No Shortcuts, Ken!
Do you ever look for shortcuts in your life?
I sure do, and I have had some powerful clarity around that over the last ten days: Every time I follow what looks like a shortcut in my life, it ends up taking me away from my purpose – my path. It’s a form of giving away my power that I’ve engaged in consistently my entire adult life.
It’s easy to be consumed with the get rich quick scheme, or the get enlightened quick schemes. The shortcuts I have taken have tended to be in relationships and business. But I’ve tried the spiritual shortcuts, too.
I remember reading Eckhart Tolle’s wonderful book “The Power of Now.” Truth is, I resisted reading it for a while. An old business coach gave it to me just before the holidays and said I should read it. This must have been right when the hardback version came out in November of 2001. I didn’t want to read it – something about the cover. Who knows what I was thinking!
Later that winter, my now ex-wife Laura and I did a retreat up to the YMCA of the rockies and I brought that book. Each time we took a break from cross-country skiing I would read the book. And I cried and cried (a sure sign of the truth for me – the same thing happened when I was told I should be working as a healer in the fall of ’07 – crying). I read the book completely that weekend (wondering why I had waited so long to read it) – and many times over the following years. There were many challenging times, and during those times, I would ask the most basic question from the book “what’s wrong right right NOW?” Although the answer was always nothing, I didn’t feel it. That question didn’t work for me. I viewed it as a shortcut, rather than the open door that it is. It wasn’t until I started meditating in August of 2007 that I really started to understand what Eckhart was talking about. It wasn’t until the months following September of 2007 (when I was told I was a healer) that I fully began to understand and for me – more importantly, experience what Eckhart was talking about in that book.
In retrospect, I realize that I needed to have the full range of those experiences and perspective – including years of frustration with knowing something (what Eckhart wrote about) but not experiencing it in my own life – before I was able to put it all together. As much as I wanted a shortcut, there was a path I needed to travel.
Even after learning about my healing gifts, and having the experiences described in the book – and much more, I resisted my calling as a spiritual facilitator for more than 18 months. I had been asking “what is my purpose” for about six months prior to being told about healing. I wanted a different answer, and I wanted a shortcut. I wanted it to be easier. And the more I resisted, the harder it was.
Looking back as I write this, I see the glaring lesson showing up over and over again: Surrender!
Laura’s mom passed away on December 1, 2004 from pancreatic cancer. She had been diagnosed less than two months prior to her death. Laura was pregnant with our second daughter, Riley, at the time. It was a very challenging emotional time, as you can imagine. At the time we were in a major bind financially with a large chunk of consumer debt, and my mortgage career wasn’t consistently paying the bills.
When Ann died, we inherited what for us, was a large sum of money. We paid off our debts, and played and bought some toys. And then I got focused on turning that money into more money. My mortgage career wasn’t very rewarding for me so I looked for a way to become an expert in something financial that could be added to my mortgage offering, that would make the big bucks (interesting how the pursuit of money has shown up in my life when I’m unhappy). I ended up spending a lot of time and money becoming an expert in financial, tax, and debt strategies for optimizing assets, retirement, and estate/legacy planning. I spent time with an up-and-coming financial expert at the time, learning his system, then teaching it in workshops. I spent incredible amounts of time and money trying to figure out how to fill up my workshops, then how to sell the people that came to the workshops my services, so I could make money. I was so focused on how to break through a financial barrier that I didn’t stop to think things through very carefully. For a while, I was trading money for advertising and putting on workshops, for the money I was making back with the new clients following the workshop (not making or losing money). After a while, I started spending more than I was making. I was looking for my shortcut.
Eventually, I shot video of my final workshop, wrote an e-book, created a DVD, and tried to figure out how to sell them on the internet. I hired wonderful experts from around the world to help me figure it out. And credible third party experts said I was going to be the next big thing. I made plans for huge income each month from the sales of my new products. Always looking for the shortcut.
It was a spectacular flop. The financial boom went bust, and my timing couldn’t have been worse, in terms of making this business go. No shortcuts, Ken. Eventually, we filed Bankruptcy, and nearly lost the house to foreclosure (it went through short sale just days before the foreclosure sale). No shortcuts, Ken.
And if that hadn’t been happening as I was being told about and exploring my healing gift, I would have never done anything with it. Learning to surrender.
Surrender, and Maintain Your Power!
I feel like my mantra should be, “Surrender, Ken, and maintain your own power!” I’m laughing as I write this – how many times to learn the same lesson?
A couple of months back I bumped into an “opportunity” to help some wonderful people find an investor for their company, to help them bring some amazing technology to the world-wide marketplace. For a small time investment, it looked like I might be able to realize a very nice financial benefit. It seemed very serendipitous. And another shortcut! (I feel like I’m a crow sometimes – I fly down to explore the bright shiny objects)
Here’s the good news as I look back on this experience: I didn’t take much time – certainly not relative to many other side tracks that I’ve taken over the years – to pursue this. And last week, it became crystal clear that this opportunity wasn’t part of my path. To stay focused on my calling, knowing that my financial desires and goals for helping many people around the world let go of their physical, emotional, and spiritual pain and replace it with inner peace and love, will be supported through my spiritual business. And to know that the time that it takes for that to unfold the way that I see it unfolding will be full of so much learning, personal and professional growth, and so much more that I can’t even see … so full of wonder, and awe at the way the Divine works in my life, and the lives of those I am honored to witness.
Surrender, Ken! And don’t give away your power. Your power to experience everything you want is within you. No need for shortcuts. That’s what you teach others, and experience every day in session. I guess we teach what we need to learn most, ourselves! 🙂
It’s interesting to me, many of my clients see what I have as a gift that is unreachable to them (though I understand this, it’s not true – everyone has the same Divine light shining into them), that must require some special short cut. I tell them over and over again, there is not shortcut. If my process resonates, go through it (it’s not really that long – 3 weeks or so) – on your own in the self study online course – or work with me in private session. Then implement this process every day in your life. Do it on your own or with the support of the membership community. It doesn’t take more than 30 minutes a couple of times a day. And the impact is amazing and will change your life. but you actually have to do it. I can’t do it for you and it’s not a power that I have that you don’t have (don’t give away your power). And the first step of the process is all about surrender.
And I have to go through the same process in my life. I have to do the work, too. Beneath the Sand, twice each day. Keeps me tuned up and on track, and in touch with my own infinite power and my own inner peace and joy.
Here’s to surrender, and staying in our own power. You … and me.
I’d love to hear your thoughts and feedback (agree or disagree) about this posting – or anything else that’s on your mind.
I’m so grateful we’re connected this way!
Ken Stone, Spiritual Facilitator
Focusing a portion of my practice with people around the world who want to transform their powerful insights into powerful experiences:
And a portion of my practice with people around the world who want to transform their PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) symptoms to safety, love, and joy: