11 September 2015 3 Comments

Managing Your Energy, Part #61: What IS Personal Development? & Guidelines for Whether to Remain in Difficult Circumstances

“When a defect becomes common, it is considered as the normal state by the generality.” ~ Inayat Khan

These behaviors indicate the kind of personal development I have been referring to in the last few posts:

—the ability to accurately self observe
—familiarity with one’s defenses and ability to see them in action
—having a healthy relationship with power
—the ability to observe everything one does not like about one’s self without losing at least partial objectivity or self love, including any abuses of power
—having established an observing center of consciousness that is present and operates like the hub of a wheel, like the still point within all personality manifestations
—the ability to be consistent over time, when choosing to do so
—a high degree of personal congruence between thought, speech, and action
—being able to observe and acknowledge lack of congruence or inconsistency without activating defensive behaviors
—knowing where one’s blind spots are and being willing to recognize and explore them if someone points them out
—the ability to intentionally produce authentic positive states
—the ability to observe one’s reactive emotional states without overly identifying with them, while simultaneously in touch with parts of Self that are not in reaction

Obviously, if someone cannot self assess accurately, they will be unable to evaluate their relationship with the above capacities.

Again, we are not consistent. We have aspects of ourselves that are more developed, and aspects which are less. We are susceptible to conditions, circumstances, physiology, and many other influences that can conspire to activate hidden places we have not mined, or push us P1140113beyond our ability to cope. For those on a path of development and awareness, it can be said that these stresses not only SHOW us what we are made of, but BUILD who we become. 

Given that the pressures of life assist in bringing out who we are and in forming who we become, by what basis do you determine whether or not a difficult set of circumstances serves you? 

Comfort may keep one embedded in habitual conditions that do not support Awakening. 

How do we determine whether or not a stressful situation serves us? Here are some useful questions or potential guidelines for your consideration:

—Am I able to learn through the distress this situation brings up?
—Does this distress further my development?
—Am I discovering something new, or repeating something?
—Am actively in the process of learning how to engage with the same circumstances in ways that do not evoke distress?
—If the situation is resistant to change, are there any elements of the situation that CAN be modified, that will take pressure off of it? What would I need to do to enact this change? How can I enable myself to do so?
—Does my intuition support remaining in the situation?
—Do I sense a karmic aspect to this situation? If so, what does it call for?
—What would I need to do or learn to create a sense of resolution?
—Is remaining in this situation the Highest Possible Option at this point in time?

While they can certainly help, even clear guidelines do not always transfer into the messiness of life itself. Especially in moments of overwhelm, we may make choices that do not serve us. The more we seek to learn from these experiences and aim not to repeat them, the more reliably we can use them to enhance positive values.

When a situation becomes static and is not changing, it is time to do something different. Flatness or a deadened heart must not become a status quo. With the exception of conscious, living ritual, repetitive, scripted or patterned interactions usually consume time and life energy without offering much in return.

How do YOU sense whether a stressful set of circumstances is useful to you?

How do you make use of stressful circumstances?

What does it take to keep you engaged if the conditions are difficult?

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3 Responses to “Managing Your Energy, Part #61: What IS Personal Development? & Guidelines for Whether to Remain in Difficult Circumstances”

  1. Therese 11 September 2015 at 6:12 am #

    I am at a point in my life where I no longer am willing to allow negativity as a normal part of my life. I have begun loving my connection to Source with such complete abandon that any deviation, once detected, begins a process of breathing and searching for my connection to Source. When I am connected, there is only love and such a deep joy.

    These feelings are where I wish to live. These feelings are where I was when I visited the other side years ago. I’ve been trying to get back here and, now that I am, I believe I can stay here so I will. While I have not answered your questions in the traditional sense, I have answered them. I hope you can find my answer in what I’ve written. I have so much love for you, Teresa.

    With Love,

    • Teresa Dietze 11 September 2015 at 8:26 am #

      That is a great description of how to reconnect with Source. As I read it, I watch one part of me feeling ‘less than’ because I still allow some things to impact me for the worse. Silly to compare. As it comes up I am aware of several things. One is that I am sure that when I share many of the things I share, others may feel the same way. Alongside the undertow of the norm (! 🙂 ), this kind of reaction is a major factor in people “othering” those who are becoming more developed. It’s one way we may cooperate with the societal tendency to knock down the heads that stick up in crowd. It’s kind of cool to experience a taste of this in myself with a peer since I was contemplating this yesterday, trying to put myself in the shoes of those who do it to me, and feel what it’s like on that end of the stick.

      I made a choice many years ago to stay amidst the circumstances of life and work for realization of Self under those circumstances. The Sufi aims to be “in the world but not of it.” This has been challenging enough lately that I am now giving myself more frequent breaks where I retreat on my own, either to spiritual events (which can backfire owing to the humans there!) or to Nature. Ideally I would like to be able to hold my State under all circumstances–but I have to be able to access it to hold it!

      I don’t think I knew you had a near death experience. (I’d like to hear more at some point, if you care to share.) I do know that one of the most powerful tools at our disposal, for putting life in perspective, is to contemplate death, without being morbid. Yesterday I was working on a new “bucket list.” (For those who don’t know, that means a list of things we want to do in life before we ‘kick the bucket’/die.) I have had to revise it since several of the things that were on it involved factors that are beyond my control (other people).

      I have a great deal of Love for you as well, and am so grateful you are a part of this journey of Heart and soul.


      • Therese 11 September 2015 at 12:54 pm #

        My experience of the other side was not a death. I asked to be shown why I sob to the point of not being able to breathe, feel such loss, and feel like my heart has such a deep hurting pain any time I see a picture of Denali or some other breathtakingly beautiful picture of Nature. I then sat , in a meditative state, and waited.

        After a bit, I was taken to a place where everything was made of crystals, I believe. Everything was white or clear and some things seemed to have a blue cast. It was like being part of a glacier so maybe it was ice. Since I was warm, I thought crystals and the spikes were shaped like crystals. I wasn’t in a body and neither was anyone else though I didn’t see a lot of people. I could hear them telepathically but it was like hearing conversations in a large room. You know they’re happening but you don’t really hear the conversation unless you tune into it.

        My Guide, for this tour, explained this was one of many areas I could choose to be but this was what I consider home so that was why beauty made me cry; I was longing for home. I knew this was true. My Guide said it was time for me to return to my body but I didn’t want to. I begged to be allowed to stay. I didn’t care about how anyone would feel about my death, I just wanted the peace and love of that place. My Guide said I had work to do and I was back.

        However, I was given the gift of remembering that feeling. If I’d been strong enough within myself, I could have maintained that feeling forever. I was not so the negativity of this world got to me. I have been on a journey to return to that feeling ever since.

        What I shared, in the above post, are my first steps in living in that place of connection and love. I don’t maintain it yet but I finally get how to live there. With practice, living in the place of love and connection will become my habit. It has taken a little over 15 years to get here again and I will do everything in my power to stay here.

        I’m glad you know enough about yourself to stay in your life and make progress. I don’t so I’m, hopefully, going to be able to learn enough about myself to be able to take care of me and not give myself away anymore. I know I can do it in time. Then I can be around people who want me to be someone else and stay myself with a loving heart.

        Oh, I no longer cry when I see pictures of Denali. Over the years, the pain has lessened the closer I got to maintaining my connection with Source.

        As always, feel free to ask any questions. I’ll do my best to answer them.

        With Love,

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