At some point, most of us feel a deep inclination to contribute something of value in this life… something that will create some good in the world, and something that will make a mark in some way. These ideas and desires from a mind that is turned towards supporting the collective, and that wants to use this precious life to do so, are beautiful. But, if this desire is fuelled by a lack of self-worth (which propels the mind to create ideas/projects that would externally ‘prove’ one’s value), it is a wise place to enter into inquiry. Otherwise, we act under the auspices of altruism, when in truth our efforts are engineered to improve our sense of self-worth.
Of course, the result of these efforts may indeed create good in the world, and often do (and I’m not against following up on good ideas in any way!), but in this light, it is easy to see that there could be astronomically more energy, wisdom, creativity, clarity and willingness to truly collaborate when the motivations of the ‘me’ which is always trying to prove its worth (even to itself), defend its position, or maintain/improve it’s image are clearly seen.
The world is ready for your good ideas in action my sweet friends – your unique creativity, talents, passions, gifts and JOY. So let’s get to the bottom of this ‘me’ thing (and it’s issue with self-worth) once again so we can all freely and fully express whatever bubbles up from our dynamic and creative core – and create some truly transformative and beautiful movements….
I love this point of inquiry, because the truth is, it is our very nature to be creative and ever-changing. That’s what we are, that’s what we do. So if we’ve put limits on how we allow (or disallow) ourselves to express the essence of our very nature, we get stuck, disconnected from our joy, and feel a deep lack of a sense of meaningful purpose.
So here are some questions for you to play with. But before you dive into inquiry, remember that we can never enter inquiry with the goal of ‘making something go away’… or to ‘change something’… it is to dive right into the centre – fully, without attachment to outcome, or judgement towards what we encounter. Only then can the truth that burns in the centre of everything be revealed. So inquiry feels counter-intuitive because we’ve become so deeply conditioned to race in and fix (distract/deny) anything that’s uncomfortable in some way, and here, we can only dive in without the intention to fix/change/heal/make something go away. Ok? Ready?
So if this is relevant to you (that you have a burning desire to create something in the world, but you are also aware that it may be linked to a strategy to find and prove your self worth), here are some inquiry questions to play with…. it may be helpful to ask yourself the same question a few times to allow deeper insights to come up. Don’t search for analytical answers in the mind, just let them bubble up from the truth of your heart.
What do you want to contribute?
Why do you want to do this?
What will you gain if this is a success?
What will you gain in terms of your ‘sense of self’ if this is a success?
What will that give you?
And what will that (above answer) give you? (keep asking this until you feel you’ve arrived at some sense of peace)
Stay with that (sense of peace, freedom from striving, rest, unconditional self love) for a moment, and breathe. Where is it located? (Is there anything that needs to be externally achieved to prove this?)
Who would you be if this project/action never happens or fails? (Is that true? Notice the difference between the mind/identity’s answers and the deeper truth of the heart…)
Is this project the only way you can offer your deepest gifts to the world?
It is really helpful to do this inquiry with someone else (I’d love to work with you!), or to journal the answers. When these questions can be met with a truly open mind (the heart is already open), deeper truths about oneself naturally bubble up to the surface to be seen. First the bubbles of what we’ve held to be true, then the sweetness of feeling them dissipate as they are seen clearly and an even deeper (ever-deeper) truth is experienced.
This particular kind of inquiry has the incredible power to see through even the most subtle tendencies of the ‘me’, allowing ourselves to be liberated from them, again and again and again… until one day we see that the ‘me’ is no longer (and never was) driving.
Once we can really see all the things the ‘me’ has motivated us to do (and we can stop doing them) only then are we truly available to life – and to our deeper intelligence that isn’t motivated by any image or sense of lack. Then we are free to enjoy, create and contribute from a place of peace….just like Papaji said; “Wake up first, and then do what you like!”.
May we all find Peace <3