Don’t Listen to Me

not_listening

I love the personal-growth community.

I love the millions of people who share their hearts and their wisdom in books, blogs, courses, workshops, and all sorts of ways — online, in print, and in person.

I’ve gained life-changing inspiration and insight from a wide variety of teachers, writers, mentors, coaches, and friends. I’ve been moved, touched, and motivated. And I’ve gotten lots of really good advice.

So now I’d like to share my own heartfelt advice regarding all of the wonderful personal-growth/spirituality teachers out there:

DON’T LISTEN TO ANY OF THEM!

(Not even me.)

Does this mean that I don’t think they have wisdom? Not at all! I’m continually impressed by the wise and brilliant thinkers who eloquently share their gifts with the world.

Does this mean that I don’t think they’re sincere? Not at all! While there may be an occasional scam artist thrown into the mix, I believe that the VAST majority of personal-growth writers and teachers (and all people, for that matter) are coming from a place of goodness, authenticity, and a sincere desire to serve others.

Does this mean that I don’t think they’re actually helpful? Again, no. I’ve been personally helped by many people in this field, and I’ve heard about (and/or witnessed first-hand) numerous others who have benefited tremendously through self-help books and programs.

So why don’t I think you should listen to personal-growth writers (including myself)? Or, more to the point, what do I recommend that you do instead? What or whom should you listen to? (Even if you’ve heard this countless times already, it bears repeating):

Listen to your own inner voice.

You have SO much wisdom inside of you — such tremendous potential for insight, problem solving, creative thinking, and personal growth. You’re a veritable fountain of inspiration. You’re an absolute genius!

So, because you’re already so wise, am I recommending that you never read another self-help book (or blog), ignore all personal-growth teachers, and shut yourself off from external influence?

Quite the opposite! In fact, I highly recommend that you expose yourself to a wide variety of thinkers, approaches, techniques, and paths. Soak up the wisdom of the world! Get all the good advice you can. And ignore all of it…except what resonates with you!

Because that is the best of both worlds:

  • You benefit from the great thinkers of the world, but you don’t let them do your thinking for you!
  • You trust your inner voice/guidance without shutting out potentially helpful ideas from the outside world.
  • You open yourself to new ideas and alternative perspectives while still taking responsibility for your own choices and your own life.

So when you hear a piece of personal-growth advice, the most important question to ask yourself is: Does it resonate? (In fact, you probably won’t even have to ask yourself — you’ll just KNOW.)

When a piece of advice (or any idea, perspective, approach, or attitude) DOES resonate with you — when it glows, has the ring of truth, feels like a vibrational match, or awakens an inner truth (something you feel like you already knew on some level, even if you couldn’t quite put it into words) — take it to heart. Welcome it into your life. Listen to its message for you. Sit with it. Ponder it. Feel it. Follow it. Allow it to ignite a spark of insight, passion, and inspiration.

And if it doesn’t resonate, just let it go.

~

When was the last time you heard an idea, perspective, or piece of advice that really resonated with you? How did you know that it was true or important to you? Did you trust that inner knowing? How did it change you?

You’re Getting Warmer

If I’d meant this title literally, I probably should have written it in spring or early summer, rather than waiting until the week before Labor Day. But I was thinking of it figuratively — as a personal-growth metaphor based on the common variation of hide-and-seek. Here’s what gave me this idea…

I recently listened to a recorded talk in which the speaker (Esther Hicks, presenting the Abraham teachings) described our Emotional Guidance System by using this example: You know the game where you’re looking for something, and as you get closer someone says, “You’re getting warmer” (or, “You’re getting colder,” [...] Continue Reading…

The Welcome Wagon

Moving to a new place (literally or figuratively) can be very exciting: you feel a sense of adventure, new possibilities, and a fresh start.

But once the initial excitement fades (or perhaps even sooner), you might begin to feel disconcerted or uncomfortable.

After all, this new territory is totally unfamiliar. You don’t know your way around. You get lost just trying to find the grocery store. You don’t know where the nearest gas station is. You don’t even have a library card.

The people here have strange customs and strong accents — and they use unfamiliar jargon, regional slang, or even a different language altogether. [...] Continue Reading…

How much would you pay for something you don’t want?

Some people say: “Worrying is like praying for what you don’t want.”

To put it in more earthly terms, we could say, “Worrying is like PAYING for what you don’t want.”

Think of it like this: Imagine that every word you say, write, or even think is worth $100. And every time you say, write, or think a word, you’re spending that $100.

So, how do you want to spend your “word-money”?

Would you buy what you don’t want — spending hundreds and hundreds of dollars on junk that will clutter your life with worry, stress, or unhappiness?

You’d probably say, “Of course not! [...] Continue Reading…

Balance vs. Immersion

When I was a senior in high school, I spent a month in Spain as part of an exchange program. Aside from having fun, making new friends, and being exposed to an amazing culture, I can honestly say that my Spanish improved more during those 4 weeks than it had during the previous 4 years of taking classes.

I went from barely being able to squeak through a basic vocab quiz to the point where I could carry on a decent conversation in Spanish. Within a few weeks in the country I even began to dream primarily in Spanish!

What was [...] Continue Reading…

Are You Expressing It…or Feeding It?

Feeding Joy (Revisited)

In my previous post (“Feeding Joy”), I wrote about the importance of “feeding” the parts of our lives and ourselves that we want to flourish — presumably, the parts that bring us joy, gratitude, and happiness.

But I also said that it’s natural (and probably even healthy) to express yourself, even when your thoughts and emotions aren’t joyful — rather than repressing, denying, or letting negativity fester within you.

So, is this a contradiction? By expressing negativity and giving it “air-time,” aren’t we just “feeding” it? How can we tell if we’re fanning the flames of negativity or releasing [...] Continue Reading…

Feeding Joy + Sanctuary Registration is Open (at 40% Off)!

I’m thrilled to share that my wife, Jodi, and I have just realized a long-term dream: opening registration for the Soulful Life Sanctuary!

The sanctuary is a beautiful online community that helps you reconnect with your soul while connecting with like-minded friends. It’s also an all-encompassing collection of tools and resources to help you live your most soulful life — including ecourses, live and archived classes, plus Sacred Spaces and Soul Guides in more than a dozen areas, such as Wellness, Creativity, Soulful Parenting, Self-Care, and Spirituality.

I’m excited to share more about the sanctuary (as well as how you can [...] Continue Reading…

Enough!

Last week a friend of mine finally put her foot down.

After years of being mistreated and taken advantage of, she finally said one of the most empowering and important words in the English language:

ENOUGH!

After we exchanged several congratulatory emails and virtual high-fives, I had some time to reflect on her situation, and I was reminded of other times when I or other people I know finally said, “Enough!” — whether it was by leaving an abusive relationship, quitting a soul-crushing job, or setting healthy boundaries in any other way.

I was also reminded of Nietzsche’s parable of the three metamorphoses, [...] Continue Reading…

Be the Tree

“Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree.”
~ Martin Luther
Maybe it’s because spring is finally hitting its stride here in southern Oregon, or maybe it’s because I was just talking with a gardener, but recently I’ve been thinking in terms of gardening metaphors: seeds, plants, and trees, which offer so many great lessons.

For instance, consider some of the qualities of an apple tree that can also apply to our lives:

It starts as a tiny seed…just like each one of us! And it’s not just our body that starts [...] Continue Reading…

Don’t Wait for a Tragedy

How many times have you heard this story?

Someone is living a more-or-less “normal” life…

Maybe things are going fairly well, or maybe they’re not going so great. But basically, they’re just going. Things are just kind of chugging along. Time is passing. And while their life isn’t necessarily terrible (although it might be), they’re certainly not living up to their potential. They’re not fulfilling their life purpose. They’re not living each moment with passion, joie de vivre, and personal/spiritual fulfillment.

But then…

The “unthinkable” happens. Everything changes in a heartbeat. Tragedy strikes.

It could take many different forms:

They get into a car accident.
They’re [...] Continue Reading…