For a long time, I have been interested in all things related to becoming a better person.
This might be partly due to all the horrible labels I was conferred growing up such as: hot-tempered, stubborn, wilful, naughty, talkative, spoilt, ugly, bookworm and the like.
I simply want to be a better person.
Along this journey of personal development, I came across spiritual lingo or terms which included:
>>> Inner work
In my pursuit to be more “evolved,” the people I met call themselves:
>>> New agers
>>> Light workers
>>> Way showers
>>> Enlightened beings
>>> Conscious community
I tried to see how exactly these people who call themselves that were any different from the “other” kind of people whom they considered not.
I came to this conclusion:
They talked about, cared about and though about things that are more than of the material world. In short, they were usually consumed by “things” which were actually intangible, and usually involved their feelings or their sense around energy.
In their interactions with people, however, there was only one marked difference to me. And it is this:
The only difference I noticed was that such individuals took more time before replying.
I thought it had to do with them slowing down, or pretending to. And so in my desire to be more spiritual, I tried to slow down too. I failed miserably. I was still talking as fast—way too fast—to pass off as spiritual, or so I thought.
Recently I attended a teacher training course in The Art of Feminine Presence, and I received a major ah-ha moment which I trust has and will continue to help me be more conscious.
In one of the practices taught, we were asked to receive appreciation and not react. It was hard not to say anything—not even thank you.
Instead we were invited to allow the compliments to sink in so as to thoroughly absorb the words, and their significance. This involved being open to receiving, and being vulnerable—including to getting hurt. To aid myself in this exercise, I visualised myself receiving as I would, sponge to water—Neither react, nor think about responding. Just receive.
I soaked it all in, and absorbed them—trusting that I could reject whatever I disagreed with.
It began to dawn on me. Those evolved friends of mine were slower in their replies because they actually were doing something different than most people! Trying to take more time vs. needing more time are distinctly differently!
They were absorbing the words—all of it, including the meaning, the feeling and significant behind the words. And when they were doing so much with what they just heard, they did need more time.
In a conversation: receive completely first, trusting that we can handle whatever is spoken, and then respond—only if compelled to. The way we speak, as well as the things we speak of would have a markedly different weight behind them.
And this, my friend, is what I believe will shift us from being a desperate spiritual wannabe to conscious being.
I hope the visualisation of sponge to water will be useful to you. Try it. Get better at it. And let’s watch our lives change.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Author: Martha Lee
Editor: Catherine Monkman
Photos: Daniel Gasienica/Flickr