This morning I decided it was time to give a bit of my experience in awakening. I thought it might help some identify these principles with life experience. I didn’t finish tonight, but tomorrow!
Story Time — My Experience
I have been writing about awakening. For me, this isn’t theory for which I am waiting empirical verification. I have lived it.
Many others have, too. I may be speaking about awakening in different terms, but I have no intent of diminishing the experiences of others, some even based on formal systems of belief. I have known others who have come to recognize their Heart. I have also seen the struggles of many others, struggles caused by frustration, unhappiness, and resignation, struggles for which the solution resided within themselves.
No, I’m not giving a history of my life, just sharing a few experiences to illustrate this whole Ego-Heart thing. The glossing over of my work life until I was thirty-nine would consist of this. No matter what I did, I did well because I always was enthusiastic and pretty much enjoyed what I did — painting and decorating, antique restoration and conservation, pastoral work, or industrial chemical lab tech. I was appreciated and accomplished in all of those.
Why? What was my operating system and motivation? From my youth, I had a strong sense that I needed a life purpose, but Ego had me convinced that meant whatever I did I should be my best, and hopefully better than anyone else around. My faithful Heart, eternal Spirit present in me, kept urging me forward, so I kept leaving things behind, seeking, exploring, learning, enjoying but definitely not satisfied or fulfilled.
Because I allowed Ego to be my central processing unit, I often sensed restlessness and sometimes urgency and ultimately discontent. And here is the crux of my experience: I always felt like I couldn’t waste time, even though I did, which made me feel guilty. Feeling guilty and being physically sick and hurt over it is really a waste of time. I needed to just take time, face myself, literally and metaphorically, in a mirror and ask aloud and speak to whoever or whatever was deep inside of me.
Alas, I still hadn’t done that when I finally came to a point and decided I was going back to college to take a course in writing, something I had focused on in my youth. I had a lot to learn, but I was good in that advanced expository writing course. In fact, my professor suggested that I would be a good teacher as she observed me working with classmates. And she mentioned it a number of times and put me in touch with an advisor in the education program at the university.
Ego. It felt good. It made sense. Yeah, I could teach and it had to do with writing, in part. Rationalized, sidetracked, and even shanghaied by Ego, I obtained both my English and education degrees. I taught for seventeen years, enthusiastically, lovingly, and masterfully. I enjoyed my students. I was consumed with educational philosophy, and well versed in it.
But I still felt there was more, that I was missing something. I was. Me. I still hadn’t come to that point of awakening, but because I kept perceiving that unsettledness, I tried different things. I read biographies of inspirational and motivational communicators. I have always been interested in health and the environment and our relationship to it since my days in the college of pharmacy (yes, I tried that, too!). That led to involvement with a multi-level marketing company that produces nutritional supplements, which I still take.
And that company involvement led to a workshop I attended over the summer after my sixteenth year of teaching. (If you ever get a chance to go to a workshop led by Paul Tobey out of Canada, I would recommend it). He was good, and the best thing was almost incidental to his main topic that weekend. He referred several times to Paulo Coelho of The Alchemist fame, a novel of following one’s heart and connecting with source energy. Paul Tobey, though, told about the non-fiction work Coelho wrote, The Pilgrimage, and Tobey had actually taken the journey Coelho described, and I knew I had to read it.
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Questions to consider:
How many times have you asked yourself or simply thought about the following questions?
Who am I, really?
What is my truth?
How do my actions reveal what I really feel and believe?
What would I do with my life if I could do anything?
What is my passion?
Why am I here?
How can I discover answers to any of these questions?
If you have considered any of these questions, I hope that my experiences and writing will give you some guidance. Please read my blog and comment and share your thoughts. I would love to hear from you!