08 Sep Live a Life Driven By Intention, Not Pain
There’s a lot of pain in the world right now, a lot of anger and unrest. Adults are fighting with each other constantly. Everyone seems divided. What if a lot of problems aren’t getting solved because we’re coming at them from a childish perspective? We all have a hurt child within us, one that’s still stewing in pain from the past. It’s only when we confront this pain and heal the child within that we can move forward and live a life of intention.
On a recent episode of The Darin Olien Show, I sat down with Jason Garner, author and former CEO of Live Nation. We had a very candid conversation about expectation vs. reality. Jason grew up in poverty, with a single mom who worked multiple jobs day and night to make ends meet. They lived in a trailer in a desert, with Jason selling sticks of gum to afford hot lunch at school. It wasn’t long before he equated money with happiness. “I looked at the pain my mom was in, and I couldn’t see any deeper than the money,” he explained.
After getting a job at the local flea market in high school, Jason worked his way up to the beer tent. He would work 12-hour shifts Saturday and Sunday every weekend, recruiting local bands to draw in more customers. This organic experience eventually led to him becoming a successful concert promoter.
He’s Got Money. Now What?
In 2009, Jason found himself successful, rich, and the CEO of a global music company. But he wasn’t happy. And he couldn’t figure out why. Money was supposed to make him happy. It was supposed to fill the void he felt inside. But it didn’t. He knew he had to do something about it.
“I’m afraid I’m going to discover that I don’t like my life,” he told his therapist.
After the death of his beloved mom, nothing seemed right. He didn’t care about his job. He didn’t care about the money. Nothing mattered. “If my mom’s death hadn’t broken my heart, I don’t think I would have known to look in it,” he said.
And look in it he did. He got out of his contract with Live Nation and began to do the work. After a friend recommended a spiritual teacher, he began his meditation journey. It was only then that he could see the little boy inside him, still looking for love.
A Journey Inward
“If the only goal of your meditation is to be aware of what it’s like to be you, then everything is welcome,” Jason explained. To live your life with intention, instead of being clouded by past pain, you have to ask yourself the hard questions. Why am I doing this? Why do I think this will make me happy? What did I lack as a child?
The answers are never easy to hear, but you have to listen. Jason explains meditation as the process of gaining trust with yourself and experiencing intimacy with your own experience. That way, you can begin to see your life through present eyes, instead of the child’s eyes within. “We have to recognize our own tendencies and our own belief systems, and then we can work with them,” he explains.
You can read more about Jason’s extraordinary journey in his book …And I Breathed. It’s an intimate look into his path towards intention and away from pain. “I’m still hurt, I’m still broken, but I start to see a light at the end of the tunnel by turning inward,” he says.
We all can get there, too. Take a few moments to sit with the child within and ask them what they need. You may be surprised by what you find.
For more on my conversation with Jason about healing the child within, click here.