Hello friends, today I'm posting an excerpt of an interview from my upcoming book, Getting Real About Enlightenment. The topic is: The Meaning of Spirituality, and the interviewee is Jean Tinder, one of eight awakened humans who share their awakening experiences in my book.
"Kim: Is there something else that you would like to share about spirituality and what it means to you?
Jean: For me, spirituality is my life. Even calling it ‘spirituality’ separates it, but for the sake of discussion it’s easier to use a term like spirituality. Nothing is valuable to me unless it’s practical, something I can apply it in everyday life. I grew up in a very religious family and even as a child I would see people spouting theology, but then do the nastiest things in their life, and I knew it wasn’t right. For me, it has to have practical value every day. It can’t be a segment of my life, like going to church on Sunday and being a jerk the rest of the week. That never made sense to me. When I go to town or go shopping, I’ll do conscious breathing. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by the energies, and if I remember to breathe, it helps immediately. The state you’re in can shift in a breath, when you breathe and radiate. It’s not that you try to crowd out other energies; rather, it’s like if you’re a candle flame, all the incoming energies make your flame flicker, but if you’re a blowtorch, the wind isn’t going to affect it. So whatever worldly experience I’m in, whether meetings or grocery shopping or traveling or anything, I try to remember to breathe my own essence and my presence, and to open my feelings. It’s important to me to practice what I preach; to either make it real or shut up. It boils down to integration of all the parts and pieces of myself, all the aspects, and that’s not a one-time thing that can be managed or forced. It’s an ongoing process. When emotions show up, like fear, doubt anger at someone else, or any of this stuff that we think is ours and have a problem with, it’s nearly always aspects coming up to be integrated. So what I do is just be with the emotion, let it be there, feel it, and breathe it in.
"The state you’re in can shift in a breath, when you breathe and radiate."
In the last ten years, I’ve had some terrifying moments financially, like the rent being due in two days and no money, no food, all these hopeless situations. There’s so much fear and it’s easy to panic, but I finally realized how important it is to just be with that fear, allow it, and breathe it in. We so often try to hold it away from us, but when you allow it to be, you’re actually allowing an unintegrated aspect to come home, maybe one that’s been causing havoc and keeping you in poverty. I’ve learned to simply be with what is in myself, to not try to fix my anger or frustration or anxiety, but allow myself to feel it, to embody it within me, for that’s when the alchemy happens. That is true transformation, not just mental processing or forcing yourself to be different (which doesn’t work anyway). It’s hard to explain, but you choose to remember who you are. It may sound strange, but that has been one the most practical and transformational things I have done for myself, allowing the integration of the aspects that have been causing the problems. Be okay with whatever you’re feeling; there is nothing you’ll ever feel that needs to be fixed, and by simply allowing, the situation will find its resolution."