Your life journey is about finding a balance. If you work too much, you miss the sweeter subtleties of life. Work too little life can become a struggle. If you are too trusting, you might get taken advantage of. Be too cynical and you can miss the joy of powerful relationships. This is true for those of us on a spiritual journey as well.
I recently attended a powerful seminar with Richard Sutphen, NY Times bestselling author, pioneer in the personal development field and master hypnotist. Richard took us on a guided mind journey to see the year ahead. The details of my experience aren’t important to this story but I had a truly profound experience. The gist of my awareness was that future events were pulling me toward them. I could feel the tug of gravity so strongly that several times during the session I felt as though I was being pulled forward in my seat, feeling that I was about to fall from my seat. The power of this for me was that I felt that this future ‘good’ was on my path regardless of my actions. Sometimes I feel I’m not doing the right things, taking the right action. I found a peace in this feeling/awareness.
The time came to share our experiences. I listened to other’s visions which were are varied as the people in the room. It came my turn to share. I spoke about the feeling of gravity pulling me toward a future which I found comforting. “Gravity?” in this grizzled voice interrupting my share. I turned to the back of the room from where the voice came. “When I think of gravity I think of resistance… what are you resisting?“ Her abrupt nature caught me off-guard, I paused. Another voice chimed in “You’ll never get what you want by resisting it.” A third person felt the need to jump in “He said he felt dizzy. I have vertigo so I know how he feels.” Unsure how to respond to all the chatter about ‘my experience’ I stood in silence, but not for long. The first grizzled voice piped in “Louise Hay says vertigo is about not being able to stand in your own energy.” “I love her, she saved my life” rang out as a new person felt the need to comment on my share. I never did get to finish my share as the events in the room spiraled out of control. I sat down amused at what had just transpired. My amusement is the inspiration for this post.
Many of the folks I encounter in my work are trying to find balance in their lives. They’re looking to strike a path between trust and cynicism, between work and enjoyment, ultimately between love and fear. I think we understand intuitively that we won’t find our heart’s desire in a life out of balance. At the beginning of each of our journeys however is a time of great vulnerability. We trust others to guide us on the journey, help us to take the next step. Early in my life, a psychic gave me the name of my supposed “soulmate”. For the next 10 years, I dodged all the people who found me attractive as I looked diligently for this named person. When I finally met a person with this name, I threw myself at them and we entered into a terrible relationship. When it all ended up (and badly I might add) I was destroyed, thinking that I had lost my only chance for “true” love. The psychic giving me the name of a soulmate was a disastrous mix of my desperation for love and a poorly advised psychic reading. I allowed this psychic to define my journey, the result was probably 10+ years lost on finding any love in my life.
The next step in the path to spiritual maturity is striking a balance in defining your own journey. If you don’t listen to anyone, you could spend a lifetime reinventing the wheel. Conversely you may find no fulfillment following someone else’s path either. The spiritually mature person finds a way to trust their own feelings about their own experiences while also being open to a new way to look at and live life.
I am a big fan of watching what works for others and seeing how to incorporate that into my life, not ‘becoming’ someone else (or trying to emulate someone else) but acknowledging I can improve my own life by making small changes already successfully worked out by others. Some folks stand in exotic positions when they meditate, others sit quietly in a sacred space, and still others meditate while moving to music. None of those may work for you. Find a way to meditate that works for you, some combination of the methods I mentioned or a method unique to you. Use this as a metaphor for all areas of your life, strike out on your own when necessary and use what others have done before you, and find a healthy balance between the two approaches.
This brings me to the source of my amusement. The people in the room while I was sharing my guided meditation experience were trying (consciously or not) to define my experience. I believe we all do it to some extent with the best intentions in our heart. Good intentions or not we run the risk of coloring another’s perception. And since no one on the physical plane has perfect clarity of vision, you may accidentally mislead a fellow traveler. Am I advocating becoming only an observer in life, never helping or guiding others? No. It’s all about balance. There are times when a well-placed kind word can change a life, and other times you’re just butting in.
The kerfuffle my share created in this seminar at another time in my life would have sent me reeling. The other’s opinions would have made me question my own feelings. As a nice man, I would have tried to incorporate their views whether or not their perspectives were valid for me. But on this day, I listened as others had their say. I listened with an open heart but in the end, I embraced my initial impressions which were filled with love and affirmation.
As you continue on your path, begin to weigh your intuition against any outside input. Cultivate a healthy balance between common sense and the call of the divine. The concept may sound somewhat easy as you read this but know this balancing act is a life-long journey with powerful benefits in every area of your life. Start today, start small. Start writing, sharing (and living) the story of your life!