Wake Up, Grow Up, Clean Up, Show Up.

July 27, 2022

Wake Up, Grow Up, Clean Up, Show Up.

May 29, 2023

Ken Wilber’s heady integral theory of the universe is above my paygrade. But, I appreciate his midlife adult development progression on the path to wisdom outlined in these four steps:

  1. Wake Up. Life’s experience is what leads to this first stage. Often, waking up isn’t voluntary. It’s forced upon us when life isn’t served on the silver platter we’d expected, as in the cosmic bellhop lost our luggage. Some people never wake up. They drive on the freeway onramp with everyone else and get swept away by the tranquilization of the trivial. That is until life becomes painful enough that they stop and pay attention. I think Rumi got it right 750 years ago when he said, “The wound is the place where the Light enters you.”
  2. Grow Up. You might think this stage should come before waking up, but it’s in the crucible of challenging circumstances that, if we’re fortunate, we find our North Star—our reason for existing here on earth. This time period is when we throw away the success script we inherited and start crafting our own screenplay.

  3. Clean Up. Carl Jung suggested, "Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.” At this stage in our life, we notice our patterns and how the outer world manifests our inner world. Through shadow work, humility, and a deep curiosity about oneself, we move from a compartmentalized attainer who often has to atone to becoming the attuned one who sees he is at one with the world.

  4. Show Up. This is the stage when we are in service to the world. It’s often a later stage of our life because when we were in service earlier in our lives, we often expected a barter arrangement and got emotionally upset when the world didn’t conform with our script. Our very own MEA faculty member Lynne Twist describes this era in this way, “I have lived what I call a committed life; a life that is governed by my highest commitments, not by my desires. If you live a life of commitment, where you give your word for something larger than yourself, you are constantly in a state of fulfillment. I am not saying that there are no struggles, no problems. It leads you to a life you could never have planned. It does not have anything to do with ambition. It has to do with surrender. You cannot surrender to get that kind of a life because that is cheating. You have to really surrender and somehow it is given to you.”

And, now, I’m just gonna Shut Up because that’s a lot of wisdom to digest.

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