Initiation: Walking a Spiritual Path
Updated: Mar 6, 2019
The cool thing about evolution and growth is that it’s always happening, whether we’re aware of it or putting effort into it or not. It’s the impulse of life. This is also true of spiritual growth-- human history is the story of consciousness evolving from violence and dominance into more peace and freedom. From fear and separation toward love and interconnection. Despite what the newsfeeds say, things are getting better and they have always been. It’s the trajectory of progress.
So even without ever sitting down to meditate, without ever attending a workshop, buying a crystal, or even reading a self-help book a person can solidly be walking their path. It couldn’t be otherwise. We incarnate to learn lessons and each lesson brings us closer to the truth of our being as expressions of Source, whether we do it intentionally or not.
Then what, you might ask, is the point of choosing a spiritual path? If it’s all going to happen anyway- if at some point we’re all going to wake up because that’s the soul’s trajectory then why bother? Spiritual work is hard. Why not just stay home and binge Netflix? Because suffering sucks and the only liberation from it that has any staying power is doing the work. Because when we put intention into our healing and growth the transformation happens in ways that are immediate and tangible rather than incremental. Because why spend lifetimes over millenia when it could happen in a moment? Because for a lot of us we don’t have a choice. (Raise your hand if you feel like your path chose you instead of vise versa).
In The Power of Myth Joseph Campbell talks a lot about how ancient and indigenous cultures used to have rites of initiation that marked certain points in life, most notably the transition from youth to adulthood. I don’t tend to get sentimental and romanticize the good old days of bygone eras because I feel like doing so usually overlooks all the stuff that wasn’t working. Like recalling the wholesome 1950s of Mayberry when kids could run around unsupervised but forgetting the lynchings that were happening throughout the South at the same time. Anyway, all of that is to say I do think there is value in having a formal rite of initiation for stepping onto a spiritual path. Christians still do this with baptism, and I find myself wishing there were an analog for the rest of us.
Because choosing a spiritual path is not a small thing. Quite the opposite, actually. True spiritual work stretches us and forces our growth. All of that change and transformation I was saying was going to happen gradually over time is now happening in a crucible and it can be dramatic and uncomfortable. Now of course everyone’s path is their own and we all have our unique lessons and gifts and degrees of commitment and dedication, but we also all have something in common: waking up to the truth of our being. Whatever brings you to your path- an insatiable curiosity about the mysteries of the universe, existential crisis, pain and trauma that demands to be healed and released, a nagging low-grade dissatisfaction with life, all of the above, or something else entirely - whatever it is, I hope you can take a moment and honor yourself for making the choice to do it.
On Saturday, April 6 I’m teaching a daylong workshop called Initiation with my friend Asha. We’re going to hold an initiation ritual whereby you can commemorate your dedication to your path, whatever that means to you personally. We’ll also be teaching some powerful tools that can support you on your path (self love, connecting to your intuition). I am honored and humbled by this work and would love to be able to share it with you. I also wish you lots of love, light, and blessings on your path, wherever it leads.