Catching Your Own Fire: 4 Tips for an Authentic Life Journey

April 2014/2016

I look around and it seems like we’re all involved in our own personal hunger games.

What each of us is hungry for and the degree of hunger certainly varies, but we’re all looking to be fed. Maybe we can’t even identify what it is we’re hungering for, but yet we’re searching every external source to satiate our hearty appetites.

I had an epiphany the other day where I realized that I had been regarding other people in my life as master authorities over my life, ones who somehow knew what was best for me. I looked to everyone else for answers, hungry for approval and reassurance from anyone who would feed me.

I valued these outside opinions tenfold over mine. For all my major life decisions, I had to consult a list of people, in lieu of the most important and always overlooked one — myself.

Cue cognitive dissonance.

The food source for your hunger lies within. You are the food source. Inquire Within.

1. “Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.” ~ Buddha

There is no box. Don’t just think outside the box. Disregard the box altogether because there is no box. Or make your own damn box and make it any shape you want. You get to say what goes. You define you.

Promise yourself that you’ll stop binding your life plan with shoulds and supposed to’s, and just make up your own rules as you see fit in your current life, as things are, today. And you can feel free to continuously redefine your master life plan as you change and evolve since you inevitably will.

What you laid out for your life at 10 years old may not still apply. And that’s okay. Shit happens. Let go of all preconceived notions or disillusions that no longer fit, and view the world with fresh eyes. If that means letting go of long-held beliefs that may have been passed down generationally, so be it.

If they no longer serve you, then they are hindering you. What’s true for your parents may or may not be true for you. Assess this and be honest about what comes up. Same goes for social media trends or what your friends are doing. Their journey is not your journey.

Cultivate the beginner’s mind –it has no biases, questions everything, and sees anything as possible.

2. “I try to believe like I believed when I was five… when my heart told me everything I needed to know.” ~ Lucy Liu

Honor thy heart, for it knows what you really need. Get quiet enough to hear your heart’s whispers and then trust what is revealed to you in those whispers. The heart, a super-sensitive organ, is highly susceptible to the trickery that our minds like to play.

But staying present by being where your feet are keeps the brain chatter and mental trickery just faint enough so that we can still hear the heart speak. Listen to her, do not shush her.

She needs to be heard or she will retaliate.

3. “Don’t be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Take action. Call me silly, but I just realized thinking about doing something and doing something are not actually the same thing.

Sometimes I get painfully indecisive and then procrastinate on making any decision whatsoever for fear of making the wrong one, especially with the small, day-to-day, seemingly inconsequential choices. The best way I’ve found to combat indecision is just to make a decision, any decision.

Some of them will be the wrong decisions, some will be right, but that’s how we learn.

We are not immune to mistakes, but if we stay stuck in fear of making the wrong decision, we ensure no forward progress at all.

4. “I teach you Rebellion! Come out of the masses. Stand alone like a lion and live your life according to your own light.” ~ Osho

Remember how courageous you already are. You are a brave soul to follow your own path and march to a beat only you can hear. It can be lonely to do your own thing and you may feel misunderstood more often than not. You may, or more than likely will, encounter criticism.

To this, I repeat, “Birds peck at the best fruit.”

Pay no attention to the haters, their objection to you doesn’t imply that you’re on the wrong path, so don’t use critics as a reason to give up your individuality and conform to the norm.

Keep on living your truth.