Photo credit: Greg Rakozy, Unsplash
We all yearn for peace, yet the world is embroiled in endless wars. At this moment, there are powerful forces at work in our world, guiding us toward a deeper understanding of ourselves, our true nature and our potential for inner transformation. These forces are akin to a cosmic tide, inviting us on a profound journey of self-discovery. It’s as though we’ve been sailing on autopilot through different aspects of our lives, and now we’ve reached a pivotal point. The direction we choose from here is critical, as it holds the key to our growth and/or survival.
As the cosmos moves, so do we. Energy is constantly in motion, and it demands direction. Our personal evolution, much like the cosmos itself, relies on our ability to consciously channel our raw, untamed energy in a way that serves our personal growth and the common good.
In a world that seethes with chaos, where does peace come from? Peace comes from a vision that is clear and pure, that comes from the other end of the violence, from a place where we are no longer holding onto the darkness that obscures our minds. Peace comes from the Source of life and love. It represents the totality of truth that we all yearn to return to.
Our deepest, most vulnerable emotions are a part of this challenge. How do we respond when we find ourselves grappling with intense, dark, and deeply buried emotions? When these emotions surface, we can feel violated, betrayed, or victimized. They bring us face to face with our own inner darkness, which can be as unsettling as it is transformative.
This darkness within each of us needs to be acknowledged. It’s an essential part of our journey toward self-realization. Let’s not judge or shy away from it; after all, feeling overwhelmed at times is natural when we navigate challenging life transitions.
So by all means acknowledge the overwhelm, and then muster your determination to do the work! Determination is a powerful driving force. When channeled in service to spirituality, it helps us delve deeper into the unconscious aspects of our beings and to heal our wounds by exposing them to the light of truth. The turbulence on the surface of our lives is asking us to tap into our soul’s desire for growth and healing instead of getting lost in the shadow emotions of fear, denial or shutdown. We face a clear choice: either heal and evolve or succumb to the darkness of fear, hatred and despair.
As our inner darkness is revealed, it dissolves because when a shadow illusion is brought to the light of awareness, it simply ceases to exist.
The challenges of this time call for unwavering determination to champion our own spiritual growth, whatever the cost. Always remember that it’s during the most triggering and challenging moments that our most significant growth potential emerges. When we embrace discomfort and face it head-on, we set ourselves free. When we fail to do so, we contribute to the conflict we witness in the world. We can – and must – do better than that!
As we move forward on this transformative journey, there will be many opportunities for deep healing and transformation, first on the personal level and then for the collective. Courageous hearts look beyond the current upheaval to the potential beckoning beyond.
Upheaval disrupts the status quo to make way for something new. It can feel scary when we take our eyes off the goal – letting go of what no longer serves to create space for something new. And yet, letting go only hurts when we try to assert our personal will and resist the unknown. Instead of clinging to that which has outlasted its purpose, we are advised to let go of the old, to trust in the master plan of life, and to focus on optimal outcomes beyond the current upheavals.
During these challenging times, old resentments and unhealed wounds tend to resurface: our insecurities, fears and memories of injustices suffered. These, too, serve a purpose.
Their sting reminds us to nurture compassion and tenderness in the very places where we’ve experienced great suffering. The ongoing tragedies in Israel, Gaza, the Ukraine and elsewhere are reminders of old wounds that have refused to heal. Whatever we do not resolve, we will recreate until we do – both as individuals and as a collective.
Times of upheaval not only reveals our unhealed wounds; it also reveals where we continue to inflict pain on ourselves and others. We recognize this recurring theme in our personal lives, families and communities. Whatever remains unhealed within us perpetuates suffering, both for ourselves and those around us. As a result, the suffering around us calls for healing at all levels, starting within each one of us.
Even when situations in our lives appear too broken or wounded to fix, healing is possible. It simply requires courage and honesty, along with trust in the innate intelligence and timing of our spiritual journey.
On the spiritual path, times of exploration and discovery alternate with times of integration and consolidation. As the process evolves, it emphasizes particular aspects of our spiritual development. Such emphasis leads to an exploration of deeper existential wounds that call for healing. We are brought face to face with the warring factions within ourselves, as well as between us and others. This is an opportunity for profound healing, which can pave the way for emergent spiritual gifts and service.
It is also important to note that during times of conflict, we tend to regress to more primal behavior: destruction seems justified, and words become weapons. Blame and shame may dominate our interactions as we reduce others to the worst aspects of their nature and so justify our own behavior. This can cause collateral damage to innocent individuals and the world around us.
Reflect, for example, how overwrought parents have allowed the battles of their adult lives to encroach upon their children’s innocence. And have we not all witnessed the pain that stems from our parents’ conflicts? It’s important to remember the delicate inner child within each of us and the ease with which we can disregard or wound that innocence.
War is far from a tidy affair; it’s a destructive force that can’t be controlled without unintended consequences. In our pursuit of what we regard as true, we may inadvertently cause harm to countless innocents. Hatred can masquerade as bravado or superiority over others to justify cruel actions. It is easy to forget that perpetuating violence is not a path to true or lasting peace.
Our world, both within and around us, is repeating the same message. It calls out for compassion, forgiveness and inclusion. What we choose to ignore or exclude doesn’t vanish; it will linger on until appropriate conditions bring it to the surface to be dealt with again and again.
For healing and transformation to happen, disclosure must take place. However, when we fixate on the wrongs, gloating in collective judgment and hatred of the darkness, we are no better than that which we despise; we energetically link to the very wrongs we fixate on. True transformation requires us to move beyond what’s wrong and to focus on the potential beyond the disclosures so we remain focused on doing the necessary work to heal and evolve.
True healing also requires us to transcend the need to be right or to exact revenge. It takes place in the field beyond right and wrong, as Rumi put it. It comes from the Source of love and life, and it holds the answers to our deepest questions. We don’t need to fully understand the process to embrace it; we simply need to trust in the Power that brings it about.
This human journey is far from easy, and difficulties are plentiful. When we see no clear solution, it indicates that we must seek solutions beyond our old, familiar patterns. The path to peace may not be straightforward, but it is worth pursuing. As each of us evolves on our spiritual path, our self-realization becomes our most significant contribution to a peaceful world.
©Copyright Ada Porat. This article may be freely distributed in whole or in part, provided there is no charge for it and this notice is attached. For more information, visit https://AdaPorat.com
Photo Credit: Alexander Schimmeck, Unsplash
Everyone desires to improve their life in some way: to heal something, change limiting habits, find a romantic partner, lose weight, reach their highest potential, develop intuition, find their soul purpose, and more.
As long as we are alive, this process continues. Norman Mailer put it this way: “Every moment of one’s existence one is growing into more or retreating into less. One is always living a little more or dying a little bit.” There’s always a next step waiting to be taken, yet everyone – absolutely everyone – has trouble accomplishing these laudable goals. In fact, we spend an inordinate time making up reasons and excuses for not moving forward.
Not moving forward is extremely painful. It creates a sense of frustration with yourself because the desire to grow and expand comes from your soul. Resistance to following your path blocks the very expression of your soul. Imagine the impact of such dense emotions that accumulate in the body over years of wrestling with the same dysfunctional patterns!
Here are three practical steps to help you get unstuck and move forward more effectively:
- Ditch fear of humiliation
Most people are controlled by fear of being humiliated or judged by others – and that fear prevents them from moving forward in their lives.
You can overcome this paralyzing fear by recognizing that your true locus of control is inside of you; it does not come from anyone outside you. When you acknowledge the Divine Presence in you and start to follow its gentle prompting, you’ll find the courage and validation you seek within yourself.
Looking outside ourselves for approval or acceptance is an ego trap. It breeds fear of being humiliated whenever external feedback conflicts with our ego needs and is actually a form of pride.
True commitment to our soul path brings about a sense of authentic humility. When we no longer seek approval from outside ourselves, we’re better able to align with Higher truth within. Our relationship with Spirit cultivates deep inner honesty and humility within us. We no longer need to impress or win the fleeting approval of others; instead, we embrace with our true identity as souls and learn to operate by Higher law, resulting in inner peace.
Fantasy or reality?
Do you find yourself bargaining that you’ll do what you need to as soon as the children are grown, or after you’re out of debt, or once you get a new job? Are you dreaming of the life you desire if only you had the money, time or resources? Empty dreams are fantasy – they keep us in a state of scarcity unless we take appropriate action!
Here’s another way to look at life: Everything that shows up in your life and mine, is perfect for the purpose of our growth… not our comfort! On this planet, results are built by matching vision with action, step by step. Nothing falls from the sky ready-made, and circumstances never pause to create the perfect show-stopping moment for us to step into. If we wait for the perfect opportunity before taking action, we may even miss the steppingstones along the way. To break free from wishful thinking, the question to ask yourself instead is, “What I am I doing in the meantime?”
A colleague of mine used to tell her clients, “It’s only too late if you don’t start now!” You cannot satisfy your soul’s yearning with empty dreams and promises – you’re made of better stuff and your soul knows that! Start taking action now with the guidance you already have, and the next step will show up. When guidance is given but you don’t act on it, you may end up with information overload – overwhelmed, stuck or frustrated – whereas steady action will clear the way forward.
Information overload can come from asking for input from too many people but never acting on the information stuffed into your energy field. It is normal to gather information before moving forward. The trap lies in over-analyzing each piece of information or waiting for more guidance to appear before acting. This can move you into analysis paralysis or information overload with too much data floating around in your mind, triggering your fears, anxieties, limitations, or past trauma, so you end up too confused to start. Information overload also happens when giving your power away to others instead of taking full responsibility for your own life.
To break free from the bog of information overload, go back to the beginning and look at the very first step that needs to be taken. If internal chatter of fear, bargaining or limitation arises in response, deal with it! Your power lies in choosing your truth in the face of your fears. Drill down to the source of fear and recognize it for what it is – the ego’s stalling tactic to keep you from changing. Let go of it and take the first step forward despite the fear, and it will diminish. Once you’ve taken the first step, you can ask for more guidance, listening within for it. The next breadcrumb will show up!
Collectively, these three steps can help you get unstuck from the sticky bogs of stagnation, and help you live more effectively.
©Copyright Ada Porat. This article may be freely distributed in whole or in part, provided there is no charge for it and this notice is attached. For more information, visit https://AdaPorat.com
Photo Credit: Francesco, Unsplash
We all feel the enormous impact of irreversible change that has swept around the globe in recent years. None of us knows exactly how our lives will be different by the end of this decade; we simply know that it will be different in more ways we can imagine. We cannot go back to yesterday or the life we lived ten years ago. Life as we knew it, is over – there is no going back.
Yet even as we recognize that the past is irrevocably over, we feel the stirring of something new within, the inklings of a new way of life that can replace the old. This gentle shift within offers us an incredible opportunity to become positive change agents who create innovative pathways, tools and systems for a new way of life to emerge.
You and I are living on the cusp between the old and the new; we are the ones who get to choose and lean into a new way, creating a new world and a fresh start. The choices we make in each present moment are energizing the shifts to create a sustainable future for us all.
Exciting? Oh, yes! And a little scary? Of course!
These times of change and uncertainty are messy for sure. Many of us are grieving losses that have piled up in recent years: loved ones, work, friends, homes, health, life as we knew it, and more. We may even yearn for the “good old days” if ever there was such a thing.
There are no iron-clad guarantees and reassurances for this process involving the death and rebirth of our physical reality – and so everyone is learning to adapt and innovate.
And yet as Nature reminds us with each passing season, death is followed by rebirth in a continuous cycle of life.
Around us, the totality of life remains filled with untapped possibilities and probabilities. Every challenging circumstance contains the seeds of possibility for us to tap into and create more optimal outcomes from the inside out.
What do you wish to see in your world? How do you intend to participate to bring that about? It is indeed a time to dream big, to vision and be bold.
As we move forward on this bridge between the world we knew and the one we are creating, we need to travel light: we need to let go of things outside ourselves that we cannot control, so we can take charge of our inner reality, which is completely in our hands. We also need step into our individual and collective maturity to support wise choices. Let’s look at how to get from here to there.
During times of uncertainty, emotions can feel overwhelming. Daily events may trigger shock, grief, fear or anxiety. These emotions are to be expected, because we are awash in a sea change of unknown currents.
When our survival instincts are triggered, we can become defensive, reverting to basic survival tactics and protective measurements for a sense of security. However, defensiveness keeps us stuck in resistance and prevents us from moving forward.
To keep moving, it is important to remember who you really are: you’re not just an ego in a body suit, you are an eternal soul who came on this earth journey to participate in the evolving consciousness of all life at this time.
You are so much more than your physical being! There are more resources available to you at non-physical levels than you can imagine. Whenever you start to feel overwhelmed, stop for a moment and take inventory of your spiritual resources in the world of Cause, rather the limited results around you in the world of Effects.
Humans are blessed with innate creativity and innovation. Despite challenges – and perhaps even because of them – we can create effective pathways forward.
We simply need to let go of lower levels of consciousness from where the problems in our world were created. Clearly, the challenges of our time require more than the duality-based limitations of an outdated Cartesian world view. We are asked to embrace the myriad possibilities coexisting in the Field, because higher awareness and a larger scope are essential for creating optimal outcomes now.
These uncertain times invite us to return to right relationship with our innate Self. We’re learning what no longer works, what no longer nourishes us, and what we no longer tolerate. We’re recognizing what we truly want from life, so we can make better choices for ourselves and the greater good.
Humanity has outgrown the childlike stance where a few can dictate and make choices for the collective. As each one of us steps into maturity and takes full responsibility for our own decisions, it will ripple outward and create optimal collective outcomes.
No matter how bleak and uncertain things appear to you, don’t look back. Go beyond!
Reach beneath the surface defenses of reactivity and blame, to the Presence of Spirit at your core. That Presence contains all possibilities and potentialities.
Whenever you feel overwhelmed, take a moment to enter that inner space of peace and calm. Simply hold that space until clarity arises. In so doing, you open up to possibilities beyond linear thinking so you can make optimal choices.
Times of uncertainty also call for spiritual maturity. We’re asked to let go of waiting to be rescued, and to step onto the path as mature being, knowing that we are the very ones we’ve been waiting for. Spiritual maturity empowers us to leave behind the outdated, limiting roles assigned to us so we can co-create a better future.
Maturity gives us faith in unseen possibilities, so we can hold onto the intention for what can be. It asks us to look beyond the limitations of what was or is, so we can see and embrace new possibilities that show up now.
This is an invitation to become fearless! Do not allow obstacles on the surface of life to undermine your faith. Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of what is not yet seen. Hold on to that and you will prevail.
We’re also need to travel light. It’s time to clear out old conditioning, to heal the memories of past wounds, and to let go of what’s no longer needed. By freeing ourselves from past hurt and limitations, we create more room for our lives to unfold.
Do not let others tell you what is appropriate for you. When you let others decide for you, you abdicate your power. Evaluate, contemplate within and choose for yourself.
Above all, embrace the process of individual growth, for it is your evolutionary lifeline. Let go of resistance and you will discover new possibilities emerging from the Truth within.
As mature beings, we learn to be at peace with not knowing. We embrace the ever-changing nature of life and take full responsibility for our individual choices along the way.
It is safe to trust in the benevolent plan of a loving Creator – and to trust yourself. Personal mastery requires you to trust yourself, trust the unseen hands that guide and uphold you, and to trust the Divine plan which may be invisible to the eye, yet is unfolding even now.
Maturity also teaches us to stay in the void of uncertainty and discomfort; to resist grabbing for some fake version of permanency or settle for some substance to numb our awareness. The security we want is within; it does not lie outside of us.
When borne of fear or resistance, compromise is not our friend. To evolve, we dare not let the familiarity of known limitations hold us back from the limitless possibilities we do not yet see. Resolve not to settle for the devil you know, but to push beyond.
Personal mastery shifts our focus away from external conditions beyond our control to our inner life over which we have ALL control. That is where we find the innate power, peace and creativity to creative a better world where everyone can thrive.
About the author
©Copyright Ada Porat. For more information, visit https://www.adaporat.com. This article may be freely distributed in whole or in part, provided there is no charge for it and this notice is attached.
Photo credit: Rajesh Rajput, Unsplash
“Out of collision of opposites the unconscious psyche always creates a third thing of an irrational nature, which the conscious mind neither expects nor understands.” Carl Jung
How do we create unity and integrity in our world so those who are awakened can work together for the highest good of all? I believe it requires evolving spiritual consciousness. The world created by lower levels of consciousness is no longer viable: it pushes short-term agendas that benefit only an elite few, whereas higher consciousness fosters a long-term vision that includes and benefits all.
To foster more spiritual consciousness on the planet, we need to awaken the spiritual hero within each of us.
The archetypal hero within is common to all human cultures. It is a global story that reminds us of true purpose and potential. It calls us to tap into our innate power and to overcome daunting obstacles in our heroic visionary quest for optimal outcomes. When we embrace our spiritual hero archetype, we also tap into the infinite creativity and limitless possibilities of Source. The continuously evolving nature of Source helps raise our levels of consciousness so we can overcome challenges, becoming the spiritual hero in our own life.
Developing spiritual consciousness awakens us to the archetypal spiritual hero within. This aspect of our being is not restricted by fear or by the conditioned limitations of the ego self. It connects us to our Source, so we can access higher level solutions to transcend inner and outer limitations. Our radiant higher nature can light our path and bless all other forms of life.
Alignment with the Source of life awakens the fearless hero within so we can stand tall and face challenges with the courage born from deep inner knowing. It teaches us harmonious ways to align with others and uplift our interactions. This inner union with Source brings joy, not fear. It heals and includes, whereas ego-based actions attack and oppress.
The need to wage war and oppress comes from ego, not from Spirit. It creates a broken and suffering world where conditioned minds only know how to look at events through the lens of defense and domination.
Our souls are not at war, nor do we need to be.
Our souls are intimately connected to the Source of all life, goodness, abundance and harmony. There is no need for us to embrace conflict or limitation. We are called to be spiritual heroes, not suffering slaves!
From the perspective of spiritual consciousness there is no enemy to fear, attack or control. There are only blind minds and mass-programmed egos running amok. These are the issues that need to be changed, and they will change by awakening and finding solutions from higher levels of consciousness.
All of us are called to awaken to the hero within, yet few choose to respond. It takes courage to change ingrained beliefs that we are weak and limited.
You and I were created for these times! Our personal heroic journey to freedom beckons. Where do we start?
The hero’s journey starts with alignment to our Source, so true power can flow into us from there. In the presence of this alignment, fear and falsehood dissolves. The more we embrace Higher truth and love within, the more our lower nature is purified and integrated in service to Source. Ultimately, we can become shining beacons of hope, radiating inspiration and positivity for others to evolve.
We also develop higher spiritual consciousness by cultivating unconditional love for Spirit and for ourselves. Then we are able to extend that unconditional love to others, including the ones still acting out their shadow. It is the presence of unconditional love that awakens the human heart, not judgment or hatred.
We further awaken to our true nature as spiritual beings having this earth experience. We come to understand that our true nature is spirit, not ego. The ego is a human construct created by blind minds, feeling separated from Truth. The old paradigm of separation drops away as we come to understand that we are each a unique expression of the one Source. We are all one. Each of us are part of everything, the whole universe.
This recognition of Oneness reframes our relationships with all other expressions of life around us. There is no one individual better than any other; we are simply different expressions of the one Source.
Since we all come from Source, each of us has access to that power and inspiration. We do not need to find the hero in another to fuel our purpose. We need to discover it within ourselves first, no matter how long it takes.
When we let go of the limiting conditioning and fully embrace our oneness with the Creator, it fills us with humility, awe, joy, inspiration and passion. We can drink from that fountain of wisdom and let it renew our commitment to do our part in the unfoldment of humanity’s potential. We embark on the spiritual hero’s journey!
All change begins within. Whatever we wish to change, needs to first be changed within us. So do you want to see a more loving world? Become more loving. Do you want to experience more abundance? Become more generous. This is how we change the world – leading by example!
This work of awakening to spiritual consciousness and embarking on the spiritual hero’s journey, is our ultimate purpose in life. The drama and drive on the surface of life are simply distractions to this true work.
Refuel your passion every day, so you will have resilience to navigate the twists and turns of life. You are a spark of the Creator and your passion is fed by consciously participating in creativity: whether you create a tasty meal, create a beautiful garden, create technical solutions or create community with other individuals. When you create, you tap into your oneness with the Creator and refuel your passion for your purpose.
On the spiritual journey, it does not matter whether you are in the front, the middle or the back of the pack – you are part of one human tribe traveling home to our Source. The hero’s journey is not a race: simply doing your bit daily will carry you to the finish line.
When you feel wobbly, remember that you are the one you have been waiting for! Awaken the spiritual hero within and join the wave of spiritual consciousness that is growing now. Together, we are embodying the vision for a better world.
About the author
©Copyright Ada Porat. For more information, visit http://adaporat.com. This article may be freely distributed in whole or in part, provided there is no charge for it and this notice is attached.
Photo credit: Daniel Sessler, Unsplash
When we droop with fatigue, overwhelmed by the relentless pace of change, yet yearning for a better life, it is helpful to turn back to basics – hopefully a little wiser. Wouldn’t it be nice to have the heads up on a few things we may encounter along the way?
I sure could have used a few pointers along the way to smooth out the kinks! However, a huge range of life experience taught me some valuable lessons, and I am happy to share them. Here are eight insights from my personal playbook on surviving in this world of marvel and change. May it encourage, embolden and inspire you!
- You will pass from this life leaving an unfinished To Do list behind.
Shocking, isn’t it – and that despite your very best efforts every day! Today more than ever, there’s no reason to assume any fit between demands on your time – all the things you like to do or feel you ought to do – and the amount of time available. Thanks to capitalism, technology and human ambition, these demands keep increasing, while your capacities remain largely fixed. It follows that the attempt to clean up your To Do list is doomed.
The upside is that you need not berate yourself for failing to do it all, since doing it all is structurally impossible. The only viable solution is to make a shift: from a stressed-out rat race trying not to neglect anything, to a life intentionally lived and consciously choosing what to neglect in favor of what matters most.
- When stumped by a life choice, choose enlargement over happiness.
Jungian therapist James Hollis said that major personal decisions should be made not by asking, “Will this make me happy?” but “Will this choice enlarge me or diminish me?” We’re usually terrible at predicting what will make us happy: the issue quickly gets bogged down in our narrow preferences for security and control. Yet choosing enlargement elicits a deeper, intuitive response. You tend to know when leaving or staying in a relationship or a job, even though it might bring short-term security, would mean cheating yourself of growth.
- The capacity to tolerate minor discomfort is a superpower.
It’s shocking to realize how readily we set aside even our greatest ambitions in life, merely to avoid any level of unpleasantness. You already know it won’t kill you to endure the mild agitation of getting back to work on an important project, initiating a difficult conversation with someone, asking somebody out, committing to a workout routine, or checking your bank balance – yet you can waste years in avoidance! This is exactly why social media platforms flourish: they provide an instant, compelling distraction from reality where we can escape to at the first hint of unease.
Instead, you can truly empower yourself by gradually increasing your capacity for discomfort, similar to doing weight training. When you expect an action to bring up feelings of irritability, anxiety or boredom, you can stick to your commitment; let the feelings arise and fade while doing the right action anyway. Once you experience the rewards of tolerating discomfort, it will reinforce this path of walking straight ahead as a more appealing way to live.
- The advice you don’t want to hear is usually the advice you need.
I spent years fixating on becoming hyper-productive before I finally started wondering why I was staking so much of my self-worth on my productivity levels. What I needed wasn’t another personal goal, but asking more uncomfortable questions instead.
Yes, it isn’t fun to confront whatever emotional experiences you’re avoiding – if it were fun, you wouldn’t avoid them – so any advice that could really help is likely to make you uncomfortable, too. And that is okay! If you can muster up the courage to go where you really don’t want to, you may just break through to a deeper level of personal truth.
Be especially wary of celebrities offering advice in public forums: many of them pursue fame to fill an inner void, which tends not to work – so they are likely to be more troubled than you are and by the time you buy their snake oil, they’d have already moved on to the next gig.
Here is a bit of reverse psychology that does work: ask yourself what kind of practices strike you as intolerably cheesy or self-indulgent. Is it a gratitude journal, mindfulness meditation, or seeing a therapist? If you feel resistance rising, it might well mean that the very issue your ego is resisting, is the one worth pursuing.
- The future will never provide the reassurance you seek from it.
As the ancient Greek and Roman Stoics understood, much of our suffering arises from attempting to control what is not in our control. And the main thing we try but fail to control is the future. We want to know, from our vantage point in the present, that things will be OK later on. Yet we never can!
It’s wrong to say we live in especially uncertain times. The future is always uncertain; we’re simply very aware of it in current times.
No amount of fretting will ever alter this truth. Accept that certainty and it will set you free.
While we live in uncertain times, it is still useful to make plans. Make your plans with the awareness that a plan is only ever a present-moment statement of intent, not a lasso thrown around the future to bring it under control. The spiritual teacher Jiddu Krishnamurti said his secret for peace was simple: “I don’t mind what happens.” That does absolve you from trying to make life better for yourself or others. It just means not living each day anxiously braced to see if things work out as you hoped.
- The solution to imposter syndrome is to see that you are one.
In the current era of incompetent leadership, it is not possible to ignore corrupt governments and egocentric self-indulgence amid global threats of destruction to the point of extinction. Yet the way forward lies neither in complaining nor in passively accepting that we are all doomed.
I believe the answer lies in recognizing that you – unconfident, self-conscious, insecure, and all-too-aware-of-your-flaws – you potentially have as much to contribute to your field and to the world as anyone else.
Humanity is divided into two: on the one hand, those who are improvising their way through life, patching solutions together and putting out fires as they go, but deluding themselves by arguing for their limitations; and on the other, those doing exactly the same, except that they know it. It’s infinitely better to apply yourself and accept your failures and successes both as intrinsic parts of life.
Remember, the reason you can’t hear other people’s inner monologues of self-doubt is not because they don’t have them. It’s simply because you only have access to your own mind!
- Selflessness is overrated.
We respectable types, and women especially, are raised to think a life well spent means helping others – and plenty of self-help gurus stand ready to affirm for a price that generosity and sacrifice are the way to happiness. There’s truth here, but it generally gets tangled up with exploitation of deep-seated issues of guilt and self-esteem.
If you think you should be doing more, that’s probably a sign that you should direct more energy toward your true passions and ambitions. As Buddhist teacher Susan Piver said, it feels radical to ask how we’d enjoy spending an hour or day of discretionary time – yet the irony is that you don’t actually benefit anyone else by suppressing your true passions anyway. Instead of being disciplined about hating on yourself to get things done, try being disciplined about remaining close to what brings you joy. It takes a lot of courage, actually.
- Know when to move on.
And then, finally, there’s knowing when something that meant a great deal to you has reached its natural endpoint. All things in life come to an end, both the good and the bad. Your most empowering response is not to bewail the ending or unfairness of it all, or to hang on for dear life until your claw marks scar the very thing you loved most as life pulls it away from you. Your most creative choice in the face of endings, is to let go and to turn to what is next. The rest of life awaits, both for you and for me!
About the author
©Copyright Ada Porat. For more information, visit https://adaporat.com. This article may be freely distributed in whole or in part, provided there is no charge for it and this notice is attached.
Resilience is that enigmatic quality we all seek when life gets rocky; it is the quality that allows us to dig deep, find renewed courage and face our biggest fears so we can tame our dragons and emerge unscathed at the other end of turbulent times.
Radical resilience offers us that hidden ability during crisis to get back up, dust ourselves off and generate a new vision for our lives at every level.
Genuine resilience has nothing to do with claims of invincibility, superiority or willpower; rather, it depends on our willingness to be vulnerable and stand firm at the very times when we don´t know the next step.
In spiritual terms, resiliency involves the commitment to awaken further during times of setback instead of shutting down, and that awakening leads to growth in wisdom and faith.
Charles Dickens´ classic novel A Tale of Two Cities, opens with these lines:
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair … we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way …”
These words could well be used to describe current times instead of the French Revolution era almost 250 years ago that Dickens described! It tells about a time of chaos, conflict and despair; a time of controversies and contradictions, as well as happiness.
Still today, these challenges are inherent in life and thus continue. Life is filled with difficulties and triumphs, obstacles and opportunities.
Humanity is in the midst of a resurgent pandemic, suffering from a lack of leadership and facing the threat of economic collapse. We are caught up in civic uprisings and struggles against racial and social injustice worldwide. Beyond these immediate threats, we´re still facing a global climate crisis that makes the rest of our actions look like rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.
Because all things are interconnected, the transformation we yearn for involves not a single change, but a cascade of complex changes. The way we approach these changes, could ultimately lead to global destruction or a genuine transformation of the world as we´ve known it.
The critical choices and responsibilities are ours.
We are being called to a greater sense of meaning and purpose in our lives. Effective choices and actions must come from a deeper level of understanding. We are called on to embark on a collective rite of passage to transform old beliefs and find new ways to orient our lives despite radical uncertainty and rapid change.
The pressure caused by continuing, rapid, major crises reveals hidden fault lines, great inequities and painful injustices in all areas of our lives. It is calling us to respond with more than simple survival: long-term resilience requires that we respond in the midst of crisis with genuine inner change on a personal level, so we can merge our purified vision with others` to transform society from the bottom up.
Resilience is a hard-earned quality. It is not developed by a life of comfort, ease and safety, despite what the ego would have us believe. Only when faced with obstacles, stress, and external threat does resilience develop. Psychological studies show that children who do not face adversity early in life tend to lack a capacity for resiliency. As the old proverb goes, “Smooth seas make bad sailors.”
Resiliency can be developed by facing difficult times with faith and courage. It does not matter how many setbacks we face, or how many failures we experience, what matters is how we respond to challenges.
The soul is the only aspect of a person that cannot be overwhelmed. It is the seat and living source of human resilience.
We deepen our resilience by responding from the soul, and not the ego. Whereas the ego screams for revenge, the soul takes inventory and accepts humble responsibility for its own part in the unfolding picture. Instead of stirring up more turmoil, it forgives the wrongs. In so doing, it neutralizes the escalation of hatred and anger by extending forgiveness and compassion.
No matter how dark the night, the soul can find salient aspects to help the human soul awaken further. There is much that we can do to support this process.
We are in a collective rite of passage, a rare state of transition that can transform the nature of societies worldwide. If we can hold a vision for the emergence of a more inclusive humanity, we can find ways to navigate the rough terrain from here to there. Meanwhile, we need to embrace the unifying moments of community that appear in the midst of conflict, participating in these moments as part of the collective healing process where we agree to protect and care for one another.
In these troubled times, we can also draw closer to like-minded souls who share this greater vision. Our soul tribe may span the globe and all timelines past, present and future. We can find comfort in nature and in our animal companions. And we can draw from the well of Spirit to renew our faith so we can hold that vision for the world we wish to create, standing strong, brave and unwavering in the face of the demolition of the old. We can tend the sacred spark of our inner lives to embody a more soulful presence in this world.
Ultimately, it is the awakened soul that rises above isolation and despair. By nurturing this awakened state in ourselves and others, we will find the strength to hold onto that higher collective vision and to do our part toward its fulfillment. In fact, it is our sacred duty to support and serve the sparks of holiness we find others and in the world.
The light that burns in us is also the light that dwells in others; it is the hidden light at the center of all things. When the inner light of soul awakens from within, it enlivens things in the world around us as well. That is how things change, from the inside out; from the soul to the world. The radical resilience of the awakened heart can hold a vision of greater inclusiveness to spur us on toward acts of courage and forgiveness, leading us toward the creation of a better world.