This is an interesting pathway and it found me on a day where I received some very deep and sincere messages of thanks and praise from clients. I’d read this pathway in the morning, and simply it’s reading was enough to echo within me when I received the messages. I was reminded of the Tao Te Ching where Lao Tzu says, “Once the work is done, it is forgotten.” And the significance of remaining humble in the face of praise.
This pathway talks of the role of the spiritual guide, and also the idea of being unassuming with the use of our power. It first explains through a story that spiritual guides sort of come in, use their power to help a situation and then leave as quickly as they entered the picture not stopping for thanks. I loved this analogy because it resonated very deeply for me. I love this way of working because it allows me not to get distracted by what people think – whether it’s good or it’s bad makes no difference. You go in, do the work, get out and move on the next person. Best way really to stop your ego getting in the way of the work.
The pathway then talks about the Author’s experience of someone who was a great example of this unassuming power. The person in question, “expresses an example of divine power in action, without spotlight or publicity.” This was a very learned and spiritual man that he talks about, and by speaking to him you would never know it. He came across as just a regular guy. I love this because that’s how personal spirituality is and maintaining it this way for me is inspiring.
When you do “Spiritual” work I think there is almost a stereotype of what a “spiritual” person should be like. If you know me, you know I don’t go in for all that claptrap because I think firstly that you should be yourself (warts and all) and secondly, it’s such a personal thing! I think it’s very easy to make assumptions about what a person should eat, pray, live like in this field of work, but at the end of the day, we are all human. And the more human you are, the more it matters in this work. It’s one of the reasons I veer away from spiritual communities as such because I believe in being peers and not in a hierarchy.
I started thinking about the role of the Teacher or Guide in all of this. After all, that’s sort of how I see myself although I’m not entirely comfortable with the labels and the titles. I’ve come across many teachers and guides. Some good, some bad – My view is that it is all experience where at the time I did judge it this way. I wrote a piece a while back on the importance of taking what resonates with you rather than allowing yourself to be led on a merry dance by a guru. I tread cautiously in this field and feel like I’m exposing vulnerability in saying this to you, but to acknowledge you have influence is humbling and to be honest, overwhelming. I remember when I first started writing this blog and I had no idea who was reading it. I did it purely for myself and even now when I write, it is purely for myself but I’m conscious that you take in what I say which is why it comes with the health warning! You’re not going to agree with everything and that’s cool. We may outgrow each other and that’s cool.
HOWEVER! You know when someone points a camera at you and says, “just act natural”…? Well, I liken my experience to this. I am aware now that people are reading and that really pushes me to remain in authenticity and I think that’s a good thing. I could quite easily spout shit about how perfect I am and how my life is so wonderful, but it isn’t about that. As well as being a teacher, I am also a student of life. Sure I have life credibility and wisdom, but I still have so much to learn and I am still finding my voice.
I think when you first get in to this kind of work, you feel as if you are sacrificing a great deal in order to “save humanity”. I certainly used to feel this way, but this is all ego based and sort of playing the martyr and wanting recognition for the work. When you’ve been doing this work for a while, you begin to understand that it really isn’t about the appreiciation or the praise. It isn’t about being validated in this way. Neither is it about the criticism or fear of being different. Those are all things that are external to you and take away from the real reason why you do what you do.
The reason why I do this work is because it is an expression of the beautiful gifts our Creator has bestowed upon me. I feel that the situations I’ve experienced were placed in my path and the choices I made led naturally to this work. The beautiful by product of expression is the ability to help people simply by that gift flowing through me. It all sounds so perfect and wonderful, right?
Of course I can say that now! At the end of the day, we are all human and human beings have a need to be needed because it gives us a sense of belonging.
If you’ve come across this by Rumi, then you’ll understand perfectly.
“Knock, And He’ll open the door
Vanish, And He’ll make you shine like the sun
Fall, And He’ll raise you to the heavens
Become nothing, And He’ll turn you into everything.”
Essentially, for me this pathway is about surrendering your ego. I think this can be challenging sometimes because the human in us really wants to take credit for the feats that we’ve accomplished. That’s ok and we need to be aware when this is happening. When all is said and done, we are an expression of the Divine energy. It moves through us and it is surely through it’s grace that we are able to influence positive change in others. It is this energy that is expressing through us and our work. It’s beautiful but being the flawed humans we are, we have a tendency to get in our own way when it comes simply allowing it to flow. There’s ego’s to battle, and fear to overcome, and all sorts of healing interspersed between the moments of pure magic. It would be boring if it wasn’t this way!
This growth comes in the form of our nature, our character, our actions, our words, our behaviour. The way we carry ourselves is all important, and humility is sacred. It isn’t about playing small, because you have the greatest force moving through you. It’s recognising it’s the force and your ego has an influence on how you use the power you’ve been given. I learnt this early on in my career and with power comes responsibility. And we can only be responsible for ourselves.
They say empty cages rattle the loudest. I remember in the early days of running my business, I was at a mind, body, spirit fair. I’d just qualified as a Reiki practitioner and was there talking to people about Reiki. I love meeting and chatting to new people so I was going round talking to the other stall holders, as you do.
I met this woman on a stand who was a healer and Reiki Master. Having recently qualified and being as enthusiastic about energy healing as I am, I could feel my hands tingling. So I said to her, “My hands are starting to tingle.” Her response was one that made me realise the importance of humility early on in my career.
She said, “Yes. It’s because I’m extremely powerful.”
Erm…right. That floored me and I didn’t really know what to do with it. All I knew was that it made me feel uncomfortable and awkward, and didn’t leave me better than it found me. I’m sure she was powerful, but I remembered this incident when reading through this pathway. The Power isn’t something that belongs to us, and so is never taken for granted. It’s a blessing that it flows through us. It isn’t something that needs to be announced to others. It isn’t something to be proven or imposed upon others. It resides in all of us. It makes me uncomfortable to a degree when attention is drawn to it. Balancing this acknowledgement of what you’re capable of with and surrendering your ego is where it’s at for me. In Sufism it is called Nafs, and this is the first battle.
“When we find ourselves in situations involving healing or another outward, obvious use of power, others can project the archetype of hero or heroine on to us. If we accept this, it is a big step towards forgetfulness.”
It isn’t that we are not accepting of praise. It is more the acknowledgement that we would not have this were it not for the grace of God. Regardless of whether it is praise or criticism we receive, it should not affect us. On a personal level, I find it really challenging when people are singing my praises because from a young age I was always taught that all praise is to the Divine. That, and I struggled with self-worth for a long time and so of course that’s a comfortable idea to me!
As we work on self-worth and acknowledgement of who we are and the gifts we bring with us to this world, we learn to accept praise so that we know our value and our contribution. We surrender our ego and remain in gratitude that this power has been bestowed upon us. We humble ourselves in that we recognise that we will always be learning how to use it. We work on healing ourselves so that we can be the purest channel for that beautiful energy and we focus on our intention simply being the expression of our true selves for the highest benefit of all we encounter, including ourselves.
When I teach, I make it really clear that we as healers are not doing anything at all. We are simply observing the power at work through intention. The intention is always for the highest benefit of the person we are working with. It has nothing to do with us. We place our trust in the energy, in Source and know that the power of this is greater than anything we can do as human beings or even spiritual beings.
I love this pathway as it serves as a reminder that “We are as the flute and the Music in us comes from Thee.” Rumi, again!