What is it that brings people to do this work that I often refer to in this blog, that of personal growth, self improvement, self help or whatever you might call it – it has a variety of names? I thought I’d give a few classic scenarios:
One is a person who, in his words, is “prone to being grumpy”. Despite the protestations of his family, every day or so he has a “grumpy” time. There’s plenty to complain about, the world seemingly well able to throw up situations for a “soap-box moment”, the next door neighbour, rubbish collection, world events, the economy, even God, his inability to get things as he’d like them, etc. What he’s not so clear about is what the real reason for his dissatisfaction is. He just knows he feels fed up a lot, depressed and fearful about the future. Things don’t seem “right”.
Another has been the model housewife and mother, balancing this with a job that demands even more of her now. She is great with her children, who adore her, and she seems to be able to juggle her various roles, even when her husband is away a lot abroad working on contracts since his full-time job went. Despite her ever-willing facade, she’s aware that underneath she’s alternately ragingly angry and very guilty. She’s getting menopausal and now has difficulty managing her mood swings and worries as to whether her husband still finds her attractive. The facade is getting difficult to maintain. And she wonders “when will my time come?”.
A third lost her partner two years ago and is having difficulty coming to terms with her loss. She still lives in the same house and does the same job. She spends a lot of time on her own and doesn’t go out much: “we always went everywhere together.” However she has developed an interest in alternative therapies and learning more about herself. She would like to move on, meet new people and perhaps have a new relationship. Yet she feels guilty about “letting (her dead partner) down”. She wants to sort out these conflicting goals, which seem like two parts to her.
I could go on. It’s life, what happens for people, all very varied, often quite different. They can come to this work to resolve an issue, move on from a situation, manage change, find a way to bring about change, know more of themselves, find certain desired skills and qualities within them, to feel more empowered, to take control, be more confident, resolve a relationship issue, deal with some trait, feeling, thoughts or behaviour that is getting in the way, or make whatever shift is needed.
The core element of change is awareness, to get what’s going on, get an understanding or insight, a realisation, a re-configuration of their view of the world, something that changes the perspective and creates new possibilities.
What they find is often more than they thought they came for, although perhaps their higher self thought differently! This is a very powerful healing space, co-created by all who come, for a purpose beyond and above what seems immediately apparent, a kind of spiritual alchemical process. Thus each person probably has a lesson to learn that they don’t know of when they sign up, but emerges and seems utterly right during the work. Each group that comes together is totally right for the work to be done.
So, people who come often need to trust their choice, and listen to the inner messages, those beyond the ego. The ego says, “Best be careful. Watch out!” Our higher selves, or whatever word works for you, is very quietly, or maybe very loudly, prompting us forward, to move further down our life path. It’s important to develop that ability to listen to our inner prompting, our inner counsel. The ego is about survival and about those thoughts, feelings and behaviours that we keep living out of and that don’t serve us. Our higher self (or whatever), has a quiet, respectful presence, not judging, gently (or not!) prompting us to what is positive, healing, opening, loving, helping, easing, knowing of our ultimate truth.
But do we, will we listen?