What does it mean to follow your path? Is a path like cutting a swath through a hot dangerous jungle with a machete or is it a civilized stroll along some scenic route that is pleasant and easy and fun? . Perhaps a life path it’s something only spiritual people talk about. Or maybe what you do for a living is your path? Does it feel like it’s not very realistic to follow your path, or that only rich people or creative geniuses follow a path?
And don’t forget about all the good opinions of others who may think you’re being unrealistic or selfish if you follow your path. Fearful people love to tell you that following your path may cause you to go broke or crazy. Maybe following your path is just too difficult and is only for brave people or fools.
So if following a path a fantasy or something that may bring discomfort or challenges, no wonder so many people say – NO WAY… but I would offer that it will come up for you at some point in your life, and for most of us that time will be the moment when they are dying or sick and running out of time. In spite of all the living we do, much of it is on auto pilot, and a common response for people who are running out of time is to say… did I really live or was I too busy worrying about little things that don’t mean anything now. They often get a glimpse of the path they wanted to follow, but didn’t. As the body crumbles, the soul awakens. This is why dying people always tell the living to “follow your dreams.”
Don’t wait for sickness or death. Do it while there is still time. But now here is the mystery. There is no Path, because everything is the Path. And inside of that “everything” there are two important distinctions. Your Master Path and your Secondary Path.
The Master Path is your inner path your path of meaning and your Secondary Path is your outer path, where you put that meaning into action out in the world.
The Master Path is about “being” and the Secondary Path is about “doing.” So where are you on your Master Path? Standing still? Walking backwards? Eyes opened or closed? Sprinting forwards.
Now once you honestly assessed where you think you are I’d like to discuss a word I think is the key to traveling our life journey well…
congruent – 1. in agreement or harmony.
Through the course of the mentoring work I do, I am asked this question over and over again about the purpose of life and how people can figure out “what they came down here to do.”
Everybody is convinced they inhabited a human body because there is one thing The Universe wants me to do and I have to find that out, and that’s my life path, and until I find out this big mystery, I’m waiting to live my life.
God doesn’t care what you do. And that you didn’t come down here to do anything specific at all. You came down here to express your divinity in a body, so that divinity could experience itself through you.
AND THAT IS YOUR MASTER PATH. And your Master Path has nothing to do with anything external because every step is really an internal journey. It is not about time. It is about presence. It is about trust. It is your internal spiritual journey.
The challenge facing each of us is to become congruent; to accomplish becoming in harmony with our soul, our true nature. But wait a second, we live in a world of externals, where we are bombarded every day with messages that try to make us believe everything we are seeking is outside of us, and if we can just find that magic bullet, we’ll be happy, so we make our Secondary Path what we think our life is about – the path of doing. It’s a question of getting the order mixed up.
Imagine you have one foot in a boat going east, and one foot in a boat going west. As they slowly drift away, you start to have to stretch wider and wider, until finally you have to choose one or the other boat, or end up in the water. A lot of people live their lives like this, when really we need to get our Master Path and our Secondary Path floating in the same direction.
As simple as that goal is to articulate, it is not always so easy to do this out in the “real world”. Yet accomplishing inner congruence is the diamond around which floats all the other goals we associate with happiness.
You cannot be truly healthy if you are out of alignment; you cannot be happy if your mind and heart are at war with each other; you cannot know what a happy fulfilled life is about if you’re the fear of the consequences outweighs you desire to live life on your terms. You can’t love yourself if you can’t trust yourself.
So what does it look like to be in harmony with your Master Path? Here are a few places to look.
1. Your sense of self worth is rooted in your personal values and integrity, but also in your innate belief in the universal; What you want, health and happiness, everybody wants. Everybody is special and nobody is special. It’s a sense of realizing that you are me and I am you. We might eat different foods or have a different religion, or no religion at all, but we all want something that at it’s heart is universal. And so we follow our Master Path by following our internal guidance system and doing our best not to judge others.
2. Intuitive guidance system is in harmony with your mind and body. That just mean s you trust your intuition, your gut and you let it lead you when you need to.
3. You are someone who can connect to the wisdom of your body and what it tells you. You understand the feedback you get from your body and let it guide you.
4. You engage with your life on the physical, emotional mental and spiritual level, and you know how each part of you communicates with the other parts. Feeling and reason in harmony with each other
5. You are open and flexible to your Path not always being what you think it should be. In the Tao Te Ching, one of my favorite stanzas is “The good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent upon arriving”
6. You make choices based on love and harmony rather than fear and selfishness. And we know at a very deep level that we seek this harmonious resonance in every relationship we have and even in place we find ourselves in. We immediately sense when we are “out of alignment” with someone or something. Congruence is our spiritual resting place.
The Master Path is not what you do but who you are and expressing that quality of being with each step, as best you can in the moment. The Master Path is your WHY. This is the foundation that will help you sort out your Secondary Path.
The Secondary Path is the Path of doing. This we could call the how / what / where / when / stuff. Some people know what their Secondary Path is, some don’t or some want to change it and try something new… it’s all good, as long as your Master Path and your Secondary Path are moving in the same general direction, and so your Master Path points you in the direction of what would be your best Secondary Path.
When we get our two paths in alignment, then we will start to experience what I call the great SIGH OF RELIEF.
Human life is a paradox. In the great wisdom traditions, we are said to be the Soul, made in the image of Spirit, which can never be fully satisfied with external pleasure; yet we also have a body and mind which wants stuff and experiences, and our body uses the outer world as the place of fulfillment. Placed as we are between the material and the spiritual, we must use our endowment of discrimination to distinguish between the real soul pleasures of our Master Path and the limited ability of the Secondary Path to be our end all be all.
The Secondary Path must fade with time while the Master Path only becomes more powerful with time, if we care for it and develop it within ourselves.
Master Path Challenge:
Every day for the 7 days, find a place in your life where you choose intuition over logic, passion over skill, adventure over safety, and hope over doubt. As you begin to break free from all the “should do’s” obligations and old belief systems and programming, your true life Path will be revealed, and with it all your heart’s desires will become a reality.
David Frank Gomes is a Spiritual Mentor and Co-Active Life Compass Coach. He works with clients around the world, and is available for personal coaching and other interesting juicy stuff . He is human caregiver to the worlds greatest poodle Biscuit. He can be reached at www.davidfrankgomes.com