Where in your life are you being run by the stories in your head? You would like to ask your boss permission to take on that challenging project, but you tell yourself that he probably thinks you’re not experienced enough so you don’t ask. You are desperate to lose weight, but you find yourself eating unhealthy snacks justifying it by telling yourself you deserve some compensation for the hard work you deliver. You would want to ask that pretty girl on a date, but believe she’s out of your league and so you don’t speak to her.
What would become possible if you, instead of living most of your life in your head, were to act in your physical reality, no longer guessing what may or may not happen and no longer allowing justifications and explanations to stop you from the actions you’re committed to? How often do you hide, play small, conform, hush up, resign and give up on your dreams?
The web of stories that we weave around us all the time is what the ancient Indians called ‘maya’. It’s not hard to see what happens when we walk around with our head stuck in these cobwebs and meet another person who is in the same condition. There is layer upon layer upon layer of lies between us all and we can no longer see who we truly are. We communicate from and to figments of our imagination. We confuse what we perceive with what truly is, forgetting that our own personal outlook selects and colours our reality.
As the story goes, the ancient Indian God Brahma was so bored one day when he was still the only one alive, that he created the beautiful goddess Maya to play with. Maya came up with the best game ever: she asked Brahma to create the entire universe and everything in it and then asked him to create a creature that would enjoy and appreciate his creation. Brahma created the universe and then made mankind to enjoy it. As Maya told him the game could now begin, she took Brahma and cut him up in lots of tiny pieces and put a piece of him in every human being. “I am going to make you forget who you are and you are going to try and find yourself”, she said. Still today that’s exactly what we’re doing: we’re still trying to find our Selves while Maya is keeping us from seeing clearly what is.
Even on our journey towards increased self-development and greater consciousness we are not safe from stories. “I’ve been taking spiritual courses for so long, I know everything by now” or “Being conscious and spiritually developed means not having any breakdown, sadness or pain anymore”.
There are many powerful tools to give us insights and propel us forward towards more happiness, power, freedom and meaning. However, the inquiry into what is true and what simply lives in our heads as a story has the power to sweep our lives clean in one go.
Just imagine what uncovering the stories in your life could make possible for you. Seeing the story is seeing that you are not acting in reality, but reacting to your projections instead. Living in Maya may feel safe; however, we do not have much impact in the dream world. When we awaken or re-awaken to what is, we can bit-by-bit start reclaiming our power.
My invitation to you is to live your life asking yourself the following question on a daily basis as thoughts pop up: Is it the absolute truth or is it a figment of my imagination?
Blog by Mieke Beurskens