Originally posted on Break The Norms
I was traveling back to New York City last week, and what should have been a couple-hour trip turned into a nine-hour nightmare. Everything that possibly could have happened to prevent me from getting back to the city did happen. Had it been any other day, it would have been easy to take a deep breath and change around a few appointments.
However, I was scheduled to attend a meditation workshop that I had been counting down to for months. And although I believe in the Universe working in mysterious ways, I couldn’t help but be upset that I was sitting and staring out the window for hours on end while my friends were in a beautiful space filled with lots of great energy and learning from one of my favorite teachers on the planet. As I sat with my angry self, I finally detached from the thought of being at the workshop several hours later.
A shift immediately took place as soon as I detached; I realized I was disappointed because in my mind, I thought I was missing out on a “spiritual” high that I would get from being there – that feeling, where you get a taste of “enlightenment” that comes at very specific moments, especially during guided meditations and workshops. As we move through life and expand our awareness, our perspective broadens, and we often think we have reached spiritual awakening as we begin to see, hear, and feel various things, sounds, and emotions we never previously noticed. It is an incredible feeling.
However, even after these moments of spiritual awakening or experiencing certain feelings, we have a tendency to return to our old ways of observing and perceiving our lives and being. We go back to relying on the outer “ego”- based perception and neglecting to see and realize the inner dimensions of our true self. In the past, when I would return to my old ways and then felt like my spiritual awareness was moving extremely slowly, I began to push. I wanted it to come faster.
So many times, I have pushed to try to a find a place for which I wasn’t ready. Just as in this moment, I was pushing to get to this workshop. Since childhood, we are trained that we must constantly do more and have more, so why should it be any different when it comes to our spirituality? This experience was a reminder that if we push, we miss many minutes, days, even weeks of our lives.
How many moments have you pushed through to get to the “next” fleeting moment? And how many moments have we lost by cutting our lives short in search of the getting to the next “spiritual high” or any “high” for that matter? Always seeking out the next yoga class, the next Reiki workshop, the next “self-help” book, meditation course, or wellness retreat. But what about the moments of “just being” – the day-to-day moments at the coffee shop, on the bus, at work, with our family? And even though it might appear that at these certain moments in our lives we are not moving at all or are drifting away from the truth, I have learned it is really quite the opposite.
Growth is always continuous, and our consciousness is always expanding. Our preparation for awakening and enlightenment truly never stops…. in every moment of our existence. It is only our “perception” of our growth that makes us think these moments cannot be spiritual that causes us to discard them as not “enlightening.” We block our growth by labeling these moments as not being spiritual and not flowing with life.
We must learn to accept where we are and know that deep within the root of our being there is an unseen spiritual force working out our entire journey. In every moment, we can ask a very simple question: what lesson am I meant to learn in this moment, and how does this experience bring me closer to unconditional love? Throughout my nine-hour journey, I could have stopped and asked myself who at the coffee shop, in the shuttle, on the plane, at the airport, or in the taxi might I experience this moment with… and what can I learn from them? Where can I spread light and love today? I asked my teacher later that night, “What happened today?”
His only reply was, “Divinity happened.” That was all that needed to be said for me to realize the lesson I was meant to learn that day.