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When we Try and Fix and Figure Out Life with a Set of Steps….

...OR: 3 Reasons I Can’t Promise You "The 7 Steps To Finding: Abundance, Love, Happiness, Peace …or Anything Else"
by Ronda LaRue © April 18, 2011


Are any of you wary of articles from people on the web labeled as experts or life coaches who are promoting and promising solutions through (“#”) simple steps?  “The 7 steps to success in anything you do”; “the 4 simple solutions for lasting happiness”; “the 10 things that keep you depressed, and what to do about them” And so on…

These articles are very popular; know why?  Because they get people’s attention right from the get go. These articles grab attention and they get read.  They hit us where we are most vulnerable: our fears and our desires to control outcomes.

If you’re like me, I imagine you have found yourself taken in by such articles – or, more accurately, you have found yourself taken in by your own inner wish that it could indeed be that simple. Like me you’ve probably found yourself hoping that perhaps this time, this expert might just have the answer …and then Voila!, life will be good and under control at last!  Haven’t you ever been there?

When I honestly look at times I have found myself reading articles that promised simplified steps to my life’s deepest challenges, it has always been times where I was feeling particularly vulnerable (and, come to think of it, most often at a doctor’s office when I’m more anxious about my health …and where these kinds of magazine articles seem to be especially present, interestingly enough). At times like these, those “how to” tittles sure grab the mind’s attention, don’t they?

Every time I have been in some anxious state or discomfort that seeks a solution, my ever-seeking mind scurries out in hopes of coming back with the grand prize: e.g., “Here you go Ronda: the 7 simple steps, the 4 clear ways, the 10 easy reasons,…”   And invariably after having read the article promising the answer I am seeking, I’ve put it back down and thought: “Huh?  What did I just get out of this article? Anything real at all? All it did was restate the obvious and hand out a few superficial (“like DUH”) self-evident steps.”

Oh, skimming these articles may have soothed my anxiety by making me feel less “alone with my issue” for a moment (and perhaps that’s what these articles really help to serve anyway) but they surely didn’t give me anything I could actually take and put into use to change my life! Has they ever yours – really?

In my experience, these articles that promote linear steps and strategies to answer life challenges leave me feeling duped and a bit silly for having read them in the first place. You too?

~ ~


OK so here’s my quandary. I too am known as an expert; one who helps heal, awaken and transform lives. I am known as a spiritual teacher and author on the subject of spiritual awakening, self-healing and self-realization. But I won’t give you a panned set of coaching strategies. I can’t: They are not true and would be of no use to you even if I could.

The reason I titled this article “3 Reasons I Can’t Give You  4 (or 7 or 10) Steps To Finding: Abundance, Love, Happiness, Peace …or Anything Else” started as just my impish way for making a point by a teasing irony at using “the 3 reason”. (Well that, and perhaps to get your attention a bit too)!

So what makes this article any different from those I am critiquing? Mainly this: I’m not going to promise or promote or pretend to offer you any solutions… at least not on the level that the security-seeking mind so much desires: Steps, Strategies …Solutions

There are no: “7-steps, 3-reasons, 8 ways” to solve anything of real value or importance in your or my life!!  Why not? Because life’s deepest questions and problems are not meant to be solved…they are not meant to be solved in the way we commonly regard as solution.  (Say What ?)

Our questions and struggles are here to be lived through; they’re here to open us up to the inner doorways of Seeing, remembering, awakening. …Our deep life-questions are to be lived as self-evolving pathways to a deepening awareness, a greater presence of heart, and a maturing ability to live on the frontier of our life, where it’s genius happens!

When we discover the art of consciously living in our questions, they show us how to fall in love with the creative unknown moment of now — which is the only place where anything is ever-resolving ….and the only life that we ever live. (Boy! Our ego-mind hates that last sentence!)

So let’s go further and see if the mind will just zzzzzzz-off for a bit here:

There are no steps that will solve our deeper questions of life, because steps will not lead to the perceptual place where the real solutions may be seen – and realized.

The true solutions to life’s deepest riddles – yours and mine – are found when we learn how to consciously (“eyes wide open”)  be in our own riddles as “worthy teachers” leading and awakening us to our life’s own unique genius and way. These life riddles are the Doorways to our own amazing mystery.  …And it is in the genius of our mystery that we will find joy, abundance, inner peace, and the realization of authentic being.

{Stay with the wave of this writing right here if you please will. To do so, it’s really helpful about now (if not earlier) to drop the linear mind from being “the reader”. (It can’t follow this anyway, though it always thinks that it can (smile). Listen instead from (what I sometimes refer to as) ‘soft ears” It’s a kind of  listening that is similar to looking through eyes in a soft gaze so you can grasp a larger peripheral visioning …As you read this article, listen if you can find it, from a place inside of you that is more spacious than duality – a place that simply longs for something more than steps – something that longs for truth’s freedom.}

Here’s what I’d love to share with anyone who is feeling vulnerable, desperate for answers, yet seeking something real, lasting, true….

When we seek outside of ourselves for “answers” — when the ego-self is the seeker — when we seek a clear pathway we hope to accomplish or secure down something for ourselves, then we have just cut ourselves off from what it takes to ever find and know the very thing we seek.

Here’s why: finding one’s truth isn’t a destination at all. It is not something we achieve.

Truth is an ever-moving way of being on the waves of each moment.

Look and see with me:

If we look for a moment into the intellectual mind (look into your own mind and how it works) … we will notice that it has a built-in desire to find discreet steps and strategies that can be employed in order to solve or answer life’s questions and challenges (aka to protect from perceived threat).

It is the ego-self that needs and seeks: “6 steps, 8 ways, 3 reasons to achieve – anything. That is the ego’s nature.  And there is nothing wrong with the ego’s nature… Darned good thing we have one, or the saber tooth tiger would have won a long time ago. The ego is great in it’s right places. Finding and knowing  your truth is not one of those!

When we unconsciously, unknowingly and prematurely stop our perceptual awareness at the place of the ego-self with it’s natural “neediness” to seek to control our happiness, our abundance, our self acceptance etc., then we can never truly find or fully know these qualities we seek in our life. That is the irony of it all!

We can never find or experience: abiding happiness, true abundance, self-love, meaningful connection, etc from a neediness of mind, because the need itself keeps us from the perceptual shift in awareness that is required to bring us to their realization

I know this may sound like a Zen riddle. In a way it is. It is a Zen riddle to the linear thinking mind ….just as it is music to the “ears” of soul…

All ineffable truths are paradoxical in nature, and require a breakthrough of perception to be realized.

That is how and where and why we stay trapped: by not recognizing (or not being shown how to recognize) these two very different levels of intelligence and realization: the rational and linear language of mind, and the more abstract symbolic language of soul.

All fundamental truths will never – can never – be achieved through steps. These qualities we seek (happiness, inner peace, deep intimacy, meaningful connection, a true realization of life’s abundance) are already the truth of life – they are the music behind the weaving of Life’s very fabric!   And this is exactly what is be seen and realized when we finally glimpse the paradox behind life’s riddles and fall more in love with the questions than we are fearful in our need of answers.

When this Seeing insight occurs and we fall in love with living the questions rather than needing and waiting upon answers, there is an inner perceptual breakthrough that occurs. And with that perceptual breakthrough comes the realization some call “awakening” or “healing” or “enlightenment” or “remembering who you really are” or “who you’d be without your story” or “the power of now”.

This perceptual breakthrough is really just a simple and clear inner seeing (it’s the words trying to describe and the ego trying to understand this that’s the only real barrier and problem!) This breakthrough in perception comes as the realization that what we seek is not the accomplishment of “getting” anything, but is rather the art of riding each wave of life’s questions and struggles in a love affair and dynamic relationship with the Unknown Mystery that is continually evolving, here, at life’s frontier. (This realization is the only real or actual “power of now”.)

Once you or I see through the thousand faces of fear and we recognize how fear keeps us fidgeting and fighting and looking elsewhere but where we are; once we see how the mechanisms of the mind works, what is serves, and why… there is a Big Smiling… and then, simply, a conscious playing in the waves of life as they rise and fall in a direct experience (embodied presence) of joy, abundance, inner peace, freedom of being, and meaningful connection. It just happens: naturally and easily and truly.


…So, Yes! You and I can know and express our authenticity: our joy, abundance, gratitude, meaning, intimacy. We can and may know these qualities in the only place they can ever be found: right here, right now, on each moving current.  Anything less leaves us sitting on the shoreline waiting for someone or something to give us the steps, the strategies, the coins for something that cannot ever be purchased. …Except by the need, given up, is All known and truly lived

My Prayer:  May you and I break free to play in the soulful waves of true living — and may we be wise enough to leave our steps and strategies to those places where they only truly belong.

Here’s to radical aliveness and your life’s own mystery and song!

copyright ronda larue, 2006

why simple steps don't fix life

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