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How will this help me with my life?

spiritual journey

I’m reading a book on Kindle called The Art of Work by Jeff Goins: A Proven Path to Discovering What You Were Meant To Do. I enjoy reading about tips and strategies that help you find your path in life, so that I can implement them in my own life, and write about them for you too. The Art of Work is another one of those books that’s designed to help you find meaning in your life.

I was reading it yesterday in the car on my smartphone, while waiting for my wife to return from the shopping she was doing. Reading about people’s experiences that led them to discovering their path, casually thinking as I’m reading, ‘Yep, yep, good, great, lovely, standard stuff so far…. wait… whoa!’

I was reading the part where author was talking about how everyone needs a mentor to help them achieve their calling.

“In epic stories of old, a young hero is called away, leaving his family to begin a great adventure. But before he steps into battle to face the dragon or start a revolution, what must happen? He needs a sage, a master magician, or perhaps a retired coach. However he or she appears, the mentor’s job is simple: teach the young person how to sharpen and refine his skills. Take over where his parents left off.”

Luke had Obi-Wan Kenobi. Neo had Morpheus. You can probably think of a few other stories you’ve read or seen where this is true. The point being made is that in olden days, boys grew up and became apprentices to a master, then they left and forged their own path, and then they became masters themselves. This was the way of things, and has mostly been lost today.

So the author was writing about a woman’s experience in life and her extreme challenges with having a child in a culture that didn’t support unwed mothers having children, and how she ended up using her experiences as a new mother to help educate other mothers on the health benefits of breastfeeding in Singapore instead of using formula. And then she met Amy who told her she would be a great birth coach. This was a life-shattering moment for the woman, because she realised that her advice was true. So she did a course, learned what was needed, and became a birth coach.

After her first experience as a birth coach, the author wrote this:

“It was exhilarating,” Ginny recalled, “like slipping into an old pair of shoes.” That’s when she knew she could do this. Shortly after that first delivery, her friend Amy left Singapore, almost as mysteriously as she had entered Ginny’s life in the first place. It wasn’t the most traditional model for mentoring, but it was the apprenticeship Ginny needed.

In that moment, I could feel my eyes widen. I could feel my scalp itching and getting hot as suddenly my crown chakra opened up and energy rushed in. Old memories resurfaced of a time long ago, when I met Katie.

I’d been working with her and sort of dating her back in 1991, in Adelaide, for a few weeks when she told me, “By the way, I’m a witch.” Right… I was an atheist at the time and a bit dubious about things like that. She explained about the Wiccan religion, and that women who followed it were witches and men were warlocks. Fascinating stuff. But over the next few months, I learned a great deal from her and had a number of spiritual experiences that changed my life. These experiences were experienced with her as well as with other people, and their surprised reactions to the things that were occurring proved to me beyond any doubt that I wasn’t actually going mad. I became psychic, able to see things, hear things, feel things, and just know things. It was pretty amazing.

And then one day she just disappeared. I went to her place and found a note on her door that said something like, “Alan, I’m sorry, I had to leave. All the best, Katie.” Her neighbour said that he thought she said she was going to Melbourne. I was devastated. She was the catalyst for changing my life, and she was the centre of everything I was learning and experiencing, and suddenly she was gone. I’ve never forgotten.. Every now and again over the years, I’ve tried to find her, but unsuccessfully.

And yesterday, as I read “…her friend Amy left Singapore, almost as mysteriously as she had entered Ginny’s life in the first place…” I was transported back 24 years to when I had my own mysterious mentor. Katie was my Morpheus, my Obi-Wan Kenobi, opening my eyes to a reality beyond what I could initially see, helping me discover my power that allowed me to transcend this world and see and experience what most people can’t.

In the few years that followed, I walked a spiritual path. I was in my mid 20’s when I was joining spiritual groups and being part of the sharing of spiritual insight and wisdom. I was told by a man in his 60’s who was running a group that it was amazing that I was so gifted at such a young age. (Most spiritual people are old people.) I became a spiritual development teacher of my own group, helping others learn how to develop their own spiritual and psychic abilities.

But I walked away from all that a few years later. I decided to leave it behind me and focus on developing my life instead of developing my spirituality, because one of my spiritual development students asked, ‘How will this help me with my life?’. I didn’t know. I couldn’t answer it, and that shocked me. It also changed me.

I realised that I couldn’t see any practical application of these spiritual practices in improving my life, or in improving the lives of others. Many spiritualists were ultimately hippies, with their head in the clouds, drifting through their life with no real purpose, other than zoning out in meditation and zoning out of life, and looking for spirits to talk to. Being able to see the future didn’t always work, and the future was never set in stone, it’s always changeable. I realised that I didn’t see this as being very helpful with life, and felt it was ultimately an escape from life rather than an embracing of life.

I’d already been long term unemployed (with occasional work here and there, but all crap jobs that the long term unemployed end up taking), and I’d already been zoning out of life. I didn’t want to continue down that path while calling myself a spiritualist when in reality I knew I was just a bum.

So I left it all behind. I got on with my life instead, and tried to find out how to become successful at it, so that I could then have a good answer for anyone that asked, “How will your knowledge help me with my life?” I stopped being a ‘spiritual guru’ and became a student of life instead.

It was around that time that I started writing online, in the late 90’s, as I’ve been recording my journey through life. I’ve written articles about spirituality, and about life, as I’ve been exploring both these concepts in my own growth.

And yesterday, as I read the story about mysterious mentors changing our lives, I knew Katie was that mentor for me. She set me on a path that I’m still on today.

As I was sitting there, feeling the energy rushing into me, I realised that after almost 20 years of leaving it behind, the spiritual path is one that I need to return to. It calls to me. It energises me. It’s my destiny. With over 20 years of having achieved success in my life (considering I used to be a long term unemployed bum, where I am now is pretty successful!), I know I need to answer my student’s question:

How will this help me with my life?

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