Today, we are so lucky – there is an amazing cornucopia of spiritual teachers, paths to enlightenment, healing modalities and personal development programs out there. It is an amazing sign of our times – I am thankful for every new yoga studio and life coach I see cropping up, as that shows there is real momentum here for shifting our Western materialist focus to one of spiritual values (even though the two get pretty mixed up over here in the U.S., more on that later). That means the wild and wooly generations before us who gave birth to the Age of Aquarius really did some good paving the way for so many unique expressions of spirit and the Divine to come through, like a flood gate went up! I’m constantly hearing of new teachers, new paths, new modalities. It can be a little overwhelming, can’t it?
I’m certainly of the opinion that one size doesn’t fit all… but I have also learned from experience over the years, a way to sift through the chaff to what is really going to be helpful for me in the long run. I’d like to share my experience with you, in case that is of benefit.
Things to consider, before getting deeply involved with a teacher, path, or healing modality which promises awakening of any kind:
1. Is it Empowering? Are you receiving the wisdom coming through someone else – or are you accessing this wisdom from within? We are all part of the Divine – when we open to our Deeper Self – our Soul – we have a millenium of wisdom within, many lifetimes and lives-between-lives. We have an innate ability to Open to the Divine. We may need help to re-learn how to Open, but the Opening happens from within. The moment a practitioner is telling us what is true for us – or channeling it from the other side – or reading our karma, aura, whatever – or receiving information ie. ‘downloads’ from a “divine source” and giving it to us, I am suspect. There is often a lot of truth in there but the problem is, every single person has their own personal filters – even wonderful practitioners, clairvoyants, teachers, disembodied beings. And those filters run through their concept of reality – not your own. Some, more susceptible to the needs of the human ego, might also have a particular slant to their reading, with a built-in self-serving clause. This includes disembodied “high beings and masters”. Check your source, do your research. How in alignment with the divine do they really seem to be? Disembodied masters are no different than embodied masters – both are subject to their egos, and a belief they are right/best/or desire more power.
There is a difference between teaching information from a place of “this is what I’ve learned, go find out for yourself if its true for you” and “this is the way its done, and this is the way you need to do it. This is the only truth”. The first gives foundational support to springboard into the Infinite realm of possibilities; the latter constricts us into a dogmatic approach to the Divine – which can lead us off into a “back eddy” as my current mentor Aubrey Degnan put it. Back eddies are where many people get lost swirling around marketing themselves and their paths to enlightenment/healing/whatever and at the same time close themselves off to growing, expanding, and uncovering even more Divine Truth. How could any one person or group claim to know the Pathways to the Divine? The Divine is as infinite as there are different faces on this planet, human and animal alike.
2. Is it Manipulative? Is it capitalizing on your yearning to belong, to heal the family wound? I find group work can be so helpful for working through mother/father/sibling projections – that’s beautiful. The sooner you can own your projections, the better. Does the leader of your group use those projections and emotional manipulation to keep you signing up for more workshops, classes, private sessions? Or do they capitalize on your desire for community hooking you in, but never really encouraging community outside their classes? Do they stop in the street to talk to you, regardless of whether you’ve been seeing them for sessions lately or not? Or do they just always seem to be in a rush when they see you? How genuine and deep does their support and love go?
3. A Part of Me says Yes, A Part of Me says No. I’m big on listening to the body and to one’s own intuition. But here is where it gets tricky. If you haven’t already uncovered your unconscious core limiting beliefs, you may be operating from a deep feeling place – but the one that matches your childhood imprints, the one that secretly re-creates the wound and the drama again and again. Those unconscious beliefs are what guide us into relationships that aren’t healthy for us, cause us to run away or not even see people and situations that would be good for us, and keep us making choices over and over that don’t get us closer to our goals and dreams. The first voice we hear, the one that says “this is what feels right” or “the attraction is just so… magnetic” might overpower that softer inner voice, that says “here we go again.” The intuition knows, but so easily can be scooted into taking the backseat. My unconscious conditioning can cause me to make ego-based decisions, fueled by my upbringing and all that has come before in my life – my human experience – and that feels very very true for me – but is not serving my soul. Perhaps it satisfies my ego’s hunger for love, attention, power, money, desire to belong… all things that seem reasonable but coming from a wounded place, will never truly satisfy. For instance, I see this when someone hits a block in healing work and runs the other direction. Their intuition, if its not used to being the loud voice, is over-run by self-preservation instinct, ie “don’t go there!! run!!” or possibly other ingrained road blocks about being unwilling to face difficulty, go into the dark basement of hidden old wounds… and only the truly dedicated to personal growth will venture to go there. Deep down, the ego is often afraid of annihilation, threatened by what it might become if one lets Soul out of the bag. Run!
Likewise, the universe may put exactly what would help us in front of us, and we may not recognize it. The louder voice might be someone better at pulling you into their program – especially if there is a familiar match with feeling helpless or dependent and they seem powerful and commanding – but what other subtle energy projections are going on there? Are you believing they can heal you? Or are they empowering you to heal you?
I am going to continue this list in my next blog post.
Ironically, deep soul work of opening to one’s truth hasn’t really hit the big market yet. This is the cutting edge, this is the behind the scenes, this is the deep work in private sessions, the uncovering of inner gold. We are all incredibly wise. Open up to finding your own wisdom.