The search for external validation is an enticing one. Throughout my adult lifetime, I have pursued many shiny, external sources of potential validation, mostly having to do with money or women.
Whenever I have fallen for the illusion that something outside of myself can fulfill me, I am eventually and inevitably greeted with the reality that this is simply not the case.
This is because your reality is ultimately a reflection of your consciousness. If you don’t have it inside already–that is to say if you haven’t realized it inside you already–even if you get what you are after, it won’t complete you if you feel incomplete. It won’t satisfy you if you don’t already feel satisfied.
On the one hand, if you pursue what you want, you’ll either get it, or you’ll get the lessons. So either way, in this sense, you really can’t lose. You might as well go for it.
On the other hand, maybe you get what you want, but it turns out that what you *really* want is something else. Then back to the search, right?
When we finally exhaust ourselves from looking externally for that which can only come from within, maybe we simply take our seat in silence and begin to humbly listen.
And maybe this is the beginning of wisdom.
My belief is that heaven and hell are experiences here on Earth, and we participate in the creation of these experiences based on our Divinely creative capacity, as children of the One Infinite Creator, the only thing that exists, which expresses Itself in infinite forms.
How effectively we create our hellish or heavenly experience has to do with our awareness of our creative capacities and our willingness and ability to align with Divine Law in our thoughts, words and actions. This is learned and cultivated through practice, which we can do as students of Life.
I would say that Divine Law is written in our hearts.
Not necessarily our guts or our heads, although the information in every part of our body is useful and important in its role. But Divine Law is in our hearts. And it’s a discovery: learning to attune to it because we have been so deeply conditioned and blinded to forget, and there are many distortions and inversions and half-truths being thrown at us from every angle. But it’s there in our hearts, we just need to keeping seeking it.
Without hell there would be no heaven, just as without darkness there would be no such thing as light. Hot/Cold, Masculine/Feminine, etc.
This polarity creates an opportunity to make a choice. We have the gift of free will.
We can continually make this archetypal choice about how we live our lives in our thoughts, words and actions, and how we will serve the One Infinite Creator.
How much will we choose to serve others, to forgive ourselves and others as well as life itself for being the way that it is? Would you forgive even the Devil himself? Will we choose to practice compassion? Or, on the other hand, will we choose to keep our hearts hard, to serve our own egos and to amass power and control?
This choice, especially in the long run, influences whether we experience heaven or hell here now.
This earth has been through many hellish millennia, but it is experiencing an awakening. Things are still quite rough, but the remembering is finally here. And as a globe in general, we are on an irreversible course to transform this earth into the Eden our hearts know is real. Some will join, others will not.
Heaven is a place on earth when we practice forgiveness, acceptance of life, and service toward others. Through this practice, we remember our Divine, inalienable perfection, and the life we experience is transformed.
The heart is pure
A couple notes that may make more sense to those from a strong Judeo-Christian background:
My belief is that those hardened places of hate and revenge and “desperate wickedness” Jeremiah wrote about (from the book of Jeremiah in the Bible) are not the true heart. Those are the things that harden the heart, but the actual heart, beneath the evil is pure and innocent and full of unconditional love, compassion and forgiveness. The actual heart is not wicked at all. To the extent one forgives and allows fear to be dissolved in the light of indestructible truth, one realizes and experiences the purity of the heart. Love actually does conquer all.
Unconditional love includes boundaries
And another critical aspect of all of this is that strong boundaries are necessary for the sustenance of an abundant life, and forgiveness and unconditional love does not mean lowering our boundaries. Love and compassion *from a distance* could be unconditional love plus wisdom. Unconditional love does not necessarily mean martyrdom or self-sacrifice. That’s only one potential manifestation of unconditional love, and not necessarily wise in all circumstances.
And another way to look at this, for example, just because God loves us unconditionally doesn’t mean It compromises Its boundaries because maybe we ask it to do so. Unconditional love includes boundaries.
Love (with boundaries 😉 )
When someone has unresolved trauma, and virtually everyone does, the trauma filters their worldview so that they see and experience reality in a distorted way. Their access to reality is limited by their ability to perceive reality accurately.
What blocks us from resolving trauma is a lack of willingness to give up resistance to what we truly feel and an avoidance to truly being present with the discomfort in our bodies which we’ve been avoiding for so long. Some people call this “turning towards your pain,” however, sometimes it’s not necessarily painful as much as that it’s uncomfortable, or even more generally, something we would simply rather not feel, experience or acknowledge.
This process also takes time and patience, which is why people meditate and do their internal practices for their whole lifetimes–not just once.
Enlightenment is a process which lives on an infinite continuum. There is no such thing as reaching enlightenment, although there are stages and levels, which some have attempted to define quite beautifully.
Dark, heavy, stuck energy is the blockage which causes symptoms of discomfort in the body. The idea is to light those areas up, to enlighten them. The subconscious mind lives in the body. The body IS the subconscious, and one’s present moment state of alignment with indestructible truth is what shows up as the body with it’s wellness or lack thereof.
This process often requires self-inquiry and guessing what might be the meaning of specific issues presenting themselves to us in our body and in our lives. It requires patient presence, listening with your inner-feeling senses.
When we do not address issues in the body in this way, the issues will show up in the world around us as a reflection of our current state of consciousness. This is quite helpful because it brings up previously ignored material to the surface so that we can hopefully, finally experience what we need to experience and to learn and to remember what we need to know in order to prepare for the next phase of our lives, and of course, experience the freedom always found in letting go.
As we continue to advance along this path, we discover that there is always more joy underneath the discomfort, and that the only sustainable way to fuel long-term joy and fulfillment is to continually practice staying present with the actual experience we are having in our bodies, to listen with patience, and to trust that life is unfolding for our benefit and evolution.
Motivation means a reason to move. A source which fuels our willingness to move forward.
We can tell that our motivation is shaky when we feel a lack of willingness to take the next steps… maybe waking up in the morning with barely an excuse to get out of bed and continue. Maybe even the smallest tasks seem arduous. These are signs of overwhelm.
If you’re encountering overwhelm, you’ve pushed too hard for too long in the past, so you need to try something else; or you’ve encountered too much all at once. In either case, it’s time to learn some new skills. Life doesn’t get easier, awareness and choices get better, which makes life easier.
So much of this “lack of motivation experience” is actually tied up in our body’s mineral status, and in our good health in general.
For example, when we eat like shit, we will feel like shit. When you feel like shit, it’s much harder to be motivated, even if you have a good reason to move.
When we consistently expose ourselves to too much toxic stimuli, this can create overwhelm in the body/mind/spirit. Overwhelm quickly leads to a lack of motivation. Examples of this include watching TV or movies of a violent or dark nature; scrolling intention-less through social media; spending time with people–in a way which is not intended specifically to be of service to them, which would be energizing–with people who have given themselves over to negativity (to be contrasted with someone who is actively turning toward their shadow in order to let it come up and out); spending too much time indoors–especially in the type of box-shaped dwellings in which most of us in the western world live, which often drain vitality; going without non-native EMF protection; drinking low-quality water; breathing low-quality air, having poor circadian hygiene (going to bed too late, or eating too close to bedtime, not getting morning sunshine), or even trying to be perfect.
It can seem like a lot, and it is a lot when you’re starting from overwhelm, however a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step forward. So if you find yourself in a place of overwhelm, just take the first step. Just choose ONE thing to change today. Choose a low hanging fruit, a freebie, like just getting outside in nature for a little while, which is so revitalizing. Then do something else tomorrow.
We must learn how to eat an elephant one bite at a time, if we are going to create and allow the life we dream of.
Often, this “first bite” can be simply lying down and feeling the body. Letting the energy and sensory information reveal itself to you. The sensations can only deliver their wisdom when you are willing to listen to (to feel) them. This step is also free!
In fact, there is so much of a backlog of unprocessed experiences in almost everyone’s bodies, that everyone needs to meditate. Meditation, as I described above, is a powerful way to begin unclogging the stuck, stagnant, heavy energies which weigh us down. The more we try to escape ourselves, the heavier this burden becomes. The more we turn toward our pain, that is to say, the more we feel it, with presence and patience, the more en-light-ened we become. Your awareness is the light, which illuminates the darkness, and this must be practiced in order to reap the benefits of the “lightness” you may be seeking. Insights come to you through your silent listening.
My daily practice of Spring Forest Qigong is, of course, one of my biggest fundamentals in balancing and upgrading my mind/body/spirit energy, as well. www.springforestqigong.com
The critical nature of serving others
I believe the most sustainable motivation comes from serving others (or serving our “other-selves,” as RA puts it in the Law of One, since we are all the same One Infinite Consciousness expressing itself through different forms).
Why else would we put ourselves through such an immensely challenging life experience here?
Why would you decide to come to Earth, this beautiful but very fucked up planet with so much violence and confusion and darkness, if not to help? For me, there could be no other reason.
I came here to help. To serve my other selves. To become ever more fully alive and to serve that same inner calling in others.
And in order to do so sustainably, I must do so in a way which doesn’t burn myself out! If something you are doing is leading you to overwhelm, then I might ask which part of you resents your existence or feels separate from the rest of Creation? It is our illusions of separation which maintain our suffering. Let that part of you come up and out. Be willing to face that pain and let it go into the light.
My spiritual and life path, my practices, my desire for understanding–these are ultimately fueled by my desire to be a light to others, a beacon of hope, and a flourishing servant-example of forgiveness, harmony, beauty, self-acceptance, prosperity, wisdom, compassion, and joy.
Serving others, whether it is helping to support my family or friends or neighbors, or strangers on the internet, IS the fulfillment I’ve been looking for.
There are many misleading ideas out there that forgiveness or “letting go” is a decision that you make and then you’re done. While this may be possible, there is a reason that wise sages and spiritual masters have spent decades practicing (yoga, meditation, qigong, etc). The reason is that forgiveness AKA “letting go” AKA enlightenment is a practice.
You don’t need to practice 8 hours a day to see great results, but you do need to practice at least 20-30 minutes on a regular, ideally daily basis if you want to advance with consistency.
Again, you have come to a challenging planet, planet Earth: a planet full of opportunity to grow and serve. You picked “super-duper challenge mode” for your life experience, and here you are, deep in the thick of it.
So where do you attempt to escape? Where is a single opportunity for you to turn back toward your life and to embrace the challenge? Again, maybe that’s simply lying down for 20-30 minutes and giving your body a powerful opportunity to process. Maybe you dance?! Turn on a groovy beat and MOVE that energy! 5-10 minutes. 2 songs. You’ve got this!
One step at a time, one bite at a time.
If you take a single step forward, you’ve made progress. Screw perfection entirely. Progress is the answer.
Progress, on an intentional path, is fulfilling, and this feeling of fulfillment builds momentum.
So stop trying to eat the whole damn elephant in 2 bites. Slow down. Take some full, gentle breaths, and ask yourself, what’s 1 thing that can help right now? What does my body need right now? Put one hand over your heart and the other over your belly, ask the question and wait.
The answers come much better when we patiently wait for them, instead of trying to squeeze them or force them into being.
What’s a good enough reason for you to keep going? For you to take care of yourself properly so that you can serve and support those around you better?
Why did you come here to earth anyway, and why do you wish to stay?
Most people who are into self-development believe that their biggest challenge or their biggest “sticking point” on their way to success is fear.
It’s actually not the fear itself. It’s one’s resistance to fear that is the true blockage.
So in order to work with your resistance to fear, or your resistance to any emotion or feeling you’re having for that matter, what is required is to practice being present with the emotion or feeling, and to practice giving up the resistance it.
Just put your attention there. Explore its nature with your awareness. Set the intention to let go of the resistance and to feel the experience.
Rest your awareness right in the depths of the experience.
This is the practice.
Letting go is usually not something that occurs by simply deciding you’d like to let go.
When “holding on” is a subconscious process–which is what trauma is–the letting go must occur deep enough to penetrate the attachment.
It’s important to give the process of letting go, of forgiving, as much time as it needs. Trying to force it is counterproductive.
Just as there is a natural process to a baby growing up, a process which takes time, the best we can do is to nurture ourselves through the process of letting go.
The good news is that there are powerful practices that can catalyze the process–different styles of qigong and meditation, for example. I like to think of these types of practices as the nutrients needed for the process. And then we do what we can and the rest is up to the Divine.
Most of us are deeply conditioned to try to avoid our pain, to attempt to resist it, which only amplifies it and makes it worse in the long-run.
The answer is to turn toward our pain with presence and patience, and to practice in the ways of those who have the results you are looking for.
This is how to turn pain into power.
It’s about perspective. If I believe I am a victim, then I have the experience of feeling like a victim and of actually being a victim.
When you have had the experience of being a victim, it is of utmost importance to allow that experience to run its course by expressing it in a safe container, for example, with someone who is trained in holding space for the expression of extreme and disturbing emotions. This process usually takes time, it occurs in layers, and it cannot be successfully rushed.
Too often, we encounter the strategy of attempting to use our minds to “overcome” the experience of having been a victim. This is not helpful. There is no “getting over it” until we allow ourselves to admit how we really feel about it fully.
If the experience happened, and it is not fully processed, it will stay in the body and attempt to work itself out of your nervous system, like a splinter works itself out of your foot, in various ways, often by attracting increasingly amplified, similar victim experiences. This may seem cruel, however, it is ultimately helpful.
This happens because the subconscious actually wants to be conscious. It requires an enormous amount of unsustainable energy in order to suppress an experience. Suppressing, walling off, pushing away our experiences is stressful to the body, and in the long-term creates physical imbalances and dis-ease. The body/mind/spirit actually wants to heal though, so it brings us opportunities to experience what our mind and our conditioning is attempting to push down or away.
Turning toward our pain proactively through embodiment practices like meditating with the body, yoga, qigong, dance, or any effective embodiment practice, with the the ultimate intention to LET GO, that is, to forgive–this is the answer and antidote to the counterproductive, exhausting work of subconsciously attempting to push away our painful, traumatic experiences. This is, if you want to heal, of course. And not everyone wants to heal or is even ready to begin the process, which is ok. It’s not helpful to try and force healing in ourselves or in others. There is a greater story at play in which we all are participant-creators, and there is a divine timing to the unfolding of life.
As you process the experience of being a victim, you are likely to start seeing opportunities to recognize and remember your empowerment and responsibility. We start to see how we may have allowed, participated or even created the victim experience. This is extremely difficult to hear for people who are deeply attached to their victim story, before they have forgiven the perpetrator in their experience.
When people are not ready to hear about their responsibility, what they usually need is space to express the reality and gravity of their victim experience. Their inner child is wounded and needs care. This does not mean for us to hold weak boundaries with them. This also doesn’t make us responsible for helping them heal. As we heal, we recognize more and more of our personal responsibility.
Responsibility means the ability to respond. We can respond by offering to hold space, or we can respond by compassionately walking away or asking for space. There are many ways to respond, as long as we are aware of them.
Suffering sucks. However, it is not our responsibility to save anyone. Of course we may choose to offer help in a way we imagine would be effective, but I see no moral *obligation* to rescue another who chooses to stay stuck in suffering. Of course there is an impact to whatever our choice may be.
The more deeply we heal, the more deeply we feel, and the more poignant the suffering of others becomes to us because we sense more clearly through the illusion that they are separate from ourselves. In other words, we see them as other-selves, as ourselves, as not separate from ourselves. This, for me, has helped open my heart and inspire passionate empathy for the state and condition of those who suffer around me, and increasingly so, I want so much to help alleviate the suffering, as if my own arm or heart is crying out in pain when I feel the suffering of my other-selves.
You ALWAYS Have A Choice
What I invite you to recognize here is that you ALWAYS have a choice. I offer the perspective that there is no situation where you are truly a victim unless you believe that you are.
Yes, the stakes are high and the pain may be excruciating, and, I ask you, is it possible that at some level of your Being that you are participating in the creation of this scenario?
We imagine that we are who we think we are and nothing more. We imagine that we are not so powerful. We turn our backs on the One Self, from whom we are never truly separate, that is, to the extent we indulge ourselves and deny Ourselves.
The way to remember, bit by bit, layer by layer and in due time, is to practice turning toward those parts of ourselves which imagine our Divinity to be not true. Those parts are in pain.
Do not condemn those parts of yourselves or others. Let them express themselves. Let those dark parts be transformed by the light of awareness. Recognize that these parts of ourselves are in pain to the extent which they deny their true Identity, as they continue to create and sustain the illusion, for as long as they can, that they are anything but What and Whom they really are.