Finding Your Biggest Wisest Self

Small selves –

We like to think of ourselves as one whole person. But the truth is that we are made up of lots of little parts. One part may be worried about finishing a project at work. Another part might feel good about your weekend plans. And a third part might feel grumpy towards someone in your family.

As we go throughout our day these little parts arise, speak, and then disappear. But sometimes one of these parts won’t leave us alone. They arise again and again to tell us their concerns and no matter what we do, they won’t go away.

One way to think of these parts is that they are tiny versions of ourselves trapped in a limited view or perspective on the world. This tiny you wants to calm down, but they just can’t see how to find relief.

Luckily we all have access to an amazing tool to help. I‘ll call this tool the BIG YOU. This BIG YOU is the biggest, wisest, and most confident version of you. And best of all this BIG YOU exists in a space big enough to handle all the worried little you’s imaginable.

The BIG YOU is capable of seeing these little you’s and understanding their pain. The BIG YOU feels compassion and a desire to help these little you’s, without getting caught up in their worldview.

You may not think you have a BIG YOU, but in truth, you definitely do. Everyone has a BIG YOU; you just have to know how to find it.

Finding Your BIG YOU

One of the good things about having a little you that’s out of control is that it can help you access your BIG YOU. To do this you must first notice the little you and see its view on the world.

You might notice yourself thinking, “I’ve got so much work to do, I don’t know if I can get it done. I’m really worried, there isn’t enough time.”

As you notice this, you might realize Oh! This is a little you. This little you is worried about time, and is afraid there isn’t enough of it.

Little You

Then take out a sheet of paper and write “Little You” at the top. Then pause for a moment and step into that worried energy. Feel what it would be like to be the part of yourself that’s always worried about getting work done. Don’t stay here for long, but just enough time to get a good feeling for this little you.

Then answer these questions:

  1. What is this little you afraid of?
  2. What is this little you worried about?
  3. What view of the world does this little you have?

Big You

Next Draw a line on the paper and write BIG YOU:
Then pause for a moment and imagine your biggest, wisest, most compassionate, and most confident self. Feel the ease in your body as you step into this big self.

Feel how this BIG YOU opens up into a bigger space. Nothing seems insurmountable anymore. You feel calm and at peace.

Then from this space answer these questions:

  1. How does BIG YOU see the current situation?
  2. What is BIG YOU aware of that little you isn’t?
  3. What worldview does BIG YOU have?
  4. What possibilities or opportunities does BIG YOU see?

Next, while still in this BIG YOU voice, look over the things that the little you wrote.
As you do this answer these questions:

  1. What might BIG YOU say to this little you?
  2. What would BIG YOU wish the little you knew?
  3. What comfort or help could BIG YOU offer little you?
  4. What objections might little you have?
  5. How might BIG YOU respond to these suggestions?

As you write, imagine that BIG YOU and little you are talking. Make sure BIG YOU is listening and respecting little you. Make sure BIG YOU is comforting and kind to little you in every way possible.

Then after you’ve stopped writing pause and read over everything. As you read feel your self seated at the center of your biggest self. Notice how this space doesn’t exclude any difficult part, but instead includes each little you as an important part of the whole.

Then as you go about your day remember that this BIG YOU is there whenever you need it. Take time to pause and remember what it feels like to walk around as BIG YOU. Ask yourself as you study, cook, clean, or exercise. Can I step into my biggest self in this moment?


3 Steps to Becoming a Better Person

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Becoming a Better Person

I used to think that life was all about getting to some other place. I thought if I could just get the right job, the right, girlfriend, the right phone, and the right cat then I would be the person I always dreamed I could be.

But most of the time, I could never get things just right. And even when I did, I wasn’t satisfied. The reason I wasn’t happy was that I was looking for something else to make me the person I longed to be.

It took me a long time to see this cycle and even longer to begin to overcome it. Here are some things I’ve had to accept on my path to being a better person.

No Achievements –

The first thing I’ve had to work to accept is that achievements won’t grant me any special powers. I’ve met or worked with more than a few famous musicians, celebrities, and writers. And one thing I can tell you is that they are all flawed, just like you and me.

We like to think that great people are perfect, but they aren’t. We like to think that if we achieve great things we will be perfect. But the truth is that achievements don’t change who we are.

Don’t get me wrong, achievements can be wonderful and cause for great celebration. But the truth is that they won’t fix you or make you perfect.

Look at your life and see what you’ve been waiting on to make the changes you need to in your life. Then ask yourself, what if I didn’t wait? What if I changed despite the fact that everything isn’t quite how I’d like it to be?

You Have What You Need –

The next thing I’ve worked to accept is that I already have everything I need. I’ve realized that I can’t wait for some future set of circumstances to be who I want to become. If I want to be that better person, I have to start becoming that person now.

I have to let go of the external variables and just focus on living my life in alignment with my values. What’s amazing is that as I’ve done this, my life started to change. Many of the things I dreamed about started happening. Not because I was obsessed with success, but because I was living in alignment with best self.

Don’t wait for some other day to be your ideal self, instead try asking yourself, what can I do today to be who I want to be. What can I change about my attitude and my perspective that will bring me closer to my ideal self?

Everything Is Perfect –

The last thing I’ve worked to accept is that everything is perfect. This is especially hard because very often things don’t seem perfect. Life seems hard, I don’t get what I want, and I experience suffering. But despite the fact that I’m not happy, I know there is a perfection that I cannot see.

When I let go of my agenda and am really present that perfection steps forward. And I’ve seen it enough to know that even when I can’t see it, it’s still there.

Of course, if you’ve never seen this perfection, you may not believe me. This is why it’s so important to look. This is where meditation is so valuable because it’s one of the most effective ways to see perfection unfold in every breath or sound.

But even if you don’t like to meditate you can try by looking for the perfection in every moment. Simple ask yourself as often as you remember, what is perfect in this moment. You may be surprised by what you find.

Intention Not Outcome

Of course, I’d love to take credit for all of these insights, but the truth is that I learned these things by studying Zen. Soto Zen teaches that we are all already Buddhas, but we don’t realize it. And that we meditate because meditation is the activity of a Buddha.

What I took from this teaching was that the only thing that separates us from our dreams is the idea that our dreams live in some other moment and belong to some other person.

But the truth is that nothing is lacking either in this moment or in your life. It’s not an easy truth and it’s certainly something I struggle with everyday. But when I can let this truth live in my life, I find it brings me a deep sense of calm and peace.

So instead of looking for what’s wrong or how to make your life better, try to see your own perfection and the perfection of the moment.

It doesn’t mean that we don’t have work to do. But it does mean that there isn’t anything that is outside our grasp.