When I joyfully passed my classes over 8 years ago and became a Certified Graduate Level Evidence-Based Coach, the first person who came to me for assistance was working to create a positive transformation in her life while suffering due to some issues from her childhood that she had not fully processed.
The second person, with a different background, was seeking the same thing while suffering from anger issues due to her past.
The third person suffered from relationship confusion, sexual, self, and familial identity issues, the fourth suffered from another set of issues, the fifth suffered from yet another set of issues, the sixth suffered, and so on and so forth…because there is not one person on planet Earth, before they figure out how to transcend suffering altogether by aligning with the True Self, who does not suffer, and yet, everyone I spoke with seemed to think (because of conditioning and myths perpetuated by society) that they were abnormal in some way.
Having lived life and suffered in my own experience, knowing my, and believing in others’, capacity to move forward despite all odds, and being called to help others to do the same, I knew that Coaching could help, and my meetings proved that it did…To the extent that it could on its own…
Not long into my practice, I could see that Coaching, by itself, had its limitations, limitations that would eventually become so apparent to me about 5 years into my work that I needed to pause for a moment to truly reassess how to successfully accomplish my intended goal of supporting others to create lasting joy beyond the “world” simply because I realized that there was no True lasting joy that could ever be found “out there” in the world (I had looked, studied, and traveled, and saw that the same problems were everywhere, with the primary issues existing deeply within human beings themselves).
Early on in my Coaching journey, my foundation was providing mental/emotional support for deep internal transformation in order to affect positive change in the lives of those I served, which meant that I mainly worked within the realm of the mind, and it’s impact on behaviors in the external world.
I was successful at integrating “spirit” into most of my sessions (after all everyone who came to me knew that my main website was called birthingthespirit.com), and also added some somatosensory work to my sessions, but I quickly realized that in order to fully incorporate all aspects of the Self into my work, I had to let go of the crutch of some of my cultural and academic worldviews to plunge deeply into doing so.
Having been struck by the call to teach at the same time that I was initially starting my Coaching work (something that is outside of the scope of pure Coaching itself), I soon sought out an opportunity to expand my skills in this area and was fortunate enough to start serving in a Trauma-Informed environment where I learned about unspoken but pervasive dynamics of the world that left me with a more realistic (although hard to initially digest) picture of why and how people suffered in the ways that they did.
All of the work done to end suffering in the modern sense, I soon realized, was mostly useless. It was not, I saw, possible to end suffering in the world for sure no matter how externally self-sufficient I was able to help others become, because life itself would require more than just tools to “correct” thinking and achieve goals based on specific contexts and limited senses of identity that were attached to/within the world to begin with. A more radical approach was needed, and helping people to find their “purpose” in the context of society, as helpful as it was for enlivening them, was not enough to wake them up fully and prepare them for life as infinite pure consciousness in destructible physical form.
Realizing that helping others to seek/strive toward “self-improvement” and external happiness/goals was not the answer to what could truly free them from their problems, left me with many questions; questions that it turned out, I needed to first answer for myself on an experiential level before effectively moving forward.
One day, while going about my life with these questions within me, taking some personal time to strive to enjoy my experience (by hiking and going on scenic drives to see as many beautiful places as possible) and to gain some new information for my work in the world despite the madness that I observed and experienced every time I stepped out into Maya, I looked out into the insanity and the stresses of the harsh, hateful, and racist environment/society around me and in the city that I unfortunately chose to overpay to live in at the time, at my memories/nightmares of the past triggered by a car accident, and the pain of a dentist-created jaw injury that I was not sure would heal (in addition to experiencing so many external stressors all at once that at one point I could only burst into laugher and proclaim it Murphey’s law when someone tried to use my identity to buy useless objects around the Christmas season–as if they wanted to deal with any of my stresses in my life).
Covid came into existence and George Floyd was murdered, and I had to save myself. And by the grace of all that is, an opening was created within me that made me clearly see how something had to change not in the world but in my perspective since it was not going to change in the world. I also realized that this perspective shift was not to come in the form of denial of the reality of what was occurring around me (that would have been pure ignorance and stupidity), but had to come with my realigning with the Truth of who I was beyond my suffering, a Truth that I knew surely existed having touched it before and during moments where I could laugh, sing, and dance my way through my pain. So, that is exactly what I did; I chose to relish in the Love within me, to find refuge there entirely, and to laugh, to sing/pray, play with my instruments, pet my cat, chant, and to dance.
Left to deal with the anxiety that I felt from looking out into my external environment that seemed to be determined to harm me, I, myself was determined to break free from the grips of that space and the world beyond it that I was reminded was not much healthier for me to exist within. Knowing clearly from my travels and observation from living life that the safety, health, kindness, security, Love, support, and so forth that I needed at the time (and throughout life) could not be found “out there,” I began asking more deeply than ever before “how does one actually end suffering altogether, or at least be better equipped to fully cope with it and life, since it does not appear that problems out there, and the evil committed lost others, will end while existing on planet Earth?”
Knowing that I was now on a new research path that included myself as the primary subject (and because I emphatically wanted to break free), I started looking for answers. The first place that I asked the question was to my doctor, but she had no idea.
So, clearly understanding that I was truly on my own and could not even seek anecdotal answers from those who see suffering everyday (and having the confidence in my abilities to provide what I need above anyone else outside of me), I sought the answer for myself from within, where I knew that there was an abundance of everything that I needed and I just had to tap into it. More than anything else in the world, I wanted out of the madness and chaos of the endless pursuit of fleeting happiness and its accompanying suffering that seemed to be the pattern that most humans play out in the world that I had lived long enough to definitively conclude I did not want to take part in! I respectfully declined the madness around me (literally declaring this out loud so there would be no confusion for anyone who was listening), and walked firmly toward my liberation, willing to give up everything in the world for it (that at that point I lost my appetite for anyway, and also knew that no Earthly attachment no matter how seemingly pleasurable could compare to freedom).
Strategically, and systematically, I ran a few experiments, observed myself diligently, and kept looking inward, until gradually the answers became clear to me, and I realized (on a much deeper level) some fundamental Truths and learnings that I had somehow forgotten in the midst of observing and over-identifying with the pain and suffering that I was seeing and feeling in the world. I realized how I simply had to realign myself, and stay aligned, with the unmatchable bliss of connection with the Source within me that I always had access to, even if it meant letting go of the entire world around me (that I know does not fundamentally care about me anyway). I even let go of my desire for the world to be better in any way in order for me to gain claim this freedom.
Even after having practiced Yoga and Meditation for years before finally devoting myself to my Sadhana when I discovered that it was the only thing that really held the Truth of what I now know in practice, the unanswered questions within me did not become fully become engrained until after I completely surrendered (gave all of myself, my heart, and every fiber of my being) to my higher seeing and simply observed my and others’ suffering wholeheartedly while remaining connected to my place of pure joy.
It was only once I experienced deep inner Love, grace, and freedom (again) while in great pain, while being surrounded by senseless hatred in the town around me, while all alone, and while working to calm my mind in the midst of it’s being naturally shaken up by the threat of death and the stresses of life, that I started to truly claim my freedom and the power within me.
I realized that joy is always here despite suffering, and that suffering is only transcended by moving beyond the limitations of the incorrect overidentification with the illusory ego-self and external world, and that, furthermore, the world will always be out of balance as long as human egos and ignorance exists, which they most likely (unless there is some sort of miracle) always will (no magical thinking here).
I eventually understood what True Self-Alignment is (without distortion and wishful thinking that seems to pervade the modern models and literature around human life, but does not validate the actual human experience).
And, so now, I teach others how to recognize this strength and peace within themselves, through Yoga/Meditation, as the best answer for addressing their suffering that I know is inevitable from living life (no matter what any self-help books and the overall culture about “mental health” has led you to believe). I know that the only way to transcend suffering and find True lasting joy is to consciously move inward in an intentional and connected way.
I realized that the answer to my question was very simple, although very seldom understood or pursued in the human perpetual attempt to hold sense pleasure-seeking as the model for happiness, and that to suffer is one of the most truthful, human, things anyone can do in this world because it represents an understanding that one is disconnected from the pure joy of the True Self that is always here regardless of outside circumstances. It recognizes one’s disconnection from our incorruptible nature due to the limitations of physical form.
Reading and rereading platitude statements that professed that happiness can be permanently found or obtained in the world (after seeing so much suffering in my work and understanding that all striving to change the world was only a temporary balm for a deeper issue that exists in humans’ disconnection with their True Self) is what made me reassess my approach to Coaching several years ago.
And I am grateful that I did, because doing so eventually supported me to transform my practice into something that I feel is worthy of being called a service to humanity, one that is useful for aligning people with their True center of peace and joy, and not just serving as a temporary Band-Aid to the constant disconnection that exists in Maya.
My own realignment with the Truth (with seriously reverified experience this time around–because I suffered deeply and got to understand it well) allows me to accomplish my work’s aim without playing into a system of thought that makes it seem that natural responses to the chaos of the world, like war, heartbreak, trauma, and injustice are what is abnormal, as opposed to the disconnection from the True Self itself due to the malfunction of the ego which creates the insanity and fuels a destructive cycle of Karma fueled by the pursuit of pleasure-seeking over fleeting things, and the mainatainace of ignorance, hatred, and apathy due to incorrectly holding up ego-entrapment as the height of human joy.
What Is Found?
True joy is beyond pleasure and beyond pain.
True joy is your nature, and this nature can only be touched within.
All things external, that are ultimately within the realm of control of a greater power and forces outside of “you” (no matter how much work you do to attract unfulfilling objects to you), are only there for experience, not to become attached to as an illusory part of who you are. You are not an object or a thing.
Suffering can only be transcended when you align your physical being with the one and only Truth within you that is untouched, uncorrupted, and unchangeable, and then operate in the world from that space of pure connection and awareness (“pure” meaning untainted by the ignorance and distortions of Maya).
Let everything else, from your story, to your mood, to your roles in society, dissolve completely as only functional aspects of existing amongst others within the illusion of Maya.
Always know that only alignment with the True Self sets you free from the bondage of experiencing and seeing suffering in the world while residing in your ever-changing temporary body-mind vessel and in the insanity of societies created through ignorance and distorted ego-animal-attachments and its resulting Karmas (actions that have a cause and effect in the world).
No peace can be found in a world such as this, especially for those who are entangled, those who are “oppressors,” and those who are disconnected from the fundamental Truth of our collective oneness. This is not an opinion, this is a fact.
Freedom and joy can only be found within you through undistorted connection with the divine expression that is untainted by “ignorance, egoism, attachment, hatred, and [fear/] clinging to bodily life” (Sutra 2.3). There is no use in looking for salvation in a world that is inherently flawed and trapped in continual destruction (this is just the Nature of form).
Simply clear away your contamination from the illusions of the world and Maya and become unattached to it. Only then can you know True liberation and be freed from the grips of the perpetual cycle of suffering that plagues humanity. Only then can you gain a liberation in which only awareness is present. And, at that point, despite the chaos around you, you become eternally connected to that which is True and incorruptible and can, therefore, find joy (not excitement as a distraction from mundanity or pain or inconvenience) in the most basic aspects of simple existence for the purpose of experiencing, transcending the limitations of your impermanent human form.
Thank you for reading.
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