Don’t Play Dumb (Or stop tricking yourself)


Sometimes we trick ourselves.

We avoid the things we need to learn in life because it’s hard.

We zig zag around our mistakes. Shimmy away from our lessons.

Because even though we know we need to change, it’s still scary and hard to do it.

Maybe we need to heal ourselves from trauma. To learn how to ask for help quicker. To slow down or trust ourselves more.

Instead of moving toward our lessons, we make a beeline for what feels good now: we avoid, stay in fear, and distract ourselves with comforts of now.

I know the beeline well. I learned my lessons the hard way for most of my life; They don’t start as big yellow signs. They start as whispers, nudges. Shouts. Body ailments.

Then big yellow signs.

The only thing that comes beyond that (in my experience) is a bitch slap straight to rock bottom where you really wake up. Hello heartbreak. Hello barreling straight into burnout. Hello making lots of money and losing it. Hello proving myself till I wore myself out.

It’s the reason this sign stopped me in my tracks this weekend.

I was on my way home from a spiritual conference and walked up the subway platform straight into it. It advertised cell phone safety. For me, it made me feel safe in a whole new way: “Remember, Ishita, what you’re learning now – what you’re being brought to your knees to learn – IS THE MOST IMPORTANT thing in your life right now. Prioritize it at all costs. Don’t do what you normally do when you’re scared and wait till 2pm to even look at it.”

Now that I was finally ready to learn this lesson, here was my reminder that the universe was on my team. “I see you trying. I’ll stay the course with you.”

“It’s okay, Ishita. Don’t avoid it. No more playing dumb. No more wanting to do it but dancing around. The work must be done. It’s time now you sweet little scared courageous thing.”

We don’t have to keep learning the hard way, even though that might have been how we started learning. We are wiser now.

It’s all the avoiding that takes away our happiness in the first place.

If you’re tricking yourself, it’s okay to stop. It’s okay to not want to play dumb anymore. It’s okay to know that you need to change and be afraid of that. Sometimes we need lessons to knock us down, stress us out. We need to suffer the consequences or freak out.

But no matter how much we dance or feel the fear, no matter how much “I’m not ready to look at that” or “I can’t worry about that now – I have bills to pay,” our lessons will come.

They’ll start as whispers or subway signs, but they’ll come. And they’ll come in your own specific ways.

No more being afraid deary. Don’t worry about digging into your soul to do the hard work. You’ll have to do it sooner or later. That’s what you’re here for – to search inside of yourself for the courage to face your lessons.

The yellow sign is a reminder I’m not alone. It didn’t say “Do it!” or “Face your fear” or something that I wouldn’t have looked at twice. It said “Don’t play dumb” – exactly what was in my heart, “Don’t trick yourself into thinking something else is important, Ishita.”

The universe always gives us what we need.

You are not alone. You have the support of the universe behind you to confront what you need to. Piggyback on it to do what must be done. Trust that what you REALLY want is on the other side of the lesson. It really is.

No matter how many times I’ve been brought to my knees, what I really want has always been behind my fear.

So whether you zig zag or go straight through, choose to face and learn what you need to. You know what you need better than anyone. Trust yourself. Deep down, it is okay that now might be exactly the right time to meet what’s ahead with boldness. Look it in the eye.

Your lessons are here to heal and give you what you most want in life. It’s a fact. Take a moment to think about what you’re dancing around that needs your attention. What do you need to make a priority? What are you scared of that you know you’re not giving attention and presence to?

Please share it with me. I’m holding space for your lessons and mine (virtually and in my heart) to face our fears together. I want to hear from you and what you’re going through. Email me at and tell me how you’ll meet your lessons today.

xx Ishita

PS: We have to do many hard things in our lives. Our friends and family do too. We forget just how much we can help them when we share a tool to help them get through their hard moments. If this post helped you and you know someone who’s struggling and who needs to hear this, please pass along to them and forward the email. We’re all here to help each other get the courage we need. :)

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