For some time now, I have been on a deeply private and personal journey. It started on January 2 and it will conclude on my birthday in a few days. I will share the details of my journey in another blog, but today, I wanted to share something else with you. During these last few weeks, I’ve purposefully spent a lot of time by myself—either in a state of quiet reflection or working on some spiritual goals I set for myself. The process has led me to experience a lot of new things and one such thing is a new television series. The series airs on the History Channel and is called "Alone." Now, I know its going to seem weird that I am writing a blog about a TV show, but it has had such a strong impact on me---and there were so many jewels of self-discovery present in the show, I couldn’t help but tell you all about it. Plus, its about being outdoors—so, you know, obvious connection. *smile*
Here is the synopsis of the show:
The cold, isolated region of Patagonia, Argentina, is the setting for the third season of "Alone." Ten hardcore survivalists are sent to Patagonia with one mission: to stay alive. They use whatever they can find -- in the wild and with the limited gear they are given -- and their building acumen to create ingenious inventions to help them survive, in addition to foraging for food and water. The men and women are separated from one another so they don't know when someone taps out and who is left in the competition. There are no camera crews and the castaways use cameras to self-document their experiences.
At first glance, it sounds a little blah right? And for some it may seem slow—but when I tell you, I have been broken down to tears almost every episode. Every episode follows the survivalists as they embark on the process of creating a life in the wild-alone. And when they say alone, they mean alone. There isn’t even a camera crew! They have to film it themselves! So, you have the opportunity to see them do everything from build their shelter, to make traps for food, and some days simply fight the demons of their mind to survive. It’s a situation where the power of the human will and the light of the human spirit is placed front and center and it’s one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. It exposes every flaw and every virtue. And you can see the full spectrum of each person's personality. Another cool facet of the show is that while the other participants know that there are other people in the experiment, they have no idea where, and they also don’t know when someone leaves. This eliminates the idea that anyone is in competition with anyone else. They are all out there competing against themselves—just like all of us.
For those who may never watch it, I have extracted a few jewels from the show that are sure to be applicable to you and your life. Take a look.
1. Participate or Die: Let’s get honest here. How many of us are just making it through life? How many of us are simply getting up, going to work, perhaps sliding in a workout, and then going to bed. Waiting for the weekend. Waiting on vacation. Waiting to feel better. And if the circumstances aren’t right, many of us resolve to either wait until they are, or give up altogether. On the show, however, participants don’t have a choice about whether to go out when it rains or it snows. They have to “show-up”, if they want to eat. So, they make the most of everyday—or at least they try to. I want you to understand that this is case for you too. You must eat---everyday. And I am not just talking about food. I am talking about energy. Your body, mind and spirit, needs stimulation. That stimulation comes from doing things (on purpose) that bring you joy and elevate your consciousness. When we don't do this, pieces of us die everyday. We all have to participate in our own lives—-no matter the emotional, or spiritual “weather.” You have to actively be present as a creator, innovator and change agent in your own life. Every. Damn. Day.
2. You can run but....: Popular spiritual healer, Abraham Hicks teaches that “Your energy on any subject is where you last left it, and Alone has shown me that, whatever thoughts you have had about whoever or whatever remain what they were until you deal with them. So you can’t just bury your feelings deep down and expect them to go away. That’s not how it works at all. And for many people, this very fact is what keeps them from spending more time alone. People are terrified of what their mind will conjure. But I want you to know two things. First your thoughts are not YOU---and as such they can’t hurt you. Second, once you confront the proverbial “monster under your bed”---it loses all of its power. So please, if you don’t do anything else that I suggest in the post. Stop running from yourself. Stop being afraid of yourself. Instead, sit down with yourself and just listen to what your heart wants to tell you. Trust me, it won't stop screaming, until you do!
3. Trust > Money: The winner of Alone gets $500,000, which is a life changing amount of money, but aside from the money, they get the gift of trust. Every person who leaves the Alone experience trusts themselves 1,000 times more than they did before. They trust themselves to rely on themselves. They trust their ability to take care of themselves. How many of us can say that we truly trust ourselves? Don’t get me wrong, it’s difficult these days. Especially since we rely on so many external factors for internal needs. We rely on our partners for emotional security, our jobs for survival, our mirrors and social media for our self-esteem and so on. When you are alone however, you begin to realize that all you need, really does exist within you. Every single bit of it. You see Mother Nature doesn't care about your title, your business, your curl pattern, or how beautiful you are. She doesn't care what or how much you make--she only cares what you are made of.
Alone has taught me to remain focused on me, and my journey within. It has taught me that being alone is a gift—not a punishment. And most importantly, I've learned that this life is not a competition between me and anyone else, it's about mining the diamond that beats in my chest and discovering who I really am--when there is no one else around to judge, validate, or celebrate.