The other day I watched a documentary called Kumaré which has been languishing on my TiVo for months. It was really interesting and I highly recommend seeking it out. It’s about a New Jersey-born guy with Indian heritage who began questioning religion and particularly all the “gurus” out there who claim they can show people the way to enlightenment but in reality end up just serving their own interests. He wondered if he could become a guru himself and in doing so prove the point that religion — and faith — was all fake.
So he did. He grew his hair and beard long, adopted his grandmother’s accent and along with a couple of friends moved to Phoenix Arizona where “people would be more open” to his message. Sure enough he soon attracted some followers. What happens next is really interesting, because people found their lives changing.
All along he was saying that he was a fake; that while he could show people what their truth was, he was an illusion and their real guru was inside themselves. His idea was to look inside and find your Ideal Self, who you really wanted to be. And his followers listened to him, and they found their Ideal Selves, and they acted on what they found.
I think the thing Kumaré did was give people the permission to be brave and act on what they want. Everyone has hopes and dreams, so what stops us acting on them? Why aren’t we all travelling the world and losing weight and changing careers to be a yoga teacher? It’s fear. Fear of failure, fear of success, fear of going against what others expect of them (and having to face the comments.) But Kumaré, he was sitting in front of them saying they had their own truths inside, and he was implicitly giving them permission to do what they wanted. He gave them courage.
Who is the Ideal Me?
Of course, of course, this has resonated with me. I’ve been thinking about it a lot over the past few days, about why we (I) do this to ourselves. The people I admire most are the ones who went against the norm and followed their dreams. So why am I so scared to do the same? And I’m not even talking about big things like giving up my job. What’s the worst thing that’s going to happen? I’ll be happy? I’ll stop thinking what if?
So I wondered, who would Ideal Nicky be? What would she do? In other words, what is it about now that makes me sigh and feel dissatisfied?
- goes to bed at a decent hour and gets enough sleep
- gets up a bit early each morning to do some yoga/stretching and have quiet, thinking time
- is present in the moment and aware of her own thoughts
- realises people do want to be her friend
- leaves the house and meets these people
- feels comfortable and healthy in her body
- has energy to jump, run, ride her bike
- lives in a calm, uncluttered house
- looks after her own sanity
- reads a lot
- writes every day
- loves to cook
- easily keeps on top of paperwork and housework
- feels no need to binge – on food, shopping, or red wine
- is focused and enjoys her day job
- avoids feeling resentful or bitchy about missing out due to being a mother and just makes stuff happen for herself
In a nutshell, Ideal Nicky is calm, fit and healthy, and sane. She is organised at home and has lots of time for the creative things she loves. She smiles. She is happy. She sounds pretty good to me.
Have you seen the movie? What did you think? And who is your Ideal You?