To see others as they seem to be is human
-- to see others as they truly are is divine.
I didn't choose my life path; it chose me. As we allow our authentic selves to guide us, trusting our inner vision, our way emerges in bits and pieces. We find the path we're meant to walk in the same way that we walk over rocks to cross a stream, one step at a time.
We yearn to have the entire picture of our prized career spelled out in front of us in block letters, but I don't believe that is how it works. We have to put effort, often for many years, into finding the parts of our sacred nature that will form the foundation of our life work. We want the edifice before we build the foundation.
Concrete and rebar -- steel rods that reinforce concrete -- are very boring, but without a foundation and structure, no life work can stand. Before our sacred foundation of concrete and rebar is set in place, we look, but we fail to see the possibilities. Then, one day, we look again and see a new trail to follow.
Finding the Real Pot of Gold
Our spiritual journey gives us the tools to see differently. We are no longer fooled by what looks like a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. The real pot of gold isn't out there; it lives within us as our sacred natures.
The real work we're to do in life is so close to our hearts and our passions that, for many years, we give it no attention. We are prone to look only at the obvious. We look at our skills and talents, our interests, our likes and dislikes, and we discount our passion, which is what drives us from inside. For most of our lives, we work hard to succeed at a career. Slowly, our life purposes take shape in spite of the roadblocks we put in our own way.
We keep trying to do more of the very things that have left us feeling sick and unfulfilled. We know that we feel dissatisfied, but we think the reason is that we're just not successful enough. It doesn't occur to us that we're looking in the wrong place. If you want a drink of water, it does no good to pick up a stone.
We're very smart people. Once we realize that certain kinds of living and relating fill us up, we're able to see the big picture of our future. But rarely does the big picture become a reality. I think God and our angels want us to stay focused and content with today. In my own experience, every time I've gotten lost daydreaming about a wonderful future that awaited me, it evaporated. Our authentic selves love process rather than goals. It is our personality selves that are wedded to goals and accomplishments.
Figuring Out Our Life Path and Our Vision
Figuring out our life paths and their visions is messy. We experience lots of starts and stops -- green lights, red lights, and many, many years of yellow lights. Yet our purpose for living is an essential aspect, a major piece, of our sacred nature. We are propelled to know our visions -- not our jobs, our visions. We ask, "Why did I come to this Earth? What am I doing here? How can I contribute?" Over the years, I've heard hundreds and hundreds of students, clients, and friends ask me these same questions.
A vision is a living fabric of our creation. It is ours alone; no other person can step into our shoes and live our visions. We see this play out when a company prospers under the original management that holds the company's vision, then collapses when the company is bought by some other, larger organization.
Our visions flow from us like streams of energy. Our visions are the identifying marks of our existence. When a spiritual teacher says, "My life is my message," she means that her vision and its expression identifies and personifies the sacred nature of her life. Our every breath nurtures our sacred vision no matter whether we're aware of it or not. Our inner Vision Keeper tends the sacred fires of our Vision.
Vision Keeper Friends Help Us Find The Life Path
Vision Keepers encourage us to discover our own inner Vision as an aspect of our authentic self. A Vision Keeper is someone who has experienced the sacred in his or her own life and opens a doorway leading us toward the spiritual.
Vision Keepers can be priests, rabbis, ministers, or teachers. They can also be people who express their loving intent without a title or mantle of authority. It might be the elderly woman next door who lovingly takes care of her invalid husband, or the teenager who rides his bike to his grandparents' house after school to help out. Another is the latchkey child who spends many empty hours playing happily with and feeding a stray cat that appears mysteriously at his house each day. It is also the company executive who brings more compassionate criteria to his company in order to produce products with less impact on the environment. These are all examples of Vision Keepers, who demonstrate spiritual authenticity in correcting morally untenable situations. Their visions flow from loving hearts, their deep sacred natures, to solve a problem and live the solution.
Our own internal Vision Keepers want us to live the qualities that we're espousing for others, or those we claim we live by. Our Vision Keepers set a high standard.
Vision Keepers as friends and colleagues know they need the sacred in their lives, even though they may or may not identify with a particular theology or belief system. They know a deeper truth. They know who they are through actions that flow directly from their vision of how life ought to be. Vision Keepers do not wait for others to implement change; they begin with what is possible in the moment. They don't listen to what cannot happen; they see what can, and they are content to work small.
Taking Actions Based on Compassion
Vision Keepers respond with heart and certainty, as the following true story demonstrates.
A young man was walking along a country road. As he rounded a bend, he saw some children playing near a small pond. As he got closer, he saw that the children were throwing sticks and stones at a calf stuck in the mud. The young man walked over to the edge of the water, waded into the muck, and pulled the calf out. The children said, "Why did you do that?" The young man replied, "Because it hurt my heart to see the calf struggling."
Vision Keepers respond from their compassion and take immediate action to set things right.
Another significant thing about Vision Keepers is that they finish up old business in order to clear the way for their new vision. They may be experiencing significant family struggles that have haunted them for years, but they realize that in order to have a future, they must first deal with the relationships that drain their energy. Without energy, no one has the resources to awaken a vision.
Vision Keepers are different from Wise Counselors in this way: A Wise Counselor helps us to see the big picture and how we all have a place within it. A Vision Keeper inspires us to take action consistent with our sacred nature and to trust the process rather than worrying about the outcome. Vision Keepers help us believe in ourselves so that who we are is implicit in our vision.
The Very Essence of the Universe is Personal
Our inner Vision Keepers want us to sense God in intimate terms. As we seek a vision for our lives, we're ready to experience The Creator in a more direct and personal way. The very essence of the Universe is personal. Every creature takes life very personally. Every child has a direct and personal relationship with his or her parents. Every grandparent treasures his or her life through the smiles of grandchildren. God isn't an absentee landlord. The Creator has given us the greatest gift of all: our own individual Divine Light. Through this personal light we can recognize our personal God.
Divine Light births our vision as we make our way in the world. Only when we become practiced pilgrims on the journey do we discover how to keep our energy levels high enough to continue to feed our visions. Sometimes we feel so drained by our daily efforts to keep life and limb together that we need some recovery time. Such practices as prayer, meditation, walking, reading, contemplating, or just being quiet help us replenish the light, turning us inward to receive the nourishment we need to stoke our vision fires.
When we imagine God in our lives as up close and personal, we find a different feeling in our hearts. If God were sitting on the couch next to you, what would you say? What would God say to acknowledge your life, give you comfort, and take away your fear? We may squirm a bit, thinking about God being so close, yet God is as close as all the life forms around us every day. We forget to see the man or woman behind the counter at the post office as God or the UPS driver as God.
God also appears in our lives in more evolved forms, as mentors and powerful "way-show-ers" presented through the world's great religious leaders. Jesus the Christ, Buddha, Mohammed, Krishna, and Sathya Sai Baba are examples of personal forms of God. We, too, are on our way to becoming "way -show-ers" -- more realized beings. We have the inner equipment in the form of our inner light, our authentic selves. As we pick up the pace on our commitment to expanding our Divine Light, we are rewarded with a clearer, more dynamic sense of our own vision.
Imagine God in the form of your favorite "way show-er," sitting next to you on the couch or at the dinner table. Realize that the Almighty has your number! Not the number of things you've done wrong! Not the view of you as a failure or of you as less than meeting the mark! "All That Is" finds you a person who cares, someone trying to become a loving player in difficult times. To this end, you have been gifted with a Vision Keeper who is actively engaged with you in the pursuit of your vision, teaching you to realize your vision through the art of Sacred Seeing.
Perception as Sacred Seeing
Sacred Seeing is seeing deeply with awareness. Perception, like the awareness of "Kinship," helps us engage the qualities of our inner divinity, tracking the meaning of our lives by asking "vision questions."
Our intuition alerts us to changes in our emotional environment. Perception alerts us to shifts in our spiritual environment. Sacred Seeing takes us two steps deeper than our normal intuition, to the level of our authentic selves. It asks us to "hear" and respond honestly to the real questions for which we need answers.
As we identify our personal vision questions, we see how we are guided to the places that have meaning for our lives. Our vision is the process of refining and redefining, over a lifetime, that which provides the greatest meaning for our lives.
Answering Life Questions
Using Sacred Seeing, Hearing, or Listening, we learn to pay attention to our inner questions. We're always tracking our truth, which is the way we seek to enliven and enhance our lives. Many times we ask "vision questions" without realizing that they come from our Vision Keeper, who is pushing us to pay attention to where we're going in life. Our answers to these vision questions help us understand what we love and where we find meaning.
The vision questions we need to answer are not necessarily the ones with which we begin our internal dialogue. Let's listen in to an imaginary conversation with Julian, who works in the kitchen of a large hotel, in order to understand the process that takes us from entry-level conversations to vision questions.
Julian asks himself, "I wonder if I'm going to earn overtime tonight? What if Joe leaves early? Will I need to clean up his section, too? Does anyone appreciate me for the work I'm doing here? Why am I in this job, anyway?"
At first, Julian thinks about the more mundane aspects of his work. His intuition allows him to consider the nature of his work and what he can anticipate. Then his perception takes over, and he finds himself asking a profound question: "Why am I in this job, anyway?" This is a genuine vision question for Julian. Were he using his Sacred Seeing, he'd be looking for such provocative questions, and he'd take them very seriously. Our Vision Keeper asks us to live with continuous awareness of our vision.
Let's assume Julian is paying attention and is struck by the significance of his question. He would consider whether his job was meaningful to him. He wouldn't consider any other sidetracks, like, "Yes, but it pays the bills." Or "I have no college education, so this is as good a job as I can get," or "The economy is depressed, so I'd better play it safe and just suck it up."
When we clutter our minds with all the reasons we cannot possibly be successful in taking the next step, we foil Vision Keeper's insights. Either we give up, or else willpower takes over and we try to make our vision work by sheer muscle. We all know the results: disaster, and wasted time and effort.
Our authentic selves fuel our vision effortlessly. We show up to do our best, with total confidence in the outcome because we've given the outcome to The Creator. I find it useful to ask myself, "Am I working for God, or am I working for myself?" Where I feel the reaction inside of me tells me the truth. If I feel it in my gut as opposed to my heart, I'm probably working for myself.
If Julian were staying true to his vision, he might conclude that, for him, the only value comes from working with the other staff members, helping them feel better about themselves. Realizing this, he might begin to understand that while his job provides a small slice of what is significant to him, he needs a larger slice of what he loves. Julian has choices; he can decide to get some training and begin working with troubled teens. He'd be moving closer to a full-time experience that would give his life greater meaning.
Vision isn't guiding us to just another job. It is guiding us into full-time participation in the experiences that offer us the greatest meaning. Vision Keeper is at work in everyone's life and cares only about spreading love, encouragement, and opportunity into every open hand and heart. Everyone has a fair shot at finding his or her vision and turning it into a living presence in their lives.
We might wonder about people who are very successful financially but seem interested only in making money no matter how they do it. Are such people being guided by their Vision Keepers? I've learned from experience that we're wise not to judge such people because we do not understand the bigger picture of their lives.
One thing we can know is that, as we age, Vision Keeper has a distinct advantage, because our minds turn naturally to the legacy we will leave our children and the world. We all want to leave a positive mark. Money, power, and position may matter in the short term, but they don't count when we are ready to leave the Earth. The vision we lived is all that will comfort us.
Money, power, and position are not necessarily evil things; the way we use them is what makes them valuable in the world. Money, power, and position, driven by vision from an authentic heart, can change the world.
Never underestimate the power of the Vision Keeper to make use of every one of our passions, turning our self-serving interests into community-serving ones. Vision Keeper is an equal opportunity employer.
Reprinted with permission of the publisher,
Stillpoint Publishing. ©2002. www.stillpoint.org
Wisdom Bowls: Overcoming Fear and Coming Home to Your Authentic Self
by Meredith Young-Sowers.
Wisdom Bowls shows how to find and cultivate the seven sacred qualities of the soul — Wisdom, Vision, Joy, Love, Power, Intimacy, and Abundance — by visualizing a bowl for each and filling it with one’s sacred inner wisdom. The author offers a process for self-healing on all levels, allowing the reader to rewrite seemingly rigid life scripts and find peace through simple, everyday practices that strengthen both the ability and the desire to heal.
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About the Author
Meredith Young-Sowers is the author of the best-selling books Agartha: A Journey to the Stars and the Angelic Messenger Cards. She is also the Director of the Stillpoint Institute and the Stillpoint School of Advanced Energy Healing. https://www.stillpoint.org/