Some of these you will have heard before because they’ve been the themes of other blogs. But even if you know these concepts, have humility (be open) when reading them because you may hear things on a deeper level, or you may be reminded of something you had forgotten.
The top 5 misconceptions about spiritual (personal) growth:
1: It’s all rainbows and unicorns.
There’s a large misconception that if you’re truly spiritual, you have to be positive all the time, you can’t think a negative thought or you’ll create it, and everything is love and light. That’s simply not true.
You’ve read my other blogs, you know you have to deal with your shadow, your ego, your negative patterns and beliefs. You can’t just “poof” them away with fairy dust. While that would be wonderful, you have to take responsibility for, and work through, your dark to truly be more of your light. You can’t just ignore your dark or pretend it doesn’t exist- like a little kid scrunching their eyes shut and covering their ears saying, “La la la, I can’t see you, I can’t hear you.” The point is to call it out and actively bring it to the light.
You’re going to hit days when you’re in pity or rage or judgment. That’s OK, it’s part of the process here on this planet. The goal is to work through those emotions and get yourself back to a centered, grounded, and empowered place. You cannot be positive when you’re furious inside. You have to be honest with your emotions, and yourself, and work through what’s infuriating you. (see previous blog on the ladder of emotions)
So while rainbows and unicorns are fabulous, it’s not what growth is all about.
2: If you’re spiritual, you will be/must be perfect.
Being human is messy, as noted above. You can be super conscious, super present, and still have a day where you’re an absolute mess. You will still have heartache, you will still have traumas. Why? Because you’re human! It doesn’t mean that you’re not spiritual enough, it means that you are spiritual being having a human experience and the human experience goes from the lightest light to the darkest dark. From love and joy, to pain and loneliness. Perfection is a concept of the negative ego, stop trying to attain it and let yourself be the full range of you. With responsibility!
You don’t have to dive bomb into fear that you aren’t doing it “right.”
The negative ego will tell you that you’ll be “fixed,” and nothing bad will happen to you when you’re on a spiritual path. And if it does, you did something wrong, such as your thoughts weren’t pure enough, your chakras weren’t cleaned enough, you didn’t meditate enough- etc etc. These are lies, pure and simple.
You’re worthy, even when you aren’t doing it “right.”
3: Everyone in the spiritual growth community is conscious and doing their work.
I still get surprised by this one every so often; stunned by spiritual "leaders" who spout platitudes and can’t recognize when they’re melting down in their own negative ego.
Everyone is learning lessons the way they need, but it doesn’t mean they’re doing the work necessary to grow. (See previous blog here)
Own your power and trust your instincts. Not everyone has integrity.
“Be careful not to wear your spiritualism as a badge to decorate your ego.” -Author unknown.
There are no better thans. Beware anyone who says otherwise.
4: You’ll be healthy all the time.
I hear this one a lot: “If they’re so spiritual, why’d they get sick?” Or, “How come they can’t cure themselves?” Hello- remember? Human, not God. Being spiritual doesn’t equal perfect health. There may be pain and illness, and that could be part of one’s transformation or the way they’ll best learn and grow. Do not judge them, or yourself, for any illness. You’re not perfect (see number 2). Bodies are dense and yes, they get sick.
5: You work through something once and then you’re done.
There is no end date; this is a lifelong pursuit. You will always be learning and growing because that’s what you came here for! Yes it’d be nice to hit a core issue and think that’s it, you’re forever whole/healed/transformed, but there’s always more.
Before you get discouraged, think of it this way: The Universe is always expanding which means you are too. When I say there’s always more, how about looking at that more as more positive growth versus dealing with more self-pity etc. How about more love you could let into your life, more joy, more creativity? Why not let the more be something fabulous? It doesn’t mean you won’t need to ever deal with i.e. self-pity again, it means you focus on what you want to create once you’ve done your work and released the blockages etc.
Spirituality is having a personal relationship between you and the Universe/God/Goddess/Source. It’s not needing to like tarot cards, crystals, or wear only white. You don’t have to do yoga or do juice cleanses. You don’t have to use certain ways of speaking. You can love all these things or none of them, and it doesn’t change the core of what spirituality is. No one can be more spiritual than another person, that’s simply the negative ego speaking.
Remember, spiritual growth doesn’t mean everything is always easy for you; it means as you do your work, you’ll be able to create much more ease and elegance in your life. And when it’s hard, you’ll be able to recognize why and work through the issues. It doesn’t mean you’ll never get stuck again, it simply means you'll be able to figure a way out.
I want to remind you of something: you and only you, are the authority in your life. Do not give your power to anyone; you know what’s truly best for you.
You may find teachers who are brilliant, but do not give your power to them. Yes, you want to learn and grow; however, don’t ever put a teacher on a pedestal thinking that they have all of your answers. They don’t. They can assist you in uncovering your answers and bettering yourself, yet the key is still inside of you.
This also holds especially true with teachers who are doing “spiritual” work. Make sure they’re doing their own personal growth work. The ego can be quite seductive, thus my quotes around spiritual, as I know “spiritual” teachers mired in their dark shadow and ego mind.
Own your crown chakra, own your seniority in your space.
I talk a lot about you becoming empowered and part of that is becoming self-sufficient: to make choices based on what you need and what your gut says versus what others tell you is best.
Truth is subjective. Anyone who says they are speaking the absolute truth and that their way is the only way - run, run away.
There is not a one size fits all when it comes to anything. I have a pet peeve with certain teachers in the holistic health industry who say everyone needs to follow the same protocols. That’s simply not true. We’re not all the same. What may work wonderfully for me might do zero for, or negatively impact, you.
Don’t let the idea mess with you that you’re somehow failing if you don’t do what others tell you to do "perfectly." Know the difference between something pushing you past your comfort zone but being good for you, versus it really not being a good fit or whining wanting the easy way out. Big difference.
In your quest to discover what’s best for you, you can seek out the answers and trust yourself.
That’s the rub isn’t it? How to trust yourself. Trust comes from getting quiet and listening to the wise voice within. The one your gut knows is the true you. Not the loud one screaming in your head; the one you need to connect to deep down in your center. Sink into that instinctual place in your 3rd chakra, your stomach area, and see how certain questions make you feel. Get out of your head and into your body.
It may be subtle at first and you’ll need to learn to interpret the clues and messages you receive, yet open to trusting the answers you find. I’m sure you’ve heard, and have even said, “I knew it! I should’ve trusted my gut.” No one ever said, “Damn, why’d I trust my gut?!” Think about that.
Stop seeing yourself as broken and thinking that someone outside of you can “fix” you. You heal yourself. Other people simply clear the way and give you guidance and support. Ultimately, you know what's best.
Be your own authority in what you most need and what path is right for you, even if others disagree. When you own your truth and you trust yourself, you’ll be remarkably empowered and unstoppable.
We dove into the dark shadow- now how about the light?
Interestingly, the light can be as scary for some as the dark is for others. Some of you are hardwired to look at what’s not working. And you fix it and you work it, and you fix it some more. You’re always willing to look at your faults and what’s not working. You’re incredibly familiar with your shame and your anger etc. Yes, you may still have stuff in your shadow, but you consistently work at bettering yourself.
Now if I ask you about your beauty, your greatness, your gifts and talents, your generosity of spirit, your compassionate heart, or your light, you may dismiss it or deny it. You may want to believe it’s there, but it doesn’t feel right to claim it. Or you may truly think that there’s just so much wrong with you that you have no light.
Either way, all of that goodness is in the shadow. It is just as powerful to excavate the light shadow as it is the dark.
Try this for a moment, say this statement and let me know if it triggers you: “I am magnificent.”
Be aware if your negative ego wants to jump in and take it to the whole extreme of, “Oh yes, I am completely magnificent,” said with arrogance. That’s not what I’m talking about. I mean true ownership of your magnificence and light. You may giggle and think that’s silly- “Ok Tina sure, I’m magnificent.” Said with an eye roll.
Yes, you are. Can you own that?
Can you own your magnificence? Can you own who you are beyond this body? Can you truly own the light of you?
I tell you all the time to be the light, but if you refuse to acknowledge your own light, how can you bring more of the light into the world?
Let’s try this, look in the mirror. No excuses, pick up your reading device and walk to a mirror. Are you resisting me? Good- then you need this more than ever. Look yourself in the eyes, acknowledge yourself, and say:
“I see you. I see your light. I see your love. You are beautiful.”
That might be phenomenally difficult for some of you and it may even evoke tears or wanting to turn away. But it’s time to acknowledge it. And did you even do the exercise, or dismiss me outright and ignore what I asked of you? If so, you just got a big answer.
There’s so much darkness that we’re seeing in the world and yes absolutely we need to heal our own dark, but if we only heal our dark, we are lopsided if we don’t simultaneously bring forth and acknowledge the truth of our beauty, love, magnificence, joy, etc.
Remember, only the light can heal the darkness. Which means- only your light can heal your darkness. Sit with that.
Sometimes we shove aside the light to protect it, especially those who grew up in difficult or abusive households. But as I said last week, there are gradients to everything and it doesn’t take an overtly abusive household to make one hide their light. There’s also a lot of societal messages about not standing out and tamping down your light/uniqueness or, you may have heard, “who do you think you are?”- in relation to what makes you wonderfully you.
As you own your light, I’m not saying you suddenly have to be visible to everybody, but you do need to be visible to yourself. You need to be willing to see your magnificence. To tap into that and let that expand.
Again I say, in order to be the light, you need to actually be willing to see your light. Without caveat, without diminishing it or limiting how much you’ll see.
What about you is filled with light? Take a peek this week and pull it out of the shadow and into your consciousness. The world is waiting.
I had a blog about freedom for this week, but a topic came up glaringly this past weekend and I wanted to address it now.
There are so many more conspiracy theories going around. Again I ask: do you choose to believe them and feel powerless, or do you choose to find the deeper lessons in this global reprieve and own your power on a more profound level?
Conspiracy theories help make sense of what feels out of control. We are birthing a new world. It is unknown, therefore not something we can control. That’s scary. It makes sense to think bad people are doing this to you. Yet, “if you make someone the villain, then you’ve made yourself the victim.”*
If you believe there are dark forces out there, maybe it’s time to do some deep shadow work on your own dark. As the world is excavating its collective shadow, you need to excavate yours.
I tell you to be the light, but it’s not all rainbows and unicorns. There is darkness and ugliness on this planet. We live in a duality- the lightest light and the darkest dark.
You have to heal yourself FIRST, and that means looking at your own dark: your rage, your fears, your prejudices, your entitlements, etc. Do you forgive, or only when it’s convenient? Do you have compassion, or only with people who think like you?
Healing those first helps you be more of the light.
You are no victim. In any scenario you can control your response, thoughts, actions, and beliefs. That is creating your reality.
Let’s talk more about your shadow, because I’m doing a disservice if you don’t realize you have one.
We all have a light and dark shadow: the things we shove aside and don’t want to look at or deal with. In the dark shadow are, as I said above, your rage, your control, manipulation, self-pity, shame, etc. Now you may be aware of these and are actively working to overcome them. If so, great, they’re no longer in your shadow. The shadow holds what you don’t want to, or refuse to, look at.
Here’s an example: let’s say for Sally it’s easy to cry, that’s a safe emotion. She was taught to never be angry or maybe she saw an angry relative and vowed to never be like them. So whenever she gets angry, she cries. Or she smiles sweetly and either apologizes for getting upset, or acts as if everything is fine. All three of those options discount the truth that she’s furious and can’t acknowledge that. Where does the fury go? Into her shadow.
Vowing to, “not be like them,” either an angry family member or another authority figure, only holds that emotion like glue in your space.
Left unexpressed, the shadow gains in strength. Then Sally worries that if she were ever to express anger, it would be so ugly and destructive, that it's better to keep suppressing it. At some point, either she may become depressed, or have no motivation and be resentful. Maybe she does lose it and destroys her relationships, or more terribly, an illness gets created.
On the opposite side of that, let’s say Sally, in her anger suppression, is super sugary sweet and says she can’t even hurt a fly. She is so out of touch with herself that while she may not overtly hurt you, check your back for a knife. Again- shadow. She can’t show anger but boy will she harm you covertly given the chance.
Here’s another example: Joe was taught the opposite of Sally, that’s it’s manly to be angry and domineering but crying is weakness. So he goes through life getting more and more cut off from the people around him because he’s angry all the time. Through every loss, through all his fears, he can’t speak them because vulnerability is the enemy. He rages instead and pushes people away. Like Sally, the consequences could be severe, or seemingly benign yet filled with tremendous pain: a lonely, unfulfilled life, or, a seemingly successful life externally with all the trappings of success, yet without truly knowing love and inner peace.
Obviously there are gradients to how it plays out, the point is, a shadow unexpressed and unexplored is destructive and fodder for your negative ego. That which you shove aside both comes at you from the world and the people around you, and your negative ego will use it torment you. That’s actually a good place to look: what kinds of negative/upsetting situations do you continually find yourself in, and also, what is the nasty voice in your head telling you? You may get clues there as to what you’re not owning.
How many people do you know controlled by their anger or their martyring (sacrificing) themselves? Maybe they’re controlled by their need to control or their victimhood. The choices are endless, what controls you that you won’t look at? What’s the truth below it that’s waiting to be excavated?
You have to acknowledge and release your emotions, safely; i.e.: journal them, rage bubble them, take a pillow and beat the bed, go for a run while venting- you have to move them out.
Just like in the world, we’re all capable of the lightest light and the darkest dark. When you own that, it can’t have power over you. You know what you’re capable of and choose to respond responsibly and accordingly. And by the way, this is how you create greater self-trust and greater self-actualization. When you do that, you not only heal yourself, but you heal the world.
*Quote from Eileen McKusick
Me, just sharing ways to make you the best you can be!