My heart aches. A dull and persistent ache. I feel it distinctly, physically, and yet I know, with a quiet confidence, that it is not from some physical pathology. It’s an energetic, emotional ache. I’m well practised, as I believe so many of us are, at ignoring it. At getting on with things, relegating it down to the bottom of the list of priorities, because life is “busy”. From time to time I notice it and acknowledge it. When I get still and quiet, there is space for it to be felt and acknowledged. I question where it comes from. At times it builds to a seemingly “out-of-the-blue” and unexplainable fit of anxiety. I do my best to squash it, to make it go away. But it doesn’t. It stays. Waiting for me to listen to its message.
The morning was cold and foggy. After the rigmarole of school drop off, I rugged up and headed out for my morning walk, looking forward to moving my body in the crisp cool air. Not long after reaching the wetlands, a 2 minute walk from my front door, I was greeted with spider webs. Hundreds and hundreds of dew-drop covered spider webs covering almost every tree, bush and plant along my trail. Web covered branches reminded me of fairy floss sticks, wrapped in the gauzy layers of spiders silk. Single strands stretched loosely from bush to bush. Spectacular orb webs were to be found here and there, and every corner of every railing was decorated in patterns of strung pearls. The spiders had spent a very productive night.
Whilst I marvelled at the beauty of their creations, it struck me that the Spider, one of my Soul Essences, hadn’t occupied my thoughts in quite some time. Always seeking to understand the communications of the Universe, I wondered “Is she speaking to me now through this marvellous display?” Surely she must be; it seemed so blatantly obvious that she was pulling out all the stops to garner my attention with such an extravagant exhibition laid out before me on my path where it would be virtually impossible to ignore. Whilst I’m always seeking to understand the messages of the Universe, there are plenty of times when I succumb to downplaying or dismissing them out of laziness or doubt. It can be easier to ignore them, feign ignorance, or justify their meaninglessness, allowing me to sit in my familiar comfort zone and go on pretending that I don’t know what I need to do rather than having to get uncomfortable taking new and unfamiliar action. Not today – she was in my face, staring me down, almost daring me to ignore the voice of my soul.
The messages and symbology of my Spider are many and varied, and I have a tendency to psychoanalyse them til the cows come home, which is really not the way that soul communication works. But putting aside the intricacies of who she is in my life, today her message was loud and clear: Slow down. Take note. Go within. Listen. The answers are within. Your effect on the world is determined by your consciousness.
I’ve been hearing these whispers the past few months, but they’ve been quiet enough that I’ve managed to override them with reasoning that seems so sensible that it’s been easy to follow: You’ve got work to do, you don’t have time to slow down. You can get to that later. You’re building a new business. And you love it, you’re committed to it, it’s in alignment with your desires and values and visions, you have a purpose now, so you’ve got to get on with it! Action action action! Just do all the things first, then you can get back to the business of soul alignment.
Ha. You’d think I would have learnt that lesson by now. It turns out old habits die hard, especially when they’re upheld by societal trends and norms. And what has the outcome been for me? Anxiety. Unnecessary stress. Lack of flow. Anguish. Despair. The pain in my heart.
As I began more deeply exploring the spiritual path a few years ago, I thought that the answers to my yearning for a purpose-driven life would be neatly spelt out for me with step by step instructions handed to me by my soul. In hindsight, it’s no surprise that I struggled with that soul journey, and have as yet been unable to complete it, given how ego driven it was. Because here’s the thing: the soul’s journey operates in a completely different paradigm to the ego’s desires.
Purpose is not necessarily a fixed task. A God-given mission does not necessarily align with modern ideals of a stellar career and financial “success”, however you define that. And whilst it is perfectly possibly to create these successes in alignment with your divine purpose, I’m coming to realise that much of my soul searching and yearning has in fact been an ego driven desire for significance, recognition, specialness and worthiness. I’m quite certain I’m not alone in that.
My Spider was reminding me that consciousness is the only way forward. The quality of my consciousness impacts my experience of life, impacts those I interact with, impacts the world, indeed the Universe. My heart chakra pain had a message for me, and I needed to face it square on, acknowledge it, feel it, accept its presence, and bring the full light of my consciousness to it, for it to be transmuted. Continuing to avoid the pain would have prolonged it and made it worse as it grews in an effort to make itself heard. My body, my soul, the Universe, were all telling me that I was off course, because the truth of my desire is that I want to weave webs of consciousness that will positively impact the Universe.
So many of us are disconnected. From our bodies, our environments, each other, our souls, the Universe. Our culture does not support a way of being in which we can tune in and connect and be guided towards healing and deep satisfaction. We are so heavily scheduled, rushed, pressured, and distracted that we become disconnected and disengaged. It strikes me that so many of us are so disconnected that we don’t even notice our pain. It blends into the background. We don’t realise how sick we are or how unwell we feel, until it grows to a point where it’s impossible to ignore: disease, severe pain, catastrophic life events. We don’t realise that our bodies, our souls, the Universe, are constantly in communication with us, offering warning signals that we’re heading down an unfavourable path and that we’d be wise to course correct. We’ve forgotten how to receive and interpret that communication. We’re too distracted and focused on externalities to hear the quiet whispers. We have bought into the modern mantra of busy-ness, constantly doing and striving. We don’t even realise that we could feel so much better than we do, we aren’t even aware that we’ve accepted that feeling pretty crap is just how life is. So many of us are deaf and blind to what is possible, how good it can be. We don’t take action to improve things or even acknowledge what isn’t working, until we reach breaking point and crisis hits.
We’ve forgotten that:
- We are inherently lovable, loved, and worthy, without needing to earn it.
- We are of God/the Universe, therefore all the answers we seek are within.
- Working and striving and seeking won’t bring answers. Getting still, quiet, and going within will.
This doesn’t mean that we should all sit around navel gazing and twiddling our thumbs. What it does mean is that when our minds and our lives are overflowing with chaos and confusion and endless distraction, it’s an act of courage and commitment (and ultimately, productivity) to consciously slow down and turn inward. If we are to live lives of meaning and contribution and fulfilment and divine purpose, the action that achieves that must be fuelled by connection to our divinity, which is found by going within. It cannot come from a sense of duty or obligation or pressure derived from external sources. Soul alignment doesn’t happen through blindly following societal norms, or even forcing yourself to conform to someone else’s idea of conscious living.
So give yourself a break. Stop pushing so hard. Take a stand for your life and your legacy and opt out of the disconnection. Become aware of the unending impulse to be numbed out with mindless entertainment via ever-available devices and their social media rabbit holes designed to lure and capture us with distraction and quasi-connection. Remove the overwork, over-scheduling, overwhelm and busy-ness from the pedestal that society seems to have placed it on – it has no place there whatsoever, and it’s killing us. I dare you to slow down, get quiet, and listen. Listen to your body, feel its sensations. Notice your thoughts. Cultivate an ability to cut through the thoughts so that you may hear the voice of your soul. And discover a life worth living.