I’ve mentioned before that some of my deepest learning has come from questioning my teachers. I’m at it again.
When I say that I learn a lot from questioning my teachers I don’t necessarily mean rebelling against them. Sometimes that’s what I mean and is what I’ve done but more often than not I’m speaking of my tendency to deeply question what I hear, read, and observe and hold it up to my own internal frames of reference.
The plurality of “frames” is important. This process of questioning seems to work the most effectively when I roll around the ideal that I’m questioning and look at it a few different ways. It’s a bit like looking at a diamond from every angle and in different qualities of light.
Last night I found myself doing this with the teaching I’d first heard from Sharon Gannon, “A miracle is a shift in perception.”
I’m not sure that I agree. I agree that it’s the beginning of a miracle, but I would hold off on labeling the shift of perception a miracle until there is also a consistent shift in action.
It is also true, that in my life the only times that my perception has really and truly shifted have been when my actions, after the initial spark of awareness, also shifted and became well aligned.
So maybe a miracle is a shift in perception after all AND we must be honest with ourselves in noticing if we really have made a shift in our perception or if we have considered and taken on the concept of a good idea and then continued to take the same old actions.
I think that this is where it’s easy to get stuck. The high of the “a ha” moment of hearing a new idea that somewhere, deep down, we know to be true or that blows our mind in some way is amazing. I’d go as far as saying that it can be addicting. And just like any addiction it can be tempting to continue chasing that high.
Not only is it tempting to chase that high of new information but it can make it really hard to pause and apply the learning in a deeply grounded way. Harder still, is letting go of the baggage that we may have built up around the concept that we’re trying to shift so that we have the space within us to allow the new idea or belief to take root and bloom.
“Knowing” and wanting to change is simply not going to work out long term. The knowing and the desire must be matched with action.
The kicker seems to be that sometimes the knowing and the wanting come before we are truly ready to follow through with changing our habitual actions.
In my experience, that is when I need one of two things: faith that I will be ready when I’m ready or a big freaking wake-up call that propels me into action.
If you’re in a place that feels hard and messy and like the ground has shifted beneath your feet and you’re beating yourself up because you “should have taken action earlier” please offer yourself some compassion.
If you’re in a place that feels foggy and uncertain and you’re not sure if you’ve got what it takes to change your mind, heart, or actions please offer yourself some compassion.
Giving yourself some compassion doesn’t mean you give yourself a “get out of jail free” card or knowingly keep yourself frozen on the edge of growth, it simply means that you be where you are in this moment with love for yourself and your experience.
Do the best you can and if you notice that you can do better – do better.
Now, I’m curious. How does this land for you? How do you feel about miracles, shifts in perception, and taking action? Leave a comment below and let me know.