Try this: sit down at a table and hold a rubber band between the thumb and index finger of both hands. Now stretch the rubber band—it can be a small stretch or one with a lot of tension. Now let it go with both hands at the same time and watch how the rubber band responds. It rebounds, maybe “jumps” a bit when it lands, then comes to rest on the table. It looks like it did before you first picked it up. Now use your imagination to look more closely. What’s going on at an atomic level? All the molecules are jarred and jumbling about, perhaps smashing into each other and going some very unexpected directions. They have not yet come to rest, they are finding a new place, a new position after being stretched then suddenly released. On the outside there is no visible change, but inside…lots of activity.
This is how I felt the first two days after completing the Journey of Abundance. Everything about life was the same—the same routines, the same habits, the same people, but inside I was jumbling about.
During those first two days, my emotions were all over the place—they had not yet risen to a level of awareness, my mind did not understand what was going on; I was simply feeling. I felt uneasy, uncomfortable, distressed, unfocused, “off,” imbalanced, chaotic. I felt like I just wanted to “get back to normal” (whatever that meant). During those days, I did not think. I did not want to think. I did not want to connect with myself; I did not want to go within. I was tired of thinking, tired of working, tired of trying to “get somewhere.” It was like I had just played the mental equivalent of four-quarters of a championship game and wanted it to be over.
It was the third day when I began to understand, “This is all part of the Journey.” “This is the period of rest, the period of integration.” My mind has been jumbled, and now it is finding its place again. On a neurological level, I can imagine that my neurons have been firing in new ways, have built new neural pathways, and have been subjected to that for forty days. Now they are re-aligning and integrating those new connections with the old ones. The mind-body-spirit-emotion relationships and functions are beyond my education and understanding—I don’t claim to know how it all works—this is just one more way to think about it, to understand, to integrate.
During the forty days, I let go of a lot. I let go of wanting to control how my financial circumstances look (that is: where my income comes from, how I receive money and all good, what I think of as “all my good”). I moved into a place of acceptance, allowing, and receiving, simply letting things show up rather than trying to make something happen. I stopped wanting to do things to get money, started being aware of spiritual rather than material cause.
Those first few days after the forty days ended, I noticed these pre-journey attitudes came back to a small degree. This was all part of the re-alignment, the rebalancing. Part of me was pulling me back. But I noticed. I recognized these as thought patterns that were prominent before the Journey, and I was able to look at them, not judge them, watch how they were adjusting, and trust that they were being aligned at a new (higher) place. Because I had begun to understand this is all part of the Journey, I decided to just let it be and not worry that I was perhaps devolving.
After all, the forty day Journey was more like a stretched rubber-band than a catapult. It was not that I was flung into a new place altogether and re-adjusting to completely new ideas, thoughts, experiences; it was that I am here now, in life, stretching.
Some people do experience catapult-like growth in their spiritual progress. Sometimes now, I even get very small catapults, as moments of realization, glimpses of Truth, understandings of Knowing. But even catapults require integration. In 1994-5, I spent about a year doing really intense spiritual purification, which meant really intense letting go, really intense self-exploration, really intense learning to just be. I did not take pauses to integrate—life consisted solely of the growth of that year-long journey. When that period was done, for about a year after, I was almost as good as a vegetable (and I am ever-so grateful to my friends who supported me through this time). It took me a year to begin to adjust the inner-growth with the outer experience of life. It took me several more years to stabilize in society, with people, continuing to integrate into the world while maintaining my connections with my Self, Spirit, with God. Some of the leaps I made in that single year, I was still integrating 15 years later (and perhaps still am even now on very subtle levels).
We are all already Divine beings. We just have to be it, to be the Divine Self we are, to be it in the world, with other people, with ourselves. And continue doing it, every day, every minute, every thought, every action, and every breath. Can you be it for one moment? Can you be it at work, at school, in your relationships? Can you be it for several consecutive moments? Can you be it for a lifetime?
When I do these Journeys, they focus me and give me a framework for being in the world as my Divine Self. They keep me on the bigger path, as I walk through the details of life. A Journey of Abundance was completed in the middle of last week. My molecules have pretty much stopped jumbling, my neural pathways are evening-out with new connections; I am not concerned about the time of chaos those first two days. I am a step further on the path…and ready and eager to take the next series of baby steps!
I would like to take a moment to acknowledge some of the effects, or results, of this Journey of Abundance. I did receive several material and non-material gifts during the forty days of this Journey. I received a gift of money from out of the blue. I had an amazing weekend-visit with friends and relatives, during which I felt very close and connected the whole time. I received many gifts throughout the Journey: tools, art work, random gifts…I have been wanting a rice cooker for over a year, and have just not gotten around to researching/buying one. A friend of mine, out of the nowhere, pulls a rice cooker out of the closet and said, “Do you want this rice cooker?” And of course, I had wanted one for a while, and I was a bit surprised at the suddenness of the offer, so I sort of hesitated in wonder at the situation and slowly nodded my head, “yes”. He said, “I did a lot of research and everything and everyone says, ‘This is the one to get.’” I just thought, “Wow,” and said, “Thank you.” When I got it home, I pulled his receipt out of the box—it had cost over $130. It is most certainly a better rice cooker than any I would have purchased for myself!
One thing I know about these Journeys (or any spiritual work) and their integration is that the spiritual and material effects do not stop when the Journey ends. They ripple, like rings of water in a pond when a pebble breaks the surface. The effort toward knowing and living the Truth of who you are, of living a life of Love, of being your Divine Self is offered to infinity, for eternity. Once it’s out there, it’s there…infinitely and eternally, because the Truth of who you are is and can never diminish.
A Journey of Freedom begins June 28th.
If you have reflections, thoughts, or questions about abundance or freedom (or anything else!) please feel free to contact me with sharing, questions, or ideas Susanwithpearls@gmail.com.