What happens when we go back to the regular world after the commotion dies down? It’s not hard to recall just a short while ago when we were mostly concerned about work and home and fitting in just the right amount of playtime. Now, our work might be peppered with worry or we may not have work at all.
For that reason, I think it’s important that we remember the humdrum of our world before this global change and take a moment in silence to reshape our vision of it. Those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it.
Let’s take a trip down a not-so-distant memory lane...
The recollection of the common stresses that chip at you through the day. The feeling of how they erode the essence of why you stepped out the door in the first place. And, when you think of it, why did you step out of the door at all? The morning coffee may have provided the jittery jumpstart, but it was more like a panicky shuffle than a march of intention.
Before all this, when was the last time you walked with intention?
Outside your door, you find traffic and agitation. While making a paycheck, you wonder what difference it makes other than paying for the caffeinated boost to get here and the quick meals that you forget to relish. The job itself may be helpful and somewhat hopeful, but like a great machine, it seems larger – much larger than you.
As a humble gear, you grind into place and turn with the other cogs to follow the motions of the mechanical device to which you’ve dedicated the larger portion of your life. It’s the machine. I’m the gear. I do the job. I get paid. I go home. It’s got to make some kind of difference, right? Right...?
You want to make an impact, but you also want to escape.
Yes, there are the occasional pleasantries – little joys that seem to make the day seem worthwhile. There are benefits to having the means to enjoy a few evenings treating yourself. (There’s always chocolate.) But, there is a different kind of nourishment that isn’t met when you have lost a sense of alignment with your work. And, when work has lost alignment with the goals of society.
The question hits you, “What is the purpose of what I do?”
I’m just a banker. I’m just a cook. I work retail. I’m a salesman. Who the hell cares? These are the monikers that we use to give ourselves an identity. I am… insert your job title here. Think about that phrase for a moment, “I am.” As if the work you do speaks for the entirety of your sense of self.
“Who am I?” you ask.
The world is going to hell, and I’m weaving hand baskets for a living. At least we’ll all go down in quality wicker even if it makes us all basketcases. (Pun intended.) The spiritual crisis when our sense of values meet the method that we produce our living far too often feels like a loss of identity.
And, it is. Not always because the work is wrong nor the manner in which we produce it, but because we fail to see the expression of our core selves speaking purely through the work we do. And, that is where our purpose is found.
So, how do you react?
Privately you might read a few books on spirituality and religion – perhaps a clever blog. With a bit of meditation, a touch of kundalini, and a dabble of reiki – you might feel better. “I’m doing something!” But, isn’t that simply adding a new title to shift your sense of identity?
Regardless of the profession, you still have to step outside the door and face the world. There is still action to be taken even if the work seems right. When the world seems to be in flux and on the brink of insanity, it makes everything feel like a drop in the bucket. And, shit, the world really does seem like it’s coming apart at the seams.
If you listen to the media, we are always flirting with global catastrophe. Whether there’s any truth in the headlines or if it’s just a means to advertise the products that other worker-bee machines grind together to make us feel better about the infernal decay of society, remains to be seen.
Take a breath.
Stop trying to fix the world. Stop thinking about the things you do and ask yourself who you are. It’s not a question that can be taken lightly because the answer eludes gurus and grunts alike. But, it is the reason we step outside the door every day. It is the great work. And, the things we “do” are the methods we use to feel out the connection of “I” to “other” and find the degrees of separation blurred in the process.
The world may burn around you and you will still see the flames and feel their heat. The job may bore you but where does that boredom come from – you or that? All of that sensation, all the wild worries and the fears about the state of affairs, come from your perceptions. Your perceptions are not you. They are the veil that we peer through – a warped lens that distorts the reality of our life’s mission.
What if we let go of those perceptions?
All the moments that pass throughout the day chipping away at you are truly eroding the parts of your identity that are false. This is where true work begins. Everything we perceive is a reflection of the self and everything we do is an expression of that self. The discordant harmony between action and reaction slowly become sweeter tones when we meet our daily work with a sense of alignment.
This happens when you do the real work, the work of self-awareness.
In time, outward and inward become interwoven in a dance that allows the flow of reality to move through us and each thing that we touch has intention. It is with this realization that we find purpose in washing dishes or drafting paperwork. Disagreement becomes the substance of growth and not disorder.
And, here is where the revolution begins. We can stop seeking to change the world and repair the broken systems and realize that understanding the depth of ourselves does change the world and fix the broken systems.
Understanding the essence of yourself changes the way you interact with everything. The job you hate suddenly makes sense and you either step in with renewed passion or realize it was wrong all along. The conversations between friends, coworkers, and lovers have a warmer and kinder (albeit unapologetic) honesty that allows you to step fully into your being.
I say this with experience. Not only for myself but for the numerous people that have asked me to help them understand their problems. But, instead of seeking the answer to a problem we seek the answer that lies in the self. There is not one question that isn’t answered by seeking an understanding of who you are. And, when that realization is made, mountains are moved.
Know yourself and you know the universe because they are one and the same.
With all the noise in the air currently, I find many (myself included) wanting to pull away from the global conversation about viruses and the economy and fixate instead on things that pique personal interests. For me, I feel most normal when I’m looking into the abnormal and playing with the cosmic forces that I feel we’re here to explore.
A little virus with a big impact makes one want to turn inward.
So, I explore my roots in spirituality and recall the books and conversations that have enriched my view of experiences like this pandemic. In the need for normalcy, I look up to the heavens with my feet planted firmly in hearty earth. There is a great peace considering the “great work” of growing as a spiritual being in a physical world with all its realistic constraints – restraints that might hit the reset button on this life and spiral us into a new incarnation.
It makes one consider how we view spirituality in this day and age and what we’re doing with it.
The airy-fairy hippie days of new-age thinking has approached a change in attitude. I’ll date myself by tossing in a back-in-my-day, but yes, back in my day getting information and knowledge about spiritual practices outside of the norm or away from a church was difficult and felt shady at best. Even Buddhism was a little on the iffy side despite the Dali Lama’s shining, happy face.
Forget talking candidly about being a healer or having visions or seeing lights and colors (energy) swirl around your vision. The word psychic has been tainted and exchanged with intuitive because of sketchy TV hotlines and “seers” with fake Jamaican accents. Show caution when talking about the big voice that creeps in your thoughts and knows just what you should do if you’d only listen. They might lock you up. They might see you as an outcast. I was certainly afraid to speak my truth.
When I was young, there were secret-ish bookstores with crowds of the curious, gothy patrons, Wiccans, and everything in-between. The common denominator among them is that they were all afraid to be outed because the neighbors wouldn’t just talk, they’d shun. A few were already shunned and simply lived as they pleased.
But, regardless the judgment was there. Do you believe in astrology, rituals, deities, and that malarkey? You might as well be a caveman. If you’ll excuse me, I’d like to read more about immaculate conception, angels, and the greatest (supposedly) healer of all time. Frankly, I find those beliefs fascinating as well. They challenge my preconceptions, and with an open heart, I feel the intent that came from the origin of such stories.
Yet, the general sentiment from society was shame.
If you were lucky enough to find that little crew of questioners, you had the most brilliant of conversations. The essence of those magical conversations comes from uncertainty. To tread out without seeking an answer but simply delving into the questions. True wisdom comes from being aware of the vastness of the unknown. It’s a Buddhist principle, actually. It calls for us to keep a mind that doesn’t know instead of inserting fiction – the illusion – of our preconceptions. In not knowing, you find your true will and create a genuine effect.
Things have changed. In this “modern” day, we see so much connection happening between the digital threads of our online world and so much sharing of knowledge that many are realizing that the practices they were always curious about aren’t so much hocus-pocus. And, even still, we shy away from the taboo.
That’s what most people (back in my day) would feel about magical practices or energy healing or working with spirits. And, the use of that word is ironic. Do you know its roots? While it can mean that something is repulsive to a culture, it’s also a word for sacred.
Something can be considered so holy that it must be handled correctly or not at all.
I think that the holiest things, of course, are the ones we touch and feel. Holy is something that comes from our association with it. We know it when we experience it, and one can say that it comes from our inner self and is inspired by that which is outer. But, as I’ve grown in my practice I see that both are one in the same – outer elements enlivening the pieces of our psyche that resonate on the same frequency.
To me, the holiest of places have running water and ancient trees. You can feel exceptionally tiny there, walking off the beaten path. Then in a heartbeat, you can feel as large and grand as the rock spires that fill your vision. When surrounded by the looming power of the natural world it is difficult not to feel its sacred nature.
Do you know where that word derives from, sacred?
There are many sources for the use of the word, itself. But, one definition comes from the concept of leaving the safety of the village and stepping out into the wild. And, that’s what we’re talking about in spirituality, right? We step away from the known path and embrace something uncertain, something that makes us feel small.
Dwarfed beside mountains and rivers, standing among towering trees, and staring up at the immensity of the night sky, it is hard to feel anything but the sacred nature of the unknown and the powerful transformative nature of questioning.
I digress in a fantasy of the wilderness, but perhaps, you feel the same call for those wild places. Aren’t we all seeking a connection to them internally while here in our urban setting? Do you seek the sacred nature of your inner self by traversing the outer wilds or can you brave the wild places within? Are they any different?
It’s a tangibly beautiful and humbling experience doing so.
The landscape of the inner world is an equally fearsome badland, full of the pitfalls and wild beasts that would ravage us out in the untamed lands. There, the shaman would speak of fracture soul pieces, the healer of traumatic energy, and some might see ancestral baggage or karmic debts of past lives. Soul contracts and life purpose and enlightenment, oh my! What a breathtaking place to explore.
It feels the same as the wild places inside your spirit, and you can find yourself dwarfed by the enormous nature of your own inner world. Humankind, though, has a propensity to believe that we can control such places through systems and answers and definitive facts. These are useful for treading on sacred ground and help to dive in and back without losing one’s self to the feral lands. It would be foolish, however, to think we can tame our spiritual nature just as it would be foolish to think we can tame nature itself.
And yet, we try.
Energy work and energy healing have become more and more widely accepted in mainstream culture. Double-blind studies have been performed to showing actual physical healing from energetic work. Psychic reading and psychic phenomena are heavily documented and have been used by both the military and police force. Astrology apps run rampant and many business people use astrology to plan the direction of their companies.
There are even books that talk about the scientific aspects of magical practices, and many of the new age systems are old school witchery repackaged in a palatable box with a neat, tidy bow to satisfy our intelligent upbringing. The amount of research and data that supports our spiritual and magical world would make one feel validated. Though, hungry for answers, I think we miss the point.
Manifestation and law of attraction may seem like a new dawn of human understanding in the ways we connect and extend our will beyond the perceived sense of self, but to me, it’s just age-old magical thinking. The only difference I see is the refinement of the practices into easy to use daily work for someone that doesn’t want to have a cultural attachment to their spiritual pursuits.
The problem with it all is that we hope to find an answer.
Why does it work? That reveals more questions. The research and exploration that follows opens a vast world of curiosity. The pursuit of those questions with a passionate mind – one that is supple to change – is the foundation for personal and spiritual growth. You must embrace uncertainty to let go of the false realities that cause you harm.
Letting go of what you think you know can feel a touch insane, but in truth, abandoning a reality that tells us not to question is the sanest course of all. And, in all of that, I feel normal. The noise of answering the questions at hand can slip away into being a part of the moment – curious what the next step on this journey will bring.
Let go of your past and future. Let go of your knowing. Turn your focus here and now. Find safety in the sacred nature of living in uncertainty.
The global conversation is humming with talk about the sudden epidemic of CODIV-19. If you’re like me – empathic and psychically tuned, you don’t just hear about it, but you can feel the chatter humming in the collective noise.
It’s loud. Very loud. So, it's all I can talk about.
And while the sound of it seems to be full of a wide spectrum of differing emotions, it is clear that most of those feelings are turbulent. In it, however, I do sense the calming messages of guides and spirit that speak to the heart of the matter.
“No, everything will not be as you hoped, but hope is in your hands. This is simply change.”
As an individual that looks to practical and realistic messages from spirit and the hidden wisdom in the collective mind, I look to the nature of our situation as if I had a businesslike interest in how things are playing out.
I don’t feel that disaster comes to us from an angry planet or that our collected spiritual vibration generates a strike force of viral baddies to teach a lesson. Lessons are available to us at any moment in many different forms. Disasters happen daily, and viewing the universe as a cosmic check board that punishes us is an outdated model that needs to disappear from our dialogue.
I do, however, feel that when we live out of alignment with the natural rhythms of our bodies and the cycles that the planet has followed since before the inception of mankind, that we leave ourselves ill-prepared to engage with any disaster – global or local – without causing unnecessary discontent.
Let’s look at this through the simplest lense possible.
The entire globe has the flu – a more dangerous version of it – and the society we have created does not have the most basic structures in place to handle a simple timeout from our daily activities to recover. We push so hard we can’t take a moment away to heal without our economy and political stratosphere erupting into madness.
In the middle of this, we see people leading their daily lives worried about “the flu.” What happens when you worry you might get stuck with the flu? You grab the essentials and avoid getting sick. What happens when the media happens to make that flu seem like the apocalypse?
People lose their damn minds.
In fact, I don’t know that people are losing their minds or if it is more apt to say they’re worried everyone else is losing their minds. As a result, every shelf empty of toilet paper makes the world seem like a more threatening place. But is that really the case? It seems the simplest lens would be to step away from the microscope of Mad Maxian threat level and realize that where our intention goes our mind follows. We are hyper-focused on what will go wrong and not that this is us – as a global family – dealing with a really, really bad flu.
That’s where the conversation needs to change. Are we treating each other as a global family? If our neighbors are losing their businesses, jobs, and unable to get the food or supplies they need because of a bad bug, what does that say about how we have put together the inner workings of global household rules.
What happens at a regular home?
Shit, mom’s sick! Everybody pick up the slack with the chores. We’ll slide soup underneath the door and yell, “Love you,” from the other side. We don’t want that crud... especially grandma. I’m not sure her system can handle it. She’s older and a little fragile.
And, sometimes we lose grandma.
It happens every year with the flu. That is a reality. And, we shouldn’t diminish the reasons we are keeping this contained. In fact, we should have basic systems in place to handle a timeout for us all to contain a virus. I won’t make light of the situation, but it is better that this is a bad flu and not a life-ending mega-pandemic. How would we have handled that?
It would seem, then, if we viewed this without imagining that it is some sort cosmic lesson – we’d see that what it does, regardless, is point out the glaring errors in the way we’ve constructed our society. We can’t even handle a household flu without losing our shit. This is where I’d insert the slow clap and start reevaluating the chore wheel.
We’d better do something. This makes us look bad to the neighbor star systems...
The above scenario isn’t always true. Many families are less centralized. But, the point is clear. As a family, we should come together. We should have plans in place for a disaster without viewing any member as less valuable. And, if you’ve ever been in the unfortunate position of not coming together as a family, you can understand clearly what lesson we should be learning. We forgot why we made these rules.
So, what’s the solution?
Growth comes from disaster because it points out what does not work. Here’s the message I often receive from spirit when things are dark and seem foreboding. It isn’t pretty, but it’s almost always right. Don’t be hard on yourself, but handle your shit. We’re cheering. We’re pointing, But you’re in charge. That is to say, we hold all the cards. But, we need to play the game properly.
I find that very empowering.
The answers reside in the problems. Rebuilding broken systems that have allowed for a potential economic disaster lies with those who have the skills to do so. What I’m speaking to is the spirit of where those systems come from, the essence from which they are made. Without that, we create more broken systems.
We are a global family and we are not paying attention to our health. Healthcare is a system built in the spirit of having a healthy family. The economy is a system built to provide means for us to meet our needs. But without the intended spirit of those systems in place, our household is not functioning. If the heads of the household are too focused on making money and enforcing rules regardless of their benefit, there is no nourishment. The family falls apart.
The connection to the essence of our system’s intended spirit is not in line with our values. So, what can you do here and now? Don’t start at the top; start with yourself. Check your values. Find your honesty in that exploration. Then, whatever your role, do what you can. You’ll accomplish more if you connect your actions to the spirit from which they originated.
True honesty and true spiritual alignment happen when our actions harmonize with what we feel to be true at the deepest level of our souls.
Take the timeout, consider, stop hoarding the toilet paper, and wash your hands. Were you raised in a barn? The aliens are looking at us like we’re hillbillies.