Awakening to Our Potential

From To Show Another Way: How to Learn, Heal, and Serve at a Time of Crisis 
on Planet Earth by Susan S. Trout

To venture causes anxiety
but not to venture is to lose one’s self,   
and to venture in the highest
is precisely to be conscious of one’s self.

~ Søren Kierkegaard ~

The chaos currently proliferating on personal, national, and international fronts in our world has transported me back to an experience I had in 1990 when twenty people joined me on my third pilgrimage to Medjugorje, a village in what was then Bosnia-Herzegovina, Yugoslavia. Six teenagers who lived there had been seeing apparitions of the Virgin Mary since 1981. Although my first two visits to Medjugorje were filled with awe and peace, a sense of dread pervaded my third trip.

A Vision in the Sky

Get a printable copy of this teaching HERE

On the last day of our visit, our group stood outside the home of one of the visionaries. Someone pointed upwards and said, “Look, it’s the Madonna!” In the sky, we saw the Madonna watching two separate images.

In one image, a line of beings moved, ever-changing. At the head of the line was a baby boy;  he was soon replaced by the image of a young boy about the age of five. Then, in quick succession, each figure was replaced by an older one: an adolescent, a young man, a middle-aged man, an old man. A skeleton finally replaced the old man and the sequence began all over again. In the adjacent image was a large hole. Through the hole, I could see a man cupping his hands around his mouth like a megaphone and speaking to us. I could see his mouth move but could not hear what he said. Mother Mary stood near the man.

The group watched until night came and the vision vanished. Within weeks, the cruel and bitter civil strife known as the Bosnian war began its six-year span.

Sacred Messages Are at Hand

I realized that what our group and other travelers witnessed in the sky that day was a profound teaching: a teaching that showed us another way to view our life on Earth—a way to understand the process of the evolution of the soul. The vision in the sky showed us the endless cycle of humanity reported in spiritual teachings throughout history—the incessant turning of the wheel of karma caused by the belief in our separation from God. Yet the vision showed us that humanity was not left comfortless, for adjacent to this image was the watchful Madonna, an expression of the sacred feminine. Next to her was a representation of the sacred masculine, the man with cupped hands explaining how we could step out of the human cycle of suffering caused by the belief in our estrangement from the Divine—if only we could tune in properly to hear him.

When we fail to communicate with our higher consciousness, we do not hear its words of guidance and direction. We do not learn how to halt the spread of separation made visible in the conflict and warfare within ourselves and between ourselves and others. The Medjugorje vision suggests that important spiritual messages are always at hand, and that, for whatever reason, we do not take them seriously or follow their counsel. We have yet to learn how to bring harmony and peace to ourselves and our relationships and to extend the aura of our personal peace into the world.

Statue of Mary in a garden at Medjugorje

Statue of Mary in a garden in Medjugorje

Three Intentions That Make a Difference

I sense a strong connection between the sacred teachings I saw in the sky that day thirty years ago and how we can make a difference in the world TODAY by showing another way. But where do we start? What is our personal role? How do individuals, families, leaders, groups, businesses, and countries make a difference?

Three intentions can help us discover how to show another way to ourselves and others and unveil the potential lying hidden in our intrinsic nature. These intentions remind us to stop ignoring and resisting our capacity for higher consciousness and our role in making a difference. They support us in getting the help we need to identify and address the obstacles that block our inner wisdom and obscure our communication with those unseen helpers seeking to aid us.

Having a safe group or person in our life can be an important support for us as we explore and strengthen the three intentions. A safe person or group might be a spiritual group, a spiritual school (like the Institute for the Advancement of Service—my own safe place), or a spiritual mentor who can listen deeply to us as we explore our life’s concerns and advise us from a place of greater awareness. Our time with a safe person or group revitalizes, rebalances, and increases our physical, psychological and spiritual energies so we can return with renewed strength to all aspects of our personal and work lives. we need a safe person or group that provides both practical methods and spiritual gifts.

First Intention

The first intention is to slow down our life in order to experience spaciousness. To do this we need to act from awareness rather than automatically reacting with our emotions. Having too much space causes us to lose touch with the qualities of life. Having too little space leaves us dominated by whatever arises, constricting us to such an extent that we try to conquer time by living our life faster and faster. Breathe. Gaze at the magnitude of the sky. With sand underfoot, rest in the expansiveness of the sea.

Second Intention

The second intention is to cultivate the ability to see beyond duality to the bigger picture. When we see the bigger picture we more easily see how we can show another way to ourselves and to others. As if on the wings of an eagle, we rise above the daily fray of “bad news” and strive to reside in a higher vibrational level of consciousness that exists beyond our linear, black-and-white thinking.

We can see that every ongoing conflict has a long history of injustice, typically perpetuated by both sides. Origins of the conflict are commonly buried in the mists of time. The bigger-picture perspective punctures our illusions of what we believe to be true. When we see the bigger picture, we see the greater good of all, where all differences have a win-win resolution. we see events and patterns of events; we see cause and the effect of cause. We shift our awareness from small to large, from constraint to expansion, from limitation to limitless possibilities. We break down outmoded patterns of thinking and being, knowing that a problem is solved at a higher level of consciousness than the level at which it was created.

Third Intention

The third intention invites us to radiate Light and Love to others and to Planet Earth through prayer AND to take some sort of action to bring this about. (For an expanded teaching on how to pray for Planet Earth and how to radiate Light to others, see “S.O.S. ~ Pray for Planet Earth” in Chapter One and “Radiating Light to All That Is” in Chapter Five. For earlier versions of these teachings, see my blog HERE and HERE.) When we shine our Light from within out into the world and take action, we make a difference. When we allow that Light to radiate back to us, we can make an even greater difference in the world because we have, as a result, substantially more Light to shine forth in our daily lives—in our every look, our every thought, our every breath.

Awakening to Our Potential

If humanity is to awaken to its potential for higher consciousness and welcome the new phase of life on Earth that is struggling to be born, we must fully awaken to our potential. As each individual sleeping soul awakens, we step closer to a global awakening. As a collective, we are poised on the cusp of a gigantic evolutionary leap. No wonder, as individuals and groups, we want to make a difference. In service to humanity and in partnership with our Divine helpers, we have a unique opportunity at this moment in our planet’s history to choose to become agents of healing, peace, and harmony—so that we may show another way to ourselves and others.

Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. 
Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. 
Begin it now. 

~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe ~

butterfly right 50x51

 To Show Another Way: Applications

Reflect deeply and journal on these questions addressing aspects of making a difference by showing another way in today’s world:

  1. How do I personally relate to the Medjugorje sky vision and its sacred message? Does it change how I view my life? If so, in what way?
  2. What do I observe about myself when I view my life through the eyes of the three intentions?

    • To slow down my life in order to experience spaciousness
    • To cultivate my ability to see beyond duality to the bigger picture so I can more easily see how to show another way to myself and others
    • To radiate Light and Love to others and to Planet Earth through prayer and to take action to bring this about
  3. Do I have a safe person or group in my life where I find practical, psychological, and spiritual teachings and support? If so, how would I describe the role this person or group plays in my life? If not, how might I find such a person or group?

Trout, Susan. To Show Another Way: How to Learn, Heal, and Serve at a Time of Crisis on Planet Earth. Alexandria, VA: Institute for the Advancement of Service, 2020.

Photo attribution: © Can Stock Photo / GoneWithTheWind / csp26036253 

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