On The Journey Of Self Development

On the bus yesterday morning heading into Denver, I was excited about going to new faculty orientation at a local college.  This feels like an adventure because I have never been to this campus and never taught at this school.  The course I am going to teach is a counseling theory course, which I am well acquainted with having taught theory courses in three other colleges.  It is a joy for me to teach basic theory of counseling because that means I get to positively influence people who are entering the field of counseling where the basics are very important.

This will be a very full day coming back to my regular job in the afternoon, going to the gym in the evening and making a dish for our summer employee picnic tomorrow.  Life is full and that feels good.

Lately I have been thinking about personal development both as a journey of self (ego) and a journey towards Self (spirit).  Our ego selves have needs that can dominate because they are about survival and the needs of life.  As we secure our basic needs and feel safe in our lives we are able to turn more towards nurturing our spirit. 

These two, ego and spirit, run along differing paths sometimes in direct competition with each other.  The ego is run by fear; the spirit is run by love.  The ego wants to control the situations of life; the spirit is much more into being present with what is.  The ego is very concerned about getting the approval of others; the spirit is seeking to be its own unique expressing.  The ego wants to be right; the spirit seeks the truth.  The ego believes life is battle; the spirit sees life as an exploration of potential.  The life agendas of each are very different.

So we can see why these two aspects of each of us can cause inner conflict.  As we grow more in touch with ourselves we get better at monitoring the ego and it powerful agenda.  We begin to become aware of the forces that are calling us to a greater Self other than the needs of the survival self.  The Self is waiting to encourage us: in awakening, in being more conscious, in finding our truths, in creatively expressing our interests, in exploring innate capacities wanting to be realized.  The journey of the Self feels much more rewarding because it is about exploring at depth who we are and who we are capable of becoming.

These two journeys when done with awareness can help us be more conscious human beings while allowing us to transcend the ordinary and go for highest and most beautiful expression of our spirit.