Monday, October 10, 2011

Soul Teachers on Our Journey

Throughout our lives, we meet people who are soul teachers. Other souls traveling in the human experience cross our paths in a variety of ways: directly and indirectly; briefly and longer periods of time; violently and peacefully; eventfully and uneventfully; lovingly and hatefully, etc. Each of these encounters are classrooms in which we consciously learn something about ourselves through soul to soul contact, that is, if we are willing to learn from the experiences. Some believe we come into the human experience to “remember” and reconnect to the knowing of our soul essence: God within us, as us. We experience Life to more closely align with the divinity within. Sometimes our life experiences are hurtful and painful, and other times, exciting and enjoyable. They may be quiet, uneventful, but impressionable. The level of willingness to opening our awareness to a deeper understanding determines the extent of wisdom we will glean from the experience.

You and I both have experienced interactions with people that left us feeling less than, inadequate, or insignificant; in which we were left feeling empty, violated, or worthless. And yet, other experiences have left us wanting more for ourselves, joyous and inspired. Each and every person with whom we connect is a soul mate. We may not always understand from the human perspective why people do what they do, why people are taken from us with and without warning, or why people leave us feeling hurt, betrayed, or unwanted. These encounters often leave the deepest impression which are oversized invitations for our healing of something within. The significant experiences of life are etched into our memories. Personally, my spiritual wisdom files titled “Lessons Learned” and “Healing Projects” are busting at the seams; however, lately, I am moved to pay closer attention to the quieter, non-dramatic lessons my soul mates in Life are teaching me.

Recently, I shared a confidence about myself with a friend that I trust; despite that trust, I felt immense apprehension around doing so. I feared rejection, concerned my friend would be repulsed by my past experience. I prepared to be shunned, and steeled myself for it. Our Human Ego can create such drama in our minds first, only to generate unnecessary inner turmoil which feeds the externalization of the imagined drama made manifest. Upon confiding in my friend with bated breath, the reaction I got was surprisingly uneventful. There was silence, an acknowledgment of the information, and a reassurance it was okay. After a brief exchange around it, we were on to another topic for discussion. And interestingly, I felt awkward; this unconditional non-judgmental acceptance was not what I was expecting, so much so I silently questioned perhaps my friend didn't hear me, or understood what I said! Yet time kept on moving, as if the subject had never come up. The past was the past, and we were in the present moving forward.

I realized later this beautiful soul was teaching me to unconditionally accept myself. My precursory upset and fear wasn't about my friend's reaction, but rather how I felt about myself. I was rejecting myself, feeling repulsed by my past, and projecting that onto my friend. In that loving soul to soul teaching moment, I realized how unconditionally accepting I strive to be of others, yet had left one important person off that list – me!

Who are your soul teachers in this life? They may appear in a variety of ways, but those with whom we are closest, with whom we have the greatest challenges and greatest joys are our biggest teachers. But today, I invite you to examine the everyday smaller events in your life: the exchange with the checkout lady or the UPS man, or a co-worker you deal with daily. What might they teach you as they cross your path in Life's journey? Our Soul Teachers may serve as mirrors to reflect back an aspect of who we are, or what we desire to be or not be. Or in a brief yet meaningful exchange, they may teach you something invaluable about yourself. Smile when you meet these individuals, and silently acknowledge their soul. Thank them for touching base with you in this dimensional realm.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Mountains and Valleys

Life is filled with ups and downs. I remember when younger, before traveling on this spiritual enlightenment journey, telling people, “Life is full of ups and downs; you can't have the peaks without the valleys.” I would remember this mantra when facing life challenges in my young adult life, but funny I had not thought of it in the last few years. In doing so now, I must chuckle at the fact I left Colorado, home of the Rocky Mountains, to return to Browns Valley, Kentucky. Oh, the irony! Since then, my life has felt as if its been in a valley. I've enjoyed abundance of hilltop views throughout the experience, but only in the last few months am I feeling the pull of the mountainside – and heading in that direction.

When you've been in a valley for any length of time, the depths of despair, struggle and aimlessness gives reason to pause before taking on a mountain climb. There's usually hopelessness, doubt and an insecurity in making the trek higher. A mountain climber can not make his climb without gear; without it, little to no progress would be made up the jagged and rocky path. Hope and Faith are the “equipment” for this journey. Additionally, the climber focuses on the path ahead, not on the drop of the valley depths below from which he's climbed. Climbing mountains is steep work, and requires we reach far beyond what we believe we are capable of reaching. There's always a risk of falling, and the mountain climber heeds confident awareness in his climb, ever respectful of the distance from where he started to where he is. In traveling up the ascending walls from out of the valley, we may tend to focus on what we've leave behind and have known, the depths of despair and our history within it. A mountain climber focuses on what's in front of him, and travels in confidence of the mountain's new heights and all its majesty await to receive him with open arms.

In my Life's latest Valley, I found commiseration with others who enjoy the comfort in the depth of the drama rendering helplessness, hopelessness, misery and despair. Using every ounce of strength I had left in me, I decided to make my climb out of it. It's a choice; it ain't easy; and the effort requires greater drive and determination as you begin the trek. The Dogs of Despair nip at your heels, attempting to pull you back down into the muck and mire of the Valley's dark depth. The initial effort is the hardest, but with perseverance, you move out of its reach to continue the journey upward.

Out of the shadows of the valley, I feel sunshine on my face once again. I can see a new horizon high above me. This climb requires due diligence, consciousness, effort, and the climbing equipment of Hope, Faith, Determination, Patience and Courage. Many times I catch myself wondering when I'll fall (a.k.a. when is the other shoe going to drop?). In this momentary thought process, my Hope line gets tangled, opening me up to doubt, thus risking my tumble down into the Valley. With due diligence and a consciousness to my effort each step of the way, I secure my Faith which allows me to clear my Hope for a stronger grip as I pull myself upward. I continue on, slowly, intentionally, and with courageous perseverance. I focus on the mountain peak ahead, less on the Valley and all it was. When I briefly look back to assess my progress, I bless the Valley in gratitude for the wisdom and strength mined from within myself to make this mountain climb.

Stopping and resting along the climb is required as it allows me to reassess my travel conditions, reassess my navigational plan, and to recalibrate my intention that carry me towards my vision. I must routinely check and maintain my climbing equipment: Faith and Hope, Determination, Patience, and Courage. These tools are key to the success of this climb. I must also nurture myself along the way, and celebrate the progress I've made.

I'm climbing a new mountain once again. There are times it's exhausting, and the pull of the Valley beckons. In those moments, it would appear easier to give up and give in, a choice many often choose. With a quick nod of acknowledgment, I move forward, keeping my eyes on the peak high above. With that focus, I feel the strong magnetic pull of that which I desire. Often the journey feels slow, but with each step, progress is made. With each day, steps are taken. And in time, the sun's warmth on my face grows stronger and I relish in its glow. It nourishes my Hope, infuses my Faith. I strengthen my hold of Determination and find more Courage as distance grows between the Valley and me. I see the Mountain Peak; it is there I shall stand in the fullest glory of my Life.