Your role as a spiritual helper. By Neale Donald Walsch.
The first step in becoming a spiritual helper is to:
1. ANNOUNCE OURSELVES TO EACH OTHER
The first thing we have to do if we are going to change the world is to let the world know that we are here. We have to tell each other about each other. We have to “announce” ourselves to each other.
One of the biggest reasons that people do not see themselves as “world-changers” is that they imagine themselves to be standing alone against overwhelming odds.
The earth is populated with people who believe that they are the only ones who think the way they do, who hold the viewpoints they hold, who want to do what they want to do. It is as if we are all living by some Silent Agreement. The Agreement is to keep our views largely to ourselves and to remain unknown to each other.
This is not an agreement that we are keeping because we want to. It is not even an agreement that we are keeping consciously. We are keeping this agreement unconsciously, without even knowing that we are doing it. We keep this agreement by “going along,” by “giving in,” by “accepting” life “as it is,” without raising a peep of serious protest.
This is an agreement that the human race is keeping by default. And we are keeping this agreement because we think we have to. We believe that it is the only way we can be happy—and maybe the only way we can survive.
Then, every once in a while, something fascinating happens. Every once in a while we chance upon a meeting, we hear of a gathering, we learn of an assembly or a conference of some kind, or we see a small write-up in the local newspaper about some group or association or non-profit organization that is focusing its attention on exactly what we have been thinking about—but about which we have said little or nothing to others.
And maybe we go to that meeting or attend that gathering, and we are startled to find that there are actually other people—perhaps many other people—organizing around just the ideas that we have been tossing around in our head. We find that someone agrees with us.
This is an important moment. This is the moment that real action can begin, that real progress can be made, that real solutions can be put into place.
Our Silent Agreement about religion
A survey of Americans by the Harris polling organization prior to the presidential election in 2004 produced an interesting answer to the question, What do you consider to be the biggest obstacle to peace in the world today?
The answer of fully 69% of respondents?
Nearly three-quarters of the American people understand perfectly well what is causing the world to be dysfunctional—yet no one is doing anything about it.
This is not because most people would not like to see a change in this condition, this is because most people have no idea how many other people agree about the source of the problem. And even when they do discover how many others agree, they do not know how many people also agree on a solution.
When large numbers of people come to know that they agree on both the source of a problem and the solution, that solution is usually not very long in coming to the forefront of public discussion.
This is what is known in popular parlance as “an idea whose time has come.” It has been said that nothing is so powerful as to be able to stop such an idea. The question is, how can we all become aware that an idea’s “time has come” if we are all holding the same idea, but keeping that a secret from each other?
And the answer is, of course, that we cannot.
What we must do now if we truly yearn for change
I cannot tell you how many times I have heard people ask me through the years, usually following one of my lectures or retreat presentations: “What can I do? I want the whole world to get this message, but what can I do?”
I always tell them that “the first thing you have to do is stand up.” And often it is amazing how hard it is to get them to stand up right there in the room. To heck with doing anything in public. They won’t even stand up right there in the retreat room or the lecture hall. They won’t even hold a microphone. I ask them to use the audience mike so that others can hear them and they decline. “No, no, that’s okay,” they say. “I just wanted to hear your answer. I was just wondering…” And their voice trails off.
Ladies and gentlemen, I have an enormous secret to share with you. Ninety per cent of life is just about showing up. You have to “suit up and show up” if you want to be on the team. It’s as simple as that.
“But what about people who are shy?” I can hear some people asking. “Isn’t there something we can do? Not everyone is a born leader, you know. Some of us feel more comfortable working in the background. That doesn’t make us unworthy to be on the team.”
Yes, yes, I agree. Not everyone is a Martin Luther King, Jr. or a Mahatma Gandhi. In fact, very few people are. The majority of people are not likely to get up in front of a crowd and, with a wave of their arm, shout “follow me.” But they are at least willing to stand up and be counted. They are at least willing to speak their piece when invited and encouraged and given permission to do so—to say nothing of being requested to do so—by the
Actually, I tell people that we are all leaders. It is just a question of what form our leadership takes.
Is the person who sits in the back of the room quietly stuffing envelopes and getting out mailings and handing out flyers and working the telephones and contributing hours of time and energy any less of a leader than the person in the front of the room waving his arms and issuing a call to action? No. So we are all leaders, and some of us do different things and excel in different areas than others.
BUT….we must at least be willing to stand up and be counted when the tally is taken. We must at least be willing to make ourselves known so that those who are in the front of the room can have a sense of how much support there is in the space for what is being proposed. And we must at least be willing to speak our mind if speaking our mind is what breaks the ice and gets the energy moving around a particular idea.
We must be willing to be uncomfortable, for at least a little while, if we want to help create a life that is comfortable for all of us for a long while.
I say to people in my workshops, retreats, and lectures: “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”
The last ten per cent
If ninety per cent of life is showing up, what is the other ten per cent? It’s about taking a risk. It is about being a bit uncomfortable. It is about being willing to “look bad” or to “fail.” It is about knowing that “failure”, in fact, does not exist, that it is an illusion, a figment of our imagination.
It is about forgetting the self and putting the highest good of the largest number at the top of our priorities. It is about being able to be counted on. It is about forging ahead, pushing on, even when the bramble covers the path. Especially when it does.
It is about understand Who and What You Really Are, and determining to express and experience that. It is about knowing why you are here, and what life is really all about.
And then it is about announcing that.
Hellen Keller famously said, “Do what you can do.” That last ten per cent is about doing what you can do. Nothing more, but absolutely nothing less.
Some practical ways to take Step One
Taking this first step in becoming a spiritual helper is as simple as A-B-C.
A. Get clear on what is true for you. This is the beginning of everything. Clarity precedes action, and sustains it. Indeed, clarity produces action where confusion stalls it. You must, therefore, commit to getting clear about what is true for you…
- About Who You Are
- About What You Choose
- About How You Will Demonstrate That
B. Find out what is already being done, and by whom. There is more going on in the world than most people are aware of. Causes and movements with which you agree need your support. These days, with Internet search engines such as Google.com and Ask Jeeves, you can find just about anything and anyone you are looking for—including groups of people who a goal in common with you.
C. Create what you cannot find. If you really can’t find anything out there that speaks to the issue of your concern or that is doing what you want to see get done, create it. Stop waiting for some other group to form or some other person to stand up. Form a group or organization of your own. Call a meeting. Hold a rally. Raise your flag and see if anyone salutes.
Now let’s take a look at how you can do this.
This booklet assumes that you have already read one or more of the Conversations with God books. If you have not, one of the fastest ways to get clear about Who You Really Are, and about your right relationship to the universe, is to read Conversations with God-Book 1 (Putnam Publishing)
Indeed, the entire opening Trilogy in the CwG series is highly recommended.
(This original Trilogy, by the way, is being published this year—the 10th Anniversary of the release of the first book—under one cover. This is the first time the full text of all three books has been made available to the public in this single-book format. Titled THE COMPLETE CONVERSATIONS WITH GOD, this special collector’s Gift Edition may be obtained from the Conversations with God Foundation (www.cwg.org) at its online store.)
Everything in the current booklet is based on the messages in those books and in the dialogue books that have followed, including:
- Friendship with God
- Communion with God
- The New Revelations
- Tomorrow’s God
This booklet is also heavily foundationed in the material found in my 2005 book, What God Wants.
Getting clear on who you are and what you want is not as difficult as it may seem. I have created a program designed to help you do exactly that. It is an intensive (and highly enjoyable and exciting) retreat called ReCreating Yourself.
The intent of the retreat is to provide a space within which you may recreate yourself anew in the next grandest version of the greatest vision ever you held about Who You Are. It is offered in two formats, a five-day and a three-day, the five-day version offered once a year as a year-end retreat that concludes on New Year’s Day and the three-day versions offered during the rest of the year.
Many people who have participated in this program have told us that they have reached a level of personal clarity about themselves, their relationship to God and to Life, and their life purpose, that they never thought they would ever achieve.
You may receive more information about the retreat, and conveniently register online, at www.cwg.org.
It is important to understand that you must be in-the-moment clear about Who You Are and about your true relationship to the universe, to all of life, and to each other, before you can become maximally effective as a spiritual helper.
There are many programs and opportunities in the world opening up the space for you to do this. Ours is only one of them. Find a personal growth and spiritual development program or activity that you feel best suits you, that resonates with your current sense of self, and undertake that activity with commitment and deep caring.
If you do, you should be able, in relatively short order, to know and to declare:
* Who you are.
* What you choose.
* How you will demonstrate that.
Embark on a reading program as well. At the conclusion of this book is an opening list of Recommended Reading for persons seeking a greater awareness of themselves and the world around them. Check this list out, and decide to read at least one book a month for the rest of your life that supports your personal growth and spiritual development.
Remember that the New Spirituality that is talked about in the CwG books is based upon the following assumption:
There is something we do not now fully understand about God and about Life, the understanding of which can change everything.
The process of seeking, obtaining, and sharing wisdom is what will bring us closer to that understanding. This should be a lifelong process that is never ending. That is why I speak of being “in-the-moment clear” about who we are and what we are doing here.
All true clarity is in-the-moment clarity. That is because there is nothing else but the moment. “Now” is all there is, and everything else is an illusion. Yet even if we accept the terms of the Illusion, tomorrow, for all we know, a flying saucer could land here and change everything we ever thought we understood about life.
You think I’m kidding? I’m not.
So use whatever tools are available to you to get clear on what is true for you. Another one of those very practical tools is meditation—and we will talk more about that when we discuss Step Four of the Ten Steps to Becoming a Spiritual Helper.
More practical suggestions
After getting clear on who you are and what you choose, there is another very practical thing that you can do to implement fully Step One: Find out what is already being done, and by whom.
Make it your business to learn more about the world in which you live. Watch the news. Read the paper. Follow the Internet. Keep up with what’s happening.
A lot of people in the new age community seem to feel it’s a good idea to avoid the news, to remove yourself from this “negative energy.” I disagree. I follow the news closely every day. Energy is what you call it. Or, as William Shakespeare famously noted, “Nothing is evil lest thinking make it so.”
I want to know what’s going on in my world. I want to under- stand the issues of the day, the matters of concern, the daily developments on our globe that co-create our collective experience.
Perhaps more important, I want to discover who, if anyone, is gathering energy and doing something about the challenges we are facing, who is putting together a plan or a program, who is launching what effort to accomplish which goal.
I want to know this because I want to connect with these people. I want to use these resources. I want to increase my effectiveness as a spiritual helper by joining with others who are holding the same ideas I am nursing, and who are moving in the same direction I am going.
Now in the case of readers of CwG there already is a “game plan” for those who have taken the messages of these books to heart. The game plan is to create the space of possibility for a New Spirituality to emerge upon the earth.
This does not mean to proselytize or to start trying to “convert” everyone, and it certainly does not mean the creation of a new religion. The message of CwG is clear on this point. What the world needs now is not another religion, but an expansion, an extension, a rejuvenation and a refreshing of the thoughts and beliefs of our present religions.
What the world needs today is a new from of spirituality, one that will allow us to express our impulse toward the Divine in a way that does not make others wrong for the way in which they are doing it.
This would eliminate all of the religious conflict in the world—and as we have already stated, religious conflict is the greatest obstacle to peace on our planet today.
Now if you agree with this purpose, if you feel aligned with the effort to help create the space of possibility for a New Spirituality to emerge upon the earth, you will be very happy to know that there is a well organized group already working toward this goal.
That group is called Humanity’s Team, and it has established local Teams in cities, towns, and villages in over 30 countries.
HT is focused very much on creating and providing opportunities for people all over the world who may be searching for, and yearning for, an alternative form of spiritual expression—who are tired of the conflicts and the sense of superiority and the doctrines of judgment and damnation that are built into many of today’s religions.
Among its other activities, HT sponsors Study Groups in the New Spirituality, and even sends out a guide for first-time facilitators so that they can feel confident in what they are doing. It offers other activities as well, all revolving around the kinds of messages found in Conversations with God.
Humanity’s Team is not part of, nor is it connected in any administrative or fiduciary way with, the Conversations with God Foundation. It is entirely separate from the Foundation, operating as a free-standing non-profit organization. I was pleased and honored to have been asked to serve on its board of trustees, a position which I accepted.
Information on the work and activities of Humanity’s Team may be obtained by going to: www.HumanitysTeam.com.
So the point here is that there is at last an answer to the question, “What can I do?” There is already in place a group of people who have read CwG and asked the same question, who share with you the desire to place that message into the world, who agree with you on the desirability of doing that, and who will support you in moving forward your own agenda.
Some final practical ideas
Now it is true that there may not be a local Humanity’s Team in the place where you live. Or, you may find that the work of Humanity’s Team is not close enough to what you choose to do, and how you wish to express yourself in the world.
So here is the final suggestion that I have for you if that is the case. It is a good idea to implement in any situation in life:
Create what you cannot find.
If there is no Humanity’s Team in your community, create one. If HT is not doing what you want to be doing in the world, then create your own way to do that.
My motto is, If it’s not there, put it there.
Start a Study Group in your home once or twice a month. Form a local chapter of Humanity’s Team in your city, town or village. Create a mutual support group for person’s seeking to apply the principles of the New Spirituality in their lives, but having no one to talk with about that.
Don’t let yourself be stopped because what you want to do is not now being done stop you. Let that be all the more reason for you to plow ahead, moving your personal agenda forward.
The last word on Step One
Above all, announce yourself, announce yourself, announce yourself! We must announce ourselves to each other. If nothing else, put an ad in the Personals column of the Classifieds section of your local newspaper:
LOOKING FOR others who agree with the ideas expressed in the Conversations with God series of books, and who want to talk about how those concepts may be made part of our every day lives, and of the life of this community. Call 541.483.7576 after 6 p.m.
Do whatever it takes (within reason!) to get noticed, to announce yourself, to let others who share your ideas know that they are not alone.
A Study Group may be started in exactly the same way. Just re-word the ad.
Put up posters at the local health food or co-op outlet. Ask the owners of the new age bookstore if you could post something on their bulletin board. Stuff flyers into the local newspaper or the free shop- per’s papers that can be found in many towns in street-corner paper boxes. There are LOTS of ways to spread the word.
(I know of one person who simply zeroxed little notices of her Study Group and announcing her desire to connect with others interested in CwG, cut them down to the size of the book pages themselves, then went into every bookstore in town and quietly slipped them into all the Conversations with God books on the shelves!)
Finally, you can go to www.nealedonaldwalsch.com and post a notice on the HEY, I AM HERE! page of my website. There you will find people from all over the world who want to connect.
Whatever you choose to do to announce your presence in the world as a person wishing to help co-create the New Spirituality, do it now. Don’t wait. Don’t procrastinate. One of the great secrets of all effective people is that they do it now. So…..DO IT. NOW.
* End of chapter 1 *
Copyright © 2005 Neale Donald Walsch. Published here by Gil Dekel with Neale’s permission. 30 December 2016.
Published in 2005 by Spiritual Legacies, Ashland, OR, USA. All rights reserved.