“Your mind will answer most questions if you learn to relax and wait for the answer.” ~William S. Burroughs
Where do you turn when life gets you down? Who’s your hero, your mentor, your pillar of strength amidst the turmoil?
Haven’t we all had those days when life just seems to be a battle? I know I certainly have. And then there are times when there’s an ongoing challenge that grabs hold of us and just won’t let go.
What can you do? Where do you get your strength—your answers?
For a lot of us, we look to inspirational figures, leaders, experts, gurus, and even celebrities. Those larger than life figures that are out there living life, experiencing things we only dream of, and dispensing the wisdom we don’t think we possess.
In my younger years, I wanted a mentor. I thought surely that would solve all my problems. It would give me the hope, encouragement, and maybe even strategies to live the life I was destined to live. I could finally overcome my personal challenges or lack of experience and knowledge.
This notion went on for years. Oh sure, I had plenty of good jobs and made decent money. I lived the life so many of us do. I just wanted more. I felt I had potential that just wasn’t surfacing.
Eventually my yearnings led me to discover experts and gurus willing to sell their advice.
I won’t list their names here, but you know who they are. They offered seminars, created master-mind groups, put together home-study courses. I thought, hey, maybe this is the answer. I can buy my mentors!
From the big names to the lesser-knowns, I started buying nearly every self-development and business strategy course they peddled.
It became an addiction that nearly led me to bankruptcy.
I was buying so many programs and courses and retreats and “solutions” that I had no time to implement any of them. The buying itself became my solution. Ugh.
I was hooked on glitter, celebrity, and everything external. I was chasing success, happiness, and purpose as if they were “out there” somewhere.
I had no idea who I really was. I gave no credence to the experiences that life had blessed me with. I didn’t value the inner wisdom that resided within.
And the more I chased, the more life ran away.
Does this ring a bell for you? Have you ever discounted your own truth in favor of people that surely must know so much more?
To be clear, I’m not discounting things we can learn from others. That’s part of the beauty of life—we can learn from so many sources. For me, sources like Eckhart Tolle, David Hawkins, and Anthony DeMello led me to the epiphany I want to share with you now.
My problem wasn’t the fact that I looked to others for ideas; it was that I became attached and dependent. I gave away my power. I had lost sight of the fact I already had my own gurus. And you do too.
Let’s get re-acquainted with the world’s top 7 gurus now. Here’s the kicker: we’ve never known them as gurus. But, this new perspective changed my life and I believe it can do the same for you.
Let’s meet them and understand them for the life-changing gurus they really are.
1. The Experience Guru
Experience is an invaluable teacher regardless of your age and endeavors in life.
Whether you’re 20, 40, 60, or 90, you have a lifetime of experience. Life has blessed you with challenges, knowledge, and discoveries that have shaped you. Treasure these. Acknowledge them. See them from a new perspective.
If you discount your experiences you miss out on the richness and wisdom that can only come from within. And nothing is more valuable to you than the truth that comes from your own personal actions.
2. The Observation Guru
We have eyes. We have ears. We have intuition. Through these senses we can learn to really see, hear, and feel. Sounds simple enough, yes, but let’s level it up a few notches.
Make it a personal challenge to watch everything you do and notice the reasons for your actions. Notice the reactions you have. Notice the feelings without analyzing them. Just observe.
Observation is a teacher. This was the beginning of my biggest changes in life. I realized I had been looking but not seeing. Only when I decided to really observe did I finally see life and reach new understandings.
3. The Awareness Guru
Awareness comes after observation. Once I finally opened my inner eyes, I became aware.
The awareness guru teaches you how to allow and forgive. It recognizes that we’re not alone and powerless. Once I allowed people to be people, and me to be myself, I could forgive everything and everyone. What a nice guru to have around!
Forgiveness sets you free. This liberation is the shedding of burdens you’ve perhaps carried for years or a lifetime.
4. The Fear Guru
Fear? How can this be a guru? Well, this is a tricky one. Certainly we can see that fear can protect us. It can keep us from exposing ourselves to dangers. So, for that reason, it’s a good guide to have.
However, we fear so many other things. And many of these fears keep us immobilized and stop us from trying things that would add joy and excitement to our lives. Now for the other side of fear…
The fear guru teaches us because it’s a constant reminder of what lies on its opposite end. Nothing gets our attention more easily and quickly than fear. And through observation and awareness we can let this guru propel us into new and better adventures.
5. The Failure Guru
This is another guru we don’t want to acknowledge. Failure tends to demoralize us. But that’s because we don’t see it as the guru it is.
When we elevate failure to guru status, suddenly a mistake becomes just another adventure in life. We see miscues as stepping stones, not just painful memories, along the journey to even more awareness, peace and joy. So, welcome failure.
6. The Talent Guru
Why do we so easily dismiss our own talents? Why do we see the strengths and talents of others so much more readily than our own?
Once again, it’s likely due to our propensity for looking to external rather than internal things. Again, we look but we don’t really see. Our talents and gifts should be honored and used.
Take some time and list them. All of them. Even the little things make a huge difference. Feel good about them and start using them again. This will change your life.
7. The Love Guru
This is your biggest, most powerful guru. And it’s one you share with me, with your friends, with every human on the planet. Love binds us all.
We’re often told to love ourselves, but here’s my take on this advice: It’s better to simply recognize that you are love. From this place, you can accept yourself for who and what you are. From here, love evolves into non-judgmental acceptance.
The love guru will change your life faster than all others combined.
Here’s the lesson I learned: I only found value in the “external gurus” once I began to acknowledge the power of these 7 internal ones.
Change comes from within.
Only when I tap my personal truth and source of all knowledge and strength does positive change happen for me. What about you?
Have you found similar discoveries? What’s your favorite inner guru?
Photo by h.koppdelaney