Beginner’s Luck and the Myth of Spiritual Momentum
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Cindie Chavez – ©2019
As a student, one of the best pieces of advice I ever got was to eliminate two specific attitudes before a course of study. The first being “I already know this stuff” and the second being “This is too hard, I’ll never be able to learn this stuff.”
The capacity to learn is quickly shut down by such limiting constructs.
As a teacher, the instruction to banish both of these mindsets is always one of the first assignments I give to my students, regardless of what I’m teaching.
As a spiritual seeker, the idea that I’ve “arrived” at some level or fixed point in my journey (“I already know this stuff.”) will nearly always be met with some experience that proves, once again, that I am not there yet. These humbling experiences can range from the slightly embarrassing to the downright painful.
On the other hand, as a spiritual seeker, the idea that I’m failing to “get it” or that I’ve “backslidden” or “lost momentum” (“This is too hard, I’ll never be able to learn this stuff.“) isn’t advantageous either because it creates a sense of hopelessness – possibly the exact opposite of what most spiritual seekers are seeking. Furthermore, self-deprecation never builds any kind of health in one’s body, mind, soul, or spirit.
The key to avoiding either pitfall is to adopt a beginner’s mind.
Everyday. In every situation.
Regardless of how advanced you are, every day is a new day, with new lessons to learn, new things to experience and discover.
This is probably the best thing I’ve learned from aligning my life with the moon phases – because like everything else in life – the moon has an ebb and flow, it waxes and it wanes, it is bright and it is dark. If you live long enough you will no doubt experience both sides of many coins – you will experience abundance as well as lack, you will experience sickness as well as health, you will have happy days and days full of grief and frustration. You will experience the rush of elation that miracles bring and the security and comfort that inner peace provides on your spiritual journey, and you will also sometimes feel like you’ve “lost momentum” on the very same path.
And none of these ups and downs mean anything other than the meaning we give them. Our experiences can certainly inform us of “where we are” on our journey, but we never have to judge ourselves as running behind in the race, because it isn’t a race, it’s just life, and we are all right where we are supposed to be at any given moment.
One of my favorite astrologers, Caroline W. Casey, says that she has done readings for “innumerable big-time spiritual teachers”, and that she has yet to meet a person who has fully mastered or embodied his or her own teachings. Ms. Casey hosts a radio program where she invites “anyone on who has a piece of the puzzle for co-creating a more loving and ingenious world.” She tells a story that after one guest’s visit, she received a number of letters requesting that she screen her guests for know-it-all arrogance. She responded by saying that this would be an impossible task, and that neither she nor any of her guests were meant to be exemplars, but rather that she and her listeners and guests alike are all aspirants.
This viewpoint, of everyone being an aspirant and none of us being exemplars is useful because it allows us to step into beginner’s mind and experience the wonder that naturally resides in that position regardless of where we are on our journey.
A big part of the phenomenon we call “beginner’s luck” rests on the idea that there are endless possibilities in the beginner’s mind because the beginner often doesn’t know enough yet to doubt.
I’m going to stop worrying about momentum on my spiritual journey, and remind myself that I’m an aspirant, not an exemplar. Momentum is an essential concept in physics, but maybe not such a useful framework when dealing in things of the spirit.
Besides, beginner’s luck sounds like a lot more fun than struggling to maintain constant momentum. Who needs that when the possibilities are endless?
More by Cindie:
Cindie Chavez is known as “The Love & Magic Coach”. She is the creator of MOONTREAT™ – and she has some great free stuff for you at her website: www.cindiechavez.com
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