One thing about the journey is that there is no road map. I hear lots of people talking about change, and the need for change, and “doing the work” and “clearing stuff” and thousands of words on the beauty and benefits of getting to the next step but very few words on practical ways to get there in simple terms I can understand.
My own journey took a difficult turn the other week. I was dressing for work, still dozey, and must have put my Y-fronts on inside out. Of course, I didn’t realise this until I got to work and went to the boy’s room. Then I discovered the challenge.
You see, the Y-fronts I use had a large flap of fabric covering a small flap of fabric which is relatively easy to access and inclines you to the right. But when they’re on inside out, the small flap covers the big one more securely than a chastity belt and inclines you to the left.
Now you ask me, what the HECK has this got to do with Spiritual Enlightenment? Nothing and everything.
People talk about getting out of their comfort zone, but rarely do it. People barely scratch the Jaffa surface (US readers, think M&Ms instead). Work is hard. Stuff is hard. I want enlightenment and I want it now, but only if it is EASY!
If you want to change the world you have to start by changing yourself. A journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step, and the first step is changing YOU – or committing to change you, at minimum.
Sometimes events put you out of your comfort zone. Or you choose that experience, such as doing training in new knowledge and skills. This is the spiritual equivalent of putting your underwear on inside out. A spiritual warrior, or warrioress, is not afraid to be vulnerable because that state of vulnerability immediately precedes action. It is a state of heightened awareness, it is taking the spear and hunting the leopard naked, as you did in your first initiation hunt.
Sometimes a deliberate physical change can provide a regular reminder of a metaphor for change. For example, wearing a new ring and associating that with a new mantra, so that every time you are aware of that ring during the day, you repeat the mantra, even if circumstances mean you do that silently.
The point is this – until we do the regular work, the little steps, that help embed the big changes, then we risk losing the benefit of the “big work” we have done. Small steps (continued work!) help reduce backsliding so it’s not 5 steps forward 3 steps back.
To want to change is to turn the corner. To be willing to change is to commit to the road. To “do stuff” is to take the needed steps.
It is a brave thing to do, but the warrior does not shrink from facing fear.
And remember, real superheroes wear their Y-fronts on the outside.