~Martha Beck, Expecting Adam
I, myself, took a more traditional path: many years of devotion followed by a summer of a dark night of the soul, followed by many years of contemplation, followed by a period of hellish betrayal, which led to my awakening after a year and a half.
My awakening experience is the before and after moment of my life. It has changed everything inside me, and the outside of my life is still catching up to reflect that spontaneous moment of awakening I had about fifteen years ago. In all of the healing and teaching work I do, my hope is that all may awaken, and that I may assist awakening for others in whatever ways I can.
Although my path took a traditional path, a path of betrayal, and what is sometimes called the “Christ path,” the Christ path is certainly not the only way to awaken. Eckhart Tolle writes that the Christ path, "the way of the cross is the old way to enlightenment...But don't dismiss it or underestimate its efficacy. It still works." However, there are newer ways, and there are gentler ways, ways of beauty. These ways have always been here, but as more of us awaken, these gentler, peaceful paths become easier, more available, and therefore more doable for all of humanity. The more these pathways are lived, the energies open up like multiple trails through a thick forest that help each of us to find our way more easily.
The paths often called via positiva, that I am calling the paths of expansion, may include, devotion, integration, transformation, and creativity: devotion as focused, heart-opening spiritual practice; integration as the psycho-spiritual discipline of healing all one’s fragmented parts back into wholeness; transformation as the art of using oneself as a catalyst for social transformation; creativity as the path of playing as co-creator through our inner divine child.
Throughout our lives we might be on both paths of contraction and expansion. There is a certain ebb and flow to the dualistic experience of embodied existence and so having both is normal. My own years of expansion have occurred after a much shorter time of contraction. Each contraction has propelled me to find a greater truth that has expanded my paradigm and brought me out into a wider open space. Although we would all like to learn exclusively pain-free, and I do think we as a species are moving in that direction, an embodied existence at this time pretty much guarantees some type of contraction sooner or later.
However, I would encourage us to pursue the paths of expansion in as many ways as possible. The paths of contraction come on their own, and I think it’s healthier not to seek them. The more we can shift from light into even greater light, the more pathways we create so that others who come after us can follow us in gentler, more peaceful, and more joyful ways—from glory into even greater glory.
only the glorious duties of light I now have.
~St. John of the Cross, Spanish Mystic