I talk with students and clients all the time who fail to see how far they’ve progressed.
In not settling for “good enough,” in following desire, in applying will and intention to practice, in observing ourselves and our habits over time… we know ourselves better. Shifts happen. All of a sudden, we are not lost for days in emotional cycles or mental arguments. We say we will do something and we follow through. More changes occur. We notice more. In this noticing, sometimes we fail to notice the biggest thing of all: we have had many successes. What we wished to ignite within ourselves now burns with a steady fire. We have increased our capability to manifest desire through thought and presence. We are living more integrated lives.
Sure, there is always another challenge around the corner. Certainly, there are still personality parts we have to live with, for good or for ill. But I like to remind myself: this is how we learn. See, once we can lift the 100 lb weight, we forget that once we struggled with 40 lbs. All we can think of is: “I’ll never be able to lift 150.” Is that actually true? Or is that actually what we want? We once struggled to learn to read and write the simplest things. Now we most often take this incredible skill for granted. It is the same with our spiritual practice. It is the same with life success. Everything follows patterns of growth, plateau, and decay. We can pick up something new as this other thing loses energy. We can keep revitalizing our relationship with every facet of our lives. The opportunity here is endless, particularly for those of us privileged enough to have our basic physical needs met.
Today, I encourage us all to take some time and look over our accomplishments. How often are you present to your practice, your family, and your desire? What feels like it is working? What works so well now that you barely notice it? Remember how it used to seem like an obstacle? Even if things feel really difficult today – physically, spiritually, financially, emotionally – can you center and breathe long enough to notice how far you’ve come in even one area of your life? Generally, in times of difficulty, at least one of what I call “The Planes of Stability” is in a state of balance and blessing. Go through them now: Spiritual Practice. Home/Relationships, Physical Health, Mental/Emotional Health, Money/Work, Relationship to Nature. What is working? What gives a sense of satisfaction? What feels like a blessing? What have you put effort into, that is in a different place now, than 5 years ago, as a result of that will and intention?
Today, what do you take pride in? What fills you with a sense of gratitude?
Fortune is found where grace meets effort. You’ve made the effort. Now appreciate the grace. You have made magic of and with your life.
(More information on the Planes of Stability is in my book “Kissing the Limitless”)