Do you know the Greek myth of Icarus? Icarus is the son of Daedalus who dared to fly too near the sun on wings of feathers and wax. His father cautioned him that flying too near the Sun would cause the wax to melt. But Icarus became enthralled with his ability to fly and forgot his father’s warning. The feathers came loose and Icarus plunged to his death in the sea.
As I see it, this myth is a lesson about balance, about finding balance with your ego and with your gifts. It was Icarus’ choice not accept his gift as it was and to see it as enough. Instead, he chose to push it further, to a place where his gift was destroyed, and he destroyed himself in the process.
We all have, and are given, wings to fly on and it is our choice what we do with them. Do we not use them and never take flight? Do we accept them as they are and fly proudly on them to new destinations? Or do we misuse them, flying too high, too close to the Sun, destroying our gift and ourselves in the process?
If you don’t fly—or you try to fly too high like Icarus, the myth teaches you’ll find yourself falling into the depths of emotional despair, drowning in your egoic feelings (as represented by the sea Icarus drowned in).
To make the most of your gifts, you don’t need to make yourself into more than you are, you don’t need to fly higher than you can and burn yourself, but you also don’t need to stay down on earth, denying your own wings to fly. You are enough. Icarus teaches you have power over what you do with your gifts, and to what heights and destinations they take you.
photo credit: Benjamin Carnevale
Have you noticed — when you are living for the moment — you’re not attached to some fixed idea of who you are? In those moments of presence, you are you — you are nobody. There is no attachment to any idea of who you are.
In those moments, you experience ultimate freedom.
Our ego holds a powerful hold over us — and it causes us a lot of trouble. Situated in our lower mind, our ego is the part of our mental construct that needs for us to be a fixed thing, and one which is desirable and knowledgeable. Whereas our higher mind understands the freedom of being nobody, of needing no sense of fixed self. It knows the value of letting go of the desire to be desirable, and it accepts that our ignorance is our path to freedom.
Despite what our ego tells us, what we need is to be open and learn. What we do not need is to give into our desire to be seen as special. Only when we’re not attached to who we are, can we allow ourselves to be — and be seen.
photo credit: Chris Brown
My lower mind is the part of my mental construct that demands for me to be a fixed thing. It desires definition and certainty. It desires to pin ME down. Whereas my higher mind understands the freedom I receive from being nobody.
My higher mind sees the value of having no sense of self that is fixed. It has no desire to define ME. When I am free from this burden of desire, I am more wholly me. I am who I AM. Whereas my lower mind needs to attach to certain attributes; fortifying and grounding me — in my expertise, in my knowledgability, and in my desirability. It relishes defining me as a real somebody.
What value does tying myself down hold? Where can I go when I hold myself in place? I know I need not fix myself in place. I know I need not define ME. What I need is to practice letting go of the desire to be desirable. What I need is to accept ignorance is the path to my freedom.
In my desperation to be seen as special, may I find my wisdom and my power to be the nobody I truly am.
photo credit: Sam Simpson
There’s a growing phenomenon in Business, specifically in Marketing and Branding trends, of increasingly emphasizing the importance of telling your story — or more truthfully, selling your story.
This concept confuses me.
Asking me what my story is confuses me. You knowing what your story is confuses me.
When I’m asked what my story is, for instance, I may think about my “Innerpreneurial” story just to help my mind focus, but even then I fragment into a million directions. Do I want to share about getting my business starting? Do I want to share about reclaiming my artist and overcoming my creative and mental blocks? Or do I share how I’ve managed my home when both my husband and I are entrepreneurs? What about how I’ve needed to and have completely redesigned my life and world? Where and what part of my life experience is the part that sells?
Maybe this whole story business is suppose to confuse me. Maybe there’s benefit for me to be confused and feeling unsure. Maybe there’s benefit to you seeming clear in your story, and I, not. Maybe then I will more easily buy your story.
Maybe I’m to be confused by the idea that I have one powerful story to tell and sell, and that I can neatly fit my life and my experiences into it. Maybe that’s the point. To present life, or me, or my product, as more simple and clear, together and whole, than your life currently is. Maybe then you will buy the story I’m selling and telling.
There are so very many experiences and learning within me that when I attempt to present you with just one, I wholly feel the incompleteness of the perspective I am presenting. This feeling leaves me wondering, how valuable is it for us to be attached to our own and others stories? What value do we get from these stories we repeat about our Self and others?
There are so many potential stories within us, the ones we attach to and share, what do they say about us and how helpful are they?
photo credit: Venture Vancouver
The wants of others used to matter to me.
I thought somehow they were mine to fulfill.
At some point I decided that while my wants didn’t matter too much, other people’s were of paramount importance.
I convinced myself I was being caring, or helpful, or altruistic, or some other adjective that bathed me in a golden light, in giving what they wanted.
I allowed other people’s wants, and the fulfillment of them, to become my concern.
And while I pretended to be okay with it, and even to enjoy it in the name of giving, what I really felt was how people were taking from me. And I from them.
I was being used, and I was using. I was using them to feel loved, valuable, helpful, and they were using me to get what they wanted.
Neither of us was considering what we needed, what was best for either of us, or our relationship.
Does it matter what you want when you don’t know what you need?
I, and they, were confusing our wants for our needs. I thought I needed to be helpful, and they thought they needed help, but we both simply just wanted it.
We both exerted our power, our esteem for our self, on each other, in hopes that we could get our wants fulfilled, avoiding the work of understanding what we actually needed.
We lacked the love to know what we truly needed — and how to get it. So we stayed focused on our feelings of entitlement to get what we wanted from the other.
We see what we want. But we can see so much more when we look into the truth of why we want things.
The needs of me.
It has taken me time and space to accept that it has always been up to me, and no one else, to obtain the things I need.
The wants of others, and myself, are nice to know but they don’t need matter. They aren’t helpful or hurtful — until they are attached to.
There is nothing wrong with having wants — it’s in the feeling of needing to fulfill them, or not, that my freedom, or my restriction, is born.
photo credit: ashley rose