The Union Path Podcast
"All Ideas Are the Same Size, Part 2"
John Coleman 0:00:20
You know what's funny? Sometimes I sit down to do these and I have a pretty clear idea of where they're going to go. And sometimes they go someplace completely different and end up being completely surprised by not only where they go but where they end up. Sometimes I sit down to do these and I really have no idea where they're going to go at all. And it just kind of unfolds in front of me. And sometimes when I finish doing one of these there still seems to be something left something left over, something missed, something overlooked or just a tangent that was pursued that left unseized opportunities for something else. It's kind of like everything in life we're walking through life. We follow the compelling energies when they present themselves to us. And sometimes we follow one path and there's still another path available that we can choose to come back to whenever we wish. So in light of that, in spirit of that this is part two of this idea that all ideas are the same size. And what I feel was missed or what I feel was the path not ventured down is looking a little bit deeper in this idea, this way of thinking about ideas being all the same size as a way to not unnecessarily elevate certain ideas over the other to not unnecessarily put some ideas way up on a pedestal, perhaps far out of our own reach, when there's really no reason to, when really that isn't actually the truth. That all ideas that come to us again are just ideas and we can entertain whatever we wish but sometimes we can get in our own way through the misattribution of size, of difficulty, of complexity, of risk of any particular idea. And this really comes into play with things that are important to us that we might think if we've done any sort of creative visualization or any kind of intentional imagining that small things are easy and big things are hard. And of course, whenever we're doing this work these exercises, this practice these are all ideas that we're dwelling on. And it's really easy to assume that big ideas are harder will take longer, will take a lot of effort are further away, are further separated from us than the small things.
John Coleman 0:03:05
But the truth is or at least one way of looking at things is all ideas are the same size. All ideas are equally as close or far away from us as any other because they're all internal. We already have them as ideas. And of course, ideas aren't the same thing as the physical world but a lot of times we can cut ourselves off. We can separate ourselves from even entertaining ideas because they feel too far away, they feel too difficult. It all feels too hard, too effortful. Or maybe it just feels like it's not really for us. It's too great, it's too grand, it's too much. And in some way we're not enough for it. And it's these ideas that I want to call into question. It's these ideas that I want to challenge a bit. Because even with the biggest ideas, it doesn't necessarily have to take a long time. Things necessarily don't have to take a lot of effort. And if we've decided that this is so ahead of time, then we can overlook the opportunities to disprove these ideas. We can overlook the possible instant gratifications that may be available to us because we actually don't know we actually don't know how long things will take.
John Coleman 0:04:36
We actually don't know how complicated things will be. We actually don't know how hard things will be. We'll only know in hindsight and we'll only know in hindsight in the way that it happened. That particular time to us doesn't mean that it could have been different. Doesn't mean that it could have been in infinite different ways. All we know is how things were. That isn't to say again that we should go full magic mode or think that limitations and constraints don't actually exist. We still live in a physical reality. Some things do take time. Some things do take a long time. But perhaps not as long as we think. Perhaps not as many resources as we think. Perhaps they're not as big of a change as they seem. Like perhaps what we perceive as the biggest change is actually what has to change within us first, what needs to be worked out within us to bring ourselves into alignment. Like, especially if there's something we really want that we really feel drawn to, we feel a deep down heartfelt and the deepest part of our self desire.
John Coleman 0:06:01
But for some reason this feels really big. Maybe this feels a little scary. Maybe we're uncomfortable with this idea. Especially if this is a completely different idea of ourselves and we just can't put ourself in the base. We just can't imagine ourselves doing whatever it is. We can't imagine ourselves being whatever it is because it's too far away, it's too different, it's too big of a change from however we conceive ourselves of right now. Well, that gap, that delta, that difference, that's our work. If this is really important to us, it's important to not get carried away with how difficult or big or even impossible ideas are when they're just ideas. Ideas are big because we say they are. Things seem difficult because we think they are. It doesn't necessarily have to be the way it is. As an example, I think a lot of us have had the experience where when we're going to sleep at night, we intentionally design the following day we go to sleep in a sense of intention. We go to sleep wanting to experience something the next day. And I think it's very easy for that to seem like the smaller and easier that intention is, that request is, the more likely it is to be granted that if we go to sleep thinking, I want to have a good day tomorrow. I want to feel good tomorrow and really get into that feeling, really feel what that would feel like.
John Coleman 0:07:49
Really live some of that experience in our minds, in our imaginations. And then we find ourselves living that exact vision out the following day. That feels doable. That feels attainable because it's not great and grand and hard. We just wanted to have a nice day. That seems to be a pretty small request. That seems to be a pretty reasonable ask. But what if we want something bigger? What if we want a bigger change in our life? What if we look at where our lives are and then imagine the lives we'd like to live and there's a big difference in what feels like size, in what feels like scale, in what feels like accomplishment and achievement and attainment, that it feels so much bigger to us then it can naturally feel much more difficult. We can naturally feel much more separate from that reality. But we don't have to do that. We don't have to create those limitations. We don't have to build that distinction with our ideas. We can entertain ideas.
John Coleman 0:09:02
We can let ourselves dream. We can let ourselves wish. We can let ourselves live the ideal that we want to live in our minds, in our imagination, in our vision. This should be the part of ourselves where we feel the most free, the least encumbered by rules and strictures that we can only want certain things for ourselves that are, quote unquote reasonable, that we quote unquote should want. There's a time for all of us.
And maybe it extends way back in.
John Coleman 0:09:37
A childhood when we were actually allowed to dream, when our minds were actually free. And it seems to me that that actually feels better, that actually is better. That that's a better imaginative ground state to live in rather than trying to apply a whole bunch of frankly largely artificial rules to our own desires, our own wanting, our own imagination, our own dreams. And of course, just because we imagine something just because we dream of something doesn't mean we'll ever actually experience it. That's not really the point. Or at least that's not the point that I'm trying to drive at. The point I'm trying to drive at is we should set ourselves free to want what we want, to desire what we desire, especially deep down on the inside, especially from that core, fundamental part of ourselves that feels the most core to us, the most fundamental, the most source part of who and what we are. That we can be much more free, much more encouraging, much more nourishing of our own ideas, of our own visions, of our own imagination. We don't have to feel like we need approval or validation to want what we want, to desire what we desire. We can allow ourselves the grace to want. We can allow ourselves the grace to dream. I think the unfortunate thing a lot of us get as a message or as a lesson is that being a responsible adult means abandoning anything that isn't quote unquote realistic, anything that isn't quote unquote reasonable. We adopt and assume so many shoulds we limit ourselves to pretty tight definitions of not only who we are but who we can be, what ideas we can entertain about ourselves, what's possible for us. And of course all of us have limitations. All of us are limited by something.
John Coleman 0:12:03
But it doesn't mean we shouldn't be able to dream. It doesn't mean we shouldn't be able to want because there's growth and there's learning. Even when we don't actually get what we want. We learn something about ourselves. We learn something about life. It isn't that we're here to constantly be fed every little thing we want. Life isn't an exercise in gluttony any more than it's an exercise in pride or vanity or any of the other unlovely parts about the human animal. We're here to learn and to grow. And when we can actually listen to what we want, when we can actually entertain and hold our own desires, the we really have the opportunity to learn something. We have the opportunity to experience something. We have the opportunity to observe something, at the very least about ourselves, the very least to get to know who and what we really are through really understanding what we really want at our core level deep down, what really motivates us, what really inspires us, what is our ideal expression, really? What is our ideal existence really? And I think we can really shortchange ourselves. We can really almost sabotage our lives by thinking that ideas that we have, that desires that we have, that dreams that we have, are too big for us or even are far more separate from us than they actually are. That we can hold the vision of a perfect life, an idealized life as the same size as we're holding that vision to have a nice day.
John Coleman 0:13:55
They're both ideas and they're both the same size. We don't have to stick only to the small if it's the big that our heart wants. We don't have to stick to the safe and reasonable if it's risk that our souls are asking us to take by being allowed to want what we want, by being allowed to dream our real dreams we can listen to ourselves, we can listen to our full selves again. It doesn't mean we have to act on every little thing that comes along. It doesn't mean that we have to live in delusion because ultimately we listen to our dreams. Because we're after the truth. We're after being truthful, being honest about what we really want, about what really motivates us, about where the energy of life really feels the strongest to us, what we get inspired by, where enthusiasm is, where the spark and the joy of life really is, really exists for us. In that it's important to not live a life rooted in self abandonment. It's important to not live a life deceiving ourselves that we want things we actually don't want, to deceive ourselves, that living a life of safety and security is as rich in full and meaningful as what we actually want. That we can hold on to our ideas, we can hold on to our dreams, we can hold on to our idealized visions of ourselves and don't have to separate ourselves from it. If this is what we actually want to be, we can work towards actually being it by being able to feel it fully, by being able to inhabit it fully on the inside, by being able to rectify and reconcile any feelings of not deserving what we want, of not being able either achieve it or hold it. And when these things are ideas, work to let that go, work to be one with our dreams, one with our visions, one with our desires of what we really want and not assume that what we want is too big for us, is too hard for us, is impossible, is improbable. Just entertain the ideas. There'll be plenty of decisions to make when it's time to act and we can bring all of our judgment, all of our discernment, all of our ideas about what's right for us to bear in that time. But when things are ideas, it's important to allow ourselves freedom.
John Coleman 0:16:58
It's important to liberate ourselves, to be able to dream the dreams we want to dream, to be able to envision the lives that we want to live.
And not let these ideas of things.
John Coleman 0:17:12
Being too big, too hard, too far away get in our way, discourage us.
Talk us out of what we actually.
John Coleman 0:17:22
Want, encourage us to settle for the less. It's important to entertain ideas in their fullness, to not start negotiating with ourselves, to not start pulling things off the table before we've even tried. We can want what we want. And what's important, what's the most important, is that we're honest about it. Because there's, in my opinion, some crossed wires that can happen with a lot of this spiritual work. We can start down these paths and.
It seems like the ideal spiritual character.
John Coleman 0:18:00
The ideal spiritual person is the person free of want, is the person who develops a life that is completely passive to what is. And it's my opinion, it's been my experience this isn't really true. Yes, passivity is an important state, an.
Important skill to develop, but it can.
John Coleman 0:18:27
Be detrimental when it's overdeveloped. Just like there's a time for passivity, there's also a time for action, there's a time for desire and there's a time for acceptance. It's important to be flowing with life and to know that sometimes flowing with life requires a certain type of energy, sometimes it requires being active, sometimes it requires being passive. Sometimes it requires stepping out and taking action. Sometimes it requires pausing and reflecting.
Sometimes it involves talking.
John Coleman 0:19:02
Sometimes it involves listening.
Sometimes it involves doing.
John Coleman 0:19:06
Sometimes it involves nondoing. But this is the work of moving through life in letting it shape us, of not moving through life trying to be as rigid of a straight line as we possibly can moving through life and allowing life to bend us into a beautiful curve allowing the path of our life to wind as it will, as it should. We don't have to be scared of big ideas. We don't have to be scared of big change. When there's things to do, we'll know it. When there's risk we don't want to take, we'll know it. When there's things we don't want to do, we'll know it. But we don't have to decide all.
Of that ahead of time. We can.
John Coleman 0:19:55
And we should entertain our ideas about ourselves especially ideas about who and what we really are.
Especially ideas of what would be our.
John Coleman 0:20:06
Full, true, real expression in their original size, considering our desires and our visions for Ourselves fully without making them smaller out of some sort of fear. Out of some sort of desire. To avoid risk, even out of the desire for expediency.
That a lot of times we can.
John Coleman 0:20:31
Think that if we can just create something smaller than we really want, then we'll be much more likely to get it even faster. But we don't actually know that we're getting in the way of making those assumptions. And that's part of us not entertaining and not sticking with the full version of our ideas, the full version of our dreams, however big they may feel, staying with them and knowing that the.
Path to what we want, if we.
John Coleman 0:21:04
Stick with it, if we can hold it, if we can be one with it will emerge in its own timing. We don't have to force it, we don't have to create it, we don't have to negotiate it with it. There's no tricks that we need to pull. We need to be one with ourselves. We need to be one with what we really want. We need to fully accept ourselves, dreams and all.
It's important to hold on to our dreams. It's important to hold on to what we really want. And if we've let go of our dreams a little too easy, if we've.
John Coleman 0:21:41
Decided that something is just too big.
For us or too much if whatever reason, we've cast off what we really desire, what we really want what would really be an ideal vision for us, an ideal version of our true and full life. Well, then it's important for us to resurrect these dreams, to give them life.
John Coleman 0:22:03
Especially dreams which we may have buried.
A little too early, which we may have cast off a little too easily, that we may have let go out of fear, out of being talked out of them. For whatever reason, it's important to remember that ideas are just ideas. And we can free ourselves by freeing our minds to entertain, to envision full versions of ideas, full versions of ideas about ourselves. Doesn't mean we have to act on them, doesn't mean we can't be happy until that exact thing is made manifest. There'll be lots of decisions to make along the way when it comes to our action, when it comes to our thought, when it comes to our attitudes, when it comes to even how we feel about things, but at the very least, with our dreams, with our deep down, heartfelt desires, we should put as few rules around them as possible and let ourselves dream fully. Let ourselves wish fully and know that no idea is bigger than any other idea. No idea needs to necessarily be harder for us than any other idea. We can line up with anything, we can assume anything. And if what we want deep down feels like too big of an idea, we can of course let it go. We can, of course relinquish it, but we don't have to. And if we want to, we can stay with it. We can allow it to stay with us. We can allow it to be resident in our being without feeling the sadness and pain that it isn't manifest right this minute. Because we at least allow ourselves to follow it, allow ourselves to entertain it, allow ourselves to learn and grow along the way. Because we may find that this big scary idea isn't actually for us and we may find what is along the way, but we would never know if we didn't pursue it.
We would never know if we weren't open to the experience, open to the idea of pursuing this idea, this grand vision, this grand plan. We can be free inside of ourselves. It's truly the last place where we can be totally free. And a big part of fully knowing ourselves, fully knowing who and what we really are, is fully knowing exactly what we want. Fully knowing the fullest, most complete vision of exactly what we want. And we don't have to be scared of big ideas. We don't have to be scared of things that we feel we don't deserve or we feel we're not big enough for. We can decide to match our ideas, hold them as peers, hold them as equals whenever we decide to. Because these dreams, these visions are not only ours in their ultimate form, in their truly deep felt form, these dreams and visions are us.