This morning I had a spiritual awakening.

This morning I had a spiritual awakening.  I’ve been working very hard on my personal development over the last couple of years and it’s been intensifying recently.  I now think it’s because I’ve been working towards the experience I had this morning, and I don’t think it’s a surprise that it’s coming now, when it’s at most 7 weeks before my son, my first child, is born.  I haven’t reached total spiritual enlightenment or anything, and I’m certainly not done working on myself, but I do think I’ve reached a new awareness that will help me to be enjoy life and to teach my son to do the same.

But why stop at my son?  If you’re interested, read on!

I awoke at 6 AM, fairly sleepy still, because I hadn’t gone to bed early enough.  I splashed water on my face, dressed, and took our dog for his morning walk.  I took my iPod and listened to Steve Pavlina’s podcast #8, “Overcoming Fear.”  It was a much longer one than usual, and it didn’t seem like he intended it to be.  Whether he intended it or not, he found that speaking on the topic unleashed some important truths that he really took the time and energy to try to get across.  I came back from the 15 minute walk expecting to have just a few minutes remaining on the podcast, after which I would do my half hour of meditation.  It turns out there was more than half of the podcast left, so I just paused it for later.

My meditation didn’t feel very successful because I was still really too sleepy and the chatter in my head kept taking over.  I was basically daydreaming – running through scenarios of my worries, fantasies, and so on.  I rarely relaxed my mind and got back to my mantra.  As often happens, the chimes went off just as I’d managed to get back to the mantra for a couple of minutes.  I know enough to know that just taking the time to be still with the intention of meditating is good for me, so I wasn’t upset about it.  At that point I went into my heart, which is an exercise I’ll describe more fully at another time, but suffice it to say that it is an exercise in forgiving myself and the people in my life, loving myself and the people in my life, and paying attention to the connection between all of us and how we are all in this together, which makes the forgiving and the loving easier.

The last two times I’ve practiced going into my heart have really been special experiences and today was no different – I really managed to feel the love, forgiveness, and connection rather than just thinking about them.  And whatever chatter was still in my brain was, if not quieter, at least separate, for a moment, from my sense of self.  My initial “sweet smile” was a seed that blossomed into a huge joyful smile – I yawned, I stretched, I took a deep, expansive breath, I yawned again – I literally felt as if positive energy was filling me and pouring out from every part of me it could.

Feeling wonderful, I proceeded to make breakfast, which included a cappuccino (caffeinated, which isn’t typical for me, but that just means the caffeine is all the more effective when I really need it…and I was still sleepy even with the increased energy so I needed it).  I proceeded to listen to the rest of the podcast while I ate my breakfast, and I found it truly inspiring.  While I was walking the dog I’d heard about how to build up your resistance to fear (not mortal fear that causes you leap out of the way of a truck with no brakes, but rather anxiety that keeps you from asking your boss for a raise, asking an attractive acquaintance to go to dinner with you, or confidently making a presentation for a large audience).  In the latter part I was listening to now, he spoke about transcending fear entirely by working from the belief that we are not fundamentally separate, competitive individuals, but really all part of one consciousness, and that we had nothing to fear from our interaction with each other.

Coupled with my already strong feeling of connection and love for everyone, and probably intensified by the caffeine, this really inspired me.  I paused the podcast again and began to think of my job as a dance teacher, and of my role as the new student director and a sales manager in my studio, and of the people I teach, and of the prospective students that I sell dance lessons to.  The studio owner really wants us to push, to convince people to buy lessons.  He doesn’t ask us to do anything unethical, and I think he’s given up trying to control exactly how we approach it, but he does want us to at least try hard.  And I do this, not because I’ve always wanted to make money in sales, but because I truly love dancing and, as a former student myself, I know firsthand how it changed my life for the better.  Having been part of the studio for 9 years, I have seen ballroom dancing significantly improve the lives of thousands of people.

I realized that being true to myself and loving other people and wanting to do well at my job could all be part of the same effort.  I do need to push, to convince people to buy lessons…and I need to do it from my heart, by connecting with those people who sit on the other side of the desk from me in my office.  If they say “no,” or “we’ll have to think about it,” I shouldn’t give up just because I don’t want to be “that pushy sales guy;” that wouldn’t be true to myself.  I just need to be open about how I feel.  If I want them to stay and let me try to convince them, why not just ask them for the time?  Why not say, “I understand how you feel as this isn’t a small amount of money, and I appreciate that you want to consider it carefully.  I do feel strongly that this is something that will be really beneficial to you, so I hope you don’t mind giving me 5 more minutes of your time to go over those benefits.  Would that be ok with you?”  I’m a nice guy making a reasonable and very honest request – anyone who would refuse wouldn’t have responded to what I had to say next anyway.

After that, talking about the many benefits of dancing would be the easiest thing in the world for me.

With that wonderful feeling about a new way to improve people’s lives, including my own and that of my boss, I continued listening to the podcast and listened to Steve bring home the Buddhist concept that all fear and suffering come from the misconception of the separation between all of us.  He’s not a Buddhist and neither am I, but the belief that we are all one is an incredibly powerful one, as I was just experiencing. 

The podcast now over, I just sat for a moment and let myself feel the universal consciousness (no, this isn’t always an easy thing to do, but you can appreciate that I was in a good place for it).  Of course my left-brained sense of self, the one separate from everybody else, the one that communicates in language rather than feeling, started its usual running monologue and, this time, I decided that it was actually a good thing to let it talk (wow, look at that: an “I” that was separate from “it”, my internal voice; I could tell I was on higher level of consciousness right then).  I actually spoke out loud to myself, really activating the separatist, language-using, logical part of me, and talked about how this interconnected view of the world would really be a wonderful perspective to use all the time.  That, yes, it would be terrific to really always act from the heart and not from the separatist mind, but it would be pretty damned good if my separatist mind decided to follow the same pattern of behavior that my heart did.  I made such a good case of it that my separatist mind was convinced that, even if it wasn’t aware of any direct connection with a universal consciousness, that it would make a better life for itself if it behaved as if there was.

In the end I looked myself in the mirror and asked myself if I was ready to make a commitment to acting from that perspective all the time, even if I didn’t feel it.  Initially, I didn’t get a genuine response, and I literally talked it out some more, logically reasoning that the reason my separatist self didn’t respond even after being convinced that it would be a good idea, was because it feared failure.  That was easy enough to respond to, because not even trying wouldn’t give me any benefits…I might as well try and accept that, even if I’m not perfect, I’ll benefit from my successes.  And there’s no downside to acting from this perspective…people really will respond better to you.  Your boss almost certainly won’t fire you for asking for a raise, even if it upsets him.  Or, if he does, then you just found out how insecure your job was, and that the financial security you were so worried about losing was never there in the first place.  But you may get a raise.  Or you will at least have shown your boss that you, at least, value your self and your contribution highly, which is a good trait in an employee.

Then, before asking myself again, I reminded myself that I have a son about to be born, who would also ask me to commit to acting from the heart, and I imagined him as a toddler asking me, and as a little boy, and as a teenager, and as a young man, and then….as a grown man holding his own first child in his arms, asking me to make the commitment.  And in a flash, I was that man…and I was my own father.  In a very real, very immediate, very conscious way, I had just connected the consciousness of my father, my “self”, and my unborn son, and there was tremendous power in that connection.  At that moment, I made the commitment to do my best to act from the connected perspective all the time, no matter what.

I can’t wait to see what this will be like!

10 Responses to “This morning I had a spiritual awakening.”

  1. Awesome story. Thanks for sharing!

    You might also enjoy this meditation:

    I think it fits well with the podcast you just heard.

    Take care, and remember that you’re loved. :)

  2. Pam says:

    We are all connected!!! You just described just about everything I have been thinking/ going through in life…

    I always tell people you should dance at least once a week, even if it’s in your living room. Dancing frees the spirit!