At times, I feel like I need to justify my Netflix watching habit. There is definitely some shame there. Admitting to regular watching, and occasional bingeing, of shows and movies found on the internet is counter to the image of "wise counselor," or "productive, responsible adult," that my ego would like to portray. Screw you, ego. Let me be me.
I LOVE some of the shows that are out there these days. Some are transcendent just in their capacity for entertainment. But there is also no shortage of programing that seems specifically designed to facilitate our self-understanding and spiritual growth. One of these shows is the humorous and poignant spin-off show of the wildly successful Breaking Bad, called "Better Call Saul." And similar to it's parent show, BCS is all about AUTHENTICITY.
What struck me about this series is how it depicts the courage it takes to live an awakened life, meaning living according to our true nature, our essential selves. It feels more instinctual. It is relatively free of doubt and insecurity. In the case of Saul, it means foregoing the lap of luxury to work out of a tiny office and defend the unappreciated, disrespected, and often shady underdogs of society. Perhaps you, too, can recognize moments when you have had the courage to be authentic in your own life. Have you felt the fear of being real? Have you ever censored yourself from saying what you really think or feel? What does it feel like when you let go and speak from your heart, consequences be damned? The sense that comes from trusting and following our true nature is one of liberation. There is a feeling that our heart and soul are set free in those moments of courage when we acknowledge and express the truth of our experience even when we know it runs the risk of subjecting ourselves to ridicule, rejection, or more. For example, writing "Screw you, ego" at the beginning of this post feels liberating every time I go back to read it.
How do we garner more experiences of freedom through the courage of authenticity? By waking up to the present moment. Don't meddle, just listen. Listen not only to your thoughts, but your heart, your soul...your gut! Listen to the part of you that can observe your thoughts. These messages seem to come from a different place and have a different quality than the loud, critical and repetitive voice of our egos and superegos that typically enjoy the spotlight of our attention. These voices seem to arrive through no effort of our own. Just noticing our authentic selves, seeing ourselves as we are, is a liberating and "enlightening (feeling as if a weight has been lifted)" experience. So, the next time you're on automatic pilot and don't recognize who and how you are, just think "Better Call Saul!"