The Only Core Value You’ll Ever Need: why your ego is killing your business. ~ Carrie Elizabeth Stiles

“Truth is like a vast tree, which yields more and more fruit, the more you nurture it”

~ Mahatma Gandhi, The Story of My Experiments With Truth

 

You have the potential to reach for the stars, to achieve your wildest dreams. So why are you fumbling around like blind when you have infinite possibilities right at your fingertips? 

Are you lying to yourself and hiding from the truth of your infinite potential? 

I dare to propose in this blog that anytime you experience pain and suffering, disease and illness or even dissatisfaction in your life and work this is an expression of untruth. Wherever there is pain and suffering in your life and workflow you can be sure their is a lie waiting to be uprooted and weeded out to make more room for your flowers to blossom. In this offering I share six steps in a meditation on honesty to let go of the ego’s delusion and step into the light of Truth.

Why You Must Wear Your Heart on Your Work Sleeve.

“Before you purchase the devil’s flattery check into whom he is speaking.”

~ Mooji 

 

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Are you selling your infinite treasure for a few cheap trinkets?

Time to stop all that silly fronting. Your ego is tripping you up. Did you buy into the whole ‘fake it, until you make it’ trap: too afraid to be vulnerable and honest? Sorry to be the one to break it to you, but the only one you are fooling is yourself.  If you fake it you will fundamentally miss the essential virtue that determines success: honesty.

“We lie all the time, and it wears us out… We manage our companies through a series of delusional clichés: ‘The customer is always right’; ‘I’m not angry’; ‘We’re proceeding according to plan.’ But at the core, we don’t buy any of it.”

~ Brad Blanton, executive psychotherapist at UCLA

For one thing, people intuitively know when something is a lie. And what’s more is your own intuition knows when we are out of alignment with Truth. In fact, a great leader can determine the Truth from a lie. Anyone who knows a thing or two about the world will see right through you: or I would hope so! When you are living in untruth, and not practicing truthfulness you are only sabotaging yourself as well as abandoning both the richness of the human experience and your infinite potential.

Your Mission: If You Choose to Accept It …

Find the burning fire of your longing for the Truth within: this is your mission. When you develop your vision, write your mission statement, create your products, make your offerings and conduct your marketing or develop your communications strategy you better have this burning desire switched ON if you want to be heard and make an impact. Your passionate desire for Truth is your brand: it’s your message to the world and your driving force.

Stand for Truth and people will get behind you…

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Lie and your voice will fall like a used tire in the vast, cultural waste land of modernity. When you stand for Truth in every moment, in every action, in every communications again and again: people will soak up and flourish in the light of your truthfulness.

This is how trust is built in life and business.

When you embody truthfulness your message will sing in people’s hearts. When you indulge your ego to stay in your comfort zone you will fail to strike the essential chord that will inspire this song. 

“The world is full of lies. Actually, that is an understatement. We’re bathing in lies. We buy lies. We eat lies for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. And most companies are the biggest lie factories around… Success is produced by those who are constitutionally incapable of accepting lies. They face reality when it’s hard. If the company is hurting and needs to lay folks off, they don’t ignore it. If a problem has risen up between two employees, they confront it. If their strategy isn’t working, they change it. If they lost the company money, they admit it.”

~ Dale Partridge, People Over Profit

If you are trying to pull a fast one, trust me, people will sense it and you will end up attracting the wrong people. The more honest you are in your business; the more of the right people will come. The more honest you are; the more of the right people will resonate with you. And the more you go deeper and deeper into truthfulness; the more of the right people will really respond to your offerings in an authentic and genuine way.

People love to hear the Truth, but first you have to find the Truth within yourself.

If you are secretly afraid of something like loosing your mortgage, the tax man, death or your mother … this will reflect in your business. If you are acting, communicating and making choices from a place of fear this will impact your business. If you are in confusion, but too arrogant to admit it, then your customers will not respond well.

If you have failed to work through some reoccurring conflict in your life, or are avoiding some outstanding karmic battle, then this will definitely show up in your business. Rather than feel ashamed, repress, deny, make excuses or run, integrate the Truth of your experience, your life, your suffering into your business model. This means digging deep to transform your life into a beautiful offering of Truth. 

The Ultimate Lie:

victimization, martyrdom and self-sacrifice.

 

“People think that a liar gains a victory over his victim. What I’ve learned is that a lie is an act of self-abdication, because one surrenders one’s reality to the person to whom one lies, making that person one’s master, condemning oneself from then on to faking the sort of reality that person’s view requires to be faked…

The man who lies to the world, is the world’s slave from then on…There are no white lies, there is only the blackest of destruction, and a white lie is the blackest of all.”

~ Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged

12591899_10100497535257571_584575988_oHow are you not being honest with yourself right now? Have you neglected to realize your great potential? What limiting thought patterns are binding you?

Do you have a dream left dormant?

How are you lying to yourself in your work? What negative patterns are causing you to suffer in your workspace? How are you blocked in in your workflow? What limitations and restrictions are you facing in creating your offerings and connecting with your community? 

Is your workspace toxic? Is your workflow totally unsustainable? Do you project unhealthy fantasies into your occupation? Do you work for ages, strung out, adrenals failing only to crash with some major health problem or epic life failure resulting in the demise of your personal relationships and major uprooting. 

Are you a slave to another’s vision?

Guilty! I have been through it all.

I’ve exposed myself again and again to the most obscene, toxic working conditions. I’ve taken on clients out of fear. I’ve hidden behind other people’s projects because of self-doubt. I’ve placated others by letting them believe whatever they wanted, rather than standing for Truth and sharing the depths of my experience. I’ve driven myself into malnutrition, immune system failure and financial collapse because of the depth of my secret despair around my unrealized vision, and my desire to be free.

In Truth I have always been a Truth seeker: the search just goes deeper and deeper. 

If you are out of touch with the constant pursuit of Truth this will be your demise. When you buy into the big lie of fear you are missing out on so much expansive love and pure joy. If you have failed to cultivate a passionate obsession with honesty then the bricks you are laying your foundation with are cheap. Your poorly built house will come crashing down around you: guaranteed. Or what’s worse: you will end up living in a strangers home, always feeling something missing or out of alignment, rather than harmoniously rooted in your own authentic expression.

This is why I say a commitment to Truth is the only core value you will ever need in your business. The more you can really dig deep in creating your brand, and developing your mission, in a profound and personal way the more inspired you will be to fulfill this mission. If you are deeply centered in Truth (even if it’s a relative, personal truth; with a lowercase ‘t’), and not just settling for fluff, the more we will respond. So commit to honesty as you go about your work: create your products, develop your workflow, manage your time, choose and create your workspace, understand your customer’s journey and in every step of your communications embody Truth. 

You may need to get radical at first. Are you a chronic exaggerator? Do you avoid pressing problems in your life? Ask a trusted friend to call you out if your ready. Or take a vow of radical honesty. Make a fundamental change in your life by letting go of a friend, or a group of friends, a job, a city, a spiritual community, a living situation that you know deep down is fundamentally throwing you out of alignment with Truth.

When we lie …

When we harbor deep seated feelings of victimization this is the ego’s lie. We are not victims, we are powerful beyond measure. Likewise when we try to take advantage, manipulate, exploit others for our personal agenda this is a lie. When we put other people’s needs in front of our own, and harbor resentment against them (while playing the silent martyr), this is surely a lie. When we placate others out of fear of their response or even retaliation, or because of our need to be loved, this is a lie. When we fail to nurture and take care of ourselves: make lame pleas to be rescued, play dumb, blame others then this is a lie as well. And, when we fail to live up to our highest potential by doing the good work we are destined to be doing then this is a lie.

I dare you to seriously take a look at your workflow, your workspace and your unrealized potential. Do you have any outstanding health problems, unfinished projects, financial blockages? Ask yourself, “how am I being dishonest with myself right now?”

What you don’t know will kill your business

(if you don’t admit it).

 

The seeker after truth should be humbler than the dust. The world crushes the dust under it’s feet, but the seeker after truth should so humble himself that even the dust could crush him. Only then, and not till then, will he have a glimpse of truth.”

~ Mahatma Gandhi, The Story of My Experiments With Truth

The Truth may be that you don’t know the Truth in any given moment: sometimes we have to admit that ‘we don’t even know; what we don’t know’. Or that we are overwhelmed, that we need to take time off, that we are ‘working on it’, that we are confused and we are in pain and we are suffering.

Perhaps we think we know the Truth, and we are actually limiting ourselves in this false sense of security. 

Establishing strong professional boundaries and managing expectation is a great first, entry level step into being truthful in our work. These topics deserve their own blog posts and I will put them on my passion list for topics to cover in the future. After we learn how to set professional boundaries that make us feel safe, and manage other people’s expectations properly so we don’t fall into victimization, the next step is a commitment to transparency.

Transparency is a commitment to Truthfulness on the operational level as a conscious entrepreneur(ess).

“Complete transparency leads to a stronger bottom line. Vulnerability plus accessibility is transparency … The human mind is designed for love and truth we can use that in our marketing and win every time. People love getting the truth and people love feeling valued. They want that deep feeling of connection and truth as if that can breath out of your marketing culture you will succeed for sure.”

~ Dale Partridge

How to Develop a Relationship with Truth. 

Or,

How to stop lying and begin to identify with the Truth: a practice in honesty.

“Everyone wants everything perfect. We want so much, but we offer so little. So it has to be said: It is not the truth that’s hiding. Your heart is true, we are truth. But we have given so much to our projections and mind. And we want to fulfill our projections. Then there is not space really for the true. Practice helps to refine the consciousness and mind, to take out the noise: to comb out the noise from inside. Then you develop natural attraction for your own Self.”

 ~ Mooji

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Meditation is the best way to unravel lies and delusion that have built up in our blind spots inhibiting us, crusting over precious treasures and jewels… the rust is locking up your greatest wealth. This is why meditation can be so painful and difficult. We are forced to sit and look at our web of lies and also get just a taste of the infinite love and expansive joy and freedom that is our true nature.

Buck up princess! Time to do the hard work and excavate the Truth from the entrenchment of lies that have built up like decaying plaque in your lower mind. Of course establishing a strong meditation practice can be an immense undertaking, although it doesn’t have to be. I highly recommend learning to meditate correctly in the presence of an advanced practitioner in longer-ish retreats. However, we can also begin to establish ourselves in Truth right here and right now. This will increase our chances of finding ourselves in a meditation hall anyways! 

Here are a few practices to integrate into your meditation on truthfullness:

“To one established in truthfulness, actions and their results will be become subservient.

The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

1. Be Aware.

Am I aware? Am I present?

Am I in my body? Or am I lost in a whirlwind of mental afflictions, temporary and fleeting thought waves? Am I firmly anchored in the Truth of this very moment: that which is unchanging.

Can I observe when I’m not aware? Can I catch myself in a net of loving kindness? And with immense grace can I bring myself back to awareness? In other words, can I tell the difference between when I am lost in a thought as compared to when I am fully embodied in the present moment in complete and absolute awareness?

2. Be Vulnerable and Just Notice.

Observe. What am I avoiding in this moment? What am I pushing away? What am I not wanting to see?

Is there a strong sensation that I don’t want to feel? Something that I’m escaping from? Is the beauty of this moment, and the many sensations arising in the here and now simply too powerful for me to contain?

Am I afraid of loosing control? Am I tossing and turning in a restless sea of lies and illusion? Or am I fully present?

When you are in a safe and sacred space go deeper and deeper into your vulnerability to identify the most sensitive root of your affliction. Shed light on that very vulnerable dark place where perhaps your inner child is alone and crying in the dark. Can you offer a loving hand to this lost soul and bring her back into her divine nature?

3. Laugh and Accept.

Sit and fully accept whatever your experience is or has been. 

One of my favorite sage questions of yore is, “What shall I do with the things which cannot make me immortal?” And the answer is, “embrace everything with love”. And I mean everything! There is a difference between a relative compassion and an absolute compassion.

Why limit love?

When we conditionally apply love out of our ego and fear it indicates a fundamental misunderstanding of the Truth. In the space of absolute compassion and unconditional love even the unacceptable becomes acceptable. This teaching is immense and profound and not something that can be understood in a blog post, but let’s try anyways… 

Right here, right now: on the edge of this very moment, the next moment and the next forever no matter whatever arises, try to accept it. Practice embracing all that arises within the greater Truth of absolute compassion and unconditional love. This takes vigilance and is the most astounding and sometimes mind boggling of tasks, but will yield immense rewards.

Can I commit to not running away and getting lost in a torrent of repressed memories and ugly demons hurling tomatoes at me? Can I look my fear, pain and suffering in the eye, face it and have absolute compassion for whatever arises? Do I know that these experience is not me.

Can I laugh at the absurdity of this paradox? Can I laugh at myself when I see my own suffering? If I can laugh with a light heart then this is a good sign that I can accept. Remember, that thing that once you could never laugh at because it was way to dark and scary, there was just too much suffering covering up this most vulnerable, beautiful part of myself? And now, look at you smiling to your pain, smiling to your suffering.

What progress!

4. Know your (Unknowable!) Self:

Know that you are not your pain, you are not your suffering, you are not your thoughts and you are not your emotions.

Know that you are not your pain, you are not your suffering, you are not your thoughts and you are not your emotions.

You are so, so, so much more. You, your True self, are infinite. Your True self is unconditioned. It’s pure awareness. It’s infinite: it’s free, it’s absolute, it’s emptiness and it’s bliss. Your True self is unknowable, or it’s not something that you can know in the thinking mind. Rather, you have to just be. Learn to differentiate between your false, ego, small, contracted self and the infinite grace that is your True Self.

Ask, Who Am I? Sit at the feet of the great masters like Ramana Maharishi. Read I Am That by Nisargadatta Maharaj,

5. Be Empty

Come empty so you can be filled with grace.

Be empty like the banks of a great river so that you can receive the abundance that is your True Self. If you want to know the Truth then you must understand what it means to be empty. You must understand the mental science of emptiness, that everything is inherently empty. Emptiness is a topic far greater then this tiny, lovingly presented blog post. You can learn about the mind of Bodhicitta, or the wisdom realizing emptiness, from His Holiness the Dalai Lama. And HERE is a wonderful blog post by PEMA CHÖDRÖN on Bodhicitta. 

6. Surrender and expand:

Let go! Let go again and again and again. 

Know that there is nothing to know. There is nothing to be done. You are not the one in control. There is something so much greater, so much more beautiful, so much more profound than your relatively tiny struggles. I know, I know: “but my pain is different, my pain is special, my pain is more.” Are you attached to your pain?

If you are constantly absorbed in your seemingly immense pain and suffering please know that you are missing out on so much more: you are denying yourself, and you are lying. Be honest enough to know that you don’t know. Be humble enough to learn from those who do like Yogananda, Ramana Maharishi, Anandamayi Ma and his Holiness the Dalai Lama.

When fantasy is untruth… a personal story.

 

Nancy Edited

I want to share a very personal story that I humbly surrender to my beloved Guru Ji Paramahansa Yogananda:  who I love with all my heart and soul forever. Nothing will ever take me from his feet and I am tearfully grateful for his great mercy, love and compassion. He has saved my life again and again and again and again as I have become lost in suffering. I rest forever in his infinite grace. I wish you will one day know what it means to surrender to the Guru in a real and abiding way. 

My beloved  grandmother Nancy Valentine, who loves me so much, married a Great King or Maharajah in India. I am hoping to publish her autobiography soon and am in talks with a good publisher in India. You can read about it on this website.

My grandmother was a top model, a movie star, a princess living in a palace with 300+ rooms. This is her reality. And this is the reality that I grew up with. It’s not a fantasy. Yet, for so many girls this is a great fantasy. When I hear the delusional glorification and exoticism of royalty, Maharani’s, Stars, Models it makes me very sad. I feel my Grandmother’s pain and suffering every single day. And I know her ultimate salvation lies in her surrender to God through the grace of Yoganandya Ji. 

This is what I call my divine inheritance. 

“What does it mean to be naked in front of your Lord? Maybe you’ve experienced it when you’ve completely bowed your head down to pray. It takes intelligence to step into that higher level of understanding.”

~ Colleena Shakti, Odissi Classical Indian Dancer commenting on Gita Govind

Maharani of Cooch Behar Nancy Valentine gives up film career for religion

It’s the Truth that you can become a model, a movie star, a princess all those things people desire… You can be wealthy beyond measure. You can make all your worldly dreams come true. Yet, if you do not know that true wealth is spiritual wealth, that the great mystery can not be bought or achieved, and that you are the wealth that you seek … then truly you have nothing. The ultimate Truth is found in the sweetness of surrender.

The Truth is immense, infinite. It’s everything and it’s nothing. It’s inherently empty. It’s pure awareness. It’s vast nothingness. It’s our true nature. And it’s what’s resting behind everything else. It’s more and it’s greater. Put yourself in service to that greatness, contemplate it and aspire to find union with this same greatness that is your true nature.

The Truth is something so profound, so blindingly beautiful, beyond words. The Truth is waiting for you to wake up. Yet, you are too busy making up ridiculous stories, running from the greatness of your own essential nature, to accept your divine inheritance. There is a big difference between an ego fantasy, or delusion of grandeur that is distracting you from your huge potential, and a dream that is the vision of realizing your true self. 

Yet, we lie to ourselves every day and we miss the expansive possibility of existence, and the bliss that arises in this knowing, out of our inhibiting fear. We probably lie to ourselves ten times a minute at the very least. We distort the perfection that is the Truth. We are caught in illusion after illusion. Our delusions make us blind: fumbling in the dark. 

This powerful Goddess called Maya, samsara or illusion is tricking you. You are foiled by her seductive rouge. Your ego is tripping you up. Our task as yogis and yoginis and as conscious entrepreneur and entrepreneuress’ is to commit to honesty and practice being truthful. 

The Only Core Value You Will Ever Need: Satya.

“When you stop lying to yourself then your life will become so beautiful.’ ~ Sadhguru

Truthfulness in yoga is Satya. Sat is the ultimate principle: it is the supreme Truth or true essence. It is pure and unconditioned. It means unchangeable, that which has no distortion, that which is beyond time, space and person.

Their is a reason Mahatma Gandhi named his movement Satyagrapha or Truthforce. It’s because the force of Truth is great in it’s simplicity. The force of Truth, applied with lived wisdom and political genius, was enough to bring down the British empire. And, it’s enough to be the only core value you will ever need in your business.

In my LiveYourDream business development series we talk about our Core Values. I believe that understanding and being committed to the core value of Truth is enough. The rest are just extras. I love what is said in the excellent book Seven Habits of Highly Effective People about principles,

“Principles don’t react to anything. They don’t get mad and treat us differently. They won’t divorce us or run away with our best friend. They are’nt out to get us. They can’t pave our way with shortcuts and quick fixes. They don’t depend on the behavior of others, the environment, or the current fad for their validity. Principles don’t die. They are’nt here one day and gone the next. They can’t be destroyed by fire, earthquake or theft.”

“Principles are deep, fundamental truths, classic truths, generic common denominators. They are tightly interwoven threads running with exactness, consistency, beauty, and strength through the fabric of life.”

If you are firmly anchored in Truth as your fundamental principle nothing can shake you, no storm will knock you down and nothing can ever be taken from you. When you are lost in reactivity stemming from unconscious patterns established in untruth then you are missing out on so much: the greatness of life, the depth of human experience, the profound essence of what it means to be alive not to mention pure bliss and an infinite kingdom of awareness…

A Disclaimer on Truth

 

It is only with the heart that one can see
rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.

-Antoine de Saint Exupéry

 

There is something called undisciplined openness. It’s when we are being publicly “too honest” and we are actually hurting the people around us. Sometimes when we are seeking for Truth we do hurt people, which is really just us hurting ourselves in our radical quest for honesty. We have bound ourselves for so long that our burst into freedom can become violent.

We have been repressed for so long that we erupt.

There is a fierce grace which descends to cut off our heads when we are ignorant. It’s this fierce divine mother quality that wants us to wake up. There is a Hindu goddess named Kali that represents this quality. Or in astrology the planet Saturn is the embodiment and bestower of this fierce grace.  It’s not human, it’s not ours. We can’t rationalize or ego-fallacy by calling it fierce grace. Rather, this fierce grace is something that comes when we are not acting in alignment in order to set us right again like the law of gravity. 

If we are firmly anchored in our quest for Truth then we will make amends within ourselves by surrendering our burdens, knowing that they were never ours to carry. There is so much greatness and mercy to be cherished. SO the disclaimer on Truth is remember nonviolence, bow to this fierce grace for setting you straight on your search for Truth again. It is a life long journey.

May all being be happy and free from suffering.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

~ Marianne Williamson

* I have chosen to capitalize Truth to represent the spiritual symbolism of this word over the mundane, ordinary relative reference to truth

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Showing 4 comments
  • Simona
    Reply

    Carrie, I Love this so much. Thank u for being courageous and sharing your Truth beyond any convention and political-correct strategy. Keep it up 🙂

    • Carrie Elizabeth Stiles
      Reply

      Your so welcome Simona. Thank you for reading! I am so happy you resonate with the message I am sharing. Let’s celebrate life together soon. XOXO, CS

  • Mia
    Reply

    Beautiful Carrie! It was really interesting to read all of this. Well written. Love!

    • Carrie Elizabeth Stiles
      Reply

      Missing you Mia!!! Let’s write the book, or at least a blog post, on How To Work Like A Goddess!!!

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