Create the Life You Imagine ~ December 2018

The Practice

“Life is a Mystery to be lived, not a problem to be solved.”

~ William Butler Yeats

The first stage of our spiritual journey requires us to gather up all of our human parts so that we have our physical, emotional and mental lives fully engaged in the journey. Any one of these parts could derail us from our path if we move forward without them. We need to give some attention to all of our parts to create and maintain the balance we need to be successful on our journey. In the Oz story Dorothy metaphorically gathers her Courage (Lion represents her physical energy), her Passion (Tin Man represents her emotional energy) and her Focus (Scarecrow represents her mental energy) as the qualities that would aid her in her travels. She had to listen to each of their stories and get them committed to moving forward with her on the journey. Likewise, we need to spend some time in reflection and dialogue with each of our parts, noticing which parts need attention so we don’t get stuck. We looked at the quality of courage last week, today we will gather up our passion and our focus.

Lesson 2: Harness the PASSION of your feelings and vital life energy in the present moment.

Our feelings are a gift. In the present moment our feelings gently steer us away from the negative and unpleasant and toward the uplifting and satisfying. Our feelings soar in the happy and momentous experiences of life, and they fall during times of suffering and loss. Our feelings give us the goose-bumps and excitement when something seems right and the pit in our stomach or tension in our chest when something is awry. Our feelings help us to pay close attention to each step of our journey and to make sense of our experiences along our path. Our feelings and passion for life help us connect to the deeper and richer parts of our journey and to the people who walk most closely with us along our way.

The danger is that our feelings and thoughts can get tangled up together to create powerful and toxic emotions. Emotions are connected to the experiences of our past. Emotions have the power to flood our senses, and we can drown in these deep waters and lose our way. If we are repeatedly reliving the painful experiences of our past through the toxic and paralyzing emotions we have created, we will be frozen in time along our spiritual journey like the Tin Man who is found frozen along the journey to Oz. My friend and teacher in the energy of emotions, Carol Ritberger, writes that “if you hold on to old emotional hurts, fears and life’s traumas, then you use up enormous amounts of energy trying to sustain something that in reality is really disconnecting you from your life. … Holding onto any emotion that does not serve you well makes no sense at all because it will rob you of everything: quality of life, energy, good health, enjoyment, love, happiness, joy, peace, meaningful relationships and abundance—All the things that both God and our spiritual selves believe we are worthy of having in this lifetime.”

We can learn from the Oz adventure that we must be wary of getting disconnected and paralyzed in the purgatory of toxic emotions and traumas from our past. The old French root of the word purgatorymeans “place of cleansing.” If we can remember that every experience of life is an opportunity to remember who we are and to connect more deeply with our truest Self, we can learn the lessons of our past, cleanse the toxic emotions that are keeping us stuck and fully engage in the journey before us. Our passion and energy for life and our present moment feeling senses will be marvelous sources of wisdom and guidance as we make our way to our spiritual home.