Do you consider yourself a “spiritual” person? This new “self-definition” is quite popular now and I hear it all over the place. I was out with friends at a birthday party this weekend, and as a prologue to an introduction to a new friend I was told, as a whispered aside:
“Oh and he’s very spiritual”.
What exactly does that mean?
I asked, and was told:
“Well he does Yoga and meditation”
What does it mean to you to live a “spiritual” life?
For me, the meaning of living life in a spiritual way means accepting the circumstances I am presented with, trying my best to deal with what i can and cannot control, being of service to others, developing my highest creative centers to be of service, learning more and working to keep my energetic centers balanced and to try every day to remember that I am a small part of a much bigger picture which contains a divine spark of contact between myself and that which thought me into being. I try to rely more on that creative energy today. I like to think of myself as real, but it has taken considerable time and effort to get here. In fact the more I learn the more I discover that to “do” less can often result in achieving” more. I try to find value in everything, as much as possible. Especially in my contact with other people.
I am not the kind of person who can go to a party and talk about your job with you, or what sports your kids play. Sure these topics are always part of an introductory conversation, necessary foundation work which helps us get a handle on who it is we’re talking to. But, I want to know more – how you think. What you believe in. What kind of life you intend for yourself. I dont’ want to know these things to judge you, but because I believe every person is a book of knowledge, and what you have learned, only you can know because only you have lived your particular brand of life. So people fascinate me in the same way a good book can. I want to find the real story about you. Like a great Master said when asked “what is real”
“That which is real is that which never changes”. And the Real part of a human being is the consciousness of our selfless inside voice that is always present and tranquil behind your thoughts. Because it defies conceptualization, describing this “insideness” is pretty tough. Understanding yourself spiritually is like trying to wrap your mind around the concept of infinity. In fact, they are the same thing. The You that is Spirit and the You that is Infinity (endless and boundless) is one and the same thing. Your intuition is the voice of your “gut”. Intuition is your “feelings, thoughts and soul’s intention in perfect synchronistic communication through your conscious mind”. You can only become “aware” of your intuition if you have some “space: within you. This space is emotional space, space in your mind for new thoughts to enter, where the mind is not always filled with “old” thoughts, of the past, or illusory thoughts of the future. This place is reality.
Like the story of the Velveteen Rabbit:
“What is REAL?” asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. “Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?”
“Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.”
“Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit.
“Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. “When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.”
“Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,” he asked, “or bit by bit?”
“It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”
“I suppose you are real?” said the Rabbit. And then he wished he had not said it, for he thought the Skin Horse might be sensitive. But the Skin Horse only smiled.
In “becoming real”, Skin Horse let’s Rabbit know that he will have to undergo some trials; the loss of some fur, and maybe his eyes will get all “loved off”, but that won’t matter because his inner beauty will shine through to those to whom he has become real and so he will be happy.
Sometimes for us, “love” comes gently or it comes with difficulty. Loving without being in the way is the ultimate lesson of human existence. learning to love each other no matter what limitlessly is what it means to become “like God”. And just like Rabbit and Skin Horse, we all need to let ourselves get loved until we get real. Most of the time the only barrier to this is your allowance of what love you let enter your life. The first love however, must come from yourself to You. We are all “spiritual beings living a human existence”, as my mother has always told me. In order for you to honour your spiritual journey, you need to “get real” and identify the YOU within the you. There is a consciousness behind our conscious mind that is the observer of us, that is the connection between all of the life energy that exists, and that what I believe I know about the world is probably a false because every moment of every day, every thing is changing. But what you DO know you know in a way that surpasses language . This is real, because it is the thing that never changes. It is the mind behind the mind.
I never meet a new person without a conscious awareness that our meeting is not by chance. I am also very quick to say to that person:
“I know everyone meets for a reason, I wonder what I will learn from you”.
More often than not new friends nod in agreement and completely understand what I am talking about. This is because I don’t encounter people who have no spiritual association anymore. I used to in my “former life”, when I worked out in “the world”, in the city, industrial sales, little red sports car, nice clothes, nails polished. I was a different person entirely back then. My world was material and I worked hard at becoming good at accumulating this material. but somewhere inside of me, I could never quite let go of the belief that we are here not to earn a living, or to create security for ourselves in purely worldly way, but are here to help each other somehow in a greater sense. I always sought the deep relationships with people in business too. My customers loved me because I was a breath of fresh air from the fake ascetic relationships they were used to in business. It was a greater “victory” for me when a client gave feedback that I was an approachable and communicative sales rep, than when i made big commission dollars. My “personal” attitude was not highly regarded in the business world, and within a very short period of time, my desire to “get the account” had dwindled and finally been extinguished. What I “thought” my greatest ambitions were gave way to a greater light and a desire that I couldn’t resist. It’s kind of like my early ambitions were a flashlight and someone walked into the room carrying a flood lamp. My little flashlight didn’t hold much value anymore.
Over the years I tried things, stumbled and never really found my place in the world like “normal” people do. I always made my own way through, found a new way of doing things, and created my life for myself, rarely relying on enterprise. I don’t mean to make it sound easy, because it’s not. I have a husband and partner who support me in every conceivable way. I am free in my life to explore my creativity and inner drives. I stand in awe of the way my life has unfolded every day, let me assure you. But, in the past decade or so I have noticed a great many people following this same life path. I have come across many many others, online and in the face to face world of those who are looking for the higher purpose, the greater mind in all of this tragic life we live. I call them the Lightseekers, and they are popping up everywhere! It seems that once a Lightseeker comes into contact with one who is a Lightbringer they recognize the greater journey and their flame ignites to allow them to become a Lightbringer to the next person who is seeking. It’s a chain reaction and it’s happening all over the world.
I came to my understanding of this “carrying of light” by reading and listening, quite simply. I became a seeker of truth a long time ago. The most important thing in my life is figuring out who I am so that I can be of greatest usefulness to others. This doesn;t make me a saint. It’s really how i think, and I make a TON of mistakes along the way in all of my “trying”. We TRY too hard. We are a culture who has integrated a protestant work ethic into our spirituality. I am always needing to become mindful of my motivations because I constantly find my “egoic” mind entering into the picture needing to be “right” or to know more than others so I will be “received” by the outside world as a spiritual person and therefore get some validation for what i believe to be true about myself. True spirituality, ladies and gentle, is not ever needing the validation of the outside world to know your own truth. I may know this in my “mind” , but the journey to my heart still has to be made. It becomes frustrating because all of th research and meditating and listening I am doing the changes in understanding happen in me only when I am ready to receive them and not a second before.
And so I find once again that in my continued willingness to live a connected and spiritual existance, the universe gives me the lesson I need when I need it, and right now is the lesson of patience. I’ll keep on keeping it real and let the dice fall where they may ~ TRYING LESS to BE MORE. )