The Journeyman

journeyman1“Each morning, at the thought of the effort that I must expend to fully be myself and feel completely alive, my body tires and heart balks, the mind protests and ingrained self-defeating patterns flare up, promising me the old, familiar rewards of illusory safety and the numbness of thwarted growth.

Only my spirit stands apart from these deceptions and gently whispering, beckons me to the place of magical possibility.

Each morning, I follow. I know that I awake the same person whom I was before I ever undertook becoming the person I truly am. And so I rise and choose not to revisit my well-furnished rut but dare to advance, through conscious, principled and disciplined actions into mystery and the unknown, where the person I already am exists, waiting to be claimed.

I think of myself as a journeyman with a portable spiritual tool kit. In the old days, the journeyman carpenter or house builder was willing to travel in any direction to provide his services, so long as the trip did not require more than 24 hours of travel.

For me, each 24 hour day is a journey I set forth, bearing my spiritual tools. For those hours, I will seek to be of service and to practice gratitude in the world that I encounter.

But my performances are always, always less than perfect, and sometimes they are quite close to disasters! It is easy then to feel so discouraged that you stand ready to abandon the way.

There are no failures but one: to believe your mind when it tells you you’re hopeless, that you’ll never succeed, and to give up.
True inner transformation is beyond success or failure: there is no single success to be attained or failure so great that you are thrown from your path forever. There is only effort that has been credit-worthy or instances that require improvement. Monitoring these daily advances and retreats are essential to inner change.

But you must make the effort. You must consciously choose to pick up the tools and use them. You must consciously choose the life of inner freedom and spiritual majesty. You must work for this.

You must struggle and strain. You must walk alone at times. You must show more courage than you thought you had. You must sacrifice time and sometimes pleasure. For as the world is, you are the only hero of your story and only you and no other can make the narrative of your true destiny.

You are right now a beautiful success, simply for having chosen this path, which will never abandon you. Sometimes sprinting and sometimes stumbling, at times straying but then returning, just so long as you know where inner transformation lies and are advancing with renewed determination, you will find realms of mystery and miracle, truth and authenticity. And each day that you choose this path will manifest your glory.”

By Alan Kaufman

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