We all have the choice and ability to decide which direction we grow in life. We are constantly growing towards the source of our nourishment, the object of our pursuit, and the desired outcomes we want to create. Knowing what we have been growing towards is key to being intentional and creating change, and self-awareness is necessary to doing this consciously.
To live an intentional life, one must be honest and aware of their intentions and strive for complete self-awareness. It's not easy, but it's necessary to get to the truth and truth brings clarity, freedom, and peace. The truth must be sought after wholly, and its value is delivered through its wholeness.
We have the choice to face and live the truth or to live a difficult and complicated life. But if we choose to face the truth, we can then choose how to grow and what to value, and this will be reflected externally as well. Self-knowledge and awareness are necessary to create change.
We have the power to choose the direction we grow in and the truth that sets us free is understanding ourselves deeply enough to make informed choices. Intention and vision are key in creating the life experience we desire and by doing so, we will be able to experience more of what we choose to grow towards. We are given the power to determine our own growth and the values that shape our lives.
What we choose to prioritize and cultivate will expand or limit our experiences.
- We are in control of our growth and values.
- Intention and vision are essential for creating the life experience we desire.
- Self-awareness is required for making informed choices about how to grow and what to value.
What is The Union Path?
The Union Path Podcast - A practical spiritual podcast about truth, awareness, and walking the path of unity.
The Union Path
The Direction We Choose to Grow
[0:00:20] John Coleman: One of the greatest freedoms, one of the greatest abilities we have in our life is our ability to choose which direction we grow, to choose what we pursue, what we endeavor after, what we cherish, what we admire, what we seek. We all have this choice and we're all making this choice constantly. We're all like the little flower growing towards the sun. We always grow towards whatever nourishes us the most. We're always reaching out, we're always stretching. We're always attempting to grasp whatever it is we're seeking, whatever it is we're focused on, whatever it is we've decided to be the object of our pursuit, to be the content of our goals, to be the desired outcomes and circumstances that we want to create for ourselves. And this is always happening. We're always growing towards the source of our light. We're always growing towards the source of our nourishment, the source of our attraction. We're always maintaining this relationship of reaching, of seeking, of striving, of stretching. And we do this throughout our entire life. A lot of times we do this unconsciously. If we may ask ourselves what am I growing towards? What am I reaching for? What am I seeking?
[0:01:56] John Coleman: Really? And if the answer isn't obvious, then the answer is actually unconscious because we cannot go through life without growing towards something. We can't go through life without progressing towards something. And if this is the case, if we don't actually know what it is, it's obviously a good idea to find out because we're doing it whether we know it or not. And the first step in being intentional about the direction we grow is knowing in which direction have we been growing? What have we been growing towards? If we can start to unravel this we can start to discover this by simply paying attention, by looking back at what we've done, what we tend to do, what our past habits say about what really matters to us, what we were really going after, what's really important to us. And these are very important things to know because in order to apply intention to anything, first we have to have clarity. First we have to have knowing. Intention can't be applied from confusion. Intention can't be applied from an unconscious place. If we intend to create some sort of change, if we intend to live in some certain circumstance or situation, if we intend to live a certain kind of life, the it's really important that we understand the life that we have right now. It's really important that we understand the life that we've lived up until right now. This is one of the areas where self awareness is so incredibly useful and so incredibly powerful because through awareness, through observation, through being honest with ourselves about what we've done and really try to find the answer to why can really tell us a lot about ourselves, can really help us know ourselves. And it's through this selfknowledge, it's through these awarenesses that we can start to intend something different.
[0:04:12] John Coleman: Because the thing is, no matter what is happening in our life, intention undergirds everything. If we look hard enough, we can look at the circumstances of our life, especially over a longer time period, and always find the intention in there somewhere, always find the thing we were trying to create. We can always find what we were growing towards, what we were choosing to acclimate ourselves toward and what we were choosing to pursue. Because when we want to create change, when we want to create any sort of change, the first thing that sets that change in motion is intention, is making the decision for things to be different. Is making the choice to intend for things to be different. And again, if we want to do this in any certain way, if we want to be intentional about our own intention and this has to be done consciously, this has to be done with as much awareness as we can muster, as we can gather, as we can gain, because ultimately our lives will unfold in the direction of our intention. Our experience will be colored and inhabited by the result of our intention. Our lives, of their product, are the sum of the intentions that we've held. So to live an intentional life, to live life on purpose, to live life that seems to be going a certain direction, that we're really clear on our reasons, on our values, on what actually matters to us and what the vision of our life actually is. All begins with clear intentions and having clear intentions all begins with being honest and aware of what our intentions actually are, what we actually want. And this isn't as simple as it sounds because to really get to the truth, to really get down to what we actually want, we have to be willing to fully look at ourselves. We have to fully be able to look at all of our actions, all of our motivations, all of our manipulations, all of our dishonesty, all of our cowardice, all of the unlovely and uninspiring path of ourselves that we'd really rather not look at, really rather not acknowledge, really rather not pay attention to. But the fact is, as long as any part of us is unconscious, as long as any part of us is being ignored, that part can be allowed to have a say if not have a majority vote in the intentions that we're actually setting in the direction our life is actually unfolding, that in order to really live an intentional life, we really have no choice but to engage and pursue complete selfawareness, to really pay attention, really be honest with who we actually are, what we've actually done, what actually matters to us, and where we actually want to go. Because it's really easy to apply awareness and honesty with the positive it's really easy to apply awareness and honesty with other people. But where the more challenging work is, is applying that same level of deep awareness and honesty with ourselves.
[0:08:11] John Coleman: Being honest about if we haven't lived up to some ideal that we have for ourselves. Being honest of how we've let fear getting in the way of living is the full version of ourselves. Being honest about in any way, how we've fallen short for the standards that we have for ourselves. And there's no judgment here. There's no reason to beat ourselves up over these awarenesses. This is just between us and us. No punishment is necessary. We're looking for awareness. We're looking for the truth. We're not looking to add to all the reasons why we believe ourselves and judge ourselves to be deficient or flawed or broken. We can leave them more lizing out of this because ultimately, all that really matters is the truth. All that really matters is that we get to the truth. Because it's the truth that enables clarity. It's the truth that allows freedom. It's the truth that creates a sense of peace, a sense of equanimity.
[0:09:26] John Coleman: It's the truth that resolves conflicts. It's the truth that moves and shapes our life into something far more livable, far more enjoyable, far more understandable, far more simple, far more easy. But the thing about the truth is there's not a lot of value in partial truths. There's not a lot of value in being honest about some things, but still diluting ourselves about something else. If we want the truth, we have to want the whole truth. We have to want nothing but the truth. We have to go all the way. There is no partial credit. There isn't any value in almost or pretty much. The truth is sought after, holy, and its value is delivered out of that wholeness, out of that completeness. And it is valuable. It is useful because how else can we live an intentional life if we're not grounded in the truth? If we're setting our intents from a place of falsity, a place of untruth, a place of deception, a place of manipulation? I think even pondering these words, we can tell how our insides get a little twisted. This doesn't feel quite as easy.
[0:11:00] John Coleman: This doesn't feel quite as free. This feels bound up and congested. It feels complicated. It feels difficult because even though the truth is difficult to face, it's hard to express at times, on the other side, there really is a sense of lasting and earned ease and simplicity. If we can pierce the barriers of illusion and delusion that we've both been living under as well as propagating to others. And that peace and that ease and that clarity is just on the other side. Through our unwillingness to face and accept and express the truth, we've built this veil. We've hidden this simplicity in this peace and this ease from ourselves. We've decided to adopt and live and pursue a far more complicated and difficult life. And we get to choose our challenge. Yes, the truth can be very difficult but so is a difficult life and we can choose what's more worth it to us. Because the thing about a difficult life is that difficulty is enduring, is sustained, it's constant, can sometimes feel intractable versus the difficulty of facing and living the truth. Really feels more like a onetime experience really feels like something that once it is faced and lived through then it's complete. Then that challenge, then that difficulty dissipates at the very least gets easier with time. The thing about living a complicated and difficult life is it doesn't seem to get easier with time.
[0:13:00] John Coleman: In fact, quite often quite the opposite. The more we run from truth the more complicated and harder and confusing our life gets. And of course it does, of course it does because on some level we're always being led back to the truth. We're always being encouraged to live our truth, to seek our truth, to see our truth, to be our truth. And in this way this truly is a benevolent force. This truly is the feedback of life leading us back to ourselves, back to who we really are. Back to a grounding and awareness and expression of the truth. Because it's in our truth that we can see which direction we've decided to grow. We can see what we've chosen to pursue, what we've chosen to value, what desires we've chosen to act on, what level of ourselves we've chosen to engage with and express have we chosen to engage with and express the superficial, egodriven, vain, judgmental, selfcentered part of ourselves? Or have we chosen to engage with and express a different part of ourselves, a deeper part of ourselves or more real part of ourselves or more true part of ourselves? And we have this choice internally we have the choice of which part of ourselves we identify with and express from and externally we choose what we grow towards and whatever we're identified with and expressing. Internally we'll find a match on the external as well. We'll find ourselves endeavoring after and pursuing whatever is a match on our inside. There's always this echo, there's always this ongoing between our interior experience and our exterior experience. This is why self knowledge and self awareness is so important that in order to change the outside we have to change the inside.
[0:15:26] John Coleman: And we can't change the inside until we really know the inside, until we've really seen ourselves for who and what we really are, until we can really deeply feel who and what we really are. We can't change our outer experience until we've fully experienced our inner. And when we want change, when we want to even understand why our lives have been the way they've been, then we really need to be able to know which direction have we been choosing to grow? What light source, what sense of sustenance and energy and nourishment have we been choosing to lean towards, to grow towards, to reach out? Towards what have we chosen to value? What have we chosen to consume? What have we chosen to be nourished by? And if we look we can see this thread running through our life, that our life has unfolded in whatever direction we've chosen to grow. And once we have this awareness the most beautiful part is well now we can do something with that information. Now we can begin to question what do we actually want to grow towards? What source of light do we want to try to seek union with? What energy do we want to grow with? And we get to choose. That's why the hard work of increasing our consciousness and our self awareness is so worth it. Because once we do, now we get to choose.
[0:17:09] John Coleman: This is the liberation that comes from knowing the truth. This is how the truth sets us free. Because now we get to choose. Now we have the agency in the direction we grow. Because now we know ourselves, now we understand our choices. Now we understand what we've chosen to value and now we understand the power of our own intention. Now we understand the power of the direction that we've chosen to grow. Now we understand how important the orientation that we've taken in our own life or their own life through our own life has been. We understand how much our own perspective matters, we understand how much our own values matter because we know ourselves, because we're aware of ourselves and because of this we can be aware of the truth. Our outer will make far more sense the more sense our inner makes to us. A big part on unlocking the puzzle of life, especially when it comes to external situations and circumstances. Comes through understanding ourselves. Comes through developing a deep sense of self awareness that's honest and conscious enough to be the truth. To really know ourselves from a deep level is what allows us to be intentional, what allows us to understand which direction we've been leaning, what we've been striving after, what we've chosen to value, what we've chosen to pursue. What we've been trying to get, what we've been trying to make happen, all of these things are the direction we've been choosing to grow.
[0:19:12] John Coleman: And if we find this hasn't served us how we've liked this life experience hasn't really fit us, doesn't really feel like we haven't really connected with a sense of calling or meaning. We don't walk through our experience with a sense of knowing and comfort and ease at least on some level. Well then this is where we can make new choices. This is where we can choose to lean in different directions. This is where we can choose different directions to grow. We can choose different things to grow towards. If we know who we really are, if we know what really matters to us, the we can use this information to intentionally grow towards exactly this, exactly these. And the more informed of our true selves we really are, the more informed our choices will be, the more our true self will be imbued not only with our choices, but what we experience as a product and a result of our choices. The more we know ourselves, the more deeply we know ourselves, the more of that we will experience in our life, the more of that we will see reflected back towards us in our life. Because we're always growing, we're always changing. And we're the ones who choose what we're growing towards. We're the ones who choose, ultimately what those changes will be or those changes will lead. And all change starts with intention. All change starts with the decision, with the vision, with the idea to create a certain something, a certain experience, certain outcome, a certain relationship, a certain circumstance, whatever it is. It all starts with the idea, with a vision of whatever that change is.
[0:21:21] John Coleman: And it's the same with our entire life, beyond specific manifestations and aspirations and goals. We choose the overall direction of our life. We choose the overall tenor of our life, we choose the overall experience of our life, because we choose what direction we grow. And we grow towards whatever we're deciding to grow towards, whatever we're choosing to grow towards. And we can experience as much intentionality, as much freedom, as much agency over our own lives by fully understanding and harnessing the ability to choose the direction of our own growth, to choose what really matters to us and what we choose to grow towards. Because whatever we choose to grow towards, whatever we choose to value, we will find inhibiting and expanding our life experience.