I was reminded recently of the importance of our preconceptions, intentions and expectations. There is a tendency for the mind to grasp on to a vision or sense of self and use that for planning and relating with the world. We use such models in all areas of life as a way to relate and learn and perform.
These structures form a sort of conceptual bubble around us, just as all objects have. This bubble acts as a veil if it’s out of tune with the bigger picture.
Now, some suggest abandoning all roles during our spiritual journey. And it can feel like that at some points. But if we are to be a parent or perform a certain job, we’ll still need to learn how to play that role. The role itself is not the issue. It’s playing a role out of sync with our journey. Playing it from the preconceptions of shoulds and musts.
In Autonomy, I mentioned Adyashanti’s quote, “So life can and does respond to that growth, and in many ways it tends to demand more and more from us.” One of the ways this happens is in requiring more precise or accurate conceptions of ourselves as we progress on the path.
We can use the analogy of a rocket. As we go faster, the difference of even a fraction of a degree can take us far from the target. In the same way, a small deviation in our conception and thus intention will tend to cause us to experience resistance or difficulties.
This isn’t internal emotional resistance – it’s resistance in response, like we’re meeting walls or stalling. Our usual support is lacking.
When we meet such barriers, there can be several reasons. It can be due to a barrier we need to push through; some more effort is needed. It can be about timing: right idea, wrong time. And it can be because it’s the wrong direction. We may be holding a subtly wrong idea of our role or who we are and thus what we should be doing. The “should” is a giveaway that we have a preconception involved.
The trick is, it may have once been right. Or it didn’t used to matter. But at a new point in the journey, it may need correction.
For example, we may see ourselves as becoming a doctor. But our destiny is wanting a medic. Or a doctor, but one who holds remote clinics or has a specialty we’ve not considered. At first the idea “doctor” will move us correctly forward. But at a certain point, our ideas of doctor-with-a-city-practice-etc-etc can begin to pull us astray.
How do you tell the difference? How do you discover which it is? That part is the feeling journey. How does this feel? What does the intuition suggest? What feedback am I getting from others? It can be tricky if the conception is driven by a strong desire as the desire makes a lot of feeling noise.
Be patient with yourself. This can take time to see and you may have to pop a bubble that’s been driving your life for some time. Losing it may seem like giving up a cherished dream. But it’s not the dream you let go of. It’s the self-concept that’s driving the dream. As you get closer to the goal, it has to get more precise or you’ll just be fighting yourself and wondering what went wrong.
When you pop the bubble, it can feel like a letdown or giving up or a relief. But in any case, you’ll quickly notice changes around you. Suddenly, what was not moving moves. Where sense of direction was lacking, direction appears. Invitations, relationships, opportunities all show up when we’re aligned with the smoothest groove of our personal time-line.
We can relax and feel life flowing again…