Tag Archives: transcendence

Getting Out of Your Way

getting out of the way

Ralph Waldo Emerson is famously quoted as saying “Get your bloated nothingness out of the way of the divine circuits.” While this may seem a little harsh, it has always resonated with me because it illustrates so well how we can sometimes get in the way of all the good that is trying to happen through us and for us.

A story is told that when Columbus sailed his ships to America, the indigenous people who inhabited the land couldn’t see the ships because the concept of ships like Columbus’ was not like anything they had seen before. I have always been a little skeptical of this idea and I’m still not sure that I believe it happened that way. However, I recently discovered my own example of where my present concepts did not allow me to see what was right in from of me.

For several years I had worked very closely with two individuals. Our roles were highly intertwined and we were colleagues in every sense of the word. We also became friends and socialized together. When I was nearing my last day at the company, my two colleagues offered to take me to dinner as a farewell. I agreed and we met at a place we had often frequented. While we were having dinner, one of them told me that she was in love. Excited to hear this, I asked if it was anyone I knew.

My colleague replied “yes” and I ventured a guess that was far off the mark. I couldn’t think of who else it could be so I asked her to tell me who it was. She replied, “He is sitting right next to you.” While I understood what those words meant, I still did not understand what she was conveying. After she repeated it a few times and I still looked puzzled, she finally said it was our colleague sitting at the table who she was in love with, and said his name. While I was a bit in shock, I finally got it – she was in love with our mutual colleague, and he was in love with her.

My entrenched idea of the three of us as colleagues did not allow me to see what was right in front of me. It was too far out of the realm of how I had thought about the three of us for six years. We all laughed at this and have shared this story with many other friends. However, it is the story’s relevance to how our minds sometimes work that causes me to tell it here.

The story illustrates how our present concepts can limit our ability to see new possibilities. While the particular story shared here may seem a bit unusual, the phenomenon is not so unusual.

I invite you to consider today where your present concepts or way of seeing life might be hindering your ability to see possibilities that are right in front of you. This could be an exciting exercise. Perhaps that seemingly intractable problem or issue in your life has an obvious solution, just waiting for your recognition. First, we might need to ask, what do I believe about the situation? Then we might question our own beliefs. How true are they, and to what extent have we given them credence because we’ve held the beliefs for so long?

Remember one of my favorite bumper stickers: “Don’t believe everything you think!”

Enjoy the journey.

How to Be a Spiritual Activist

A Heart with Copy Space

The Merriam Webster Online Dictionary defines activism this way: a doctrine or practice that emphasizes direct vigorous action especially in support of or opposition to one side of a controversial issue. I’ll focus on “a practice that emphasizes direct vigorous action.” Since oneness is a core precept of spirituality, the second part of the definition, supporting or opposing one side of an issue, does not seem to fit.

But can we be activists without taking sides when so much of the world begs us to take a stance, either for or against, on so many issues? Since all of life is one, what we call sides are simply different aspects of the one. All are contained in the one.

What if we simply be for love? Love is our essence, our divine nature. Love has no real opposite. We can be for love without being against anyone. Hate is not the opposite of love; it is simply the masking of love. Fear is not the opposite of love; it is turning away from love. Love is the core essence of who we are and what life is, the divine nature of all things.

I can remember, in one of my past relationships, coming to the realization that all conflict could be resolved if we could get reconnected at the heart. Once I had that realization, I never saw it fail. Time and again in the relationship, when we seemed to be at a great impasse, getting connected at the heart transcended the conflict and allowed for not only resolution, but also deeper understanding of one another.

To be for love is to bring more love into all situations. Everything is made better with love. Everything is lifted up with love. When we have love in our hearts we see more clearly. Love points the way, allowing us to find common ground or a higher possibility. It points us to inclusion, fairness, and justice. It allows us to see beyond our biases, opinions, and judgments.

It is very destructive to believe our opinions are right. When we feel we are right, and we are guided by that notion, we are blinded to other points of view and we limit higher possibilities. Rather than being right, how about if we are true, true to love? Love doesn’t cast anyone out. Love doesn’t put us in opposition to anyone else. Love connects us.

To me, being a spiritual activist is about vigorously acting from love, sharing love, emanating love, opening to love, and allowing the infinite reservoir of love at our core to flow out into expression.

An indicator of spiritual maturity is the ability to love even when it is not seemingly deserved. As the master teacher Jesus is quoted as saying, “Love your enemies and bless them that curse you.” We do this because of our own expanded conscious awareness of who we are as beings of love and light. We know the transforming power of love, so we’re not waiting to return love from where we receive it. We are proactively allowing love to flow from us in every direction.

5 Questions to Know If You Are Being a Spiritual Activist

  1. Do I allow the opinions of others to hold as much weight as my own, even when their opinions are contrary to mine?
  2. Do I easily love people regardless of whether they meet my expectations?
  3. Do I love and forgive people even when they do something hurtful to me?
  4. Do I open my heart and provide a space of love in difficult situations?
  5. Do I love and embrace those who seem very different from me?

If you answered yes or mostly yes to these questions, you are being quite the spiritual activist according to the definition put forth here. If not, perhaps there is an opening to expand your role as a conduit for love. In any case, our essence and nature is love. The question is, how true will we be to our nature?

Enjoy the journey.