Bite-size (#4) : Is the Universe teaching you a hidden lesson?

Is the universe punishing us for making mistakes or teaching us a hidden lesson by not giving us what we want? Here’s a bite-size reflection.

I’ve been a writer most of my adult life. But the difference is that at first, I used to write long paragraphs over text to tell people how I feel. Overtime, as I grew up, my writing made its way into this arena, into the spiritual space. The story that goes for today is that whenever I would see a dip in my readership, I wonder if the Universe teaching me some subtle, hidden lesson?

I mean if this is my higher calling, shouldn’t my trajectory be ever upwards? Shouldn’t I get infinite success and be able to make a huge impact?

I am cringing as I admit these thoughts, but I still choose to write them here because I know I’m not the only one to think this way.

You may think it for other areas of life. Like if the money stops flowing in, you might get worried that the heavens have closed their gates to you because you judged someone else for buying a Gucci bag.

Or when you keep having strange dates, you might worry that you’re being punished for what you said to that girl back in grade 5 about her looks.

bullying, universe teaching a hidden lesson

Its as if we start to fear our karma, and over-read into everything happening with us! And it took years to have a breakthrough about what was really going on.

So today, I want to share my bite-sized story with you, hoping it serves to resolve some of your questioning and doubts.

So, here’s the long and short context of this story.

Every time something unsettling happens at the backend of My Spiritual Shenanigans, I realize that I am actively scrambling to make some kind of change to “fix” the problem.

At my human core, I associate this to my type 8 enneagram personality that wants to “be in control”.

And a brutally honest moment. I have a lot of trust-issues with the Universe. But upon deeper thinking, I can see that most of it stems from my own misinterpretations about how I thought life would be.

One of the misconceptions has been that if I do everything the Universe wants me to, I’ll get what I want in return (the law of attraction gone wayyyy wrong). I’ll somehow be the Universe’s favourite seeker, and nothing will ever hurt me again.

mystic, the universe has your back

And isn’t that the mistake that we all make, when we believe that we shouldn’t be upset anymore, now that we’re on the spiritual path?

But I love what spiritual teacher, Pema Chodron says to this in her book, When Things Fall Apart, “theism is a deep-seated conviction that there’s some hand to hold: if we just do the right things, someone will appreciate us and take care of us. It means thinking there’s always going to be a babysitter available when we need one”.

Our inability to trust the process is deep rooted.

For me, it runs as far back as 10th grade French and getting a really bad grade, even though I studied really hard. It messed up my overall performance and I felt like God wasn’t my friend. I felt cheated on! How innocent, right?

But at the same time, this anger distanced me from the Universe.

This has been a cycle all my life, as a matter of fact. I would misinterpret the meaning of angel numbers and repeatedly get frustrated when things wouldn’t align. It took forever to realize, that really, the Universe isn’t my enemy. And that I can do everything right in my capacity and that things can still not go my way.

This was an invitation to let go of control. To understand the meaning of surrender, once again.

surrender to the Universe, the Universe is not teaching us a hidden lesson

As a workaholic, I realized then, that the Universe always puts a pause to my progress for so many reasons. And none of them have anything to do with the idea that I can do something wrong to upset the Universe. There is no subliminal message I need to decode, and there’s no hidden lesson that the Universe is trying to teach me through the “lows”.

Want to know what the truth is? Here’s what I’ve realized.

First of all, when things stagnate for us, it is a reminder to not be SO focused on just that one role. For example, I have so much else I can and should focus on. Like NOT buying presents last minute or finally putting together a nice dinner spread for the family.

Second, life slowing down is a good thing. It is a reminder to rest and recuperate our energy. To give ourselves the much needed relaxation time, where we’re not just resting but at much deeper, subtler levels, integrating.

Third, it’s a reminder to course-correct from a more conscious place. So, in my case, if I’m so absorbed doing something, I’m actually spending very little time being mindful and letting divine intervention participate. I hate to admit – but I’m often on autopilot these days even though I’m supposedly doing ‘conscious work’.

conscious work, spiritual coach, setting intentions, mindful
So much of what we do is meant to be done in collaboration with the Universe. Not in denial of its role in our life. Nor in fear of the consequences of our actions.

But when we are mostly living in our minds and limit ourselves to “our way”, it can feel like it’s us against the cosmos. When in reality, we are never separated from source, beyond the beliefs of this very mind.

What you can takeaway from this…

So many people think they need to pray unceasingly to wash away their sins. Or that God will punish them.

You can either see a challenge in life as a punishment, or as a way to segway into your ultimate freedom.

When all of this finally clicked, here’s what I decided.

Every time I get sucked back into the humaneness of my work in this sacred space and the Universe pauses it (like dipping readership or back-to-back client cancellations) I will thank it and ask, “what would you like to do through me instead?”

And then, I will pause and listen.

Maybe it’ll take a few days for the inspiration to come through. And it can be towards anything – from needing that free time to look after a sick loved one, to repurposing that time for a last-minute weekend getaway.

It always has added up, and instead of doubting the process, I will remind myself to keep listening.

Because we wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for the beautiful synchronicities of life itself, that put us on Earth.

So, why not partner with the divine and let your human side merge deeper into the mystical?

Why work against the Universe, when you can work with it?

That’s me, for this one. Here’s a video that also speaks to a similar theme.

Enjoying these bite-sized reflections? Let me know in the comments below. 🙂

Ready to take your healing deeper? Let’s talk about it! You’re welcome to fill in this this form and submit an application to become eligible for a complimentary session with me.

Bite-size (#3) : Will things go wrong if I’m too happy?

Is there such a thing as being too happy? Will allowing ourselves to feel happy invite doom and make things go wrong? Read this to find out.

I’m around 11 years old when a girl in my bus looks at me as I’m laughing and warns me – don’t be too happy, or things will go wrong and you’ll have to cry just as much. I believe that this event dented my relationship with happiness for the longest time. Even today, remembering her words makes me cringe.

As children, we are so susceptible to believing things that are said and done to us. And there’s no knowing what the impact of what we hear or experience will be on us. Sometimes, these things stick with us for decades, until we work with some kind of therapist or coach to come to a resolution.

In particular, this idea that we could end up experiencing a lot of misery if we allowed ourselves to be fully happy, runs in our systems like the plague!

And it’s not just me, but I realize how common and widespread this way of thinking is. For me, it was that girl in the bus that set the foundation for not being too happy, lest things go wrong.

can things go wrong if you are too happy, picture with girl wearing sad face

It’s what the author, Glennon Doyle calls as the “Ache” in her book Untamed. She accurately describes it as a feeling that something will go wrong the moment something is going right.

Have you found yourself thinking this way too?

If yes, do you remember when this way of thinking first began for you?

Maybe it was a family member who was always worried you’d jinx happiness. Or maybe it was an idea that you subconsciously picked up from a movie. Whatever be the origin of this idea, if it’s been implanted in your mind, the conditioning may still be playing a role in your life today.

I personally became hyper-aware of this phenomenon the day I was reading through American professor, Brene Brown’s book Dare to Lead.

She said in her book and I quote,

“Why do we insist on dress-rehearsing tragedy in moments of deep joy? When we feel joy, it is a place of incredible vulnerability – its beauty and fragility and deep gratitude and impermanence all wrapped up in one experience. When we can’t tolerate that level of vulnerability, joy becomes foreboding, and we immediately move to self-protection.”

Her words sat with me. Later that day, I was surprised to see how many times and in how many subtle ways this subconscious conditioning was at play, dimming my happiness:

  • As my husband and I drive down a beautiful highway and watch the sun dip back into the horizon, I have a flash in my mind’s eye of another vehicle hitting ours. This image was my ego-minds reminder to not let happiness catch me off guard. But this time, I pause and ask it in return, “what if nothing happens?”
  • A few hours later, again, as we were laughing and having a good time, my mind flashes images of danger. Once again, I see this and ask myself, “what if I give myself permission to actually enjoy this moment anyway, regardless of what happened next?”
In both events, when I confronted my mind, challenging its concerns for me, I heard crickets. Silence. The mind didn’t know what to do with this counter-questioning.

It also made me realize another important difference between intuition versus ego. When we do receive an intuitive hit for something that’s about to unfold, it’s in the moment and simply passes.

intuition is in the moment, aligned, connection, spiritual

But when it’s generated from our ego-mind, you can feel the heaviness landing in your body. You can feel yourself getting stuck in a loop. The thing that your mind thought would happen doesn’t, but you begin to nauseate over it.

All of this is the first significant step to inner freedom. We want to work to separate ourselves from mindlessly believing every thought that we think.

It leads me to seek the overarching framework looking over all this, and to a fundamental question.

Why are we even listening to these limiting thoughts at all?

The insights I’ve gathered through reflection and in studying the behavioural sciences is this. The ego-mind wants safety and protection, and listening to these thoughts is the ultimate protection we can offer ourselves. If we’re never vulnerable enough, we are never at true risk because we are always vigilant.

And when we’re always vigilant and our guard isn’t down, we can move into fight or flight much more rapidly. Or that’s what the mind thinks it’s doing for us.

However, there’s one challenge that conflicts with this innocent intention of the ego-mind. When we are so hyper-vigilant, we still step away from the present moment and into our heads, by buying into the ideas presented in these waking nightmares. We’re kind of like dysfunctional ninjas, if I put it in a lighter way.

ninja, hypervigilant, alert

So even if something were to happen, we wouldn’t be present to respond – we would have to come back from an already hyper-aroused state of mind. Or what Brene Brown termed as the “dress rehearsal of tragedy”.

Then, we should ask ourselves this.

Knowing that protection is a good thing but not always necessary, what role can we give to the ego-mind in our everyday life?

Let’s start by knowing that we have a choice. We don’t have to follow the advice that it offers; we can simply choose to listen and let it pass.

As an analogy, I want you to imagine different parts within you driving the car of life. So if two of the passengers are ego-mind and joy, we can consciously let the ego-mind sit in the co-pilot seat. And let joy buckle itself into the driver seat. In other words, we don’t have to get rid of these limiting ideas, but we don’t have to operate out of them anymore either.

Sure, the whole idea about being unapologetically happy can seem crazy. I’ve had a client challenge me at one point, as to why she should be happy if there’s nothing to be happy about.

But the truth is, it’s easier to be happy than it is to not. And I’d rather pick easy in this moment. Especially when I don’t know if the next moment will be easier or if it will become hard.
will something go wrong if you are too happy, joy, celebrate, dance

A few weeks before writing this article, I was passing the downtown streets in Vancouver and I couldn’t take my eyes off a drug addict that was dancing and grooving in an intoxicated state. The image and his unconditional joy in those moments stays strong with me.

I realized that there was nothing he needed in that moment – he was in a bliss state. Even though the drugs were what led him to that state, and I’m not advocating drug abuse, I do think it’s noteworthy that even someone living on the streets can dance, celebrating the moment without a care for what lies ahead. Then why can’t you and I?

Concluding Thoughts

The reason we fundamentally do everything is because we think it will bring us joy. And yet, we have all these guards set up which make us feel like we’re in more control if we can “see” happiness go out the door before it leaves. But maybe we should pause and reflect, because it feels like happiness never truly entered our door.

So, my final question now is – are you ready to give yourself permission to be truly happy without worrying that something will go wrong?

Ready to take your healing deeper? Let’s talk about it! You’re welcome to fill in this this form and submit an application to become eligible for a complimentary session with me.

Bite-Size (#2) : Are You Misusing Your Power?

Are you misusing your power and taking on an unfair role in life? What are the ways you can manage your personal power? Here are my two cents.

I consider myself an accidental spiritual writer because even though I’ve always loved writing, it never once occurred to me that one day it would be about spirituality. Today, as a part of my self-reflection, power play came up as a theme. And I was humbled to realize the ways in which I was misusing my power as a writer. See how this post lands for you in your life.

Feeling Powerful Can Make Us Feel Full Of Ourselves

There was a phase in college where I got involved with a food reviewing group. We’d get invited to restaurants to try out their food, in exchange for an honest review. There were a couple of incidents where the management and food was really subpar and I left a sour review.

review, critic, misusing power to hurt other people's reputation

Sometimes my parents would feel like I was going too far and that the reviews might bring personal attacks on me.

This memory flashed back as I was looking at my own fear of being criticized as a new author. The truth is, I have no idea how to write a book, let alone a book that matters. And the fear has engulfed me for several years to the point that I often find myself looking down at my books even though it took me a whole other level of courage to put them out there.

Today, as I decided to move beyond this inner critic, it humbled me to realize how the power I had as a consumer was getting to my head. I was, albeit unknowingly, misusing my power.

A big part of our healing requires us to practice self-forgiveness and know that there’s an innocent intention, no matter how malicious the action.
self forgiveness is important in healing

I tried not to judge myself for this incident. Here’s the thing.

I wasn’t trying to be malicious, at least not in my head.

To me, it was like wearing the “food critic” cape and I just wanted to do the role justice. I look back at it today and see the moments of immaturity that shimmer. But I also see that those events really were subpar and deserved to be highlighted. Maybe just not with the extremities that I deployed.

When I saw that even misusing power could have a childlike innocence, I also had flashbacks of the two people online who had said nasty things about me at some point in my work as a writer. I could finally see that they weren’t villains in my story. They were just wearing the “social media police” cap and wanted to do their role right.

For the first time in months, I didn’t feel hurt. I felt like I could understand where they were coming from – because I had once been there myself.

But who gives us this power?

Who is anyone to come up to us and say hurtful things? Why do they believe that they have that kind of right?

The person displaying that power, is the one that believes he or she has it.

Have you ever participated in Halloween and dressed up as a character? Have you really felt “in character” and that magically you were acting so much more differently than you usually do?

halloween, different roles can make us feel powerful, misusing power when wearing a mask

And then the mask and makeup comes off and you’re back to being yourself. What happened there?

The same thing that happens in daily life. We are all putting on different masks that temporarily make us feel powerful. But sometimes, when left unchecked, the very power that can give a person their biggest breakthrough in their career can also be the power that destroys another person’s reputation and life.

Concluding Thoughts

What masks do you wear? What roles are you playing in everyday life? And when you wear them, how differently do you behave from who you believe you actually are? In other words – how can you be more of your true, centred self and still do everything you’re meant to do?

Think about it. And go deeper into thinking that even though you have all these roles and power, you might not always be using it for the greater good. If that’s true for you, imagine now, how difficult it must really be, to wear a superhero cape and not get carried away.

Honouring every real-life and reel-life superhero that has worked wonders with power. How I see it is that the only way we can have power over power, is when we are focused and have the bigger picture in our mind. The higher the vision, the more power we get to work towards it, and the less we try to use it for personal gain.

I’m ready to do bigger things for the spiritual community and use the power I have to be of deeper service. What about you?

Ready to take your healing deeper? Let’s talk about it! You’re welcome to fill in this this form and submit an application to become eligible for a complimentary session with me.

Photo credits: Inspired Stock Shop, Unsplash