What we measure, we receive

Nations use GDP as a measure of economic growth and progress. Yet, while GDP measures income and growth, it ignores equality, the environment, and psychological well-being.

Nations continue measuring GDP, yet are surprised when GDP increases and we’re still facing increasing inequality, environmental problems, and more. 

What we measure, we receive.

When I worked at Google, I learned a lot about data. How to measure, what to count, and what mattered. Over time, I’d notice myself choosing goals that were easier to measure and improve over goals more difficult to measure, and harder to improve. When your promotion depends on your improved metrics, you can see the temptation, despite there being many interesting, challenging problems to solve. 

What we measure, we receive.

I’ve been noticing this lately in my spiritual life. While I don’t have “measurable goals” for spiritual growth, I do have certain thresholds I pay attention to. And over time, what is important to me has changed.  

For example, I used to be obsessed with “raising my vibration.” Increasing my vibration so much that nothing would bother me. 

To be honest, I’m not even sure what that means anymore. 

This is a frequent tenet in old-school New Age thought. Raise your vibration, and you’ll be fine. Nothing will bother you. You’ll be an infinite magnet for prosperity and success. You’ll receive everything you need and more. 

So I’d take classes and get “attunements” and avoid alcohol and bad thoughts and recite mantras and meditate everyday and try for the love of the Goddess to be as holy as possible. 

As you might imagine, it was terrible.

I wasn’t happy. 

But by the measure of “raising my vibration,” I was doing really well.  

All because of how I was measuring progress.

All while ignoring my body, ignoring my soul, and creating patterns of spiritual dependency rather than trusting my inner wisdom.

Now, the only guidepost I recognize is how I want to feel.

For example, right now I want to feel embodiment, courage, vitality, and freedom.

Thankfully, there’s many ways for me to experience these feelings. And these ways aren’t dependent on any spiritual paradigms, religious teachings, schools of thought, or indoctrination.

  • I feel embodied when I’m dancing naked in my bedroom. So I dance.
  • I feel courageous when I write and publish, even if I’m afraid of what people might think of me. So I hit “publish.”
  • I feel vital when I take my Chinese herbs and eat beets and drink saurkraut juice. So I eat and drink.
  • And I feel free when I’m in the garden, lying on the earth. So I lay down.

There’s no guru telling me what to do, no chains holding me to old ways of being.

And how I want to feel can change tomorrow, and with that change, so can my practices.

So with the energy of this amazing Scorpio full moon, I pray we can all release the patterns holding us back. For us to look at our shadows, and see where we’ve given away our power. And for the ways we measure growth to be consistent with the yearnings of our soul, and the highest good and highest healing of all.

So I hit “publish.”

And I walk through the door to the garden, and lie down on the warm earth.

Feeling vital, courageous, and free.

What we measure, we receive.