In the early years of my Soulshaping journey, I had a constant desire to be "in the moment." I didn't quite know what that meant, but I knew that there was some connection between my capacity to be fully present for the moment and my ultimate spiritual expansion. If I couldn't be here, how could I possibly grow to the next place on my journey?
I looked for the moment everywhere. I hunted for it on the yoga mat, the meditation cushion, the Bioenergetic breathing stool. I sought it through detachment practices, depth-full adventures, emotional clearings, mantra and tantra. All Go(o)d but something was missing.
What was missing was truth. We often talk about living in the moment but it is my experience that we cannot live fully in the moment if we are not living in truth. Truth is the gateway to the moment. Without truth, our breaths are somehow incomplete, our presence shrouded, our intimacy half-hearted because we are not fully there for it. The moment we own our truths, we get truth-chills -- little sighs of relief from our body temple -- as the veils to clarity fall away and our divine presence enters. Here we are. Here now.
Of course, truth is a subjective experience. What is one person's truth is another person's falsity. For me, truth is that which reflects my own distinct soul-scriptures -- those callings, lessons and archetypal pathways that live at the heart of my spiritual expansion. To the extent that I am honoring my scriptures, I am on my true-path and in the moment. When I bypass them, I am somewhere else entirely. For me, no spiritual practice is effective unless I am courageously honoring my path.
It took me a long time to realize that there were symptoms of my alienation from true-path. They included chronic illness, sleeplessness, self-distractive behavior, and perpetual dissatisfaction. I took to calling these symptoms "truth-aches" -- nudging feelings of falsity, palpable longings for an authentic life. Although sometimes painful, and although embracing them may well force us to turn our habitual patterns upside down in order to effect change, truth aches actually contain the seeds of our transformation. When we repress them, truth decay sets in and the only thing that can save us is a truth canal. Sometimes we wait too long, and we lose our truth altogether.
My truth-aches were most evident in my emotional life. When I was repressing old hurts -- anger, grief, shame -- I felt disconnected from the moment. I would sit on the meditation cushion and feel nothing but agitation. My consciousness was still back there. In "Soulshaping," I call this "the power of then" -- the effect the past has on our present day awareness. Although the physical body travels forward chronologically, our emotional consciousness lingers at any point of departure. To come fully into the moment, we have to go back and deal with the wounds and memories that obstruct us. Not get lost in them, but own them and work them through to the lessons they contain. We have to be there then, before we can be here now.
This week, I encourage you to contemplate your relationship to truth, particularly with regards to your personal relationships and your daily pursuits. What does "true-path" mean to you? Are you embodying your truths? Do you hear a nagging voice calling you in another direction, or do you have peace with path?
Lately I think of truth as a magnificent white-tipped Mountain. At its peak is a deeper and more inclusive experience of the moment. As we move through our lives, Truth Mountain comes in and out of view, calling out to us and reminding us of what is possible. The more truthful we are about our path, the higher our consciousness climbs. When our view is blocked, we know that we still have work to do in the valleys down below -- traversing the foothills of illusion, sidestepping the quicksands of artifice, overcoming our fear of (interior) heights. But we will get to the peak, if we are willing to do the work, if we can be truthful with ourselves about the ways we avoid the truth.
Something magical happens when we excavate and honor our truth, however one chooses to define it. It doesn't matter how much we achieve or how many things we master, if we are not walking our true-path. The moment we lie to ourselves, we leave the moment. The bridge across the river lie is ever-tempting -- it still tempts me often -- but there is nothing for us there. When we shed our cloaks of falsity and shamelessly embody our truths, the God Gate opens and our Essence steps on through. Truth is the gateway to the moment. Honest.
A former criminal lawyer and psychotherapist, Jeff Brown is the author of "Soulshaping: A Journey of Self-Creation," recently published by North Atlantic Books. Endorsed by authors Elizabeth Lesser and Ram Dass, "Soulshaping" is Brown's autobiography -- an inner travelogue of his journey from archetypal male warrior to a more surrendered path. You can connect with his work at www.soulshaping.com"