I love Ken Wilber’s first book – Spectrum of Consciousness. I would benefit from going back and reading it again. What is it about?
He unites western psychological theory with transpersonal psychologies and philosophies from the Asian world of Yoga, Buddhism and Taoism in one exquisite spectrum.
Why am I mentioning this? Because to begin deeper meditation and breathwork you need confidence. You need to believe in yourself, to a good enough degree to be able to start diving deeper than the ‘self’ you thought you were. Confidence is necessary.
To begin deeper meditation and breathwork you need confidence.
So first we need confidence in our capacities and abilities to be in the world, to act in the world, to love and be loved, to make and shake, to create something of beauty in this world. If you are a barista, that’s a fine cup of coffee, if you are a single mother, it is to be with your child in a good way and help that being grow well, best you can.
By the way I believe in the African proverb that it takes a village to raise a child. The fragmentation and separation in our culture and the dumping of responsibility on the individual, when like it or not, we are all in it together, makes it very complex for any single mum.
The taking of responsibility for our own inner world of body, emotion and cognition and then our relationships, is a choice we can make from a place of clarity, confidence, self-worth and the transpersonal recognition of our deeper and original nature as pure awareness.
The dumping of responsibility is when people in a position of power over others, or who have access to resources seek to invalidate their own responsibility for the collective, grasp tighter to the resources they claim as their own, and blame others for the struggles and difficulties those individuals face. Our world is rife with this kind of dumping, it is like a rather selfish blame.
So confidence comes from a place of knowing our worth, our value, our sacredness as life, as a being.
Yogic and Buddhist teachings (they are deeply connected) claim we are originally good, that our innate and essential nature is one of radiant beauty.
The desert religions insist we are originally sinful. The word sin originally meant missing the mark, not hitting the target. In our innate and original nature, there is no target to hit.
The world of consumption requires us to feel inadequate and unworthy, too fat, too lean, too short, too tall, your nose is too big, whatever. This is so we can be sold stuff, something, anything – we need to consume something that will make it all alright, that will fill the gaping hole of un-love. This strategy never works.
We need to go deeper, to go inside with help and support and uncover the essential goodness, the essential sacredness of life that we and all beings are.
The creative, empowered, scintillating behaviours we evidence and act in the world come from this goodness.
The shadowy, malicious behaviours we act into the world come from the places where we were neglected, ignored, unloved, abused. They arise from fear, from lack, from loss and from unresolved hurt. We know this fairly conclusively from western psychology.
Those old stories of original sin no longer hold any real neurological water. They are unhelpful stories that hurt people.
We heal the hurt, we feel the fear and find courage, we get the support we need to access the deeper resources underneath the loss, the lack, the un-love. We learn to love and parent ourselves and grow ourselves in love and beauty. We empower ourselves and find our innate worth. This is the beginning.
We then act and grow things in the world and have the ego-strength to take the blows of failure. To bounce rather than crumble. To act from resilience rather than deep distress.
Slowly we build confidence that is from the inside out – it’s not an aggressive shell of armour plate that can’t let anyone or anything in, in case they see our woundedness – it is a confidence that our woundedness is okay, that our vulnerability is okay, that our humanity is okay, and essentially good. We can listen and share, we can love and be loved.
Worth and confidence are the results of personal change. Personal change happens because we hurt more from being small, being closed and shut off, that we do from growing. Growing into the bigger version of ourselves becomes the only sane option. We do this with help, therapists, teachers, friends, appropriate challenges and appropriate support.
Personal change is actually a community activity. Maybe it is time we saw it like this – we grow in love and beauty together.
What has discipline and willpower got to do with this?
Discipline comes from the Latin meaning – to follow. It does not mean being cajoled, bullied, persuaded, tricked, forced or coerced into something, by ourselves or others. It means to follow.
In Embody Evolution what do we follow? The call inside of us that tells us in that clear, quiet voice that what we are doing makes a difference. We feel subtly different, better, clearer, more on point, more in flow. Our relationships are that bit sweeter.
Not only that, since it’s not just about us, (even though we live in the age of iconic narcissism, greed and selfishness writ large in public life), we are in it together, the lives of those around us are better. Life feels better. Whatever it is that gives us that, we follow it.
The methods of practice take us deeper and deeper into flow, and we feel it. We feel powerful, we feel amazing, we feel loving and loved.
Discipline that follows this call, starts the ball rolling. Willpower comes into play to drive the process forwards.
Interestingly, willpower in Vedic ‘think’ is an aspect of the feminine divine flow, as mind and matter – it is called Iccha Shakti. We access and use this power because we can. We can take the calling, the following of the heart and accelerate it with will power, take it to the next level of powerful dedication, craft habits and routines and transform our lives.
This leads not just to personal change but transpersonal change.
We are in unconscious evolution or Conscious Evolution as a species. Conscious evolution is a step forwards, not a regression, a devolution. The disciplined mind and heart is a step into conscious evolution, we become the direction that our species, slowly, inexorably moves into.
Dinosaurs are extinct.
The less than conscious elements of human behaviour, including childhood adversity, neglect, abuse, un-love, the enactment of shadow and narcissistic greed, though prevalent today, will fade as we evolve. We will simply stop doing these nasty behaviours as a species. Eventually. We will.
The leading edges of consciousness include the practices of clearing up shadow, resolving ego states into transparency, and creating lives of optimal flow. It includes systemic realisation, understanding that plants and us, and all of life are an inseparable, interconnected, interdependent web and living from this place. It includes rising into transpersonal depth and living from this place.
This is where the practices of Embody Evolution take us. From here life is known as the scintillating miracle it is. We find gratitude as the root of every breath and every moment of this precious life.
The chaos of impermanence, the fact that everything is volatile, uncertain, unforeseeable and unknown becomes a source of excitement instead of fear and anxiety. We land in the grace of the unknown and the unknowable and this itself is seen as perfect, wherever it goes, as we live, and even as we die. Grace and Gratitude.
If you want to come and find your self-worth, if you want to learn more about living deeper into flow and truly feeling it. Feeling powerful, empowered, purposeful and like the great and wonderful being you are – then please visit my website to find the right course for you, or sign up the 7-day free trial and join my Embody Evolution community.