What I like about the spiritual teacher/mentor I chose is that he moves me beyond the words of personal growth books to a deeper place of responsibility. His wisdom takes me energetically to a place of understanding how my thoughts and choices impact every moment of my day.
I remember one of my first private sessions with James after I had resigned from the corporate arena of craziness. Thirty years of striving for (in retrospect) unattainable perfection as the first African American Fashion Director of several large companies.
My corporate journey was over, and quite frankly, I didn’t know who I was beyond the corporate title.
A spiritual teacher compassionately and patiently guides us through our pain and shows us what the other side of needless suffering looks like.
As I sat in front of James, he asked me what I was feeling. Strangely, I had no idea what I was feeling – not a clue! In that moment I was incapable of accessing my feelings and I didn’t know how to express myself through the multiple layers of my trapped emotions. I was frightened, feeling lost and angry.
The one feeling I did recognize was that of victimization. I was also keenly unconscious of how the energy of my secret emotions was having an impact on me personally as well as the people in my life. I’ve since learned that unhealed wounds can become as toxic to our surroundings as the smog that lingers over LA and Phoenix. Healing our wounds becomes a gift to humanity.
This is where the deep work began and continues – getting in touch with my feelings, learning how to feel the pain of my emotions, seeing when I am running away through a multitude of distractions, and doing the best I can in the moment to “let go” of the feelings.
Just last week I was moving through a day of difficult and very old emotions and my teacher reminded me to “look at the bigger picture.’’
I was feeling judgmental and petty over a competitive work situation. I was frustrated and sad because I had allowed my thoughts to be hijacked by an old paradigm.
I took a walk in nature to quiet my “mind chatter” and with each step my intention was to “let go”. I asked Spirit to assist me in seeing the “bigger picture” and reach for a higher level of thought. It appeared, and I felt so much lighter in my body and consciousness.
My time in nature helped with dismantling another level of illusion and unnecessary suffering.
The heaviness had disappeared and my joy was back!
I feel James’ recent narrative on The Gift of Pain is so profound because of the Truth of the message:
“Listen to your pain for it may be telling you that it’s time to accept who you are, and to love who you are in spite of all those self-judgments and “put downs.” Most important, it is risking being who you are. This is the other side of pain, but the journey “is through it”, not around it, over it, or denying it.”
If you are troubled, take a long and peaceful walk in nature today. Experiencing the Oneness of nature is the gift that allows us to “let go” of our smallness and embrace our universal greatness.