When I make a point of learning something new about myself every day, however small or insignificant that may be, it reassures me. I know that I am evolving personally and spiritually. The fittest and strongest aspects of my character survive and thrive, while the weaknesses are destined for extinction. However, like my housework, inner, soul work never ends. As I become stronger, my less strong aspects become my weaknesses. This is how I discovered the reason why there seems to be a never ending amount of inner work to be done. When one weakness dies, there is always another to take its place. It can be discouraging at times, but if I avoid this inner work for too long, I become bored with life, get stuck in a rut, or unable to move on. The rut is a comfort zone that becomes a hard habit to break. The longer I stay there, the harder it is to get out of it and then cope when the inevitable change occurs. It’s easier to stay rooted in a familiar mindset and the patterns of behaviour that keep me there, even if that way of thinking and behaving is not entirely pleasant.
Change is called for, but fear of change can be a problem. At best, the impact of change can be mildly disruptive, and at its worst, change creates chaos. We tend to fear chaos because it can’t be controlled, but from my experience, it can be managed. Change involves loss, and a subsequent grieving of that loss, but the benefits are worth the effort. Understanding the ten stages of healing outlined in “A Question of Balance – Colour, Energy and Healing with Chakras” can help to manage change and cope with chaos in life. (You can contact me here to request a password to read it)
Frustration with myself and even anger is a good sign for me when I am stuck. I’ve come to recognise that my energy is building up. I am getting ready to move again. It’s a never ending fountain of energy that I can collect and then channel in a constructive direction. Here’s what I do:
I use the energy created by my frustration or anger and redirect it into getting out of my rut. I’ve realised that when I am feeling stuck, the remedy is to learn something new every day, and to keep learning, even when I experience a shift.
My favourite way to do this is to explore my motivations and intentions. Over the years, I’ve taught so many students and clients to ask these powerful questions that I have lost count:
- Why do I do what I do?
- What is it that motivates me?
- Is it a positive or negative influence fuelling my intentions and behaviour?
I question myself and monitor my actions. My reaction to other people’s complaints and excuses, along with their compassion and kindness informs me about me. I’ve learned that the behaviour I accuse others of in one area of life, is likely to be the same behaviour I am guilty of, but it’s happening in a different area for me.
This type of self-admission is not always easy, but it’s worth letting go of some pride in order to learn more about myself. The annoying behaviour will continues to serve as a reminder for me until I locate my hypocrisy. I know that what animates me in the exterior world is a reflection of my unknown internal thoughts and feelings.
Then I push myself a bit more by asking:
- What did I learn to think, be or do today?
- What did I learn not to think, be or do?
It’s humanly impossible to avoid the negative aspects of life, but we can’t escape the positive either.
Numerous schools of thought suggest that for every negative in life, we should look for a positive. This means that every difficulty contains a blessing, at least somewhere, and it’s in our best interests to look for it. Conversely, we would need to be open to the idea that for every positive there will always be a negative. For every upside, there is always a downside. For every down side, there is an upside. If it isn’t this way then, life would be lopsided. I would be positive and other people, places or things would be negative. To be all negative means I disown and then project the positive into my experiences in the exterior world. To be all positive means I disown and project the negative into what I experience in the exterior world.
Shame, humiliation and guilt erode everyone’s ability to perceive fresh possibilities and opportunities. Dignity and honour can be restored when we identify the strengths that we were pushed to develop as a result of feeling ashamed, humiliated or guilty. Every experience is a teacher. These questions help me to find my strength again:
- How did I benefit from the experience?
- How did everyone benefit?
If I dig deep enough, I will find the gift in each one. When I do, it renews my energy. Finding the gift in difficult circumstances is akin to stumbling head first into the fountain of youth. It’s a revitalising and refreshing experience.
Life tips out of balance but will realign itself once we realise that we are full of positive and negative possibilities. Humans are a part of nature. No-one can escape nature and its ongoing cycle of life-death-life-death-life.
We know that our physical bodies eventually stop growing at around the age of 18 to 21, but the reverse can be applied to our emotional, mental and spiritual bodies. I take care of my physical health with a good diet, exercise and rest, but I also encourage my emotional, mental and spiritual bodies to grow and evolve by concentrating on their learning and development. I challenge myself to develop my emotional, mental and spiritual bodies. Each body has seven limbs. Each one corresponds to the chakras of the human energy system. I concentrate on each area and each limb, one at a time, by attending to the needs of each one systematically, or if it is urgent, I address those that arise at the time.
The seven limbs of the emotional body are:
- Emotional survival
- Emotional satisfaction
- Emotional independence
- Emotional healing
- Emotional expression
- Emotional intelligence
- Emotional interdependence
The seven limbs of the mental body are:
- Mental survival
- Mental satisfaction
- Mental independence
- Mental healing
- Mental expression
- Mental intelligence
- Mental interdependence
The seven limbs of the spiritual body are:
- Spiritual survival
- Spiritual satisfaction
- Spiritual independence
- Spiritual healing
- Spiritual expression
- Spiritual intelligence
- Spiritual interdependence
Sometimes I wonder if the growth that occurs in my emotional, mental and spiritual bodies may even compensate for the cessation of physical growth. Could it be slowing down the aging process? Personal and spiritual development processes are not new, but could one of their side effects be an elixir of youth?
Archetypes are my area of expertise. I recognise the urge, desire or obsession to reverse or slow down the aging process as the Fountain of Youth Archetype. Our fixation with obtaining and maintaining a youthful appearance at any age, and at almost any cost to our body, soul, spirit and hip pocket demonstrates the strength this spell has cast over much of society. I challenge myself to develop my emotional, mental and spiritual bodies not because I want to avoid getting older, or to obtain eternal youth, but because I want to maintain a high quality emotional, mental and spiritual life. Using personal and spiritual development processes to avoid aging is not the purpose of personal and spiritual development, but I am interested in exploring the possibility of their side effects on the aging process. Perhaps in the future, it will be possible to reverse the aging process if we concentrate on developing the bodies that are not visible to the naked eye. It may take a lifetime, but I figure it’s worth using my life as an experiment to get some answers. Maybe others will too. The experiment involves concentrating on each area and each limb, one at a time, by attending to the needs of each one systematically, or if it is urgent, address those that arise at the time. Focus your time, energy and attention on your weakest body and the weakest limb of that body. I’ve found that this will help to strengthen other limbs and sometimes even other bodies. Please feel free to join me, and send me your progress reports by posting your comments below.
As we get to know ourselves more intimately, we also sharpen our ability to be a good judge of character. Illusions, superficiality, pretentiousness, liars, frauds, impostors and our hidden agendas are exposed more readily. This is how we make progress personally and collectively. Our personal progress contributes to the evolution of humanity as everyone’s characters grow and evolve emotionally, mentally and spiritually. These bodies are within everybody. It’s my responsibility to take care of my four bodies, especially if I want to live a long and healthy life. A juggler will always have other balls in the air. When I have one ball in each hand, I know there are two up there, but I am ready to handle them.