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Ep 5: Part II of III | Three Types of Spiritual Shifts Accompanying Expansion

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As you recall, on Episode 3, we started diving into Part I of III of the three types of spiritual shifts that accompany expansion and today is Part II!

If you haven’t checked out Part I, go listen to that one first as this episode builds off of the groundwork we laid talking about paradigm shifts.

We wrapped up that episode with a small, yet mighty statement that actually leads us perfectly into today’s spiritual shift that you may have totally missed because I didn’t draw much attention to it.

I said paradigm shifts change the way you think and feel about everything.  And that’s where we’re heading today.

The next type of Spiritual Shift that accompanies expansion is what I like to call TFD Shifts.

And much like Paradigm Shifts, TFD Shifts also carry a great deal of contrast, but they also carry something else – a shift in consciousness.

Here’s what I mean.

First of all, TFD Shifts stand for shifts in how we think, how we feel, and what we do.   And there’s a reason I’m sharing those in that order.

When we go through a paradigm shift, the way we look at the world changes, the way we may view ourself changes, the way we may have explained events, concepts, or beliefs changes.  It’s a big boat rocker to how you experience your life.

Understandably then, the way you think and feel about something also changes to be more in line with this new viewpoint or belief.  And when our thoughts or feelings toward something change, our behavior, what we do, changes with it.

For example, in episode 3, I mentioned my paradigm shift around the Bible.  Because I had previously believed it held no spiritual value (bold statement, I know) and that it was primarily a tool used to condemn and judge others, my thoughts and feelings around the Bible were mostly negative.

I didn’t think highly of it.  I felt closed off toward it.  And to be quite honest, any time someone shared a Bible verse or scripture with me, I’d have this physical reaction of my skin crawling.  Ugh!  And to continue in full honesty, that reaction hasn’t just automatically gone away.  I’ve had to consciously remind myself of this new paradigm as I’ve waded back into church and warmed up to the idea of studying the Bible.

And that’s what I mean about a shift in consciousness.  A paradigm shift doesn’t just automatically move us to experiencing something in a completely new way.  There is usually a level of consciousness we have to employ to help move us into our new experience that’s in line with our new paradigm.

Take the example I gave around the scarcity of time.  When I all of a sudden realized that there was always an abundance of time, it didn’t mean I just all of a sudden walked through my life with less stress.

Our paradigms hold a lot of ingrained patterns of thoughts, feelings, and subsequent actions.  The paradigm shift is the first part that usually happens without a whole lot of intention.   We work on a certain area of ourselves for a certain amount of time, which creates a readiness to see things through a different lens, and then BAM – paradigm shift.  It comes on all of a sudden when there’s enough softness for a new perspective to take root.

Shifting our TFD’s is not at all like that.  Changing the way we think or feel and then most importantly, what we do, requires intention and conscious effort.

And in the beginning, making these types of shift can feel excruciating!

Let’s go back to the Bible scenario.  I didn’t just all of a sudden feel safe walking back into a church after my paradigm shift.  In fact, it was a long process of even warming up to that idea.  And I’ll tell you a little secret I’ve yet to share with anyone.  The first time I went back to church, I intentionally went alone, took my child, and didn’t wear my wedding rings.  I wanted to see if I got any judgmental glances.

That’s where I was emotionally when I first started going back to church.  And just in case you were wondering, I didn’t receive one single dirty look.  I was somewhat disappointed.

If paradigm shifts create an openness to see things differently, TFD’s create the shift to actually experience things differently.  And the way we experience things differently is by shifting how we think, how we feel, and what we do.  And each of these take conscious effort.  I repeat… there isn’t any automatic shift as in paradigm shifts.

This is where a great deal of our spiritual work is because it’s here we start moving into a new evolution of self!

One of the biggest paradigm shifts that has helped me utilize TFD shifts the most is the idea that I always have a choice how I experience my life, how I experience events, how I experience myself.

Before, I used to think that life happened to me.  I felt completely out of control of my emotional wellbeing.  I’d flip out quite easily, experience quite a bit of emotional turbulence – like high highs and low lows.  I would feel like I couldn’t find the middle ground ever.  And life really felt like I was one giant pin ball bouncing from one life event to the other.

There wasn’t a great deal of conscious effort back then.  I simply got pushed around by all of my internal cognitive processes and because of that, my emotions were all over the place and when it came to changing toxic behaviors, I felt completely unqualified and unskilled to do that.  In fact, it’d seem that I’d always end up back in disaster as if I was taking one step forward and three steps back.  And let me tell you, it was exhausting.

But when I finally realized that I always had a choice about how I thought, how I felt, and what I decided to do, I no longer felt like that aimless pinball getting bounced around my life.  I started to feel more in control and this control piece is crucial because if we have a desire to be the person we know we’re capable of being, then we have to consciously choose to live into that.

That means no more pinball.  And what this really means is WAKING UP!  No longer do we get to live our lives on autopilot simply letting our minds run wild, running back to old paradigms because we know to TFD inside of them.  Nope…. once you see something, you can never unsee it.  And I’d say that’s the biggest drawback of paradigm shifts.  You can’t go backward to what once was.  You’ve already crossed into what could be.  And if your TFDs don’t shift with it, there will be a nagging sense that you aren’t living up to your new values.  The price of this?  It’s heavy.  Think feeling fake, feeling not good enough, feeling frustrated on an almost daily basis.

Luckily, these negative feelings can be quite motivating in getting us to do something different because when we get sick and tired of feeling sick and tired, we’ll do something to change it.  And just as a little caveat – you don’t have to get sick and tired to create change in your life!  In fact, I advise on getting ahead of it!

The grand majority of our spiritual work is spent right here in the TFDs.  Because even after the magnitude of paradigm shifts, they simply open the door.  We still have to walk through it.

So how do we actually walk through the door and shift our TFDs?  The short answer?  Conscious effort.

And your next question may be, will these always take conscious effort?  And the short answer here is no.  When you get to the third spiritual shift that accompanies expansion, a lot of the effort it was took to shift your TFDs is no longer needed, so there’s HOPE!

But back to the first question – how do we shift our TFDs following a paradigm shift.

Quite simply, reminding yourself of the paradigm shift alone can be quite helpful.  Remember, paradigm shifts still usually feel very contrasting to how you use to view the world.  In order for this to be your new normal, you’re going to have to remind yourself of the shift you’ve experienced.

For example, lets say you grew up in a church where considering other spiritual practices wasn’t just frowned upon.  You were told they were flat out wrong and if you practiced anything other that this one faith then you were going to hell.

But lets say you had had very personal intimate experiences with God outside of this one particular faith and because of that, you had had the paradigm shifts that other spiritual practices weren’t just ok, they may actually be your way of connecting deeper with God.

Does that mean that all that fear you’ve been carrying just simply goes away when you consider going to a spiritual retreat?  NO!  Not at all.  Because although the paradigm may have shifted, that doesn’t mean the thoughts, feelings, and actions have shifted along with it.

You’ll most likely have to intentionally remind yourself that the past paradigm you were living under is no longer a part of YOUR belief system.  You may have to give yourself permission repeatedly to sink into this new paradigm you’ve experienced, reminding yourself of YOUR truth again and again until it starts to feel real.

Then and only then, will your thoughts and feelings about other spiritual practices gradually start to really change to one of true acceptance.  And then and only then, will you be able to actually practice them without feeling like you’re doing something wrong.  Make sense?

Here’s another example.  Let’s go back to that situation I was mentioning on Ep3 where you’ve been cheated on and because of that, it’s created the paradigm that people are untrustworthy.

Lets say you’re now in a new relationship and this new person has given you absolutely NO reason to mistrust them.  Yet, you still find your thoughts wondering if they’re really telling the truth, if they could possibly be lying, if they may be withholding information from you.

These kinds of thoughts obviously increase your worry and anxiety.  It’s hard for you to relax around them.  It’s hard for you to be at ease.  And you can’t allow yourself to fully love them because what if they end up being a liar just like the last person and you’re hurt all over again?

You find yourself wanting to go through their phone when they aren’t looking.  You find yourself wanting to check up on them to see if they are where they say they are.  I think you’re getting where I’m going here.

These thoughts, feelings, and actions are all deeply tied to the idea that people aren’t trustworthy.  But this isn’t the paradigm you want to hold onto.  You’ve witnessed people being trustworthy.  So why are you still thinking, feeling, and acting this way?

Because we have to consciously bring our thoughts, feelings, and actions into this new paradigm with us by reminding ourselves of what we believe now.  People are trustworthy.  If that’s your truth, then is there a need to worry about someone being honest or dishonest?  Is there a need to check up on them if they’re telling the truth?  What kinds of thoughts and feelings would you be having if this new paradigm were true?

Inviting yourself into these new thoughts, feelings, and actions will take a great deal of conscious effort at first.  They won’t feel like your automatic go-to.  But over time, these new TFDs will become your new normal and before you know it, you’ll forget what it used to be like inside that old paradigm.  The old paradigm is what will feel weird and untrue.

So, here’s my invitation to you.  When you go through a paradigm shift, you can feel as though the way you look at a lot of things changes.  But nothing really actually changes until you start thinking, feeling, and doing things differently because of it.

TFDs in the early stages usually bring with them a lot of discomfort.  Thinking, feeling, or doing things differently is going to create that contrast we were talking about on Ep3.  Because of that, it will most likely feel like a low level of mastery.  You’ll second guess your new thoughts.  You’ll second guess your new feelings.  You may even chicken out on your new actions.

And that’s just where you are!  TFDs take A LOT of conscious effort and intention, but they also take something else: well a recipe of something else.

And this little recipe is where the DEEP spiritual work is.  Think of the TFDs as the top layer.  It’s the end game, the desired result, the visible expansion.  The bottom layer to get there though is what we need most and it consists of courage to do something different, compassion when you don’t get it right, hope you’ll get it right eventually, (and by right, I mean in line with who you want to be), and tenacity to try again.  CCHT: courage, compassion, hope, tenacity

I’ll do a full episode on these because there’s SO MUCH to cover here alone, but I wanted to make mention of them because paradigm shifts are only the beginning to opening the door.  TFDs actually walk us through that door, but courage, compassion, hope, and tenacity… they’re like the little engines that help us make it to the other side.

Because there is ONE thing I forgot to mention and if you’re a client listening right now, I know you’re going to roll your eyes because I say this all the time…. but it’s true!  We both know it (wink wink).  When you’re working on TFDs, these aren’t a one and done thing.  They’re a cha-cha.

You take a few steps forward and a few steps back.  And this can go on for quite awhile!  Ain’t no shame in it, y’all!  This is how creating a new normal works.  But what I’ve noticed within myself and with my clients is that we have extremely unrealistic expectations for how easy (and fast) it should be to change our TFDs.

 

We think we should get it right the first time around and boom, we’re done.  We’re changed.  This is our new normal.

But that is NOT how it works, which is why courage, compassion, hope, and tenacity are your spiritual firefighters for dealing with your own self-judgment.  These are your spiritual tools that keep you going when you feel like you walk through the door then go backwards to walk through the door only to backwards.

You’ll need those little engines to keep on pushing and holding you until you get to the other side for good.

Keep that in mind.  That’s why we spend the grand majority of our spiritual expansion in the TFDs because although we’re moving, it can feel a lot like we’re crawling.  And nothing is wrong.  And especially nothing is wrong with you.   This is the cha-cha friends.  And the better you learn to dance with courage, compassion, hope, and tenacity, they easier you sashay through that door of change!

So…. anyone here have a natural inclination to practice courage, compassion, hope, and tenacity?  Is that your go-to?  It isn’t!?  You’re kidding!!  You mean you had to work at it?

Me too!  I’ve spent the grand majority of my life working on those four spiritual tools to expand into who my soul needs me to be.  And they’re still four spiritual tools I practice to this day.  They never get old.  They never expire because no matter who you want to become or what you want to achieve, I can promise you those four spiritual tools will be needed along the way!

I’ll see you soon for Part III on the last spiritual shift that accompanies expansion and I can’t wait!

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