Most of us are familiar with the term ‘walking your talk.’
We usually take it to mean that what we talk, the principles we tell other people about, the way of living we endorse, the philosophies we hold and believe to be true and worthy, should be the way that we walk, i.e. the way that we live our life.
‘Walking your talk’ is very frequently used in areas of life such as business, sports, spirituality, health (particularly in the areas of weight loss, fitness and addiction), self-development, parenting, religion, education, and in fact any area of life where there is a perceived scale of goodness or worthiness against which we measure ourselves.
However I have seen most people, including myself, struggle with ‘walking their talk’ in practice. I once had a discussion with a group who were doing a lifestyle development process that focussed on remaining continuously mindful about how they were presenting themselves to the world. This covered posture, movement, style of speech, suppression of emotions, and general demeanour. They were very committed to this and paid a lot of money to do the course, promoting it to all their friends as well. But, and this is a big but, I could feel in those people an incredible tension of trying to constantly impose their philosophy onto their bodies according to their belief in what they thought was the right way. The effect was stilted speech, guarded demeanour, unresponsiveness to the energy or feeling of another person, second-guessing their own every word and move, and in effect living in a self-imposed ‘straitjacket’.
When it comes to gurus in many areas of life, I’ve noticed that the walking of the talk seems to be more difficult and more often unfulfilled for the guru than what is seen among the general mass of their followers (who usually reduce themselves and believe they are not good enough). An example is discovering that a spiritual guru who promotes a drug-free, ascetic, celibate life of mastery over desire, and constant presence and meditation, turns out to be indulgent, emotional, attention seeking, promiscuous, and revelling in power. I’ve noticed that the so-called advanced students of this guru (and it could apply to many gurus) are into drugs, all-night parties, pedophilia, multiple sexual partners and material opulence, while the face they present to the world, to their clients [in the case of practitioners] and to their communities, is one of serene, self-mastered enlightenment. Total hypocrisy!
I’ve noticed that many people who are great advocates of sport, fitness, physical body development, health and beauty, while presenting the face of their held beliefs to the world (‘talk’), behind the scenes live (‘walk’) the opposite. They eat lots of junk food, indulge in drugs, stay up late, party hard, overtrain, dishonour their relationships and compensate for the damage with health products, plastic surgery, top brand clothing and cars, psychotherapy, photoshopped images, etc. Again, hypocrisy.
And haven’t we all either experienced ourselves, or noticed others go through, the rollercoaster process of trying to lose weight and stay slim? Or get fit? Or be less angry? Or meet our ‘new year’s resolutions’?
What about churchgoing people? How often do we, or the ones we know, fail to live up to the ideal of living and worshipping according to our beliefs and then feel guilty and lesser for having failed to meet our own expectations and the expectations of our church?
Have you ever observed business leaders, lifestyle coaches, politicians, teachers, etc., who stand up and present (‘talk’) about ‘the best way to do it’ from the superior position of being a model of what they are talking, only to discover that in the day-to-day truth (‘walk’) of their private lives off stage, they do not live up to what they speak?
To be fair to people, we all have an inner sense of the true higher life, a feeling for what we could be if we were to live to the level of love, detachment, integrity, quality, commitment, compassion, service, and self-care that we believe to be a true path and worthy of walking. There is no doubt this is a true impulse toward our soul and our future life on earth. However, there is a big problem with the whole ‘walking your talk’ situation, and that is that we attempt to impose it upon ourselves from our thoughts based on a system of adopted beliefs in whatever arena of life we are considering.
The mind can take on any thoughts or system of belief and attempt to impose it on the body. Our minds can decide how we are to move, eat, speak, write, relate to others, etc. But if this is coming from outside of our bodies [and thoughts do indeed come from outside of our bodies, despite a deeply held belief among the majority of modern reductionist scientists], then what those thoughts are asking our body to do may be in contradiction to where our bodies are at and what they are capable of doing in their present state.
So if we are addicted to anything, be it drugs, sex, recognition, fame, work, victimhood, relationships, depression, wealth, being upbeat, looking cool, or whatever, then our bodies are energetically and physically configured to remain in that status quo and will have great difficulty rising above it – except in an occasional glorious moment of mastery and truly feeling the principle we strive to live constantly. But most of the time we struggle, not meeting our own expectations in the way we eat, sleep, exercise, walk, work, teach, parent, or relate.
What if by saying ‘walking our talk’ we have got it completely back to front? What if the truth is that the path to the higher life opens before us when we recognise that we are actually ‘talking our walk’ instead? That everything we say – our posture, our actions, all our expressions – are coming from the actual current state of our bodies?
This moves energy in the opposite direction from what we have been believing to be the way. What if the talking [i.e. our every expression] is coming from our bodies first, not our minds? What if we are in fact talking our walk in almost every moment of life? Another way to say this is that whatever state our body is really in, whatever the energy determining our choices, is what will govern what we say, how we look and how we behave.
That would certainly explain the difficulty we all have in ‘walking our talk’ – we are pushing against a great natural force with the inadequate counterforce of thoughts derived from somewhere else! And what if the difficulty of this leads to our applying an even greater counterforce of thought to try to overcome the momentum in our bodies? An example would be telling ourselves very sternly: “I absolutely will give up chocolate, I will not buy it, I will not even think about it,” only to find ourselves dreaming about it, obsessing over it, and pretty soon devouring it and feeling like a failure, which even spoils the indulgent saviour of comfort we were seeking? It doesn’t work because the thoughts are imposed onto the body in denial of where the body is at, the momentum the body is in. Moreover our bodies know this! Thus we feel the struggle.
While we go about ‘in love with’ our own thoughts, making plans, philosophising about how we will be, our body is sitting there being a part of the one universe and knowing in its every particle how to be in that universe. In effect, we are fighting against the flow when we try to walk our talk from a body that is in a momentum out of sync with the true flow of the all.
It has been a great revolution in my life to meet, come to know, observe and emulate as a great role model, a man who talks his walk. A man who expresses every word, thought, and action from the truth of his body. A man who continually commits to listening to his body and being guided by the truth it is expressing. So that if the body communicates (from universal knowing) that a food, a word, an action, or a movement feels to be out of alignment with the universe, he uses that awareness to make the next movement in the direction of alignment with the universe. Moment by moment, this builds a foundation from which the next thoughts and actions will come from the body, of a quality increasingly true. And what is the result of this commitment to awareness and being truthful about what is observed, with humility and yet with authority? The result is a man named Serge Benhayon.
This is not about worshipping an individual who has done something really cool that is difficult to impossible for most of us. This is about accepting and appreciating that someone, a fellow human, a brother, is talking his walk for all of us to see and to know that it is possible for all of us to do too. All we need do is open to the possibility that we have had it back to front all our lives, and that with this simple heartfelt commitment to listen to our bodies, to listen to our hearts, and to move in accordance with their communications (which come from the universe via our souls), then we too can walk and talk the joy-full life of grace, wisdom, harmony, brotherhood and unlimited love that we know is our true living way.
By Dianne Trussell, dedicated student of myself and humanity, scientist (BSc Hons), Goonellabah, Australia