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The Tao of Game of Thrones

There’s a frenzy running rampant in the Desai household lately. It strikes whenever there are sleepless hours due to toddler teething or upset tummies.

Jan is obsessed with Game of Thrones.

She made the transition from Carrie Bradshaw’s metropolitan milieu to the halls of Downton Abbey, and now she’s engrossed in the tumultuous landscape of the Starks and Lannisters.  It’s hard to live in a house with a GOT fan and not catch the fever, so I must admit I’ve been sucked in as well. And much to my joy, I’ve found (interspersed between bits of gratuitous sex and violence) moments of true spiritual brilliance.

In last Sunday’s episode, Sam, a timid, chubby, reluctant ranger in the Night’s Watch, is holding his post atop Castle Black with another lad.  Sam is now notorious around camp for killing a White Walker–an elusive, murderous, possibly mythical race that can reanimate the dead. While guarding the wall at Castle Black, a comrade asks Sam how he faced and defeated such a harrowing creature.  Sam’s response was simple: “If someone asked me my name I wouldn’t have known it. I wasn’t Samwell Tarly anymore.  I wasn’t a steward the in the Night’s Watch. I wasn’t any of that. I was nothing at all. And when you’re nothing at all, there’s no reason to be afraid.”

Too often we limit our authentic greatness by buying into the idea of impossibility in our lives. Unbeknownst to us, the impossibility resides only on the level of our identities. We must be willing to peel back the labels and become a blank canvas. In Sam’s case, it was a White Walker. For some, it’s divorce, a financial crisis, or a cancer diagnosis. However, when you have the courage to become nothing–to live in a state of connection and present-moment awareness where you are not your heartbreak, your pain, your anger, your title, or any other story–you can actually transcend all the limitations encompassed in this construct you’ve come to believe is your identity. Only then are you free to live your truth, unleash your soul signature, and become the authentic expression you were born to be.

Inside all the backstabbing, politicking, and primal humanity depicted in Game Of Thrones, I found a profound piece of wisdom. When faced with our perceived impossibilities, it’s best to let them wash over us and become nothing.

Be brave and slay your White Walker. Become nothing at all, because when we become nothing, we gain everything.