ascend the throne of you

Take what you like, leave the rest. After you take what you like and leave the rest, “ascend your throne.”

Claim the answers that feel true to you about how life works. Say to the world at large: here’s what I think after experiencing what I’ve experienced, and I think it’s damned powerful and might even help you, too.

Ascend the throne! Not in the sense of having anyone else’s answers, but in the sense of claiming your own answers! You are the best expert on your life, and you have something worth sharing. Abso-fucking-lutely.

Ascend Your Throne

You have stuff to say, stuff to share, perspectives that matter. Whether or not you choose to start a business with that stuff is not the point I’m getting at. What I want to know is: Are you fully claiming your answers?

Do you realize that you are in fact the expert on your life? That your unique perspective is worthy and valuable?

You have lived a life. You’ve seen things, done things, made mistakes (are there really any mistakes?), grown, shifted. You’ll do more of that, sure–and are you trying to hold out for when you’ve “done more” before you’ll claim that right here, right now you’re a powerful badass who knows what your life is about better than anyone else?

Claim it now. Ascend the throne of you. You are your own best expert on living your life. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

“Energy vampires” are bullshit

People talk about so-called “energy vampires,” those people or situations or things that seemingly drain off our energy. You hang around them and you leave feeling tired–so they must have “sucked” the energy from you, right?

Nope. They don’t exist. That’s just a way to put blame on something external–that thing, out there, over there…that’s the cause. Not me. Not my choices.

I say this with love: We can all grow up now and start taking responsibility for our ‘stuff.’

We choose who we hang out with.
We choose how we judge them (which is really what results in the energy drain–we’re so busy thinking about how nutso they are or evaluating their choices, we go home later feeling drained…and then blame it on them! They’re just being themselves, you know).

In the rush to define who is and isn’t an energy vampire, most people forget how draining it is to resist practicing compassion for others.

We choose whether we blame.
We choose the to-do list.
We choose what we spend money on.
We choose where we work.
We choose whether our house is organized.
We choose whether or not to work out.
We choose whether or not to be informed.
We choose whether or not to be present.

Some of you might be reading this at exactly the right moment…perhaps you’re around a lot of people who you’d say are definitively “energy vampires.”

But again, the invitation is there to see if you want to be in charge of your experience, or a slave to theirs.

 

it’s all a choice.

For some people, that’s an immensely confrontational statement. Please (please!) remember that I’m saying it with gentleness. Also, I’m saying it to be helpful. Why? Because…

When we recognize that we choose, we are free to make different choices. For instance, choices not to hang around people who just aren’t a match for our psyche or soul, even as we recognize that they’re just as tender and fumbling and human as we are. If you stop saying that something external to you is the issue, it won’t mean that you have to put up with the person. It’ll just free you up to make a more empowering (and energizing!) choice.

 

make a list, check it twice.

Make a list of the various things in your life that you choose that might not be your best choices because you notice that choosing them means you’re feeling tired, drained, agitated.

what would you like to choose? Consider that “letting go” is not always the best answer. Sometimes (usually with relationships) “letting go” is just a form of running away, because we’d rather stop returning phone calls than drop down into our hearts, get present to what we feel, and try to work something out with someone.

So before you declare that you’re quitting your job, your boyfriend, or your stillness practice, be willing to investigate the in-between spaces where there might be workable solutions to your concerns.

Create stillness in your heart in knowing that you didn’t avoid or run away or tune out–you got present to what you need and then spoke into that.

Compassion is In Order

I’m asking that you just stop. Let’s all stop.

Let’s completely and totally stop, and just flip the script a bit. Pretend the following words are written by you, to you:

Dear friend,

I just want you to know that I’m really aware of all the places where I fail or screw things up, even if I pretend otherwise. In fact I’m so aware, that it hurts in places I’m afraid to name.

I’d enormously appreciate it if you’d trust that any places where I have rough edges are unintentional, and that I’m just doing the best I can.

Love, Me.

Now let’s start living bigger with that.

Let’s rewrite this, pretending it’s a letter written from every single person you encounter, expressly to you.

Let’s say that that letter is from the woman you saw snapping at her kids in the supermarket, or your partner who just flaked out on something they said they’d do, or your mother who just said something hurtful. Let’s start applying this to the internet, the hasty judgements of someone’s blog post or tweet, the decision to write that person off in an instant.

Let’s pretend that you’re right at that moment where you’re going to write off the woman as a bad mother, or remind your partner of how many times he’s screwed up before, or maybe you’re not saying it aloud, but you sure are thinking it would be nice to tell your mother to shut up.

Let’s take a deep breath right before you send a nasty email or post something denouncing someone else on the internet.

Pause.

“I’d enormously appreciate it if you’d trust that any places where I have rough edges are unintentional, and that I’m just doing the best I can.”

Let’s all… just…stop with writing off our co-habitants on this earth as beyond hope, or as being the same person they were a year ago, or as a jerk who deserves to be judged until they finally see the error of their ways.

Writing people off, filtering them through the same old tired lens of the past and unkind judgment are just not working at getting the job done.

What’s the job? Oh, you know–having us peacefully exist together. Love. Kindness. All of that fluffy stuff.

A little compassion is in order–or, let’s go big with this–a lot of compassion is in order. We’re talking remembering the concept of glass houses, all of that.

Muster up more love than you can imagine. Go ahead and start with giving compassion to you–it’s not selfish, and in fact it’s the best place to start. Then start noticing that moment when you’re about to judge someone as less-than. It doesn’t matter how convinced you are that they could do it better.

Fact: maybe they could do it better, but right now, they’re not. Deal.

And P.S. Sometimes, you don’t do it better even when you “know better,” too. Perhaps an example of such a time would be in those moments when you’re aware that compassion is an option, but you choose to judge someone anyway.

Sit with that place for a moment–the place where you are human and know better but don’t always do it better.

I’m talking about us coming together in a circle of compassion around you, as well. Loving you up. Letting you know that we’re willing to stop the cycle of writing you off, assuming you’ll never change, or trying to judge you until you break.

So let’s just bring on the compassion; let’s make it the only game in town.

Go forth, love big.