Last week we looked at our spiritual practices, the foundation of the six life domains, in lieu of learning opportunities (AFLO’s) that continue to show up in our lives. As our spiritual practice deepens, taking us to the God As Me, experience, challenges are likely to surface in our other Life Balance areas. Let’s look at how to shift those AFLO’s, given our continued spiritual development.
Health –> You learn that transfats aren’t good for you and eliminate them from your diet. You may or may not feel better, but it feels like you’re doing something healthy, so you stick with it. This attracts more knowledge and you eliminate high fructose corn syrup. Suddenly the continuous runny nose is gone so you start to shift your diet more rapidly. Each step brings you into alignment with a healthy version of you until your exercising, nourishing, and treating your body like the holy temple it is. Then a major illness strikes and you wonder what happened, what went wrong? Instead of wallowing in “poor me” thinking, you remember this is an AFLO. A daily dose of gratitude leads you to forgiveness of a past relationship, which frees both of you from the chains of resentment. At your next doctor visit, you’re miraculously free from dis-ease.
Home –> You add a plant to a dull room and notice a new energy. That leads you to new drapes, throw pillows, and some soft music. The room starts to come to life, so you light some candles and burn some incense or sage, maybe even add an altar. Before you know it, your dull room has become an inviting meditation room. Then your spouse asks for a divorce. What happened? You created such a sacred space. While mourning the loss of the relationship, you begin to see it as an AFLO and use your meditation space to center and connect to your inner guidance. This leads to a peace that passeth all understanding and you see the necessity of moving on from the old relationship.
Relationships –> After several “same old” relationships, you find yourself in a new relationship. It’s brilliant because you’ve done your work. Even the arguments seem to be opportunities. You see continued growth and deepening and commend yourself on how you’re doing it different this time. After several more arguments, you begin to see that you’re in yet another relationship with the same person, different face, AGAIN! And it’s over, AGAIN! In your willingness to see the AFLO, you look at yourself and see the mirror these relationships provide. They reveal the inner conflict you haven’t resolved. As you learn to love yourself, that perfect someone walks into your life and you instantly understand why all the others didn’t work out.
Career –> You hate your work and haven’t a clue what you want to do or how to change your present circumstances. Each day you come home drained, feeling more frustrated with life. You decide to try an affirmation. I am grateful for my job. You say it with intention and feeling. Before you know it, things aren’t so bad at work any more. You find yourself with a bounce in your step and a lightness in your heart. The boss notices and offers you a promotion. A week later, your job is eliminated and you find yourself in the unemployment line. After a brief slip into, “Why me?” you remember this is an AFLO. You begin a new mantra, I thrive and flourish doing work I love. Repeating your affirmation feels uplifting, so you share it with your friends. Several happen to know of a position that’s perfect for you. You update your resume’ and suddenly find yourself applying for several unexpected positions that weren’t available a week ago. You find yourself in an interview with the boss of your dreams, receiving an offer that’s more than sufficient, doing work you love that exercises all your talents.
Finances –> You have no idea how you’re going to make the next mortgage payment or buy groceries or the kids school supplies. Your finances are out of control and you haven’t a clue how to turn things around. You begin a process of recognizing Spirit as source and begin to release worry, lack, and limitation. You approach your finances with a sense of security and take a good hard look at your spending and your resources. You spend time in prayer to align your thinking with what Spirit has in store for your flow and create an affirmation. You start to give of your time, talents, and treasures, knowing this will activate the Law of Circulation. Somehow, the mortgage gets paid and the kids are fed and supplied. Things go well for a time until the mortgage doesn’t get paid and you find yourself facing foreclosure. “How’d I end up here again?” quickly shifts to recognizing the AFLO. You continue to trust Spirit and your process and months go by without an eviction notice. You fill with gratitude daily. Then the day comes when you’re given the boot. Continuing to see the AFLO, you find yourself free of debt. While looking for a new place to live you find a dwelling that suits your needs better than the old one. In addition, you find yourself with a new source of income from a career or strategic financial move that provides better support, and you may have missed it if your energy had been invested in trying to resist and begrudge your circumstances.
These are all the new reality you can experience when you continue to stay the course and deepen your spiritual practice. The next time you find yourself chanting, “I thought I dealt with that issue already,” I invite you to notice the thought, thank it for sharing, and shift your focus to seeing it as an AFLO. From there, shift to the recognition that you’ve advanced yet again in your spiritual development and have even better skills in which to process this opportunity and turn it around to work for you. Then pick up the chopsticks and dig in!
Enjoy each AFLO!