|Excerpted from the article published in Anchor Point: The Practical Journal of NLP, September 2001.
The edge of our reality depends on what we hold inside our minds as true and possible. We tend to recycle our lives: past, present, future--all becoming one in the same--continually validating the filters through which we live. We continue to attract to us what we self-select through rote unconscious processes until we don't. When we don't, it's because something has awakened us to a wider life. With that wake-up call, different metaquestions are projected into the psyche from a place of higher wisdom. We begin to run those unconscious questions in our minds instead to attract to us the answers that will fulfill them. In alignment with the new metaquestions, a particular stream of metaprograms provide themselves to provide the thought and behavior orientations that serve us--to step into the forest beyond the familiar compound where we used to live.
In my books Calling Our Spirits Home and Standing Stark I document a path I call the Re-membering Process. I overlay a variety of world traditions, transformational modalities and tie the process to examples of everyday people undertaking the leap. The model I present in this article is drawn from my books, as well as additional observation and research.
While there is no prescription or prescribed schedule, I'm aware of these stages: Sparking, Separation, Search, Initiation and Re-Entry. Many of us are on this path, in different phases and timetables. We are propelled forward by the energetic momentum present with us in the world today demanding transformation--now. If we're not involved and committed to the Re-membering Process, then we're still anesthetized, betraying ourselves and deceiving others.
©2000 Carla Woody
Sparking is what awakens us from sleep and an unconscious life. It usually happens over a period of time, but can happen within an instant. It often occurs at mid-life, but if we're lucky or more conscious it happens much earlier. We all live within a container of some sort and are in a stupor to some extent. We can't escape it. It's part of the human condition. The questions are: how deep is the sleep? How big does the spark to awaken us have to be? What will jostle us out of the daily shuffle? What will cause our heads, bent over so intently eying our shoes, to rise up?
There are some of us who unconsciously decide, without really knowing why, to look up one day and really see the sky or a tree and the Sparking takes place. For others of us, it may be a seminar we attend or a book someone gives us at just the right moment. Then there are some who must be dynamited awake. These are the souls who have to experience a major crisis in their lives. For them, it's a significant illness, loss of a loved one or way of life that finally gets their attention. The important point is that no matter how we receive our Sparking it happens as it needs to for each of us. It's at that point we become more aware of how we have been living our lives. In our semi-wakeful state, we slip ourselves these questions.
1) Where am I?
2) What am I feeling?
3) What am I lacking?
These are the unconscious mantras that run within our minds at this stage. A state of confusion exists. We seek to reach into the fog and grasp explanations. The task of Sparking is to wake up. Soon we may even become hyper-aware of the state of our lives. At this point, we transition to the next phase in the journey.
The task of Separation is un-learning. Once we begin to wake up, if we are truly going to continue on the journey, then leave-taking has to take place. It's a prerequisite of the course. We cannot travel a path toward authenticity maintaining a false life. The Separation phase is a major sub-transition in the evolution of Re-membering. Those who successfully carry it through find the courage to hold firmly against forces--internal and external--that struggle to re-establish homeostasis.
At this point that we begin to look at our lives and notice what really fits and what doesn't. Through the conditioning process we all received messages regarding what was "good" and "right" from our individual families of origin, schools and society. Needless to say, "good" and "right" varied greatly depending upon individual environments.
During the Separation phase, we tend to wonder where we went in previous years and what stranger took up residence instead. We ask ourselves these questions:
1) Who am I not?
2) How did I abdicate?
3) How do I serve myself?
In fine detail, we examine our jobs, relationships, homes--virtually everything in our lives that matter to us. If we haven't been true to ourselves, discomfort and disorientation increase until a shift occurs. The shift can generate drastic change: dissolving relationships, transferring career fields, or leaving a geographic location. There doesn't have to be a complete break with pre-existing elements. However, discovery in this phase will allow the loosening of old beliefs, which will in turn begin to alter attitudes, feelings and behaviors--and leverage possibilities toward a new way of life. We are then brought to the next fork in the path.
The quest of the Search is to widen choices. During the Search we delve into other perspectives and beliefs and try them out.
1) Who am I?
2) What are the possibilities?
We find ourselves investigating areas that are new and different. The promise of a fuller life may seem endless. So, we undertake such things as going back to school, moving geographically, experimenting with new careers or relationships, trying out diverse spiritual traditions or religions; many things to bring in additional data.
The Search can be as exhilarating as it can be scary. We may feel as though we've jumped into space with no safety net to catch us. The dirty little secret no one mentioned is: There's no turning back. Even if we would choose to turn our backs on the future, we're still different than who we were before. The future is guaranteed. It's just how easy or difficult we want to make it. So, we might as well press forward. If we pay attention, we will be directed, through intent, to those aspects that fit who we are at the core. We will know when we've arrived at the threshold of our true home not by the logic of the mind, but by the response of the heart.
After having been on the Search, the traveler comes to rest in the comfort of Self-knowledge. The undertaking of Initiation is assimilation. We query:
1) What are my gifts?
2) Where am I going?
3) What do I need?
While many formal ceremonies exist the world over, the real Initiation starts and ends inside--where the Self is finally proclaimed as whole and wearing masks no longer necessary. In this stage we know and appreciate the old life for what it was. We've made the decision to take the learning and discard the rest. We also know intuitively that there's a new life on the horizon, a deeper one that stands apart from the one that passed before. Having been on the trail for so long, we now stand apart from those who have not yet awakened. We also know we have something to teach--even if only by example. This is the cusp of a real beginning and the fog has nearly lifted. We can nearly see. We are readying ourselves for the journey back into the world. After a pause to fully integrate who we now are and the gifts we have to share, we are ready to continue our travels.
©2008 Carla Woody
The mission of Re-entry is immersion. We will find ways to Re-enter and fill whatever voids existed previously. In this phase we discover the answers to these questions:
1) How do I return?
2) What gifts do I share?
3) What is the structure?
4) How do I implement?
This is the final tasking of Re-membering. It informs our own evolution as much or more than any impact on others with whom we come in contact. If we don't come back, then we haven't completed the journey. We would remain floating somewhere without real grounding. Our new identity calls upon itself for expression. It's not easy to enter places where what we have to give isn't always welcome. It can be frustrating and many of us will just want to give up and close ourselves off. But we can drop hints where we may and discover community. Patience and intent are indeed the bylaws of Re-Entry that allow us to ask our own answers. Belief in ourselves and the possibilities of human potential cleave the way for what is to come.
Evolution is an ancient road. We travel through the cycle of Re-membering but the spiral never ends. We will re-enter the world and integrate our gifts. Over time, we will become anesthetized again. But sooner or later we will arouse ourselves to invite in an even vaster existence.
Note: Navigating Your Lifepath is a transformational program designed by Carla Woody, addressing The Re-membering Process in a supportive environment. It will be offered in Louisiana this fall. See Special Events.
Carla Woody is the author of Calling Our Spirits Home and Standing Stark. She founded Kenosis and Kenosis Spirit Keepers to support human potential and help preserve Indigenous wisdom traditions. She leads retreats internationally and regularly sponsors spiritual travel programs to Peru, Mexico and France. Carla is available to work with individuals and groups in the areas of transition, relationship, spiritual emergence and whole health. For more information, contact Kenosis at 928-778-1058 or email@example.com.
© 2011 Carla Woody. All rights reserved.