Most Recent Uploads

Recognising When You're Stuck
It’s important to recognise when we are stuck because the energy of the new millennium and especially post 2012 is relentlessly pushing us to evolve faster and faster. So much so, that standing still is really going backwards. ........ read more

Fear's Insidious Control
If you think that your life isn't ruled by fear then think again......... read more

Creativity - a way into and out of yourself
The desire to create is in all of us and self-expression is fundamental to who we are........ read more

A Personal Experience - Being Shown Reality
Personal experience moves us forward so much more than being told or reading something. It becomes a sense of knowing that can never be taken way. Here’s one I had......... read more

VIDEO - Russell Brand is Awake
These are clips from many of the recent interviews with Russell Brand showing how he has awakened to a lot of the truths of the world. His passion is clear for all to see. .. .......watch video.

VIDEO - Jim Carrey's Secret of Life - Inspiring message
As the title suggests, an inspiring message and adds to my article about fear and how it can direct our lives if we don’t recognise our true self. . .......watch video.



Revolution through Evolution
(Doing the groundwork not solution-hopping short-cuts)

(printer friendly version here)

As I have said in numerous articles, ultimately if we are to become who we really are we need to let go of all that we think we are. That means letting go of our beliefs that we are our personality, our body, jobs, roles, gender that keep us locked into so called real-life. All of this is held in place by societal conditioning and a mind intent on avoiding past emotional pain and seeking comfort wherever it can. That’s the big picture, the end goal in this or some future life time when we are sufficiently spiritually mature but there are plenty of intermediate stages in the meantime. This article attempts to draw attention to one of these stages and explain why we need to be on guard against a common human trait namely looking for short-cuts that we aren’t ready for and hopping from one potential solution to another looking for quick fixes.

As a therapist I used to ponder whether any assistance I gave my clients was ultimately in their highest good because what I was doing was helping a wounded ego become a slightly better functioning ego. I wasn’t showing anyone truth about themselves but merely helping them to continue to falsely identify albeit with less pain. As the journey to our true identity lies on the other side of our pain, in some ways I was taking my clients further away from their true selves not nearer.
However, I came to realise that we need to have a developed sense of self in order to feel secure enough to consider letting it go. Without this security, the mind and its need to seek comfort and avoid emotional wounds from the past causes us to run from ourselves and seek short-cuts to feeling better through distraction, avoidance, materialism, shiny things, money, power, food, alcohol, drugs etc, etc.

So, I have come to the conclusion that we need to be sufficiently disciplined and secure in ourselves to be curious enough to discover our true identity because letting go of all that we think of as real takes enormous courage. Without this middle step where we develop our relationship with ourselves we may not feel sufficiently secure to think clearly and objectively beyond our fear in order to see that we can let it all go. Without a good sense of self we end up in struggles that have little prospect of being resolved and may create a trap that leads to solution-hopping short-cuts that produce disappointment.

When early life impacts on us so much that we end up with very low self-esteem, low confidence and limiting beliefs such as fearing making mistakes, putting everybody before ourselves, feeling inadequate and so on, we have a poorly defined, weak or scattered sense of self. We may look to the world for approval and lack the fortitude to make decisions that benefit us especially if it impacts on others or risks negative opinions coming our way. We may self-sabotage and cut our noses off to spite our face or just feel powerless or useless.
We end up being cut off from our feelings and not know how to be happy. We may not know what our needs are or even that we have needs. We may lack the ability to grab life and create what we want from it or we may struggle with being a unique individual and, instead, strive to be like others. Anxiety, depression and health problems are often the end result in middle age.
In these situations, whatever the reason for not feeling secure, our lives are run by fear and leave us feeling helpless to change at times. The mind is essentially programmed to avoid pain and to make us feel better. It does not really look to the future in this regard and play the longer sensible game. It just wants relief and quickly. It looks for a magic wand to wish all its struggles away in an instant to become happy. Many of my clients come to me having tried a million different techniques either delivered professionally or through self-help books because of this drive.

Solution-hopping is common in an undisciplined mind that is looking to escape from misery. What is often overlooked, and this is where self-help falls down a lot of the time, is that the ego has little or no interest in healing. Our desire to change can override this for a while but given sufficient past-wounding we often give up or “forget” to do our exercises. The emotional high of a potential solution can then lead to disappointment and disillusionment. Typically the ego, always looking into the future, embarks on the search for the next great hope as the one that fixes everything and makes us happy. It is the chase that it wants not the solution and the cause of why we don’t last at any one thing but keep searching anyway.

All is not lost however because the same suffering mind that does this to us also creates the drive to seek out the solution to life itself i.e. our true identity as spiritual beings and all that that means. Suffering and struggle is the rocket fuel for the spiritual search. In my experience it is unusual for someone to come from a stable, loving, secure and happy background and feel a strong drive to see if there is more to life than what appears to be. Unhappiness causes us to search for something better and much more besides. That is the gift of suffering. It makes us search for the truth of who we are.
In my experience, healers, therapists and the like all seem to have arrived at their professions through their need to seek solutions to their own considerable struggles. You need to have gone through the mill to do the job and most find that their spirituality unfolds quite organically when they face their issues and work through them. They didn’t necessarily seek spirituality out; instead it is a natural consequence of facing pain and dealing with it. Suffering opens doors that curiosity can’t budge but the search that comes from suffering is often accompanied by unrealistic expectations in the untrained mind.

When a spiritual search begins, it is human nature to attempt to go straight to the later stages of spiritual development and bypass the growth stages. We want the wonderful feelings of freedom that we read about (can you see the desire for a magic wand again?) If we do take short-cuts and try and let go of everything before we are ready, we find that letting go can seem impossible because we don’t really know what it is we should let go of or how to do it. We weren’t ready and hadn’t done the groundwork first. We may look and look and look through all the various spiritual disciplines, faiths and philosophies and self-healing techniques for the one thing that will fix us and our lives and makes everything suddenly better. We end up getting stuck, feeling like we have failed or we end up playing at the game without really getting the truth of it because we had unrealistic expectations and were unwitting victims of a mind trick played by our ego’s desire for relief. The prospect of years of groundwork and a process of gradual evolution is anathema to the mind.

When we are secure and emotionally healthy, the need for instant fixes and unrealistic expectations that are borne from our emotional issues fades away. We can stand apart from our mind’s desires and watch them instead of being sucked into them and acting out of a need to escape suffering. We cannot expect our mind to be willing to let go of things while it is still fearful and so deeply locked into negative beliefs systems that we cannot stand apart from them and observe them.

If we invest in ourselves up front and learn about ourselves as we are, acknowledge our weaknesses and developing healthier ways of viewing ourselves, we can create a stronger and more disciplined self and have a firm foundation for future growth. If we focus on understanding ourselves and learn to think and act in emotionally healthy ways then we can reduce our stress. If we can develop self-regard then we can maintain a habit of meditation, not because we should or that it will get us somewhere but through an act of love for ourselves. If we learn what our emotions are for and how to express them healthily we can develop our intuition and begin to connect to our inbuilt higher guidance. Developing self-awareness and self-appreciation gives our needs equal billing with those of others. We become happier, healthier, more balanced and come out of chronic stress states. The benefits are endless.

During all this of course our problems in our lives remain but we learn how to deal with life and our needs with greater awareness and healthier attitudes. Spirituality is less about escaping problems but learning how to bear them so we can examine them and grow from their fertile influence. For those that have come from difficult circumstances as children, achieving this alone could be regarded as a huge success, a life well lived and an enormous investment for spiritual evolution to be carried over into the next life.

The route to spirituality is all about the self; it’s all about you. There is no shortcut, healthy selfishness is a must and nothing changes the truth of this. That is not to say that help isn’t beneficial but no matter how many people we have in our lives to guide us on our way the majority of the journey can only be done on our own. We can only make the next step and the steps may be small and seemingly insignificant at times but they never are insignificant. Instead of looking to the horizon at what awaits we may be better served looking down and placing our foot on the next step. This way we can overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles with patience.



© Phil Grant unless otherwise attributed