“When a soul wishes to experience something, she throws an image of the experience out before her and enters into her own image.” – Meister Eckhart
I just read a fabulous article on Lady Gaga in Vogue’s September issue. Fabulous not only because Lady Gaga is Fabulous, but because the writer, Jonathan Van Meter, was able to see how her creative power and self belief are intertwined. Here’s a fun little excerpt about how Gaga’s friend sees her:
“I want you to imagine every creative idea you’ve ever had in your brain. Then I would like you to imagine that those ideas never stop—they come all the time. And then I would like you to imagine that you create ever single one of them. That’s how I would describe her. It’s like there’s no little star that doesn’t get through her galaxy. She catches every single one and puts it in the sky, and she makes it the most important star that ever existed.”
I love this article. Gaga is the epitome of doing what you yearn to do, what you dream of. Not living from egoic fears, but expressing what your heart deeply desires. Lady Gaga is instinctively able to do what Meister Eckhart, a German mystic and philosopher, intuited from the 13th century.
Here’s the thing I’ve realized: you don’t do things of the heart for the result. You don’t do things to get something. You do them because you must. You do them so you can express yourself, because you come to know, love, and trust who you are. It’s more like a release. Once you begin to do what you yearn to do, you feel light, playful, joyful, fulfilled. You become finally free to be yourself. You do stuff just because you want to. And that is the greatest way to put you on the path to your hearts desires.
Gaga is awesome at soul expression. She embraces her own internal spark and tosses it out to the world. And the world responds. In a big way.
If you can practice being free like a child that plays, you’ll find yourself being carried by the currents of your true purpose.
FIRST, FREE YOUR MIND
Playful self expression, as an adult, can take some work. You must learn to not give a damn. Of what others think. And most of all, of what your internal, judgmental mental stories and inner critic think. You need to do the work to dissolve what holds you back.
Most adults walk the world dragging the heavy weight of other people’s judgments and desires. We are yolked and weighed down, so often in our unconscious depths. We live in a way that just feels uncomfortable enough, while the unhealthy ego is in a false-comfort in fitting into and being approved of by the herd. The discomfort can be a low-grade malaise, like that of a caterpillar who feels a tug at the idea that he might fly but scared to death that he’ll fall off the branch. Or, it can come in as a crushing squeeze, where you feel trapped and pulled-down by your situation. Check in with your body, not your head, to feel these feelings.
Doubt, judgment, criticism, fear or anxiety. Generally, these are the emotions that are connected to beliefs that hold us back. Check into what you’re thinking if these are the emotions that come up if you try to do something that feels like it could be a sweet idea. I like using the term sweet, because our soul’s desires feel sweet inside, they feel open and free. But it can be hard to access sweetness if you’re used to pleasing the world.
NOW STUDY YOUR INTENTION
Look at what you want. Here’s the sticky – you have to find out how attached you are to it. Meaning, is there any part of you that feels like you are afraid you can’t have it. That’s attachment – the fear that something can’t or won’t happen. This means you go back to stalking the emotions mentioned above, and practice inquiry to see what is really true for you.
There’s a fluidity and power to intention, or true soul desire: the power of your intention is directly correlated to the degree in which you accept, love, and honor yourself. Basically, if your sense of self is strong, then what you want, what you intend, has a much stronger chance of expressing in the world.
Meister Eckhart’s quote is one of my favorites, “When a soul wishes to experience something, she throws an image of the experience out before her and enters into her own image.”
When the soul is honored, it’s completely empowered. It will speak to you through clear channels that no longer are muddled or clogged with false beliefs and judgments. You feel the calls as pure desire. And desire feeds dreams. It feeds your imagination. You let yourself play in ideation, in dream worlds, with total abandon, to add dimension and texture to your yearnings. Just like Gaga. Jobs. Disney. Einstein. See, feel, smell, know, love what you desire.
This is where the soul has power that is invisible, but can be felt. It has a visceral effect. Van Meter writes about Lady Gaga’s “orbit,” the bubble of energy that affects everyone who works with her. Gaga’s imagining skills are so strong that people can’t help but want to bring her visions to life.
“To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.” – Anatole France
Most of all, you must learn to trust yourself, your soul. When it comes to your relationship with you + You, trust is earned, and takes practice. It’s not too complicated, but it can take time and a dose of courage. You have to be willing to take some leaps, across chasms of doubt and fear, to come to understand that you always land when you trust that it is your soul that is guiding you.
Read Martha Beck’s new book, Finding Your Way In a Wild New World, for insights on what she calls Forming, the very last step in the doing of things. This is where you learn to do like a child again, where everything is experimental and for the fun of it. Where there is no failure, only feedback. And you use the fires of desire and intention to fuel your doing.
This is what the soul really yearns for. It yearns to experience. It yearns to play. To dance. To flow.
Well, an outcome is always so much better if you just let it be like Christmas. Let yourself be delighted and surprised by where your soul’s desires take you. What’s life without a massive dose of adventure and mystery?!
Thanks for reading this long one – I was crazy inspired by Lady Gaga! I’d love to hear about how you’re experimenting with your own soulful intentions.