|Awakening Is Like Re-Writing Your Whole Life|
Now, this is a little tricky because ultimately only you know if you feel incomplete or if you got stuck somewhere in integrating spirituality into yourself. You may even know where you got stuck, which is why you're really interested in this blog post (and there are plenty of us spiritual teachers and healers who can help you get unstuck too). So what happens to halt this amazing process? And how do we get the wheels turning again after things have ground to a halt? Let's see what comes up.
It Was All Going Along So Blissfully...Everyone likes the bliss phase. Who wouldn't? You're just surfing along enjoying life in full HD 3D stereo, and everything is so, so beautiful. You feel love in everything, and then you hit something. Maybe you hit something really hard. It's jarring. "What is this?" you ask. "I don't like this whatever it is. Give me the bliss state back." But the energy that was so free-flowing has now found a wall, and that energy is pressing even harder on that wall. It's going to keep pressing until the wall crumbles.
But what are these walls? These are all the ideas and fears and ways of playing small that you've accepted in your life. They are your edges, and you unconsciously created them because of how you were raised, your karma in this life, and a variety of decisions you've made throughout your life. But as you awaken, anything in the way of your true fullness and your natural way of living and growing in life has to go. It just has to. And so your energy expands until it hits this wall--a wall you may or may not know existed--and this is when the spiritual work begins.
It's Not Hard Work, But It Is Hard WorkMany of the truths of life live in paradoxes because we live in paradoxes. We are all one, and yet we are separate. This is the truth of the matter. A droplet of water is its own thing, but it is also part of the ocean. The more you melt into your awakened state, the more you become like the droplet where the lines of separation grow tinier and tinier. But at times, you're going to feel like you need a hammer and chisel to get through all of this dense, inner ice that is restricting your growth. Which brings us to this truth:
Awakening is a lot of hard work, and awakening shouldn't be hard work at all.
And so you're like, well, what the heck do I do with that line, Jim? I know. Sorry. Bummer. It's a paradox. The truth is that some things need a lot of attention and active awareness, and that can bring you to seek outside support and stay very dedicated in your spiritual practices to uncover walls and remove them. You may need a spiritual teacher, energy healer, a daily journal, 2-hour meditation practice, yoga practice, and half a dozen other things as you re-program your ego and mind and make space for this awakened energy.
Then other times come, and you do nothing to absorb this awakened energy--which is simply you. You simply are aware of it, and you let that energy melt the edges of ice as you dissolve into pure being and integrate it into your daily life. There's no work or struggle at all.
That's how the awakening process tends to go.
What We Resist, PersistsAs the old saying goes, what we resist, persists. As I talked about in my post about spiritual awakening pain, the more resistance we have, the more painful awakening becomes. Much of that resistance comes from the ego, which can be rapidly creating a new identity that it thinks is "spiritual." It loves to play this game. It's like a pile of crap re-wrapping itself in a new wrapper. So it says "spiritual" sounding stuff, wears shirts with "namaste" on it, learns energy healing, and goes to hang out with a whole bunch of spiritual teachers. But what you do in the outer world, really is inconsequential compared to what happens on the inner world. And your awakened energy knows the truth, so it will keep taking you towards your issues. RELENTLESSLY. Wherever you resist, you will get exhausted.
Now, resistance doesn't make you a bad person. It doesn't make you a failure at awakening. It really just means that you have resistance. You see the difference? This is the difference between discernment and judgment. Judgment says that resistance is bad. I'm not saying that resistance is bad or that if you feel fatigue or pain that you are doing poorly with your awakening. I'm saying that there is resistance, and if you dam up a river, there will be a great deal of pressure until the dam breaks. That's the truth of it. The truth takes us right into fear, anger, sadness, and depression, and when we release the ideas and old karmic pains (some of which are forgotten from occurrences in early childhood, coming from past-lives, or are just this old, ancient gunk that has been around for generations in the family), we expand once more.
The Sticking Point: Discovering What We're AvoidingSo, as I said, only you can decide if you awakening was incomplete. Your inner knowing knows the truth. Go there if you are uncertain if this applies to you. Because some people really only integrate spiritual awakenings in the upper energy centers. So you can see a person with a very awake mind, but the heart and the body really aren't in the same alignment. It's not bad. This may simply be what this soul came to do. You always have to keep that in mind whenever you're reading this blog or any others. Every soul has a different set of experiences that they're interested in having. So the person with an awakened mind who doesn't completely embody and live from awakened awareness isn't a failure. That person may simply have a different path.
This is also where its impossible to compare your awakening with anyone else. I get a lot of people who ask if other people are going through similar things, and it's just not a question that really makes sense. There are clearly similar themes in experiences, but we are all here to experience what we are all here to experience. So go within to ask yourself if what is happening is in alignment with what feels true to you. If the answer is yes, then relax a little more. Things are going as you have set out. If the answer is no, then ask where you got stuck.
Common Sticking Points in Spiritual IntegrationWell, I'm sure you can guess what will be number one on this list, so let's see if I can start with some under-appreciated issues first.
- Old family karma. This stuff is where the core issues are often rooted. Fears of lack, issues with self-worth or lack of love, fears of abandonment and social rejection, and other big ones hide out down here. You will likely have faced these things multiple times as you've healed, but each level heals in its own way. It's easy to get stuck in your family karma and all the old programming that tells you who to be and how to behave.
- Past life/concurrent life issues. I say concurrent lives because ultimately we're all moving through a place where there is no space or time. The deeper you connect inside, the more time is just a concept. Consequently, all the lives that your soul is interconnected with become more connected to you as you connect more with everyone and everything. Old issues and unhealthy connections often have to be healed and resolved. Sometimes, these issues have to be dealt with sooner. It's one I typically talk about later on with people because too many people are interested in these energetic connections as a way to joy-ride through other lives or escape the present moment.
- Trauma and especially family/early-childhood trauma. Trauma brings some of the biggest blockages. As I said, none of these blockages are "bad," but most people really want to heal from trauma. They also often find that their entire lives completely tied up in trauma, which means healing absolutely has to happen on every level. That can mean truly starting over in every aspect of your life, and if you have deep trauma that you are healing as you are awakening, outside support is often critical to not getting stuck.
- The ego. Well, this thing runs through a lot of issues, including the ones I've listed. For instance, an ego may decide that it doesn't want to believe in concurrent lives. But what does not believing in that get you? You'll find that believing in this and not-believing that don't help you much in life. We don't become gullible, brainless people on the spiritual path. Instead, we learn how to sit in a place where we don't need to believe/disbelieve readily. If something is helpful, I'll believe in it. If believing that aliens are going to come save us from ourselves is helpful, I'll believe in it. I honestly don't care if there are aliens or not. Believing or disbelieving in them doesn't get me anything. You see what I mean?
Self-Identifying Sticking Points and Outside PerspectivesFinding your sticking points may be easy to do, and outside perspectives can also be helpful as well. I think a lot of people often figure out some of their answers just in emailing me. I don't necessarily always reply, and sometimes all there really is for me to say is, "That's beautiful. Keeping going." Because it's always the most important to be developing and owning your own wisdom. That's a key aspect of integrating spirituality.
Other aspects of integrating a spiritual awakening involve how you live and act from your heart, how you listen and learn mindfully from yourself and others, how you take care of your body, how you live in balance and harmony with life around you, and generally living and being your love. You don't have to try to be a good person. When you are doing what you love and focusing on that place in you, you are perfect as you are. In fact, the "good" and "bad" dichotomy becomes a pretty useless dichotomy. I'm not writing to you today to be a good person. I'm writing because it's what feels true to me to do. I have all of these blogs in my noggin, and quite frankly, not writing is like creating a dam against a whole surge of river water. So I keep writing.
But many times, your sticking points won't be obvious to you. As I said, the ego runs through a lot of issues. It will cut you off from yourself and from others. Being alone is often a big issue. Not being able to find people with "pure" enough energy to help you can be a big issue. I know. I've had those things come up in myself, and so it's forced me to look at my ego and its stories that said I was "unhelpable" or had to do things on my own. You see? You see how the ego creates new games around awakening. Ah, it is a shifty little imp.
Stepping Back Into Vulnerability Once MoreLife is always unknown, and in that space of vulnerability is all of life. Each time we step into that flow, we can never know where it is going to happen. Oftentimes, people get stuck because they are afraid. They are afraid of where this flow is going to take them, and if you did get stuck and have found this blog today, then you are being invited back into vulnerability and change. It's time to go yet a little more deeply to re-open yourself. Go back to where you felt like things were flowing and integrating and expanding. See what happened. Journal about it or talk to a friend about it. Obviously, I'm around for those who want to write to me or talk about it in a session. But it doesn't necessarily need a lot of work. It may take a little bit of courage though. But the gift of stepping back into this energy and this flow is that your life will begin to open up and flow again. This awakened energy that is simply you gets invited more fully into yourself, and you will get to fully embody and integrate the spiritually awake person you naturally are.
Today's photo comes from my friend and reader, Becky Stiller. Please feel free to check out her beautiful work on this flickr link.