My dear friends...
There will come a time in your movement through the process of Enlargement when the scale of stop/start, stop/start will be tipped. You will begin to do more "starting" than "stopping." This is a natural part of the process and at some point along the way nearly all of the stopping will stop.
Your stopping stops when you finally become okay with all the previous stopping - and with whatever stopping is happening in the present. It is your opposition to the stopping that has been causing it to continue with such ferocity. It is your frustration with the halting steps that you have been taking that has put the halt in your step. It is as CwG reminds us: What you resist persists. Opposition to anything propels it forward.
Let me repeat that, because I don't think that its impact has hit you yet at the level of importance that will imbed it in your mind. What I said was, Opposition to anything propels it forward. You do not stop something by opposing it, you only get it going faster.
That is because the way you pay attention to something produces the way you experience it. Attention is a powerful tool. If you pay something positive attention, it will move forward in a positive way. If you pay something negative attention, it will move forward in a negative way. Either way, it will move forward. Attention to anything makes it larger. Attention is an enlargement device.
You may have been resisting the first part of the Enlargement process, not understanding that this was a natural aspect of the whole dynamic.
On the day that you begin to stop resisting the stopping, the stopping will start to stop. It may not stop all at once, as if someone threw a light switch, but it will start to lessen, as if someone has turned up the dimmer on that switch. Gradually the inner room of your life (what I like to call your true "living room") lightens up. The dimness gets dimmer and the brightness gets brighter. This is called enlightenment.
Stopping the resisting is the key. Ending your personal frustration and self-recrimination over the slow pace of your spiritual journey is more than important. It is vital. Frustration and self-recrimination only produce more frustration and self-recrimination. As my wonderful teacher Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross used to say, "negativity only breeds negativity."
So here you are, at the beginning of the Enlargement stage on the Path to Self-Awareness. You have already moved through so much. You've come through abandonment, requirement, resentment, argument, and discernment to get to Contentment. You just want to stay there for a while. You want a rest. It's only natural. Yet the inner yearning to do more, to go further, to advance in your spiritual development, to expand your expression of who you really are, is undeniable.
All of this makes a perfect recipe for inner conflict. For some, that could even look like inner turmoil. Certainly there are days when it has looked exactly like that in my life. Yet now I have stopped becoming frustrated about the apparent slow pace of my next step, having reached the awesome heights of Contentment. I have given myself permission to notice that this is just part of the process. And as I let go, I move on. Little by little, perhaps, but I move on. I experience more "starting" and less "stopping."
Now here is what I am starting to do:
1. Declare, inwardly, who I am and who I choose to be. Create the next grandest version of the greatest vision ever I had about myself. Dare to step into that vision more often and more fully.
2. Deal with my tendency to procrastinate (in a lot of things, not only my spiritual development) by pushing ahead on my most important projects (such as writing this very material) and my inner work as well (like daily meditation and physical exercise and rearranging my eating habits so that I can eat well).
3. Stop denying who I really am and begin to act like who I really am.
4. Broaden my concept of how I can apply my inner vision to my outer reality.
5. Send thanks daily to God for all that I am and all that I have. (I talk a lot about this but I don't do it nearly as much as I know is good for my soul.)
6. Trust the Universe, trust Life, trust God to bring me exactly what I can most benefit from right now and in every moment of my life, see the opportunities being presented to me, embrace them and engage immediately in moving them forward.
7. Forgive myself for my past and let go of the pain of guilt. Resolve to live a newer version of myself, to never repeat the behaviors about which I have previously felt guilty, and mean it.
8. Stop lying, immediately. Know that it's the little lies that kill me. The exaggerations, the half-truths, the avoidance tactics, the hide-a-ways and the cover-ups that I think are shielding me from damage, but that are only opening me to continue hurting myself and others.
9. Empower everyone around me to be, do, and have what they choose as benefiting them on their own journey to self awakening and self awareness.
10. Read, read, read ; write, write, write ; pray, pray, pray , and stay connected with God. Use God more and more in my daily life, in the moment-to-moment of my experience, and become far more creative and far less reactive in my environment.
These ten "starter-uppers" have gotten me on the road to getting moving again in my spiritual development. I am paying more attention to my soul, and my soul is rewarding me by bringing more into my inner and outer reality that I have hungered for-specifically, a grander experience of my true self. The third phase of Enlargement is sustaining that experience.
Read this week's Letter to Neale here
Read a message from one of the prisoners impacted by our Prison Outreach HERE
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