December 5, 2013

Where the Answers Are. ~ Lauren Noreen

We often believe that the solutions to our life challenges lie outside of ourselves.

When faced with discomfort, seemingly unanswerable questions or challenging times, we’ll look everywhere and anywhere for solutions, believing that something or someone else has the answer.

We tell ourselves, “If I just find the right expert to consult, read that book, have that relationship or drink that juice, then I’ll have that a’ha moment I’ve been seeking.

Or maybe we flee with food or technology thinking the challenge will resolve itself, even though there’s a pecking in our heart that is trying to get our attention—we’ll tell ourselves we’re just hearing things.

The one thing we often don’t do, at least in round one, is visit with the real expert—ourselves.

While all of these tools (a book that may sing to our soul, a healer that understands us or the green drink that makes us feel more alive) have their purpose and place, they cannot take the place of us being with and for ourselves.

Only from this place can the external tools serve their purpose in a meaningful way. Only from this place will we find the peace and comfort we search for (although tears, anger and anxiety may ride their waves first) and only from this place, then, will we hear the answers to the challenges we face and the questions that we seek.

The thing with consulting yourself is that when you really listen, you’ll find the truth and the truth is like a tree with its roots firm in the ground. We may realize that the brilliance of life is calling us to an unfamiliar place so that, like a tree, we can grow, however unruly that process may be.

Though it may be time for a shift, the fear of uncertainty and change may still plague us nonetheless. However, we are stronger than we know and our own guidance is most trustworthy.

Hearing our own guidance requires an openness to sitting with ourselves in a world that gives us every opportunity to flee with food, technology, TV, books, drugs, alcohol, shopping and fearful thinking.

We live in a world of fixing, complicating and speed which suggest we also live in a culture that believes in brokenness, has a distaste for simplicity and certainly doesn’t promote a slowing down of any kind. However, the solution we seek lies in recognizing our wholeness, returning to the sacredness of the simple and slowing down to hear our own breath.

From this place we can find comfort and peace during a challenging time. We can also realize, hopefully, that no expert or book is more powerful than ourselves. We are all here to help each other, but first we must help ourselves.

You don’t have to be seated on a meditation cushion to access this place, you can be standing in the grocery line, taking a shower, driving or in a meeting.

It’s always there. Take comfort in that.

Get loud first if you need to, but then get quiet. Breathe deeply. Go beneath the thoughts and to your body, where you’ll find your feelings, and beneath your feelings, to your heart, and beneath your heart, to your spirit.

Come home. Listen. Live in the space of hope.

Your mind will skip to every reason why you could be wrong and to whom you should consult. So keep returning to your body and listen. Be patient but persistent.

I want you, I want us, to live from this peaceful and powerful all-knowing place as often as possible. When we quiet down and listen we realize there’s a softness there that’s almost frightening.

It’s a gentle knowing.

It’s not something we may be used to. We’ve put on so much armor that we’re used to being hard and rough around the edges.

But this soft, yet all-mighty space is the place that knows.

We all have this place and this is where the answers are.

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Editor: Steph Richard

{Photo: via elephant journal digital archives}

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Lauren Noreen