Years ago I developed The Re-Membering Process, a model of spiritual evolution, and identified the first phase as Sparking.
Sparking is what awakens us from sleep and an unconscious life…We all live within a container of some sort and are in a stupor to some extent…It’s part of the human condition. The questions are: how deep is the sleep? How big does the spark to awaken us have to be? What will jostle us out of the daily shuffle? What will cause our heads, bent over so intently eying our shoes, to rise up? —Excerpted from The Questions We Live By
We usually enter Sparking through crisis of some sort. That was true in my case. In my late twenties I encountered a serious health issue that took me out of my stupor and caused me to determine that I wasn’t on track. I wasn’t astute enough to recognize it on my own; all was so foggy. I was clueless. Something—certainly much greater—took over and led the way. I just feel fortunate that I didn’t balk at that point but reached my hand into the fog in trust.
If I’d had a guide solidly present that I could look in the eye…or if I’d been more connected then to receive all the inaudible messages I’m quite sure were coming my way…if I’d recognized my own intuitive abilities…then perhaps the journey through the Re-Membering Process could have been greatly truncated the first time around.
But that wasn’t my path. Those ‘ifs’ I note above didn’t happen for some years yet. Mine was a journey of learning all the twists and turns, the double back, the two-steps-forward and three-steps-back, the intricacies and nuances that have led to a visceral knowledge: how to side-step, leap over, move through…what creates limitation. And to simply recognize the signals calling for evolution—or revolution—in a way that honors and allows.
And…it’s not necessary to endure a crisis. Why undergo the intense pain and confusion that comes with it?
I’m a great believer in prevention. There are three things necessary to avoid the crisis and create movement when the Sparking calls.
1) Presence. You’ve got to have a way of coming to stillness—regularly—to create a buffer from all the internal and external input bombarding us every day. Meditation was the practice that chose me all those years ago. I can’t say I knew what I was doing then but I did keep at it. Here I am some thirty years later and it’s still my daily saving grace.
2) Awareness. Stillness allows you to get in touch with what’s truly going on that you might otherwise block in daily life. You become aware of bodily-felt sensations, internal voices, and imagery that presents itself to answer the questions: Where am I? What am I feeling? What am I lacking?
3) Acknowledgement. If you are truly present and allow awareness, there’s honesty to what you’re shown. At this point, simple acknowledgement is all that is necessary to open a doorway to answer the questions in the phase that follows.