failing to find in the material, physical world.
And it’s all available to all of us because it’s what we really are.
No baby needs a therapist. No toddler commits what would be counted as crime. They act from their essence of pure being. Doing, learning, changing. That’s what we’re designed for.
We’ve just lost sight of it because it’s been covered over by thought-created, conceptual rules and regulations that have been taken as truths. And in believing the concepts to be truths we’ve become lost and confused and we suffer.
So this pure essence is what lives us, it’s at our core — what we really are — and it’s the same for every single human (and creature and plant and object) on this planet.
But I’m different to them
So the essence is universal and then it alivens a body and seems to take on a flavour which is unique to that person, like a light being shone through a coloured window.
Russell’s flavour (it feels a bit wrong writing that!!) was talked about in a previous episode when Wendy Mandy said she saw how he has great power. That’s the colour that life lives in him. And along the way that natural predisposition to live a role of power got commandeered by an ego, believing something had to be done with this power to ‘make it’ and be ‘successful’ in the world. How can I use this power. How can I control it or control others. And, when scared of it, how can I shut off from it via drugs?
Same with all of us. I guess it’s why people can get to mid life and chuck out their manufactured, socially acceptable life for the one they wanted to have when they were 5 — back when they were closer to their essence and closer to their innate flavour.
I’ve been wondering about my own flavour recently. The words of my mum have been popping into my mind: ‘think before you speak’. With good intent. She heard me speak with that honesty we have as children and wanted to curb comments like ‘she’s fat’ while in earshot of the person.
As a kid of course this is just an observation like saying ‘it’s a dog’ but heard through an adults ears these words were terrible. And so she was teaching me the ways of the British world as she knew it. Educating me in what’s counted as acceptable and not acceptable to say.
Trouble is, as children, we absorb some of these ideas as truths. Maybe tainted with the panic or fear of our carer when it was said, tainted with the shame we felt for having said the words that we didn’t know were ‘wrong’. We absorb an idea that we’re not good people if we say those things. We slowly stop seeing Reality because we start blindly following rules and regulations to do what we’re told is ‘good’ to avoid the shame.
Imagined at that age to be a source of safety, we often carry these beliefs, unquestioned, into adulthood. Ideas which, the more they’re believed, the more they gradually disconnect us from life. Going from being useful, practical information about how people in this culture tend to respond in the presence of those words, they become absolutes, essential to us being OK.
At the same time this is happening, so is the development of an idea of self, an ego, and so the two become entwined. Speech for me then seemed to become a conscious effort. Stay on the right side of the speaking line. Don’t say anything that will upset. Be good. Avoid shame. Avoid judgement.
It makes perfect sense from the belief that our good-enough-ness comes from the words we say. But our essence knows that’s not true. Life knows that’s not true. So we feel the discomfort of this misalignment, of this lie we tell. And gradually life starts to seep out round the edges to help us realise that.
For me that took the form of ‘wrong’ words leaking out. I remember on younger, drunken days, walking through town with friends. Someone was collecting for cancer research and I called out ‘what’s the point?? We’re all going to die anyway!’
At that time my friends knew this Helen and they found her shocking and funny and we would laugh at her inappropriateness the next day.
I see in that the honest words of truth wanting to come out but not knowing how. Being scrambled on their way to the surface via an internal struggle of truth vs ego. Suppression vs expression. Words wanted to be said and there was nowhere for them to BE said. In the presence of alcohol and therefore in the quietening of conscious ‘think before you speak’ rules, the words came out. Just wonky. Angry. Hurting.
Later in life, the same happened, this time the honest but wonky words were said direct to a friend. Words which ended the friendship but began a line of inquiry that brought me to here.
It was like the last alarm bell to say ‘stop trying to control your speech’ because the attempts to control were increasingly creating experiences of apparent unkindness from me and upset in the world.
As I sit here now, I see the simple honesty and truth at the heart of what I said to the cancer research people, and to my friend. And I see the internal suffering that inevitably meant those words wouldn’t be heard as loving truths.
Now, it’s different. The other week, I said to a client in their session — in the context of a challenge they had relating to bereavement — ‘so what do you think about death?’. At one time I’d have shied away from the question, I might have run scared from their response ‘OMG you went there! Blimey!’.
Now, living closer and closer to what’s really going on, the words came out from love, the client’s discomfort was seen with love, and he explored and saw fears lurking round corners. Imagined ideas limiting his experience of life.
Another step back towards our inner essence. Another layer of illusion lifted.
Because this is what happens when we explore what’s constant and what’s illusory. Layers of made up rules and regulations dissolve, without us even needing to manually work on them all.
And then our unique flavour can be seen more and more.
Our innate brilliance shining out.
And so Russell increasingly uses his power, consciously, from increasingly seeing and knowing, and maybe my power is to say it like it is, to speak the truth that others fear to say. Who knows…all I know is to keep exploring what’s real and what’s illusory. Whatever shows up from there is closer to love and closer to the essence, more pure, cleaner, less tangled. Increasingly in the flow.
I’ve heard people say this takes courage, I don’t know. Maybe from the perspective of the ego it does. Even though it’s just a thought-creation it will fight against its demise, believing life can’t successfully go on without it.
But it becomes increasingly obvious that this is the only way to go. That this is what we’ve been looking for and what we’ve been unable to find in the ‘normal’, apparently ‘real’ world. This knowing of who we really are has in fact never gone anywhere, it’s just been veiled by the activity of ego all this time.
So if this is sparking something for you, if it’s resonating at all, you’re already heading in this direction and, like jumping in a river, the flow will carry you. It seems this is what we’re all here to realise. It seems preferable that we realise it while we’re alive than on our deathbed, which is where many people do.
My recommendation is to follow that spark, follow what makes sense, go with what you’re drawn to — books, podcasts, practices, coaches. That’s the path for you and it could never be another way.
With love, Helen
I work with people who want a quieter mind and a more fulfilling life. They’re smart, passionate people who are curious about there being a better way. They’ve worked hard to get to here and yet something’s still missing: ‘is this it?’. In our work we explore and reconnect to innate brilliance so they rediscover a quieter mind, fulfillment and balance. Find out more here.