Jan 23- Filling Your Balloon

Meditation: Chopra, Creating Abundance: The Seeds of Success
Length: 15 minutes
Where: Home Office/Guest Room, Los Angeles
How It Felt: Inspiring

Day 6 Centering Thought: “Everything I desire is within me.”

This meditation touched on a concept I think is incredibly important, one I find myself thinking about frequently. The lesson discussed object-referral, which is when we look outside of us for validation. The idea is that we should be looking inward to understand who we are, trusting that everything we need is coming from inside ourselves, not outside from other people, or from some idea of who we should be.

For some reason, which I can only explain with educated guesses and pieced together ideas, I’ve always had an incredibly strong sense of self. That has honestly saved me. Throughout a difficult and chaotic childhood, some deep trauma, years of major financial struggle, an eating disorder, various mental health challenges, and normal life setbacks we all deal with, this sense of self has propelled me forward in spite of everything. It’s been a small (and sometimes loud) voice in my head telling me it’s going to be ok, just keep putting one foot in front of the other, because I am meant for bigger things. It’s been a north star, a feeling that I am going in the right direction. It’s been my life raft more than once, when I really didn’t have anyone else to reach for when things got hard.

Don’t get me wrong- I have a ton of incredible people in my life, too, that have helped me, supported me, who love me like crazy and I know are always a phone call away. This life I’ve built has come together thanks to many, many other amazing human beings that I would also do anything for in return. I will always be grateful for that.

However, I definitely faced many challenges with little to no safety net, and often at a very young age. I had to develop a reliance on me, and the only healthy way I saw to do that was to sort of become my own biggest champion. I refused to let anyone else’s doubts, insecurities, ignorance, or negativity get into my head or stand in my way. I worked hard to understand what I wanted my life to look like, and no one could convince me it wasn’t possible.

I wanted to live my life in service of other people, in a way that would allow me to help humans (and animals!), but not in servitude to them, their ideas, or their own mental blocks.

So, I started to expand this idea in my mind during the meditation, chanting the mantra over and over silently. It’s totally possible that I am not supposed to let big ideas unfold while I meditate. I’m just supposed to notice thoughts and let them go… but that’s really hard. I’m working on it. In the meantime, sometimes I do dive in and see what revelations are opening up to me. That’s one of my favorite things about this process- going deeper and understanding myself and life in general- so why fight it?

(There is probably a balance there…it’s a work in progress!)

I started to really understand on a deeper level the difference between these two mindsets- comparing yourself to others, defining yourself by their ideas of what you should be or what your life should look like, vs. going within to understand yourself and living life on your own terms, with the realization that everything you need to know is inside YOU.

This is how it looks in my mind:

When you build your self image from the outside, it’s like giving other people the marker to draw your outline for you. They also get to draw the animation- where your form goes, who it interacts with, what dreams it ignores, where it lives, etc. They decide for you if you’re good enough, thin enough, ambitious enough, cool enough. They don’t bother to draw the insides though, so I think that leaves us with an empty feeling. Usually we end up lost, guessing what we should do next, hoping someone or something will give us the answers we need, feeling unfulfilled.

When we build ourselves from the inside out, we take the random outline that exists to contain our soul and spirit and we start filling it and shaping it how we want! We fill it up with convictions, dreams, goals, desires, love, connection, adventures, knowledge, wisdom, insight- all the things we need to live a fulfilling and happy life. Our shape takes form and we are in charge of it.

Most importantly, because we are sculpting this incredible miracle that is us from the infinite resources we find inside, we don’t need other people to fill in the blanks for us. Maybe, earlier in our lives, before we really know ourselves, we let people borrow the marker. They draw in this part or that part, and we think we need that, because really we don’t know what we want to do for our jobs or how to attract the people we want to attract or whether we want four kids or none or where we want to live or….. on and on.

However, the more work we do on ourselves, the less we need other people to fill in those blanks for us, and that is when we can start the business of living authentically, with integrity and character. We can trust our impulses and our opinions. We can be humble and take responsibility for our mistakes. We don’t need to “present” a perfect version of ourselves to the world around us, hoping we are getting it “right.”

We have a true north, and we can tap into it any time we like.

When I was saying all this to my husband, he had this marvelous comparison to a balloon blowing up. As he sees it, you have this tiny little balloon inside you, the way they look without air inside, small and shriveled. As you breathe life into that balloon, filling it with all the things discussed above, dreams and ideas, convictions and purpose, it starts to fill you completely, leaving less and less room inside that was once filled with other peoples’ stories and ideas about who you are and should be.

As we do that work, and you fill yourself up with all the beautiful things that make you uniquely YOU, that empty space slowly disappears. No one can come hijack it from the outside, filling you with doubts about your dreams or who you are.

I love this image! What a beautiful visual- breathing into yourself everything that you are and want to be, slowly crowding out the voices of those around you. Allowing one clear voice to preside. Yours. Your heart. Your soul. Your purpose.

I suddenly understood that this is why I’ve come to meditation at this point in my life. I’ve recently realized someone close to me, someone I love very much, was taking up a lot of space in my head with negativity, with false stories about how the world works, how terrible people are, how we always need to keep our guard up. Clearing out those deeply rooted ideas has left some space inside that I want to fill with clarity, love, trust, and faith in humanity.

Now I get to control the narrative in my mind, because, thankfully, I was able to see this sad truth clearly and pull it out by the roots.

Take control of your mind, your life, and your story. Make sure you are the writer of the brilliant novel that will be your life, and that you aren’t submitting to ghostwriters working behind the scenes to keep you where they want you to be. Surround yourself with people who help you become your best self and want to see that person blossom!

Where to start? Well, how about a little meditation??

Wise goddess.