Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Misadventures of the Noble Lightworker

For those of you unfamiliar with the new-agey term--lightworker, a lightworker is someone who helps people to heal through spirituality, psychic work, energy healing, and a variety of different tools that fall under those broad topics. There's quite a few of us out there, and there are more springing up every day. I'd probably argue that many people who are selflessly working to help the environment could fall into that category, but there's so much ego and politics in the way, that it's tough to make any kind of generalization out of it. When people get into who is right and who is wrong, the truth almost always suffers.

In any event, there are lots of lightworkers, and a lot of them have some pretty amazing tools. But too many of them get started using the tools before they really understand them. Quite simply, they burn out. I get more and more burned out lightworkers contacting or connecting with me these days, and so I'm dedicating this blog post to them as well as writing it for future healers, spiritual teachers, and others so that you can be mindful and a little more dedicated to growing your path smartly.


Crash, Burn, Ow: What the Hell Went Wrong? (Crap, Did I Just Say Hell?)
You were going along so swimmingly. You had tons of people for your Reiki healing. You had tons of people seeking you out for mediumship or psychic divination. You had lots of students coming to you for your spiritual counsel or teaching. And then it stopped. Money started drying up with that too, and suddenly, you're desperate and wondering if you have to go work at MacDonald's to make ends meet while living with 3 roommates. Obviously, something has gone amiss.

The biggest thing that I've seen so far is that many lightworkers have a very incomplete spiritual path. I don't equate a spiritual path with being able to psychically see things, heal people, etc. I consider a lot of that stuff as just tools. Many times people confuse having that awareness with having a spiritual awareness. While spirituality is in all things, psychic awareness is its own element. It's its own tool. It can be used for good or evil. You can help someone to see something stuck in someone's aura, or you can do nasty stuff to others through that awareness. It's a terrible thing to say that, but some people do that (and there are some heavy karmic consequences that come with that kind of abuse). It illustrates the point that it's a tool, however.


Rebuilding and Rethinking Your Spiritual Path
Some of you even had a profound awakening, and you thought, "Wham-o, I'm good to go. I had the awakening." The awakening is like the initial spark (or bonfire for some of us) to show us what's true and real in life. We still have to do the work to clean out the crap that we've accumulated in life. Many people run out the door with this little light, and they start giving it away to all those that they can. It's a beautiful thing, but without your own practice to ground and hold you. You start to get tired. You get used. You get resentful. It catapults downhill from there until you're back in your initial room surrounded by all the crap you didn't clean up. Pretty soon, you are so overwhelmed and upset that you hate your gifts and want to forget the whole matter entirely.

But you also know that you can't do that. So you feel stuck. It's time to stop and rewind. If there's any kind of advice I seem to be consistently giving, it's that: Stop. Just stop. Gather yourself. It's time to review where you're at. You obviously don't have much of a foundation, and it's time to look at where you came from and what you forgot.

The Shadow Side of Lightworkers
Immature lightworkers think that they have no shadow side. They think that the awareness they have has somehow freed them of it, or if they constantly give to and help others, that they'll somehow avoid or drown out any of the shadow elements in themselves. I've already blogged about the shadow, and you can find more about my thoughts about the shadow side on this link. Simply put, we all have a shadow side. It's the part of us that we don't commonly show in society. A big piece of spiritual work is looking behind us to see what is following us. We don't get rid of it, but we accept it fully. We embrace it as best we can, and we do our best to know when we're acting out from that space or when someone is reacting to that part of us.

The avoidance of that shadow element catches up with the idealistic lightworker, and pretty soon, all the shitty little parts of themselves are manifesting in argumentative, strange, weird, or otherwise upsetting and unsettling clients. That's right before you shut things out, and that's when everything goes dead. Those unsettling clients are helping to point to your issues that you've avoided. If you want them to be less unsettling or to complete their work with you, you now have to do the work you've forgotten on yourself.

The 12 Step Process to Spiritual Rebirthing...Again
You're like, "Haven't I been here before?" Probably. But we all have our cycles of growth and learning. Time to come back to square one. Time to dig up that issue with your father that you've avoided. Time to take apart the idea that you have to be constantly giving. Remember that despite being part of this infinite vastness, you're still human. You still need nourishment and support from the outside world. No one gives all the time. Everyone has to take time to rest and rejuvenate. If you have done the spiritual work that you need to do, a little rest will go a long way, and you'll be back in shape working with lots of clients in no time.

But I've got a suspicion (judging by my inbox over the last several months), that a lot of you haven't done the internal work that you really need to do. So now's the time to get to it. Now's the time to reinvigorate your yoga practice, re-start your meditations, start journaling, re-commit to a spiritual teacher, find a new spiritual community, or something else that only you know. You do know too. That's what's really pissing you off right now. It's not this wordsmith spiritual teacher in California writing this blog. It's that the inner you who is yelling and jumping up and down saying, "Yes, yes, YES! That's what I need to do." And all that resistance is your ego fighting back, thinking that it's arguing with my blog. Whoops? Did you think you might have transcended that ego thing? Nice try. Try again.

I Don't Really Have a 12 Step Program for Spirituality
I know the earlier subhead had 12 steps, but in truth, we all have a different numbers of steps we have to take to re-align with ourselves and begin to re-meet ourselves on the spiritual path. For some of you, you'll be meeting yourself on the spiritual path for the first time. It may be jarring to realize that all the psychic awareness really had nothing to do with spirituality. It's like all my height doesn't make me an NBA basketball player. Sure, it makes it easier for me to get to the rim in a basketball game, but until I set up the discipline and focus of practice, all my height really does is make it easier to get stuff on the top shelf. So I encourage you to take 12 steps back (haha, I worked the number 12 in anyway; I'm so good. ;).

Step out of your work with others for the time, or do your best to minimize it (before the universe minimizes it for you). See where you need to grow. Sometimes, it's simply a knowledge base thing. So many lightworkers have no business sense whatsoever, so a business class is as much a part of deepening your spiritual path as clearing out a past life issue with scarcity. If it makes you feel better, consider the business class as strengthening your first and third chakras. Whatever works for you. It's all part of the same spiritual game. What you're aiming to do is to create a space in your life that supports you so that you can support others ethically and lovingly through your gifts and talents. If I haven't implied it already, I believe all these talents are so amazing. I think the depths of psychic awareness is truly awesome, and it can be used to help so many people. Ultimately, that's what these gifts are here for. They're here so that we can help each other live more happily, lovingly, and free of suffering. If you haven't been using your gifts responsibly, that's also another big reason why your life may have suddenly had a seizure.

To truly be a clear vessel, you need to find all the things that are blocking you from love, happiness, and freedom from suffering. In so doing, you'll be able to help people more than you'd ever dreamed possible.

Today's picture comes from my student, Jenn. Thanks!
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