Most (not all) but most ideas, theories, processes, and methods on offer today for personal growth and development, are conceived, directed and taught through the conscious mind. We sit and share our inner world, we try to work through our limiting beliefs, our patterns of sabotage and negative behaviour using all kinds of setups, communication, meditations to help us to ‘understand ourselves’. We watch our thoughts, our breath, our behaviour.
And we get it! We understand! We see our stuck, repeating issues. We feel our fear and projections of the unknown. We really do see how our past has been creating our future. Yes, yes, YES!! WE GET IT!!!
And yet, many of us are still stuck. Still hopeful. Ever willing and ready, open and receptive, coachable and present. Ready to try again and again.
I believe that transformation – the experience of a real permanent shift – lies in one tiny, hidden place.
It lies in our healing. In our hidden pain, in our subconscious fear, our contained joy, and spontaneity. It lies in our laughter, in our tears, and in our surrender. It lies in the world of the invisible, the entombed and ignored.
The real challenge involves going into that place so terrifying and overwhelming, that many of us spend most of our waking lives committed to shutting down every and any real road to that bridge. Any distraction will do. Drugs, sex, food, drama, TV, Personal Development courses, even meditating and chanting mantras can all work well as strategies to ‘avoid the void’.
It’s like this. Imagine a giant bunch of weeds growing in front of us on our life path. A huge, sun blocking, thorny thicket of weeds, 50 feet high, 10 feet wide and 20 feet deep. All our patterns, our issues, our sabotage, are all there in this monstrosity. Yes, we have some serious tools at our disposal. We’ve done the ‘inner work’ right? We’ve done every ceremony, every ritual, we’ve drunk sacred medicine and now we have our spiritual axe and a machete of intention and we know how to use them. We hack and cut, with determination and commitment and purpose. And some weeds start to come down. We get a glimpse of the light beyond, the hope of progress. But, as we step forward, new weeds rear up again and quickly block our path and the light beyond. We are back to square one and begin, once again, to hack away at this giant obstacle. We get a bigger axe, a sharper sword, we develop our technique and stamina but no matter how much we try, we cannot overcome this giant monster.
These weeds are being fed in the world of the invisible. The subconscious realm. Deep in the soil of our long forgotten, unresolved pain, frustration, abandonment, loneliness and sadness. These roots feed and support this insatiable organism.
There is only one way to stop this cycle of perpetual struggle. We need to forget about the weeds we can see. We need to forget about the stories, the content, the ‘stuff’ that makes up our conscious lives.
We need to stop chopping. We need to start digging!
Dropping our axes, dropping our technique and our determination, we fall to our knees and surrender to the reality that we need to venture into the darkness – to descend into our interior. This is when we fully understand that we can no more access our subconscious through the conscious mind than we can force ourselves to fall asleep at night.
We have to use a much more primal power to connect to this hidden inner world – to access the protected parts of our brain that contain and store all our wounds, pain and trauma. We have to use our basic primal energies. Like a newborn child, as yet un-enslaved by thought, we have to reconnect to our laughter and intrinsic joy, and we have to connect with our tears. Fully, deeply, and in utter abandon and surrender.
Now, we are digging.
As our hands push into the dark damp soil, as we journey into our hidden depths, using nothing but our receptivity and presence, we begin to enter into a different state of awareness. We are exploring without our minds. Just using our pure primal energies. Inviting both the repressed joy and pain to surface.
And then, slowly, something begins to take shape in our hearts. Our wounded child awakens, memories return, feelings begin to well up from a distant past. But now, we are here for our inner child. Now, we have resources, experience, resilience. Now we are ready to expose these treasures, these blessings in disguise. With patience, compassion, and awareness, we gently ease the wound, the root, into the light. We welcome it. We hold it in our hands. We love it, we accept it, and then, as it begins to dissolve in the light of a memory revealed and the salt of our deepest tears…..we let it go.
As we do, a few towering stems wither and gently fall away, allowing in new light, new warmth. And, when we’re ready, we move forward and again, we begin to dig.
And slowly, gently, we reveal more and more of the roots of hidden pain and fears that have lain buried and dismissed. Each one discovered purely by digging down deep inside, our only tools, our heart, our desire to heal and to discover the deepest essence of what we are.
As the giant weeds continue to fall away, the path begins to clear. We step forward, growth happens, our life begins to develop and change automatically. As we are breathed by existence, as blood circulates through our body, as all the natural systems do, so will our life naturally move toward balance, toward awareness, toward Love.