Why I took a 2-month fast from soul work > 5 reflections for you

Why I Took a 2-Month Fast From Soul Work: 5 Reflections For You

If there is one theme that unites those of you reading this blog, it is this knowing:

All of Evolution continues to awaken, and each of us has incarnated–with our particular foibles and gifts–to contribute our part in this Great Unfolding;

When we contribute our part, others can benefit and we will feel fulfillment.

  • Some of you are longing to know what that part might be.
  • Others have decided their part is simply to be as present as possible.
  • Others are identified a specific mission, and are moving forward as best they know how.

I have identified my mission as bringing forth the Flash Awake. Yet I just took two months off from doing any external efforts with my mission… and this is why–my short tale–with five reflections for you.

You should read this because it reveals truths not often revealed about the crucial process of honoring our soul work.

Once upon a time,

Well two months ago, we find our reluctant hero (me) fully plunged into his mission to share his discovery of the Flash Awake with the world.

[definition: the Flash Awake is a 1-2 minute mindfulness process, uniting body, heart, mind, and Spirit in breath… so you feel the deeper Presence always here.]

Insight #1 below: Do You Notice Any Internal Frenzy?

So there I was, two months ago, exuberantly doing my sacred work — writing, blogging, networking, creating business infrastructure, setting up email servers, developing social media, teaching students, preparing for an online launch.

Then my business coach busted me.

His email started off like this:

“This is my honest feedback to your exuberant words and actions. I have a strong reaction. A number of your actions give me pause, because I experience each as a boundary violation”… (which he preceded to list.)

His email serves as a pattern interrupt.

Perhaps I could have let his pattern interrupt glance off me; I could have kept plowing ahead in my exuberance as usual.

I didn’t avoid the challenge inherent in his email to look at my M.O. I took it. I let his email break the trance of my “exuberance” (translation: my hyper-activity).

REFLECTION #1: If you pause, and attune to your inner state of Being around your work or sacred work, do you notice any internal frenzy? Can you sense any internal pressure? Are you hyper-active? Notice any trying too hard?

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Insight #2 below: Do You Know When You Are Forcing Things?

I took my coach’s feedback seriously. I stopped all business as usual for a week — I wanted to slow down, inquire into my pattern of hyper-activity, and get grounded.

I was pretty proud of that feat.

Really though, one week of restraint was all my psychology could handle. I had to be UP-AND-DOING again.

One week later I found myself in the Longmont public library thinking, “I just have to get working again.”

Even though it had only been one week since I had stopped my type-A work schedule, my to-do list felt like one of those 26 car pileups on an icy Minnesota interstate.

As I began to untangle the pileup, I realized I was trying to force things.

I needed to let go… again!

Here’s a quote from the Pathworks on forcing things (which has my vote as one of the most profound psycho-spiritual teachings on our planet (see reference at end of this post)):

Letting go obviously means letting go of the limited ego with its self-will, its narrow understanding and its preconceptions.  It means letting go of fears, distrust, misconceptions, and suspicion.  But it also means letting go of the insistent attitude that says, in effect, “I can be happy only if so and so does thus and thus, or if life responds exactly as I determine.” 

There at the library, my habitual self, with its aggressive self-will, was determined to get it in gear again… but my heart wasn’t in it.

I remember the moment distinctly:

I was in such a tizzy to clarify my priorities, and so unable to do that without forcing the issue, something in me just let go.

I pushed the top of my laptop down, packed my papers, and drove straight to Macintosh Lake for an hour’s walkabout.

REFLECTION #2: If you pause, and attune to your inner state of Being as you do your work or sacred work, where might you be pushing? Can you notice any “forcing current”? What is your self-will determined to make happen? Can you let go into trust?


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Insight #3 below: Are You Willing To Listen To, and Follow, Spirit?

 The walk about the lake helped. I needed to cool down my overheated brain. Take stock of things… again.

This was my second pattern interrupt, only this time I didn’t wait for my coach to administer it. I took responsibility.

And I wondered, “What was this message knocking so insistently at my door?”

My mind fought back: “Haven’t you just taken off a whole damn week?! Isn’t that enough?!

That night I consulted one of my trusted ways to access inner guidance.

I picked a single Rune – from the 26 small clay tablets I had spread out, face-down before me.

runesFor those of you that know the Runes, you might guess I would draw the STAND STILL rune.

But there was a more perfect message for me.


The blank Rune symbolizes the unknowable and the unseen. This indicates a crucial time, a time when decisions must be made. It may be time to take a great leap of faith, to leap over the side of the cliff of doubt into the void of the unknown. Do so with perfect love and perfect faith. What beckons is the creative power of the unknown. The void existed at the beginning of time and will be there in the end, with nothing remaining. This does not symbolize a person, but rather is representative of the highest spiritual influences. [from http://www.wolfmoongrove.com/Rune%20Info%20Pages/rune_meanings.htm]

Boom. The third pattern interrupt.

I must be dense — to crack my habitual M.O. it took three pattern interrupts (my coach; the library meltdown; drawing the Blank Rune).

Finally I took in the message:

I needed a complete fast from all efforts to express the Flash Awake to others; stop my usual writing and business development — until further notice.

I didn’t know why I was to stop. I just knew this was the soul prompt:

No blogging

No networking

No social media

No researching and studying

No teaching

No online launch

Cold turkey.

With cold turkey came withdrawal pain. Somedays, severe.

This has proved to be one of the hardest (and most restorative) processes I have submitted to.

For any of you who have ever done a solo in the wilderness, you know how hard it is to draw that medicine wheel around you in the dirt — and restrain yourself to just sit, stand and lie within that circle for three days.

The voluntary restraint I write of here turned out to be two months.

 REFLECTION #3: If you pause, and attune to your inner state of Being, do you notice any messages to slow down? Are you being urged to change your perspective? How might you shift your approach to your sacred work? Are you willing to follow any wise inner promptings, despite what your self-will says.

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Insight #4 below: There Are Hidden Treasures In Restraint

Along with the withdrawal pains, something mysterious in the depths was flowing through me, like a mountain stream gone under the boulder field.

As part of my daily spiritual practice, I was still Flashing Awake 10-20 times a day, but now with a new focus on grounding my energy.

New ways of allowing the Flash Awake to bring grounding and restorative energy through each inhale arose.

For those of you that know some traditional Chinese medicine, this restorative energy is YIN — the all-nourishing, feminine, Earth energy.

I followed the flow of what was emerging… it led to my heart!

This “new” inhale was spiraling up from the Earth, inside my legs, through my belly and gathering in my heart region… as a soft, delicious, healing, nurturing, loving Presence.

Discovering and experiencing this Yin was a quiet joy (that more than “compensated” for the withdrawal pains of a complete fast from my usual writing and business activities).

Throughout this Blank Rune phase, I kept attuning to inner guidance as best I could.

Each time, day after day, week after week, my attunement was to continue the fast from writing and business development as usual.

I was slowly able to stop being disappointed with this inner prompt.

As I dropped my usual blogging and business activities, I also had to drop the entire way that I had structured my day, my week, my weekends.

I found that my relationship with myself, my wife, my life slowly clarified.

Slowly ripened.

Even though I had to deal with major life circumstances (ending my car lease, cataract surgery, suddenly leaving to live in Spain for 2 months), I noticed I could move through these with some uncharacteristic grace.

I was enjoying a quality of life not possible when I was pressing into the future.

Yet again and again I had to get over feeling unproductive.

Slowing down is an amazing spiritual practice.

REFLECTION #4: Might you be willing to approach your work or sacred work differently, and see what hidden treasures you may discover? What if you got a whole, new way to see or express your mission? What if slowing down was part of your mission?

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Insight #5 below: The Pruned Rose Bush Returns Fuller

At the same time that I continued to get the message to continue this two-month fast from business as usual, there were also signs I might start writing again.

The first sign was startling.

I was in a movement improve class; divination cards were spread on a nearby table.

I was curious what I would draw (some three weeks after drawing the BLANK RUNE).

I drew a card that boldly declared one word — WRITE.

I felt the truth of that zing through my Being. I smiled to myself, and tucked the sign away for later. I was still intent to honor the BLANK RUNE.

Yet the message to write again nagged at me.

It seemed to keep saying: “It is OK to write again. Just do it from your new, slowed down awareness.”

This urge-to-write-again ripened in me. I could feel the desire mount. I enjoyed being wooed.

What a delicious distinction from forcing things.

And here I sit in a café in Girona, Spain, letting the words flow. (See my open laptop on the table to the right).


I am savoring each word, each edit, each day I chisel this post down to its essence.

My deepest prayer is that it may inspire you to more attunement for your own inner process and soul promptings.

REFLECTION #5: Pause and ask: where might you prune back the way you are “doing” your sacred work? Could you tolerate the sight of the pruned branch stubs on the rose bush? Do you trust the pruning will blossom forth more fecund than ever when the time is natural?

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Here are the 5 morals of my little tale for your work or sacred work:

As you seek to express your work, yourself, your gifts and mission into the world, see if any of these might bring you greater love, wisdom and power:

  1. Where Might You Notice Any Internal Frenzy?
  2. Can You Feel When You Are Forcing Things?
  3. Are You Willing To Listen To Spirit and Follow Its Requests?
  4. As You Restrain A Habitual Pattern, Can You Find The Hidden Treasures?
  5. Do You Trust Your “Pruned Rosebush” Will Return Fuller?

With warmth and energy,
imagine the world if we all flashed awake daily

Now it’s your turn:
Create a little reciprocity between us…  just take any one of these easy actions below:

  1. Go to facebook.com/flashawake … and like the page and leave a juicy comment
  1. Or share this article on your Twitter, Google + or LinkedIn.
  1. Or tweet this quote by clicking http://ctt.ec/mh10U: “When we contribute our part in the Great Unfolding, it will be a mutual win-win — others can benefit AND we will be fulfilled.”
  1. Or be amazed at the 118 ways the Flash Awake brings the divine into your entrepreneurial day at flashawake.com/dailylog
  1. Or sign up for my private email list exclusively devoted to learning and enjoying the Flash Awake at www.flashawake.com/gift (emails go out once a week at most, and are designed to inspire you quickly)
  1. See me dancing in the streets of Girona, Spain to “Happy” at facebook.com/flashawake.com

[Footnote: Pathworks quote above comes from http://pathwork.org/lectures/the-spiritual-and-the-practical-meaning-of-let-go-let-god/]