We live in a culture that wants to super-size us. We’re supposed to constantly reach for more, whether that be more stuff, bigger goals, or a better self – even a better, more beautiful evolved spiritual self. There is a consistent and insistent voice telling us to keep reaching, that somewhere out there we will finally find that which will be the one thing that will make us extraordinary enough to satisfy the demand.
We do this until one day we feel the ridiculous exhaustion it causes within us. Ridiculous because nothing out there could ever satisfy the false hunger this attempts to fill. The false hunger will always want more and more and more to satisfy it but it can’t be satisfied because it is built upon a foundation of ‘not enough’. A foundation of scarcity.That is its core identity. And so it has no desire to really see through the endless journey of suffering to finally becoming enough. But we feel the exhaustion of trying. So we stop. But before long, like a trick birthday candle, this false hunger lights up again and we’re off on our way to the Land of More that lies somewhere out there beyond a horizon we cannot get to.
I know this cycle well. I’ve lived this cycle over and over and over. I had a very lovely woman for my counselor when I was at Stanford who finally asked me, upon the eve of graduation, “Julie, when will it be enough? When will you feel you have achieved enough?” Funny that she was working at Stanford. But not really. She had the prime seat to watch this play of continual striving for more play out. It wasn’t the desire to learn and grow she was commenting on. It was what she saw in me (and so many others): the endless search for something that would fill this false hunger.
I now know the feeling when the trick candle goes out. The feeling of ‘ oh, right, I’ve been in that cycle again. I am exhausted and I haven’t gotten anywhere, really. It’s harder to feel the trick candle light up again. It’s subtle. Terribly subtle.
Over the past months, a very simple truth has finally dawned on me. The true hunger has become clear. It’s not for anything really. It’s simpler. There’s a quiet voice inside of me that says, “I get to just be myself. I get to just be myself.” That’s it.
Some of that spiritual striving has actually helped me uncover myself enough to recognize the self I long ago thought could never be enough or could never be redeemed. She’s quite lovely in her simplicity. She’s beautifully ordinary in that there’s nothing special about her at all. And yet, at the same time, she’s got a really funky uniqueness that the false hunger thought was too weird, too strange. But when I hear those words inside, “I get to just be myself.”, I soften and the trick candle goes out and I can see and feel and hear what’s right here in front of me. And here, I can feel the profound beauty within that has always been here. The profound beauty that we are and that is visible when all of the clamors of the false hunger dies down.
It is from this place that I can truly RISE because it is what is – the truth of who and what I am. This place is within each of us. That’s the operative word – within. It will never be found out there. Never, ever. And it cannot be found by following the false hunger.
There is a true hunger. It is the hunger to remember, to uncover, oneself as one already is and then to simply live as this self. No one can tell you what is ‘the false’ and what is ‘the true’. Only you can feel it. But when you soften and stop and listen, you are close to knowing.
Who I really am is quite quirky and quite dignified, too. And really quite joyful and playful. We are like this on the inside. Quite beautifully quirky and that is good.
Who are you?
My potent and practical course, R I S E, is now open for registration. The early-bird price ends on Tuesday, April 18th.
We just finished up the first round and it gave me such joy to witness the subtle and loving ways this course works to remove the layers that hide our true selves from ourselves. The participants experienced many shifts in how they navigate the world and made concrete choices and progress towards real life goals. Yes, this course is both spiritual and practical, but then true spirituality is extremely practical in nature.
R I S E begins on April 25th for 9 weeks. If you’ve been following my work for some time, you know I offer a powerful and safe container within to do some beautiful life-changing transformational ‘work’. And I want to invite you to come join me. Check out the course. Let me know if you want to join and are finding challenges to doing so. If you feel called to be there, it is important for you to be there when we begin.