A Journey Through The Shadow Of Spiritual Leadership
For years I believed other people had the power to infect me.
Infect me with their bad vibes, negative energy, toxic headspace.
I believed I was a victim. Weak and vulnerable to all things in the world outside of my little safe bubble.
For a period of my life, I spent a significant amount of time working with someone whom I believed to be a spiritual leader.
With such a lack of trust in my own abilities, I willingly handed over my power, believing she knew better than I, how to live my life.
I had fallen so far from my truth, I consulted her on my every move. Every interaction. There she sat, happily upon the pedestal I had made for her, dictating through fear the choices and decisions I should make.
I don’t recall the exact moment I realized what was happening. The moment I realized I’d forgotten the truth of who I was. The moment I bought into the fear paradigm that someone other than I, knew what was best for me and my life.
But the moment I can recall, and will remember for a long time to come, was when I was face to face with this spiritual leader in my local supermarket 3 weeks into Covid isolation.
There she stood, open arms, smile bright as day. Beckoning for my embrace as if no time or carnage at all had passed.
This ‘guru’ the one I had so faithfully believed would save me, stood as any other normal woman in the isles browsing.
In a flash I recounted the ways in which I’d lived in isolation under her instruction. Years of avoidance, removing myself from parties, gatherings, social outings, life.
The loss of one of the most treasured relationships in my life.
Years of buying into her trinkets and potions, tools and ‘help’ to clear bad juju I’d been infected with.
And here we were in not too dissimilar circumstance.
Forced isolation. Social distancing.
Yet one thing in the mix was VERY different this time.
After the brief encounter I headed home in a state of bewilderment.
As the hours passed, I realised, there was no charge. No rage. No sadness. All of the things I expected would be there if I was to see her again.
In this moment, I was met with the realisation of just how far I have come. Of the learnings I have embodied and of the power of forgiveness and radical acceptance… of the nature of the Universe.
Of the Shadow and the Light of Spiritual Leadership.
You see, just days before this encounter, I had been asked to write about Spiritual Leadership for the purpose of my training with the Institute for Intuitive Intelligence… and this ‘leader’ entered into my awareness almost immediately.
I offered it up. I wanted to be guided by the Divine.
There she was. Placed right before me.
‘Ok God, I see where we are going here’.
Late last year I entered into a forgiveness practice for forty days in relation to this experience. Albeit a little reluctantly. But… it had to be done. My egoic mind did not want to partake at all and offered up many stories to divert me off course.
I persisted nonetheless.
Here I find myself after seeing her with a sense of compassion and gratitude.
For us both.
It needs to be said that she was not a bad person, it was clear her intention was not to misguide me or harm me in any way.
While she may not have been acting in the best of integrity, the greater thing in all of this is the recognition that we have choice, it is our choice whether we hand our power over to someone else believing they hold the answers.
It is our choice to believe we too have the same capability to lead our own lives and make our own choices.
The danger lies not in the believing someone else has the answers, but in the not believing in your own inner knowing.
I know that my time with her was a gift, pointing me back to the truth of what I now know.
What I also know, is that this was not true Spiritual Leadership.
This was Spiritual Leadership in its shadow.
In all my time working with her, everything was external and controlled by the external. I felt so far removed from any sense of personal power and of any connection to something greater.
My experience with this style of leadership and guidance was all part of my journey on this path of awakening and I have many learnings from this time in my life that I am deeply grateful for.
The most profound, what Spiritual Leadership is not.
Spiritual leadership is not fear mongering. It is not hierarchy. It is not a power play.
Seeking out the guidance and mentorship from a Spiritual Leader is a beautiful thing and can transform every aspect of your life. You need the Sacred leader to be congruent between faith and action, to be a living demonstration of that which she teaches. It doesn’t mean she has it all together, all of the time – it means she shows up to do the work, every single day. It means she places priority on her relationship with the Divine.
I have experienced this with my mentor Ricci-Jane Adams. The light side of Spiritual Leadership is embodied through this woman.
It is through the many years of deep work and the teachings of Ricci-Jane that I have been able to reclaim my own sovereignty.
From a young age all things mystical in nature captured my attention and a love of learning and deep desire for growth have guided my way.
I’ve spent plenty of time asking myself who am I to do this work?
Now. I ask. Who am I not to?
Saying YES to myself and to the Divine has been the best thing and the hardest thing I have ever done.
I have invested in deep learning and growth and have answered the call of my soul and the call of the Divine.
Now I have an obligation. One which I cannot shy away from. This is the path I have been headed towards my entire life.
I ask myself daily, how can I serve?
I allow the Divine to use me as a vessel and I show up every day to be congruent between my faith and my actions.
I have experienced the shadow side of Spiritual Leadership and I do not play there.
True Spiritual Leadership lies in humility. It is knowing that I of my own self can do nothing.
True Spiritual Leadership is in meeting and releasing your fear. Every. Single. Day.
It is the work of God. It does not ride with fear, it rides with love.
This is not to say the journey is all love and light, rainbows and sunshine. It is a true journey into the depths of ourselves.
It is from this place we can begin to transform our lives on every single level.
It is from this place we change the narrative.
True Spiritual Leadership is Grace. It is God. The Divine. It does not deplete. It elevates. It is true Power.
It means being okay with getting uncomfortable, it means being vulnerable, it requires you to get over yourself. It is a daily practice.
It is my commitment to maintain the daily practice of the dance of Humility. Grace and Power in order to serve.
It is a deep honour and privilege to do this work.
It is my purpose to lead others to their own divine power. Not by fear. Not by coercion, control or manipulation, but with authenticity, love, grace and complete trust.
Through true alchemy.
*Image credit – source unknown.
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