Updated: Mar 20
You don’t try to build a wall, you don’t set out to build a wall. You don’t say I’m gonna build the biggest baddest wall that’s ever been built. You don’t start there. You say, ‘I’m going to lay this brick as perfectly as a brick can be laid.’ You do that every single day. And soon you have a wall. ☥ ☥ Will Smith ☥
About Water And Eggs
Science teaches us of the difference between physical and chemical changes. If we put water into the freezer, it becomes ice. The water has gone through a physical change because its molecules have been rearranged, but this change is temporary. If we heat the ice, it will turn back into water.
However, if we crack an egg and throw it into the frying pan, a chemical change takes place. The egg will not ever go back to its liquid state. As I have observed our responses to the most recent pandemic, I've marveled over how deeply we pay attention to the surface issues: wearing masks, washing hands, social distancing, struggles with educating children at home, working from home, missing family and loved ones, etc. Granted, these practices are important and must be taken seriously, but from the holistic perspective, no true healing or lasting change can occur unless we have the courage to dive into the deep waters of the root causes.
We believe to know the physical reasons for the pandemic. But nothing exists on the physical plane alone. Have we stopped to ask ourselves about the mental, emotional and spiritual reasons why we have found ourselves in a worldwide push to hit the reset button? What has happened to us mentally when we become so excited about making money that we accept lower sanitation standards and do not invest the resources required to ensure public safety? Those in the business of flying airplanes, selling movie tickets and filling up stadiums are having to rethink how business is done and, if it is to survive, what work will look like in a post-pandemic world.
What has happened to us emotionally that we find it easier to dive deeper into anesthetizing ourselves with alcohol consumption, social/multimedia bingeing, overeating, sexual or other addictions/distractions than to take the time to heal past traumas? Do we realize that holding on to our past traumas (i.e. unforgiveness, resentment) cause us to unconsciously act out and bring more of the same drama into our lives, causing more trauma? When we anesthetize ourselves, we are seeking short term "feel-fullment" which is sort of like heroin. It gives a jolt of instant relief, but it fuels the ego which is never satisfied and controls us by always beaconing for more. "Feel-fullment" leads to a life of cyclical drama, insecurity and pain - the type of pain that is passed on to others which causes more pain. It may be scary to dive into our emotions to heal them, but processing and transmuting them is the path to liberating ourselves from the grip that they've had on us so that we can take our power back and achieve true fulfillment.
Do we seek to understand and give spirituality the respect that it deserves through commitment to improved behavior? Going to church, attending spiritual retreats and workshops, reading spiritual literature, praying and meditating are all great ways to support our spiritual lives, but we hide behind these practices if the insights that we gain are not metabolized within us and put into practice on a continual basis to cause active engagement in the present moment and ongoing transformation in the way we think and behave. For example, if we find ourselves getting into the same types of relationship patterns or making the same financial mistakes over and over again, then we are hiding behind or within spirituality instead of learning the lessons and applying them to our lives.
When I was taking my first exam to become a Qigong teacher, I was amazed to learn that while I was expected to know the form, I was graded on my willingness to correct myself on the spot. As I taught the Qigong form, I was constantly interrupted and told what to do to adjust my posture or teaching style.
I was graded on my ability to stay humble, take the correction while maintaining my focus and, most importantly, seamlessly repeat the movement by integrating the correction that I had just received. There was no time for me to deal with my pride, ego or feelings getting hurt - no time for self-righteousness.
I had to take the correction and continue the exam. Students who were unable to self-correct in this way did not pass the exam. I now have an even deeper understanding of the wisdom that lies beneath that experience.
Spirituality exists in what we choose to say and what we choose to do in moments of peace, temptation and chaos throughout each day. It is our inner wisdom that tells us to make the better, higher choice and our ego that ignores that wisdom and tempts us to repeat habitual patterns of self-sabotage. Rickie Byars has a lyric in her song, A Radiant Faith, that says "there's no hitchhiking on the highway, you gotta do the work." I have had many clients that just want to take an herb or meditate, but they don't want to change their behavior.
Changing our behavior is the purpose of our spiritual practice. What are we doing to stay grounded and centered so that we can make the decisions that enliven our spirit, clean up, heal, release our past and make better decisions moving forward? It can be challenging heart work that is tantamount to chopping wood. It takes effort, persistence and presence. The reward is everlasting fulfillment that no one will be able to take away from us.
So, let's go back to water and eggs. Our most recent pandemic represents a chemical change that has happened throughout the world. Our eggs have been cracked and fried. Though we resist and protest, we cannot go back to the way things were before the pandemic. We are being called to change. This change is not just about washing hands, social distancing and waiting for a safe and effective vaccine. If we are not looking deeply within ourselves, asking challenging questions, leveling up our spiritual practices, forgiving our pasts and the misdeeds of others, releasing trauma, healing our relationships through transformative conversations, apologizing for our transgressions, taking responsibility for and improving our behaviors, healing our bodies, mastering presence and engaging in deep contemplative thought, then we are under the delusion that our lives can change while we stay the same. As