After a long hiatus of having to occupy myself with other things, just a moment ago I was finally playing some tunes on my guitar again. I always like to do that to relax, silence my mind… and of course learn new stuff to improve my skills.
The latter is some kind of constant urge that just always seems to be there, either blatantly or more subtly in the background. It’s a constant drive to grow, to move forward, to get better at what I (like to) do… not just in playing the guitar, but in pretty much any area of life.
‘Drive’ and ‘urge’ may not even be the right choice of words here… It’s more like a feeling of riding a wave… going with a certain flow… enjoying the game I’m playing without getting too hooked up on the results it’s supposed to deliver.
As far as playing the guitar goes though, don’t be under any illusions about my skills; I’m really not that good a player, at least not compared to many awesome players the world knows.
I’ve never had any real lessons either; I’m what you’d call ‘self-taught.’ But hey, some of the best players in the world are too. (<– I like to tell myself that!)
Anyway, being a mediocre player compared to the big shots out there, I do like to study guitarists that I really enjoy listening to – checking out their techniques, their licks, their different styles, etc.
However, as any true musician will confirm, technique, skill, style, and dexterity are only part of the story in creating great music. What’s much more essential to a unique and awesome sound is the soul that’s put into it.
I’ve heard one of my favorite players say once:
“You don’t make music… Music finds you. Your job is to practice to get yourself ready.”
Basically, what he was saying was that there’s music ‘out there,’ in the ‘ether’ if you will… like a vibration or a wave that’s waiting for us to pick it up, and then make it manifest in this reality through us…
And for that we obviously need skills and dexterity to be capable of translating and relaying the inspiration through our body’s interaction with the instrument.
And that’s a really good point to remember.
You might be reading this out of a desire to learn how to take back control of your life, to actualize your dreams, and to consciously and deliberately create your own reality.
Well, creating the life you want is a lot like creating music, or any type of art for that matter. The practice of consciously shaping our lives and destinies is not something we do… Like real, inspired music and art, it’s something that’s done through us.
This process can either feel like a struggle (which is what most people experience), or it can feel like a natural ‘flow’… a wave or a current that you pick up… one that is natural to you… that you feel good with… that fits you… one that’s authentically you.
That’s why experiencing the latter state is referred to as being ‘in the flow,’ or ‘in the zone.’
We’ve all experienced that feeling at some point in our lives, but it usually passes by in short and fleeting bits.
Still, it’s that feeling which is what most people are really after when they say want to “attract abundance,” “manifest their desires,” and “create the lives of their dreams.”
They seek that state of flow in which everything seems to come naturally. It’s an experience that brings along such an awesome feeling, that you wish every day could be like it.
When we’re in that flow, we’re in tune with the greater currents of life. We’re playing an inspired game that feels like the natural thing to do… (almost) as if we were meant to be doing it.
Most of us seem to have completely lost this game:
We’re not just out of tune with the greater currents and waves of life in general, but also with our own wave… the one I refer to as the ‘Master Wave.’
If your life feels like a struggle, this is what you’re experiencing – instead of feeling like you’re going along with the current, it’s like you’re swimming up against the stream, and fighting with forces much greater than yourself.
So the question is:
How do you find back that flow?
Well, there’s actually quite a lot to say about that. But there’s a crucial first step to the process, which is what we’re going to address in this article.
So let’s dig in…
The First Step To Catching (Back) Your ‘Flow’
To find our flow in life, many ‘gurus’ and their following will have us ‘focus on the positive,’ and tell us that as soon as we do, we’ll get more ‘good things’ in our lives.
Now before I get into the issue with this undoubtedly well-intended piece of advice, let me make one thing clear:
Indeed, widening our perspective beyond the ‘tunnel vision’ that accompanies ongoing negativity is infinitely better than remaining stuck in it. After all, it allows us to notice all the good things that are already happening and to actually spot opportunities that we didn’t notice before.
Nevertheless, there’s actually a caveat to the mainstream interpretation of ‘positive thinking.’ And to clearly explain what it is, let me get back to my guitar story for a second…
You see, I like to play and listen to various different styles of music, particularly when it comes to guitar. I can listen to genres ranging from hard rock to classical… from blues to folk… from flamenco to jazz.
While I can enjoy the strong energy of bands like Pearl Jam and Guns n’ Roses, or the power blues tunes by Gary Moore and Jeff Healey… I can also enjoy Clapton’s acoustic jams, Richie Kotzen’s bluesy funk virtuosity, and the sweet, creamy, and mellow Fender licks of Mark Knopfler at other times.
In fact, when I was playing a moment ago, I played some solo bits from Mark Knopfler’s song ‘What It Is’ on my acoustic…
Now, while the guitar part of that song is nice in my opinion, it’s really the lyrics of the chorus of the song that I’m getting at in light of this article (<– although I’m not too fond of the way Knopfler sings, if you can even call it that… but that’s a whole other story). The lyrics go like this:
That’s what it is
It’s what it is now
What it is
It’s what it is now
Now clearly, that doesn’t exactly come across like a whole lot of poetic value at first sight… let alone great wisdom. And you’re right. But it did remind me of the danger of positive thinking, and what perfectly defines the mindset we need in order to find back our ‘Master Wave.’
The phrase “It’s what it is” carries enormous power. I mean, let’s face it:
If you’re anything like most people, you’re regularly faced with challenging situations and circumstances in life that you’re quick to consider ‘negative.’ These may in fact have been your reason to start looking for ways to make your life easier and more enjoyable.
Such circumstances invoke the type of ‘negative’ emotional charge that most ‘experts’ out there warn us not to get caught up in.
Now like I said before:
While that kind of warning isn’t bad advice in itself, it often turns into a far too simplistic recommendation of merely putting our focus on whatever we consider ‘positive’ instead. As a result, most of us give this suggestion a ‘Life of Brian’-like twist – no matter what cross they have to bear, the motto remains:
“Always look on the bright side of life.”
Now again, there’s nothing inherently wrong with looking at the bright side of things…
However, the common consequence of this mentality is that most of us tend to plainly deny the whole experience that triggered our uncomfortable state, by immediately turning away to focus on positive things instead…
… all in an attempt to effectively ignore and avoid the ‘negative’ charge altogether, out of fear that it will expand if we give it any attention.
Now let me tell you why that can become a serious problem…
The Overlooked Caveat of the ‘Positive Thinking’-Craze
As explained in other articles and in the ‘Crack Your Egg’-materials, there’s no denying that our experience of life is a reflection of our inner state.
And to get back to the relevance of that song ‘What It Is’ that I mentioned, some other lyrics of it go like this:
And something from the past just comes
And stares into my soul
(That’s what it is…)
And indeed that’s exactly “what it is”… because that’s what happens during such ‘negative’ experiences: something from the past comes to stare into your soul.
Let me explain:
Such apparently ‘negative’ experiences are reflections of particular inner imbalances that have somehow gotten imprinted within us during past experiences that had a significant emotional (and often traumatic) charge to them, and that for whatever reason we didn’t fully process at the time.
Buddhists call such an unfinished pattern a ‘Sankhara,’ and the yogic tradition refers to it as a ‘Samskara.’ This is a Sanskrit word that literally means ‘impression,’ and in the yogic teachings it’s considered one of the most important influences that affect our lives.
In ‘Crack Your Egg’ we call it an Egg Mark. Here’s what it does:
We may not consciously realize it, but this way, most of our attitudes and reactions in life are often fundamentally caused by an inclination to avoid the feeling of an uncomfortable experience that got imprinted as an ‘Egg Mark.’
And as we keep following these inclinations over and over, these patterns can turn into self-fulfilling prophecies. And before we realize what we’re doing, we may have built our entire lives around such patterns of avoidance.
Now at the risk of explaining the obvious, here’s how this phenomenon blocks the process of what I referred to earlier as ‘authentic manifesting,’ which is also the main reason most of us don’t seem to get the results we want:
Many times we bring this avoidance mentality to our ‘manifesting’ efforts.
While we think that we’re taking the ‘enlightened’ route of consciously employing our creative powers to create our own destinies, implicitly we actually try to manipulate and change the world around us in a way of which we think it won’t disturb our Egg Marks. (<– We see this, for instance, in the many attempts we take to manifest a ‘rescue’ from our current situation, which is an act that’s by definition reactive, and not creative.)
As such, we make our decisions not from a free and creative frame of mind, but rather based on stimulated blockages. Even the ‘creative desires’ that we hold for genuine can result from this urge to get rid of the underlying tension imposed by the Egg Mark.
In other words:
While we think and aim otherwise, in truth our lives revolve entirely around our ‘Egg Marks.’
And that brings us to the real danger of positive thinking…
The ‘Danger’ of Positive Thinking
Another way of looking at the phenomenon of how sensory inputs from today’s events activate the Egg Marks and the patterns we’ve built around them over the years, is by interpreting them as follows:
Life actually reflects our deeply stored ‘Egg Marks,’ making us aware of the fact that we’re holding on to them inside.
So ironically, while we may have unconsciously built an entire Egg (and often an entire life) around trying to avoid the very ‘negative’ feelings that are imprinted in our Egg Marks, life will invariably keep activating them (i.e. trying to make us aware of them) in the way described above.
But while it may feel otherwise, that’s actually a good thing. Think about it:
Since they’re buried deep in our subconscious minds, how else can we become aware of them?
As long as wedon’t dissolve such underlying disturbances, we’ll keep experiencing them on a repetitive basis in our lives. The stuff that holds us down will simply periodically rear its head, whenever it happens to get stimulated.
And while the circumstances may (or may not) be different each time, the feelings and patterns they invoke always remain similar, because they originate in the (re-)activation of the same Egg Marks.
And that’s why life is really doing us a favor, and thus where we run into the actual caveat to positive thinking:
- When our Egg Marks get activated, we experience apparently ‘negative’ thoughts and emotions.
- By then ignoring them and/or explaining them away through merely redirecting our focus to ‘positive things,’ we effectively deny of the fact that they’re reflections of deeper imbalances we’re holding onto inside.
- So clearly, nothing freezes us more in our current state, lack of awareness, and inability to act constructively and creatively than this type of denial!
And this is where the phrase “it is what it is” comes in…
“It Is What It Is”
By definition, the phrase “it is what it is” does not do ‘denial’… Instead, it does ‘acceptance.’ And in doing so, it puts us into a position of tremendous power.
If we’re not honest and open enough to accept what’s happening, how can we possibly do anything about it?
So if we don’t face and acknowledge the ‘what is,’ it will never change, because we won’t change. Our Egg Marks will remain. And so they’ll keep on getting activated/reflected in our experience… usually a tad more extremely with every next time they do.
It’s almost like ‘life’ or ‘the universe’ is thinking:
“Did (s)he get it yet? No? Okay, same recipe again then… but this time a little more powerful. (S)He ought to get it some time!”
Now make no mistake:
The acknowledgment that accompanies the phrase “it’s what it is” does not mean we merely give in and meekly acquiesce to whatever happens in our lives that you’re not happy with.
Instead, it brings us back into the ‘now,’ and allows us to recognize the inner imbalance that’s being reflected… so we can subsequently clean it out of our system to finally get rid of our ties to the inhibiting patterns that we keep getting pulled into and that keep getting us more and more of the same in life. (<– Cleaning out ‘Egg Marks’ is an important aspect of the Crack Your Egg Program.)
That’s why the word ‘now’ follows up on “It’s what it is” in the song:
“It is what it is now”
The phrase thus relates to the present… not the past, not the future, but the NOW, the only moment that truly exists. It’s not what it was… It’s not what it will be… It’s what it IS.
So the state of mind that the phrase “it’s what it is” instigates, allows us to really perceive what’s happening now, and choose our response consciously from there.
In that regard, the phrase “it’s what it is” must go together with something else, which is:
“… so let’s cut the crap and finally deal with it.”
‘Negative’ experiences are not about punishment, ‘negative karma,’ or anything like that… Just like any experience, they’re about expanding awareness of our innermost selves.
If we don’t pick up on that awareness, or don’t do anything with it, we’ll never make a constructive difference in our subconscious programming or our lives.
But once we acknowledge what the ‘negative’ experience is saying… or rather, once we recognize what imprint of feelings and beliefs is being activated (<– and which ‘life’ is thus making us aware of), we know exactly what it is that we need to work on:
We need to clean that junk out of your system. And once we do, it’s simply no longer there to be reflected in our lives anymore. And that way, the ‘negative’ experience simply vanishes:
- … either because we just don’t get into the type of situations that used to activate our Egg Marks anymore…
- Or because they no longer bother us, since there are no Egg Marks or associated patterns to be activated anymore (meaning that we effectively don’t recognize them as ‘negative’ anymore).
So just redirecting our attention to something we consider to be ‘positive’ is not going to cut it. That’s like putting on a band-aid; it might alleviate or mask the symptom shortly, but it never takes away the cause for the symptom to come up in the first place, thus pretty much guaranteeing its eventual return.
The key is to recognize the Egg Mark(s) which the negative thoughts and emotional charge are associated with, and then to get rid of our ties to them. That’s the only thing that’s ever going to make a real difference in the long run.
Once we do, we’ll finally feel the freedom to deliberately create and shape our lives in the way we want, without attachments or aversions being the sole determinants of the direction of our thoughts, feelings, choices, decisions and actions.
And guess what:
The more of those ties you release, the more a unique, genuine, and authentic part of you begins to shine through.
That part is a special aspect of you that I call the ‘Master Wave’…
But while there’s lots to say and explain about this part of you, we’ll leave that for another time.
Except for these words in conclusion…
How To Pick Up & Ride The ‘Master Wave’…
It’s important to realize that your ‘Master Wave’ is not a static ‘end of the line.’ It too is a moving current, an ongoing wave progression.
But once you recognize and flow with it, it will feel so natural, you’ll wonder how you could have ever missed it. In fact, you’ll see how you’ve been denying it all along, either deliberately or unconsciously (i.e. by default).
The choice to ride it is yours. You don’t have to go look for it, ‘seek enlightenment,’ or do any of that kind of stuff.
It’s already there, waiting for you to tune (back) into it. And you can do so by getting your Egg Marks and associated junk out of the way, thus clearing your field of perception and reception. That’s how you really get (back) in the flow.
In short, it’s a matter of:
- Disregarding externally imposed norms of what or who you should be… living independently of petty irrational fears and anxieties… to be free from attachments to results and expectations, aversions to undesired circumstances, and limiting beliefs instigated in times past.
- Honestly and genuinely acknowledging who you really are… treading beyond your Egg Marks… enjoying the process of being you and becoming a more and more awesome version of you with every waking moment.
Doing so will transform what appears to be a ‘struggle’ into a ‘natural flow,’ with all the feelings of abundance, limitlessness and ease that come with it.
Rudyard Kipling summarized this beautifully in his poem titled ‘If:’
(And of course, that goes for you ladies too!)
So here’s to ‘Cracking Your Egg’ and ‘Riding Your Master Wave!’
Now if you’ll excuse me, I should get back to my guitar… I feel some music coming through.
P.S. I recommend you periodically re-read this article, or even just Kipling’s poem, so you can really let the meaning and implications of it sink in. And if you want some help cleaning out your Egg Marks, you’re always more than welcome on the Crack Your Egg Program.