Is it possible to be spiritual & successful?

spiritual and successful

So many of us find ourselves in limbo when it comes to being present and content in the moment, feeling that who we are and what we have is enough — yet, at the same time — still striving to be and do more, and fit into a society that idolizes material success and recognition.

I recently stumbled across a video (quite lengthy) of Byron Katie answering questions from various people on Skype. (I absolutely adore Byron Katie, and I am always happy to share her work. I feel that she is the North American equivalent to the great spiritual masters of Asia, which were prevalent decades ago, but now extremely rare.) Someone asked her a question similar to the opening statement I made above. When I heard the conversation between the Questioner and Byron Katie, I knew I wanted to transcribe it and share it on Sunday Is For Lovers. I feel like it is a question that many people struggle with. Especially since people’s consciousness has been expanding & evolving rapidly, and more people seem to be aware that money can’t buy happiness. They can watch the news or take look around (or inside), and see that ruthless ambition, which includes the compulsive & obsessive need to be/have/do more, in hopes of being happy, is rapidly destroying our health and the planet.

I transcribed the Skype conversation that I saw and heard, and posted it below for you.

Questioner:
Is it possible to be happy with what is now, and still strive to be more, do more and achieve more?

Byron Katie:
It definitely is.

Questioner:
Good!
[Questioner looks relieved, and smiles broadly]

Byron Katie:
It’s like… what is there to stop you, other than what you are thinking and believing? What is there to stop you from creating the maximum? If you didn’t fear, what would stop you? Just because we get a little self realization doesn’t mean we become stupid. It’s the extreme opposite, wisdom is… [Katie pauses and stops herself for a moment] When you are tapped into that, not only are you free, but you have direction. And you don’t have to wonder about it or second guess it, it’s just so clear. And there’s nothing beyond you, because the directions give you what you can do from right here, right now. It’s powerful, whether it’s pick up a phone, or what’s going through the computer, or doing the dishes. And they are all equally as valuable when it’s fearless. And there’s an order to things. So, with nothing to stop you, why wouldn’t you be able to create at maximum? And you are living your maximum right now, when you consider what you are thinking and believing — you are living your maximum, we all are. So we are only held back by fear, and fear is what I invite you to question. To identify the thoughts… and question them. Freedom’s your birthright. And also, if you were really really truly happy… [Katie pauses] Let’s say you had nothing, that’s a very broad statement, but let’s say… [Katie pauses] OK, let’s just take you right here, right now. With everything you have and don’t have, if you were happy… [Katie pauses] If you were happy — isn’t that what you want?

Questioner:
[Questioner is no longer smiling and looks confused]
Am I happy right now?

Byron Katie:
No, if you were happy, in your life, right now — isn’t that maximum?

Questioner:
[Questioner pauses and thinks]
Ya. Actually, ya.

Byron Katie:
Ya, so it’s not about what we have or do. It’s about happiness. And [self] inquiry brings you happiness, because it brings you back to yourself, and there are no requirements in it. So with that kind of freedom, you have nothing to lose, because you always have that. And that’s a fearless state of mind. And entirely creative.

Questioner:
Ya, that’s really comforting.

Byron Katie:
You know.. I’m glad you asked the question, and I hope that I’ve answered it well. You seemed to have caught something… but if… if… not just… [Katie pauses] It’s like, of all the things I would want for you, and I could only choose one — it’s happiness. And then everything else becomes unnecessary, because that is the ultimate. And it’s not a silly happiness or a superficial happiness. It’s the authentic real deal. So it doesn’t matter, truly, if we are rich or poor, or we are sick or well, or we are tall or short, or old or young. Happiness. That’s it.
And just to say a little more… it’s… if you… [Katie stops, sighs, then pauses in stillness] I guess not to say a little more. [Katie smiles, then releases the smile — is completely still, looking directly in the questioner’s eyes, in complete presence]

Questioner:
[is silent]

Byron Katie:
So that’s what I love about The Work, it gives us the maximum. So if you had everything, everything ambitiously in the material world… and position, and power, and all of that… Would it bring you happiness?

Questioner:
[pauses, thinks]
Uhm, I didn’t really understand that last part of what you said… the connection is kind of…
[Questioner’s hand signal is suggesting that the Skype internet connection is so-so]

Byron Katie:
OK, so… if you had everything in life you ambitiously wanted — would that make you happy?

Questioner:
[Questioner nods her head yes]
Ideally… sounds like it would.

Byron Katie:
Well, I invite you to… the next time… [Katie stops herself] No, we can do it from here. Go back to a time when you got something you wanted. Something you really wanted. Do you see that moment?

Questioner:
[Questioner thinks, nods her head yes]
Ya.

Byron Katie:
You were really happy?

Questioner:
[Questioner nods and makes an ’emm-hmm’ sound to say yes]

Byron Katie:
How long did it last?

Questioner:
[Questioner smiles broadly, looks a bit embarrassed]
Ya, I see what you are saying. It was just a little while.
[Questioner pauses, questions her reply, and answers the question again]
An instant.

Byron Katie:
So you got what you wanted, and it lasted an instant. …And I definitely want more for you.

Questioner:
[Questioner nods yes, and makes an ’emm-hmm’ sound]

Byron Katie:
And I want more for you, because I know you want more for you.

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2 Comments

Filed under conversations, goals, success

2 responses to “Is it possible to be spiritual & successful?

  1. Nino

    Although I have heard this approach before, I like how she explained it. Very raw and personal. I will look into her more.

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