Sometimes I fall for the illusion that enlightenment is the goal, but I am learning that there is always room to grow. It's not a destination, but rather a becoming that we must seek for. Even though the challenges may be different at new levels of spiritual development or higher levels of consciousness, there are still potential pitfalls. Just when we think we "have it," Christ peels back the next curtain and shows us there is still more---rough edges still needing to be polished, chambers of the heart holding yet unseen desires for the things that ties us to this world, and, fortunately, deeper dimensions of His love.
It has been challenging to have the desire to do good burning inside of me! I didn't initially see it as a challenge, but I have begun to see the flip side to it. I have felt so called to take a stand in the past 6 months, yet easily frustrated when things haven't happened how or in the timelines I was expecting. Then I read this in M. Catherine Thomas's powerful book called, The Godseed: "Always on the alert for the purity of a desire, we should note in passing that it is possible to want even good things too much, and then the wantings become ego-desire" (page 178, emphasis added). Ouch! She then goes on to explain how desire can be a defilement!?... Healing from betrayal trauma required me to also own my own "stuff" and not just Mark. It led me to the discovery of the connection between desire and addiction. Although I wasn't turning to the same things as my husband was when he experienced the reminders of spiritual death, I too was turning to things/people/emotions in order to feel better when I felt powerless, anxious, sad, angry...but I hadn't personally considered the implication of righteous desires becoming a defilement as well until Thomas's book. And as if that hadn't already hit uncomfortably close to home, she next launched into a section on "Aversion." When we intensely desire something and those desires turn into ego (or self) driven, we run up against aversion, or not liking the way things, people, or circumstance are. Double ouch! I have been wanting to do good, yet only on my terms. Instead of desire or aversion, Thomas says, "There is a resting place, a refuge from eh toxic energy of defilements. There are energies that we can deliberately cultivate in our being that bring us peace and wisdom. Among these are contentment, generosity, and humility. These energies form a still point between desire and aversion. These still points are worthy of our meditation time; we can feel their energy and stabilize in them" (183).
So, there it was, staring up at me from the page. With honesty and humility, I can recognize the urgency and even aggression with which I have tackled the past 6 months. As the manuscript for my book came together so quickly and relatively easily, I expected the rest of this journey to follow suit. And it isn't just with my desires to do good with betrayal trauma. This same pattern has shown up in my righteous desire to welcome more children into my home, raise my children in righteousness, in friendships and relationships...once I spotted it, I can see it showing up everywhere. I am learning to slow down even more, to re-visit my intentions, to accept what is (or isn't), and let God lead.
As I have stepped more into this still point, interesting and unexpected (to me) things have happened. I can't talk about everything just yet, but I can share two of them right now. First, is my opportunity to go through another yoga teacher training program. I was planning to go to Atlanta in January to start training for QNRT (Quantum Neuro Reset Therapy---a protocol that releases trauma by resetting the nervous system). I was feeling frustrated, confused, and discouraged because things weren't coming together like they "should" be. Mark and I were planning on the Kundalini Yoga teacher training program in SLC this fall because even though I went through a teacher training program already 4 years ago, it wasn't one that certified me. However, God had different plans. Instead, I just started a teacher training program, and it is a completely different style of yoga than I have ever taught or experienced myself regularly before. The change in timing (now instead of the fall) itself may have significance that I don't fully recognize yet. I can at least see a hint of the "why," though; It is with an instructor who has the best experience, background, and teaching skills for betrayal trauma in a yoga context in my area! It will be 200 hours of training spaced out over the next 8 months. I will continue to offer Kundalini Yoga classes and additionally offer Hatha Yoga classes this fall. QNRT opened up additional dates, so I am still hoping that it will be possible to become a practitioner. I need to wait and see, though. I never dreamed such an opportunity was possible, yet here it is and God orchestrated all of the steps to get me here! I'm so glad that things work out His way instead of mine!!!
Second, I will start teaching kids yoga this week out of a children's gym here in Brigham City! There will be classes for kids age 3-4, 5-7, and 8-11 (see the side-bar if you are interested in details or registering).<3 This is seriously my dream job!!! I love kids and I love teaching yoga! I wasn't even looking for this job; I didn't apply for it either, but I got an interview lined up when I called upon a friend's referral (then was actually offered the position during the interview). I want to eventually offer trauma-informed yoga for kids, since families need to heal from the effect of sex addiction. I expected that would be years down the road. Nope. It's kids yoga now and what a HUGE step in the direction of trauma-informed yoga for kids! The gym is seriously 2 min or less from my home. It's only 5, 45 minutes classes a week, and Mark can flex his schedule around me to work from home during my class times. PLUS the gym and employee's philosophies about children and the fact that they are starting yoga because they want to offer more than just physical exercise opportunities for kids. They wanted something that would instill mindfulness and self awareness. When they said that in the interview it had me jumping up and down! Just like the teacher training, I never dreamed such a perfect fit was even possible. But here it is. And I feel incredibly humbled and blessed!
Things are not happening how or when I expected they would when I first set out on this journey. It's okay now. I still have no idea what will happen with the book I wrote. Even though I have had 2 rejections from publishers, the refining process of me has definitely been a huge part of this experience. Maybe that is the sole purpose of it...? I'm learning to be okay with what is (or isn't) happening when it does (or doesn't) happen and simply flow around the "road blocks." More accurately, I am being given experiences to have my thinking shifted...to gain new insight...to become a different person in relation to desires, even righteous one...to be okay with what is rather than desiring something different or turning away in aversion.