Lately, I’ve been finding that when I let myself be open and less rigid and judgmental, I’m picking up surprising wisdom from the universe.
The most recent example happened when I was listening to a week of Wisdom 2.0’s, Global Mindfulness Summit. My interest was in the interviews with well-known meditation/mindfulness teachers and well-respected people who have used mindfulness in their lives. I listened and was inspired by Jon Kabot-Zinn, Sharon Salzburg, Phil Jackson, etc. One of the interviews was with the singer, Jewel. While I love her music, I was very judgmental thinking she wouldn’t be able to offer me much in the way of wisdom. I almost skipped her interview so sure that yes, she’s famous for singing, but do I really need to hear what she has to say? I couldn’t have been more wrong. She blew me away with so many profound statements that I wanted to share some of her wisdom with you.
We aren’t broken. We don’t have to fix ourselves.
“You spend your whole life saying I have to fix myself, because what that validates is I’m not good enough, something’s wrong with me. What if I reverse it and came from the opposite angle? That nothing’s wrong with me, something’s right with me. What if I’m not broken but I just need to get rid of all the mud and layers and hurt, and misunderstandings and trauma to see what is already here and whole.”
“You get wrapped in something and you think your wrapper is who you are, but your authenticity is inside of it. We can spend an entire life believing we’re the wrapper without ever getting nourished and going inside and finding our authentic self.”
That is beautiful and resonates with me. Too many people think they are broken and I love how she turned that on its head.
Peace, it’s not the absence of something, it’s the harmony with it.
“We keep trying to control our environment so we can get peace. We want to push out negative people, push out this, and push out our anxiety. That isn’t actually what it is, . . . We want our spirituality to make us more resilient, more capable, more gritty in a positive way. And so, the idea of, it isn’t the absence of something – I can’t be happy until this is gone and that president isn’t elected – it’s coming into harmony with the truth. Because now you’re not fighting reality. You’re no longer in conflict with reality and now you can say what does my reality need for me to, what do I have to do, how do I relate to this, and you start living internally and that is a complete paradigm shift for sure.”
Wow, does that speak to me in a big way. I absolutely want to push away negative emotions. Specifically, I’ve been trying to find ways to get past my grief, to not cry or feel sad, it’s been 3 years, 3 months, and 17 days since Matt died. The reality is grief will always be with me, I will always miss Matt, but what I need to do is try to find harmony with it. Peace, it’s not the absence of something, it’s the harmony with it. Thank you Jewel, for saying it so profoundly beautifully to me.
When we send mixed messages into the world, you get mixed messages back.
“So, everybody talks about boundaries, but if I have a boundary and I’m not willing to uphold it, I just sent a mixed message into the world. If I believe that somebody should treat me lovingly but I let somebody non-loving around me, over and over again, what’s my word worth? What’s my word worth to myself, much less to the universe? But that type of mixed messages brings mixed messages back.”
Hugely important to set boundaries for yourself, that is self-compassion. How you allow people to treat you should be a hard and fast boundary. Don’t engage with a person who is disrespecting you. That’s sending mixed signals, you say one thing but allow the other. Instead, disengage, “I won’t allow you to talk to me like that so I’m leaving/hanging up/not going to continue this email or text right now. I’d be glad to continue this discussion at a later time when you can be civil.” Powerful.
Tolerance means you make room for people that have a different viewpoint.
“Really early on my fan group (which is pretty much 50/50 conservative and liberal) identified the values we have in common. And we really support each other living those values. How we live those values is up to every individual. That’s like liberty, right. Liberty for all. How I chose to express my liberty might be different than how you chose to express it. And that’s where tolerance really comes in, because tolerance, it’s only tolerating someone if they really are different from you. It’s not actually called tolerance it’s just being around people that agree with you. And sadly, we’ve lost the meaning and being able to live that word. Tolerance means you make room for people that have a different viewpoint. And you do it for each other. And you might really, really disagree with how they choose to live their life. But that’s ok, it’s not how you choose to live your life. That to me is a really, important thing and to be able to honor another person, you can still see a sacred thing in them, you can honor a human that has a different viewpoint.”
She was asked how she could be friends with someone who had said really homophobic things:
“I was like I don’t agree with him, we talk about it all the time, but I don’t agree with him. I believe in tolerance as a value. He doesn’t believe what I believe in either. I do believe if we’re friends long enough we’re gonna have a good positive influence as we evolve as humans and evolutions hard. It doesn’t happen overnight. It doesn’t happen by shaming someone or screaming at someone.
How’s your tolerance for people who believe differently than you? She’s spot on when she says, it’s not really tolerance when you’re just hanging around people who agree with you. Especially during these difficult times, we all need to cultivate more tolerance.
Do any of these pearls of wisdom resonate with you? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
I hope you’re as inspired by Jewel’s wisdom as I am. She mentioned that she’s in the process of writing a book, called “This Hoop”. You’ll find me first in line to buy it.
Is there someone who inspires you with their kindness? Nominate them for the Matt Kurtz Kindness Award of $250.
Do you have an act-of-kindness project you want to do but need help funding it? Submit your idea for the Matt Kurtz Kindness Grant of $250 and let us help you spread kindness.