From Doubt to Trust
William Blake said, “If the Sun and Moon should ever doubt, they’d immediately go out.” If we trusted ourselves as much we doubt ourselves, we would move ahead on our personal and professional paths at speeds that far exceed what we generally attain. This maxim applies to ourselves as much as our clients. In our last lesson we underscored the importance of permission. The permission to trust ourselves is one of the most basic we can offer.
This month I want to recommend an intriguing documentary, Monk with a Camera, the story of Nicholas Vreeland, who was born into high society as the son of U.S. ambassador Frederick Vreeland and the grandson of the Vogue editor Diana Vreeland, As a young man Nicholas was groomed to be heir to a fortune, the jet set, and social graces. Then he recognized the emptiness of the materialism in which he was immersed, and became a monk in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition.
Meanwhile Nicholas has entertained a lifelong passion for photography, describing his immersion as an addiction. Since he became a monk many years ago, he has struggled with his penchant for photography, considering it an attachment and wondering if it was more of a distraction from his spiritual path than an asset.
Yet there were two instances when his photography served his spirituality far more than it hurt him. First, when he lived in New York City someone broke into his apartment and stole his many cameras. Since the cameras were insured, he collected the insurance money and lived for two years on the income, affording him the time and resources to devote himself full time to his Buddhist studies.
Later Nicholas went to India and joined a monastery, which grew to a point that it could not support all the monks who stayed there. So Nicholas spearheaded a building project to construct a much larger monastery, financed by the pledges of wealthy donors. But the year was 2008, when the economic crash disabled the donors’ pledges. Since the temple was already under construction, Nicholas had to find a way to keep the financing going. His friends and family talked him into selling his photographs at shows around the world, which he agreed to do. The sales netted $200,000, which enabled him to finish the temple. Eventually the Dalai Lama appointed Nicholas to be the abbot of the temple.
So Nicholas Vreeland’s photography was not in opposition to his spiritual path. Ultimately it was his best friend. Vreeland’s doubts about it were the meanderings of ego, not the voice of Spirit.
You and your clients also have intuitions, visions, voices, and inclinations to launch out on projects you truly enjoy. Then the voice of doubt enters and chides, “This is not spiritual. You should not be doing this. You might fail or get hurt. Stop now and play it safe. Stay with the known.”
That voice is usually not the voice of truth. Anything can be used in the service of spirit if the motivation is sincere and it may benefit others as well as yourself. Anything aligned with your joy that earns you an income and helps others is holy. Don’t let the critical voice override the voice of joy. Let God be God through you.
- Note one vision or project that you doubted, but you did anyway, that turned out to be a success and/or a blessing:
- What vision or project would you like to set forth on now, that you are doubting or wondering about?
What does the voice of doubt or fear say?
What does the voice or trust or confidence say?
- What next step would you take if you trusted your hopes more than your fears?
- Regarding the vision or project of one of your clients, repeat the above process in questions 2 and 3:
I trust my inner guidance.
Anything I do can be used in the service of Spirit.
I deserve to succeed doing what I love.
Full Movie available on YouTube
Search “Monk with a Camera Full Movie”