Every Spiritual Training Teaches This One Thing
"I have eyes in the back of my head," my mom would often say.
She just seemed to have this uncanny ability to know what I was up to - especially when I was pushing her limits. I couldn't fathom how she'd see me tinkering with something I shouldn't have been, or making dirty something she just cleaned.
"I'll tell you when you're older," she'd reply, assuming that I was too young and too immature to understand what "intuition" was.
In fact, I was deeply intuitive myself and I was ready.
That's why I was struck by the idea of religion in my early teen years. Stories of the paranormal abounded and I was fascinated to know more. Perhaps I invested more in the fantasy than the reverence.
When one of my earliest and best childhood friends called me one day at 19 years old to ask me if I've ever "felt energy," I sat paralyzed on the phone. "No," I said. He offered me this simple practice: "Hold your hands apart a few inches and notice if it gets warm between them. That's energy." I didn't quite get it at that time. But, I was intrigued and had to know more.
No surprise then that I went on to date a massage therapist, a dietician, a midwife and finally find my home with my wife whom is not just an RN, but a gifted healer, Ayurvedic Practitioner and Wellness Educator.
Do you think there was a bit of plan for me?!
At each turn I was exposed to another aspect of our bodies, our energy, our minds, our relationships, and spirituality. I've been like a sponge, soaking in the juice of all the sages I meet.
I remember taking a kundalini yoga class in 1999 right before moving to Portland. The sentiment was, "a man should hold onto to his sexual energy (which is spiritual energy) because giving it away depletes him." I really pondered this idea and started inquiring. "Is this true?" "Who says?" "Is this true for me?" "If this concept expanded throughout my life where would it lead me?" "I should experiment!"
Experiment I did. I signed up every flavor of yoga class. I received every type of body work - from shiatsu to acupuncture to rolfing to magnet therapy. I talked to counselors, social workers, Reiki practitioners, gurus, sages, and meditators. I sat under trees in silence. I did open eye meditations. I did ecstatic mediations. I supported a person doing a Vision Quest. I saw Shamans and medicine women. I learned from the elders how to track animals in the wild. I saw a High Priestess, attended a magic camp and learned who a witch really is. I had neurofeedback, light therapy, injection therapy. I am currently learning about MIcroChakra InnerTunning from an 81 year old Indian master yogi. The list is in perpetual motion.
I listened to Wayne Dyer and Abraham Hicks and Caroline Myss, read the books of masters and initiated myself into my own spiritual training. I took and still take every day to learn something new.
And, after compiling and sifting through so many incredible insights, wisdoms I asked, "what ONE THING do all of these disciplines have in common?" "Where is there overlap and why is that overlap important?"
The answer was actually spoken to me years prior with such real world ease:
"WE SPEND A TON OF MONEY TO LEARN HOW TO GET OUT OF THE WAY."
I've spent countless thousands of dollars attending seminars, trainings and experiential gatherings. I will continue to do so. They are vital to support growth and evolution.
And, they teach a very simple premiss: GET OUT OF THE WAY...and IT ALL STARTS FLOWING.
One of my friends is a skilled animal communicator. She wakes early in the morning at 5am at looks at a picture of the cat or dog or fish that's sent to her and asks, "are you ready to talk to me?" And, they start talking.
Here's the thing - animals are always talking. We are the ones who can't hear them. The reason: WE ARE IN THE WAY.
What does that mean?
It means this: we are singing like Freddy Mercury over top of soft jazz. We are noisey up there in our heads. We're plotting, planning, ruminating about the future, and stuck in the past.
Joni Mitchell, thinking she's falling in love too quickly says: It's got me hoping for the future
And worrying about the past.
Whether you are in love or not, I bet you are still hoping and worrying at the same time.
YOU ARE IN THE WAY.
I once had a dream that a blonde member of my corporate team moved from LA up to Portland. I told this dream to a colleague, whom was shocked to hear this because the dream was almost precise. Indeed a colleague was being transferred, a blonde, from Alaska to Portland. I was starting to get out of the way.
Spiritual trainings tell us that all information is available to us. NLP (neuro linguistic programming) tells us that at any given moment there are 2 billion bits per second speeding their way toward our eyes, ears and skin. Our senses are easily overwhelmed, though, and we're only able to interpret 126 bits per second. That is a mere fraction of the information available to us! We have to filter our inputs by deleting things (we don't see it), distorting things (we see it, but not clearly), or generalizing (we use stereotypes).
We must use this system to in order to function amidst the highway of bustling information.
Now, one of my teachers offers this as a goal: refine the ego. Why? Because the ego is the one that wants to hear it and see it ALL! It wants to drink all the wine, eat all the chocolate and dance all night. If we refine the ego we can get even more enjoyment out of a smaller bites. Truly.
Refining the ego means that we slow down. Not every piece of information is needed from the external world. Slowing down means there is time to sit in reflection.
How often do you sit in reflection? When you do, what do you notice? Is there a new idea that emerges? Where did that idea come from?
I have learned that when I refine my ego, when I set in reflection and when I ask for what I desire to just come to me...it does.
One night I asked that while in a dream state that I be told why I am here on earth. What is my purpose?
I woke up remembering my dream, and it said: "you are the bridge."
I got this completely. I am a bridge for people changing, transforming, growing, evolving, returning to themselves, empowered, connected, ready.
I asked a question and I got out of the way. I got the information.
This is the basis of nearly every single spiritual training I've attended.
That's why it amazes me when I meet people whom are Shamans or Energy Healers or Practitioners of some amazing healing therapy that said they never trained with anyone. They just asked for help and they received the training like a downloaded file into their unconscious mind. I believe that is readily available for everyone.
If we spend time in reflection, if we ask for what we want, if we create space for the answer to be revealed to us and we listen with all of our senses, we will start to realize that what we need is right in front of us.