More often than not, the stresses we feel in life happen because we try to control circumstances. Sometimes, we want things to be different than they are that we resist whatever is happening. However, hosts, Jason Wrobel and Whitney Lauritsen, believe that a huge part of life is that ongoing surrender. In this poignant episode about dealing with existential and midlife crises and searching for clarity, Jason and Whitney share their own experiences of figuring out these moments in our lives. They talk about what they do in allowing these moments of fear, confusion, and anxiety to happen and training to be mentally okay with the discomfort. Learn how to deal with the inevitable tough times in life to keep your wellness and happiness together, especially in this crazy world.
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Why We Need To Remind Ourselves Of The Ongoing Surrender
Jason, would you be up for having an open and vulnerable discussion?
Yes. In a general sense or something specific?
You know that it’s something specific.
I don’t know exactly how you want to ask me or engage me on this subject.
You already know what we want to talk about. It’s no surprise that we discussed an episode before we started this.
I’ll go deep. I’ll crack it open. I’ll Krakatoa.
Do you want to explain what Krakatoa means?
Yes. I can’t just leave that hanging, can’t I?
We have inside jokes, so sometimes I have to remind Jason to explain them to others.
Krakatoa is the name of the sound.
Krakatoa is also a volcano or something.
That’s correct. I named Krakatoa the sound that cats make when they observe birds outside and they start to quiver their mouths and chatter. That weird that chatter that they are like talking to the birds that are like some clandestine cat language. Anytime I see my cats do that, I call it Krakatoa.
Your cats don’t do it that often, do they?
Lynx and Julius do, but as soon as I reach for the phone and try to capture it, they stop because that’s typical behavior for them. It’s having this moment that’s like, “They are doing the Krakatoa.” I literally reach for the phone and they stop.A huge part of life is that ongoing surrender. Click To Tweet
You said you’re going to crack open, you are going to Krakatoa open. Before we started this episode, Jason and I were picking up on life and he said something. Do you remember what words you used? I could summarize.
I don’t really know what I’m doing.
Yes, in general and more specifically in my career right now, in my brand, my career. I know what I’m doing right now. I’m talking to you or having an open conversation. I think it’s more of an existential set of crises around, “Am living my purpose and my dharma? Am I really surrendered to what my heart wants and what spirit or what God wants for me? Am I in alignment with what my heart really wants?” I’ve been sitting with a lot of existential questions of purpose and alignment and dharma and all of those things. To be honest, I’m feeling a little bit lost right now.
This is a break out of the flow for a moment. This is something that we have prioritized with this show in our first few episodes at least is being authentic about what’s going on. That’s the theme of this episode. We could stop and start again but I think everything that you said is so important. Why would we rerecord it? Why would we start again and try for you to recreate all of the truth that you shared? That’s the reason that we’re going to keep going and hopefully, we’ll not have to pause again for Evie. Why do you think that it’s challenging to discuss this subject? Why were you hesitant to talk about that when I suggested that we use this as the topic? What was it that came up for you as hesitation?
People’s judgments or the expectation of the possibility of judgement.
Like what though?
“Jason is,” however people perceive me. Usually people are like, “He is just a chef,” which is a whole other thing that I have been unraveling that is feeling pigeonholed and feeling a lot of people in life have been wanting me to “stay in my lane” whether they have said that directly or indirectly through comments. It’s the same feeling I have when I started talking about my mental health, my depression, my anxiety and suicidal ideation a few years back.
I feel like a mother with a young child. I’m trying to have a heart to heart with my friend. Have you ever had that as we get older and our friends started having kids? This happened with a mutual friend of ours. I went over to spend some quality time with her. I could barely get a word without her daughter interrupting us and wanting something. It took a lot of deep patience for me to not get upset. I realized that it was my ego being annoyed that I wasn’t the center of my friend’s attention. Especially with animals and with children, we have to be extra patient with them because their forms of understanding and communication are different than ours as adults. It’s always such a trying moment when the circumstances are not what we want them to be. That ties into a bit of what maybe feels challenging for you, Jason, is that sometimes we want things to be different than they are and we resist.
When we resist and we try to control, there are times where we can’t control. As we’ve talked about so many times in the podcast that we can barely control anything. We don’t have as much control as we want or sometimes have as much control as we even think that we have. I feel like a huge part of life is that ongoing surrender. Perhaps for you right now as you were talking about feeling may be judged by other people, afraid to tell people what you’re going through because other people have expectations of you, which is another theme that keeps coming up for us is expectations. It’s so fascinating to me when people don’t want to live out their truth because they’re afraid that they’re going to disrupt somebody else’s expectations of them.
The other side of this too is in the process of letting go. In the spring, I’m concentrating on letting go of not only material things, donating clothes, lightening my material load. Also, in terms of my career and what I’m focusing on creatively, what I’m focusing on energetically where I’m investing my time and energy and heart into. I’m also realizing that there are things that want to be let go of there. Even more so than the possibility of other people’s expectations. What’s deeper and more terrifying to me in moments is if I let go of the things that I’ve been focusing on and the identity that I’ve held for myself. There is a vacuum created. I don’t know what my identity is in terms of the title or people, “What do you do?” “I don’t know. I make stuff. I create.”
The terror is almost when we take something away that we’ve identified ourselves with for so long, it’s this weird discomfort is the best adjective of how I feel right now of not knowing how to describe what it is that I am or what I am doing. On the other side of that though, it feels liberating. We talked about previous episodes about titles and can we live without titles and assign titles to things? There’s the terror of when someone asks me, what do I say? What do I put on my bio on the internet? Also, freedom in not having to call me anything or not having to assign a title.
It’s an interesting duality right now for me psychologically because my soul is like, “You don’t need to call yourself anything.” You’re an eternal being, your business transcends all of this. It transcends language. It transcends whether you call yourself a chef or a podcaster or a coach or a musician or any of that crap. The earthly part of myself is like, “Yeah, but then how are people going to relate to you and what you create. If you don’t know what you’re doing, how people can?” It’s an interesting dichotomy right now. I hope I’m explaining it succinctly enough, but I’ve been feeling a lot of chaos inside of myself.
There’s also this big desire to get through that as quickly as possible because maybe society feels judgmental as a whole or we perceive that society is not accepting of us when we are in a place of unknown. There’s this rush to work through it as quickly as possible. Are you feeling some of that do you think or are you feeling shame for being in a place of perceived chaos?We never know how much time we have. None of us are ever guaranteed any amount of time. Click To Tweet
The discomfort is so profound in moments. It’s my natural automatic response to feel that much discomfort and want to shy away from it. If you define what you’re doing and have a word for it or come up with a phrase, maybe you won’t feel so uncomfortable. I’ve sat down and sketched out something I came up with was an omniscopic creative chameleon, which felt cool. It’s like omniscopic. He has many interests. His horizons are broad. He’s interested in many pursuits and many endeavors. He’s creative. He’s a chameleon, which I’ve changed my career. I’ve changed who I am so many times in this life to take an overview of what I’ve done in terms of career and money. I was reflecting on it. It’s nuts all the things I’ve done. Omniscopic creative chameleon is the closest I’ve been able to come to how do I describe like, “What do you do?” “I’m an omniscopic creative chameleon.” It doesn’t roll off the tongue, but it definitely insights curiosity.
You could say creative chameleon. I’ll admit I didn’t know what that word meant.
Most people would not know what that word means.
It is something that when I say it, I’m like, “This is closer to something interesting and more on the nose.” Even if people don’t know what it is, that’s okay. If I in my heart feel like it is more accurately describing my state of being, then that’s what matters. That’s the thing with is I don’t think I’m as concerned about other people’s judgments or expectations as I am being clear about who I am, what I’m doing and making sure that my heart is aligned with it. That’s the bigger thing truthfully. Since I feel unclear right now, I feel a little bit scattered and feel a little bit of chaos, that’s the most unsettling part.
Because with clarity or a feeling of clarity, there’s a certain amount of security in that of I know who I am, I know what I’m doing and I know what I’m focused on. When these existential crises happen, these questions come, it’s maybe I don’t know who I am and maybe I don’t know what I’m exactly here to do. Maybe through many years of life and all the moments, I thought I knew, maybe I’m at yet another stage of crap. I had someone comment on a post I put about when we talked about our childhood dreams, visions and how those might be relevant in our adult life. I posted something a few weeks back and someone took the time to send me a direct message, basically being unkind about what I wrote in the post and saying, “You’re having a midlife crisis. Don’t make it bigger than what it is.” He said some mean things. I thought, “Midlife crisis? Interesting.” He wrote this whole diatribe about, “Whatever, you’re having a midlife crisis.” I was like, “Am I? Is he partially right?”
First of all, do you even know if it’s your mid-life?
We’ll never know.
That phrase drives me crazy.
I’m only going to live until I’m 82. Who knows?
To me, even when you use that phrase, it’s the judgmental thing to say. What I wanted to say is that it seems like it’s coming from somebody if they’re using a phrase like that, they’re already putting you in a box. They’re trying to confine you to society’s standards of what’s going on and trying to label you. The whole point is that you don’t want that label. Here’s somebody coming along and maybe shaming you but as we know logically, it’s easier to say this than it is to face it. When we get feedback like that, especially from strangers, it usually says more about them than you. As we’ve talked about in other episodes, it usually hurts because part of us believes that a person is accurate. Whatever they’re saying about us, we think, “Maybe I am having a midlife crisis or maybe I am whatever else this person said.”
I wanted to respond and say something. In the moments, sometimes when people say unkind things, we wish we had a creative retort or reply to put them in their place. When I think of a midlife crisis and we’re getting tangential, but when someone says that phrase to me, I think of somebody in their 50s who are like, “I’m going out and buying the Corvette, Mustang and the Lamborghini.” The cliché is usually the dude who goes out and buys a sports car or the woman goes out and gets plastic surgery or does some crazy shopping spree. The clichés exist. I wanted to say something like, “I don’t have the Corvette yet, check back in ten years.” What midlife crises are and how they get misinterpreted is perhaps someone has chosen a life path or a career or a certain set of circumstances in their life without understanding why or being connected to those choices.
There’s a moment or maybe moments of lucidity that occur or an awakening that occurs in a person where they go, “Am I living a life that is meaningful that I feel connected to?” That’s a convenient, dismissive, unkind way of labeling that. What I think it is potentially depending on the person, some part of their soul is tapping on them going, “This isn’t what we intended for you and this isn’t what you’re here to do.” The terror is someone who’s invested decades into a profession. Maybe they’re making a ton of money, maybe there’s a lot of security tied up in that. The fears around providing for their family or maintain the lifestyle they’re used to. Part of the crisis is if I listened to this still voice inside that’s moving me towards something else and I let go of what I know, what is on the other side of that?There is a part of us that is driven by the need to be socially accepted and to have other people agree with us. Click To Tweet
Maybe it’s an awakening of getting to a certain point in your life and thinking, “I don’t know how much time I have left on this planet and what am I doing?” That is often why the cliché of it happening in “mid-life” is thinking, “Am I halfway through my lifespan?” Again, we never know how much time we have. None of us are ever guaranteed any amount of time. There’s something about the 40s and the 50s that are associated with this because for the average person that is mid-life. If people live until their 80s or 90s. It’s this feeling of, “Have I done everything that I wanted to do? Am I living life?” Part of this and one of our big missions with Wellevatr is to encourage each person that’s taking in this information to tap into themselves and live a life that’s meaningful to them, what they want and what feels good and know that you can feel vibrant. Your health can increase. There are so many things that can make life incredibly pleasant especially because life isn’t always pleasant.
Jason and I talk about in these episodes all the times in our lives where we get frustrated and confused and fearful and uncomfortable and all of that. We want to remind you that part of what makes it easier for us to work through those moments in our lives is our wellness practices. It’s the way that we take care of ourselves physically and mentally. I feel like it’s hard enough even when I’m in peak physical health. It’s still incredibly hard to go through tough emotions. For me, I feel like the past month or so has been challenging for me. I feel like I’ve finally come out to a period of some emotional relief. The discomfort has subsided. I was noticing this wave of relief coming over me, but I still feel like I’m in a lot of discomfort.
I’m trying not to be attached to how long that discomfort lasts because that’s part of it too as you were saying when we feel uncomfortable specifically emotionally, I feel like that is even more torment of a torment than physical discomfort. Because for me, at least physical discomfort, I’m very aware, except in the cases of very extreme pain or new forms of physical pain, most of the time I’m thinking, “This is uncomfortable but I’ve been through this before. I’ll get through it. It’s not going to last that long.” Every once in a while, I’ll experience some physical pain that that throws me off. I don’t know what to do with myself but still, for the most part, psychologically I know that physical pain is temporary.
Emotional pain for some reason, that is hard for me to convince myself that it’s not going to last very long. When I’m in emotional pain, it feels awful. I’m miserable. Going back to the midlife crisis thing is I feel like maybe what happens for a lot of people is if they are not training themselves mentally to be okay in the discomfort of their lives. If they have not created a life around what they want, if they’ve shaped their lives around other people’s expectations of them, society, culture, family and friends or reaching a goal and thinking that this is the only way to do it is to suffer, the no pain, no gain type of mentality, which is pretty common, at least in the United States.
We have this mindset of, “I’m going to put in all of this work and I’m going to get this outcome.” As we’ve talked about in a lot of episodes, this idea of getting a goal, we’re so goal-oriented. We’re obsessed with reaching a pinnacle of success. When this midlife crisis tends to happen, it’s either the goals that have already been reached and they have not found happiness or they haven’t found the happiness that they’ve sought, no matter what they’ve tried. They’re thinking, “Why am I doing all of these things that don’t even make me happy on a daily basis?” which a lot of people live that life of daily unhappiness.
The more that I get a perspective on the world, the more that I am unsure if everybody can experience daily happiness. One of the things that I took away from that book, Selfie, it’s such a great book. It ended a little abruptly in my opinion, without as much of a bow tie at the end. One of the big things that I learned is in that book, the author is exploring how Western people tend to be very self-focused. He talks about narcissism a lot in that book, why people become narcissistic and why people are so obsessed with their appearances and all these different things. He also says that Western societies have this idea that everybody can succeed. If you do this and follow this formula, you’re going to get this specific outcome.
As I was reading, I was thinking, “I have had that mentality my whole life. That’s the way that I was raised.” He talks about in this book how people that were born around my year and the way that kids were treated in schools and raised by their parents was generally to build self-esteem. The self-esteem movement was picking up steam when I was a little kid and Jason too. For the most part, Jason was also part of the self-esteem movement and that’s part of what makes this book, Selfie, fascinating. I had no idea. Looking back on my life, I realized that self-esteem played a huge role. What’s crazy about this book is he starts to debunk the idea of self-esteem in a fascinating way. Whereas I’ve had this mentality of if I build my self-esteem, I can achieve anything that I want in life.
Self-esteem is going to be the thing that gets in my way. In the book, I don’t know if it’s a conclusion or him exploring it. He is saying that that might not necessarily be the case. It’s not that getting great self-esteem is the answer. He talks a lot about how we’re very obsessed with finding answers and working on ourselves. That book threw a loop in terms of how I was looking at my life and the lives of others. It’s a must-read for anybody that’s interested in narcissism and interested in social media. That’s a big theme throughout the book but also self-esteem and self-improvement. I’m like looking back on the dates of when the books were written that I’m into and looking at the context that they had in that time and not taking them for granted.
That’s something that’s so important when we’re taking in information is who is writing this? When was it written? What were their sources? It’s not taking everything as a fact. My main point here is that I’m no longer have this absolute perspective that everybody can achieve happiness if they only do this and that or anybody can be successful if they do this and that. As we’ve talked about in other episodes, you know, there are plenty of examples of people that follow the formula and don’t achieve all of those things that they’re promised. That’s part of the big American myth.
We live in a country, at least Jason and I do, especially if you’re around the ages of Jason and me, most of us are under this belief that anything is possible. I like that idea. What if that’s not true? This is something that gets into the book, Jason, to go back to what you’re experiencing is that maybe part of what’s frustrating for you is this belief that you’re doing everything that “right” and yet you’re not getting the results that you want. It’s almost like if you don’t get those results and maybe there’s something wrong with you.
What you’re saying out loud is very accurate. To whatever degree or another, I have bought into a formulaic approach in my career and my brand to the degree that in my mind there’ve been moments where and if I track it back for this example, you graduate culinary school and you work in a restaurant for a few years and get your feet wet. After that, you either work in a restaurant or you open a catering business and maybe you make the next leap and do personal cheffing. You start doing personal cheffing. “What’s this YouTube thing and social media thing? We got to do that.” You start a YouTube channel. After the YouTube channel, you start putting out eBooks. After you do eBooks, you do speaking appearances. After speaking appearances, you try and get a TV show. You get a cookbook deal. You release an online course.
It’s almost like there has been this systematic mentality I adopted, “This is the next thing you do because that’s what you do.” I’m seeing other people in the industry subscribing to their formula and thinking, “Wait, but is my formula right or is their formula right because they seem more successful than me. Maybe I’ve got the wrong formula, maybe they’ve got the right formula. What am I doing?” To go back to soul versus ego, my soul, at least the messages that I seem to get whilst meditating and in moments of clarity, it’s like do the things that bring joy. Is this joyful. Not so much, “Is this the next logical step in your career or how much money is this going to make you?”
Honestly, the question lately for me has been what is bringing joy and fulfillment to you, first and foremost? If it happens to bring joy and fulfillment to others, great. One of the things I’ve been overly focused on is this idea of you create value for others and give to others. What do they want? Serving my audience and what do they want, but truthfully a lot of it I’ve done that at the expense of not honoring what my heart and my soul have been telling me to do. I’ve been so focused on building a brand and so focused on giving the people what they want that I haven’t given myself what I’ve wanted in many instances. I’m not trying to sound like a martyr.
It was a choice, but as I’m reflecting on where I’m at right now in this moment of inquiry, I’m much like the perspective you got from Selfie. I feel like there was a shift mentally for me in what if I focused on what my heart wants and if people like it and get value from it, great. If they don’t, great, but stop focusing so much on, how are they going to perceive it? Is it going to be valuable? Are they going to buy the book? Are they going to watch a TV show? Being overly strategic and maybe somewhat manipulative about yeah, giving the people what they want.Having a fixed set of rules or behaviors is not what life requires because life is ever-changing, ever-evolving as are we. Click To Tweet
Maybe I don’t give a crap anymore to be honest. I’m being raw right now. Maybe I don’t care about being so obsessive about giving the people what they want. Truthfully, a lot of my audience, they want recipes. I’ve released hundreds and hundreds of recipes. I don’t want to do anymore right now. I may not want to do it anymore at all. If I happen to lose thousands of people on my social media or thousands of people on my mailing list because I’m like, “Guys, I’m not doing any recipes anymore. I’m glad you love them, but I don’t in my heart feel like doing anymore. I don’t.”
I’ve had people ask me, “Maybe you’re burnt out.” I don’t think it’s that easy. My heart is like, “I don’t put more creative energy on this.” I’ve spent years doing it. I’ve given enough. My heart doesn’t want to do it anymore. I haven’t talked about this publicly. We can resist what our heart or our soul is telling us, but at a certain point, we can’t run from it anymore. Going back to the terror of it, it’s like, “You’ve built this brand and people expect food and recipes and nutrition from you.” Part of me is like, “I don’t want to talk about it so much anymore,” because it seems, the first thing people ask is like, “Do you have a recipe for this? What about this? I eat this and I love food.”
It’s not that I don’t love food, but what I’ve been getting the most joy out of and all this is not putting out recipes, filming YouTube videos and feeling like I’ve got to keep up with the Joneses and do the rat race. It’s returning to making food at home and no one sees what I’m doing and I’m not shooting a video about it. I’m not making a picture of it. I’m doing it for the joy of doing it. It’s not because there’s this pressure to like share it or meet people’s expectations or give them what they want. Honestly, I’ve been making food at home for the first time in a long time and it feels so wonderful. I’m not feeling any pressure to share it or make it anything or I need to get 500 likes on this or I to need to get 1,000 views. I’m making it because I’m like, “I do enjoy making food.”
The process of nourishing myself or nourishing someone else. That’s why I started the joy of that. At a certain point, it became a thing. It’s like, “Now you’ve got a TV show, now you’ve got a cookbook and now you’ve got 40,000 followers. You’ve got to keep it up.” There’s this pressure. I don’t care anymore about that shit. I want to get back to what does my heart wants to create? If I don’t share it and no one sees it, does it happen? If a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it, did the tree fall? If Jason makes a recipe and doesn’t share it on Instagram, did the recipe gets made? I feel like I’m in this flow right now because I’m trying to dissect what I’m feeling in my heart.
There is a tendency and I’ve talked to other artists and creators about this subject. I’m wondering if you feel any part of this with your endeavors where we start something and no one knows we’re doing it. We’re not an influencer. We’re not a celebrity. We’re not anything. We’re doing something because we feel passionate and our hearts in it. We love the act of creating the thing. At a certain point, popularity happens, fame happens, projects, there’s money involved. There are expectations involved. For me, I’ve noticed that through all of those other layers that are on top of the creative spark of the thing, a lot of joy gets lost.
For me, the joy got lost because it was all about keeping up appearances. You’ve got to keep posting. You’ve got to keep giving people what they want, don’t lose relevance and don’t let people forget about you. All that other crap that doesn’t have anything to do with the original joyfulness of the creativity. What’s going on for me is I’m trying to get down to the center point of what feels joyful in creation. Even if I’m not making money at it, even if nobody ever sees it, even if I don’t have to do a big launch party for the thing, I’m trying to cut through all the layers that have been built on top of my creative life and get to the heart of what I want to express right now.
It’s interesting because part of me is feeling a bit topsy-turvy after reading the book, Selfie. A huge part of that book is he talks so much about self-esteem. That’s the very big chunk of it. I want to read the book again or at least go through all of my highlights and take it in. I felt like there was so much to absorb. I was looking at that book as trying to understand where we’re at with humanity and social media right now. That was the big draw of that book is I thought the book was going to be about why people take selfies, use social media and all of that. An interesting example is that when the Notre Dame Cathedral was burning, there are all these memes going around making fun of the response to that, which is a sensitive subject because this has nothing to do with Notre Dame and what I’m saying.
The response on social media was a lot of people talking and sharing their stories about how Notre Dame played a role in their lives. There was a bit of a cliché of Americans sharing photos from their trips to Paris and talking about Notre Dame. I remember when the news first broke, I felt slightly compelled to go through photos. I know I went to Notre Dame while I was studying abroad. It was one of those buildings that I appreciated. It was historic. It’s something that I’ve thought about, but I’m not somebody who lives in Paris, a Parisian. It’s very different for them as part of French culture in a different way than it is for me as an American personally.
I remember having a moment thinking, “Maybe I should share the story of my visit to Notre Dame.” I didn’t feel like it was that important. Over the course of the few days, after it caught fire, there was this cliché outpouring of a lot of American women sharing their stories of going to Paris and visiting Notre Dame. A few days after that, there were a few memes that have gone around of poking fun at this and how it ties into what I was reading in that book, Selfie. We’re in this time where people feel the need to talk about their experiences very publicly as if they’re trying to draw attention in the memes about Notre Dame. It was like an opportunity for people to brag about their trips to Paris and whether or not that was the motivation there, I’m not sure.
It could certainly be perceived that way as it’s like, “I have an opportunity to tell everybody about how I went to Paris.” Are we at this point in our culture where we’re obsessed with letting people know the highlights of our lives? We talk about how social media has this highlight reel. It’s like, let’s show our pictures when we look our best. Let’s post about our perfect vacations or maybe our vacations aren’t perfect, but we’re only going to post the pictures that indicate that they were perfect vacations. When a tragedy strikes, a lot of people jump on it because they want to be included in the tragedy somehow.
There’s part of me that obviously can relate because I had that moment where I thought about posting about Notre Dame. It wasn’t a big enough importance to me so I didn’t do it. When I saw other people do it, there was a part of me that said, “I can relate to that. I know why they’re posting this. They want to talk about these times.” There’s another part of me that’s thinking it’s self-absorption like “I’m going to use something horrible as an excuse to share my own story.” Is this the right time to be sharing this story about Notre Dame? I don’t know if there is an answer to that. I can understand why people post it. I can also understand why some people were making fun of the people that posted.
There are two sides to me that view things like that. That’s how I feel about social media is I feel very confused and conflicted many times about what I share online and my motivation. I can be very honest with myself when I’m posting a picture because I want some approval. I want people to see that I looked pretty. I want people to think of me as being a pretty woman. I want them to think of me as having a great life. Most people would like others to perceive them that way. We can all relate to that desire. It’s a matter of do we act on it? How do we act on it? How much does that rule our lives? Are our lives dictated by the need to get validation on social media, the need for other people to see us as being a certain way, or the need for us to be accepted, approved of and validated and all of that?
I know I can relate to it. I don’t know how I want to participate in that and if I do. Going back to Jason’s point about his career choices and the things that he’s doing it, there’s part of us that is driven by the need to be socially accepted and to have other people agree with us. There’s also part of us that wants to rebel and do our thing and not worry about what other people think of us. We’re at a time in humanity where many people are probably feeling very conflicted. There’s the tug and pull of those both feel both of those feelings. In sharing this, Jason, it’s important for me to remind you that you’re not alone because I feel that too. To the audience, maybe they’ve been feeling the same way and they don’t even know how to express it.
That was one of the reasons why that book, Selfie, was fascinating to me because it paints the whole history behind this. It dives into some perspectives to show that we may be a product of our history. This is going back to ancient Greece as the author goes into several times throughout the book. Our behavior as human beings is very conditioned, programmed and shaped by the people that came before us. We don’t need to be so concerned about our behavior because our behavior is partially genetic, partially historic and partially cultural nature versus nurture, all of these things. That’s another reminder to surrender and be like, “I don’t have it all figured out. I don’t have the answers. I’m going to make mistakes. I’m going to do things that feel embarrassing or shameful. I’m going to do things that don’t feel right. Sometimes I’ll do things that do feel right.” It’s a daily exploration of ourselves. Does that take the pressure off at all to know that everybody’s figuring out? It’s some people who are more vocal about trying to figure these things out than others.You can't have absolute security because things are constantly changing and moving. Click To Tweet
There’s a massive pressure to keep up an illusion in all this. I know what I’m doing. I’ve got it figured out. I’ve got it on lock. I’ve got my shit together as we like to say. Deep down, the more that I meet people who are honest about starting a business, traveling the world, raising a child, doing something they’ve never done before, the confusion and the terror and the willingness to do it anyway, that’s more real instead of, “I know what I’m doing.” I feel like nobody knows crap. We’re all leading each other home and we’re all trying our best to figure out what even life is, what even we are. We talk about purpose, life, mission and existence. These are things nobody has definitive questions do. We’re still trying to figure out who we are and where we’re from. All of us, we have great theories. We have great explanations, but we’re still trying to live into the questions.
Maybe there are no answers. It’s very odd. It’s a conundrum because as human beings, we’re a bit programmed to get answers to things. What if there is no meaning and not in like this doomsday perspective. There’s no meaning in a freedom forum way. There’s no answer. There’s no point. There’s no meaning. That makes life even more exciting because as human beings, there’s part of us that has such a desire to follow the rules and simultaneously a desire to break the rules. We live in this weird conflict where we’re desperately looking for a strategy, answers, a path, the guides and all of that, but yet we just want to go off the path too. What if instead of trying to be one way or another, we could be both? We can follow the rules sometimes and go off the path other times. If we want to follow other people, great. As soon as we feel that desire to carve own paths or do it our way, why don’t we go do that until we feel like following somebody else again?
That’s called balance. Also, the following moment to moment where we’re being led in life because having a fixed set of rules or a fixed set of behaviors is not what life requires because life is ever-changing, ever-evolving as are we. In a way, not knowing what we’re doing is in perfect alignment with life because change is the only constant. How could we possibly be secure and certain in every moment when life is constantly moving forward and constantly changing? There’s a great book about this by Alan Watts, The Wisdom of Insecurity. He’s like, “Life is evolving moving forward. None of us know who we are, where we’re from. We’re all trying to figure it out. Every moment demands something new from us.” You can’t have absolute security because things are constantly changing and moving.
You can’t be comfortable all the time. You have to learn to be uncomfortable in the discomfort.
People are like, “Do you have a plan?” “No, I’m winging it.” “What?” “I’m winging it.” “We need to have a plan.” “Plans are cool but I’m winging it.”
“This thing that I’ve been doing for years, I’m not doing it anymore.” “Are you done with it entirely?” “Maybe not. Maybe yes.”
“I don’t know. I’m not sure. I’m not doing it right now.”
The big thing is that when you were talking earlier, I’m thinking, “Who knows if you’re going to want to do recipes again?” If you don’t want to do them right now, don’t do them right now. You can always go back to them. Why is there this view that if you stop doing something, then you can never return to it? That’s so silly. What are people going to reject you if you decide that you want to do recipes again? We don’t have the answers, but this is us figuring it all out.
We’re exploring as we all are and we want to encourage you to question. Part of this life’s journey is to be free thinkers and question if we are on the path that feels good to us. Question what we are doing in life. Question if our hearts and our souls are in alignment with our choices. We want to encourage you to have the courage to ask those questions, live into those questions and keep living into those questions because the questions lead to more questions. There is a certain amount of courage and willingness that that takes. If you are one of those people, you are questioning, you are opening your mind and your heart to the possibilities, kudos to you because we’re all on this path together. We are on all the major social platforms, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. If you haven’t downloaded our amazing resources, we’ve got a great eBook on our website called You are Enough. You can download that free eBook and subscribe to our mailing list. We send out new blog posts, inspirational messages and things to ponder every week in our newsletter list. Thank you for being with us for this episode. Whitney and I will catch you with another one soon.
- Word Up: Little Languaging Hacks for Big Change
- The Wisdom of Insecurity
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