As someone that used to work in advertising, marketing and PR, our whole purpose was to make people believe that they needed things outside of themselves to be happy. And Arran and I bought into it too. Fancy cars, beautiful furniture, expensive things to show off. The irony is now I teach people to understand and truly know happiness comes from within, contentment and fulfilment can’t be sourced outside of us. But we still like beautiful things.
This gets super murky with the modern Western take on spirituality. And I want to be really clear. We can recognise and understand that fulfilment comes from within, AND that doesn’t mean we also have to let go of everything in the physical and relative world. We all don’t have to live in bare little huts to be ‘spiritual’ and conscious. We can enjoy the world around us, have an elegant home, drive whatever car we want. We just don’t tether our happiness to it. It’s not the source of who we are, just something to be enjoyed. It’s not wrapped in identity and ego, it’s just something we are fortune to have, something to be grateful for. And if it goes away, we don’t chuck a hissy, as we know it’s not who we really are.
There’s a funny shame and guilt I have come across in so many, and experienced myself a long time ago, about living luxuriously and also becoming more spiritually inclined. People turn up to meditation classes and apologise for their hand bag. Or quietly admit they ate a steak last night. And of course I then slap them and kick them out. JOKING! I honestly couldn’t care less about that kind of stuff because I have so much on my own plate to grapple with that the behaviours of others are meaning less and less. It’s a full time job just keeping my own shit kind of in alignment I promise you.
There’s no right or wrong way to undertaking any kind of path, especially the spiritual one. And when guilt and shame are part of it, we know we are actually straying from our intended path. Additionally, if it’s of any comfort, the Zen temples I have studied in, the ashrams in India, are stupidly beautiful. The various homes of pundits, and the esteemed teachers I have met have lived in stunning homes and taught in adorned robes. When I have quietly question these kinds of things in my confusion as to why everyone didn’t live in bare huts or like Gandhi with 10 possessions , I always received the same answer with a chuckle, along the lines of ‘we believe in abundance, only you Westerners seem to get caught up in all that’.
So instead of placing our awareness on the boxes we think we need to tick, and the things we ‘should’ or ‘shouldn’t’ have, we must place our awareness on who we ARE as a human being. When we find ourselves caught up in judging others for their choices, we just bring it back to ourselves. The rest is just icing on top, trimmings on the side, and dessert to be enjoyed.
Sent with love,