For all of us "go-getters" who are also committed to walking the spiritual path, I find there is a place we can land too often, somewhere in between "constant action" and "sitting in the silence", listening (begging?!) for some kind of deeper wisdom concerning what direction to head! Whether it's with our businesses that we're trying to grow, our relationships we are regularly assessing for health, or any other area of our lives that we are attempting to navigate more skillfully, we're told that the more we can "get out of the way" and allow guidance to come through, the more in alignment our choices will be with who we truly are and our purposeful work.
If you knew me, you probably would not be too surprised at what I am going to share about my 8 month revolution on the couch:
I have a tendency to "overcorrect," or as my personal Coach, known as "The Wise Woman" used to call it years ago, "swinging the pendulum too far." When I decide something is not working, my mind goes to what kind of extreme solution could bring about the quickest and most profound change. I'm sure it wasn't helpful to have Thomas Leonard, the key "mover and shaker" in my coach training and also my friend, teach the same kind of thinking when he would challenge clients to go to "extremes" to immediately stop tolerating things that were draining their energy!
Ten years ago, I was trying to shift the direction of my Coaching practice and at the same time, had my feet firmly planted in spiritual awakening. My commitment to living the principles of unconditional love, compassion, acceptance of life on life's terms, forgiveness and surrendering to the greater wisdom and intuitive guidance that was always there for me, was at it's height. And yet, I remained confused, regularly, about what direction to head, even after my daily meditations. After months had gone by, a spiritual teaching offered one Sunday focused on the many ways that we block what Spirit is trying to tell us by staying stuck in fear, believing that we need to figure everything out ourselves. We were encouraged to let go, on a deeper level, and trust that the "still small voice" - call it Spirit, God, or intuition - would be there with guidance if we would only STOP trying to "help" it.
You know what I did.
My friends who know about this little "experiment" and I refer to it now, as my "Sitting on my ass on the couch period."
For 8 months - YES! 8 months! - I sat. I made a commitment to myself and my higher power, that I would not take ANY action in my business that was not a direct result of clear communication from the Universe. I repeated things during my daily spiritual practice, like "Thy will, not my will" and "I am open to receiving all of the wisdom and guidance that is coming to me now, as I move more fully into my purposeful work." I sat regularly with my pen hovering over the page, closing my eyes and saying "Ok, Spirit - let er rip!" Then I'd wait in anticipation.
Well, Ok. That's not true. What I received, more directly and with more clarity than I remember ever receiving before, was an inner peace that was almost undescribable. I shifted from feeling fearful and uncertain about how my life was going to unfold to having an absolute "knowing" that I was helped by Life and Love and Truth. Forgiveness around a past relationship came suddenly and with an ease that astounded me. So many seradipitous moments came my way that I stopped counting!
Just those little things ♥
For 8 months, I listened deeply and lived the other areas of my life fully. I sat on that damn couch and listened and opened and asked and affirmed and stated my willingness over and over. And still, I stayed frustrated that I was not getting specific direction about what next steps to take in my business. One day, the inner longing and intense desire to offer my talents and natural gifts to the world began creating an inner earthquake and I stood up, threw my journal on the ground, scared my Shiba Inu to death and shouted "I'm pissed! Why am I not getting answers! I'm not going to sit here anymore and if I have to take this into my own hands, I will! That's not what we're told! I want to be of service, I long to work with people to create lives of integrity and relationships that flourish, so damn it, tell me one step to take right now or this is over!"
And I heard, immediately, "Go drive around the lake."
Seriously? That's the next step in my business?
I knew I'd had it with this "couch sit" and the party was over. Just so I could feel like I'd played the whole thing out, I threw on my clothes (oh, yeah, much of that revolution was done in pj's) grabbed my purse and muttering under my breath things that you don't normally say to the Universe, I began the loop in my town around the lake there, a drive rarely taken, that ends up at the other side of the village with cute shops, offices and our local Chamber of Commerce. As I made the last leg through town, I saw a darling brick office building that I'd never noticed before with a For Rent sign out front. All I can say, is that every cell of my being came alive and my mind was instantly flooded with ideas, thoughts and inspiration for how my ideal Coaching practice could look. They were rushing in so fast I had to drive home to get them all down in my journal. Now where did I throw that?
The moral to the "Sitting on my ass for 8 months listening for the voice for Spirit" story? I've thought alot about this over the years and believe it's something like this:
Creating inner quiet and opening to our deepest, inner wisdom and knowing is imperative. It requires doing it enough that our crazy, monkey minds have a chance to finally calm down. But the Universe is also waiting for our desires - what we truly long to feel, experience, engage in - to be announced! To be claimed! To be brought forth with intention and fire! When I got tired of the stagnant feeling in my home, I stood up and spoke, loudly and with passion, what I wanted. It may have been all I knew at the time, but it created movement and support.
How can you clarify and offer to Spirit what you do know, right now, about your deep, powerful desires? And will you then, and only then, take a seat on the couch to listen?
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