Learning to fly spiritually can be frightening.
You don't know what to expect.
It's all so new, but at the same time, it's not.
You've seen others doing it, and doing it quite well.
Will you soar to new heights?
Or will you crash and burn?
You want to remain in the nest of your comfort zone, but deep down you know you will not be able to fly unless you spread your wings and jump.
Reminds me of the time I was learning survival training skills before taking on a five-day whitewater challenge on a river with class six rapids. Our instructor led us to a cliff. We were to jump into the river and float on our backs with our legs out in front of us. This would allow us to push off of any boulders with our feet. It was all part of our self-rescue plan should we flip our crafts or get thrown from them.
I was instructed to go first.
Gulp. I felt like the sacrificial lamb.
As I crept toward the edge, the roar of the river echoed and thrummed through every inch of me. "Holy S***!" I said, knowing full well that everyone else was thinking the same thing, with the exception of the instructor.
All of my training had led to this precipice, and now I had to put my own life in danger in order to save it.
I leaned over the edge to survey my surroundings as adrenaline shot through my body. I stepped back to get a running start. When the instructor shouted, "GO!," I ran and leapt into the face of fear with a big splash, trusting that the skills I had learned would lead to my self-rescue. And they did. It was a step I had to take if I was going to be able to continue this adventure. I finally felt ready for what was next.
This purging is a cleansing. It is the process of bringing our behavior, our attitudes, our desires into increasing harmony with our growing vision of what the spiritual life is all about in order to deepen the stage of illumination and shape our experience of union with Spirit. Here, we face and cleanse ourselves of our fears and of our limiting beliefs and behaviors that have held us back for so long from our authentic selves.
Rest assured that Spirit will be very gracious in revealing those things about ourselves, not all at once, but only as we are able to deal with them.
This cleansing gets right to the heart of our deep-seated attitudes and inner programming out of which our behavior patterns flow. It gets right at those inner structures of trust that don't rely on Spirit but on our ego for our well-being. The structures that are not built on solid spiritual ground will crumble, but this is the point where we are called to exercise the fullness of faith in order to enter into a relationship of radical trust in Spirit.
You may at times feel that you are being "crucified" on this cliff, but this is because of the struggle of our two selves: the self that is not yet all that it has been created to be and the self that stands on the other side, whole and complete in Spirit. But once we take the plunge, Spirit will be there, and we will be filled with the peace that passes all understanding.
Do a cleansing ritual of your inner self. No, you don't have to jump off of a cliff into a river to do this. All you have to do is take a shower (or you can visualize this). As you are standing in the shower, imagine the water as droplets of light washing away your old, limiting beliefs. See them for what they are, bless them, feel them slipping away from your inner self, and allow them to rinse down the drain.
As they slip away, say: "Thank you for the message. I release you in love to the Light for healing and transformation." Step out of the shower, feeling refreshed and renewed. This can be repeated at any time.
This next two exercises are aimed at your trust structures. The first requires a partner. You are to blindfold yourself and allow your partner to guide you outside in an area with which you are not familiar. Your partner can not touch you and can only voice instructions. You may switch roles when finished. Discuss your experience with your partner.
A similar activity requires a group of 6 - 8 people. Everyone stands in a circle, in a spotting position (feet braced in a front-to-back stance). You get to stand in the middle, with eyes closed and arms across your chest. When you are ready, say, "Ready to fall," and then fall backwards without stopping yourself. Allow the others to catch you and gently pass you around. When everyone has participated (if they feel in alignment with it), discuss your experiences with each other.
Read the introduction to 31 Days of Spiritual Growth here, and find links to all posts in this series.