In our last post we spoke about chaos and offered some empowering perspectives on its nature. One of the themes we’ll explore here is Ambition, how it can be beneficial in our lives and when it becomes a harbinger for experiences of chaos and confusion.
Ambition always involves doing more. Embedded is an inherent drive for action, a desire to push through limitation into greater having-ness. Ambition is equated with results and specific outcomes; it’s built into the human condition. Throughout history curiosity, innovation, creativity and the need to experience novelty have lead to great ambition; the manifestation of technological society, the arts and sciences and complex social structures are a direct result of human ambition. Ambition’s purpose is to raise the station of our life, which is a noble function.
On the flip-side, ambition is often co-opted by the false personality. The false personality is our ego/mind when it becomes dysfunctional and disconnected from source. The false personality often sabotages dreams and passions. Sometimes, we can have so many creative ideas that our ambition to create never leaves the domain of the mind and, paradoxically, nothing actually gets done. More often, ambition becomes problematic when we become lost in incessant doing and forget to stop and be. Humanity has always suffered at the hands of the false personality and its endless appetite for more of everything: money, power, sex, time, attention, beauty, validation, love, etc.
Eventually, all of this phenomenon leads to feelings of overwhelm, confusion, exhaustion and chaos. Why? Ambition, whether functional or dysfunctional, forces us to focus and create outside the box. Ambition comes with taking a risk to change and move into unchartered territory. Without ambition, we are either satisfied or stuck with our current situation and comfortable or mired within the status quo. The greater the ambition, the bigger the risk and the more difficult and skilled we must be at juggling and multitasking all the new complexities, tasks and inherent responsibilities that may arise.
If you are experiencing chaos and confusion ask yourself:
Am I being too ambitious, trying to do too much?
Am I being impatient, forcing a situation that may not be ripe for manifestation?
Am I out of rhythm in my body due to lack of sleep, proper food and balanced exercise?
Is the desire to change sourced from a true need from the heart or a want of the ego/mind?
It’s essential to ask these questions daily, to know the why behind our actions. Doing so forces us into a contemplative practice that is internalizing. We can stop, slow down and make some necessary adjustments.
The following meditation is a potent way to find stillness, neutrality and access intuition. Practiced diligently, over time, it builds an immunity to confusion and chaos.
Om Namah Shivaya
Wherever you are and whatever you’re doing, stop and become hyper present. Take three long, deep breaths with the intention to release tension on the exhale and create good space on the inhale. Send a message to your body to relax and settle into stillness. Begin to link the mantra Om Namah Shivaya with your breathing. As you deeply inhale, mentally vibrate the complete mantra once. Do the same on the out breath. As you continue, allow the vibrations and the inner sound of the mantra to become louder than your thoughts. Imagine a volume dial for your ego and turn it down. Simultaneously, imagine a volume dial for the mantra Om Namah Shivaya and turn it up. Let the vibrations come from every cell of your being, not just localized in the head. Over time, the breath will deepen and the parasympathetic nervous system will kick in, relaxing the body. With practice, you can do this anytime and anywhere, even around other people.
Shiva is the experience and embodiment of pure, unconditioned consciousness. The more you vibrate this mantra the more the swirling, creative and sometimes chaotic world of form ceases to hook you into reactive habits and patterns of illusion. Instead, you begin to experience the world with equanimity, calmness and an unshakable connection to Being-ness itself, our true nature. You then become free to engage with the world from a place of coherent creativity.
We have to learn and attune to the needs of our soul and let go of what the mind wants. This is the solution to all the ailments that threaten our world, both personally and globally. The Shiva mantra creates a healthy relationship between our head and heart and births forth a wholesome and life-affirming ambition. This heart ambition is fueled by compassion to serve the highest in ourselves and others. Then, what is truly important is revealed and sustained and the superfluous falls away.
Practice, vibrate, listen and follow your heart’s ambitions.