The lottery started in the UK in 1994 and my sister suggested that our family should have a syndicate. Every Saturday we sat in the living room seeing if our numbers would come up. My 93 year old grandmother would sit there, not saying a word until all the numbers had been chosen. Then, when, once again, it was clear we hadn’t won anything she would let out a sigh of relief and thank God for sparing us…
Her relief often comes to mind when people describe their dream life. The major successes they’d like to create, the sums of money they want to earn, the stream of clients they'd like to develop, the best seller they want to write, the business they’d like to set up, the promotion they’d like to achieve.
This might seem an odd thing to say (especially for a coach who should be all about living the dream) but…
…if we are lucky, all this will remain a dream, an impossibility.
Because if we are unlucky, in comes what we think we need to be happy - the money, clients, partner, the book or promotion. And, along with it, more confusion, more exhaustion, more insecurity…
And this is because we are not ready for what we think we want.
We know we are not ready for it because it looks like we don't have it already.
It looks like what we want is out there, separate from us, that it will bring the happiness, satisfaction, security or better life we seek. That it is on our shoulders to make it happen.
It looks like our dream of having the thing is actually how it would play out in reality.
But this is a misunderstanding. None of it is true. It is only an idea of who we are and an idea of what we need. Confusion sends us out, away from this moment, seeking and questing trying to bring in what we think we need. It keeps the concepts intact instead of remaining present enough for them to dissolve.
And as long as that idea of self and the idea of the desired object remain as unexplored concepts then having more of the object or a different object is only about having more confusion.
Same same as Gob Bluth and Tony Wonder might say. Same same and perhaps worse.
Because now the object is there in all its unexplored glory. In comes our dream and it looks like there is a way to get this right, to hold onto it. It looks like it is our responsibility. That we could fuck it up. The object of our desire is here, and we have no idea what to do. It is impossible to get to grips with, to control and manage. We are living the dream and it’s a nightmare.
This is the kindness of the design. It is showing us, either through the inability to get the object we think we need or the suffering once we get it, that we are not ready.
So, what does it mean to be ready?
It means realising what we are and what we are not. Until we question the idea of self and the world it finds itself in, nothing can change. The self and the world are made of the same thought-created perception. Without enquiry, there is no shift, just uninvestigated patterns creating the same experience no matter how hard we try to escape. The fear of not having enough money doesn’t get any less when there is a million in the bank. Feelings of inadequacy aren’t fixed with a new job title. The future isn’t secured with a new client.
We go out there seeking but it changes nothing. The only change is from the dissolving of these fixed ideas of self and separate world. It is in the dissolution that infinite possibilities reveal themselves.
The promotion, the new business, the money, the good health are revealed not obtained. They appear not because we have created them but because our idea of who we are and what they are has become thin enough that we can finally see them.
Michelangelo said ‘Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it’. That is what life really is: non-creation. It is excavation. Dissolving, uncovering, unveiling, revealing what is here already.
We chip away at the idea of ourselves, at the idea of the world, at the shoulds and must-haves. We remove anything not true, not required, not real. And we watch what form emerges: the unique voice, the authentic way, the job that only we can do, the true expression, the loves of our life, all the resolve, money, energy and time required. And like Michelangelo’s David, this masterpiece isn’t disappearing anytime soon. It has been revealed and it is here to stay.
As Rumi says, ‘Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere. They’re in each other all along.’ Only in stillness, do we realise that what we have been looking for has always been us. Nothing can be lost. And with this understanding we are free to immerse ourselves in transience.
The layers blocking the spring dissolve away until the source of unstoppable purity pours forth, sparkling and dancing in the light. A miracle of energy, life and presence.
This is us, who we really are.
Ready for it?