by Charlene Muhammad
Life is not linear. Even though the shortest distance between two points may be a straight line (so we are taught in geometry), this does not necessarily prove that this type of journey is a good one. Nature’s horizon is a beautiful optical illusion- according to the legend of Mr. Christopher Columbus. Thank the heavens for that! The curvature of the earth is far more exciting.
I like to consider my journey through life as a spiral. The basis for my consideration is predicated in our genes: the DNA helix is a spiral. Spirals are tricky though. They can give the appearance of being circular. Running around in circles… usually not fun. Feels like S-T-U-C-K. (yuck!)
Here’s what I mean:
As we begin to recognize a pattern in our lives, it usually presents itself as a great “Ah ha” moment and then we know we have come full circle. Then, we begin dwelling on this experience. Over and over again in our minds, the events, thoughts and emotional reactions we’ve experienced play out. We may stay “stuck” in this over analysis pattern until the point that we find the strength and wisdom to ask one key question: “What is the lesson of this journey?” What is the wisdom I need to move beyond this circle and begin the upward motion of growth- just like a spiral?
Considering the structure of life as a spiraling helix composed of many circles connected to one another eases the burden of the linear equation that can make life feel as though we are not making progress. Circles are comforting. Circles represent links that hold and support one another such as an embrace by a loved one or the support of one’s village or community. Coming full circle provides us with the opportunity to grow by bridging the wisdom of our current experience to the possibilities that our desires envision. Growth requires that we do not remain obligated to the comforting feeling of the circle, but to acknowledge the next steps of the journey needed to move forward.
Consulting with a client earlier this year, we discussed a strategy for losing weight. My client feels that she has been struggling with her weight for most of her life and the physical weight of her body is also weighing on her emotional heart and mind. I always ask my clients with health goals to lose weight, why they want to lose weight and what they believe is the optimal weight for them. I also ask them to describe the strategies and activities they have tried in the past and why they think these were not successful. My probing questions are designed to help us both see the physical, emotional and spiritual patterns that are present and to uncover the link that will propel them upwards on the spiral. What is the lesson in the journey?
Clients often come hoping I will give them a magic herbal formula to make their health challenges go away. Herbs are powerful tools, however these tools must be used along with the soul work if we are to be successful.
My client did have an “Ah ha” moment during our consultation. She agreed that her struggle to lose weight was based on how she felt others thought about her and her inability to stop craving “bad foods” because eating them made her feel good. She recognized that her goal to lose weight was not based on her own desire to be healthy but to please other people. She got the lesson.
Now we could begin to build the bridge of the spiral. We agreed on activities that would support her self-image. We also agreed to work on her relationship to food- why she craved certain tastes and how eating these foods satisfied her emotionally- at least for a time. I also suggested a few dietary changes and included some herbal supplements to support her body systems. We also agreed that the process would take time.
Success is always built on a solid foundation…. especially when the goal is building a stairway to heaven.