Practice, Practice, Practice.
Practice makes perfect.
We’ve heard the quotes, we’ve understood them and we’ve used them regularly to counsel others.
If you find that you haven’t been successful at making something happen, it’s a possibility that it could be one of two reasons
When it is, you are in joy, in the vortex, in the (universal) flow. As deliberate creators, we know the magic of being in the vortex. Things fall in place, the action is inspired and happiness is found in everything.
Masters and experts are made because they ‘DO’, they practice, they apply, and they experiment allowing for trial and error. Again and again.
In the video this morning, I talked about transformation and physical health being two sides of the same coin. When I started to pursue this for myself, like everyone else in my generation, I went to the gym. In the second year when I paid the annual gym fee and didn’t ever go to work-out, I knew that the gym was not for me. I haven’t been back for 12 years. Not my thing, not my path to walk.
I still cared deeply about improving the quality of my overall health. With trial and error, I found it in yoga, in walking, in trekking. Totally up my alley. Now, you couldn’t pay me enough to stop doing any of them. I’ve tried running, kickboxing, cycling, Tai-chi and a few more before I figured out what I loved.
The more I explored yoga, I realized my favorite were Surya Namaskars (sun salutations). Two months ago when I started my journey towards the 108 sets of sun salutations, it seemed like a long road out. I started at 9 sets and doing just 9 made me pant and reach for water as if I was ending a 30-mile run! Now I do 45 sets without breaking a sweat.
OK, I do sweat! But the point is, I leveled up!
What has this particular pursuit taught me so far?
When you offer your time in the perfection of your craft; within the simple act of repetitions you will find answers to the questions in your head, you will learn nuances about yourself, and you will begin to move in the (universal) flow.
That’s where your genius will rise, where inspiration will come; in the (universal) flow, in the vortex.
Isn’t that how every expert or master does it?
We’ve all heard some version of this quote; the only one stopping you is you.
And it is so true. The second ‘you’ referenced in the quote is your EGO. Ego is what separates the subconscious (the source) and the reality we experience. It’s an artificial intelligence that gives you a sense of identity and reality.
The Ego can only survive by perpetuating a false sense of separation; your separation from the source and your separation from others. To achieve this separation, tools like anger, jealousy, resentment, pride, pity, blame and dislike (to name a few) are always its disposal.
The game is very simple, the Ego constantly deploys one of its favorite tools, you then react to the stimulus, and as a result, the Ego becomes more distinct and powerful.
We are moving cities and so this past week I have been traveling and have been looking for a new home. On the one hand, I manifested the perfect set up to start anew but on the other, I was drowning in guilt. I was feeling guilty that I had not worked a single day to further my work. It was really bringing me down.
In true 'coach' fashion, I used my go-to tool to figure this out.
Through the use of the process I came to realize that it wasn't that I was feeling guilty that I didn’t work; it was that I was upset that others were doing fabulous things while I had nothing new to put out. And I felt that somehow as a result of not working, I was losing an imaginary race and others were getting ahead.
It took me all of one second to know that this was my Ego causing a disconnect. And it was in full swing, critiquing me to a pulp and to a point where it didn’t feel good to be me.
That’s where I S-H-U-T that sh*t down!
And in true 'Ruby' fashion, said out loud as if I was talking directly to it;
‘I see you, I see what you are trying to do and NO, I am not going to play. This is NOT my game. It is not in line with my commitment to Ease, Love, and Well-Being. I understand you exist but NOT at my expense, NOT by moving me away from the source. It’s time for you to sit down, my friend.’
I still have more scripting to do around this and maybe employ music to help raise my energy to joy. But just saying that out loud made such a difference for me.
For the record, it is one of most uncomfortable things to go through. You know, when you start to be honest and call yourself out like this. But I do this because I know nothing fruitful is going to come out of staying in a dark place like this.
There are many more connections and behavior patterns that I have uncovered and I also have something to say about the Power of Vulnerability, but that’s writing for another time.
At some point all of us have to deal with our ego and it is not a onetime affair. It’s a constant practice and one that's worth all the work.
Because that's when you start to become The Unstoppable Force.
Until next time here's to Ease, Love, and Well-Being.
This post was inspired because like me a lot of you are currently in the midst of going full steam ahead with your goals. It could be a new job, a new relationship, purchasing a home, running an important project at work or building a business. (*Please feel free to add what it is that you are moving towards)
Here’s the thing about the journey towards goals and dreams; you start with an end result in mind, align with your inner wisdom and have a plan to get there. But then, ever so often you evaluate where you are and spiral into thoughts like ‘Am I ever going to get there’ or ‘why hasn’t it shown up yet’ or ‘why is it taking so long’.
It happens to me more than I'd like to admit. A few days ago, out of nowhere, I remembered this memory of my three-year-old nephew that gives me an interesting perspective about the process of achieving goals.
Earlier this year, my entire family spent two weeks vacationing at my parent’s home. I was selected as the go-to entertainer by my three-year-old nephew and I was on-call 24X7. I had one of two jobs, either I was performing for him or I was playing the audience as he did his thing. (It was mostly me being the audience as he continued to rock out doing his thing!)
He loved doing puzzles and he had quite a few boxes to his credit. Every time he sat down to ‘chill’ with his puzzle box, he always had the same flow of actions. First, he would lay down the board and drop the puzzle pieces to the side. Second, he would stare at the board for a few seconds as if he was making a mental note of what he was to do in the immediate future.
He’d go on to pick up a random piece (any piece, generally the one within arm’s reach; easy was his guiding principle!) and then he'd mostly try to ‘guess’ the placement of that piece on the board. Some pieces he’d know straight away. Some he’d try to place a couple of ways and then get right. While others he was immediately aware he didn’t know and would drop without thinking twice; as he moved on to the next one. As the board filled up, the outline for those unknown pieces would start to show themselves. And that's when he'd make his 'easy' move to put those 'unknowns' on the board.
It was remarkable to see his focus on that board and he never got frustrated with the unknown pieces; all the while humming his way to the finish. At the end, he’d raise his hands and declare ‘I did it!’ with a huge smile on his face.
I thought to myself, how cool it would be if I engage his strategy? Why am I losing focus of ‘my board’ and why am I not ‘playing the puzzle’ and enjoying the process?
So those of you that are on that journey towards achieving goals; here's a reminder of the upsides of playing it like a three-year-old would play a puzzle:
The next time I find myself in a funk about how it's going; I am going engage my nephew's ninja playing approach to snap me out.
I am going to remind myself that it’s like playing a puzzle!
This one is field tested and it works every single time!
It is a simple yet effective way to test your Self Love levels and mastery. Pass this one and you know you got success in the bag!
You can then safely move on to using any other tools or practices to further your goals and get what you want!
Just so we are on the same page; Self Love = Self Acceptance = Self-Compassion.
Self Love ≠ Self Esteem (Ego)
And yes, what you heard is true, valuing what you have to offer, accepting your areas of development, being considerate of your own needs as an individual directly relates to your success, happiness, confidence, and satisfaction.
OK back to this litmus test. Here’s how it works:
1. Identify the sample: Think of your immediate environment, people or things that are extensions of your reality, your home, your partner, your children, close friends, business mate, your reflection in the mirror, your body…
2. Administer and observe: Think of each of your chosen extensions and pay attention to how you feel about them. Do you love everything about it? Does it lift you up? Or does it make you feel crappy? Do you primarily think about the good qualities? Or do you find yourself listing things that are lacking? You could list your thoughts, it helps.
3. Interpret the results: If you find yourself feeling a lack for your extensions, you know you have work to do with amping your self-acceptance and self-compassion.
4. Work the connection: Being in a place of lack about any part of ‘you’ isn’t going to serve you. When you do find an area that needs alignment of thought, engage your favorite practice to get into alignment.
You might ask, how can thoughts about the external environment indicate the level of Self-Love? What does that have to do with anything?
The answer is, E-V-E-R-Y-thing!
The environment is a reflection of what you feel inside. How we feel inside directs our everyday focus; and what we focus on, we bring into our existence.
Here’s an example of how it played out for me:
Over the last six months, I have been rebuilding my practice and I have gone back and forth with the marketing and branding. I am in the process of finding joy for marketing; I even tried to work with a marketing professional to identify a way forward. That didn’t go anywhere because I wasn’t inspired by any of the solutions.
When I don’t get inspired I know it’s time to deep dive and take a closer look at what’s causing the lack. And so, I did the Self Love Litmus test and I chose my website and my practice as my intended samples.
As I was interpreting the results, I found myself writing limiting beliefs about the website name! Things like; ‘It’s not easy to remember.’ ‘It not familiar or relatable’ ‘I HAVE to make it simpler for others to remember the name’
Wait what?! Did I build these limiting beliefs over the years because of the mainstream marketing gurus? How did I lose joy for the business name?
The shocker was when I realized I was projecting onto the practice, my lack of joy for my full name. These were the exact sentiments I’ve had regarding my name growing up! It’s too lengthy, it’s difficult for people to remember, or I HAVE TO have shorter handles so that people have easy access to me.
(In case you are wondering; my full name is Ruby Gangadharan Kodangat.)
Whoa! Who would have seen that coming? Not me!
The fact remains that people who don’t know me but wanted to hire me, were able to find me because they cared enough to remember. And not ALL the people who remember the name have hired me.
But for me, it begins with dealing with the limiting beliefs I have about my own name! Before I can regain joy for the marketing of the practice, I must master the joy for my name and change the limiting beliefs.
Wait till I tell my dad about this realization, Oh boy…!
(In case you were wondering, all my handles have been changed to my name, no more forced creativity with pseudo names! And I love this anchoring exercise I used as a Trainer, where you look into the mirror and rehearse your talking points? In this case, I’ll be using power stance and repeating my name out loud to find the easy in it.)
The Self Love Litmus test works for every situation. The external is always, always an extension of what you are projecting from inside of you.
Have you ever had this happen to you, where you worked on improving aspects of yourself and the external issues were sorted out? Or you realized what you were experiencing was also what YOU were dishing out elsewhere?
There is nothing that can be got if you aren’t amped up on Self-Acceptance and Self-Compassion and there is nothing that can’t be worked out when you are!
All this work is a process, so remember to be gentle with you!
Have you anything to add or share about your experience?