Listening to my Inner Guru

– Posted in: Personal Growth

Last week my shipment of a few mostly sentimental personal effects arrived. Shipped all the way from Phoenix, Arizona to Clubview, South Africa.  My brother and sister-in-law took care of my few remaining earthly possessions after I left Phoenix in April 2014 and after all the issues around verifying my South African Residence Status had been sorted out, Dan put together a crate to safely contain everything before dropping it off at a warehouse in Phoenix, ready for the long journey to Africa.

Herman MillerThe most unusual item in the shipment was my Herman Miller Aeron office chair.  It became a treasured part of my life in April 2007 after I broke my ankle and started paying attention to being kind to my body.  Though it didn’t seem practical, I really really wanted to keep it and my can-do brother assured me he could take apart and ship it along with the few boxes.  So when the container was opened last week, I was expecting to see my chair in pieces.

The seat and backrest looked easy to put back together, but the pedestal and arm rests were another story.  The armrests had been disconnected and were draped around the base connected by tenuous cords that looked like they might break if not handled with care.  I sat looking at this mess sitting in the middle of the office floor and felt the panic begin to rise in my chest.  I carefully tried maneuvering an armrest to where I thought it should connect to the pedestal, but the cord wouldn’t reach.  I’m fairly logical and competent when it comes to putting together things.  In the early 2000’s I assembled an Ikea queen size bed along with multiple smaller furniture items, but I had instructions then.  This time, I hadn’t seen how the chair came apart and would have to rely on my intuition.  Not good!!! for someone who craves clear instructions. As I looked at the tangled mess on the floor my elation at being re-united with my favorite possessions and beloved chair evaporated into a pity party.

“I don’t have anyone to help me do this and it’s going to take at least 3 people holding the pieces up to figure out how it fits back together!”

“Shit!!!!  I paid all that money to get this chair back here and all for nothing because I’m going to break one of those cords and it will be ruined!”  

“This is the story of my life!  Always alone with no one to help me!!”

I’m not particularly proud of that little tirade (thank goodness is stayed mostly inside my head), but I have learned a thing or two the last few years and almost immediately, I was aware of my inner child going nuts on me and I managed to give her some space without being judgmental about it.  I walked away from the chair, remembered to breathe, and told myself I would look at it in the morning.

Coffee2Early Saturday morning I was up before dawn feeling rested and refreshed.  I walked my first cup of coffee to the office to watch the magical African Spring sky grow light.  As I sat down, my eyes landed on the chair still languishing in the middle of the floor.  This time I looked with curiosity. “Hmmm… I wonder how this fits together?  I bet I can figure it out…”  I noticed that the right arm rest had become tangled with the cords and that a simple twist around the base to the other side of the pedestal might position it for  a good fit into an obvious connector.  Carefully I maneuvered it into position.  And the pieces fit.  Perfectly!!!

That first piece of the puzzle clicked into place as the first ray of sun broke over the horizon lighting up everything in the room… Just kidding about that part! 😉  But it felt like everything in my body lit up.  

“YES!!!!  I can do this.  


I don’t NEED anyone else.”

Long story short, it was pretty much smooth sailing after that. Even though I did run into a few more obstacles they didn’t stand a chance against joyful confidence in my own ability to figure out how the puzzle fit together.  In just under an hour, my chair was reassembled.  I sat in it and reached for my cup of coffee.  Cold!  But so what? 🙂  I’m capable and soooo proud of myself.

My journey has been teaching me this year that amazing gifts often come wrapped in “problems”.  This one was easy to spot.  For the past 3 years, I’ve been noticing patterns in my life, specifically a tendency to look outside for answers to the big questions and issues that perplex me.

What am I here for?  

How do I find meaning in my life?

Why does life sometimes feel so hard and pointless?

Why do I often feel exhausted and uninspired?

I realized that though I’ve had many great teachers and mentors giving me amazing insights and “How To” instructions, at the end of each book / teacher / class, it’s up to me to go inside and find what works for me. What do I take from what I’ve learned, what can I discard as not for me, and more importantly, how do I adapt this to find “my” answers and solutions.

Given that each one of us is a unique one of a kind creature, it stands to reason that we each have our own unique answers and solutions to our personal questions and issues.  This by no means diminishes any of the teachers or wisdom to be found on the outside – they continue to help and inspire me.  But what’s equally important is that I connect to my own Inner Guru, she who knows exactly what I need and what will work for me.

Reassembling my chair without instructions, reminded me that I don’t NEED anyone else to unravel my issues.  I have brilliance and wisdom and solutions inside me. Those are the solutions that will work best for me.  And one way to connect with my own solutions, is to get out of my mind with all it’s crazy stories, connect to the magic of being in the moment, and then listen for the voice of my Inner Guru.

Where in your life might you be looking outside for answers and ignoring your own inner wisdom?  I’d love to hear about it.

6 comments… add one
Frik September 28, 2015, 5:08 am

Interessante leesstof!

Maryna Smuts September 28, 2015, 5:50 am

Dankie, Frik!

Liz September 28, 2015, 6:13 am

As I move towards the end of a medium-term program I’ve been in, I found myself freaking out and so being pulled towards signing up for yet other programs. Then I listened to a conference call where someone shared her story of doing the same thing after getting to the end of the same program, and realizing that she needed to look inside for guidance. That person sharing her insight, plus your post here, are reminding me to *breathe*, when I start to get anxious about the next steps–and maybe I will end up taking another course or something, but hopefully my decision will come from a place of calm. So thank you.

linda Fennell September 28, 2015, 6:24 am

Loved this, Maryna. 🙂
“My journey has been teaching me this year that amazing gifts often come wrapped in “problems”. ”
yes yes yes … isn’t that the truth?!

Makes me smile thinking of you sitting in your chair that you put back together for yourself – inspiring! … as well as the reminder to listen in to our own inner wisdom – good stuff. <3 xo

Maryna Smuts September 28, 2015, 8:20 am

That’s wonderful, Liz! 🙂

I love it when those synchronicities show up exactly when we need them.

Here’s to all decisions coming from a place of calm.

Maryna Smuts September 28, 2015, 8:23 am

Thanks, Linda! 🙂

I’ll not pretend that my first instinct isn’t to throw those “problems” out the window rather than look for the gift, but it’s so good to start being aware that maybe there’s something good under the nasty wrapping. XOXO

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