A common source of stress occurring in life today is that people are unable to express themselves fully in their daily run of activities. They may have begun their spiritual quest for greater fulfilment but are looking in all the wrong places for the answers.

The desire for compassion and creativity sends many on a search ‘looking for the self’ or trying to recover the ‘inner child’ and feel alive and whole again.

Where did the natural gifts of inner freedom go?

To be an individual has often meant trying to stand out from the crowd, do something uniquely different or get noticed in any way possible just to feel a sense of aliveness and recognition in the eyes of others.

Positive reinforcement can come from many sources but it is short-lived and requires another ‘hit’ when we are unable to reinforce ourselves first and then be content with that. The secondary need of approval from others becomes a major driver that causes people to go too far in their search for acceptance.

To be an individual is to be true to our most natural being, without pushing it to an artificial level and over-preparing it ‘for the world’.

Who is actually looking anyway? Most people are so concerned with themselves and their own fate that we are just a passing flicker on their radar. The ones who do notice us were more than likely going to notice us anyway regardless of our performance and exaggerated attempts to be important.

As life unfolds it presents challenges that constantly test our resolve. This noise and distraction make it harder for us to hear our inner voice and trust its vibration enough to follow it, and leave the crowd behind.

This may mean giving up some things in which we have traditionally held a large investment, and it may also mean disappointing some people who are close to us. These are tough decisions but they rest on one philosophy –

‘In order to be who we are we must abandon who we are not.’

We are being pushed from all sides and pressured by society and advertising to ‘fit in’. It becomes increasingly problematic to remember ‘who we are’ and ‘who we are not’, but being all things to all people is a sure way to arrive at failure and exhaustion.

What is the first step to achieving a sense of self that is unshakeable?

The first step is to realise the interplay between the inner and outer worlds.

Life is unable to be lived in a completely external way. Endless achievement and pushing forward towards goals eventually leads to retreat, because that is the only way energy that has been over-extended can become harmonised – by returning to its polar opposite and then finally resting back in the centre.

It is also impossible to live in a completely internal way. A state of inner escape breeds energy that is too passive and ceases to be spontaneous. This way will also wear itself out and require fire energy to give it a big boost that forces a change, so it can finally rest back in the centre.

We are interdependent on the internal and external for our support.

Neither way on its own is correct, yet each is an opportunity to experience the full extent of an energy pattern before accessing the balance point and swinging the pendulum back to our harmonious personal middle ground.

This middle way is not to be confused with mediocrity. It is merely a balance point between feast and famine, action and rest, or trying too hard versus giving up too easily.

There is a place, a position, a moment, an intention that we each know when things are just ‘in the zone’. We can help create these ‘zone’ moments by knowing ourselves and our energy patterns on a deeper level, and by not giving all of the credit for our life changes to external influences.

Opportunities for creativity abound and are always available to the relaxed mind, even in the midst of chaos. There is no need to push ourselves to the limit to obtain our goals if it is an attempt to prove something to others.

We are our own mentors, appraisers and helpers. If we love and respect ourselves we will never have to ask why we are talented in some things and not in others. We will accept who we are and our personal individuality, being a mixture of greatness and ordinariness, just like every other human being.

It is a wondrous position to be in. Each person brings something from the spirits that no one else can bring and touches hearts and lives no matter what he or she does.

Your individuality is guaranteed.

If you are unable to value your individuality it is because you have not yet embraced it. You may have thought it was meant to look like more than what you already are!

Go forward.

Be your biggest fan.

– Karen Cohen

© Copyright 2009

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