It always begins with ‘an issue’ that grips us.
Just like the perfect training partner who provides motivation, inspiration and ‘spotting’ readiness, Neshama is our dedicated ‘spotter’ beamed from the astral or quantum field.
She does not have to assist each of our sets of repetitions, but just having the assurance of her presence can be enough to give us confidence in trying for the next challenge.
The ethos of Yudit, my mentor, was steeped in the deep-set conviction that, beyond incremental degrees of inner calm, the reward for seeking greater coherence and resilience was the ability to trust and accept the turbulent web of the karmic flow. By that, she meant the life force energy resulting from how well we ‘digested’ all aspects of our physical reality in this, the phenomenal, 3-D world of our perception.
Reality check: The gut-gripping flashes of emotion that overcome us via neural pathways when we find ourselves once again confronted by familiar flash points trap us in in-between moments of ‘unconsciousness’ – of automated kneejerk reactions. These are the moments when clarity drops out as suddenly as we might lose internet connection perhaps because of an old cable or a glitch in our modem’s Wi-Fi set up.
When we feel full to the brim with broken, painful thoughts belonging to a karmic intent – a puzzle we just don’t grasp – we are most challenged to trust that a truly coherent landscape does exist for us on the other side of these moments. But, as Aldous Huxley wrote, “Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.”
Rock climbers cling to the cliff face through sheer concentration of power and intent tight in their finger grips and toeholds. Similarly, it is at such times that we need to activate in ourselves the silent command to finger-grip with all our might the belief that these moments have a purpose we are intended to decode.
Clarity will return, Yudit reassured me, when we interrupt the ‘charged’ moment before our automatic response system lashes out. We can do that just by getting up for a glass of water and sipping it slowly, as we seek clarity or by finding a quiet spot where we can breathe slowly, rhythmically for a few minutes. Our throat chakra will open up. We will swallow more easily.
Our words will be gentler. They will resonate. They will be heard. They will be better accepted because we will have regained a degree of coherence.
To get incrementally closer to our goal by working through each of the spiky, daunting, testing moments that challenge us daily, we need to use all the tools we have at our disposal, and that includes the unwavering trust in Soul, the ultimate Captain of our life.
From within the shimmer of that trust, we accept that once the sun shower or the thunderstorm passes, clarity/clear skies return to the next moment – and to the one after that and to the ones after that. Basically, as Yudit reminded me again and again via her daily, personalised teaching emails sent from Jerusalem, to make any progress on the Path, we need a vibrant life force energy to keep us steady in a state of healthy, neutral detachment, instead of slipping into the low grade or chronic misery which western culture tends to normalise.
We need to understand the meaning of constancy, of actively accepting, of making peace with the moment, of staying committed to our authentic intentions. We need to be present as the best version of ourselves, day in/day out. Once we develop a long view of life, we eventually understand that the seemingly disconnected fragments of our life, just like the separate systems that govern our bodies day and night are elements of a unified whole.
The more coherent we become through the discipline of practical, uncomplicated spirituality, the lighter, the happier we grow and the better we thrive. We declutter our energy. We reduce the mess around us.
Reality check: If we accept that our body is the solid underlying support of our mind, the healthier our body, the healthier our thoughts. If we also recognise that eliminating from our digestive system all food that is commercially prepared to optimise passive consumption is one essential step in that direction, we are on the right track.
Happy digestive system = happy brain = happy mind = happy person who makes healthier daily choices all around.
Bottom line: Besides a healthy digestive system to bring about a healthy body and healthy thoughts, we need a brave heart. We need a strong core. We need to develop tenacity and constancy. We need to generate renewable ‘clean energy’.
A slight, lone figure on the narrow Path she had cleared by herself and primarily for herself after her husband’s passing twenty years earlier, Yudit was always welcoming to anyone who felt ready to dig deep and match her stride. Not an aspiration for the ‘faint-hearted’; in fact, very few were those who were willing to put in the rigorous practice of letting go – letting go of old ideas, fixed ideas, old ideas, ego-needs and habits.
Her urging was to fully immerse in that flow of energy to cultivate and refine our thoughts as carefully as we choose to ingest food that contains the best nutrients for our body’s systems and aim for holistic health. Thus, every moment, be it pleasant, painful or boringly bland needs to be considered from a sense of childlike curiosity and authentic openness.
One morning, in my inbox, I discovered a poem Yudit said had probably been written around the year 1244 by Rumi’s spiritual mentor, Shams-I Tabrizi.
She had sent it as an illustrative prompt of the faith she had in Soul, as Provider and Protector. She also intended it as a hint of the mindset I should adopt, not just when ‘dealing’ with my mother issues, but also day-in/day-out in my role as a high school teacher.
‘When I run after what I think I want,’ wrote the sage,‘my days are a furnace of stress and anxiety; if I sit in my own place of patience, what I need flows to me, and without pain. From this, I understand that what I want also wants me, is looking for me and attracting me. There is a great secret here for anyone who can grasp it.’
These days, the ‘great secret’ regarding human nature is out. It is well understood that self-sabotaging beliefs and old stories amalgamated as hotspot, spiky memories limit our attempts at an authentic journey of conscious evolution. It is against this block of ‘virtual’, imagined realities that I have been battling for the best part of 20 years.
As ‘luck’ would have it, came the day when the flow of life took me away from decades spent living overseas since the age of 18 to settle me in Brisbane, Australia, a one-hour drive from the coast where my mother and stepfather lived.
Within a couple of weeks of my return, I found myself in the grip of what I had been avoiding by doing my own thing on the other side of the world: a toxic relationship with my mother whose narcissistic traits had finally taken full control of her personality. I was flabbergasted by her intolerance of others, by such a sense of self-importance and entitlement that no amount of thoughtfulness could shift it.
The year of my return, my mother turned 63, and I celebrated my 44th birthday. Back then, as when I was a child, the more my mother appeared uncaring of my thoughts, emotions, yearnings and feelings, the more I wanted to feel a measure of her love for me. Thing is, the longer a wound is left untreated, the worse it gets and the harder it is to repair and heal.
Ten years later, soon after Yudit and I became connected, the first piece of advice she gave me was intended to address this void in me. She reminded me that I was not actually a child anymore; that I probably didn’t really want my mother to hug me all day and do baby talk with me; that I probably didn’t wish to entrust her with all my little secrets; that I was quite able to tap in to my own self-worth while accepting what-is and what-was as a tailor-made karmic rite of passage into genuine maturity.
Intellectually, of course, I understood the wisdom of her words. Acting on them was much harder. It was nerve-wracking.
At the same time, because I was no longer a child, I sensed that beneath the cold insensitivity that peppered so many of my mother’s thoughts and reactions, she, herself, generally felt unloved and passed over by life although she was a healthy, married, at home, woman of means whose life was free of any of the usual life irritants.
I could see that she had become her own worst enemy by engaging in needless destructive over-reaction to any perceived slight and by pursuing revenge in counter-productive ways that damaged herself more than the target of her anger.
I felt compelled to reach out to her and protect her, if only, from herself. I would not walk away from her to disappear once again into the flow of my own life. Because if I did, it would be after the sound of the front door slammed loudly and I did not want to live with regrets. Just the same, despite my age, I didn’t feel better able to thrive emotionally than when I was 10 years old.
Clearly, if a breakthrough was ever going to occur, it was left entirely up to me to engineer it. And, yes, I desperately wanted a breakthrough.
Thus, after years of choking on swallowed pride, of dredging up degrees of patience and understanding I never thought I had – yet still feeling stuck when it came to accepting with detachment each new painful moment underfoot – my adult self was disempowered. That said, perhaps weirdly, I was relieved to be the resilient ‘survivor’ … of that self.
So much energy spent arguing with my ego-persona or, more to the point, against it! There was the flood of fear, resentment and the notion that, perhaps, my mother was right. Maybe, I was not ‘enough’ of a good daughter. Perhaps, it was my reactions that triggered hers and made for difficult times. I felt further disoriented by not knowing anymore who was the ‘real’ CC and what was my fair share of blame to accept – forgive – and let go.
Determined to see this through, I grunted and puffed behind Yudit, as she guided me on the Path. I was utterly convinced that climbing Mt Everest, at least up to Camp 4, the Death Zone, had to be a lot easier than what I was putting myself through.
Kelzang Gyatso, the 7th Dalai Lama buried 261 years ago said that ‘All things found in the world and beyond are illusions created by one’s own concepts. Grasping at them but further distorts perception. Give up grasping and see things as they are.’
The urging from him was the same as from Yudit: Be awake. Be aware. Stop resisting. Dive in deep, solid in yourself. Solid in your faith in Soul. Make her the Captain of your life.
In the fullness of time, I accepted that it was not any moment of narcissistic hard-heartedness, in itself, that was challenging and traumatic, but how I internalised it.
Finally, I was on the right track.
Should you be interested in this meandering that takes us back in time, this topic is further unravelled in the next 3 sections.