Sunday, February 1, 2015

Melancholy - You Have a Choice

Forces beyond your control can take away everything you possess, except one thing, your freedom to choose how you will respond to the situation. (Harold S. Kushner in foreword of Viktor Frankl's "Man's Search for Meaning")

I was reminded of this insight when I reflected on shadow experiences. Darkness is part of every spiritual traveler perhaps especially because we are aiming for the light;  the darkness reminds us of the fact that we are human like everyone else. Melancholy, restless energy, anger and fear visit us like every other mortal. Don't run away from these feelings. Just sit there, without judgment and without escape. If you engage, you have given power to it. But when you accept, when you have become one with that dark feeling without responding to it, the next divine spark will be just around the corner lifting you out of it. And your darkness dissolves as  the morning fog in the rising sun.

You have a choice. You don't own your feelings and you can't control your thoughts, but you are in charge in of how you react to them. Just sit there, accept, embrace, transcend and be free!

Friday, January 30, 2015

Self-Empowerment: the Voice of God

Self-confidence is the most attractive quality a person can have. How can anyone see how awesome you are if you can't see it yourself.
(Unknown)

You face problems at work or at home and you hear a voice in your head that it can't be done, or that you aren't good enough. What voice do you think this is? It is your ego isn't it? Your narrow and restricted vision of yourself. It is ok to hear this voice but it isn't ok to be disheartened by it. Have you ever seen the face of someone who is determined to succeed? Walls crumble under this will-power. Be inspired by these people and repeat their feat. As they say, "feel the fear and do it anyway!"

You are a miracle worker when you sign up for a spiritual path. So let whatever problems and challenges that you may face come into your life without resisting them. They make you great. They show you that the sky is the limit. In fact, it is your obstacles that help you discover the Voice of God. Learn how to step across the restrictions of the little I. Self empowerment is spirituality. Know who you are and let the world know about it.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The Way of the Spiral

A spiritual journey reminds me of a spiral. First it is outward bound, away from your Core. After a childhood and youth of innocence you are absorbed by "real life" and you can't help making choices that you regret later, often in the name of righteousness; sometimes by stepping on a few spiritual norms. While you certainly have many lucid and spiritual awakenings along the way, there comes a day when you look into the mirror and you see an old person look at you, and you ask yourself, "so how exactly did I get here?" Without your knowing, the spiral took you away from your Self. This is then the day when the spiritual journey starts. The spiral called life that started to take you away from your Self is now bringing you back Home.

In the beginning you feel that you are stumbling; you certainly have your bad days, still make bad decisions along the Way and experience spiritual setbacks. But for the first time there is also a lot of light, and magic in the air. You become more sensitive, open up towards life and people and become more sensitive. After a few years you realize that you are on a path towards wholeness, holiness, health and happiness. 

I would presume that every seasoned spiritual traveler has experienced this spiral just like I have. Yet, we don't really mention the missed steps along the Way very much because we know that they are our doing and they are mostly unique to us, so why to dwell on it. The one advice though I would give, think about which part of you the ego defends most heavily. Muster all you willpower and stand up to it because otherwise your journey will not go anywhere. You will be stuck at this stage of  spiritual development and the spiral turns out to be a cycling motion instead without any real spiritual progress. You stand in the way of your potential and this really hurts the longer it lingers.

It is fun to follow the spiral back Home; in fact, it happens automatically as long as you manage to cut out all the interferences. A few bad days, a few old monsters that pop out are part of the deal; cycling along outdated behavioral patterns doesn't have to be though. You can shorten your Home coming journey by many years that way. I view Jesus' three temptation as a perfect example of letting go of lower energy centers. He said no to the power theme: the ability to perform magic, i.e. turning stones to bread, or to fly, and the temptation to rule over others. What interference will you stand up to? Just get it done with and let the spiral take you Home.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Lucid Dreaming

When I was a teenager I had a recurring nightmare. I dreamt that a monster was following me and as I was running away I was getting stuck in mud. It was harder and harder to keep going and the monster was steadily approaching. When it finally got a hold of me, I woke up, completely covered in sweat. Then one day someone hing magical happened; I literally woke up within the dream. As I saw the monster I realized that I must be dreaming given that I had seen this image before. And as I woke up within the dream, not only did the monster disappear but I started taking charge of my dream and manifested the stuff I wanted.

The other day someone in the Spiritual Network commented on the waking up within the dream because of a nightmare and I told her to next time use this opportunity to dream lucidly. It was then that I realized the symbolic significance of lucid dreaming. It is in fact very similar to the spiritual state of awakening. Many of us get started on a spiritual journey because of pain, because of some monsters of our own making. It is almost as if we need the fear state to muster our commitment to finish the journey Home. Fear not, the monsters that chase you are 

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Enlightenment

Some in our spiritual community are called "enlightened" and automatically a hierarchy is created between them and the ordinary folks. Perhaps it is not really them; perhaps their publishers add this title to boost their marketability; perhaps their disciples lift them to that stage as it makes their own quest more meaningful. Either way, titles like that belittle the magnificence of the holy Now that is available to you and me at this blessed moment. If you asked me, "Are you enlightened?", I could respond "yes", but if I did, I would immediately add, "It is because of you; it is the holy Union that both of us enjoy here and now."

I remember seeing an author presenting who is in fact quite good at what he does. I suddenly noticed a woman sitting in the front row who was literally hanging on to every word he said. She looked mesmerized and I thought to myself, "this isn't right!". Don't get me wrong, I am not judging our spiritual leaders. They do their job just like you and I do ours. But I would like to alert you to the fact that the desire to be spiritual is also a way to be special. The ego is ingenious that way. We are all the same. As they say, "every saint has a past and every sinner has a future."

Namaste my friend. May the divine spark in you enlighten both of us!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

The Heart Wants what it Wants

There is a million reasons why I should give you up. But the heart wants what it wants. (Salema Gomez, The Hearts Wants what it Wants)

Taylor Swift exclaims with a lot of of pleasure and a little bit of pain in Blank Space, "Oh my God, look at that face, you look like my next mistake." In a Taylor-like fashion, there is incredible wisdom and insight buried in that simple statement. Our soul has longings that need to be expressed. If you shy away from your passions because you frown on them or because of previous hurts, you only delay what comes your way anyway. Life has a habit of catching up with what truly matters to you. 

Often we start this passionate journey with much open excitement as well as some lingering heaviness because we still remember the broken China on the floor when we tried the same adventure last time around. Perhaps we succeed this time, perhaps we fail again, but the lure of what we see and the longings of our heart are simply too strong to pass on this opportunity. We have to follow our passions because - I would argue - that is the only way to get anywhere on a spiritual journey. 

We are on a journey of magnetism and it our mission to let it wear off as we transition our energy centers. Once you have really shared a life with a soul sibling your magnetism changes. Amazingly, your sensitivity to what is rises as life removes your blinders. Only life can do that for you; if you you withdraw to the Himalayas you are only escaping from what truly matters to you. Don't sweat your spiritual path, just let happen what has to happen anyway. The heart gets what it wants.
 

Friday, January 23, 2015

Monsters of Your Own Making

Why do you go to work to make a living? It is to support yourself and your loved ones, isn't it?So you may feel like you don't have a choice in this and you may wish you were somewhere else instead. In fact, many spiritual travelers at the beginning of their journey feel like they are wasting their lives in some mundane activities. Well, this might well be true. Yet, will things really be that different when you have your dream job, your dream partner, or whatever else it is you aspire to manifest? Perhaps some of the little personal dramas, the ups and downs of life and the fears will follow you even as you upgrade yourself a more meaningful life. The passions and tragedies of life follow you because they are part of you; they are monsters of your own making, waiting to be slain and put to rest once and for all.

Never wish yourself away from what is here and now. The here and now is present for a reason. In fact, the word "present" says it all, The here and now is a present especially designed for you. To get this present you have to be 100 percent committed to the here and now; when you are, the mundane things suddenly become exiting, annoying people suddenly hold a personal message for you in store and creativity abounds. 

Just imagine you got what you dream of today, the bank account that finally gives you security, the house that reflects who you think you are, the dream partner who totally gets you, or the dream job that allows you to help others or that gives you the creative expression you are longing for. What would you do then if you suddenly discovered that you still feel restless inside? That would be an ugly awakening, wouldn't it? Where would you turn then? The here and now is designed to let go of the stuff that lies beneath and that has to be brought to the surface; the fears, the resentments, the naïveté. Just like in Frank Sinatra's New York song, if you can make it here - in the here and now - you can make it everywhere!

As I wrote this note my son reminded me that Odysseus needed twenty years to return home from the Trojan War. He spent ten years fighting and ten years on his journey home. I had to smile because I have now spent 20 years in what some would call a dream job. Twenty years, that is almost three biological lifetimes given that every single cell in our body gets replaced every seven years. I could relate to Odysseus' story since on many occasions I felt alienated at my job and wished to be somewhere else instead, no matter how prestigious and fun others perceived it to be.  Know that you don't have to wait 20 years to go Home. You can slay the monsters of your own making in three months instead, or in three weeks. Face the here and now and be Home. This is the secret of the Way.