- Cataclysmic change/emotional shock: something that is confronting, life altering, that is abruptly or forcefully removed. The cataclysmic experience serves to induce an evolutionary leap. Often, the experience occurs because of resistance to the cumulative evolutionary forces. There are times when cataclysm equates with sacrifice. At times, sacrifice can be equated to a supreme act of giving (such as giving up of one’s life for another). At times, sacrifice is the mark of spiritual masochism. Often it is a combination of both.
- Attraction: a new desire, the forming of relationship, and the process of osmosis. Evolution can occur through an attraction to something or someone that piques our interest, that we have evaluated what we need, want, and do not yet have. This something can be anything: knowledge, a career, material gain, status, a lover, a family and friends, etc. The natural osmosis that occurs through attractions and forming of relationships prompts an expansion of consciousness. We become more than we are already.
- Awareness of internal or external stagnation, which leads to the impulse to grow. This awareness leads not to the cataclysmic experience but rather, is indicative of slow, steady, and natural evolutionary growth.
- Awareness of a new capacity which stirs that which has been held in a latent or dormant state. Internal or external circumstances give birth to a new impulse.
The four natural processes mentioned above can be experienced individually, mixed, or simultaneously.
Your response to life experience sets the evolutionary pace. Resistance, avoidance, or denial can slow you down and prolong a difficult process. You can do no better for yourself than to find acceptance for that which cannot be changed, to put compassion for self and others into active practice, and no matter how tough the going is or how tough it is to take a first step, to embark on the change and growth you know are both desired and required.
When life cracks you open, you cannot skip over any of your pain, but you can move through it. The challenge is not to supress what you feel but firstly, to allow yourself time to integrate the experience, and secondarily, to use it as a vehicle for growth.
When you find yourself in the depths of pain, anguish, and despair, recognize that your inner courage has already found itself, that you are already standing in the center of your courage. Take heart in knowing that it is in these larger than life moments, that you have allowed yourself to go to the place where the deepest of healing and maximum growth is most accessible.
The process of evolution is an infinite journey with infinite possibility. We are continuously growing beyond our limits and seeding our future. Eventually you/we, like the separate wave upon the ocean, will return to become one with source again. There will be repeats and revisits along the way, but it is never the same journey twice. And so, the ocean goes, on and on, forever teeming with new life.