Professional Student of Life
Adventures in personal growth
If a man wishes to be sure of the road he treads on, he must close his eyes and walk in the dark. ~ St. John of the Cross
Well, maybe it hasn't been a year, but it feels like it. Month after month I sit down to write, and each time I end up thinking.... maybe next month. One of the things I often tell people I coach is to follow their inner guidance. This is great when you clearly know what you want, but when you feel conflicted it usually translates into: Wait. And waiting is hard. The ego craves certainty, action, charging ahead.
This has not been a year of charging ahead for me. This has been a year of taking baby steps in a number of directions and then waiting to see what unfolds. I’ve had an almost comical series of large, unexpected bills (most of them involving dentists or pets, and sometimes - just for variety - a combination of the two). I’ve been “let go” from a job for the first time in my life. I’ve had a letter from a collection agency over an issue I thought was resolved – also a first.
I am dancing with the Universe in a whole new way this year! It actually feels pretty good. Security is always an illusion, anyway (although it’s a very comforting one). True security cannot come from an outside source: a relationship, job, or bank account. Real security comes from knowing in your bones that you are safe and loved, that there is a plan underneath the seeming chaos, and that all you ever need to do is to respond to the present moment with the best you have to give. The rest is out of your hands.
I’m over trying to force my life in a certain direction. I like the feeling of drifting with the current – when I can quiet my ego, that is. My ego has a disconcerting tendency to shout things like “What a loser!” and “You’re going to end up on the streets!” at odd moments if I don’t keep an eye on it.
In the past, I’ve used both physical and spiritual means to try to force my life to go the way I thought it should go. Of the two, the latter is much more dangerous. It involves seemingly healthy and evolved practices like visualizing, saying affirmations, and praying, but then puts them all in the service of the ego. We’re still trying to control what happens to us, but it’s all cloaked in a misty haze of spirituality.
I’ve given up most of my spiritual “practice” this year, which scared me at first. I’m not reading many books nor taking any classes, not meditating (at least formally), not working any goals or affirmations. At first I thought – my ego thought – that I was taking a huge step backward and simply reverting to where I was before starting on this spiritual journey. Lately I’ve come to see it differently.
I think (and hope) that I’m entering a sort of “post-spiritual” phase, rather than reverting to an earlier one. In this new phase, spirituality is divorced from the ego. It’s a much freer way to live! There’s a lot less to do, because I’m not trying to control anything, including my own spiritual growth. Everything is simply unfolding the way it wants to unfold. My only job is to be open to what’s happening, to be an active participant in the present moment. And then the next present moment, and the next.
As you might expect, this is a lot harder to write about than the old way! On the surface it looks like a whole lot of nuthin’ going on. But this is where I am. I’d love to hear whether this resonates with your own experience. I’ve contemplated dismantling my website and business altogether, but I’d also love to continue to be of service if anyone is still interested in exploring this "post-spiritual" world with me. At any rate, I will probably continue to write less often than I used to – I’ll shoot for once a quarter. Thank you all so much for reading, and for being the amazing people that you are!
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