Dealing with the outer world is hard enough. Learning to navigate our inner one is even harder, especially through all the unnecessary filters and conditions we use to distort the flow of our light and love into the world.
One of the biggest is in the demands and conditions we impose upon ourselves and how we go about our lives — how it should look, what we want it to bring, what we’re willing to do, and especially what we’re not.
Most of us aren’t even aware we have them. But we do. They shape what we create and how we go about it probably more than any other factor.
Take me, for instance.
You’ve heard me write about this future reading by the Buddhist monk who said I was to be a religious leader. It set off a whole wave of conflicting vibrations within me. “Not me,” some inner voices cried out.
“Why not me?” others pleaded. “You’ve got a lot to offer there.”
So I went about trying to do both. First, walking the path of spiritual teacher, sharing what I saw. And then, doing my very best to go in any direction other than that one.
Why should this be important to you?
As far as my own stops and starts or impact, it shouldn’t. But as far as the things going on in you that affect your life, it might perhaps start you looking within to see what’s going on there that’s affecting your life.
Most people never learn how to look inside themselves. It’s not an art that’s taught in high school or college. And for that matter, not in many spiritual schools, either.
For me, I found the easiest way to see what’s going on inside me is to look at what’s happening in my life and how I’m interacting with those things. Perhaps it can help you, too.
I’ve noticed that life tends to come at me in waves. Like waves, it often falls into neat little patterns that repeat themselves over and over again. Situational patterns. Response patterns. Thought and emotional patterns. And lest I forget, behavior patterns.
Like the habit of wanting something and then sabotaging my life so it doesn’t happen.
This leadership prediction was one of those, for it simultaneously attracted and repelled me. I wanted to offer what I had to others. But I didn’t want to give up my self-determination or restrict my ability to go my own way.
So I imposed condition after condition upon how I would be willing to do it, or how it had to look or play out.
The leadership I had envisioned meant being a public figure. But I was unwilling to give up my privacy or attract the attention of those who would feel threatened by what I had to say or do, especially the ones with power and ability to negatively affect me or my family.
So I tried to work in the shadows, behind the scenes helping those I could without drawing the spotlight on me.
It also meant training and supporting those who would help change this world. But doing so too openly risked backlash from the mainstream community of my roots, as well as the metaphysical/spiritual community that I saw was hindering its ability to make a difference by trading one set of rigid beliefs and practices for another. So again, I tried to walk the line between them.
As a result, I did not experience the “success” I wanted, at least in the sense of becoming a international best-selling author or receiving large financial reward. It didn’t lead to widespread visibility for my message or acknowledgment of its value, either. But I justified it to myself by thinking my job was to challenge the status quo, no matter if it was accepted or by whom. And if that meant outer success would elude me, so be it. Even if it meant not being at peace with my mission.
Can you see the pattern, how I was wanting one thing but doing another?
Can you see anything similar within you that contributes to the situations that are stealing your peace or impairing success in your life, however you define it?
Look for incongruencies and actions that don’t seem to fit well with your intent, like conflicts in your thought patterns or ambivalence in how you see and respond to certain situations.
Then again, for you it might be just the opposite, a rigid adherence to a particular view or path when it clearly isn’t serving you. Or engaging in the same emotions or response patterns to the things that happen in your life.
When you find them they will be the key that something more is going on inside you, that there is something within you that deserves exploration and consideration whether it truly serves you or the life you want to live.
Then again, your desire for that life may be a clue in and of itself.
As for me, this whole process of self-examination has opened my eyes to a whole lot of things about me that I didn’t know before. Like how the very suggested of leadership raised a host of issues within me that I didn’t even know were there, much less what to do about them.
So if you find yourself going around in circles, or hitting wall after wall trying to do something you think you want to do, maybe the problem isn’t with reality but within you, and the distorting conditions you’re using to create and experience it.
Leadership — and all the things about myself I’ve learned trying to become worthy of it — is simply pointing the way for me to find my own inner obstacles and heal the scars that caused them to exist in the first place.
Whether I do so in a way that allows others to “follow me” (only God knows why they would) is something we’ll just have to wait to find out.
May you find your inner conditions easier than I found mine, and know what to do with them once you do.
God bless you indeed.
His services include availability as a keynote speaker, panelist, moderator and master of ceremonies for conferences and community events, as well as media guest expert to provide commentary and analysis on political, economic and other current events.
He also spearheads several projects of his own, including PeaceOptions.com to challenge the beliefs and practices that keep us locked in struggle and conflict, and MissionLaunch.com to enhance the efforts of those working to build a new world.
A spiritual teacher by avocation, John also authored Whispers in the Silence — Living by the Light of Your Soul, a guide to self-knowing and the process of personal development behind most spiritual traditions.