I know I’m going to get in trouble by saying this but I’m going to say it anyway.

I’m sick and tired of all the headlines that say there are steps to something. Like, 5 steps to having more abundance. Or 7 ways to love your partner more. Or 3 things to do to get more friends. Or 15 steps to less stress.

I mean really. I get stressed out thinking about all the things I have to do to get unstressed.

If I do all those things will I really have more gratitude, less stress, more abundance, be happier, have better relationships, be more powerful, be the real me (as if someone else or any amount of steps can lead me to me), be thinner, sleep better, be more fun at work, and on and on and on?

What do you think? Really. What do you think about all of this?

Here’s what I believe.

The real deal is about being in the present moment. I am coming to believe that who and where we are right now is right, and good and enough. I have started to think that where we really need to get to is right here, right now, in touch with our self.

Don’t you believe that being ‘with’ your self is far more effective than trying to find or attain something different?

I mean really. This is crazy to me and I don’t get it at all.

I struggle to be at peace. I have fear and shame and guilt and I worry and suffer a lot. And I bet you do too. And somewhere deep in my being I know that no amount of steps or processes will change that. I think the real work that is required is to be where we are and to be real with ourselves.

And I mean really real.

When we are truly with ourselves in the present moment with whatever is true for us now, we shift. Those times are when we naturally take the next right steps that are in alignment with who we really are.

If I take the steps you think I should take to get somewhere you think I should be I am following your path in your footsteps rather than mine.

You see, even though I am tremendously insecure and have lived most of my fifty-eight years in fear of not being right or doing the right thing or knowing enough or being pretty enough or good enough or anything enough, I am beginning to hear a voice inside of me that is saying…

“You are right where you are supposed to be Melody. Trust your self and listen to your inner guidance. You already know what is right and best for you in this moment. Turn off your outside ears and turn on your inside ears and listen to you.”

I was working with someone the other day and she was talking about her inside voices. She meant that sometimes she needs to keep what she is thinking inside her instead of saying it out loud to someone else. It’s a measure of what is appropriate to say and what isn’t.

When my kids were in kindergarten, the teachers would ask the children to use their inside voices if they were getting too loud. One of the many beautiful things about Waldorf Kindergartens is they always ask the children to do something positive rather than say ‘don’t do something.’ It’s a beautiful way to guide a child. That’s for another post.

My sense is that my inside voice is the voice of truth that I have not listened to very well for most of my life. I have listened to other’s advice about how I should dress, or act or think, or be to make me something I think I should be because what I feel I am is not enough. Well, at fifty-eight, I am getting a little inkling that where and who and what I am is kind of okay and maybe even…really good.

The only way I will know that is if I turn off those outside voices leading me to somewhere someone else thinks I should be and listen to my inside voice that is much wiser for me. If I follow what I hear coming from me I may get closer to what is right for me. And the truth is…

Only I know what is best for me, just as only you know what is best for you. @MelodySchaper (Click to Tweet!)

I have a little fear that my voice is crazy. That my thoughts are nuts. And I also feel that maybe they are not, and maybe they are similar to yours and this all seems crazy to you too.

I don’t want to read another headline about steps to anywhere. I don’t want to think about how to get somewhere I am not. I want to be here and listen to my inside voice, and if, by chance, I hear something leading me I will follow that inward…and then, just maybe, the steps I take in the world might be in love and light and freedom and truth.

Melody Schaper is a Somatic Movement Therapist in Kimberton PA. Her work enables others to be more compassionate and gentle with themselves and others through a loving presence and awareness of the truth in each and every moment. Learn more about Melody and read her blog ‘Love Lessons’ here



Image courtesy of Patrick Tomasso.