Monday, February 27, 2017

Spiritual Growth and Discovering New Worlds of Expansion

expansive blue sky, spiritual nature, spirituality
Much of this spiritual awakening blog is dedicated to healing. I talk about facing issues ad nauseam because we are so good at avoiding issues. We have pain, illusions, and fears locked inside, and they skew how we see ourselves, others, and the world in general. We have to clear that debris to begin to see reality.

And so, we do begin to see. Then we see more issues inside as well as spiritual truth. So we clear a little more. Then we clear a little more, and at some point, you feel like you walked into this clear, open field where there are no problems. Is this the end of the journey?

No. Now we can have fun. Now we can grow.

Spiritual growth tends to paired with spiritual healing for a lot of the spiritual path. That healing brings with it an opportunity to explore and grow into more of life, but in shining a brighter and brighter light, we also illuminate more issues inside of u. So the inner work continues. Sure, there are times where we have blissful and fun experiences, but those experiences pass. Many people try to side-step a lot of issues even as they experience new spiritual things. That avoidance keeps them stuck in the healing phase and limits spiritual growth. But as I said, you can and do pass through the healing phase. Then you have space to grow naturally and beautiful into your life.

I want to emphasize that spiritual growth isn't a particular experience to be had. It's an arising that opens your eyes and abilities in ways that you can't possibly imagine until there is inner space to grow. That usually means healing and clearing away self-lies and pain so that something can sprout inside. Then you get to learn how to tend that sprout.

So on this topic of spiritual growth, I wanted to talk about how to tend to those little sprouts growing inside of you.

Be Here Now

I wrote a blog post about this simple spiritual truth not too long ago: Be here now. And so we are here. We are always here now. A lot of our issues and fears are leftovers from the past, and some of those project out into the future. As those things are resolved, you truly acknowledge that you are here.

Be Here Now

As the healing phase subsides, you find yourself in new territory even as you are present to the beauty of life. In this way, healing a broken leg doesn't mean you know diddly squat about how to run or jump. Think of spiritual growth like that. Think of going from having two broken legs to being fully mended, but you probably don't know much about how to even use them or where you'd even like to go. Thus, starting to explore how your legs work takes you into new places of self-expression and self-expansion. It's a beautiful exploration, and it grows from the here and now. How it could it not?

Again and again, we return our mind's wandering focus back to the here and now, and we practice listening and learning from ourselves. Now that you can hear yourself, you can also follow all these inner nudges, pushes, and pulls. You can finally do what your divine self has wanted to do. Maybe this is brand new for you, or maybe you've already been listening. If you've already been listening, then resting in the present moment will only make things clearer. You'll find more inner affirmations for your intuitions, and that tends to give rise to a beautiful and powerful self-confidence.

Idea-less Self-confidence

A lot of traits that people develop in society are based on ideas and actions. We think we need to achieve things to prove to ourselves that we can be confident in our abilities. We think we need to hear people telling us they love us to feel our own love. We think we need to see things working out well to be at peace with however things are going now.

None of that is true.

As you move deeper into spiritual growth, you find that peace, love, and self-confidence are already here. You find that a lot of our traits grow up in response to doubt, fear, and pain. Even many of our good traits like self-confidence are often responding to deeper issues like a sense that you aren't good enough as you are. But without these issues, you find that there's nothing you need to do or believe in to have qualities like self-confidence. They all seem to arise on their own. It's almost like they were camped out in the cellar while you had these other rowdy guests, and they just waited for you to finally kick out these obnoxious people to head up stairs and say, "hello." Now there is no longer a conflict between fear and confidence or love or peace. Without that conflict, you can find self-confidence already within you. True self-confidence is simply a way that we rest in our own awareness and our own bodies. When we are not agitated by fear and illusions, things settle. Things become solid and stable.

It may be quite surprising too when someone comments on how peaceful or confident you are. It's surprising because you won't be trying to be anything. You're just you. Sitting in that space is a very powerful place full of natural confidence that seems to be the perfect fertile ground to growing super cool things in this world.

Not Wasting Energy in Fear and Doubt

Since you've worked through soooooooooo many issues, far less energy is lost in fear and doubt. Sure, those fools come 'round from time to time, but they don't seem to stay long since you're no longer rolling out the welcome mat. They wander into your home, but you leave the back door open so that they wander right on out. This is, in effect, what can arise when you have nothing you want from them and when you continue to rest your awareness in the present moment.

Resting in the Flow of Awakened Love

Consequently, there is a lot more room and inner energy to cultivate other qualities inside. Confidence seems to grow on its own in this space as does the capacity to have compassion and loving-kindness for all of life. Your energetic ability to be with dysfunction also grow. One of the key signs of spiritual immaturity is getting upset about other people doing nasty things. Sure, hurting others or one's self is not kind. But the trigger you feel is your own work. Once again, when you've worked out a lot of this stuff, you don't waste energy getting angry or scared in response. Instead, more and more space for compassion grows that allows you to be with kind and mean events in life. This quality grows on its own. That's the beauty of spiritual growth. A lot of it is just natural. It does itself much as a child grows on his/her own inside his/her mother. A lot less thinking is needed...until it is needed. But even that thinking now has very different qualities to it.

Freedom From Right and Wrong

For as much as growth does itself, you do get to choose what you want to do and when. This is such a beautiful gift! How you live your life is truly up to you!

When we're stuck in the ego, we do not choose our lives. We've already been told to live a certain way, and we're following orders. Here are some common orders Westerners hear:
  • Get a permanent job
  • Get a heterosexual spouse
  • Have children
  • Provide for children
  • Buy home
Yada yada yada.

These orders have nothing to do with whether you truly want a job, children, a spouse, to be heterosexual, or any of that. They're just orders, and they create this false concept around right and wrong.

Because we're following orders, we're stuck in a world of right and wrong. For me to really get into right and wrong will definitely require another blog post. However, I will say that some things clearly cause suffering such as war. So that's very obviously wrong, at least if we want to be free of suffering. Sure, we can all learn lessons from any occurrence in life. The divine accepts all aspects of this world. But human beings are truly slow learners, and I don't think we need any more lessons in war. There's already an excess of lessons from a long and bloody past.

All this is a lead up to saying that there is no wrong or right way to live your life. Living single and childless is not wrong. Living a wandering lifestyle without a permanent job is not wrong. And so on. You get the point.

However, truly living will require you to think in new and different ways. When you are in this depth of natural spiritual growth, you can go anywhere and do anything, but we also tend to be out of practice. So once again, we return to listening to ourselves. We return to feeling the levels of expansion and intuitive nudges inside as we learn how to even think about life and what it means to truly live.

Making Conscious Decisions About Your Exploration

So here you are feeling intuitive pulls and nudges inside. Foster them. Let them guide you further. They are like little sprouts in your garden. Tender and delicate, they need your love. They need a little attention. Your attention on these things is like sunlight, and that warmth helps them to grow little by little into beautiful oak trees and towering pines. What once was small and seemingly fragile naturally expands and grows.

For instance, all you writers out there--I tend to attract more than a few of you--your writing may not be very clear and easy at first. You may feel like words stumble and grind together more than flow. When you feel this intuitive love for words, you need to take action. Then you learn. Then you grow. Your words eventually start to flow together more easily. They start to glow with meaning. It becomes easier and easier, and the fruits of your labors tend to multiply. In this way, we see how conscious action is needed. It's just not usually as much as we once thought.

How to Create Conscious Change

There are many other talents and abilities that people have, but as always, the most interesting ones are those deeper inner traits. The way you nourish loving-kindness and compassion are really important aspects of your continued exploration, and they amplify other traits like being a communicator, builder, leader, and other traits you may have. You may be amazed at all the different ways you can offer love, including offering love to those who don't agree with you. You may be amazed at new and natural ways you can connect with others, also including those you don't agree with. True harmony is about acknowledging our interconnection; it's not about having the same ideas.

After all, how useful are most ideas anyway?

Spiritual Growth in a Shared Connection With a Spiritual Teacher

Another beautiful quality of your openness is how it can connect so naturally and deeply with others. In the space of connection with a true spiritual teacher, things grow and shift so easily and surprisingly. At times, some people think that you connect with a spiritual teacher when you want or need something. But actually, some of the deepest expansions arise when you don't need or want anything.

The Joy of Not Needing Anyone or Anything

This can be counter-intuitive, which is why I mention it. But it's much like the whole concept of being healed from the broken legs so that you can walk again. You don't have to learn how to run. You don't have to learn how to jump or stretch or do anything. You are free to choose as opposed to when we are injured, the injury defines our lives.

To put it in less metaphorical terms, if you had been taught you are worthless by your parents your whole life, then you are injured. You are unlikely to try a lot of things, or you may get stuck in cycles of trying to prove yourself. Now, that issue is erased. A whole world of opportunity is opened up to you because you are no longer afraid of failing and/or don't need to prove anything to yourself. It's quite amazing the opportunities that are available, and sitting in the shared connection with a spiritual teacher helps you open and mature further to possibilities and inner traits that would have beyond imagining before or would have seemed like pure fantasy. The energy of the shared connection is like even more sunlight on those little young plants in your inner garden, and so you may find at times, that there is no work to be done in the connection with a true spiritual teacher. But so much still gets done in that space of open, clear connection.

Growing With New, Past, and Current Relationships

The more open you are, the more you can find connections that naturally foster spiritual growth for you. Being open and expanding shines more light on everyone in your life, and that makes it easier to feel where others are open. There's no trick to it. It's just another way intuition matures for many of us. You can feel an openness in the humanness of another the same way you can see the sky above you.

Using Intuition to Make Stressful Decisions

I say "the openness in the humanness of another" to distinguish from the soul-level. At the soul level, we are all open. For some of my psychic and highly sensitive friends, it may be easy to see that level, but then you may ignore the human level. This causes problems, however. You have to accept the whole of the person's expression. You have to accept them as they are. A banker who cheats your clients has the same level of openness at the soul level as everyone else, but you need to accept where she is in her humanness to interact with her appropriately. Thus, the more you pay attention to where someone is in their human experience, the more you may sense when and where in themselves they are truly open. In having that sense, you may also find that you are moved to connect to certain people in certain ways.

In general, it seems that openness is one of the things that naturally calls to mature spiritual people. It's probably because connection--true connection--is possible through openness. From that connection, things continue to grow and shift. The more open and clear another person is, the more things are possible for you both. In this way, we can really, truly, and deeply support each other through shared openness and love.

You may also be surprised who returns to your life from your past, who starts growing with you in your present, and who appears new and fresh-faced in your life--perhaps someone way out of your old ego's former comfort zone. Trust the intuitive connections you feel. Communicate with others--because communication is key. And see how things flourish and expand on their own.

Spiritual Growth and Deeper Revelations

Healing seems to disappear more and more from the equation of the spiritual path as we let go of deeper illusions like right and wrong, separation, and other things. That leaves us growing in ways that truly are amazing and at times mysterious. Some of the revelations that come to you will be about yourself as much as anyone else. You find out how your soul continues to shift you in surprising ways, revealing deeper strengths and truths about yourself. Keep listening. Keep listening and watching how your own energy and soul evolves you. When it is necessary, paddle a few strokes in this river of spiritual growth. This space is neither passive or aggressive. Spiritual growth is an embracing of all levels of receiving and action. It's a completely organic and new space that cannot be planned, but it can still use planning. It cannot be forced, but assertive action may be needed. It embraces all paradoxes and all forms of life because true spiritual growth comes from a place of purest love.

And the more you abide in this pure love, the more you naturally grow as a spiritual and human being.
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