We Must Work From The Outside In As Well As The Inside Out
We are taught that spiritual life requires an inward turning. In doing so, we neglect another part of life that has equal power to transform us – life’s outer manifestations. We are so focused on our inner life that we often become immobilized as we wait for a new feeling to overtake us before we make a change. We are looking for that inner green light. Sometimes, we wait forever and the feeling never comes.
To concentrate solely on one way of changing is to deny the complexity of how the universe works. Energy is constantly moving and nothing stays the same. If we are to remain vigilant and make good choices, we need to maximize all our options.
If energy creates form then form also creates energy. That is, if what we feel inside is capable of creating certain events in our life, aren’t certain things we do also able to alter the way we feel? For example, some of us meditate every day. It’s difficult to get up an hour earlier each day and sit, hoping the mind will become quiet. It doesn’t feel natural, but we remain disciplined and do it anyway. And then one day our mind stops churning and we are filled with a sense of equanimity and contentment. Simply the act of placing our body in the same spot every day, regardless of how we feel, has a power all its own. It sends a message of longing to the inner Self and sets the stage by creating a new form for energy to fill. This newly created vehicle will again connect us to our feelings and take us back to our inner Self.
It is never easy to embrace a new way of doing things even when we know it is in our best interest. We don’t feel very good and forcing ourselves to do something new feels unnatural. But if we understand how energy works, we realize that it is precisely this feeling that is heralding a change for the better. We are stuck. We have gone as far as we can go without doing something different. Unless we are willing to stretch ourselves and reach out into the world, we will never be able to create new forms to express who we are. We cannot use our inner life as a weapon, forcing us to retreat from a world that won’t let us hide. When we do, we cut ourselves off from a lifeline of possibilities, fresh and different ways to experience the world.
Life is organic. All the pieces fit together with no one part being any more spiritual than any other. Our inner life feeds the outer, and the outer nourishes the inner. This symbiotic relationship permeates all of life and until we tap into that rhythm, our life remains disjointed. No one can tell us when to stay quiet and wait for insight, or when to move out into the world with a sense of purpose and discipline. At each moment, only we can decide how to become more, and what we need to do to get there.