| spiritual mapping: transition |
"When the winds of life bring change, self-care practices become essential. The greater the shift, the more important the need to honor yourself, first."
Tibetan prayer flags in front circle garden at Gentlewood
When I initially created the compass for my business, I used the symbol of a cloud – weather – as the metaphor to represent change (download the worksheet). I knew I needed to include the exterior forces that can alter our path. Life doesn’t unfold in a vacuum. At the time, I simply wasn’t aware that weather could be an internal agent at work within me. Once I discovered the degree to which I felt daily, pervasive anxiety I knew I had to go beyond transitioning my life. I needed transformation from the inside out. Through therapy and reflection, I began to unravel why I adopted this coping mechanism as a way of being. I’m learning to let go and let be.
William Bridges, who wrote the book Transitions in 1980, views transition as “the natural process of disorientation and reorientation that mark the turning points of the path of growth.” He proposes that we each have “ending styles” we may have learned from others or from our own life experiences. If you look back at the broad strokes of your life events there is a tendency to look at life in terms of beginnings, middles, and endings. Bridges suggests instead to look at the time between our endings and our beginnings to see how we handle that time of transition. He calls this fruitful time the neutral zone. When you look back at your life to see how you dealt with “in between” times can be very revealing – whether your change was precipitated by choice or chance.
This is what I call “wilderness work.” When walking in the wilderness, I ruminate over fundamentals until I begin to see some signposts. With my compass in my backpack, I mulled over my work mission [to “bridge the worlds”], my need to practice self-compassion because when I stray from treating myself well, my physical health immediately rebounds with something going out of whack [this realization birthed the secondary Self Awareness Compass], and my wish to lead a community around the amazing reality that is my life with the Ascended Masters. I began to take apart what I actually wanted to offer others and how I wanted to live day-to-day. I wanted my offerings to be more magical, but what about my day-to-day living? I needed to feel all the feels. My original mission was to help people become their own spiritual guides. Isn’t there a creative way to pull this all together? To reach and to teach the wider public? And couldn’t this be more playful and creative? Daydreaming helped me brainstorm and at night my wonder was translated into prayer.
The results are in production and they are spectacular: a breathtaking new website is taking form. And a colorful, cartoony online zine [i.e. “magazine”] is in the story-boarding phase! This zine will be launched via Patreon which will build a community so you can directly learn from the world of the masters-and one another-in an entertaining and enlightening way! Satsung that’s FUN!
Gandhi and I will co-lead this wonderful satsung. I am excited and have strong feelings as I lay down to meditate…
I’m walking on a pebble stone path in the Land of the Lighthouse. I am entering the Gardens: ahead are a pair of magnificent wormwood gates, a large metal rose door handle splits in half to swing open, granting me entry. Ahead, a Shangri-la: an expansive orchard stretches on the left behind King Midas and at right behind Mary Magdalene a parade of perfect rose bushes. The air is fragrant, with sunlight ribbons reaching down, and butterflies flutter overhead.
King Midas walks towards me with the whitest of smiles. A large, handsome black Aladdin of a man, he embraces me.
Today begins the newsletter writing, yes? We would love to help.
You are the gardener of your life.
(I love this metaphor! I originally heard it in a class with the mystic Thomas Hubl.)
What is the first thing you think of when you consider the health of a garden?
(Oh man…does he have the wrong person! That is sooo out of my area of expertise!)
Mary Magdalene, walking towards me:
You first think of season and cycles. What is the season of the garden you are a part of? What cycles are happening above and below the ground? Now it is the fall of humanity.
(Wow…this is perhaps the most ominous thing I have ever heard her say. I understand where this is going. I bow my head down and we three begin to walk down the main center path together.)
It will be autumn soon. The leaves begin to show their true colors. They begin to wither and let go.
That’s right. The tree naturally begins to shift to the preservation of its core processes. That is what is happening in your world right now.
When you think about the health of a garden, you consider what is happening to the plants above the ground and below. Do they need more light, water or cleaner air? Is the dirt rich or is it tired or devoid of nutrients? This is the inquiry you take beyond the natural seasons and cycles of garden life. The communities of the world need to be in concert with one another if they are going to work through the various crises. There is so much fear that leadership is unable to get any traction. This is why we speak to you. It is up to the individual. The individual who is mindful that how they live impacts everyone around them. And the world itself.
What I told you a few days ago holds true for entire cultures and nations:
Avoidance isn’t a strategy; it erodes self-esteem.
Busyness isn’t a coping mechanism; it promotes anxiety.
In most circumstances, people know what needs to be done but they are not willing to work with others and stay on the path. It is a choice. Here is an example: you are making a choice to begin work with the Chopra Institute, yes? You understand that you need to be educated and align yourself with an organization that is doing deep work in the world.
Yes, I ultimately want to develop service trips to India.
And that is wonderful! To do that you need to focus your priorities on different needs to plant new seeds in your garden. Whether it’s planting, weeding, aerating…attending to how you live and what you do is a deeply fundamental question. Here is my question to your people:
Are you connecting to the experience of your life or are you bypassing?
As I come out of deep meditation, my Transitions book falls off the bed onto my lap. When I look at the page it’s opened to I read the highlighted passage:
Love and work: transition checklist
#4. Recognize why you are uncomfortable. Distress is not a sign that something has gone wrong but that something is changing.
Eggcellent. Thanks for the confirmation, gang!
CORE Mindfulness Practice The masters told me it was time to work on my core. After inwardly groaning, they explained CORE was an acronym for a mindful way to proceed through activities in my daily work life. When you approach each task as a “rite,” something with care, you give it the attention it deserves. ^_^ Download the worksheet