Getting On The Path
Finding the connection to our Soul doesn’t begin and end with one defining moment, like the time my Soul set me on fire in 2011. That moment of realization, of ego-destruction and soul calling, was an initiation. A rite of passage.
Lightning, fire, ashes, dust. Rain. Torrents of water. Washing me away. Cleansing my Soul.
That moment … was only the beginning. But I didn’t know it at the time. I knew I was going through a transition, but I didn’t know the extent of it. How could I?
RITES OF PASSAGE
When we’re in the middle of an intense, destructive and chaotic transition we don’t naturally face it like we imagine a hero faces it: head up, sword in hand, self-assured and courageous, hair and cape flying as she stares off in the distance from a mountaintop.
No … rites of passage and initiations of the Soul are not part of our commonly talked about life experience. Unless we have a very strong spiritual practice or community around us, or some context about the larger patterns of life, we aren’t prepared – nor are those around us – to see us through a Soul initiation.
We are missing the language. We are missing the framework. We don’t have rituals, much less the right guides. So, when we are in a soul initiation or rite of passage, we are often bewildered and very afraid. Life as we know it seems to be crumbling around us, and mostly, within us. We don’t know who to turn to or what questions to ask. We instinctively think ‘something is wrong with me’, and the ego kicks us with blame, shame and guilt.
It doesn’t have to be this way. In fact, it never has to be this way.
Life is a continuous flow of momentum, transitions, and phoenix-like rebirths. Nothing stays the same. And if we don't change, we don't evolve. My journey, although unique in the details and the way it has been evolving, is a common human journey.
I’ve learned so much. I’ve seen the truth, and dismantled many lies. I’ve been to the depths of despair, to the brink of my sanity, and to the edge of my ego. Then, I jumped off that cliff, and landed into the limitless ocean of my soul; deep into the territory of my spiritual nature.
Sink, or swim. Stop struggling. Stop resisting.
We can breathe underwater, when we let go of our fear of the vast unknown. The unknown that our Soul knows as home, as truth, as liberation. The stories we tell ourselves about who we are, who we should be, who others expect us to be are simply fairy tales. The truth is far grander than any of the ego’s versions of greatness.
The ego is small, limited, afraid. The Soul is boundless, vibrant and whole. We are caught between both, yet we are waking up to the knowledge that we can choose how we wish to feel, what we want to experience, and how we deeply desire to live this life.
We’re all seeking to ease our suffering, feel safe, be joyful and prosperous, find inner meaning, and express our creativity and our highest potential in the way only we can. We’re on parallel journeys with the same end-goal: self-realization.
The journey, in the details, is unique to each of us. It’s as unique as our fingerprint or energy signature. We all have unique gifts, talents and expressions of Soul.
Yet, we are all connected. Mystically, and biologically, we are each a part of a cosmic and tangible web of life. We are all on a constant evolutionary path.
The path winds and weaves through a thick, towering forest with no end in sight. You’re in deep. You might be feeling like you’re not on the path at all. You’re somewhere in the underbrush, scraped up, crawling around and unable to find your bearings in this forest, let alone find the path.
The path is so far away, and so long ago, that you wonder if it was only a dream. A figment of your imagination. A mirage.
THE FOREST FLOOR
From the perspective of being on the forest floor – the underbrush - the bottom, with no compass, no map and no guide, the path seems unreachable. It seems impossible. In fact, screw the path! You want to get out of the forest altogether.
I know. I spent a lot of time there, in the underbrush, trying to hack my way out. Bewildered, shocked, and often angry about ‘why’ anything and everything happened to me. Frustrated at ‘why’ I had to be or act a certain way to meet expectations, get ahead, and have a good life.
I stomped around, following trails that led nowhere, still in the forest and as lost as ever. All I wanted to do was to get out and I wanted to find someone to blame for landing me there.
I had no idea there was a path. I had no guidance. I had given up my guidance system – my intuition, long ago. The only thing I ‘had’ was a belief in my head that the whole journey of my life was a battle of me proving to the world that I didn’t need anyone’s help; that I could do it all alone.
And by alone – I mean completely alone.
I didn’t have faith.
I didn’t believe in a higher power, no matter what anyone named it. Religion and spirituality made my stomach clench. The irony is that my lack of faith also crossed over into a subversive lack of faith in myself.
I thought that I had to always find the solution, have the answers, know everything and be the expert. I thought that I could be in control if I used my mind, reason, logic, and analysis.
I have a very powerful ego and a left-brain dominant mind. Both were full of limiting beliefs and biases, constrictive conditioning and judgments, and false paradigms built on the need for external validation and constructing an acceptable identity.
This is the common illusion that binds us all. It’s the illusion that keeps us from finding the path. That causes us to forget who we are and why we came. That fills us with a destructive need to blame rather than to take responsibility for our own thoughts, choices and actions.
The illusion disempowers us into a perpetual victim state where we negotiate our integrity for empty promises of validation and worth. Finding the truth by locking into the true source of power within empowers us into self-mastery.
Through a lot of trial and error, I discovered and developed my own practices of self-discovery (inquiry, reflection, contemplation and right action) have connected me with my Soul and allowed me to find my way onto a path. A path of truth that leads me through the forest.
That forest is life.
THE SOUL’S PATH
I’m not trying to get out of the forest. We aren’t meant to get out of the forest. We’re meant to get on the path that leads us to self-empowerment and self-mastery. The path that leads us home to our Soul. The path that is our Soul.
And that’s a liberating position. Feel that.
Feel what it feels like to not try to escape. What it feels like to hold your ground in your life. What does that feel like to you? Like strength. Like fortitude. Like freedom. Like grounded hope. Like manifestation at your fingertips.
By staying on the path and staying committed to that path through my various practices and finding my way back when I stumble, my life is an adventure, even when I still go through difficult, painful, ego-releasing situations, initiations and rites of passage.
Life is different. Life is better.
It’s from this perspective that I am here to offer myself as a guide on your journey home to your soul. Know that I’m here with you in the forest, still learning what it means to stay on my path, and always returning to the directive to staying true to my own Soul.
This is the challenge.
Everything will get disrupted. There will be chaos. There will be complete disorder. There will be times when you feel like you have no solid footing. There will be times when you feel like you’re falling endlessly through mid-air.
There will be moments that feel like death. But there is always, always the promise of rebirth. That is a cosmic truth and a cosmic promise. Nothing is forever and the only guarantee that we have is that the sun does rise the next day. And so too do we.
And if you don’t think you’re up for it, let me tell you another universal truth: we’re never given a challenge we cannot transmute into strength. We chose to show up in this lifetime. Our souls chose us. Our souls chose to live, and to learn.
We’re here for a reason much bigger in scope and scale than the status quo game of surface appearances we’re living. We’ve been conditioned to hide and to ignore our deepest truth.
The world needs our truth, now.
The time for hiding is over. It’s time to step off the path of ordinary existence that dulls our magic with comfort, convenience and false safety. It’s time to step onto the path of electric inspiration, intimate devotion, and heart-opening passion.
It’s time to shine.
We’re not supposed to leave the forest or find a way out. We’re supposed to discover our true selves and find our way in. Into our power. Into our bodies. Into our lives. Into our divinity.
We’re supposed to live fully, radiantly, and joyfully. We’re supposed to learn these lessons, whatever they are. We’re supposed to be challenged, startled, thwarted, and woken up. We’re meant to live as embodied sparks of divinity.
We’re meant to live a Soul-full life.
The path we are stepping up, and onto is our Soul’s path.