August 8, 2020

One Simple (but Crucial) Question to Help Guide us back to our True Self.


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A couple of years ago, I was constantly waking up with a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach.

It was almost as if someone planted an anchor in my body when I was asleep, and it stayed there like a deadweight.

I couldn’t lift it, so I carried it with me instead.

This heavy weight and I began moving through life together. I allowed it to be there without questioning its existence. Without asking what it needed or becoming curious about what it was asking me to notice. The more I ignored its presence, the heavier it became until the carrying became a wanting—a need to escape it.

The escape looked like hiking red rock mountains, wooded trails, and starry desert skies. It was the endless view of hills and peaks from the tops of mountains. It looked like oceans at sunset, white sand beaches, and driving on new roads with the windows down and music blaring. It became walking airport jetways, sunrises from 30,000 feet, and the familiar smell of hotels.

Sometimes it was laughter with strangers and deep conversations with friends over comfort food and wine. But always, never changing, it was a longing to leave. I prayed somehow that I’d leave that anchor behind on one of those long dirt trails, or in the ocean where I watched a thousand suns rise over and light up. 

But it was always with me.

I have learned that life will unfold in direct response to how we react to it; what we resist will almost always persist. And despite wanting to control all outcomes, surrendering and allowing will lead us to the one place where we can face whatever presents itself as a weight.

Sit alone, cross-legged on the floor, vulnerable, and exhausted, and ask the weight the one question that it needs to be lifted—finally:

“What are you asking me to stop carrying?”

Then the real work begins. It will take more strength than the mountains climbed, and the trails ran. It will require your life to be so deeply disrupted that you have no choice but to embrace this new way of living. You will disappoint people, say no, and sleep for what feels like a lifetime. The new path is never linear; it is jagged and rocky.

Your body has asked you to rest and restore as it asks you to question who you are and why you are here, and gently reminds you to leave room for grace through this process. Compassion for self and loving awareness of our deepest knowing requires us to be present. Living with a longing for our lives to be different or wanting to escape will only lead us back to the heaviness.

There is no timeline or certainty on this journey back to our true self, but you will slowly begin to notice days where you feel lighter—you won’t need to escape. And days where sitting in stillness, in the quiet, and just being is more than enough.

Please remember that freeing ourselves from fear, from the way we believe things should be, from suffering, and from all illusion is the path to true liberation that will drop all weights we carry.

Today, take a breath and ask yourself what needs to stop being carried so that you can walk without weight into the truest, most loving version of you.

Meet yourself there, always.

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