What are you able to, what can you do? We have all been in situations we felt were too much, or that we could not handle and later looking back we wonder how easy it went. Let us explore what happened.
Your abilities can be looked at in many ways; physical skills, will power, emotional, mental or spiritual skills. (In my column this issue about the Spleen and Worry you can read more about how to cultivate them).
What you are capable of or what you are holding is a combination of inheritance and acquired skills. To acquire something new you need to get the idea; be aware of it, desire it and practice.
Practice 10,000 hours
It is said you can be good at almost anything if you invest 10,000 hours of practice.
If you practice 10 hours a week, 40 weeks a year, it will take you twenty five years, but if you practice about 8 hours every day it will be between three to four years. It is more likely that a full dedication over a five year period with 5,5 hours a day will be more feasible.
It could be sports, art, mathematics or a language. As long as you practice enough, you can become one of the best in your area, in your country or the world. It is like climbing your personal peak. On the top of a peak, it is never crowded.
That said, you should not start too late. Many physical skills have an age limit. The ability to learn new things is strongest the first part of life. Ask yourself what skills that are the most important in life?
Skills of the soul
The important skills or abilities in the long run, are the skills of the soul and spirit. The spiritual skills are the only skills that never can be taken from you, they are the diplomas of the soul, the treasures you can take with you after death. They are the skills it is really worth investing in. Let me explain the difference between soul and spirit in this context. You can be smart and learn math or have experienced challenging family situations that makes you good at coping in inter-human situations. Your heart and mind have developed skills. But in the journey of your soul, if you believe it goes on, will you remember those skills?
The virtues of the soul on the other side, are the gems from the spirit, they stay. Your degree of acquired wisdom, love, justice, virtue, goodness, purity or truth are there forever; they are the gold of the soul.
The practice of these skills of the soul is something we all do, regardless of us being aware of it or not, this is life. It is in the most difficult times of life that these skills are cultivated fastest. When your soul is in pain, when you suffer, you feel your soul growing. It is like your muscles aching from exercise. If somebody gives you pain and suffering you could learn to be considerate. If you are neglected, you could learn to appreciate the care of others. If you feel hatred from others it could be you learn to cultivate love. This is because hate is the lack of love. Love is the only real thing, like light. You can turn the light on, not the darkness. Darkness is lack of light. So is hatred, the lack of love. If you always end up in a dark place, you will long for light, you will want to bring it with you, in you. The same goes for love to conquer hate.
Worlds of Kabbalah
According to the Kabbalah there are higher worlds, not distant from us, they interact with us on many levels in our daily lives. We do not learn about them in the academic approach to nature. If you explore different initiatic traditions you will be amazed of the similarity between them.
The first world we need to become aware of is called Yesod or foundation. It is a question of starting to feel the energetic nature. To feel the state of your body, the healing energy in your hands, the nice currents from the sun, the atmosphere in a room, the soul-state of people you meet etc. This sensitivity opens up the mind to realize we are in a bigger unity, a group soul, a world of flux, of energy.
The next step, is when you start to see that there are patterns that repeat themselves in everything. A transistor or light cross, a choice or an election are all the same thing. A bed, your childhood, a mother and your ancestors are also the same thing, but a different one than the first. You start to perceive unity more and more rather than fragmented objective “facts“. You see the glory behind everything in the universe. This is the world of glory or Hod.
The next is called Netzach and is translated as victory or eternity. And this brings us to the point. When you become aware of this aspect of life, you start to feel the current of time as a river, you get in touch with the future as something flowing towards you, you start to see life as a growth and evolution that is taking you into eternity, where you take victory after victory of the currents that challenge you in life. You start to see all that happens as a growth of your soul. A growth you know is continuous and never stops.
When you struggle, when you feel that there are no solutions, when you feel alone, when you feel stabbed in the back, when you are completely confused, when you feel down and hopeless, when you are afraid or feel you do not have the power to face something, not capable, all these and many more situations, is when you are in the true state of your life, and when your soul is cultivating the most important things for just you. Here you have to conduct yourself like a person in a kajakk going upstream, facing challenge after challenge and taking the best turns.
The world above this is the last we will mention here (You can read about them here). It is called Tipheret or beauty. Here the beauty of your soul is present as the virtues you have gained. You might be full of wisdom, or love, or purity, or justice etc. Each time you have grown the right way in Netzach, flowers bloom in your soul, creating the fruits in Tipheret, the gold of the soul. The gold of the soul are the treasures that no one can take away from you ever. This is what determines on a soul level what you are capable of.
So are you capable to face it? Yes, life is so wise, so full of love and care that it will never give you a challenge you are not capable of. Life is organic, adjustable and in balance, so what you feel is impossible is just the feeling you need to make it possible. In the questions, challenges and difficulties that really matters for you, that are central in your life, you are always capable. They fit you like a hand in a glove. The Magic Happens now!