One of the most insidious ways we keep ourselves from becoming the best of ourselves involves what one of my mentors, Stephen McGhee, affectionately calls the “spiritual by-pass.” I first ran into the spiritual bypass when I asked a coach from Boulder if she was committed to growing her business. She replied, “I’ll see what Spirit has in store for me.”
At first, I felt confused. Listening to guidance, following Spirit, discerning the voice of the divine, the voice of God are all wonderful ways to know our divinity. So, why didn’t her response feel right in my body?
Ah, because it’s resistance, dressed up in her finest! It’s an excuse, just like all other forms of resistance.
Consciously choose to evoke the best of you by bypassing the spiritual bypass.
I heard a different version of the spiritual bypass again most recently from a cancer survivor. She shared with me that she had learned during her cancer journey and from volunteering with hospice that she is not in control. She is now giving the next phase of her life some space to see what happens.
Again, I felt some conflict in my body as I heard that. I am committed to creating sacred space in my own life on a daily basis. So, what didn’t feel right to me? While I totally hear her and honor her learning that we are not in control with so much of life, we still and always have the precious opportunity to choose how we respond and how we move forward.
While I am not a cancer survivor and cannot even begin to imagine how it would change me if I were, I would imagine I might value the gift of life even more than I had previously. I would also imagine that it would make it that much more precious to consciously choose the things I can control – what dream I’d like to move toward and what qualities of being I’d like to bring to the journey!
And, I have noticed with myself and with many clients that committing to something – growing a coaching business, overcoming the fear of public speaking, moving to the mountains – and committing to becoming who we must become in order to grow the business, speak in public and/or move to the mountains gives us a clear, strong sense of purpose and meaning.
For me personally, I’ve noticed that it helps focus my excitement. One of my strong internal commitments right now is around telling the truth to the person in front of me – both about our glory and power as divine creators and also about our outdated human habits that keep us small.
The spiritual bypass is a highly effective way to resist our good because we tell ourselves that we’ll wait to see what the Universe has in store for us or that it’s God’s will for us to remain small.
We are the Universe. We are made in the likeness and image of God. We need not wait or wonder. We are the One we have been waiting for . . .
Excerpted from my forthcoming book, “Thriving Work: 90 days of daily practice to transforming you and your business.”
Post your own spiritual growth insights in the comments section.