15 Yoda-Like Things to Remember When You’re Growing

  1. So you’re stuck.  Maybe you even feel lost and defeated, wondering what you were thinking going after your dream. This will change. Everything does. That is so useful to remember when you’re on your knees in the mud. Whatever you’re stuck in, it will let up. So go ahead and listen to Sinead O’Connor on repeat. Cry your heart out. Eat the chocolate. Kick box. Stare blankly into the middle distance while drinking your tea wine. This will change. You will change, with love and patience and consciousness.
  2. Be gentle with yourself. Holy moly, we need this when we are creating a new way of being. Think about it: creation is a destructive act. There’s so much unlearning going on, so many outdated habits that are unraveling, that it can feel like everything’s going to hell in a hand basket. Keep breathing. Keep trusting. Bearing witness to the deep, important work of transformation takes time and patience and kindness with yourself. A little kitchen dancing and some long, life-affirming naps probably won’t hurt either.
  3. Chances are, everything non-material that you want – all the love, self-belief, and comfort in your own skin – has been there all along. You just have to get out of the way.
  4. Focusing obsessively on mastery can be an incentive, a kind of tough-love motivator, till it becomes a straightjacket. It’s hard to be a beginner when you are used to being a Jedi. Failing – and flailing – again is a challenging, but necessary, adjustment if you want to keep growing.   The beginner’s mind is how you get deeper, not only “out there” traveling towards a shiny goal, but “in here,” inside of yourself. Especially inside of yourself.
  5. Wag, just because. If you’ve ever spent time with dogs or small children, you’ll notice how darn happy they are for no apparent reason. Why is that? You might say, ‘Umm, because they have no deadlines, no troll for a boss, no hideous commute.’ Ok, but here’s a bone to chew on: What can’t you see when you’re focused on what sucks?
  6. Learned helplessness is a bugger. I can’t. I don’t know how. It’s hard and I’m scared. The bad news is, nobody is coming. Not your friends, or your siblings or your parents. Not unicorns or fairy godmothers. Not Yoda. Loved-ones can comfort you when you’re in the howl, administering soup and hugs and advice. The good news? It’s the same – nobody is coming. The real hard work of change is up to you. This is good because you’re the expert on you.
  7. Bravery is a moment-to-moment phenomenon, not a permanent, transcendent state. It’s nudging forward, one small, unsure step after another, because it’s scarier not to keep going than to plod vulnerably forward.
  8. Growth has beautiful and painful patches. Both are there to nourish and teach you, if you let them.
  9. Other people’s crap is, well, other people’s crap. That’s true even if it’s directed at you. Not everyone may be comfortable or supportive about your growth because it makes them feel something squidgy about themselves. Crap is always about the person dishing ‘er out. Always.
  10. Don’t hang out with crabs. Have you heard of the Crab Effect? Put a bunch of crabs into a bucket and start watching. If one crab starts trying to crawl up over the side of the bucket, the other crabs will pull it back down. Remind you of anyone? Surround yourself with other people upping their game, not yanking you down.
  11. If something feels wrong, don’t do it. Your gut is an inbuilt SAT-NAV to your best self.  If something feels terrifying and exciting in equal measure, you know what to do.
  12. You cannot and should not do it all. Not all at once, anyway. Boundaries are healthy, sanity-saving, mojo-boosting declarations of our deepest needs and wants and capabilities. Badassery requires boundaries. Really.
  13. We cling when we feel afraid. Think old habits, bad relationships, clutter.  But as Martha Beck says, anything that is a security blanket is really an insecurity blanket. Knowing this is a game-changer. If it helps, go back and re-read no. 7.
  14. Trust in abundance. There is enough work/peace/money/greatness/happiness/love for all of us. Someone else’s awesomeness does not diminish yours. Au contraire. Do a happy dance with them. Gush. Tell the world about them with unbridled glee. The more tuned in you are to the abundance frequency, the more will come your way too. I don’t know how it works, but it does.
  15. Ask yourself: What is my wisest, bravest self whispering to me right now, at this particular juncture? Ask: Is this really the time for me to wither into the underbrush? (I’d bet it’s not). You have pulled water out of deep wells before with no idea how you were going to do it. You will do it again. So how about it?