I recently led a call for participants in an EFT training course, and a great question came up.
Why are some of us able to do so much, give so much, be so present, when it comes to our children, partners, clients compared to what we can do for ourselves?
For me, this aligns with one of my favorite subjects. Essentially, it is one form of tapping into an energy that is about something bigger than yourself.
When you are focused on someone you care about, you may feel your typical sense of self disappear. Your energy and attention becomes one of giving, one of support, and you can “lose yourself” in service.
This is extremely similar to the way people describe the flow state, being totally immersed in the moment and deeply connected to what is happening – often simultaneously feeling effortless.
The person, moment or objective at hand absorbs our attention, and frees it from being placed on our self-oriented narratives, concerns and abstractions.
This is something I’m intimately familiar with as someone who makes his living playing music with a large amount of improvisation and accompaniment. It is also a key component to facilitating and the type of inner work I love to do. This is not a coincidence.
Losing yourself in the moment of something that is alive, passionate and in the moment (which can describe children as easily as it can a performance) is one of the great experiences of life, and something we crave.
Fixing Problems is Not Inspiring
One of the biggest differences I see when contrasting this flow state type of experience to how many people approach inner work comes down to this:
Inner work is approached as fixing problems with yourself.
It is valuable and necessarily in life to make adjustments when things aren’t functioning the way you need them to. However, fixing problems, paying the bills and putting out fires is not deeply inspiring or satisfying as a life purpose. No child says “functional” when you ask them what they want to be when they grow up.
Now you may genuinely working on yourself, ‘fixing’ things like cars, helping others with their struggles, but those things have a very different emotional energy than the type of uninspiring repair-project mentality we often take in regards to our personal development.
There will always be another issue to fix, or something else to improve. That will never satisfy the desire for this deeper connection, so it is important to consciously direct your attention towards it.
There are things in life you truly love to engage in, that feel like they mean something to you.
Can you think of anything like this? It may be something that’s a lot of fun, but it goes beyond just entertainment – it may make you feel more connected to yourself or the world around you, perhaps to others, or a sense of higher-self.
There is a significance to it beyond simply being an obligation, or being functional.
It does not have to be something that would be your career. It may be a general topic, you may experience it while cooking or listening to music, suggesting it is a doorway for you. It could be hanging out with your grandkids or nieces and nephews.
Take a moment to feel into this. If you don’t have something clear, simply imagine how that might feel.
Compare and Contrast
Contrast how you feel when you think about this inspiring activity
to how you feel when you decide to:
“work on your money issues” or
“figure out why I don’t have a relationship.”
Of course you may want more money, you may want a relationship. However, the energy behind it being a self-oriented problem to fix is rarely inspiring.
I’m not sure I could get inspired to focus on some amount of money every day.
I don’t have to do much of anything to be inspired to practice my instrument every day.
Again, think about something that is meaningful and inspiring to you.
How would you be able to have more of it in your life?
Could more money help in that cause? Could it give you more freedom to explore it?
Do you necessarily need more money to have it, or are there perhaps other ways?
I find this is often more powerful and productive for many people than purely working on money, although it is obviously a subject I address and find value in.
However, the WHY around the money, or the person to share your experiences with, is where the meat is.
The Importance of a Vision
As I said, this is one of my favorite subjects – I’ve written about it more than once, and will continue to do so.
Diving into what really matters to you, what truly inspires you, and what connects you to something larger than your immediate safety and other concerns, is where the fuel is for ongoing inspiration and growth.
The moment I’m working with someone and we get to something more specific — opening that dance studio, asking that person out, finding a way to travel, that’s where everything begins to unfold on a deeper level.
This is also why so few people can consciously, quickly and clearly answer the questions around “what do I want” and “what really matters to me?”
To even explore that is when things start getting “real,” and it is often much easier and safer to work more broadly, generally on a subject like money.
Of course, you all know what you want on some level. You are naturally drawn to some things, averse to others. The answers to the questions are not rocket science. They are however, often buried under layers of defense, disappointments, programming from childhood that forced us to disown them, and much more.
It can take real exploration and curiosity to get to them, but when you do, there is real gold there.
Exploring this Further
I will be doing a free call on this subject that will be available on the YouTube channel to watch, if you cannot attend live.
Also, 2 years ago I did a program focused totally on this subject with a small group of people.
One of them asked me if I would do it again, so I intend to do that if the interest is there. Look for details on the call, or in your inbox afterwards.
In any case, I hope you will take some time to explore into these questions of what matters to you, where you are able to “lose yourself” in the moment or in service to others, and begin to connect some very meaningful dots!