Tuesday, 18 December 2007

No Really, Look Inside, Shape, January 2008, final

No Really, Look Inside
The truth thermometer may just be the thing to set you free

Writing insights is a tricky business. My experience with it is that most people associate the deep or thoughtful with a kind of assault on their sensibilities. Despite this, everyone still searches on a daily basis for all kinds of every nirvana, in an attempt to find answers and be somehow, set free.

Often, we’ll turn to someone famous, glib or revolutionary to tell us like it is. We’ll worship their genius, buy their books, download their sermons and feel enlightened. Soon enough we find nothing sticks, return to all we’ve sworn off, and rubbish the very things we first chose to embrace.

Why? Well the fact is, the truth isn’t out there – it’s in you. You can read a thousand books, scan a hundred horoscopes, and watch a lifetime of self help TV, but not one of these is your real life, your experiences, your successes or your failures. That is what makes you unique, and so, by default or by strange, universal set up – you decide – you are the key tool to your best life. And ironically, the hardest person to face. But something always comes up – and eventually, you’ll have to look in the mirror.

We spend a lifetime in between two realities. What we know to be true, and what we want to be true. We travel between these, and somehow, make our journey. Wouldn’t it be optimal however, if we could acknowledge the truth of our respective pasts and our ongoing present, and find the best ways to live totally in the real and now? Isn’t that an option worth considering, versus dragging around old wounds, words and ideas? Don’t the fancy gurus call this, uh, personal freedom?

It’s a simple, but meaningful choice. To unravel the mystery that is you, starts with asking what your truth is. It’s about who you really are and how you really operate. Yeah, I know it’s more difficult than it sounds. We’re great with self-critique when it comes to our bodies, our appetites, our dating techniques. But engage in a conversation that allows us to level with ourselves? Yikes.

But cheesy as it sounds, the truth does actually set you free. But the interesting part is that it’s quite likely to set free a third dimension of yourself – the self you’ve never considered, the influences you never thought had any bearing, and the thought processes you never realised you had. This will either affirm you’re in the right spot, or, allow you to understand why you’re down a path you’d hoped to avoid.

When you take a no-bullshit approach to your life, it forces you to reckon with your heritage, your baggage and with the press release of yourself that you’ve been distributing to the world around you. Think of it as an honesty commitment to yourself – a pact so to speak – that makes room for the person you are, or allows you to become the person you have always wanted to be, by simply telling yourself the whole truth.

I’ll give you a small example. Just three days before writing this column, I’d been through a flurry of self-help activity. This is unusual for me. I try as much as I can to help myself, by myself. Sometimes though, when I am up against a wall, like everyone else I try to seek the answers elsewhere.

I perused philosophy, modern messiahs and healing, each who spoke of detachment, reinforced positive energy and old wounds. Same old, same old, I thought. Till a bigger and quieter, yes enormous lesson slowly dawned on me.

Collectively, these tools were asking me the same thing. To get closer to my fundamentals and take a deeper look in order to understand how I really tick – not how I think I tick.

But first, I had to acknowledge anything needed changing. A mental shift had to take place in my brain, because like everyone else, I assumed I’d done the work. I’ve come to understand that I’d understood the concept and thought about it, but hadn’t a clue how to engage it.

I now understand that “truth telling” is a remapping of the parts of our lives that have been eluded by success, by looking at the way we function as a whole. In knowing – and accepting - how I work, I can see the gaps that need to be reworked, and filled.

It’s a big, scary step. But one I am thrilled to take.

Instead of making new year resolutions, Anita Kapoor has decided to tell herself the truth.

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