last summer, my cousin in the midwest and I were talking over the phone before their big summer vacation was coming up. she was currently in the process of stripping their backyard deck and telling me about the process.
it sounded, laborious. and even more so, because the current owners, instead of stripping the deck and staining it, had painted it. and then when that didn't look good, painted it again, and...again and...again. because they live in Indiana (her husband works at Notre Dame) they had to repaint the deck every other summer. are you catching the drift? that's a LOT of pain(t) layers.
so here my cousin was, stripping layer, after layer, after layer of old pain(t) off of the deck. she was determined to do it the right way, so that they could enjoy the deck for a decade, or more! before needed to sand off the one layer of stain and re stain. I was really proud of her for taking the time, effort, and sacrifice, to do it the right way.
she could have done the easy way, and painted it, and even painted it a cute color! and it would look brand new and wonderful...for awhile. and then when the real weather hit, it would start to chip away, and scrape and...you guess it, look like total poop again in just a year.
and here's what I'm really meaning to talk about, how often have we done this ourselves with our personal work? or are now noticing other people who have done the same? because I have totally noticed it online with "Social media" influencers. they are leaders, and guiding people, and then the real stuff hits the fan and...the paint layers are exposed.
I remember talking to a girlfriend this year and she attended a huge beachside event where a body positive influencer spoke about rocking your bod with no shame and no negative self talk. and then afterwards? she totally overheard the speaker complaining to her friends about the event pictures, and totally trashing her swimsuit body to everyone else. What the....?
now don't get me wrong, WE AAAAALL HAVE DONE THIS! I'm not pointing fingers or naming names, cuz my pot is just as black as that kettle. been there period. done that period. GONE AND SHUT DOWN MY WHOLE BUSINESS cuz I had been doing this for years and finally went crazy....PERIOD.
but....if you are a spiritual leader, if you are taking people and walking along side them intimately, GIRL...you better be walking the walk. I can't tell my clients to do anything I AM NOT DOING. I cannot lead them anywhere I HAVE NOT GONE. I cannot give them anything I DO NOT HAVE. I cannot make them empty promises I have not seen with my own eyes fulfilled by an all powerful universal presence in miraculous ways.
There is no quick path of paint to consciousness. You have to do the INNER WORK.
is it simple?...YES.
is it Painless? ...NO.
Quick? ...NO. (unless you are lucky enough to have an incredible spiritual awakening in a second). But some might not say lucky, because then they have to follow the path not taken, and be shunned by 99.9% of the world that thinks they crahazayyyyyyyyyy. you know, like buddha, John the Baptist, Jesus, mother teresa, Joan of arc, Marie curie, Fred Rogers ...just to name a few of the awesomes out there.
and if you've been trying quick fixes, without really doing the work, you are adding a lot of paint layers. and THAT IS OK. I've seen spiritual leaders who know all the stuff, astrology, tarot cards, energy work, all kinds of spiritual woo woo stuff, but NO INNER WORK. and that is ok. it is all a part of their path. but here's the thing, you can't NOT DO the inner work.
what do I mean by inner work? that is going from unconscious living (living from ego and subconscious beliefs, reactions and childhood conditioning) to conscious living (living in the present moment, moment by moment).
how do we become conscious, ?
we do the REAL inner work which is:
becoming the watcher. the observer of our life. not the actor or actress.
watching our thoughts and actions without judgement.
feeling ALL THE FEELINGS without reacting/numbing/running away from them
finding, and rescuing our inner abandoned child and taking care of it...for forever.
EGO work, shadow work and mirror work.
responding to all of our life with love and grace, instead of reacting from ego.
doing the daily spiritual gym workouts of: silent meditation, journaling, talk therapy, life coaching, mindfulness mentoring, vagus nerve therapy etc etc etc.
because you can get energy work done, and all the negativity removed from your body, but if you don't know how to be conscious, it won't really matter. you'll end up reacting from the same stories that have been in your head for decades. and attracting back all of the negativity again.
it won't matter what you KNOW or BELIEVE if you are still unconscious.
but the thing is, you can do the always do the work! you can strip away pain(t) layer after pain(t) layer. and then you can put a beautiful stain on it that can last forever if you keep doing the inner work. the inner work never ends, but it gets easier and easier. I promise.
you can do it. your higher self is calling you to do it...you wouldn't be reading this right now if it wasn't. pray for help, trust that the right step, mentor, book, podcast, song, sign will be given to you at the right time.
and then ACT on that mighty miracle that has been given to you, and it will change your life. and then act on the next one, and the next one and it will cause amazing miracles in your life!
I love you and I am here for you. This is the time for us to step out of our unconscious stories, and into our power through the mercy and grace of the atonement.