Waking Up to Walking Our Talk
“Heaven itself is reached with empty hands and open minds, which come with nothing to find everything and claim it as their own.” – A Course in Miracles
Let’s face it. The world of self-development, like the rest of the world, is full of pretending. We don’t even know we are pretending, we have been lying to ourselves for so long about our motives and our fears. I include myself fully in all of the reckoning in this article. I would not be seeing this in the world if it did not start with me. This article is about taking full responsibility.
Sometimes you’ve got to lose everything before you’re free to do anything. And sometimes that includes losing all your illusions about yourself. Especially the illusions we hold most dear, such as thinking we are “right” about this that or the other.
Seven years ago, I had a moment of reckoning in a hospital bed that I was not sure I was ever going to get out of alive. Due to catastrophic complications from a minor medical procedure, I was dehydrating, drowning in my own fluids, swelling up like a balloon, vomiting, and had lost almost half my blood. It was excruciatingly painful and the doctors all around me were panicking. It was touch and go whether I was going to live. God was waking me up. God was letting me know that everything about the way I was living was wrong.
Before I landed in the hospital, I knew that I was unhappy but I didn’t know what to do about it. I thought the rules under which I was living were “right.” I was in a workplace rife with conflict and hatred and back-stabbing. And I was participating in it. All fighting over “prizes” that in retrospect were totally worthless. Positions and assignments that we all thought were “prestigious” such that we forgot to value each other and instead ruthlessly climbed over each other to get the “prizes.”
Well, I didn’t wake up until I almost died. And I can tell you in that hospital bed, when I was not sure whether I would make it out alive, those “prizes” were seen as what they really were: worthless. I could see my entire life stretching out in front of me, an endless hamster wheel seeking prestige and accolades and external measures of “success” … and all it led to was death’s door. I finally could see that even if I somehow reached the “pinnacle” of “success” – say becoming a Supreme Court Justice or something else so “prestigious” … I would die knowing my life was meaningless and I had not fulfilled my purpose. I don’t say this to be harsh to anyone who feels they are fulfilling their true purpose in such a role. I say it because for me at that moment, it was absolutely crystal clear that I was on the road to nowhere.
And here I had been fighting and competing with my colleagues over NOTHING. With endless strife and misery and pain for everyone involved.
After the hospital, everything changed. I began to learn, and I began to let go of all my old ideas. I wanted peace in the relationship with my colleagues, and yet peace was not coming. They “stole” an assignment from me, and my ego wanted to do battle over it because it was “unfair.” Yet one day, I woke up and sanity was restored.
I walked to my colleague’s office, sat down in the chair there, and instead of being angry about what had been “taken away from me,” I grounded myself in peace. And I told this colleague that I was okay with the reassignment, that all I really wanted was peace, and in the big scheme of things, it really did not matter who had the assignment. I symbolized that assignment in my mind with three initials. And I began to see those three initials everywhere after that, on license plates, etched in the sidewalk near my apartment building … as a constant reminder to me to let go what does not matter, because peace is all that matters.
As A Course in Miracles teaches:
Recognize what does not matter, and if your brothers ask you for something “outrageous,” do it because it does not matter. Refuse, and your opposition establishes that it does matter to you. It is only you, therefore, who have made the request outrageous, and every request of a brother is for you. Why would you insist in denying him? For to do so is to deny yourself and impoverish both. He is asking for salvation, as you are. Poverty is of the ego, and never of God. No “outrageous” requests can be made of one who recognizes what is valuable and wants to accept nothing else.
Salvation is for the mind, and it is attained through peace. This is the only thing that can be saved and the only way to save it. Any response other than love arises from a confusion about the “what” and the “how” of salvation, and this is the only answer. Never lose sight of this, and never allow yourself to believe, even for an instant, that there is another answer. For you will surely place yourself among the poor, who do not understand that they dwell in abundance and that salvation is come.
From that day forward, things began to change. More things happened that my ego saw as “provocations” and “unfair,” yet I just kept reminding myself of the three initials and my commitment to peace. I cheerfully accepted assignments that I saw as “less than” the original assignment, and as time went on, I didn’t care anymore. My true life purpose was becoming apparent anyway, and eventually I realized that I was not even going to be staying in that job. Which made it all the more clear. I had one priority and only one priority in my remaining time there. Forgive everyone as much as I could, and set the intention of peace.
Peace came, ladies and gentlemen. Peace came. After I let go of what was valueless, the relationships began to heal. In fact, the entire workplace healed around me. What had been a war zone became a very pleasant place to work. And eventually I was fully reconciled with those I had perceived as “enemies.” They actually became my esteemed colleagues. And the day I walked out of that job on good terms with everyone, I cried for about an hour with love for all of them as I said goodbye.
The Next Chapter of Forgiveness
Today is a similar moment of reckoning for me. I am a tiny wisp of a woman at 108 pounds and as harmless and non-violent as they come. Yet today I was threatened by a man who is almost twice as big as me with physical force should I even dare to make a physical appearance in his vicinity. It does not take a rocket scientist to see that this is stark raving insanity. How can a 108-pound woman be a threat to anyone such that their entire world could be brought to the brink of crashing down by her mere physical appearance, and they would use physical force to “protect” themselves?
Yet, before we go pointing fingers and blaming anyone, let’s see this for what it is. It’s the exact same scenario I had at my workplace. The fighting over what does not matter has reached such a level of intensity that total insanity now reigns. And I have to take responsibility for that, because I have been participating in it. Which ends today. I will not value what is valueless.
And that’s not the only reckoning I am having right now. I realize that everything about the way I have been living must change. I have been frustrated seeing others indulge their fear and scarcity mindsets and holding grudges. Yet if I am honest, I can only see this as a mirror.
If I am honest, I can see that since I left my job and my guaranteed income, I have been living in fear. Building walls around myself and harsh boundaries for fear that my financial needs would not get met. Living in the past, thinking that just because I did not make money the first year I was blogging and giving everything away for free, that the same would necessarily be true now. I’ve had scarcity mindset about giving away my time and energy, even while I have practiced abundance about spending money. Scarcity can come in any form, it’s not just about money. And fear of scarcity leading me to be harsh to some people is still scarcity. I’ve been a hypocrite about this.
In the situation with the man who threatened me, I have been holding grievances and most starkly fighting over stuff that just doesn’t matter. Short term outcomes are irrelevant, yet I have been making them so “important” that they can only lead to conflict. I have been petty and I have given forgiveness only to take it away again in attack. I have not learned what I teach, and I have been a hypocrite about this also.
I’ve been doing a lot of soul searching about all the ways in which I am not walking my talk and not living up to what I teach. There is a long list of ways in which I have not been practicing what I preach. So of course all I can see in the world is the mirror of my imperfect learning. For one thing, I realized that I must let go of the financial fear. My mentoring client Elaine’s epic money miracle was a lesson for all of us: walk in faith, and God will provide. Maybe you don’t always need a “quid pro quo” or a guarantee in order to feel safe. That is part of what inspired me to release the 30-Day World Peace Challenge for free.
In the same spirit, today I signed up another woman in my 15-Week Miracle Coaching Program even though she is not able to send me the full deposit and does not know where the rest of the money will come from … if I’m going to practice what I preach, I must let go of my fears same as she is doing by signing up for the program. We are going to walk in faith together.
Just like this man who threatened me today, I have been defensive and surly with people for the most trivial and stupid of reasons. These people were not in a position to hurt me, but I reacted as if they were. I attacked them when probably all that was needed to diffuse the whole situation was a bit of love and compassion. And my reactions were a reflection of still not really “getting what I teach.” Because if I truly understood my own power, I would not need to attack or threaten anyone. I would not need to block anyone or shut them out of my life. Yet I did not feel strong. I felt fearful and weak and so I acted in unloving ways to “protect” myself. I have a lot to learn.
I write all this in a continuing commitment to transparency, and with a recognition of the need for more humility in my practice. I’m also just tired of trying to fit a certain “model” of how “perfect” a coach is supposed to be. I was not conscious that I was pretending and living in fear, but now that it is conscious, I do not wish to continue pretending. Above all else, I want to be real. Because until we acknowledge honestly what is not working, nothing can really change.
Anyway, thank you for letting me get that off my chest. That’s another thing I realized. I have not been practicing nearly enough gratitude for those who have been reading my articles and following my posts. If you are one I have forgotten to thank, let me thank you now. Your presence here is appreciated even if you feel that you don’t have money to give or you do not feel “ready” to get started with the programs. Let us be willing to set our fears aside and use this moment of quantum shifting to manifest new ways of being and doing that will work better for everyone.
If you’d like to engage in a conversation about this, I invite you to do so here on the blog or on our Forum on this thread (click here to register for free).
Let us all BE THE CHANGE starting right now.
Erika Awakening, High Priestess of Miracles at TAPsmarter
About the Author:
Erika Awakening is a Harvard Law School graduate and former practicing attorney. She left the rat race to become a location-independent entrepreneur, holistic life coach, blogger, speaker, healer, and Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT tapping) expert. Erika Awakening is one of the world's foremost experts on eradicating limiting beliefs and lifestyle design on your own terms. Learn more about Erika Awakening
If you liked this article, you will LOVE Erika's EFT tapping video products and coaching ... Get Started Now: