Adventures In Spiritual Living

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Prepare the Path
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Prepare the Path

Kaye Cooper

Story of Kaye, Mom and compassion:  About 3 years before my mother’s death, she was hospitalized with an electrolyte imbalance and when she got out of the hospital, all of a sudden, she was showing signs of dementia. I really had trouble with this turn of events.  I hated the way I was responding to the onset of my Mother’s dementia.  I was frustrated, exasperated, exhausted, overwhelmed by the responsibility, and most of all, fearful that all of my goals and ambitions were going to fall by the wayside with the increased demands on my time and energy.

Using what Sharon Porter had taught me about cultivating values, I realized that what I needed was to remember the wonderful person my mother had been to me all those years of my life.  I could use that loving memory to call up compassion for the problems she was having.  I cultivated compassion and put it in my path into the hall that led toward her room at the facility where she lived.  The next time I walked down that hall, I opened myself to the compassion I had put there.  And my negative, dreading feelings were transformed into compassion (concern for mother’s suffering and desire to help).

Preparing the Path:  Preparing the Path involves selecting values that you will need in the coming day or for a specific event that is approaching and then projecting those values into the future place and time. Preparing the Path is done when you have time alone to prepare for the day or for the event.  It involves setting your intentions and projecting those intentions into your own future.  Preparing the Path puts your own mind, body and spirit on alert.  It is a commitment to Spirit that you will be especially receptive to spiritual guidance and support at the time you are planning for.  It is almost a physical thing you place in your day at a certain point.  You make a commitment and dedicate yourself to your intention.  This allows you to enter the situation with poise and ease.

You may already have a good idea of what value will be most important at that time.  But as you are Preparing the Path, you may also discover values that will benefit you. New values may just float in like feathers settling to the ground.  If you will open to Spirit, you will be guided.

Preparing the Path for our work:  In fact, when Sharon and I are going to meet to work on our retreats, one or both of us will Prepare the Path repeatedly in the days before we meet.  We are especially vigilant about asking for receptivity to spirit.  We always want to be led.

Here is what I wrote in my journal before one meeting:  “Receptive:  Open to Spirit.  Open to each other.  Trusting in our inner leading.  Trusting in the beauty we create together.  No fear.  Resting in trusting expectation.  Imbued with faith.  Living in faith.  Following in faith.”

Choose an event to prepare for:  We are going to try Preparing the Path, so right now please think over the next week or so of your life.  Is there an event, a problem you anticipate, a challenge you will face that you can Prepare the Path for?

Pause 

I’m going to explain how to Prepare the Path and then I will lead you through it.

Ways to Prepare the Path:

Projecting a value into a future time involves first of all cultivating the value—getting a really good sense of what the value is, allowing the value to fill you vividly.  Then you imagine what it will be like when you are living the value. Do not see yourself from the outside, but be in the situation.   Experience yourself expressing that value. How will you behave?  And very important, how will you feel when you are living your value?  Get a really good feeling of experiencing your value.

The final touch in Prepare the Path is to send the value you want to place in the situation on a stream of your spiritual energy to the point in your future where you will need it.  You beam it into the time and place where you will need it.

Get your journal and pen.  Think of the situation you chose earlier. Jot that down very briefly in your journal or on your paper.

Exercise

RELAX AND LET’S BEGIN

Slip into Spirit….Breathe and rest in your heart…Feel your gratitude begin to grow.  Feel your appreciation grow and grow….

Allow 30 sec.

Now, think about the value you chose.  Get a really good sense of what the value is.  What does it mean to you?  Now, breathe the value in; allow it to fill you vividly; feel that value in yourself.  Become that value.   Next, in your imagination, live the value.  Imagine yourself in the situation you chose, expressing the value you chose.  How are you behaving?  What are you saying?  And very important, how are you feeling as you live your value?  Get a really good feeling of experiencing your value.  Feel it grow strong and sure.  Take a little time here to feel the satisfaction of living your value.

***Allow 1 min.

Project:  Now from your heart send a stream of your spiritual energy; send that value on your stream of spiritual energy to the point in your life where you will need it.  Beam the value (what it means and how it feels) into the time and place you need it.

Allow 1 min.

LET’S COME BACK TO THE GROUP

Share:  any comments or questions?  Do you see places in your life where you can use Prepare the Path?

Allow sharing.

***Receptivity:  In some cases you may not be able to discern what value you need.  In that case, the value you project or rehearse is receptivity—openness to Spirit.  It could actually become a standard beginning to your day, unless you have identified a specific need.

How It Works

Intellectual Effects:  Prepare the Path is a type of Pre-Event Visualization, similar to what is commonly used in sports.  Pre-Event Visualization involves visualizing yourself successfully practicing your sport.  Studies of it show that visualizing successful practice can be more effective at improving your ability to play the sport than physical practice.  So when you imagine yourself living your values, you are using a highly effective technique.  Remember to imagine yourself from the inside, as if you are experiencing the event and living the values.  That element of experiencing from the inside was crucial in the sports studies.

Physical Effects:  You get a physical trail in the brain that makes you more likely to live the value.  Except that with Prepare the Path you are expending more time and energy on the process than if you were physically rehearsing or practicing.

Spiritual Effects:  Spiritually, Prepare the Path seems to have a multiplier effect because you are focusing on the specific place, time and people that can be your cues to shift into the value.

Review:  Prepare the Path is a phenomenal method of infusing your life with true values.  As you begin to actually live out some of the values you have been cultivating, their beauty, their practicality, and their power will make you fall further in love with them.

 

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