I remember when I first made my foray into the spiritual landscape. It was an exciting, mind-blowing time when all of my pre-conceived notions about who I thought I was went out the window. I felt a deep passion for the new truths that I had uncovered about my identity and the meaning of my life. I felt as though I had awoken from a long slumber and was finally meeting myself for the first time.
That was more than 14 years ago. Today, my spiritual life is still something that I have deep passion for and excitement about, and I still periodically get my mind blown (hooray for periodic mind-blowing!) but a lot has changed.
When I was first exploring the spiritual landscape, I had a strong sense that there were answers “out there.” The initial awakening of my own consciousness had come due to the guidance of a wonderful teacher (thank you Molly). This, combined with the fact that our society teaches us that we are not enough just as we are, created within me a sense that there was some kind of information somewhere out there that would be like a magic key for me. This fantastical information would free me from my problems and unlock all of the closed doors in my consciousness and in my life. All I had to do was find the teacher who possessed it.
I spent a lot of time (and money!) looking for this information. I searched high and low, under rocks and over mountains, studying with this teacher and that teacher. I began to feel inadequate if I hadn’t studied with all of the same teachers that my spiritual colleagues and friends were studying with. I was not the only person struggling with this; it seemed as if every spiritual person I knew was scrambling to attain the “right” or the “best” information from the best teacher. There was a lot “who have you studied with?” talk.
Don’t get me wrong. Information is great, and the right information at the right time delivered in the right way can be incredibly useful. But here’s the thing: information is meaningless unless we can actually integrate it.
In order to truly integrate information that you have received, it’s important to realize that the information was already yours, even before you learned it. I know that sounds esoteric and weird, but it’s true. You already knew it. You just didn’t know that you knew it. (Hmm… Hopefully your head hasn’t exploded…).
FYI, this dose not apply to conventional information, like how to divide fractions. I am talking about spiritual information: information about who you really are and what your path is and how to heal. When we learn these deep spiritual truths, there is a profound sense that the information is intuitive; that somehow we already knew it.
To this end, we must realize that there is no information outside of us that we need in order to become complete, to heal or to self actualize. We suffer, sometimes very deeply, when we spend tons of time and energy looking for something outside of ourselves, searching for that teacher with the magic key that will unlock all of our closed doors.
There is no teacher out there who holds that key. All a good teacher can do is show you what is already inside of you and support and guide you as you access it.
As a psychic, people often come to me looking for answers. Of course, I have absolutely none. (Shh! Don’t tell.) All I can do is read the energy of the person who came to me. I act as a mirror, reflecting people back to themselves. The good news is that lo and behold, as people gaze into that mirror, they find the answers that they were looking for. The answers were already inside of them, just waiting to be acknowledged.
As my own spiritual work has deepened, I have begun to see that there are many “mirrors” in my life that I can look into when I need answers. These mirrors are not limited to special teachers or books or anything in particular; I have begun to understand that everyone and everything is my teacher, because everyone and everything is simply me reflecting me back to myself.
Acknowledging this has been incredibly empowering for me. When I have challenges in my life, I now know that I also have the solutions. When I seek support and guidance regarding those challenges, I am not seeking someone to “fix me” because I don’t know what to do, but rather someone, or something, or some place, that can reflect me back to myself in the most helpful way so I can see and acknowledge the answers that are inside of me more clearly and directly.
I have studied with some really amazing teachers, healers and energy workers, and they have been extremely helpful mirrors, allowing me to see and access the deep wisdom that I carry. However, I have also accessed that wisdom equally well, or maybe even more profoundly, by looking for reflections of myself in my cat, or in a stranger, or in a sunset, or sitting in traffic.
Molly, my first spiritual teacher, recently published a great book called “No Guru Came Knocking”. It’s a memoir about her own search for a teacher. In the book, she writes about an astrology reading she received with ayurvedic doctor Robert Sbovoda. During her reading she asked him if she was ever going to find a teacher. I’ll leave you with his response to her:
“Well, your teacher is coming.
But you have to keep your eyes and mind open.
Your teacher may show up in a very unexpected form.
He or she may show up as a gem stone, or a bagel,
and you will have to be able to see that this is your teacher.”