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MEASURING UP and who we a really are.

I recently had my 50th birthday, where this photo was taken. A half century of life lived.

It’s got me somewhat reflective and contemplative. Not in a kind of “I’m going to live in a cave and meditate on the meaning of life” way. But more in a knowing that I have probably lived the majority of my life already, so how do I want the next few decades to look?

As part of this pondering, or life audit, it occurred to me all the ways that we may feel we have to ‘measure up’ in life. All the standards and ways we answer the endless ‘how am I doing?’ question:

o How our job, career or business is shaping up

o The weight of our body

o Number of wrinkles on our face

o How fit or healthy we are

o How many steps we do

o How many friends we have

o How many likes we get

o How much money is in the bank

o What hobbies we have

o How we give back to society

o How are kids are doing

o Whether we ‘look our age’ or not

o What food we eat

o How much alcohol we do, or don’t, drink

o What holidays we have

o Am I kind? Generous? Liked?

o The ‘legacy’ we are creating

You can probably add a few more to this list. Quite frankly the list is bl**dy endless…..and how do we ever really know that we fully measure up? Or are finished with achieving? That we now measure up and can relax.

What I’ve come to see about this endless measuring, or checking in with the question ‘How Is Lindsey Doing?’ is that it is always and only ever a game of the mind. Influenced by the conditioning from the society we live in, or the family we grew up in. A thought-created reality and experience. Not solid facts or truth about me or my life.

The essence of life doesn’t measure, it simply experiences. Flows, moves and changes. Life couldn’t care how many wrinkles I have on my face, and whether I look my age. Or whether my career is going well. Only a mind cares about this. Because it believes that anything we can ‘measure’ defines who we are.

And for any of us who are even a little bit spiritually inclined, we often long to answer that big ‘ole question – who am I really? Outside of all these ‘measurements’ who am I?

My personal perspective is this is an unanswerable question. Yet somehow we like to keep chewing it over. Maybe there is something comforting in the possibility that we could know our true essence, whilst in this human form. Or maybe it feels too much like chaos that we can’t know who we really are, so we keep seeking and asking this question. I’m quite suspicious that this isn’t simply another question the mind loves to ask, that is disguised as looking for the ‘Truth’.

That aside, if we want to know who we are outside of all the made-up measurements that our mind loves to believe, the answer to that can sometimes come by looking at who we aren’t.

As far as I can see who we aren’t is any of the subjective measures that our mind can make up. The measures it would have us believe is our identity: We aren’t our body or weight; we aren’t the job we do; we aren’t our emotions or relationships; the kindness we give; we aren’t the amount of money in our bank account.

In short we aren’t that which is constantly changing, moving and flowing. We aren’t anything ‘fixed’.

What happens to ‘me’ when my face gets older, I retire from my job, or live in a different weight body, change my surname or nationality? Well, I’m still here, as you are still here, the observer, the noticer, the experiencer of life. Life itself in fact.

So this leads to me to see that if we aren’t any of the measurements or standards we might believe we have to meet, then we can simply drop believing in them, or trying to achieve them. That doesn’t mean we can’t have things we’d like to work towards or experience. It doesn’t mean we’ll sit on the sofa all day doing F*-All.

But it does mean we get to experience all that life offers without it having quite so much

'me-aning' about us (that’s not a typo! It is there to emphasise how the meaning our minds make up is usually all about ‘me’)

If we are able to get even a small glimpse that we aren’t the measurements our mind makes up, such freedom can be found. Freedom from believing everything the mind would have us believe. And in the space behind the mind is maybe, just maybe, where we might meet our ‘true self’…if it even exists.

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