When I joyfully passed my post-Bachelors 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 warped and traumatizing societies) that they were abnormal in some way. And, on top of this, everyone, before they truly “get it,” feels that they can solve their (or others’) problems externally.
Having lived life and suffered in my own experience and in my own unique way (like everyone else on planet Earth) up to the point mentioned above (and afterward, which I will speak of more here briefly for context), 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 (which is why I went in the field to begin with) could help move those who were seeking relief from their suffering into better states of being and existing, and my meetings proved that it did…To the extent that it could on its own (which this post will explain in very basic detail a bit later)…
Not long into my Professional 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 as a Coach that I needed to “pause for a moment” to truly reassess how to successfully accomplish my intended goal of supporting others (those who were ready and came to me for help, of course) with creating 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 lived (one could theoretically say many lifetimes), looked out into, observed, studied, and traveled the world (enough to get the point) by then to see clearly that the same problems were everywhere, with the primary issues existing deeply within human beings themselves through unconsciously reinforced illusory perspectives that fueled and maintained continuous cycles of unconscious behaviors that lead to suffering for themselves and others.
With my understanding that true change could only come from within, my early Coaching journey began with a foundation of providing mental/emotional goal-focused support to those who came to me for assistance. I helped my clients create deep internal transformation in order to affect positive change in their lives, which meant that I mainly worked within the realm of the mind and its impact on behaviors in the external personal 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 I also added some somatosensory work to my sessions, but, I quickly realized that in order to fully incorporate all aspects of the Self, and what I had come to realize beyond goal-setting and accomplishments, into my work, I still had some cultural and academic worldviews to dissolve in order to be as effective as possible at what I was doing in my work despite what others were setting precedence for in “my field.”
Having been struck by the call to teach at the same time that I initially started my Coaching practice (something that is outside of the scope of pure Coaching itself), a few years after I started Coaching Professionally, I also sought out an opportunity to expand my skills in other areas as well 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.
Through this work, I soon realized, through deep observation and exploration, that all of the work done to end suffering in the typical sense, was mostly useless…and, to add insult to injury, most people are blatantly unaware of this, and to add another layer of challenge, it is their unawareness itself that gets and keeps them trapped in cycles of suffering.
It was not, I saw, possible to end, or even reduce, suffering in the world for sure (in any capacity that one worked) no matter how externally self-sufficient I (or others) was able to help others become because life itself would require more than just tools to “correct” thinking for the sake of achieving worldly goals based on specific contexts and limited senses of identity that were attached to/within the world, because, simply put, “worldly” goals are part of the problem, to begin with.
A more radical approach, I recognized, was needed to actually create impact and transformation if I decided to continue to do my work, and helping people to find their “purpose” in the context of society, as helpful as it was for enlivening many and moving most beyond transactional goals, was not enough to “wake them up” fully and prepare them for life as infinite pure consciousness in destructible physical form (which is the truest expression of their identity).
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, and recognizing that I was in a field that was centered on this very kind of striving at its core, left me with many questions; questions that it turned out, I needed to first answer for myself on an experiential level before being able to effectively move 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 and vacations to see as many beautiful places as possible), and studying different areas of human science to gain some new information for my work in the world, 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 my past triggered by a car accident that I had recently experienced, and at 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 at my particular tipping point that I could only burst into laugher and proclaim it Murphey’s law when someone tried to then also 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 at the time), and I knew something was shifting within me. I had consciously evolved so many times in life since childhood that I knew the telltale signs.
And then Covid came into existence and George Floyd was murdered soon after, and although I was protected from direct contact with both of these things as I continued to work alone from my apartment in a city that had no violent protests (as I had done for the previous 5 years, even though I had to switch programs/contracts several times after my main one in corporate travel ended due to the virus spreading across the globe), I decided that I was done with the insanity of the endless suffering of the world.
By the grace of all that is, an opening was then 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 “out there.”
And I 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 as I had learned from working around/with Trauma survivors at the WCA in the past), but the shift had to come with my realigning with the Truth of who I am beyond my suffering, a Truth that I knew surely existed having touched it before and during moments, even as I felt pain, where I could laugh, sing, and dance my way through life.
So, laugh, sing, and dance is exactly what I did; I chose to relish in the Love within me and block everything else out, to find refuge alone in the same way that I had suffered alone, and to laugh, to pray, to play with my instruments, pet my cat, chant, and whatever else enlivened my spirit.
Left to deal with the anxiety that I felt from looking out into the external environment that seemed to be determined to harm me in one way or another, I was determined to break free from the grips of the hatred and ugliness that I was surrounded by in Flagstaff, Arizona and the world at large (again, I had traveled enough to see). And 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” (since I could not even walk safely down some main streets to enjoy the sunshine without harassment, hike a trail or go into a store without abuse, or step on or off a plane without disrespect, and knew that I had done nothing to provoke any other person–having lived a pretty simple and pure/”good-girl” life alone minding my own business and doing my ethical work and studies alone in my apartment for most of my days, paying my taxes and bills, etc), 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 here on Earth, since it does not appear that problems out there, and the evil continually committed by lost others, will end while existing on this planet?”
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 when I started losing sleep, but she had no idea.
So, clearly understanding that I was truly on my own (as usual) and could not even seek anecdotal answers from those who see suffering every day, 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 and have patience around.
More than anything else, I wanted out of the madness and chaos of the delusion of seeking goodness out there in the world, and the endless pursuit of fleeting happiness and its accompanying suffering that seemed to be the pattern that I, even by just going on vacations and minding my own business with the aim of making my future less traumatic than my past of observing so much violence and bs in the world, also almost got trapped within.
I had lived long enough to definitively conclude that I did not want to take part in any of the traps of the world (even in the form of innocent hikes, baking, and nature photography that others could see, if I needed to let them go because even these things somehow drew hatred and jealously from others–some people just don’t like to see others with anything nice, I guess–even my car, sitting outside, not bothering anyone, seems to constantly draw hatred and vandalism by disturbed individuals), and so, I respectfully declined the madness around me (literally declaring this out loud so that there would be no confusion for anyone who was listening), and I walked firmly toward my liberation, willing to give up everything in the world for it (which that at that point, to be honest, I had literally lost my appetite for anyway, knowing that no Earthly attachment, no matter how seemingly “pleasurable,” could compare to the freedom within that I had once tasted before getting so focused on helping the world).
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 than I had done before) 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/from 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–and no one needs to throw any pity parties for me about this either, since I am perfectly fine, and perfectly fine with it as I am not the one with the issue–“the world’ does not fundamentally care about me anyway).
The world (made up of mostly unaware and dysregulated people) has not yet developed the capacity to truly Love and care for others in its unawareness. Period. And I, tapping into the infinite power of all that is, can Love and care for myself better than even a billion dysregulated others. So, I even let go of my desire for the world to be better in any way in order for me to gain and claim my freedom to be all that I need to be. I let it all go.
Even after practicing Yoga and Meditation for years (for practically all of my life before even understanding/fully knowing that what I was practicing was Yoga) before finally devoting myself to my Sadhana practice when I discovered that it (my practice/Yoga) was the only thing that really held Truth for me, the answers to the questions within me did not become fully 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 and neutrally 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 (practically this time, fully, and awake/not just theoretically) 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 or wishful thinking that seems to pervade the modern models and literature around human existence).
And, so now, I teach others how to recognize this strength and peace within themselves, through Yoga/Meditation as best as I can and 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” tied to external gratification has led most 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 integrated way to connect with the True undistorted Self.
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 and object accumulation as the model for happiness and “success,” 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, and attachments to, 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 life (suffering that came even after creating and living a “perfect,” “model life”), 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 to take a sabbatical for a while, only to come back to share with discernment that infuses my new learning into my work beyond the traditional models of practice focused on worldly goals.
And I am grateful that I did because doing so eventually supported me to transform my contribution 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, or further trap, to the constant disconnection that exists in Maya. To use my skills and gifts to help others attain objects and fleeting fulfillments in the world tied to Karmic cycles of suffering, I now know more confidently than ever, is to empower a path of destruction that I cannot in good conscience enable. So I do not support fleeting goals for this world; I only support Union with the Self (and in a way that does not disconnect me from all that I am).
My own realignment with the Truth (with seriously reverified experience this time around–because I suffered deeply the second time that I was brought back to my realization) allows me to accomplish my “work’s aim” without any agenda beyond doing what is called by my higher will and allows me to do so without attachment and without playing into a system of thought that makes it seem that natural responses to the chaos of the world that I see in “others,” and worked to resolve in “myself,” that comes after war, heartbreak, racism, and injustice are what is abnormal, as opposed to the disconnection from the True Self that causes these things to be expressed through humans, to begin with, due to the gift of breaking down of illusions tied to Maya that then support the breakdown of the ego that was created to survive in warped social contexts that support atrocities, in the first place.
What Is Found?
The suffering that you experience can be a great opportunity to clear away the false attachments that you have to the fleeting illusions of this world. Suffering challenges you to rest your foundation on the unchanging Truth/Self that exists beyond these things even while living in a world that is overflowing with illusion and identity confusion.
True joy is beyond pleasure and beyond pain.
True joy is your nature, and this nature can only be touched within (in fact when you touch it, the whole world of form falls away).
All things external, that are ultimately within the realm of control of the greater power and forces outside of “you” (no matter how much work you do to attract objects to you), are only there for an experience, not to become attached to as an illusory part of who you are. You are not an object or a thing, or an extension of/accessory to one.
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 (when neutral/non-destructive) 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/or creating 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 within/with it, not for those who are “oppressors,” “leaders,” money-makers, attention-getters, or anything else. Peace is not created in facade; it is uncovered in/by/as the eternal Reality. Those who are disconnected from the fundamental Truth of who they are will always suffer and be trapped. This is not an opinion, this is a fact.
Freedom, peace, and joy can only be found within you through an 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). Salvation can only be found in the purity of your being (clarity of being reflected from the Source and not of the contamination of “the world,” its agendas, illusions, or ways).
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 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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