Sunday, September 26, 2010

You're Going to Change

All life is change. All perspectives are fluid. Spiritual awakening helps us see that truth.
Perspectives can make all the difference as we change.
One last piece of my previous blog caught my attention: You're going to change. I want you to think about that for a minute. So many people enter the spiritual process wanting to change one or two things, but that's not how this process works. You're going to be changing everything inside you. And because you're changing everything inside you, everything outside will have to adjust. This is scary in our culture. We're all so bound up in attachments that any little tremor on the cords that bind us will inevitably cause discord with others. People will blame you.

Why couldn't you just be happy with what you had?

Why are you doing this spiritual thing?

What's wrong with you?

The list will grow.

You're Not a Fixated Point in the Universe
If you're used to saying, "This is who I am," then get ready to be walloped. We have this incorrect view of ourselves as static entities. But nothing in our lives ever really supports that. Our bodies are constantly changing from when we are born to when we die. Sometimes the changes go at smaller rates, but we're still changing. Subsequently, our personalities, our awareness, and all of our abilities have the ability to continue to change. Having re-made myself a couple of times, I can tell you that changing who you are is very do-able, and when you're aligning to your soul, it's immensely rewarding.

Moving More of Your Chips Into the Spiritual Pot
But if this is the first time you've ever considered that you could change your personality and how you are in the world, you'll doubt yourself. You won't have fully understood the costs either. You think you can get away with tossing a couple coins into the pot; you don't intend to gamble with your life that much. But you'll have to make a choice at some point, and you won't like it. Because awakening on this plane isn't quite easy yet. There are only so many teachers and spiritual communities available yet (oh, but we are growing). Still, you may find yourself in an area without much community and no teacher able to help you (at least not in a body). And you'll have to decide if you want to meet the ante.

Deepening Into the Change
It's not that all of the path is hard. Some of it has this effortless beauty that makes you swim in bliss at times. It's so gorgeous. You feel huge and in love with the world. You want to share it with everyone. But it's so easy to be in those moments. Sometimes I think because the good moments are so easy, we burn up all of good moments tokens at the spiritual arcade. Then we're left with the bad moments tokens that we still have to spend to get more of the good tokens.

Usually, I don't get the sense that someone has truly started the spiritual shift until they've had to give up something that they didn't want to give up. At one of those big moments when you make a big jump, things really go in motion. I've had to give up ideas, relationships, safe jobs, and a variety of other things I would rather have held onto--every now and then, the nostalgia for drinking at a bar washes over me. It doesn't last long because I know what alcohol does to my body now. You get the picture.

This is a small example for me. For someone else, it may be a big deal. Romantic break-ups and divorces are other examples of when spirit asks you to lay yourself on the line for the greater self that you truly are. And in doing so, you also have to be open to the change, to the emerging self. If you lock down too much to wait out the tough times, you don't learn. You have to get used to the burn that comes with the shift--like doing a difficult exercise, sometimes before becoming proficient, you have to sweat and push a little bit.

Changing Needs for Changing Demands
Along the way, what will work for you during one phase of your process won't work in another phase. One great example for me is meditation. Meditation is a huge part of my process. I meditate for an hour a day because I have to. It keeps me grounded, energized, open, loving, and a whole lot of other important things. However, for bringing the energy of awakening deeper into my body, sitting meditation doesn't currently help as strongly as a moving meditation like a 5Rhythms dance class. Conscious dance helps me to clear things in my body and to open me to different types of sexual and physical energies. It's a lot of fun, actually.

Conversely, for building an intellectual spiritual awareness (no that's not an oxymoron), going to spiritual lectures and meditations is really important. I haven't found that the conscious dance does very well for building that framework to really hold, cultivate, and focus the experience. I've seen lots of people have very deep experiences on the dance floor, but I don't get the sense that they truly understand what's moving. So things arise, and then they dissipate. They don't get the focused understanding to start to intensify the energy to move the awareness up and out.

You don't have to intellectually understand everything in your spiritual process--in many ways, you won't be able as you find out that the mind has definite limits. However, when you're new to it, it's really important to build that framework to hold you and guide your energy through the process. The framework will help you to accept and appreciate the change that's coming, that change that's happening, and the change that you are.

Today's lovely photo comes from my friend and reader, Becky Stiller. Please feel free to check out her beautiful work on this flickr link.
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