Stop navel gazing and get on with it!

This is what someone at work said years ago, and I agreed. Now I’m not so sure. And yet I’m also more sure than ever! Join me on this journey and see what occurs to you.

We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time. T. S. Elliot

She was someone I looked up to, this lady who said ‘stop navel gazing and get on with it!’. A no-nonsense, commerically-minded and very big hearted lady with a huge passion for the coal face of the business’s operation, and it looked to her like most of what happened in head office was navel gazing.

I remember being struck by her adamance of this statement to ‘stop navel gazing and get on with it’. Part of me, with a passion for the operational side of the business too, thought — yes! You’re right! Cue eye rolls about this wasteful head office activity.

But something in me seems to have always been drawn toward the navel gazing kind of life! And I’m so grateful for that! In fact a Human Design reading with Nat Couropmitree recently confirmed that part of my innate design is to want depth. It was even present back in those corporate days when I wanted to be a specialist in HR, with a depth of knowledge in one area, rather than generalist.

So when I left corporate — my mind already sparked by a bunch of self development books and the power of coaching — I went deep into psychology and the different schools of thought, and approaches, to support change at that level.

And the draw for depth as I began that journey terrified me! In fact at the end of my coach training I had a crisis of capability as it seemed as though the lid had been taken off a bottomless pit of depth, with endless research and learning appearing before me that I’d been oblivious to before. In the belief that I would only be a good coach when I knew it all, inevitably, tears flowed. It looked impossible How could I ever know all that?!! How can I learn all THAT depth?!

And so for the next 3 years there was alot of ‘navel gazing’. Lots of analysis of self and other. Lots of coaching and supervision over my behaviour, their behaviour, what was that saying about me or about them, what would ideal behaviour look like, and how do I do that behaviour in order to get the right outcomes?

Of course I was also living my life and ‘getting on with it’ — but given my work involved inviting others to navel gaze too, there was a fair amount of it happening!

So come 2017,

When it looked like all this navel gazing hadn’t really worked as I’d expected it to, it was so freeing to come across an understanding that said ‘you can stop all that’. An understanding that invited me to look away from what I was thinking, and whether it was right or not; and instead to look to the fact that I think. To get curious about where thoughts come from. And to start to notice how thinking is always changing…and experience is always changing as a result. And who’s doing all that?

Now — in the absence of analysis of the content — the navel had dropped another layer deeper. I was gazing even further within! Before the navel! But this exploration just looked like the most obvious thing to do (in spite of the mind saying ‘what on earth are you doing?!’).

And so it continued

Deeper and deeper. Now seeing that this space within, before thought, before an idea of me and what I think I’m like, before any concept or idea — is actually what we’ve all been looking for.

In our scurrying around on the surface of life ‘just getting on with it’ we’ve missed the fact that, what we’re looking for, is right here. In every single moment. Including in the scurrying!

It’s just less visible when we believe that the mind can tell us the answer to lasting peace and happiness, because from that place of belief we keep blindly following its stories into the next thing it says will make us happy. And the next thing…and the next…

The ongoing dissatisfaction that accompanies this state of ‘next thing…next thing’ is the beautiful nudge from life to point us back to the very navel gazing that the mind resists. The navel gazing which is wanted in order to see through the illusion we’ve been taught that ‘one day I’ll find the right job / partner / clients / income level / house… and then I’ll be happy’.

So why did I say that I’m also now more sure than ever that I need to ‘stop navel gazing and get on with it’?

Because, the deeper I’ve gone into this space before thought and before navels! The less convincing the idea of being a separate me has become and the less convincing the stories that are associated with that ‘me’ have become and…on the other side of that…is LIFE! Here! Ready to be lived exactly as it is with me exactly as I am.

Knowing that exactly how I am and exactly how life is are moments of perception. Constantly changing moments of aliveness which don’t need to be secured — can’t be secured — because the nature of it all is movement and change.

And now, knowing that what I essentially am — before the navel ;-)— doesn’t move or change, life becomes a playground of learning and connection because — well, why wouldn’t it? And why wouldn’t I just get on with it?

So for me,

Navel gazing, deeply down as far as I could go, has been the route through to the freedom of life that I am. That you are too. It was as though I needed to go right through it all to come out the other side and back into ‘getting on with it’ in life — although now from a totally different stand point than I was when I began — hence the quote at the start.

And so all the navel gazing, in all its forms, seems to have been the perfect path to be on. And the ‘getting on with it’ has always happened perfectly too!

But what about you?

We all have a unique path through life.

Did you come to the same realisation I have without needing to go to the depths I’ve gone to?

Do you feel like you’re swimming on the surface with no awareness of depth? And no desire to find it either?

Or are you a lover of navel gazing too, and wondering when you might fall out the other side and back into life?

Tell me about it, I’d love to hear.

With love, Helen

I coach and guide smart, passionate, curious people who care about improving the lives of those around them. Often coaches and leaders, they’ve worked hard all their lives to be the ‘best’ them and it doesn’t seem to have delivered the happiness, security or freedom they expected. Now they’re wondering what else is available. I guide you back, prior to stories, to remember the real you because that’s what you, me and the whole world really wants! Find out more here.

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