Tag Archives: self-development

Soulevolution and the course of time

I am working as a medium for a while now and I would like to say that I learnt from some very good teachers. These teachers were important along my way of understanding myself, my own potential and what it means to develop my psychic abilities.

As a natural process over the time I grew out of my teachers and looked for my own answers to a subject I lived all my life and never understood.

The teaching and training years are very important to build a solid foundation for your psychic development. But also the years of personal practice and experience will lead you into a new direction of understanding and questioning. Not everyone who starts out to explore their own psychic abilities is going to be a medium. Or even should not start with only this intention in mind. Furthermore let it be a journey to discover yourself and your unlimited potential as human and spiritual being. May the truth set you free!

If we look back in time, people with psychic abilities or supernatural powers can be found during the history of mankind. In ancient traditions we can find the shamans, the healers and seers, the spiritual leaders of a tribe. In those times people reached out to those shamans for advise, help, assistance and healing. People believed that spiritual guidance was important for their well-being and the survival of the whole tribe. The shamans words were accepted and their wisdom respected as it came from the highest realms of spirit. Not everyone was allowed or destined to be a shaman only a few were chosen by spirit to take on that enormous responsibility.

Many shamans went through a long period of initiation, spend time alone in caves and forests to strengthen their connection with the spirit world. They learnt about plants and their use, tuned into the wisdom of the universe and created rituals to celebrate their connection.

The more time went by the more the human consciousness developed and went through different stages of self-understanding and expression. But also our lifestyle and our understanding of the world has changed and been shaped over the centuries rapidly. We as human race have gone through periods of abundance and poverty, of huge wars and peaceful times. Passed through logical and rational thinking and exploration as well as times of religious fanaticism and blind belief. Till we reached our modern times with all its technology and a new way of scientific understanding of the world.

Birth of Spiritualism till the modern times

If we take a look at the 1850 where the phenomena of the “Hydesville Rappings”(read whole article about the Hydesville Rappings here) appeared in America as one of the first official recorded psychic/physical phenomena to a wider audience all around the world.

A family in America received strange rappings in their house and found out that it was a murdered pedlar who was buried in the basement of the house.

Spiritualism found its beginnings and spread like fire in the newspapers in the USA and swapped over to Europe within a few years. Suddenly everywhere so-called physical phenomena appeared and more and more people opened up to another kind of reality. All over the country, especially in America and the UK people started to go and visit seances where there was contact made with the spirit world. Tables started to turn, furniture were lifted by ghost hands and mediums demonstrated their abilities to give messages from beyond. The western world seemed curious to explore what else was there that the eyes could not see and the mind too limited to comprehend.

When World War I and II hit, the bereaved longed for validation for a life after death. Mediumship was there to help, assist and prove what so many were looking for. People found comfort in the messages they received from their loved ones from the other side during a sitting with a medium. Especially in England mediums had a famous status and where well-known in the public. More and more scientist also showed interest in the exploration of the so-called spirit world and gathered together to explore the subject on a deeper level.

The outbreaks and suffering of two great world wars left the world with deep shock, sadness and desperation. Especially in those times, mediumship rose to another level in which the need of hearing from loved ones who passed over was desperately needed.

A lot of comfort, understanding and compassion was spread with the work of spiritualist mediums and their continuous efforts bringing messages from beyond.

Sadly even during those times, ignorance joined the table and many mediums suddenly were said to be fraud. Therefore many mediums were jailed or put on the Society Stack. The masses pulled away and believed more in what has been written by people who claimed to prove mediumship non-existence. Rather than following the path of self-exploration and experience. Luckily the Spiritual National Union achieved to release the The Witchcraft Act of 1735 remained in force in Britain well into the 20th century, until its eventual repeal with the enactment of the Fraudulent Mediums Act of 1951.

The Fraudulent Mediums Act 1951 was repealed on 26 May 2008 by new Consumer Protection Regulations following an EU directive targeting unfair sales and marketing practices.

It allowed to give mediumship a legal status as a religious belief and classified the demonstration of mediumship in public for entertaining purposes only.

Even today the SNU (Spiritual National Union) offers quality training and a standard for mediumship with the focus on religious point of view more than self-empowerment or the exploration of the soul as individual.

The 60’s – Another consciousness revolution

Another big impact for the raise of consciousness or Soulevolution took place when the american invasion in Vietnam escalated in 1961. Many students, peace activists and leftist intellectuals protested all around the globe together. Slowly but steady the Hippie Revolution, New Age Movement or the Anti-war Revolution started. The first time after so many years that no longer the people would accept cruelty, disempowerment and the torture that another war could bring with it.

Spirituality reached a new expression and as a natural evolution 20 years after the second world war spirituality and religion were finally disconnected. No longer spirituality was tied to a visit of churches and following dogmatic point of views. Furthermore it reached out to masses, to join together and experience spirituality on a totally new level. A powerful movement that led people into self-exploration, inspired new thoughts about humanity combined with mystical and esoteric traditions.

During those times many new ways of exploring own consciousness with psychoactive drugs, music but also spiritual techniques such as yoga and meditation found a place into society.

 Unity, Humanity and equality were the new values this movement asked for and would do everything to make itself heard.

Social Ignorance, Materialism, Egoistic behaviour no longer should be the driving force for a society that was too blind to see. A social system that was build up on the trauma of two world wars and the idea that material safety and security would be the only answer for a cruel world.

During those times people of these movements were not afraid to experience themselves in other realities, to step over social restrictions, rebellion and finally the idea of another way of living together as one human race was born.

 

While the 50’s still focused on new technologies and the comfort of material possessions as an expression of success in life. The 60’s blew this attitude in the wind. Sharing and caring was the new way of life to bring down the concept of separation and inequality.

After the Vietnam war ended in 1975 much was gained such as the Civil Rights Movement in America which allowed black people the same rights as white ones. But also the American Feminist Movement found a new voice and shouted over traditional boundaries. The world had changed and new ideas still moved at the surface of this new society. Unfortunately slowly the hippie movement was soon replaced by the new hunger for oil and its material potential. People slowly turned their faces towards material security again and the stock market offered once again new possibilities for money investments.

New technology especially the first mass market computer in 1964 once again should change the live of so many and as we know today – the world itself. The hunger for more new technology possibilities grew with every step and was based to bring a new understanding for the outside world.

But on the other hand side Spiritual teachers and gurus had a high demand in the early 1980s which came from the revolutionary area of the 60s. Love and Peace seemed to be the only answer to the way of moving humanity forward into a new generation of compassion and understanding for each other. The 80s finally started to bring this understanding for a new fruition. Yoga, Aloe Vera, Meditation, Alternative Therapies and a holistic approach slowly sneaked into the consciousness of a wider audience as a result of the desire for a better understanding of the world and the self.

The 21rst Century – The urge to return to the roots

Coming now into the 21rst Century I feel our urge to return to our spiritual roots. We are very much a society that is fed by the ideas of what screens have to offer. Our food is processed, the people we call heroes are celebrities and nature is something we might now and again experience if we make it away from the comfort of our couch. Reality is something we mostly perceive through the media and its negative news broadcasting. Therefor we feel the world is a place we should be fearful of and which we try to avoid as much as possible.

The world around us might have changed but deep within us we still are the same. Apart from that looking after our bodies in regards of enough sleep and food to keep them alive our soul slowly is dying from the disconnection we created with our environment.

We experience more mental health issues than ever before. Suicide rates are rising daily and the number burn outs can’t be counted anymore. We got everything on the material level and still suffer, how is that possible?

A new understanding – the power within

The answer to that might lay in the understanding that we are more than our bodies and our brains. That there is something within us that doesn’t care about material possessions because it is aware that they are this is an illusion and wont last forever. This something is called your soul. It is that eternal part of yourself that part of your consciousness which survives physical death. The soul longs for true connection with the world, nature and others. That something within you telling you that even if you achieved all you ever dreamt of you might not be happy or healthy.

That something that reminds you that you are not your body, you are not what you have and how many people will praise you. But that silent voice within you saying: “What is it that you truly love? What is it that you are living for? What is it that really counts?”

Humanity might be at a turning point these days once again. Realizing that we can’t go on living like this. We can’t destroy nature and pretending we are not a part of it. We can’t start wars and then turn our back when people are affected by it do ask for help. We can’t deny our personal and global responsibility. On a more personal level this new age will not allow us to get stuck in the wrong relationship, job or life. No longer we can deny our own psychic abilities which are there to guide us on the right path.

No longer we should deny our personal power – the power from within.

Showing us that there is so much more than meets the eye.

Reminding us that we are here to evolve, that we are a spiritual being having a physical experience. Our psychic abilities that do tell us that there is no limitations. Nor space or time. We are able to heal ourselves and others and raise above the detachment of only a physical and material existence.

The healthy integration of these insights could lead to a new Revolution – The Revolution of the Soul.

May the exploration of our personal psychic abilities be the gateway to a new understanding of the self and its limitless potential. I truly wish that more people will discover their unlimited potential and break free from centuries of brainwash and torture, self-denial and giving away their power.

May the exploration and development our own psychic abilities help us to find the truth.

To understand our limitless potential and followed by the understanding that we came here for a reason. To live, explore, expand our very own consciousness and share it with the world.

Julie Jurgan

Medium-Healer-Soulactivist

IMG_20151206_132341

Life Readings & Healing Sessions available.

In person and via distant.

10min FREE Consultation Session 

To book your session get in touch via phone 0750 6032301 (UK) or email to julie@blossomofthesoul.org

If you want to find out what Sessions I offer please look here…

You can follow me on Facebook here…

 

 

(featured image – wesannac.com & google.com)

Julie Jurgan – The law of growth ( 42. Universal law)

I want to see you grow – this is the message the universe wants to deliver when it stretches us. It wants us to awaken to our full potential because there is so much more we could do. But growth can be painful and sometimes we are forced to grow out of things if we want or not. But deep down we know that growth is always for the better – no matter what.

Julie Jurgan is a medium, healer and Soulactivist. She offers One-to-One Sessions ( Readings & Meditations) via Skype and in person. Her healing sessions are available in person as well as via distance. Her healing sessions are powerful and transforming.

If you would like to get in touch with Julie about her Readings or Healing work or you have any other questions please send an email to julie@blossomofthesoul.org

(featured image – pastorkinsey.com)

Julie Jurgan – The law of purifying actions (47. Universal law) (watch)

The 47. Universal law is the law of purifying actions.

How can we become a better person? What is the secret of staying in balance with body, mind and spirit? How can we achieve a better well-being for ourselves and others? There are simple guidelines that have been written down in buddhist teachings – these are called the purifying actions. Simple. Powerful and very profound. Available for everyone no matter of race, age, colour, belief system or gender. Living by these principles allowes us to reach out to our spiritual potential and gain a better more peaceful understanding for ourselves and others.

Julie Jurgan is a medium, healer and Soulactivist. She offers One-to-One Sessions ( Readings & Meditations) via Skype and in person. Her healing sessions are available in person as well as via distance. Her healing sessions are powerful and transforming.

If you would like to get in touch with Julie about her Readings or Healing work or you have any other questions please send an email to julie@blossomofthesoul.org

 

Julie Jurgan – The law of Self-truth ( 43. Universal law) (video)

This is the 43rd video of Julies Universal Video Blog Project in which she tries to discover the universal laws and their meanings as well as impact on our personal lives.

The law of self truth is a powerful universal law – it invites us to discover who we really are. It inspires us to find a way to live and express our own truth and think about our personal values. This law also reminds us that our truth does not need to be someone elses truth. But also it encourages us to truly be ourselves and let others know if they dont respect our truth. May we find the will to go searching for the truth and may we have the courage to stay flexible and open as the truth is not a fixed term – but maybe a reflection of the universe itself. Always changing and expanding.

Julie Jurgan is a medium, healer and Soulactivist. She offers One-to-One Sessions ( Readings & Meditations) via Skype and in person. Her healing sessions are available in person as well as via distance. Her healing sessions are powerful and transforming.

If you would like to get in touch with Julie about her Readings or Healing work or you have any other questions please send an email to julie@blossomofthesoul.org

 

(featured image – truth-speaks.org)

Julie Jurgan – The law of Selfworth (41. Universal law) (watch)

The 41. Universal law deals with the understanding of self-worth. We need to come to realize our own potential but also our power. What we think about ourselves will find its way into our life. If we limit ourselves we limit life. How do we define self-worth and how can we increase it? Compassion and self-love will lead the way but its up to us to walk the path and no longer hold on to anything that isn’t a reflection of our highest self.

Julie Jurgan is a medium, healer and Soulactivist. She offers One-to-One Sessions ( Readings & Meditations) via Skype and in person. Her healing sessions are available in person as well as via distance. Her healing sessions are powerful and transforming.

If you would like to get in touch with Julie about her Readings or Healing work or you have any other questions please send an email to julie@blossomofthesoul.org

Spiritual Parenting: 9 Timeless Truths All Parents Should Teach Their Children

By LJ Vanier

Good advice for adults too.

When children are small, their problems are small and mom or dad can fix just about anything. But the bigger they grow, the same can be said for the problems they will bring home for you to help them manage.

There really is no manual on how to raise children properly. We all do the best we can, with what we have and the tools we have learned on how to get by in this world. But the more equipped we can be as parents, the more well adjusted children we will raise.

9. Everything is temporaryshutterstock_374136676

Nothing lasts forever and it isn’t meant to. The more we cling to the old, the more we harbor the stale and stagnant memories/energies of the past, reverberating them within our own body and keeping them alive within our cells.

Teach your children early on about non attachment. To move and flow with the ups and downs of life, embracing all that can be seen, heard and felt without becoming attached to places and things.

8. Pain helps you grow

Pain is an essential part of life. We grow the most through the difficult experiences in life and so we must embrace our toughest challenges, our deepest sorrows, and our dismal defeats. Be with your child and stand by their side through their heartaches, reassuring them that everything happens for a reason.

Without the darkness, the stars wouldn’t shine.

7. Awareness is everything

shutterstock_366990245We can’t change what we don’t acknowledge. Teach your children to think bigger than themselves.

As the ego is moulding in a young person, there becomes a tendency to become self centred. Everything becomes about them, (me,me,me) and its usually not until they reach school age (or later) where they come to realize that this world is filled with billions of other “me,me’s” that also want to be seen and heard.

It is in this struggle to be heard, to feel unique and special that victim mentality can form as they begin to blame others for their problems, and by teaching them to take responsibility for their own happiness we set them on to a path of self dependance that will take them leaps and bounds ahead of “the crowd”.

6. Find your own path.

As much as we want to help our children grow, learn and find themselves. We can’t live their life and we do not exist inside of them. They are the only ones who can find what resonates with them and what they choose to obtain while they are here.

The more we impose our own predisposed beliefs, view points and indoctrination, the more they conform into the same box we often find ourselves trapped in.

When your child asks questions about the world, instead of immediately responding with what you think you know, ask them what they think, and work your answer around it.

Let them be imaginative. It’s what they do best, and it’s what we lose as we grow older.

 5. Danger is real, fear is not.

The only thing to fear, is fear itself.shutterstock_307192661

Fear is an emotion. An emotional response that is generated by our own thought forms. Whether it be fear of the unknown, fear of death or fear of the future, fear is an illusion.

As we seek to protect our children from the monstrosities of the world, we tend to inflict fear in our children as a means of alerting them to potential dangers. We need to remove fear from the equation and teach solely the dangers. When we inflict fear into our children as a means of protecting them, we are unknowingly putting ourselves in vibrational alignment of those things in which we fear most.  What we resist, persists and in order to raise our vibration we must lose the fear, and ascend into love.

4. Life is about the experience

Life is not a lesson to be learned but an experience to be had, shared and appreciated with the ones we love. We too often like to remind our children that there will be tough lessons to be learned in life, which can in itself, be a defeating attitude. When we can look at life from growth by experience, it lightens the severity of the situation, which allows for a more free flowing transition through each stage of growth.

3. Your perception of the world depends on you.

The world is nothing but a mirror.

shutterstock_357969482Even as adults we are still learning that the way in which we look upon the world relies 100% upon the beliefs, indoctrination and programming that we’ve been subjected to. Now, couple that with emotional burdens and unhealed wounds and voila! we’ve formed an expectation of the world in which we exist.

Now to be honest, their isn’t anyone out there whom can say they’ve had a perfect childhood or upbringing, the growing pains of toddler all the way through adolescence and maturity can take a toll on us. But, we can help to ease this if we are more in tune ourselves.

The better equipped the parent, the more well-adjusted the child. Make a conscious effort to not let your children become dumping grounds for your beliefs and perceptions, keep their minds open and curious, you might learn a thing or two yourself.

2. Find Your Freedom

In order to make ripples and cause waves in the collective conscience of society, it first involves breaking away from the collective conscience of society.

When we introspect through spiritual practice such as meditation, we raise our awareness and when we raise our awareness, we expand our consciousness. We bring conscious memory forward and draw upon the wealth of unlimited knowledge that is found within each of us. (It’s in our DNA).

When we can break the programming of continually drawing only on 3rd dimensional ideals of this ”basic memory storage bank of repetitious action”, we break through the veil and find freedom of spirit.

Let your children think for themselves, challenge them and let them challenge the status quo.

1.”The sky is not the limit, your mind is”.

Teach your children to understand that the only limit that exists is the one they impose upon themselves. People will always say it can’t be done, until it is.

The only limit is your imagination. Get creative!

(featured image thewellnessuniverse.com )

The Four Agreements (read)

Modern Psychology Agrees with Ancient Toltec Wisdom By Tanja Taljaard

 

Most ancient cultures have timeless spiritual wisdom from which we can benefit today. In fact, science and psychology acknowledge the advantages of various age-old practices like meditation, mantra, and yoga, on our overall well being. Many eastern philosophies are incorporated into modern therapies.

There are countless ways to connect with a sense of inner peace and divinity, and the ancient Toltec wisdom embodies many of the universally accepted truths adopted by spiritual traditions around the world.

The Toltecs were a civilisation of Mexico thousands of years ago. They were known as spiritual scientists and artists who explored esoteric knowledge and practices. The Toltec viewed science and spirit as part of the same entity, believing that all energy – material or ethereal – is derived from one source and governed by the same universal laws. The Toltec understood the way the mind functions as dreaming reality. They described the mind as that which controls our dream. With awareness of the source of our dream comes the possibility of changing it.

“Life is nothing but a dream but that dream is alive; you are creating that dream, and that dream working for you is pure magic.” Don Miguel Ruiz

The Toltecs were a civilisation of Mexico thousands of years ago.The Toltec civilisation thrived in Mexico from around 900AD and still informs its spirituality.

The Four Agreements

Almost 20 years ago, Don Miguel Ruiz wrote a book called The Four Agreements. It explores the modern meaning of the Toltec teachings as a way to personal freedom and spiritual empowerment. Many people have found that committing to these four agreements have changed their lives and made them happier, more loving human beings.

Dr John A. Johnson, professor of psychology, believes that most of these ideas are highly similar to concepts used in modern psychology. He claims that Ruiz’s book could be a primer for congnitive-behavioral therapy, which treats problems and increases happiness by modifying dysfunctional emotions, behaviours, and thoughts. It encourages patients to challenge distorted cognitions and change destructive patterns of behaviour.

In his book, Ruiz explains that children do not know any better than to agree with the adult realities into which they are indoctrinated. All children are born perfectly loving, playful, and genuine. Parents, however, teach their children standards of behaviour that they must follow in order to receive love and avoid criticism. These standards eventually become internalized into an unconscious set of instructions for living life. Ruiz says that the reason why people from shamanic traditions in America call themselves ‘warriors’ is because they’re in a war for independence and the right to use their own mind and break free. Dr Johnson agrees that as we mature, we can become warriors breaking free from the shackles of agreements with our fixed, false ideas. We can accept healthier agreements.

Parents teach their children standards of behaviour that they must follow to receive love.Parents teach their children standards of behaviour that they must follow.

Be Impeccable with your Word

Ruiz claims that this is the most important and most difficult agreement to honour. Committing a thought to word brings the thought to life. Being impeccable with your word means to use your energy in the direction of truth and love for yourself and, by extension, others. “Misuse of the word is how we pull each other down and keep each other in a state of fear and doubt.” It’s like poison. We use the word against ourselves through negative self-talk, and we use the word against others through gossip; trying to gain support from others to support our point of view. “Tell yourself how much you love yourself. Use the word to break all those agreements that make you suffer.”

Don’t take anything personally

We all have a unique way of looking at the world. When we say and do things, we are doing so directly through our view of the world. When you take things personally and feel offended, your reaction is to defend your beliefs and create conflict. Those beliefs are a reflection of your own agreements that you’ve made with life. Your point of view is personal to you; it’s no one’s truth but yours. Don’t take anything personally, even if someone tells you how wonderful you are! The opinions you have about yourself are not necessarily true either; therefore, you don’t need to take whatever you hear in your own mind personally. We have a choice of what to believe and agree with.

You don’t need to take whatever you hear in your own mind personally.You don’t need to take whatever you hear in your own mind personally.

Don’t make assumptions

There’s a well know saying that goes with the word assume… Ruiz states, “The problem with making assumptions is that we believe that they are the truth. We could swear that they’re real. We make an assumption, we misunderstand, we take it personally, and we end up creating a whole big drama for nothing.” We often start gossiping about our assumptions. We have agreed that it’s not safe to ask questions, and also that, if people love us, they should know what we want or how we feel. Find the courage to ask questions until you’re as clear as you can be. Also, find your voice to express what you really want. With clear communication, all of your relationships will change.

Always do your Best

“Best” does not mean perfect. Your best is never going to be the same from one moment to the next. Sometimes your best will be high quality, and other times it won’t be as good. Your best will be different when you’re healthy as opposed to sick, feeling happy or upset. Regardless of the quality, keep doing your best. When you overdo, you deplete yourself, and when you do less than your best, you subject yourself to self-judgment, guilt and regrets. Support and encourage yourself.” If you’re doing your best, you will feel good about yourself even if you still make assumptions, take things personally, and still are not impeccable with your word. If you do your best always, you will become a master of transformation.”

“Best” does not mean perfect.“Best” does not mean perfect.

By changing the foundation of your own agreements, you master your own dream.

“Your life is the manifestation of your dream; it is an art. Dream masters create a masterpiece of life; they control the dream by making choices. Everything has consequences and a dream master is aware of the consequences.”

(featured image from upliftconnect.com)

Ikigai – Finding your reason for being

Chip Richards shares a simple method to look deeper into yourself.

What gets you out of bed in the morning?

 

When asked what is the single most powerful contributing factor to one’s health and vitality, integrative medical doctor Oscar Serrallach answered without hesitation: having a sense of purpose. Serrallach went on to describe that while some of his patients have developed great regimes of nutrition, lifestyle activities and movement to support their wellbeing; those without a clear sense of purpose in their life experience continuing struggle with physical health issues. The distinguishing quality of many of his healthiest patients – those who  transcend common health challenges despite not having lived by the book, in terms of healthy lifestyle factors – is that they seem to be the most aligned or ‘called’ towards some primary focus of meaning in their life.

Japanese culture actually has a word which addresses this focus. The word is ikigai and translates simply as, ‘reason for being’.

What is Your ‘Reason for Being’?

According to the Japanese, everyone has an ikigai. To find it often requires deep enquiry and lengthy ‘search of self’ – a search which is highly regarded.

Ikigai diagramFour primary elements of ikigai

The term ikigai is composed of two Japanese words: iki referring to life, and kai, which roughly means “the realisation of what one expects and hopes for”. Unpacking the word and its associated symbol a bit further, ikigai is seen as the convergence of four primary elements:

  • What you Love (your passion)
  • What the World Needs (your mission)
  • What you are Good at (your vocation)
  • What you can get Paid for (your profession)

The word ikigai, that space in the middle of these four elements, is seen as the source of value or what make one’s life truly worthwhile. In Okinawa, Japan, ikigai is thought of as “a reason to get up in the morning”. Interestingly, while certainly incorporating the financial aspects of life, the word is more often used to refer to the mental and spiritual state behind our circumstance as opposed to our current economic status alone. Even if we are moving through a dark or challenging time, if we are moving with purpose, if we are feeling called toward something or have a clear goal in mind, we may still experience ikigai. Often the behaviors that make us feel ikigai are not the ones we are forced to take based on the expectations of the world around us, but rather they are the natural actions and spontaneous responses that emerge from a deep and direct connection to life.

Feeling called to somethingFeeling called to something

The Question of Purpose

Many ancient indigenous cultures took time to honour the question of purpose through ceremony, vision quest and rites of passage in order to help reveal the essential role that each member was born to play in the greater tribe and story of life; though the space and reverence for this question does not always seem to exist today. For many, our decisions around life-focus unfold in a more reactionary way, propelling us into educational, professional and life-directional paths based less on deep inner calling or soul-inspired vision, and more on societal expectations, so-called ‘practical reality’ and what is required to survive in the systems we’ve created to live in.

The truth is, if there was ever a time on our planet where a sense of true purpose was needed, required, or desperately called for, now would be that time. But amidst the multi-layered pressures of our modern world, how do we peel back the layers and discover why we are here and what we are really supposed to be doing?

American mythologist and author Joseph Campbell shared his view on fulfilling our purpose when he said,

My general formula for my students is, ‘Follow your bliss.’ Find where it is, and don’t be afraid to follow it.

Follow your blissFollow your bliss

Sacred Activism, encourages us on the other hand to find our purpose by ‘following our heartbreak’. Andrew Harvey calls us to discover that which is most deeply disturbing in our world and to use this as a catalyst to propel our actions and discover where we can make the biggest difference.

Meanwhile, philosopher and civil rights leader Howard W Thurman said:

Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and do that… Because what the world really needs is people who have come alive.

While each of these viewpoints are powerfully compelling in their own right, whether we are following our bliss, following our heartbreak, or that which makes us come alive (or a combination of all three!), for many of us there is also an apparent need to follow that which pays the bills each month and allows us to cover the basic necessities of life. So how do we balance all of these factors in the creation of a life which is meaningful, purposeful and aligned with our true calling? Is it possible to have it all? The essence of ikigai gives us a framework to balance these elements into a cohesive whole.

Slam poetAsk what makes you come alive and do that

Passion as a vehicle for change and contribution

As the world moves through massive change on many levels, more and more people are feeling called to align their skills and gifts with a higher cause or sense of contribution. Beautiful examples are emerging in many arenas of social change and activism where people are not abandoning their passion for the cause but rather channeling the thing they most love doing in the direction of positive change – and discovering inspired ways to support themselves along the way.

Sixteen year old rapper, dancer and global youth director of Earth Guardians Xiuhtezcatl Martinez is a living example of ikigai, blending his creative gifts and passion for the Earth in the rise of a world-wide youth-lead revolution in support of future generations.  Poet/rapper/Facebook sensation Prince Ea has woven his love and concern for humanity and Earth with a gift for capturing profound messages into powerfully creative 3-5 minute videos – an expression of ikigai which galvanises the energy and support of millions of people online each week. Visionary art therapist and yoga teacher Atira Tan responded to her “heartbreak” witnessing child sex trafficking in Asia and has discovered incredible passion and aliveness through the sharing of her global foundation Art2Healing, bringing justice and transformational healing and movement arts to those who have suffered from this experience.

Youth Director of Earth Guardians, Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, in hip-hop expression of ikigaiYouth Director of Earth Guardians, Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, in hip-hop expression of ikigai

The truth is many of the challenges we face in today’s world are not simple, technical challenges. They are complex, multi-dimensional issues which will require expansive, multi-dimensional thinking and action. The type of thinking, action and energy that emerges naturally when we are in the throes of creative expression or connection with others. When we are immersed in any endeavor that brings us into our hearts, that makes us come alive – and we are bringing ourselves fully to it – instantly we become more generative, more magnetic and more dynamic in our ability to navigate challenges and discover pathways of breakthrough.

IkigaiWhat is your ikigai?

What is Your Ikigai?

Take a moment to draw your own version of the overlapping circles of the ikigai symbol and consider the following:

  • What do you Love? What aspects of your life bring you into your heart and make you come alive?
  • What are you Great at? What unique skills do you have that come most naturally to you? What talents have you cultivated and what do you excel at even when you aren’t trying?
  • What Cause do you believe in? What breaks your heart or pulls at your gut? What change would you most love to create in the world? What would you give your life for?
  • What do people Value and pay you for? What service, value or offering do you bring, or could you bring, that brings real value to others? Something people need and are happy to pay for or share some value in exchange?

Take a few minutes to write whatever key words, phrases and ideas come up for you in each circle, then look for areas of natural overlap. Reflect on the sum total of these elements and how they may relate to each other. Bring yourself quietly to the centre of the circles and leave space in your mind for whatever impulse or calling may emerge naturally in the coming days… What is one simple thing you could do or be today that would be an expression of your ikigai?

featured image from upliftconnect.com

The Four Stages of Spiritual Growth

By Chip Richards on Wednesday March 30th, 2016
SipritualGrowth2

A Guide for the journey from Victimhood to True Empowerment

Einstein has a well-shared quote in our modern day which says, “we cannot solve a problem with the same level of consciousness that created it.” This is a powerful realisation for humanity to embrace as we explore pathways to regenerate the vitality of our living planet and build systems for living that will sustain us harmoniously into the future. But if a shift in consciousness is what is required… how do we actually do (or be) that? How do we create a shift in who we are being such that it positively impacts our visions and our actions in the world? And how do we gauge our progress on the path?

In recent times, our path of personal and planetary development has been influenced by a myriad of different perspectives in science, spirituality, indigenous wisdom and multiple schools of self awareness, self development, movement and thought. Ancient and modern practices have merged with the intent of helping us shed limiting patterns and past experience in order to more powerfully align with the infinite possibilities of life.

In the mid 1980’s, author and founder of Agape International Spiritual Center Michael Beckwith introduced a simple model for understanding the Four Stages of Spiritual Growth and Development. While this is not the only guide to understand the stages of human consciousness, the context of Beckwith’s model is a practical and empowering perspective on our journey from victim-hood to empowerment, connection and oneness with the greater forces of life. Let’s take a look.

Ancient and modern practices have merged to help us align more powerfully with the infinite possibilities of life.

Stage one: ‘TO ME’

The first stage of spiritual development is what Beckwith calls the ‘To Me’ stage. It’s also referred to as the victim stage as it is an early level of awareness where our primary perception is that life is happening ‘to us’. Like a child new to the world, or someone who has not yet claimed full responsibility for his/her life, in the ‘To Me’ stage we experience ourselves at the effect of the people and circumstances of our life. There are times in each of our lives when we feel like we are on the receiving end of challenges, opportunities, relationships, job assignments, etc. and while we may have desires for a different circumstance, at the time it really feels as though ‘life is happening to us’.

As with each of the four stages, in order to move from one stage to the next, Beckwith tells us we must be willing to let go of something en route to claiming a new aspect of who we really are. In order to move from the ‘To Me’ stage of our development into stage two, what we must be willing to let go of… is blame. After reacting, resisting and blaming others (or life itself) for our circumstance, eventually we come to a place where we are ready to claim more of a sense of personal responsibility and become more of a generative force in our life. Through choice or necessity we make a shift and begin to experience ourselves taking matters of our life into our own hands.

Stage one is also referred to as the victim stageLike a child new to the world, Stage 1 feels like life is happening “To Me.”

Stage two: ‘BY ME’

Even if we are fully justified to blame others for our current situation, there comes a time when we must realise that as long as we are making others responsible for our circumstance, we are giving away our power and limiting our ability to make the necessary changes. As we let go of the need to blame anyone (including ourselves!) for where we are, we open ourselves to shift into our next stage of development, becoming active manifestors of the path we truly want/need to be on.

During stage two, the ‘By Me’ phase of our journey, we may initially feel stretched or challenged by our circumstance, but this challenge is often what is needed for us to dig deeper and become a causative agent in our experience. This is the stage of the journey where we get to discover that we are far more capable than we realised. We are not victims of circumstance but rather creators of it.

The ‘By Me’ stage of development is often a building (or rebuilding) phase, where our actions must be grounded, real, focused and self-driven. Breakthroughs in this arena often require focused determination (and sometimes sweat!) and they leave us with the sense of personal accomplishment, “I did it! I can do it!”. In the stage of ‘By Me’, we move past victim-hood and begin to emerge with a sense of personal ownership of the life we create, earn, cause and achieve. This is a powerful step on the path.

In the “By Me” Stage, we take responsibility as active creators of our reality.

Stage three: ‘THROUGH ME’

When we have worked hard at developing skills in any activity or endeavor (from music to sports to mathematics), there is a moment when we cross over from pure focused effort to a feeling of grace and flow with what we are doing. We may have been building skills and trying the same thing over and over for quite some time, when suddenly, we go from playing the music to feeling as though the music is actually playing through us. We go from being the surfer using our skills to surf the wave, to feeling the energy of the ocean guiding our flow upon it. From being the writer of the story, to feeling as though the creative essence of the story itself is expressing through our pen onto the page.

When we enter ‘Through Me’ consciousness we go from a sense of personal significance grounded in our own achievements, to feeling a sense of humility about being part of something greater than ourselves. In order to move from the ‘By Me’ stage into stage three, what we must be willing to let go of is our need for control. As we let go of having to be the soul generator and controller of each outcome, we open ourselves up to discover a new sense of trust and connectedness to the bigger story/currents/song ready to flow through us.

Sometimes the experience of ‘Through Me’ comes as a graceful extension of personal exertion, and sometimes it arrives more abruptly as we reach the limit of our own personal skills or abilities and have no choice but to surrender, opening ourselves up to be conduits or instruments of the higher energetic forces within.

We feel a sense of humility about being part of something greater than ourselvesWe feel a sense of humility about being part of something greater than ourselves.

Stage four: ‘AS ME’

When we let go of blame and move from our perception of life as something that happens ‘To Me’, we begin to discover our true power in life happens ‘By Me’. When we let go of the need to control, we move from our experience of life happening ‘By Me’, to discovering our connection to the greater powers of life moving ‘Through Me’. As we allow our individual expression to merge completely with the energy we are experiencing or creating in the world, we realise we are actually part of the infinite creative force of the universe, which is expressing and experiencing itself individualised ‘As Me’.I am God/spirit/universe/nature/consciousness.

As we travel through the third stage of our development and experience a sense of the greater flow moving ‘Through Me’ consistently in life or endeavour, we begin to reach this fourth leaping-off point and the simple but profound realisation that whatever is moving ‘Through Me’ is also inside of me. That this greater energetic force and I are actually made of the same source material. Like a ray of the sun or a wave in the ocean, I am actually an individualised expression of this greater force, which is now moving, breathing and acting in the world ‘As Me’.

A picture must possess a real power to generate light, and for a long time now I’ve been conscious of expressing myself through light, or rather in light. – Henri Matisse

To move beyond the experience of life occurring ‘Through Me’ and into the ‘As Me’ stage of spiritual development, what we must be willing to let go of is our sense of separation. As we do this (or rather ‘be’ this), we open ourselves to discover the experience of genuine unity or oneness in life and endeavor. We release our perception of the infinite nature of the universe as a causative energy that exists outside of us, and we open ourselves to experience this infinite nature in and ‘as’ our very being. The music, the ocean, the story are not only moving ‘Through Me’… they are the living expression of who I am. This is flow in its greatest sense and many would say it is our ultimate reason for being here. Through our actions, experiences, relationships and being, to remember and experience ourselves as unique expressions of the absolute.

The music, the ocean, the story are not only moving ‘Through Me’… they are the living expression of who I amThe music, the ocean, the story are not only moving ‘Through Me’… they are the living expression of who I am.

Takeaways and Reflection

We each have experiences of these stages of development at different times in different areas of our life. Whether or not we arrive at a permanent state of ‘As Me’ in every aspect of our existence, it is powerful to consider what shifts we can make within ourselves to support our steps along the path.

Stage one: ‘To Me’

Life is a series of events, relationships and circumstances that happen to me.
In order to move to beyond stage one, I must be willing to let go of: blame.
In doing so, I claim/discover: responsibility and personal empowerment.

Stage two: ‘By Me’

I move into my role as a manifestor, claiming my ability to create and influence my circumstance in life.
In order to move beyond stage two, I must be willing to let go of: control.
In doing so, I discover: trust and connection with energetic forces beyond my individual self.

Stage three: ‘Through Me’

I am an instrument and conduit for Life to move and express through me.
In order to move beyond stage three, I must be willing to let go of: separation.
In doing so, I discover: oneness.

Stage four: ‘As Me’

I and the infinite forces of the universe are ONE. I am God/spirit/life, being me. At once unique and intrinsically part of the greater whole. I am one with all of life.

We each have experiences of these stages of development at different times in different areas of our lifeWe each have experiences of these stages of development at different times in different areas of our life.

Is there an area of your life that you are currently seeking to create a shift in your experience?

If so, what stage of development would you currently place yourself in this area?
What might you need to let go of or claim in order to cause a shift in your own consciousness and open the path for your next stage of experience?

Each one of us is Life personalized. We are each Life as a person; therefore, each one of us contains within himself all the intelligence, the power, the faculties and the instruments for the expression of Life… To know that Life became you for a purpose and that you occupy a place no one else in all the world occupies. – Dan Custer (The Miracle of Mind Power)

Feature Image: Detail from ‘Arise’, by Amanda Sage  from upliftconnect.com