This past week or so I have been questioning what beliefs I am living under and how they have been influencing my behaviour, thoughts and consequently my feelings. As you all know, I work as a coach and spiritual teacher– amongst other ‘titles’ – and within these titles are hidden ‘rules’ of the game in order to be part of the collective morphic field of ‘spiritual teachers’!
I was questioning because recently I had been feeling slightly heavy and down for different reasons. My son returning to the UK, not seeing my daughter for a while, friends leaving, wrong lovers wishing to return, disillusionment with the spiritual leaders that I had met or listened to, wanting to do more for those that come to me for guidance and upliftment. Feeling that all this meant that I was not enough. But it was none of these reasons that were causing the real disturbance.
It suddenly came to me when I realised that I was trying so hard to be ‘good’, to be ‘spiritual’ to be something that fits into the ‘spiritual leader’ box that I had been ignoring who I am at my core. I had been judging myself for not being ‘good’ and ‘spiritual’ enough but in all honesty I was frankly feeling pissed off. I have never liked feeling boxed in and certainly those times when I have endeavoured to fit into a conceptual box I have become sad and depressed, and that is what had been happening. And instead of allowing myself the pissed off feelings I had been judging myself for not fitting into the box that encompasses the archetypal healer and teacher.
And all this from someone, myself, who believes that positive thinking is all very well as long as it does not become denial of what is in the moment! I had to laugh at myself and the seriousness of my bloody Ego. Acceptance of authentic feeling is what needs to come first and then we can work towards ‘higher’ ideals as we make our way out of our pissed-off’ness.
I remembered that I was born a rebel. And thank goodness for that otherwise I would have completely lost my mind years ago. I was never a follower of rules spiritual or otherwise unless those rules had flexibility within them to enable me to be who I am in all my rainbow colours, dark and light. I had wondered recently why I felt demotivated and disillusioned, feeling my spark was dampened, and the truth is I missed my rebel self. The self that says “Sod that! I am going this way because this way is the best way for who I am”.
I remembered I am a spiritual warrior and I had somewhere along the line allowed myself to become a spiritual worrier! a spiritual warrior is not a follower, they allow themselves to live within the integrity of who they are in any given moment, imperfections and all. They celebrate the uniqueness of themselves, others and life.
If you asked those that know me well they would probably tell you that I am not a follower of rules and belief systems. Yes I am aware that we are all influenced by beliefs, I realise that what we give meaning to has a tendency to become illumined in our world, I teach this. I have actively sought not to align myself with any group, single spiritual modality, or way of thinking that tells me I must be and behave a particular way. Well you know what is said? What you resist persists! Better to move towards something rather than run away from something. In quantum terms, the more we observe something, even if it is something we do not want, the more we make it MATTER, literally.
I realised that I have been trying so hard to be ‘good’ and to fit into something I myself had perceived to be the ‘spiritual box’ that I have forgotten the essence of who I am at the core of my being. And that is not a follower, I am a way shower, a person of passion for what I believe in, and that belief becomes a knowing that comes into my life through what I experience. I am a person who questions what is being touted out there in the ‘spiritual’ circles, a person who sometimes says “fuck” when I am not feeling great even though I know it is not a “high” vibrational word and occasional drowns my sorrows in vodka rather than meditate and talk with my guidance.
I am a spiritual warrior, someone who lives experientially, gains from that experience – not always great things – but I gain anyway. I Am someone that finds my way through what feels right for me no matter what other people think or feel about that. I know that there are many out there the same, following the path that feels right for them even in the face of disagreement from others.
I had recently taken on the archetypal symbology of what it means to be ‘good’ and I was not feeling ‘right’. Forgive, have compassion, be generous – yes all “high” vibrational feelings and actions and certainly ones that I not only aspire to but also teach. But as a human being I do not always feel that I want to forgive, have compassion or be generous! And you know what? That is ok! What is not ok is when we endeavour to do these things when the feeling is absent and therefore the actions become meaningless. Feeling is required to give meaning to action as well as thought. And when the feeling is absent the action is more often than not motivated by a conditioned belief that somebody else has said is ‘right’. And in that is the absence of forgiveness, compassion and generosity to the Self first.
When any of us move towards doing what we think is ‘right’ according to whatever system is being followed, rather than what we ‘feel’ is right FOR US, then we are going to feel heavy and down, or at least feel that something feels out of place somehow.
I was brought up in a catholic home where the family confessed their sins every Sunday and had nuns around for sherry every other month. I rejected that notion of religious rules and I made up ‘sins’ to keep the priest happy because I was not quite sure what made me so ‘bad’, or what I was meant to be confessing. From my late teens into early twenties I went through the gamut of transcendental meditation and Zen Buddhism. I practiced high magic and Wicca, studied various religious texts in a search for the ‘truth’ and all left me feeling that something was missing.
What was missing was the essence of myself. I am who I am. You are who you are. We are perfect as we are. Striving to be ‘good’, to forgive, to have compassion and generosity and lofty ideals are ones that in an ideal world we would all attain all of the time. It is enough that we attain it most of the time. But sometimes life happens and we do not feel like trying to attain this ideal ‘goodness’. I am good enough as I am, you are good enough as you are. When we move away from this perfect imperfection of who we are it feels heavy.
Many spiritual teachers and transformational leaders are not necessarily walking their talk but striving to attain the archetypal image of what constitutes the healer, the teacher, the ‘perfect’ being. In all of this I feel there is a loss of integrity for the human being, for the spirit inhabiting this flesh body. Abundance seems to mean money. Spirituality seems to mean becoming a superhuman being who is in constant possession of the perceived higher attributes of the human being. Anything less is seen as imperfection so we must try harder, do more spiritual actions, be more spiritually inclined. The path towards spiritual freedom starts to feel like a prison that ties us up in rules of what must be eaten by the spiritual master, what is said by the spiritual master, what is felt etc etc. And so the ‘new’ spiritual path has become another religion, one that encompasses as much dogma as the old religions. And to be honest I am a bit tired of it for the moment. I am perfect as I am. You are perfect as you are.
The shadow side of spirituality is no different from the idealised body image that is currently held in our societies. The airbrushed bodies and faces that depict a soulless face, that espouses the cloning of the human being. The spiritual shadow wants the airbrushed human being without the imperfections that we all hold. I don’t want to be a clone, spiritual or otherwise. I want to be the original that I was born – in all my perceived imperfections, I want to know you as the, perfect, imperfect being that you are. Those imperfections are the unconditioned aspects of the self that makes you and me the unique beings that we are.
Does that mean that I can no longer be the spiritual teacher? No it means that I can step back into who I am in all my glory, imperfections and all, and allow others to do the same. Maybe that is the tall order? Acceptance. Acceptance of self, scars and all, acceptance of other scars and all.
That is precisely why people have come to me for advice and guidance or energy work and coaching. It is because I am (usually!) real. I smoke, I like the occasional drink, I had an affair with a married man, I live across the ocean while my children live on the other side of the world. I am single in a country that does not feel endeared towards 50+ year old divorced women. I still wear short skirts and denim shorts. I am not the archetypal healer that wants to join a crowd of ‘spiritually minded’ others to chant and pretend that all is well when it so obviously is not. For how can ‘it’ be well when we are judging ourselves against an ideal spiritual or otherwise! It becomes well when we give ourselves the compassion, forgiveness and generosity and when we accept our imperfections in the moment.
So I am jumping out of this spiritual box I temporarily put myself in, and I am back in service. And as always – yes – blessings to All xxx