The Pagan Experience: Spiritual Goals! What are they? Is there an expiration date? How do you set them and what is required to achieve them?
Hmmm — I don’t know that I would say I have spiritual goals, simple because for me this rather implies an end point and also a degree of setting my sights on a specific outcome.
One thing I am learning in this spiritual lifetime of mine is to let go of outcomes. It’s not always easy, and my urge to control and have not just a plan A but a plan B,C, and D as alternates sometimes gets in my way. But, I am working on it.
I have been given tasks and learning experiences, and expect I will have many more in my life. Not all have been happy or pleasant, but for each one if I set out thinking – I am going to do A and B will be the result, B wasn’t the result.
So rather than talk about my spiritual goals, I think I will talk to you of some of the spiritual lessons I have been given, and what I am learning from them.
Lesson 1: After doing my very first spell to get more money, detailed in My First Spell I ended up working for over 60 hours in a 5 day period.
Lesson learned: When adding in the small print about not harming anyone in order make sure to add myself to that list. Also, be careful what you ask for.
Lesson 2: Early on in my Pagan practice, Kali was a frequent visitor and I was doing work with writing out my dreams each morning. So, linking the two together I set my intention one night and asked to be sent a dream that would help me to understand Kali more.
That night, I dreamed that I killed my son. Over and over again. I woke in a jolt and had to go check on him and watch him sleeping for a while before I could calm and sleep again.
Lesson learned: I gained a very intense and accurate understanding of Kali in Her aspect as the devouring Mother from Whom all things are born and to Whom all things return after death. I also learned to be very careful in what I asked for in future. (Sometimes, I’m a slow learned.)
Lesson 3: Soon after receiving my Level 2 Reiki Practitioner attunements I did a full body Reiki treatment on a patient in hospital. When I finished the treatment, I felt like I was walking about an inch off the ground. Within a few days or possibly a week I began having pains that started in my hands and over about 24 hours gradually moved up both arms past my elbows until I couldn’t lift my arms over my head because of the pain and stiffness.
Blood work ruled out lupus, and I was told that I had rheumatoid arthritis. I continued to be in pain but time and again blood tests showed up negative for the rheumatoid factor. And while I had swelling in my fingers, x-rays never showed up arthritic changes. It took referrals to 3 rheumatologists and numberous x-rays and tests before the rheumatologist I am now under realised that I have a sero-negative RA.
What I realised: My Reiki teacher at that time taught that shielding is never necessary when doing Reiki. By doing that full body treatment on my patient I had opened myself up to whatever energies were floating around him. I believe it was this that led to my developing an atypical RA.
Lessons learned: 1. Always shield before doing healing work 2. Remember to ground before and after doing healing work. 3. My own experiences with chronic pain and all that entails has helped me to have a better understanding of chronic pain in others, and has helped me to be a better healer.
Lesson 4: When I had my emotional breakdown, I journeyd into my Sacred Space to ask my Spirit guides and helpers what I could do to get through that time. I was told – Do nothing, just be. I was told, stop journeying. Spend time practicing being in your body.
What I realised: Gradually, I began focusing on spending time in my body. It was not easy, because for a variety of reasons I had spent much of my life not fully grounded and present within my physical body. It did rather explain why I so often felt detached or slightly off center and out of sync with my physical self.
Instead of journeying to Otherworld Space, I spent time first in my Sacred Garden and then in Real World time focusing on being fully present. I quickly became aware of just how much physical pain I was blocking. Another reason to be thankful it is now mostly controlled through medications. I also became aware of how much emotional pain I had been blocking. That I am dealing with through a very good therapist.
Lesson learned: As I have spent more time inside my body I have become better at meeting my needs directly. I am more able to love and accept myself as I am, and gentler with myself as well. Instead of pushing myself to do more and be more beyond what I am mentally, emotionally, and physically able I allow myself time to rest and heal.
Things like do a daily practice, meditate every day, write weekly? That’s all just stuff. These don’t make you more spiritual. They just give you something to focus on instead of being fully present within yourself.
Finally, I close with words of wisdom given to me in Otherworld Space:
I am the words you seek to hear.
See me, feel me, know me.
I am the path you know to be on.
Follow me. Sit with me.
Let go the fear. Let go the passion. Just be with me.
Sit with me.
Don’t do. Just be.
Don’t strive – just be.
The work is not the work. Being is the work.
Release the need to be.
Let go the need to reach – just sit with me.
Don’t do. Just be.