Happy February! Hope your 2019 is moving along smoothly.
Today I want to share a process from a Philosophy called Integral Theory that involves 4 steps for moving through life with more fulfillment. This process has also been called the 4 Frameworks for Human Growth.
I’ve only begin to study Integral Theory which was created by a Philosopher named Ken Wilbur and whether we agree that it is ‘The Theory of Everything’ or not (the Totality of body, mind, soul, and spirit) understanding and applying the principles of Wake up – Grow up – Clean up – Show up can prove very beneficial for us as we walk the spiritual path.
The first step involves us waking up from the dream that we are so deeply embedded in. The great spiritual traditions of India referred to the external world as Maya which means illusion.
The eastern philosophies teach that the reality we take in through our senses is a distorted version of reality. It is limited in many ways and heavily nuanced by the judgments and perceptions that we carry with us.
These perceptions vary from person to person and are influenced by life experiences, education, religious upbringing, culture, socioeconomic status, levels of awareness and much more.
This means that the 7.5 billion people on our planet are all essentially living a different reality since every person’s notion of reality is dictated by the lens of their perception. This is why we have so many varied ideas and thoughts about religion, politics, science and the nature of the Cosmo’s.
In our illusion, things are often different then they appear in real life. Marketing does a great job at capitalizing on this as does our media and political system! But life gives us reality checks about the things we have hyped up in our minds as well as people who turn out to be very different then our expectations.
Additionally, many things that influence us from the subtle realms are also a part of the illusion. This can include powerful forces such as nature that are hidden, invisible and unknown yet they impact our journey in positive ways when we wake up to the truth of their impact.
Waking up to higher truths and unraveling the illusions that we carry with us regarding the outer world is needed as we move into the second step.
When I reflect back on life in my 20’s, I am amazed at what I didn’t know. Of course I was ignorant and didn’t know that I didn’t know. I sense it will be the same as I reflect on my 40’s from a higher altitude hopefully rich with the passing of time and experience.
Every year that passes is another stamp in our passport of life. We can have knowledge but it is the embodiment of experiences that contribute to our maturity.
Growing up is about maturing physically but also spiritually.
This is actually a hard process for some of us. Mostly because it requires us to think for ourselves and to make choices based on what is right for us which we haven’t exactly figured out yet.
As kids we always had someone else making the choices for us which meant we didn’t have to deal with the consequences. In adulthood we often learn the hard way that power = responsibility. And sometimes it’s easier to give someone else that responsibility.
In our modern society we even have a name for the stunted growth of those in their 20’s, 30’s or 40’s who still haven’t moved out from their parent’s basement. We call this ‘delayed adulthood’.
One could argue that we never really ‘grow up’ because we are in a constant state of growing but there are ways we can check in with ourselves along the way.
Do we capitalize on the lessons we’ve learned so far or do we just continue to repeat the same mistakes again and again?
Have we learned how to take responsibility for ourselves or do we still engage in blaming others and throwing temper tantrums when we don’t get our way?
Do we continue to learn new things and challenge our existing belief systems?
Growing up is ultimately about taking responsibility for the life path we are on and moves us into step 3.
When we clean up, we become more aware of ourselves as spiritual beings having a human experience.
We begin to explore our Shadow self, the parts of our Psyche that we have disowned along the way and see the ways we’ve been sabotaging ourselves. We take action to shift the pattern so it ceases to siphon our vital force energy.
When needed, we seek out professionals such as healers, counselors, intuitives and therapists to help us shift the limiting karmic patterns that we’ve carried in the way of baggage for many lifetimes.
We clean up our habits, thoughts, and emotional reactivity. In essence, we perform Feng Shui in our inner world.
During this process, we understand that we are responsible for performing energetic and spiritual hygiene to keep our mind, body and spirit functioning to the best of our ability.
With the first three steps completed, we take our awakened, grown up and energetically clean self to the final phase.
While the other three steps involve doing our inner work, this one involves how we show up in the outer world.
How can we best use our creative self-expression each and every day to maximize our time, talent and treasures?
How can we be of service to humanity without allowing our fear and smaller self to get in the way?
Often I see that people have a very difficult time with showing up because they are still struggling with one or more of the other steps!
Energetically we can feel when someone is showing up in all their brilliance because they’ve done the work on themselves.
We can also feel when someone is dragging around toxic debris of old thoughts, emotions and history while still refusing to take responsibility for the life they’ve created through the choices they’ve made.
A mentor of mine once shared, “life will either elevate you or exposure you”.
Every day we have a hundred opportunities to be elevated or exposed. WE get to choose how we land on that spectrum. We get to choose how we will be remembered by those whose lives we’ve effected, for better or worse.
As we move deeper into a pivotal time for humanity, we can see that many people (and religions) are crashing and burning as the collective seeks justice for the abuse of power, control and manipulation that has gone on for far too long.
It’s time we show up differently. Our world and future depend on it.