Scientists estimate it can take 1,000 years for a unit of water to make it’s way around the world’s global currents. However, if you look at the oceans from space, they appear to not be going anywhere. We think of success as a journey of sorts, as fulfillment as being “out there” and success means we have reached that place. There’s a secret to success, however, and it’s not “thinking outside the box” or having a “can-do attitude.” The secret is knowing that place doesn’t exist.
Self moving within the Self
The word success comes from the word succession, or to put it a different way, evolution. One thing preceding the next, cause and effect, elaboration. We are all evolving all the time. Even when it feels like we are moving in circles, they are really spirals. All this evolution, however, is to eventually figure out that where we were going was with us all along. Just like those ocean currents, everything is Self moving within the Self. Nothing ever really goes anywhere. No matter what journey you’ve taken in life, whether it’s been going through a tumultuous relationship, overcoming addiction or simply a trip to New Jersey, it’s all been a journey back to Self.
Many of us base our sense of self value on how successful we are, whether we published that book, or got hired for that job, or married that person, whatever the image of success we hold in our head. Realizing that your value is inherent and doesn’t go up or down based on what you do, who your friends are, or what you look like is the first step to understanding the secret. When I look at my kids and they get their homework wrong, I don’t think they’re lesser beings, yet when I put out an article in a publication and it gets some negative comments, it’s easy to hear that voice that says, “see, nothing you say is worth anything and you make no sense. And by the way, you’re overweight. And old.” This, of course, is horse $#!+.
Why do anything then?
You might wonder, what’s the point of doing anything? If I can sit right here perfectly still and be my fantastic, valuable self, why would I bother? For most of us, the journey is to interact with the currents of our greater Self, the world out there, in order to slowly have greater and greater access and realization of that inner Self. And the closer you get to that realization, and therefore your sense of Self extends to everything, the more your actions are not just for you as an individual but for the big You. You’re acting for the evolution of everyone. And there’s a lot to be done in that camp.
Releasing yourself from the constant striving for this elusive concept of “success” is incredibly freeing. Life can be an interesting journey of twists and turns going nowhere and everywhere, all of it valuable, none of it a waste. You can be here, right now, rather than spending all your nows preparing to reach that fictional place called Success.
Kristen Vandivier is an instructor of Vedic Meditation and the founder of The Vedic Method and Meditation Without Borders. She is regarded for her ability to make profound teachings relevant to everyday life and her mission of promoting meditation for social change. After completing an intensive curriculum of training under renowned Master Maharishi Vyasananda Thom Knoles, including a three-month immersion program in the Himalayas, Kristen returned to found her practice. She lives in Mill Valley with her husband and three small children.
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Originally published at https://www.thevedicmethod.com on March 18, 2021.