Who Do I know Myself to Be?
Let me first say that you are a rare individual, indeed, to read a piece on spiritualizing your humanity. Maybe you didn’t know that’s what this article is about. Now you do, and that makes you rare!
We think about ourselves as spiritual beings, yet more often than not we live our lives as if the opposite were true. Many of us say we believe in a Universal Source – Oneness, who is always loving and who always provides for us in every way possible. Yet we often act from fear-based ideas, beliefs and interpretations; the scarcity model. Though we say we know we are loved and provided for, we continually act as if we couldn’t trust a soul – seen or unseen.
My personal experience and my experience as a life and business coach tell me that we don’t really use our intelligence much in our everyday endeavors. If we did, we would construct a practice that fully engages our thinking, our reasoning and reasonability – not the ones we’ve cultivated as an egoic person, but from the spiritual principles we espouse, advocate and champion. We’d distinguish false assumptions and those beliefs we’ve immersed ourselves in, and we’d eradicate them from our database of plausible and valued truths. We would study – seriously study – the quality of experience we are having and carefully discern why it is the way it is, as opposed to the way we dream it to be.
Spiritual Intelligence is all inclusive of the intelligence we use to choose; to drive on the right side of the road; to put our underwear on in the right direction; to converse intelligently and professionally with potential clients, bosses and co-worker, family members, etc. We know how to be intelligent, but sometimes we choose to not use our intelligence. And, by choosing not to use our intelligence, our lives become unmanageable, chaotic and out of control.
We forget to be intelligent
Most of us just pay lip service to our spiritual principles, often living within our egoic minds, pontificating what we know in theory, but which we avoid in actual experience. So many of us take the spiritual bypass, which makes us think that just because we perceive ourselves to be spiritual we don’t have to actually immerse ourselves in the human experience. We don’t have to get messy out on the playing field in the game of life.
The process of ascending the ladder of spiritual growth demands full responsibility for one’s own spiritual development. There are no free rides. Each of us has to do our own work, diligently, with vigilance and total engagement in the process of exercising muscles of spiritual intelligence. We have to begin by clarifying what we want, and being dreadfully truthful about where we are in the process of bringing action to self-realizations.
In service to this process, I’ve developed on six week online course beginning September 18, called Cultivating Spiritual Intelligence: An Introduction. This six-week course provides a container of time and space within which to explore and experiment with your spiritual intelligence, in relation to what you’ve been taught and what you’ve come to believe is true. There will be plenty of opportunities to stretch your cognitive, emotional and somatic intelligence in service to cultivating spiritual intelligence.
This course will bring clarity and understanding about what you as spiritual being is doing in this human body. You are here, as we all are, to experience the exquisiteness of what cannot be experienced anywhere else in the Universe. And, as it becomes clearer to each us that we’ve chosen to be here and we’ve chosen based on a knowing of a much greater cosmic consciousness, then we are far more likely to actively participate in the grand adventure of life.
Success: Where does it lead?
Harvey, a client of mine for over four years, lives and works in LA in the television industry. Brilliant, creative and kind, he makes everyone feel appreciated by his character and presence. Harvey has finally arrived at his dream. Not only does he have the dream job for himself, he’s also getting paid what he’s worth. He is in the groove!
Harvey grew up in the bible belt of Texas. Allowing himself to be worthy of a salary that reflects all of what he brings to his career was a huge undertaking since it went against the primary tenets that money is evil, and that we shouldn’t want material comforts. The underlying conflict between being spiritual and making enough money to thrive has been an underpinning of Harvey’s financial demise for all of his adult life. Now, in his mid-forties, he’s taken the steps required to receive the full benefits and reap the rewards of all he brings to his work life. Success!
This all within the past two months; so Harvey has been adjusting to a whole new reality – money, prestige, a new BMW motorcycle and more. And …
What I love about Harvey is that he is very much awake when it comes to seeing that having arrived at his desired destination doesn’t mean the journey is over; he knows that in many ways, a new journey has just begun.
I was unsure what would show up in this coaching conversation once Harvey fully owned his worth, asked for a raise, got it and so much more. What did arise had me breathe a sigh of relief; for what Harvey brought to light was the realization that the money, the position and the motorcycle does not bring an individual to a sense of fulfillment but for just a few brief ecstatic moments.
To see that the striving for more money, prestige and power as just that, takes a breaking through of a reality that we believe to be the only reality. To see the striving as a spiritual practice changes the attachment to the outcome to something that is accumulative and builds something greater over time; we find ourselves with more wisdom, clarity and strength.
It’s not the destination but the journey
Harvey certainly wanted to enjoy the increase in income, prestige and position, as we all do; but the significance was what he had to shift in himself in order to bring this level of success to fruition. He had to dig deep beyond bible belt beliefs and family circumstances in order to truly honor his gifts. It required him to recognize all of what he brings to the workplace – just as he’s always wanted and provided for others. He had to reframe spiritual tenets to see that it’s not about the money or about worthiness; it’s about breaking through belief systems that don’t serve one’s awakening. He had to think outside the box of a very seductive context in order to realize himself more fully.
Now that he has come to this part of the journey he asks: “What do I have to do to feel comfort and security? I don’t see it as a possibility for myself.”
I wanted to ask: “Why did you get this raise and position if it wasn’t for the comfort and security that comes along with it?” It wasn’t a question to be asked out loud, not yet, because to Harvey, there was so much more going on.
Up until this moment, the edge of Harvey’s comfort zone had been receiving equal payment for the value that he brings to his work. Now that he has expanded his comfort zone to include this he is now, once again on the edge of his comfort zone – how do I allow myself to actually enjoy my life, experiencing the comfort and security I’ve created for myself. This is a whole new world he is opening up to, because he was able to get the value/worth dilemma complete – at least to this point.
There’s a point where one realizes that there is no end or finish line. Those who pretend this is so tend to mask the physical discomforts that arise when living inside a box that will consistently feel smaller and smaller. What’s the point if we never arrive at our final destination – we never get to fully reap the rewards of our labor? Why not just settle for less – less stress, less effort, less personal abuse …?
The questions lead us to ask: What is success? What is fulfillment? What’s it all about? If it’s not about stuff and winning, then what’s worth the effort?
For many people, especially men, the crisis in the mid-life crisis means coming to the edge of one’s reality, peering over, and saying “there’s nothing there!” Illnesses, job loss, collapses of the economy all bring us to these same moments of realization that reveal there’s no security, there’s no money, there’s only nothing! What’s that about?
Go forward – there’s nothing.
Stop - and there’s nothing.
The reason so many of us choose to not choose is because, whatever dilemma we face, choosing to choose brings us to the edge of our comfort zones. It requires that we be uncomfortable, that we be open to seeing ourselves and our reality different and that we be willing to explore and experiment with the countless facets of the achievement we’ve come to be, already, in this life. The edge of nothing is the same edge as thing. The practice of walking both sides of this edge, fearlessly, well, it’s pretty darn scary.
Harvey has gone forward, found that it’s not about the money, about winning or about things. He’s now onto his next big adventure, knowing that whatever he finds, it won’t be about that either. Fortunately he sees the humor in it all and we both laugh our heads off. Being in business is a very fun venture!