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On Clarity

Clarity begins within.

Clarity comes from engagement, not thought. ~Maria Forleo

When was the last time you just knew? Like really, really knew?

The kind of knowing that resides deep within us, usually several layers beneath our fears?

I have been thinking about clarity a lot lately. When we embody it, when we contrive it, and when we feel like it is completely lost to us. And sometimes when it shows up in an integrated tangle of all three where we attempt to unravel and make sense of it in a meaningful way.

I absolutely love that Maria Forleo talks about how clarity comes from engagement; rarely have I witnessed or experienced clarity from thinking alone. Don’t get me wrong–thinking is damn important. All action without thought is messy and seldom strategic. However, specifically engaging, as in taking action in a specific way, is the beginning of unearthing what we are really looking for…and what just might be looking for us too. 

When mindset and movement come together, clarity loves to show up and play. I am consistently astounded by true clarity’s quiet force and ability to transform our doubt, anxiety, and hesitation into an avalanche of inspiration and a catalyst for connection.

So why is clarity so difficult? Why can’t we always find it if we put our mind and movement together? I don’t honestly know for sure but here is a story I’ve been making up lately:

Clarity comes from engagement not thought, yes. 

And it matters where we engage.

We frequently look for it everywhere–in our communities, careers, and our connections, whether these connections are live or within a social media scroll. Sometimes we even believe we’ll find it there. But clarity is quite crafty. It chooses only one place to hang out; within us.

We must engage within to really know clarity.

This isn’t to say that seeking clarity outside of ourselves is inherently ineffective or wrong. Embracing new experiences and opportunities can definitely play a significant role in the engagement process of pursuing clarity. However, to know what we really think, feel, and believe about those experiences is to go inward and learn our signature response to them. It may be more efficient to embrace the popular perspective, the unfettered route, the comfortable choice, or the most accessible response but this wouldn’t lead to the authentic clarity meant (and waiting) for us.

Therefore, clarity is often hard-won. It is a specific and rather bad-ass lens which can illuminate the landscape of our purpose, reinvigorate our connection, and empower our courage. But we are required to turn inward to access this vista view. We are challenged to reach past our fears, dig beyond our doubt, look our flaws in the eye, and engage our curiosity. What can seem rather obvious on the surface to a stranger is actually a brutiful vision quest for ourselves. (Thank you, Glennon, for the coined term ‘brutiful’ by the way. It is perfect.)

Clarity is needed now more than ever–in our world and in our spirits. Wherever we look, the desire for clarity is alive and well. We even feign having it in hopes the ‘fake-it-until-you-make-it-approach’ actually works. Those who have true clarity, though, don’t usually speak to it. They simply live it; a brilliant practice of embodiment of which I stand in awe.

I join you in learning how to turn inward to reach for authentic clarity. It is damn hard, there are no shortcuts, and the voyage within is seldom traversed without stumbling.

A necessary quest well worth the engagement. 

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People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

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