I will be doing a two-part blog on how to move forward in your life– whether it is on your spiritual path, on your road to healing, or just in general.
I would say, to be really general about things, that my healing practice and teaching practice revolves around helping others to move forward.
Feelings of being “stuck” in your life are actually really well taken care of spiritually, and often have a spiritual root. A lot of times people will want change– to move, to divorce, to get a new job, and so forth. All of these may be wonderful steps, but there is likely an inner spiritual layer that is begging to shift or change, and the outer circumstances are things that the person feels that they can control, manifest, or understand more clearly.
This blog I will talk about illusions and how they can cause for us to become stuck.
I always ask myself the question of What if this were not true? whenever I think that something about myself or the world is static or unchangeable… or if I consider something to be the final “truth” that I have discovered.
I also ask this question when I am hiding behind a label or construct (even if the label accurately describes me), as I will get to.
I get a lot of people who come to me and they are stuck because their teacher (or the organization or guru) taught them something. That knowledge may be perfectly good, but like all knowledge, it can be moved beyond. Often, the student will latch on to this knowledge as inconvertible truth, not realizing that it is stagnating them.
I have had people say to me all sorts of valid (or sometimes, incredibly off-balance, silly, or just outright stupid) “truths” that they have been told. In learning something, it is often helpful to have an outline, a cosmology, and some beliefs to hang your hat on. But the spiritual journey is much like learning to paint– you learn perspective, how to paint a bowl of fruit on a table properly, and then go on to your own direct experience of art.
But we get hung up in these “truths” and never move past them. I have had people say things to me like “the middle world (in the shamanic/Harner-esque cosmology) is dangerous and everywhere else is safe”, “spirits have to come to you”, ” spiritual work can’t be done via distance/over the phone”, “you don’t need to protect yourself spiritually at all if you don’t think anything bad will happen to you”… and these are just the ones that I can recall of the top of my head.
Often, we learn a teacher or guru’s (or organizations) thoughts and never move beyond them. To be fair, a lot of this has to do with the teacher. A teacher should teach students how to think, not what to think, and there are a lot of failures there. Still, a motivated and ready student will start questioning what they have been told as these sort of static truths and at some point may realize that there are other possibilities, and move beyond what they have been taught.
We also get hung up on labels. Recently I had someone tell me that they were a “30 year experienced therapist”. This, of course, wasn’t a big deal, but she was doing this so she didn’t have to take any sort of personal responsibility for her energy or actions in a situation. So I would somehow realize that her actions were okay because she had this specific label. If you are something, you can move beyond the label. If you embody any form of knowledge or wisdom, you can simply do so without relying on a label. It is just something that you are, basically.
I see this quite a bit, and I always wonder: if you were not (insert license or profession here), if you were not an empath, starseed, intuitive, shaman, kundalini awakened enlightened would other people know without you telling them? and also, what would you have to work on, what are you avoiding in your life if you didn’t utilize this label?
I can tell someone who has meditated or worked on themselves for a long time by the way that they interact with me, by their energy, their presence. They are tell-tale signs, such as an air of cultivated, balanced, peace, and a sort of grounded and centered quality that people who have truly done their work have. There is embodiment, and a sense of flow through the person. There is often a sense of power, although some people have calibrated their power because they don’t need to be showy about it.
I can sense that someone has had a kundalini awakening, how spiritually aware they are, their power, their truth, by that person fully embodying that. And this is not a me being “intuitive” or “psychic” thing, we can all sense power, presence, and confidence. We can look at someone who is successful in marketing, for example, and they will have a specific energy to them. It is palpable, and they do not need to tell us how wonderful they are, and if they tell what they do for a living, it is simply a neutral (not to prove anything, basically) occurrence.
If the label of Empath is a way to describe how you are always in pain, then if you were to remove that label, what sort of pain would there be? Inner child pain? Spiritual pain? Past life pain? Being an Empath can be difficult, but with the correct tools and willingness to work with your personal pain, the label doesn’t need to be a crutch anymore. I see a lot of people (because this the popular label as of recent years) state that they are an Empath, and that is why they are in so much pain, and why people are so awful to them. If many of these people would get healing for childhood, past life, and other issues, they would no longer feel this way, empath or not.
The label “Shaman” is incredibly similar. I see a lot of people utilizing the label because it means that they do not have to look inward at their pain. This label has afforded them the ability to create a spiritual “reality” for themselves in which they feel special and guided. Again, if we ask the question “what would you have to work on if you were not a Shaman?” there would likely be quite a few painful truths that would emerge if people were ready and willing to look.
What we believe to be true about ourselves and the world colors our world.
If we believe it to be “truth” that we are not sexually attractive, we are going to live in a world where people are unlikely to find us sexually attractive. If we inwardly think that we are awful, horrible, and underserving of love, we are going to have a harder time finding a relationship that can be intimate and loving. If we believe that we can’t succeed, or can only succeed so much in this world, that impacts as well.
This understanding has been sort of changed to make it that if you think you are wonderful you will never have an issue again; or if you think you are deserving of money you will become a multi-millionaire.
There are other forces in this world than simply us– it is not just us solely shaping and creating the Universe.
But beliefs, truths, and what we have been taught creates further prisons for ourselves, more restrictions that we need to release. If we are constantly thinking things like “I am a horrible person” or “I will never be healed” or “I will always be angry” again asking What if that were not true? can be utilized to help you begin to start thinking of other possibilities and to move beyond the restrictions and blockages you have set for yourself, or have been set for you.
The other powerful phrase that I love to move through blockages/move forward is to ask What if I could? What if you could do something that you currently believe that you can’t, and What if it is not as big of a deal as we are making it out to be?
So I am not here to say that all of the issues in your life will be healed by doing this form of questioning, but really beginning to question and release our beliefs, labels, and the constructs that we have formed around ourselves can allow for us to move beyond them. I have said before and I will say again, people move forward in their lives, and on their spiritual (and/or healing paths) as much as they are ready to.
If we are willing to continually question our beliefs, to question our motivations for things, we can begin to embody them. We can develop knowledge inwardly, we can move from a place of beginning to know ourselves, and we can be more peaceful, loving, and understanding of the world around us.