I was whipping cream the other day for some lovely strawberries I had purchased at the market, and as I was concentrated on my task I started thinking about how similar some things in life are to this churning process.
You start whisking the liquid cream and maintain a certain pace as it slowly becomes thicker and thicker, until it eventually changes its consistency to a rich, foamy, fluffy cream. You don’t know when this is going to happen, so you just have to be patient and keep stirring. More importantly, you cannot push or force the process.
We know that this is part of learning as well. Whether it’s the multiplication tables we want to memorize as kids or complex concepts or skills that we would like to master later in life, we need discipline, repetition, and persistence. Awareness goes through a similar procedure. You churn and churn your emotional patterns and mental habits until, all of a sudden, the insight emerges and you own another important piece of your inner puzzle that nobody can take away from you.
The Battle Between Ignorance and Self-Awareness
The churning of the Ocean of Milk, which is the famous episode in the Hindu Puranas celebrated in India every 12 years in the holy festival known as Kumbha Mela, represents the spiritual endeavor to achieve Self-realization through the concentration of mind, withdrawal of the senses, and control of desires. In this story, both demons and demigods reluctantly share the task of churning the Ocean of Milk to produce the nectar of immortality (or amrit). Each team represents our ignorance and consciousness, and wants to be the first one to grab it.
The stirring first produced a deadly poison that only Lord Shiva, master of life and death, could swallow without being affected. That is because as spiritual seekers, all our negative aspects must come to light before we can proceed to higher realms of consciousness. On the most basic practical level, this poison often shows as resistance and procrastination, killing our spiritual practices: we get frustrated and distracted, we question their purpose, we doubt their value, and we skip or stop them.
The process of self-awareness and growth is also similar. We start by looking within and trying to understand where the things we think, feel, say, and do come from, and as we continue unraveling our patterns and discovering deeper layers of ourselves, our soul slowly emerges through the cracks to show us who we are and guide us toward deeper understanding and insight.
The Invisible Poison That Kills Your Desires and Goals
However, if we allow the pain or resistance that may also come with it to deter us, and we give up on our self-exploration, we are swallowing the poison that the ego-mind cleverly brings up to stop us in our tracks. After all, if we want to grow we require radical honesty with ourselves, and this honesty is of an emotional nature—it usually bursts our bubbles and it hurts. For many people, the poison actually takes the form of alcohol or drugs or any other addictions that buffer them from feeling anything and keep them stagnant in the same emotional place.
We could apply the same analogy to any goal or business venture, because we never start from a blank slate—not even as babies. There are layers of mental and emotional stuff that need to be removed before we can tap into the better aspects of ourselves and master our life. That is how the soul evolves and expands consciousness, so that’s exactly what we come every lifetime to do!
I encourage many of my clients to become conscious entrepreneurs, so they can be completely independent and align with their purpose, but I stress that their venture has to have a solid emotional exploration. I’ve seen many well-intentioned entrepreneurs jump ahead of themselves, which is a form of self-sabotage, because they didn’t have the inner work, the clarity, or the humility to be guided, and acted from the impulsiveness of their ego-mind.
Successful conscious business owners have the ability to make quick decisions and create good opportunities, but only because they have clearly defined goals that have emerged from a big internal WHY, and not just from interesting or profitable ideas. It is that clarity that allows them to grow financially and emotionally, not because they don’t have doubts or fears, but because their reason to be in business is much bigger than the fears—it’s a journey fully aligned with their purpose.
Uncovering Your Hidden Treasures
And regular life is no different. If we have the courage to dive into ourselves, the insights we get from stirring our wounds and mental patterns can become crucial turning points that help us see clearly where we want to be headed—and why and how. Once the emotional churning bears fruit and the truth dawns on you, you cannot look back—things can no longer be the same because your soul speaks to you and you can actually hear what it’s saying.
Before then, the ego-based impulsiveness and resistance (or arrogance and fear) are louder. I see this everywhere, and I am no stranger myself to it either. The ego is very tricky and knows you better than you know yourself, so if you’re not continuously looking within, how can you know if you’re guided by intuition or by fear?
During the famous Indian churning, many divine objects and beings emerged from the ocean, including Kamadhenu the wish fulfilling cow, Ucchaisrava the white horse, the white elephant Airavata, the rare diamond Kaustubhamani, and Kalpavriksha the wish fulfilling tree, as well as Shri Laxmi, the Goddess of material and spiritual wealth, who was reunited with her husband Lord Vishnu after having been separated for many ages.
These objects and beings symbolize some of the precious inner gifts and spiritual senses that come to light when we access higher aspects of ourselves, because we tap into deeper layers of the mind (what we call the subconscious) that grant us the awareness of inherent yet hidden abilities: our creative potential, divine intuition, inner freedom, spiritual dispassion, discriminative wisdom, full integration of Feminine and Masculine principles, and so on.
You Are Your Healer Indeed
Of course, the last figure to emerge from the arduous churning was Lord Dhanvantari, the God of health and longevity, with the coveted ambrosia that the demigods were finally able to get energized with. So even good health and longevity can be ours when we take full responsibility for ourselves and our well being, and remove the impurities and energy blocks that prevent us from truly embracing life.
I’ve seen this in my own experience, and one of the reason why my business was originally called You Are Your Healer is precisely because I believe that if you want to be healthy, you have to be happy, and to be truly happy you need to know yourself and remove what is blocking the flow of life! The old mens sana in corpore sano (“healthy mind in a healthy body”) is a partial truth that keeps most of the world focused on the physical and material aspects of life. Not that you don’t have to listen to and take care of your body, but the task doesn’t end there.
If we understand that the deeper layers of our being are reflected on the physical plane and that the physical body and the physical senses, which are responsible for making us feel pleasure or pain, are the vehicles of the mind, then we can start turning things around by looking within and churning our own emotional ocean, to get past the poisoning resistance and fully embrace and master our life!
So contact me now to begin the inspiring journey of your own mastery, so you can start taking care of your mental, emotional, and physical health by understanding your WHYs and truly LOVING your life. Isn’t it time to honor yourself and feel excited about what new and wonderful experiences await you—both on this plane and on the higher realities of your own cosmic inner potential?
© 2013 Yol Swan. All rights reserved.
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Yol Swan is a Spiritual Life & Business Coach offering her intuitive and healing gifts, plus over 28 years of experience exploring the mind and psyche, to help women, Indigo adults, and conscious entrepreneurs to shape a joyful, abundant and empowering life in alignment with their soul purpose.