I Am What I Seek

I am currently participating in a spiritual mastermind group lead by Robert Holden, author of the book Authentic Success among many other life changing books about love, success, happiness, and spirituality.  The theme of the mastermind group is “Metanoia” which is defined Oxford Languages via Google as “change in one’s life resulting from penitence or spiritual conversion.”

 In Robert’s introduction to the class he explained that Metanoia happens in three metaphorical stages of stone, water, and wine.  The metaphor originates from The Wedding at Cana in the Book of John where Jesus directs the servants to fill several large, empty stone jars with water which is then turned into wine.  Robert explains that the conversion from stone to water to wine represents a spiritual conversion.  He goes on to explain that the first phase, which is that of the stone jars, is the part of our journey when we seek meaning through books.  Robert had me at books.  I am a stone jar.  If you haven’t been able to tell from this blog, I kind of like to read “self-help” books. 

We’ve had our first Metanoia class as a group and our first homework assignment was to prepare a short five-minute talk to be given to the rest of the group on the theme “I am what I seek.”  What follows is the text from the talk I delivered.

I am what I seek.  Like many of you, I have been playing around with this in my head for a couple of weeks now since our call.  It hasn’t been easy, and it hasn’t been super clear.  My logical mind has been wrestling with the words, rearranging them and playing with them and the answer still hasn’t completely hit me.

Yet throughout this process, something silly and light keeps coming back to me as I’ve played around with this.  I am what I seek.  You are what you seek.  When I say to myself, “You are what you seek”, what I keep hearing is “You are what you eat!”  Remember that one from childhood?  I wonder if there’s a similarity of meaning between the two?  If we simplify this thing and go back to childhood, is the lesson the same?  I think it might be.

Remember on the playground when you were a kid?  Your friend would remind you that you are what you eat, then he would say “You’re a cheeseburger!”  Then you’d say back to your friend, “Oh yeah, well you’re chocolate cake!”  Then you’d both laugh.  The lesson this phrase is supposed to teach us as kids is that is that if you eat junk food, your body will be junk.  If you eat healthy foods, your body will be healthy.  So make good choices!

When you are young and you are becoming, the phrase You are what you eat is a directive.  If you eat this, then you will become that. And when we are kids, we don’t know any better so we need these directives to help us make good choices in order to become whatever it is we are trying to become.  A grown-up?  A responsible adult?  A doctor?  An astronaut?

I don’t know about you, but I am still becoming.  And many of the choices I make are intentional, in order to become what I want to become.   But what if we flip this whole thing around on its head and look at it a different way, not as a directive but rather as a reflection of who we already are.  So rather than thinking that we will become what we eat, perhaps we can flip it around and make the statement a reflection of who we are instead.  In other words, if I am already a healthy person, then I will choose to eat healthy foods.  In this way, it’s a definition of who we are that determines what we eat rather than our choices of what we eat determining who we are.

Bringing this back to the more difficult statement that I am what I seek, we can simply replace seeking with eating and the whole thing seems to make more sense.  I am what I eat.  I am what I seek.  Beyond feeding our physical bodies, we are feeding our souls.

When we are becoming, we are trying to figure out who we are, and our choices can help guide us.  To an extent, it almost feels as though we are fooling ourselves by making choices to become who we want to be as if we are not already that person.  Remember the saying “fake it until you make it?”  When we are becoming there is some truth in this.  What we seek and the choices that we make, can determine who we become if we let them.   Yet once we recognize we have already become, then who we are determines the choices that we make instead of the other way around.  Whoah!  Is this Enlightenment?  Practice makes perfect.

If I love myself fully then I will choose to nourish my body with healthy, fresh, natural foods and I will nourish my soul with courage, love, acceptance, forgiveness, joy and peace.  I seek these things because I already am these things.  You are what you eat and I am what I seek.   Now just so you know, I am still becoming and I’ve been very good all week, so tonight I will be a pizza and there will be grace.

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