“My mission is to teach, heal and inspire others to heal themselves by connecting to the power of Spirit within.”
- Rev. Uki MacIsaac
Spiritual awakening is a transformational moment or process much desired by spiritual seekers. People may undergo rigorous training towards that goal or travel to ashrams in India in search for an enlightened teacher. But spiritual awakening can also happen in completely unpredictable ways, when we least expect it. Even seemingly trivial circumstances may give rise to a time of profound change, where all our cherished concepts of reality are shattered in one moment of clarity. A sense of truth emerges that wipes out all beliefs and concepts, giving way to a profound sense of connection and all-encompassing love. Time seems to stand still.
This state can last just a few moments, or weeks and months. Few are able to maintain what is also called a state of grace, or enlightenment, even ascension. The rhythms and ordinariness of life can take over again. But one is never the same after a spiritual awakening. Something inside has undergone a profound and irreversible change, and our attitude about ourselves and all of life has shifted into a different level of awareness.
Do you ever feel out of sync with your soul, your purpose, life in general? Loving ourselves on those days may seem particularly difficult. Minor irritations can grow into big deals and emotional outbursts. Then we find ourselves apologizing to others or harboring resentments or having the blues... I think those days are a part of being Spirit having a human experience. It's no use fighting, since resistance only makes things worse. There is a moment of awakening when one realizes that . . .
Are you one of the well-meaning folks who create big lists of New Year’s resolutions, only to find that so often the big balloons of good intentions quickly deflate? Deeply ingrained habits are not so easy to modify. How about making a few small, seemingly trivial changes, just to offer some fresh perspectives to your mind. Observe what happens, with great compassion for the self that has such strong likes and dislikes.
Here are some suggestions:- brush your teeth in a non-routine way- Tie your shoes with a new knot, or simply reverse how you tie the laces- Switch to your non-dominant hand for eating with a spoon or fork- Eat a food you have never had before
There are obviously advantages to the many routines we have created. Doing things on auto-pilot frees our brain to focus on other things, such as problem-solving. There is also comfort to be found in habits. Just remember: when you literally take the road less travelled, even in small ways, you may find that momentum builds for more significant changes. With sharpened awareness, we can find delight in the many gifts along the path, and even rekindle the joy of living.
We all wear masks and 'garments' that are to hide and protect our true identity. We do this out of social convention, expectations placed on us at an early age, e.g. family environment, and internalized role playing. THere's nothing wrong with putting on protective masks and wearing different hats according to what we think is expected from us. We may try on the garment of successful business woman, and like that role a lot. Coming home, it might be pleasurable to slip into the role of loving wife and mother. The trouble is, we over-identify with those roles. When the rules of the game change, for example through a layoff at work or a divorce, we are at a loss, because we have lost our true identiy, our inner self. This Self is the silent observer who agrees to play the game of the moment, but does not give up its identity. It is not defined by our outer world. Your very core is your spiritual Self, the one that has always been and always will be.
How can we drop, even just for a while, the outer selves and delve into the true Self? This short meditation might help you experiment in a playful way with letting go of the superficial identifications.
Imagine wearing a garment of heavy wool. Maybe this garment looks and feels like a coat or cloak. It is warm and comforting. At times, it is wonderful to feel the protective shield of your cloak. But at other times, the cloak becomes heavy and cumbersome. It restricts your movements and self-expression. See yourself now dropping the woolen garment at will. It feels wonderful to drop the heavy weight for the time being. You know you can always pick up that cloak whenever you wish to. For now, see yourself dressed only in a light-weight beautiful wrap of transparent fiber. This garment moves with you, flows around you, soft yet shielding. This is your soul wrap, The color of this exquisite fabric changes according to your mood. Better yet, you can change its color to affect your mood! Feeling a little down today? Notice the color of your soul wrap. Is it a tone too dark and somber? By the power of your intention, change your soul wrap to a lighter, more harmonious tone. Immediately, your feelings shift towards a higher vibration, a happier note. You move more freely, your steps have more bounce. How fun it is to play with your soul wrap! At other times, we wish to drop any and all coverings and be just in our natural costume, the way we were born. Even our skin is a protective clothing, as is your entire physical body. All serves to house the Soul, your essence. Experiment with the feelings of being naked, open to all that is. There are moments when we need no hiding, no protection. We feel safe stripping down to the bare bones. Those moments are gifts, because they reveal more of our true being. We relish these times, and we also know when it's time to dress up again. All has its purpose. The liberating aspect of this exercise is to have a choice: to wear what you wish to wear, to drop what feels inhibiting at the moment and feel safe doing so. Have fun with this exercise and know that you are never defined by what you wear, visible to ordinay eyes or not. Blessings!
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Circle of Life Spiritual Development