Back in 2013, I had a delightful and inspiring conversation with the world renowned, spiritual teacher Mooji. At some point in the conversation we were talking about “the truth” and as softly spoken as Mooji is, he told me: “Dirk… the truth is simple, but the seeker of truth is often complex.”
Keep it Simple
When I heard him speak these words, I almost jumped up from my chair with happiness! That was so profound what he just said and it was if I was listening to myself. I have to admit to you now, that I used to be very careful sharing my views around the simplicity of life with others, because it had backfired at me before – “I just didn’t understand their current situation” or “that was too simplistic of me to think that way”. And honestly, sometimes I started doubting my own view on life and often pondered the question: “What do they know what I don’t understand?”
These doubts and limiting beliefs stem from my teenage years, when I found out that after going through a full day of career testing, the conclusion of the psychologists was that I wasn’t so smart (I wrote more about it in this blog post). This conclusion by others about my abilities became my truth for more than twenty years, and sometimes, it can still hijack my creative process.
“Do you keep your hand on the stove?”
Yes, I am a sensitive person, and so are you, otherwise you wouldn’t even bother reading my blog posts in the first place. But when you are sensitive doesn’t mean that you always have to live at the mercy of what you see or what others share with you. It doesn’t mean that you will have to keep suffering from the events around you. It also doesn’t mean that you have to follow the most advanced spiritual teachings in order to stay sane.
Keeping your Hand on the Stove
I once heard an analogy from Esther Hicks that really resonated with me. It goes a bit like this.
If you have a stove in your house that’s a perfect and cozy way to give you some extra warmth during chilly winter days and nights, you know that it’s very warm and that you don’t want to touch it with your bare hands for too long. At first it might feel good when your hands touch the cast iron shell, but after a little while it will become too hot and you will burn yourself. You know that it doesn’t feel good to keep your hand on the stove. But why is it sometimes so hard to take your hand off the stove?
You might say: “My mother had her hand on the stove. Her mother had her hand on the stove. Our family puts its hand on the stove all the time. It’s just what we all do. The day I was born, they put my hand on the stove!” And now you get to decide how you like it and you find it hard: “Do I dare take my hand from the stove?” When you risk it and try it, you realize that it is sweet relief. But then you might think: “My mother still has her hand on the stove, and my government still has its hand on the stove. They’ve all got their hand on the stove! Who am I to find the relief of not putting my hand on the stove?” All right, put your hand back on the stove if you want to, but understand that it’s you who gets to allow or not allow. These are your choices.
Does the analogy make any sense to you? It all boils down to the knowing that you do have the ability and the capacity to make conscious choices. You don’t need to have Ph.D. behind your name, or be a spiritual expert to understand and embrace this concept.
During the last 5 years of interviewing authors, spiritual teachers, scientists and musicians, I often looked up to people having so much experience and wisdom – “If I could be like them, then my life would be so great and I would feel so much more fulfilled” is what I often thought.
But one day, when I was hiking with my dogs in the pristine nature near my house, just after I did an interview with don Miguel Ruiz, I stopped because I was in awe with the incredible intelligence and simplicity of life. It was so quiet here. “The trees never seem to worry and the creek flows with so much grace” I thought. I also knew that the same intelligence that keeps the trees growing and the birds singing, is exactly the same force that keeps my heart beating. All life is deeply connected to the same universal intelligence. “And if that’s true, then all of Mooji’s or Miguel’s wisdom lies within me as well!” I thought. The truth is that simple, but I was often too complex. I wanted to keep my hand on the hot stove, just because I was living an old pattern, over and over again. I wasn’t present. I wasn’t connected to my heart and therefore not connected to the intelligent cosmic heart. Wow, that was such an insight for me!
Since that experience out in the forest, my life has never been the same again – I read less and less self-help books. I rarely listen to people’s well meant advices anymore, and I absolutely don’t care what others think of me. Why would I? I AM all that I have been searching for! I get it now!
When I become still, especially out in nature, I start feeling a deep connection with myself, with the intelligence that I am part of, and also with you. I deeply realize that life is not about me. Life’s about us. And that’s when I feel I want to reach out to others in need. That’s when I want to remain in silence for even longer periods, and that’s when I am just grateful for being alive and being connected to you, because I deeply feel (as Rumi used to say) that I am not just a drop in the ocean. I am the entire ocean in a drop.
I am interested to learn in what ways you are able to embrace the simplicity of life and how you make choices to live in the present moment in stead of the past. Maybe you even resonate with what I just shared with you and you want to try this for yourself.
Keep it simple and have fun!
In case you want to work with me to start living in the present moment, so you’re no longer have to live in the past, send me an email and I will forward you some helpful information on how to get started.
Ebook Interview Mooji available here.