When I entered the U.K. on my latest trip, I was asked by the customs official what I do for a living. I thought I would keep it simple and rather than tell him all of the things I do from coaching, to training, to therapy, I told him I am a psychotherapist and here for a conference. Unfortunately, he didn’t know what a psychotherapist was so he asked me to explain what I do. I shared that I help people to connect with their mental health so they suffer less. He then wanted to know what training I needed to do this. I told him I have a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology as well as a license to practice psychotherapy.
I thought this was unusually thorough questioning and wondered if this was Britain’s equivalent of extreme vetting. He then stated, “Isn’t life experience more important than training?” He wondered how flying around the world is helpful for making you better at helping people. I then realized his questions were of a more personal nature. He seemed to have me pegged as a first class jet setter who was out of touch with people. I have no idea why he came up with that story. Fortunately, he granted me entry into the country, but that meant I didn’t get the opportunity to have a deeper conversation with him.
I would have liked to have said, no matter what our social or economic status, we can loose touch with the experience of our innate wellbeing, and that wellbeing is the source of our resilience that helps us to navigate whatever circumstances we find ourselves in. The human experience is a universal experience. We all have the same amount of inner riches, and they have nothing to do with material wealth. The experience of abundance comes from touching into the infinite potential that is the essence of who we are. Possibility is truth. Limitation is the illusion.
I actually agree with the customs official. Experience is what matters when supporting others, but not the experience of the form of life, rather the experience of the formless nature of life. It doesn’t matter what degree one has, what training one has done, or how many books one has written. All that matters when it comes to hope and healing is the wisdom of the heart. This knowing shows no discrimination in where it shows up. It is the energy behind life found in all things and in all people.
It is not what I have or what I have done that matters. It is who I am being when I show up in support of another that is important. Who I am at my essence is the same as every other person on this planet past, present, or future. There is equality at our core. It is this ordinariness that points us in the direction of our wholeness. And from our wholeness we see the oneness. This experience is what helps to point people in the direction of their wellbeing. It is also what helps us to see beyond the limited perspective of our personal point of view.
When we see the universality of who we are, the suffering of one can only be the suffering of all. There is no win-lose in humanity. If one person loses, we all lose. The simplicity of this may be lost in the complexity of political and economic constructs, but it is really common sense.
The only real wealth is the wealth of being filled up on the inside with the beautiful feelings of who we are. I remember a Facebook video with a fake homeless child standing in the freezing cold, and the only person that reaches out to help him is a homeless man who gives him the jacket off his back. He was full on the inside. He was connected deeply enough with his innate resilience and wellbeing in that moment that he could hear and act on the compassion in his heart.
That is what matters, not education. How much am I able to dismiss my fearful thinking so that I can hear the loving that is my true nature? That is the compass that is important to me. Real wisdom is measured by an open heart and there are many days when I am lacking, but my intention is to continue to surrender the illusion of my limitations so I may give more fully and freely of myself in service. Really this is the only sane thing to do when we see the oneness of all things.
Rohini Ross is a psychotherapist, a leadership consultant, and an executive coach. Rohini facilitates personalized three-day retreats for individuals, couples, and professionals to help them connect more fully with their true nature and experience greater levels of wellbeing, resiliency, and success. Find out more about Rohini’s upcoming workshop, Relationship Essentials, co-facilitated with Angus Ross and Mark & Carrie Sisson by clicking here.