I have a confession. My work has been this: be and grow as a mother. Be and grow as a wife. And, be and grow as a spiritual being living within this human experience. (None of these roles are separate, truly) One does not get paid for this work in money or accolades. In fact, many days the work is more difficult than rewarding.
Yet, here I am everyday “selling” this work. I do this by writing about the work, sharing my process as I live and grow within these containers. I do this by offering my services to assist others, be it we talk by skype or phone or in person. I do all of this to encourage others to do the work and assist those that are. And, here is where my confession comes—I feel like I’m a failing fool (and this is going to change).
The other day my 20-year old daughter told me she sees no encouragement to dig in and search the soul, and find who she is. To unravel some of her twisted layers. She doesn’t see the value because she doesn’t see her mother in perpetual bliss. More so, she sees her mother struggling within those layers.
It’s difficult to “sell” this work when the one selling isn’t trying to pretend she is englightened. Is not trying to manupulate people with postivity so they come my way. But, here is what I do know today, and it comes directly from the work I have done- the work that I “sell.” And, is what I experience now…
The inner work opens the heart.
The layers around the heart are thick and complicated. Some layers are razor sharp and cut as we move within them. But, what they are cutting away is not anything we need, although we think we do- and that is why the inner work hurts. This is why in the stages of moving within, it can be more difficult than rewarding.
Our distrust builds a hardened resolve over our innocence. Only the quiet, daily courage to be can let the air soften our hearts again. -Mark Nepo
The inner work is about daily courage and again, I must confess mine has not always been quiet. It’s been loud and reckless, but courage the same. And why? Because I have faced the layers at every turn, and stuck with the process. Through every land mine and crooked crack within my soul, I have stuck with it. Is it any easy “sell?” No. It is becoming more and more obvious to me that it is not. And, I say- so what: keep speaking anyway.
In the past several years, with the new age movement, and positive thinking and the list of gurus and experts, we are sold a mirage on what the spiritual life means. We think it is about manifesting abundance and talking in a sweet-kind tone and wearing OM bracelets to show the world how enlightened we are.
But the spiritual life, at least for me is about opening up, and even exposing deeper parts of ourselves. Sometimes this process can bring quick relief and make us feel enlightened. But, more often than not, if we continue to open up and move deeper we will be thrown in the trenches again.
Our emotions and fantasies become tied up in what we think it means to be spiritual. But, this again is a mirage. The spiritual path that we are all on is very, very real. And it can be- no it will be very, very difficult.
Imagine if we opened a closet door we’ve been stuffing things into year after year after year. Now, imagine opening it to clear it out. It is going to take work. There are layers to get through.There will be treasures to mount and integrate, and treasures to throw away.
We must be shed. It is the only way to what it is we are ultimately seeking. All I can do as one who speaks of this journey is to keep doing my work, and speak from that space. And, what I can say again is the inner work leads us back to our selves. It opens our hearts. It brings us home where we find space and unity.
We may not stay there, but that’s why we keep working.
There is an old saying: before enlightenment—chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment—chop wood, carry water. Not really attractive, but the soul doesn’t care about that. Our egos do and that is what we are here to shed so that we may become more alive. And, this is what I’m selling.
The Soul Reporter