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Challenging Your Status Quo

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Hi, and welcome to your Daily Mindfulness. You know, there's a story that you might remember from your childhood. The emperor's new clothes is a fairy tale about two con men who pretend to be weavers. And they convince the emperor that they have a magical fabric in which they can make him the finest suit in the land. The magic of this fabric, said the con men, is it can only be seen by those who are intelligent and brave.

It appears invisible to those who are stupid and incompetent. So the emperor who loves fine clothing is really excited about this magical suit. And he pays the men a handsome sum of money to get the suit ready for an upcoming parade. So after a week, the emperor sends men to check on the weavers work. When each man realizes that he sees nothing, they don't want to admit that they're stupid or incompetent.

So each man lies to the emperor and says, Oh, the suit is looking so wonderful. So the suit is brought to the emperor on the day of the big parade. The emperor sees nothing, but he too didn't want to be seen as stupid or incompetent. So he agrees that the suit looks wonderful and beautiful, and he goes to put it on. The emperor then goes on his royal parade, right through the middle of the entire kingdom with no clothes on, but everyone in the kingdom sees the emperor without clothes.

But for fear of being accused of being stupid or incompetent, they all speak to each other about how magnificent he looks, how beautiful the clothes are. Finally, a child yells out. The emperor isn't wearing any clothes. So then everybody realizes what's actually true and starts giggling. And poor emperor then found himself standing in the middle of the parade, wearing nothing but his pride.

So we can all probably relate to this story because we all share a common challenge. Humans are tribal creatures. The way our minds evolved means we always feel a strong pull to fit in and be part of the pack. We want to conform sometimes instead of risking rejection. But this internal pressure to conform means that we can sometimes deny our own feelings instead of listening to them.

It means we might hold off on challenging the status quo, even when something really doesn't feel right to us. Sometimes we might make decisions and take actions with little reason other than the fact that everyone else is doing it. So this can lead to all kinds of unwise and harmful scenarios for ourselves and others, ranging from not standing up to bullying or bad behavior to conforming to ways of living that are really not true to our nature and our deepest desires. Part of the invitation of mindful living is to cultivate more authenticity. In other words, mindfulness helps us get in touch with ourselves and teaches us to trust our authority and our own direct experience, rather than always relying on the opinions, expectations, and experiences of others.

It helps us to act from our own integrity and authenticity, even when it's hard to do so. In what ways might you need to challenge the status quo in your life? Are there ways that you might want to speak up or change things that don't feel right for you? And instead of trying to fit in or be liked, how can he show up today as more of your true self? I invite you to make a pact with yourself today, not to be defined by other people's expectations of you or the desire to fit in. Be brave, be authentic, speak out on the things that matter, and most importantly share the real you with the world.

Melli O'Brien

4.6

Challenging Your Status Quo

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Duration

Your default time is based on your progress and is changed automatically as you practice.

Hi, and welcome to your Daily Mindfulness. You know, there's a story that you might remember from your childhood. The emperor's new clothes is a fairy tale about two con men who pretend to be weavers. And they convince the emperor that they have a magical fabric in which they can make him the finest suit in the land. The magic of this fabric, said the con men, is it can only be seen by those who are intelligent and brave.

It appears invisible to those who are stupid and incompetent. So the emperor who loves fine clothing is really excited about this magical suit. And he pays the men a handsome sum of money to get the suit ready for an upcoming parade. So after a week, the emperor sends men to check on the weavers work. When each man realizes that he sees nothing, they don't want to admit that they're stupid or incompetent.

So each man lies to the emperor and says, Oh, the suit is looking so wonderful. So the suit is brought to the emperor on the day of the big parade. The emperor sees nothing, but he too didn't want to be seen as stupid or incompetent. So he agrees that the suit looks wonderful and beautiful, and he goes to put it on. The emperor then goes on his royal parade, right through the middle of the entire kingdom with no clothes on, but everyone in the kingdom sees the emperor without clothes.

But for fear of being accused of being stupid or incompetent, they all speak to each other about how magnificent he looks, how beautiful the clothes are. Finally, a child yells out. The emperor isn't wearing any clothes. So then everybody realizes what's actually true and starts giggling. And poor emperor then found himself standing in the middle of the parade, wearing nothing but his pride.

So we can all probably relate to this story because we all share a common challenge. Humans are tribal creatures. The way our minds evolved means we always feel a strong pull to fit in and be part of the pack. We want to conform sometimes instead of risking rejection. But this internal pressure to conform means that we can sometimes deny our own feelings instead of listening to them.

It means we might hold off on challenging the status quo, even when something really doesn't feel right to us. Sometimes we might make decisions and take actions with little reason other than the fact that everyone else is doing it. So this can lead to all kinds of unwise and harmful scenarios for ourselves and others, ranging from not standing up to bullying or bad behavior to conforming to ways of living that are really not true to our nature and our deepest desires. Part of the invitation of mindful living is to cultivate more authenticity. In other words, mindfulness helps us get in touch with ourselves and teaches us to trust our authority and our own direct experience, rather than always relying on the opinions, expectations, and experiences of others.

It helps us to act from our own integrity and authenticity, even when it's hard to do so. In what ways might you need to challenge the status quo in your life? Are there ways that you might want to speak up or change things that don't feel right for you? And instead of trying to fit in or be liked, how can he show up today as more of your true self? I invite you to make a pact with yourself today, not to be defined by other people's expectations of you or the desire to fit in. Be brave, be authentic, speak out on the things that matter, and most importantly share the real you with the world.

Melli O'Brien

4.6

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