The third step is the last piece to building a solid foundation in your path. No home is sturdy without a foundation that is unshakeable. Steps one and two begin the introduction to believing there is a power greater than your problems and you. The beliefs you held prior to these first two steps should begin to shatter. Not a pleasant action, yet necessary to make room for this next action step.
Everything you knew prior to now served to bring you to this day. Today is the beginning to create change. Step three is an action step, more than the first two. Step one asks you to prepare for a great change, letting go of everything you ever knew as truth. This is the time to hear the lies and the self-deceit, to learn how to become self-honest. A friend once said: “It is not the lies you tell me, but the lies you tell yourself that bring harm.” The truth of that statement continues to share the journey.
Perhaps the word ‘lies’ is a bit harsh and hard to hear. In truth it is difficult to come to understand that self-power in all things is time consuming and more like a cat chasing its tail. When it does catch it, the pain makes it release it, only to chase it one more time, the pain forgotten. Through life we develop a belief about self, the world, and how we fit. Following the steps and developing a spiritual path brings us to a new understanding. One that stops the tail chasing.
Step three now asks you to provide an opening for a divine presence to guide you. This is what is known as taking action. You are not simply giving thought to the concept of a power greater than your problems and self. When you have reached a point that allows you to ask for help and receive it you are well on your way to gaining power over your life, finding a way to manage that which has baffled you before. This is when your new way of life begins to take form.
The development begins within, not without. It is not the money managing, finding a job, paying bills, the endless list of chores and tasks to perform every day. Those are mind numbing at best. It is the belief in what you do, the physical action that is fueled by the new belief gaining life within you. The awakening to a spiritual way of life. Now is the first day of the rest of your life. Each day is born as the sun rises, each day is laid to rest as it sets. This is the cycle of life. Birth and death. This is your day.
Step three states you make the decision to work with a power greater than you. A significant part of this belief is the concept that this power will guide you, lead, and sustain you no matter what happens in your life. This moment, this breath is what matters. Not the next breath, but this one. Inhale and hear it enter your body, feel it fill your lungs. The power of the Divine is within. God, goddess, universe, remember the titles do not matter.
This is your life. Will you participate? Will you merely continue to sleep walk? Without conscious contact with a presence other than your problems and mind numbing tasks each day, you are not participating on a conscious level. It is more like driving a car or riding a bike, every action is automatic, no thought. At least until the accident or other action that jerks you awake.
The first two steps are the awakening and this third step is the final brick in the foundation. Each day sit with the quiet, listen to breath. Have your journal handy. Make notes about the physical and mental sensations. When thought enters, note it in your journal, return to breathing. The Eastern thought is follow the breath, the Western thought is follow the money. When we follow the breath, the money follows us. Practice breathing throughout your day.
Here is how:
- Inhale slowly through the nose, feel the air enter.
- Let the stomach expand as you bring the breath to the lower lungs.
- Exhale noticing the air as it passes from the lungs and out the nostrils.
- Let the stomach collapse, pulling it in on the end of the exhale.
- Repeat three times. Extend the breath on the inhale and exhale each time.
This exercise in breathing is healthy for the body and mind. Your lungs will increase in capacity and your body will thank you.
The spiritual concept of step three is Freedom from regret and fear. It is time to release the chains that have bound us to our past and prepare for the next step, taking inventory.
The fourth step will hold for a week. Between now and then the first three steps are your action each day. Remember to breathe. Learning to listen is the final goal of these steps. Listening is a skill to develop, not a given. Yes you have ears, but do you really listen or do you just hear. Not sure of the difference? You will.
Want to discuss the concepts laid out in this step and the previous ones? Let’s chat. I look forward to sharing the journey.
Bright Blessings. No harm to none, do as thou wilt.