By Joeel A. Rivera, M.Ed.
So, let’s play a game—it’s called hide and go seek. Maybe you played it as a child, but as adults we all tend to play a different version of it. You see, we are all seekers and we seek to find our own truth. We seek truth, inner peace, and understanding of our reality, whether we find it through meditation, finding a guru, following a religion or ideology, or alcohol or any other drug. The paths may seem very different, but at the end of the day we are more similar then what some may think.
Regardless of the path, most seekers seem to try to find themselves outside of themselves. It is as if what we seek is hiding in the knowledge and wisdom of others. It is intriguing to hear people say “I am trying to find myself”, yet they focus on someone else telling them who they should be or who they are. I am not saying that it is not wise to find wisdom outside of ourselves because we are constantly learning from each other. However, it is important to recognize that when we are vulnerable we can easily be veered away from our true self and toward believing in someone else’s definition of life and what it should be. Beware of false prophets.
This is why, when I write, I only attempt to share what I have learned through MY journey, just like you have a journey that you could use to teach others. In no way do I believe that what I teach is the only truth, and I would only want people to take in and apply what resonates with them and where they are at in their own life. We are all teachers, just like we are all students.
We fail when we stop looking at the journey through our own eyes.
It’s important to remember that the deeper questions in our life do not need to be answered by a guru, a master, an intellect, or an intuitive because we ARE all those things in our own right. You see, my guidance often times comes from the places that I never expect. This guidance may be a complete stranger that stops to tell me something or out of nowhere gives me a message that I have been waiting for. Sometimes this message comes from animals, nature, road sings, a documentary/movie, a song, sitting in silence, or many other ways that our environment talks to us. No matter what the message, it is important to remember that the answers to your questions and can come from anywhere, but only YOU can know if it is your truth.
You see, your mind will always find ways to justify what you believe, and if your beliefs are dictated by someone else you will still find them to be true. That’s why it’s so easy for so many people to follow give their power away to supposed “gurus”.
Your most powerful teacher is your own inner voice—your Inner Guru.
The value of what others have to teach us is important, as long as we are not shutting out our inner voice to replace it with another’s. Below are some things that I have found to help me in my personal and spiritual journey. See if any of them resonate with your guru within.
1. Be grateful for what you have instead of focusing of what you don’t have: In every moment you can choose to find something to complain about or something to be grateful for. Either way, you will call more of THAT into your life.
2. Take time to feed the Self: The answers always come from within. Take the time to walk in nature, sit quietly, mediate, or anything else that will help you continue to rediscover your inner guru.
3. Be optimistic: Don’t think of what can go wrong! Instead think of what can go right. When we focus on what can go wrong we distract ourselves from the possibility of seeing opportunities. Therefore, let go of fear—it is just an illusion.
4. Be real: many of us know at our core what holds us back and what distracts us from creating the reality that we want. However, we often fail to take control of our lives by making the internal changes necessary to live authentically.
5. It all starts small: Small changes make the biggest difference.
6. It’s about the journey, not the destination: When our main focus is in the journey we are open to changing our journey as we learn what serves us and what does not. However, when we focus on the destination we take away from the flexibility that will help us grow from what we learn.
7. Be the example: Many times we expect others to change, but it is not our words that will motivate others, it is our daily actions.
8. Be you: Embrace who you are and be authentic.
9. Accept that not everyone will accept you: We all want to be liked, but realistically not everyone will resonate with your journey, and that is okay. The most important part is that WE resonate with it.
10. Take action: sitting around and getting more knowledge will only do so much. True transformation happens with inspired action. I wish you many blessings in your journey into becoming your own guru!
Joeel A Rivera, M.Ed. is a counselor and life coach specializing in relationships and entrepreneurship. Joeel is a Motivational Speaker, presenting topics such as Enlightened Relationships, Personal Transformation, and Entrepreneurship. Joeel received a Master’s Degree in Education and Counseling and is currently finishing his dissertation for his Ph.D. in Psychology, with a focus on human happiness and what drives us to achieve our fullest potential. Connect with Joeel at www.transformationservices.org.
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