The Art of Investing in Oneself

What does it really mean to “invest” in oneself?  At what level do we take time to cultivate who we are and decide that it’s time to broaden or embellish how we interact in the world?  What is necessary to examine about ourselves?  What pieces may be missing that could be acquired?

Personally I am always driven to learn more, as I have it in my nature to be the perpetual student.  While I deeply believe that at our essence each of us is intuitively in touch with the “all that is” and thereby inherently know everything there is to know, remembering all that sometimes poses a problem….. yes?

While the concept of Universal Consciousness suggests that all energy and thereby all knowledge is accessible to each of us, how exactly do we go about grasping the tidbits we are interested in?  What secret corridor of our minds must we access to tap into the wisdom of the ages?

Let’s be honest… It’s the most rewarding when we are hit with an enormous “Aha!” moment.  Transcendent and exhilarating epiphany can catapult our understanding into untold realms, if we only allow ourselves to reach for them.  How do we get into that flow?

For me, the answer is simple…… by humbly remaining the receptive “STUDENT“.  When there is a desire to learn, we are teachable.  If we have it in our tightly wound little heads that we have figured everything out that pertains to us, we live very, very small.  By realizing that every experience that we have and every soul we encounter in our day-to-day is a potential opportunity for learning, growing, and knowing we stay teachable.

I have always had an insatiable appetite for reading, taking classes, listening with earnest ear to the wise insights of my elders.  I think that because of this burning desire I have had the most exquisite ability to align myself with the golden stream of what I call “Divine Data Download”.  Basically what I am describing is an openness to the Universe catching my receptivity and giving me more than what the opportunity would otherwise teach me through my 5 senses.   The infusement of etheric information is made available because I am receptive and permeable to it!

Have you had these epiphanies?  Have you experienced a crystal clarity of knowing something internally, simply by being open?

So how do we solicit these chance occasions and create more of them in our lives?  By receptively embracing the role of the student, of course!

My most recent experience in direct study was completing my examinations and thesis for my Masters in Metaphysics two years back.  I have decided that short of excuses that could be innumerable, I intend to continue my studies for life and have begun my preparation for completing my dissertation towards my doctorate.  Why not?  In this day and age the opportunities to continue our adult education are limitless. 

If you are drawn to learn, then LEARN!  If you are called to serve through acquiring skills and modalities through credentials, certifications, degrees and other modes of learning… give your self that gift of growth!

When we keep ourselves keenly aligned with the stream of receiving greater understanding, we give ourselves an unfathomable gift!  Investing in ourselves.    How do you perceive this investment?  How can you make it joyful, artful and celebratory? 

YOU DESERVE IT!  

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Misunderstood vs. Intention……

Is there any greater frustration than being misunderstood?  Is there something more agonizing that being pigeonholed in a clouded opinion of one who cannot see and hear you objectively?  For me this IS the greatest of pains and the most difficult to rise above!

Years ago I was asked by two family members what I considered to be the largest personal challenge to my ego.  I knew it immediately and the answer I gave them then is still the same answer I would give today…… being misunderstood!

My upbringing was entrenched in moral referencing, codes of ethics, religious underpinnings and lists of do’s and don’ts for which I made ridiculous efforts at being fastidious.  I was actively aware of what was expected of me and my 6 siblings and also what living this immaculate lifestyle was meant to somehow guarantee in future reaping.  There were covenants and promises built into this system of living, so by following this simple subscription I was bound to find eternal happiness.

We all grow into the adults that we were favored to become.  Most of that growth came by great trial and effort and often many pitfalls and failures.  The self-criticism born out of those failures is the first hurdle in the encounter we have with misunderstanding.  We ask, “Did I misunderstand the rules”?  “Could I have misunderstood the rule makers”?  “Could I have over-estimated my ability and misunderstood my own strengths and weaknesses”, and worst of all, “Is the judgment that I feel from those observing me my failure or their misunderstanding of my intentions and best efforts”?

I have severely failed to meet the expectations built up for me by those who reared and molded me in childhood.  It has been made perfectly clear to me that judgments around the results of my choices are concrete in the minds of my jury and regardless of my personal soul shaping and growth, the intentions behind my experiences are veiled in cloudy, half-formed and often absent perception from those attempting observation from the outside.

Isn’t that true on some level for every one of us?

The shaping of our sense of self may be riddled with these moments of self-inquiry, self-doubt and external misunderstanding.

“The teacher didn’t see the kid behind me flick me in the back of the head and is now punishing me for turning around in my seat”!

“The officer didn’t see the pothole in the road and pulled me over for swerving with a warning”!

“The surprise birthday I painstaking planned only annoyed my spouse rather than being appreciated for my efforts”!

“My inability to show up for my childs second parent/teacher conference this year due to work constraints has been misperceived by the teacher to be poor parental involvement and a disinterest in my childs academics”!

We all have our personal and painful lists throughout our lives and these disappointing moments are not likely to always remedy themselves with certainty.  Some of these deep misunderstandings linger and destabilize commitments, break down trust and destroy relationships.

While we cannot shape the opinions and perceptions of others what we can do is to hold a special kindness for ourselves in these moments and deeply acknowledge our genuine intentions.  Yes, our best intentions.

No one will ever maintain a spotless record of successful communication, execution and completion without ever failing to be perceived from the intentions of their heart.  Human nature and communication in all it’s complexities guarantee that.  Consider the many angles from which one can read and understand a casual text.

TEXT:  “Why aren’t you here”?   It could be a frightened cry,… it could be an antagonistic inquiry,… it could be a formal scolding,.. and it could be a casual question.

When we acknowledge with gentleness that our best intentions may miss the mark and be subject to misinformed judgments, we can hold ourselves harmless and exhibit kindness to ourselves for what we consciously meant to see manifest.  This awareness within ourselves simultaneously opens us to the compassionate posture of seeing others intentions more clearly.

In a recent wedding that my spouse and I were honored to be witnesses for, the bride and groom had chosen to write their own vows.  Included in the deeply personal vow exchange was the inclusion of the commitment to “Patiently forgive one another for personal failings in communication and execution of anticipated duties and to acknowledge their best intentions first.”  Beautiful!

So what standard to you hold yourself to as a spouse, parent, employee, devotee, neighbor, friend?  What do you hold others to?  Compassionate inquiry and acknowledgment of our own and others greatest of intentions frees us from harming ourselves and those we love and respect.  It honors who we are becoming and draws us closer to heart based relationships where forgiveness is found and relationships flourish.

Intend understanding.