By Marlene Buffa
We move through our Spiritual and work lives through several phases. With perseverance and attention, and to a great extent reflection and action, life moves with us as years progress. Along the way, we ponder our purpose, our impact, our affect on loved ones, our community and the world. As we expand our thinking to imagine that our life experience follows a flow and pattern similar to others, we learn that moving through these phases results in a dynamic symbiosis between the Spirit within and the resonance of what we experience.
Phase 1 – What you Do
Effort, labor, stamina, and work epitomize this initial phase in our lives. During this time period, we gather information and knowledge through a variety of learning opportunities. The rigors of daily school tasks, followed by tests and requirements of academia occupy our youth in demanding ways. Here, we explore the various methods of receiving information and assimilating it (learning) and with any luck, discover which delivery method works best for us.
Many Phase 1 “entry-level” jobs are labor intensive and require onerous physicality for little pay. Often, they are repetitive, menial and tiresome. Remember, this type of work is fact-gathering, information accumulating and not meant to be your life’s purpose or the end of the employment vista. The back-breaking jobs are the “paying your dues” jobs that serve to bolster us in years to come. We’re paid for what we do.
In the spiritual Phase 1, we gather information about the unseen. We learn about various approaches to God, dogma surrounding worship and assess what feels right in our hearts. Studying, listening, engaging in ritual, all serve as channels through which we explore our relationship with the Infinite.
Phase 2 – What you Know
Learning never ends. Phase 2 is the time to apply all we’ve accumulated in the world thus far and capitalize on it! It’s the glorious time for creativity, expansion, insight and the application of knowledge. When we embrace learning, our light shines in the darkness for all to see.
In our career path, Phase 2 is the time we see recompense for all the effort expended earlier in life. Acquired skills coupled with the ability (and most importantly, the desire) to continue learning, pay handsomely during this large portion of life. In this phase, we are paid for what we know.
Our spiritual Phase 2, is the practice and example-setting phase of all earlier explored beliefs. We begin to look at life and our place in the world through the eyes of our beliefs and often turn to the Infinite for advice or comfort. During this time of life we develop friendships and set boundaries and look for deeper meaning. We wrestle with concepts such as judgment, acceptance and free will. Here we learn what works for and with us in our chosen spiritual path, and what does not. We learn to make decisions with God in mind while solidly living the human experience.
Phase 3 – Who you Know
While Phase 3 isn’t the “end,” we see it as a pinnacle of our active lives. Think of Phase 3 as the corporate CEO of your life. He’s probably flipped burgers (Phase 1), worked hard to achieve success in his profession and establish a kinship between his work life and spiritual nature (Phase 2).
In this phase our value to others is measured by the ability to bring together the relationships we established along the way. While this phase rarely requires or expects manual labor, it does demand a special insight into the ways of the world and how to get things done. The best – and sometimes only – way to ensure forward success is knowing who holds the knowledge, wherewithal, and desire to accomplish a task, then assembling a team of those individuals to perform specific functions to reach a goal and keep them all in balance and happy. In Phase 3, we are paid for who we know.
In Spiritual Phase 3 we receive gratification from our relationship with God. We’ve worked hard to discover God in our lives and practice our beliefs and now we actualize the essence of Spirit and enjoy how it relates to every aspect in life. When we begin to see God everywhere because of understanding inter-relationships, we bask in a little magic and contentment.
It’s Just a Phase
No matter where we stand in life, it’s only temporary. We move forward and backward between various stages of our life. Life patiently and generously offers up the same lesson until we learn it and move on. More importantly, we learn the lesson, learn from the lesson, and learn to avoid the circumstances in the future.
The Infinite stays with us, ebbing back and forth like the rolling tides of change, as we swim to the shore then dare to venture into the ocean of the unknown. Quietly providing buoyancy, Spirit patiently waits until we learn enough to move on. And if we don’t, Spirit loves us anyway.
In the world of “be-do-have” all that remains is who you ARE.
About the author
Taking a quiet sideways glance at life, Marlene offers insight through her words from experiences. A student of new-thought teachings, Marlene finds practical spirituality around every corner and seeks wisdom through observation of life’s inter-relationships. Sometimes playful, sometimes poignant, always thought-provoking, her writing inspires readers in meaningful ways.