The church bells cry out to the city that surrounds them. The sound is heard by the sky city tower nearby, but it is quickly muffled out by the expanse of surrounding buildings. I have returned to New Zealand instead of visited for the first time. When I was a toddler, my parents lived with me in New Zealand for nearly a year. We spent most of our time on a sheep farm in Christchurch. I developed a love affair with both pavalova (the national dessert) and vegemite (an intensely salty condiment many people love here). I learned how to ride a horse here. I remember so much from that period of time.
To the locals, I sound 100 percent American. But so often people from the states ask me where I’m from because they can hear an accent. I think some of that is due to the fact that I spent a formative year of my language development here. It peeks through from time to time. My parents like to joke that the first hint of my purpose and future career came through in New Zealand. They had taken me into a local church. When they decided it was time to go, I threw a fit. I got down in the floor and held on and refused to leave.
I love New Zealand. Aesthetically, it rivals Switzerland. New Zealand boasts landscapes that you can hardly believe exist naturally in the world when you see them. It is overwhelmingly beautiful. However, with the exception of the Maori culture, there is a neutrality in the culture here that makes the flavor of the people very hard for the heart to taste. This can lead to a feeling of emptiness when interacting with them instead of palpable connection. Of all the places to visit in New Zealand, I think Auckland is the last on my list so far. At the risk of upsetting the people who are identified with the city itself, I will say that Auckland is a city absent of personal flavor. It seems to be a place people just… end up. I imagine that given enough time here, you would be able to piece together a kind of life that felt good. You’d be able to find the hidden places and people here that resonate with you. But the spice of life has not reached Auckland enough that it immediately presents itself to you.
Before diving into the diagnosis of the dominant negative and positive vibrations of this city, I will tell you that when we were guided to bring a workshop to New Zealand, I was confused. I thought to myself, “why the hell would I need to go there?” After all, my presence is taken to where it is needed in this line of work. It is not as if I am called out of body at night to New Zealand. There is no desperate collective misery here or disaster or extreme poverty. But after a day here, it became absolutely obvious why I am here. I am here because there is almost no momentum or expansion happening in this part of New Zealand. The downside to not having to face real struggle or contrast is that no strong desire is born within you. Instead, a pervasive boredom settles over the being. There is a sense of unfullfillment with no real concrete knowing of what is unfulfilled.
This is a problem when the universe itself favors expansion. Pockets of existence that do not serve expansion begin to serve no purpose universally and are “marked for re-boot” so to speak. Often it is the earth itself that participates in wiping the slate clean in this way. For this reason, Auckland is a match to natural disaster in its current state. Earthquake is the highest potential at this time.
I love so many of the people in New Zealand. They tend to be sweet so a part of me feels really afraid of hurting their feelings by writing this blog. Nevertheless, for the sake of awareness, I find myself writing it. So many of the people of Auckland live in a state of animated death. Very little passion or direction springs forth from their being and this lack of aliveness in waking life, runs the risk of making them more a match to death than to life.
The dominant negative vibration of Auckland is: Inertia. Inertia is a kind of passivity, which takes many forms in Auckland; but the most noticeable form is an unwillingness to participate in life in an active way. The inertia in Auckland is enough to make you want to just take off in a direction running and yelling. When you have an interaction with the average person, you begin to feel as if you’re acting upon them instead of like there is an exchange. I have noticed that the members of the team I flew here, (including myself) have felt guilty after interactions more so during this trip than usual. This is because the general demographic is so passive that you are automatically put in the role of the aggressor during interactions. Many people here lack a solid sense of self. The feeling in the city is like everyone is just floating through life at the mercy of external influences and is ultimately lost.
Inertia is dangerous to the being. It is easy to think of it as a state of allowing when in fact; it is a state of resistance. It is a state of resistance to any change in its state, especially as it applies to forward movement. Auckland needs to be ‘shaken up’. Momentum and forward movement needs to come to this place. People here need to find their direction so they are no longer living in the eddies of the current of their own lives.
The dominant Positive vibration of Auckland is: Repose. A state of tranquility, which is restful. There is no tension inherent in the vibration of repose and the people of Auckland are attached to this highly externalized form of peacefulness. The people here know how to maintain a life that in conducive to calm. The vibration of repose differs from pure tranquility because it is so associated with its position in space and time. A large part of the calm associated with repose is the result of having found one’s places of comfort. This creates a dichotomy in the people of Auckland. At once, they are lost and drifting through life and at the same time, they are “situated” in their life here. This creates an internal confusion.
For the rest of us, this dominant vibration offers us a promise of tranquility. We can come to Auckland as a get away city. We can interact with a rare demographic of people who are not competitive, fast paced or over stimulating. I found some places of the city that served as repose for me. One such place is the “un bakery”. I fell in love with the food and atmosphere of the place. In fact the area that the un-bakery is in (Ponsonby) was quite nice as well. I even wandered by accident into a lovely gem shop there today and met up with an american fan that I was destined to meet in accordance with perfect synchronicity.
This experience in Auckland has been most unusual. Yesterday after visiting the island of Tiritiri Matangi, I lined up with an odd experience where a very large man who felt lustful towards me went out of his way to physically grab me on the street. Zach was with me. When Zach saw what was happening, he said “No”, blocked the man and herded me in the opposite direction. It was a triggering experience that ultimately led to a powerful integration for me over dinner.
The workshop in Auckland was the heaviest workshop I’ve ever held. It felt as if we were diving to a level of vibration so compressing in nature that it could rival the pressure of the deep ocean. The entire audience got present to the truth of the deeply painful emotions that had been residing like a malignancy deep within. It was as if the ‘elephant in the room’ was being collectively exposed. In truth, I did not feel confident post-workshop. I felt as if the flow of the energy and information being called through me took a particularly confrontational form during this workshop. I went after areas of avoidance and blind spots within the participants like a predator during this workshop. As a result, in the hours and days after the workshop, I felt a bit guilty for having offered so little softness. I have been doing more personal integration in the wake of this workshop than ever before. In fact, I’m going to write about the most profound of those integration sessions in the next blog I compose.
I am on my way back to the states tonight. But before I go, I will leave the people of Auckland with some thoughts that pertain to the collective condition… People who are lost have been taught to ignore their internal guidance systems. And your internal guidance system is comprised of your feelings and your emotions.
Think of your emotions like a compass or a navigation system in your car that tells you everything you need to know about yourself and about your desires and about navigating the world and making choices. When you ignore your emotions or prioritize other things than the way you feel, it is like going on an expedition in uncharted territory with no compass.
Your mind will never tell you what is true for you, only your feelings can tell you that. So, if you are disconnected from your own feelings and emotions, you are disconnected from the truth ofyou. This means you will feel unknown and like a stranger to yourself. When we say “The truth of you”, what we mean are things like, what you enjoy and what you don’t enjoy, what resonates with you, what you are thinking, what you believe, and most of all, what you really want, need and desire. These things are the only real accurate measure of who you really are in this life.
Now pretend you started ignoring your internal guidance system over twenty years ago, when you were very young. How far off track do you think you could get in twenty years? Potentially you could have gone so astray from the truth of yourself that you have had to tune out your emotional guidance system all together. Perhaps you went so far astray that you now experience numbness.
When you do something that is not in alignment with your own personal truth, your emotional guidance system starts alerting you, (just like a navigation system in a car) that you have missed your exit. It does so, with the use of negative emotion. In order to continue in the direction you are going, you need to tune out to your emotional guidance system. You have to be listening to something other than your own guidance system. Maybe it is another person (like your parents) that you’re listening to, maybe it is a coach, maybe it is a friend, maybe it is society at large that you are listening to… either way, your thoughts (which are not the same thing as your feelings) have been swayed by them and you aren’t listening to yourself. It’s like taking duct tape and taping over the top of your compass and turning the volume down on your navigation system.
You will experience this perpetual ignoring of your emotions as a deadening or a numbing within yourself. you will experience it as inertia. The good news is, your compass never stops pointing north. Your navigation system never stops talking to you, no matter how far down you have turned the volume or how much duct tape you’ve used. So all you have to do to get un-lost is to tune back into your feelings and emotions. All you have to do is begin to listen to your feelings instead of your thoughts. And be very honest with yourself (even at the risk of hurting other people) about your own personal truth.
Most of us were raised in a punishment and reward parenting setting. This means, when we were children, we learned that the only way we could get love, was to be good. We want to be good people so badly that we forsake our own truth (our desires and true personality) to make other people happy. We think that this is what makes us good. Really, it just makes us lost. If you are lost, you have cared (or still do care) much more about other people feeling good than you care about yourself feeling good. You have had to get what you want in round about ways instead of in straightforward ways. And ironically, this means that you line up with people who do not actually resonate with you, so you will feel fundamentally flawed. You know on some level that you are surrounded by people who are nothing like you and who would most likely reject the truth of who you really are if they only knew it. So you begin to not only feel lost, you begin to also feel alone. You do not know that if you allowed yourself to tune back into how you feel and re connect with yourself and your own personal truth (because would no longer be in the vibration of self rejection), you would begin to attract people into your life who truly do resonate with you, and who would be in total approval of your own personal truth, no matter what that is.
Anyone who is lost suffers from a deeply suppressed story of self-rejection. And when we are in a space of self-rejection, we can only attract people who reject the truth of who we are. For example, this means, if we are gay, we may be surrounded by religious fundamentalists who hate gays. This means if we are afraid of intimacy, we may attract all kinds of people who need us and pull at us for intimacy. This means if we crave intimacy, we will attract all kinds of people who are independent and whom don’t want to give their time and energy to us. This means, if you are an artist, you may be surrounded by people who are practical nine to five workers, who constantly put down irrational, impractical, irresponsible people who think it’s appropriate to follow their heart. You get the point… But the sad part is, because of this rejection that we feel from the people around us (which ultimately stems from our own rejection of our own truth as children in order to fit into the world we were raised in), we begin to feel as if there is something fundamentally wrong with us.
If we are out of touch with the way we feel and disconnected from our own truth, pretty soon we cannot figure out what we like and don’t like. We cannot figure out why we are doing what we are doing or how we ended up where we ended up. It’s as if we just let ourselves float into a tide and drifted here, to wherever this is. Emotionally, it will literally feel as if we have “drifted” or are “drifting”. This, along with emotional numbness, is the emotional hallmark of feeling lost.
Here are Ten Tips for how to go from lost to found.
1. Tune back into your emotions and express your emotions. Do a body scan. When you have tuned out and disconnected from your emotions, tuning back into the feelings and sensations in your body is the first place to start. Close your eyes and start with your head, moving all the way down to your feet. As you do this, just take note of and be present with the feelings in your body. Try to describe them. Try to identify them. Print out a list of emotions and see if you can identify the sensation translation of that emotion in your body. Then ask yourself why you think you might be feeling that way. If you have a problem following your emotional guidance system (which you do if you’re lost), set a timer to go off at random intervals during the day and do a body scan to check in with how you’re feeling. Record the results in a feelings log or a journal. After you have tuned into your emotions, express your emotions. They are telling you vital information. Let them tell their story. Do this process any time you feel a strong negative emotion arising within your body.
2. Discover your feeling of inspiration and passion. Those vibrations are the opposite of the vibration of being lost. Most of us do not do things in our day-to-day life (especially in our work life) that truly make us passionate. We get too busy for passion. We lie to ourselves and say that the bills are more important than how we feel, or that a goal we have set is more important than how we feel. We allow our minds and the damaging beliefs that our minds are run by, to rule our being over the way we truly feel. This means, illusion will be running your life, not truth. Dare to admit to what you feel passionate about. And if you think you need money first to do what you’re passionate about, you’re listening to your mind, which is currently lying to you. It is lying to you because your abundance will only flow to you, as a result of you being in alignment and you are only in alignment when you’re feeling passion and joy.
If you don’t know what you’re passionate about, it’s time to try new things. Try anything that captures your fancy and pay attention to how you feel doing those things. If you feel good, keep doing them. If you feel negative, don’t keep doing them. Take that pottery class you’ve always wanted to take. Go surfing. Buy that book on accounting. You don’t have to stick with anything. Trust me, if you truly enjoy something, you will never have to force yourself to “stick with it” because it will feel bad not to do that thing. You will be intrinsically motivated to do those things. Bottom line is, you’ve got to start looking for, recognizing and following your passion. Your purpose will only be known to you if you’re willing to follow your passion. And all people who feel lost, feel a lack of purpose and meaning for their existence.
3. Ask yourself why you are doing what you are doing and why you feel what you are feeling. Personal inquiry should start and never stop if you feel lost. The more self-awareness you have, the less you will feel lost. Solicit help for this one as well if you need it. You cannot have enough self-awareness, and this should be an absolute priority for you.
4. Gravitate towards social interaction with people who feel emotionally good to be around and whom you feel a deep level of connection and intimacy with. If our social lives are organized around sports, hobbies, work or the internet, we lack the vital interpersonal support that is necessary to our emotional health. If your social interactions are limited to people who share the same job, sport or hobby, your conversations will most often be limited to that past time which you happen to both share. The sport or hobby or career will be your only point of relation. Because of this, your relationship will lack intimacy. To lack intimacy, is to not invite someone into your internal world. If you don’t invite people into your internal world, no one will love you for more than what you do.
Beware that your family may not necessarily provide this sense of deep internal connection any better than work colleagues do. We cannot form the vital interpersonal connections we need to live a healthy life, until we allow ourselves to prioritize and seek out people whom we feel deeply connected to. This will make you feel an intense sense of isolation, no matter how many people you are physically around. That internal sense of personality isolation, lends to the feeling of being lost. A big part of feeling lost, is to be fundamentally untethered to other people.
5. Quit distracting yourself from yourself. Distraction abounds in today’s world. But we use distraction to further numb out from our own personal truth. We try to escape the painful feelings of having gone off course somewhere by tuning it out with porn addictions, focusing on other peoples problems, setting goals, spending hours on face book, and becoming too busy. In fact busy-ness is the number one mode of distraction for people who feel lost. To not be busy, is to have to be with yourself. Being with yourself and being alone are two radically different things. And it is most likely, based on where you are in life right now that if you are really with yourself, all your bells and whistles will be going off. It will feel like chaos or a depressed emptiness when you are really with yourself, because your internal guidance system will be telling you “we’re off course”.
People, who feel lost, have a basic unwillingness to admit to where they are, because where they are is painful. If we are lost, we tend to say things like “I’m really good” when we aren’t. Or “I’m happy “ when we aren’t. Being in self denial may have been a the coping tool of choice when you were younger and had no choice but to deny your truth in order to fit into the family, but it is not a virtue to be in self denial. The only way you can find out where you want to go and how to get there from here is to admit to where you are, even if where you are sucks.
It doesn’t feel good to tune back into yourself when you’ve tuned out to yourself. In fact it feels like waking back up out of a sleep to the real trauma of a situation. It feels like admitting to the fact that your leg is broken instead of distracting yourself from the fact that it is broken. But the only way to heal and to feel better, is to admit to where we are and to be brave enough to be with ourselves wherever we are and really get to work finding ourselves and tuning back into the truth of how we feel and what we truly desire. So, what in your life serves as a distraction from yourself?
6. Invite meaning into your life. People, who feel lost, feel as if their life is void of meaning. Start looking into other people’s philosophies about the meaning of life. Try them on for size. Do any of them fit? Begin to question yourself about the meaning of life in general and the meaning of your life. What are you believing about the meaning of life? Does this belief system feel good to you or bad to you? If it feels bad, do you care more about your supposed truth or hunch (which you cannot actually prove or disprove because no one can) than feeling good? It is true that becoming attached to a belief system to the degree that you are unwilling to question it is harmful to your well-being. But forming a belief system that feels good to you personally is a crucial part of living a meaningful and happy life. It’s up to you whether you assign an empowering or a disempowering meaning to the events and circumstances of your life.
Having a belief system that provides meaning for you life feels good, which is why people who feel lost so often find themselves joining religions and becoming so much happier afterwards. But I would suggest building your own personal religion just for you out of multiple beliefs that feel good to you personally. A belief system that provides meaning for your life, acts like a north star or an internal foundation that anchors you to your life. Being anchored to and guided through your life by a belief system that feels good to you is the opposite of being lost.
7. Do not be afraid of loosing yourself. Nothing has gone wrong. In fact it is a spiritual truth that you cannot find yourself until you become lost. So when you look at feeling or being lost in this way, like it is a turning point to find out whom you are and what you really want to do, you’ll have less resistance to being lost, so you wont be feeding energy to being lost and you wont stay lost for very long. You are closer to truly knowing yourself than most people who think they are not lost, but are. If you know you’re lost, you know where you are… you’re lost. If we know we are lost, we know that our mission in life is to find ourselves. And when we start looking for ourselves, we will find ourselves. Everything we do can add to our knowledge of our own personal truth, and ourselves if we would only pay attention and inquire into our reactions and feelings. Is it possible to go astray? No. If part of your expansion on this planet is to know yourself and gain self-awareness, then you can only do that by going astray. This means that going astray was part of the plan from the beginning, so has something gone wrong? No. Something has gone right. You cannot ever hope to find yourself and understand yourself until you have first become lost and misunderstood yourself.
8. Stop being cerebral about happiness. If we are out of touch with our emotions right here and now, we form cerebral concepts about how to achieve happiness. Goal setters are the people on this earth, who are perhaps the most cerebral about happiness. We think happiness means reaching goals. The minute we think this, we are willing to forfeit current happiness for future happiness.
The only reason anyone does anything, is because they think it will make them feel better. In other words, the only reason we do anything is because we think it will make us happy. We think happiness means winning that gold medal, or making that amount of money, or moving to that place, or marrying that person. We externalize happiness by doing this. We have no idea if those things will make us happier. We only think they will. And the mind is usually (if not always) wrong about what will ultimately make us happy. We can only know what makes us happy in the moment we are in by listening to and following our positive feeling emotions. So take one day at a time. Quit worrying about your purpose. Quit obsessing over those things that are out there in the future, and start dealing with each individual day, as it comes. Are you currently trying to convince yourself that achieving some goal in the future will make you happy? If so, you have “cerebralized” your happiness and you are most likely ignoring or sacrificing happiness that is available to you right here and now, for the promise of future happiness.
9. Quit living cautiously. Life was not meant to be lived carefully. Letting self-doubt dictate your life, is a sure fire way to get lost. Now, you may not identify yourself as a cautious person. But if you’re lost, you are! You may not be cautious with finances, but you may be cautious with your heart and falling in love. You may not be cautious about getting close to people, but you’re cautious to try new things in your professional life. Cowardice prevents us from following our passions. Cowardice prevents us from finding ourselves and really being happy long term. We need to look our fear directly in the face. We need to examine it and understand it fully. The more we understand it, the less we fear what we currently fear and the easier it is to make self loving decisions that are not dictated by fear. You will begin to do what is right for you personally and that is to find yourself.
10. It’s time for a realistic game plan. Sit down with a piece of paper and give it the title “finding myself”. Itemize 10 steps you could take to become less lost. Once you’ve made your list, choose the top three things and actually follow through with them. Your list of remedies might include the following:
If you take these items seriously and act upon them, you will begin to regain your position in the scheme of life and you will feel less lost.
If you are lost, the honest truth of your life is that life is not clear to you. Instead, it is pretty dark. But remember, it is always darkest, before the dawn. And the light of the stars is only visible through the dark of night. When you stop struggling against what is (that you are currently lost), you are no longer in a state of resistance. And when you’re no longer in a state of resistance, answers start floating into your life, you will begin to feel movement stirring within the inertia and you will begin to find yourself again.