Enlightenment: Who Gets to Decide What It Is?

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The Path to Enlightenment can be a very difficult one for those who have a very specific idea of what enlightenment is. For some, it is the end goal to a life well lived. For others, it is an unattainable state, only reached after death, after suffering on this Earthly plane. For me, enlightenment is an awareness that there is knowledge both within myself and outside of myself that is available for my use.

There are certainly moments in my life when I feel I am more enlightened; they are usually dependent on how much time I am spending alone to introspect and educate myself. I meditate regularly, read, ritualize nearly everything I do from drinking my morning cup of coffee to playing with my children, and simply strive to be a better version of myself everyday; even if just slightly.

Recently, I was told that I wasn’t as “enlightened as I think I am,” which hit me as an odd statement. For one, I don’t tell people that I am indeed ‘enlightened’ because I think that it is a rather nebulous term. Secondarily because, how do they know?! Is our individual level of Enlightenment something that can be judged by others? How much XP do I have to obtain before I can level up to a quantifiable point for others to determine how enlightened I am or am not?

I think Enlightenment feels unobtainable for many because we are using other people’s idea of what it is to appraise it for ourselves. If you by the literal dictionary definitions of enlightenment, there are three:

  • the state of being enlightened (freed from ignorance and misinformation)
  • a philosophic movement of the 18th century marked by a rejection of traditional social, religious, and political ideas and an emphasis on rationalism
  • a final blessed state marked by the absence of desire or suffering.

I follow the first definition because it feels most in alignment with my Soul. Although, I will say that my Enlightenment isn’t an end all be all state. My Enlightenment is ongoing and ever evolving; it occurs over and over again. Every time I learn something new about myself, every time I resist an argument that doesn’t deserve my energy, every time I level up my questioning.

Enlightenment, in my opinion, is a misnomer; it can’t mean the same thing to everyone because we all start and finish at a different place. So many factors have to be taken into consideration; upbringing, line of teaching, religious beliefs or lack thereof. Perhaps a better term for what I am would be, Illuminated. I am lucid, resplendent, mentally depurated and still have room to expand upon that.

No one gets to tell you whether or not you are enlightened; though many will try. It’s my personal belief that if you are telling someone they are not enlighten or otherwise telling someone who they are, then perhaps you yourself are not as enlightened. A big part of becoming enlightened, is realizing that each person is on their own journey and that you don’t have the right to judge that one way or another. What for them may be a new level of knowledge, for you may be something that is second nature.

Regardless, Enlightenment is about pulling each other up, not trying to push each other deeper into darkness. Illuminate the path for those that need a light and are welcoming of it, because I believe that’s what true enlightenment is really all about.

At The Tipping Point

This Monday is my no excuses date for launching my website RoxytheRiveting. I’ve created my mission statement, linked my ‘contact me’ buttons, have my treatment room ready. Part of me thinks that I should wait for spring, when the weather is beautiful and everything is growing. Another part of me drives past the local up and coming meditation clinic and counts the cars that I believe are going in there day after day. That part of me knows that I’m waiting out of fear and that if I don’t launch now, I never will. 

I am the type of person that needs a catalyst. I prefer to commit and plan the rest later. I have been very trepidatious with this though because I know that stepping into this role will set my life into a direction that I won’t want to come back from. With each person that ends up in my room, on my table, beneath my hands, I will open parts of myself that I will not be able to close again. With each chant, meditation, energy session, I will throw open all the windows to my Soul and tear the door to my heart off of its hinges. 

I find a great amount of exhilaration and honor when people open up to me and it’s something that happens so naturally whether I know them or not. For myself on the other hand, I’m very reticent about my life. It contains so many sad stories and broken pieces that don’t really serve me anymore and yet they have defined me for so long. To not tell them seems like a betrayal to all the strength it took to get through them.

There are brief moments, under the right circumstances, when everything aligns just right that I talk deeply and vulnerably about myself. I usually don’t realize the moment’s presence until the very last second before my stories spill from my tongue. As soon as I speak, I want to run; not out of shame but because I don’t want to show all my cards, to anyone. Everything about me is known, just not all by one person. I kinda want you guys to have something to discuss when I die. 

Just kidding, or am I?

In reality, I struggle to be in any one person’s life; ask my beloved husband. I am like the hamadryads (tree nymphs), I have all the characteristics to draw people in but, am incapable of maintaining human love. I am ethereal and therefore cannot be held; a breeze that passes through you, leaving you changed and me lonely.  

The path I have chosen, I fear, will ground me more to this plane, leaving less of me floating on the wind and more of me firmly rooted. I am afraid to be so well planted that I will be unable to ever feel free again. 

What is truly keeping me moving forward is all the amazing people all will meet. Humans who need a touch of heaven, that desire a seed of knowledge they didn’t have before. I am excited to teach humans how to be more divine in their every day lives. In doing this I hope to find a balance between being an ever evolving spirit  and a grounded human female. The only way for me to do that I think is to lay myself out on the table; all my cards, all my broken pieces, all my healed parts. 

I want to inspire you to believe that it’s possible to make it to where I am. I hope to see many of you either along my path or as you embark upon your own. For those of you that have supported this seemingly lost nymph, thank you. To those that are curious, come check me out; let’s find your road less traveled together. For those that are unsure, don’t worry, you will find what you need when the time is right but, there’s only one way to discover whether that time is now or not.

Find me here.