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The Invisible Barrier

Phil Wellman

"Thump. Thump, thump." Thinking the sound was just a large moth bouncing off the wall, I hardly gave it any attention. I had risen before dawn that morning, intent upon getting an early start on a talk I was giving that weekend, so my attention was glued to a large blank Word document on my computer screen, waiting for the words to come.

Again I heard "Thump, thump, thump." Louder and more insistent, this time I turned to the window where the sounds were coming from and saw that it wasn't a moth, it was a large gray bird anxiously batting it's wings against the outside of my window. "How odd," I thought as I watched it tire of flapping, slide down the window and perch on the sill.

Expecting the bird to fly away at any minute, I turned back to the blank screen. But just as I began to refocus on my talk, it started its noisy routine all over again. "Okay, maybe it just needs a little help along the way," I thought. So I got up and walked outside to get a closer look. As I approached, it once again began to madly flap its wings against the window. I carefully reached for it, but just as I got close it dropped straight down into the dark bushes under the sill. I couldn't see what had become of it and felt strangely reticent about putting my hands down there. "Perhaps it will just fly away now," I thought as I returned to the warm confines of my office.

But just as I sat down, it started its crazy routine all over again. Out I went again to attempt to help liberate it. And once again it dropped into the bushes. This time I overcame my fear and reached deep down into the bushes. Suddenly it flew straight up in front of me. As I lurched back, it flew higher, veered to the right over our Cypress hedge and disappeared into the brilliant pink rays of the morning sun.

"Wow, what was that?" I thought as I felt a warm and loving presence wash over me. Something deeply meaningful had just happened and I needed to know what life was telling me.

The preceding three months had been a remarkable period of spiritual growth for me. One breakthrough after another had left me with a greater inner calm than every before and a renewed appreciation for the power of the subconscious mind to create reality.

The catalyst for it all had been a simple, yet heart-felt request of Spirit to show me the way. For some time life on the surface had been going pretty well, but underneath I was feeling tortured. Communication with intimates often would become strained and testy and end up in arguments. I did my best with the tools I had, but nothing really changed. Now it was in the hands of Spirit to show me something new.

When I make a request of that God force within, I have learned how important it is to be open mself to the fact that there is no limit to the ingenious ways that it will choose to get a message to me. This time it came in the form of an invitation to a workshop on the Enneagram, a spiritual psychology system based on nine personality or perceptual types.

I attended with some trepidation, but before the day was over I was incredibly relieved to discover that I wasn't the only one on the planet who was at the mercy of a perfectionistic nature and an "inner critic" that was rarely ever happy with my behavior. During the workshop, I had the opportunity to sit with several others who had precisely the same subconscious drivers. Ideal for self improvement, building a business or saving the world, we all had seen our perfectionistic natures turn on us to sabotage relationships and experiences that just weren't up to its standards. After a while all I could do was laugh at the bizarre nature of this capricious inner critic that the early circumstances of my childhood had created inside of me.

"So what was to be done with it?" I wondered. It wasn't long before Rhonda Mattern, a brilliant teacher and long-time friend, invited my wife and I to join the 6-week class she was conducting on a new form of spiritual psychology she called Presence-centered Healing and Transformation.

A life-long spiritual escapist (I rarely saw a problem that I couldn't find some way to shift my attention away from), I slowly began to discover the value of getting back into my body through deep breathing exercises, and started to see the benefits of bringing unconditional Presence (love and acceptance) to my thoughts and emotions from the position of Soul. It became readily apparent that the real pain in my life was being created by spiritual escapism and resistance to my thoughts (inner critic, etc.) and emotions. So for me, just learning to accept them without judgment was huge.

I was learning to bring consciousness to the unconscious parts of myself. First it was recognizing the defense patterns of the ego (fear, anger, defensiveness, etc.) that guarded my limiting belief systems, and then it was plunging deep into my subconscious to bring unconditional Presence, understanding, healing and transformation to the old beliefs that had been driving my reality for way too long. A good example was my belief that God was some strange, mysterious outer authority to be feared.

Spiritually buoyed by a new openness to ALL that life was bringing me, I wondered about replacing those unconscious beliefs with powerfully conscious ones that could help me build a life filled with PURPOSE.

I had just read Bruce Lipton's remarkable book, The Biology of Belief. In it he explores the cellular basis of the subconscious and the role it plays in our life and in spiritual growth. At the very end of the book he tells the story of meeting Rob Williams and experiencing first-hand his technique for re-programming subconscious beliefs called Psych-K.

Intrigued, my wife and I watched a YouTube video of Rob in action and were impressed by his clear, hypeless explanations and no-nonsense style. A few weeks later we attended a Psych-K workshop and weren't disappointed. Using a simple and direct process for talking with the subconscious, we learned a range of powerful techniques for clearing old limiting subconscious beliefs and establishing new ones.

What an incredible journey the last three months had been. How much more expansive my understanding was of those powers within myself that control my reality.

But what of the bird that been thumping away at the invisible glass barrier that stood between it and the light in my office that morning? What was it telling me?

Maybe it was a waking dream—a metaphor for the extraordinary changes that were occurring in my life. Was the window it was beating its wings against that invisible subconscious barrier of misunderstandings that prevent us all from reaching the light of God? When it fell into the bushes beneath and I was afraid to reach down to free it, was it showing me my own fear of exploring the subconscious to free myself? And when I overcame that fear, reached down and freed the bird, was I also liberating myself as Soul from the limitations of my subconscious mind?

I think so.