January 2013

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

5 Theories to Support Your Awakening Process

Many people are finding themselves wandering through a journey of healing, growth, and discovery. Humanity (at least some of it) is waking up to the fact that we are in a period of choice that is unprecedented in our collective memory. We are in a not-so-subtle dance with the chaotic underpinnings of an unfolding destiny. This destiny seems directly related to our ability to evolve beyond our current levels of functioning within ourselves, with each other, and with the Earth. Some of us feel that the solution rests squarely with our ability to connect with and function from an authentic spiritual reality to direct our way. Because of this, the population of “seekers” and those willing to undergo “the journey” has never been bigger.  

The largest challenge is that the journey to higher functioning requires us to grow and expand in ways that may not always be welcome, comfortable, or that fit into our shared notions of how things work. In my own journey, I have formulated four working theories, with a new fifth kicker, that have helped me move more gracefully through my growth edges and personal limitations. I call these five rules “working theories” because everything I learn or adopt, I hold with open hands. Why? The answer is described in working theory number one.

Working Theory One: We are toddlers. 

Those of us who have been committed to a spiritual path for many years have discovered that what we think is true, is at best, a rudimentary grasp. What we know, or think we know, is incomplete, oversimplified, and filtered through our own biases and perceptual distortions. If we even think that it is possible to understand, we tend to jump easily to conclusions that may or may not have any basis in authentic truth.  

Deciding that we know and actually knowing are different things. If we decide we know, we have effectively shut all doors to greater understanding because we will dismiss everything that counters or confronts what we think is true. If we, instead, move forward understanding that we cannot possibly fully grasp something, we can far more gracefully update and expand what we think is true when new understanding unfolds.

I do not believe we can actually master a spiritual reality any more than a toddler can be brought to understand calculus. The capacity to count on our fingers does not make us mathematical masters no matter how loudly our parents cheer or how accomplished we feel when we reach the number 10. We cannot get to calculus without being able to count to the number 10, but there is a world of incremental and hard-won steps of greater understanding that separate the two. As toddlers, our math task is simply to learn to count on our fingers—and that is important. If we fail to build proper foundations, we fail to progress. It brings me to working theory number two.

Working Theory Two: It’s important to work the piece directly in front of you.

We have no more reason to rage against our level of spiritual development than a toddler should rage against being a toddler. Yes, we often fantasize about being older when we are children, but all we can observe is the greater freedom of choice. Children do not comprehend the higher degree of necessary maturity and responsibility that comes with that freedom of choice. Maturity is a process of gradual development. We need to work the tiny piece directly in front of us at any given time. These pieces unfold before us as “teachable moments” in the ordinary course of our day-to-day lives.  

Whatever shows up on your path, be it a challenge or delight—that is the piece in front of you. Stop and explore it, play with it, be present with what that piece is bringing to your attention, what is does, how it fits in, and ultimately, where it leads you next. You do not have to worry about the next step until you have allowed yourself to soak in the scope of what your current piece is telling you. The next step will take care of itself if you stay focused and engaged.

The piece you are working may be one-of-many that eventually begin to show you a larger pattern or picture. If you rush by it without gaining insight, you will likely be provided with more experiences until you master the “piece de jour”. If it is a particularly unpleasant piece, something that requires you to upgrade a concept that you do not want to release, or a piece that requires you to look at something about yourself that is not flattering—the experience may not feel like “playtime” at all. This brings me to working theory number three.

Working Theory Three: A spiritual journey is about growth, not comfort.

The irony of a spiritual path is that many first engage it in search of “inner peace” and serenity. Instead, many end up in situations that confront their deepest fears, inconsistencies, and weaknesses—which is anything but serene. In order to move to a higher level of functioning, sometimes we are brought through experiences that wrestle us from our limited beliefs that stand in the way of moving forward. Beliefs are a set of rules or conclusions that construct the basis of what we think is “real and true”. These beliefs define our reality. When you come into direct contact with something that contradicts the beliefs you have adopted (shared or personal), it can feel a whole lot like “going crazy” because it is necessarily unhinging you from your limited sense of reality. Congratulations, if your palms are sweaty and you’re in tears, you just hit your “growth ceiling”. Higher functioning awaits you on the other side. One of the most challenging parts of a spiritual journey is to remain firm instead of running screaming from the building when you hit a growth spurt, but you can do it if you have trust in the process (and copious amounts of dark chocolate and Rescue Remedy). This brings us to working theory number four.

Working Theory Four: It’s important to trust that God is competent.

In whatever way you define the term God, if you are on a spiritual path, you are likely doing so to seek greater alignment and harmony with what you perceive as God (aka: highest spiritual consciousness). In order to allow yourself to be guided through a journey, you have to decide if you trust and have faith in God. How can anyone undertake a spiritual journey if they do not trust that God is competent? Once we have invested in the working theory that God is competent, it means we don’t always have to be. It’s okay for us to be imperfect, overwhelmed, and generally flummoxed. We just have to be willing to be led in the right direction and to trust the process.

I have discovered that my serenity is not feeling endless waves of bliss 24/7. Serenity, in my opinion, is the practical application of the working theory that no matter what is placed on my path, that I have the faith necessary to put one foot in front of the other until I find a way through. I do not doubt that a way through exists. I do not worry if I am capable. If I trust God, then I have to trust that what is put in front of me, I can handle. I simply work the piece in front of me and wait for the path to be shown. My only remaining question is, “Where do I place my next step?” After all, the greatest journeys are the ones that begin with a leap of faith.
Working Theory Five: A Spiritual Life is Funky
(A direct quote from Christopher Lee Matthews, my Metaphysical Department workmate, with whom I whole-heartedly agree.)  A spiritual life is funky.  I think that if you are putting your back into it, you may begin to feel like Alice dropping down the rabbit hole sometimes.  Yeah, that hole has no bottom...so what?  The more you can adapt to reality being somewhat fluid, the better you will be.  The party is outside of your comfort zone and you can't dance unless you are willing to have your mind blown every now and again.  Anything can happen, yes, and you can always be thrown through your "weird ceiling".  Just keep breathing.  I cope with having a healthy dose of humor because... well, I find that laughing makes it easier for me to not run screaming from the building when I'm experiencing a "growth spurt". : D  Find ways to comfort yourself, use your tools, and that trust thing is very helpful at this point too.  True dat.    

Christopher and I have a brand new website and blog. :)  I'm going to leave archived blog articles up in here, but all new articles will be published under the new site.

Our new website is here:

Our new blog, which we have integrated together, is here: