Positive Possibilities Living: Dealing With Spin Doctors, by Parvati Devi
Recently I was asked about how to tell when someone – particularly a spiritual acquaintance – is truly the light they project or when they are shining light as a decoy to nasties in their personal basement.
It can be trickiest to see the ego in people who are spiritually minded. Having adopted a certain skill in the unseen, it is easy for people with spiritual knowing to learn how to manufacture perceptions that manipulate and twist reality to suit their own shadow. They know how to turn situations around to make it seem like it is you who is off path. This is a powerful aversion technique, and sadly, it is really they who most lose out. Through manipulation and often heavy doses of denial, the opportunity to look within is side-stepped. I call these people Spin Doctors.
To help avoid this shadow tendency, yogis are classically taught by an enlightened guru who has the fierce ability to mould the aspirant’s consciousness so they may have purity of heart and use subtle spiritual power only for the good of all. Many spiritual aspirants are unaware that they use spiritual energy to amplify their ego attachments. Learning to navigate through that tendency is part of an ongoing aspect of spiritual maturation. Our shadows lie dormant in the corners of our personalities until situations that push our buttons and go against our will activate them, giving us a chance to see them, if we are humble and courageous enough to do so.
I believe we are all a lot more alike than different. I would say that the light we see in another is a reflection of the light we see in ourselves. And the shadow we sense in another is a reflection of our own discomfort with our own inner shadow.
Whether you hang out every day for the rest of your life or never see this person again, is secondary to the opportunity to grow from this now and deepen your own spiritual awareness. I would see such a person as a gift from the universe for you to learn greater discernment, to practice tuning into what you are feeling in the moment and acting in a way that honours your inner voice.
Next time you are around this person, ask yourself:
Do I feel expansive now? If not, how come? If yes, how come?
Do I feel safe now? If not, how come? If yes, how come?
What wonderful qualities do I see in this person? How are these aspects of myself?
What can I not stand in this person? How are those aspects of myself?
Can I allow myself to just be, watch this person/situation as it is, without reacting?
Does it feel rooted, vital and expansive for me to stay with this person now? If yes, stay. If no, go.
As a tool to learn discernment and develop compassion, I mention above to ask yourself in the moment if it feels rooted, vital and expansive to stay with that person or move along. This question is a powerful litmus test to see if a Pollyanna side in you is in fact masking your own shadow, as you hang out with someone who may be doing the same. If it does not feel rooted, vital and expansive to stay, it is far more honest and compassionate to all involved (which includes you!) to kindly choose to interact no longer, wish the other well, and move on.
The gift here is in the power to discern what feels expansive and supportive for you and learning to accept both yourself and others exactly where you each are at. As we learn to love ourselves exactly as we are, we become able to love others as they are by seeing through appearances and being present for what is, without judgment, attachment, fear, guilt or trying to change the outside world to suit our needs. By rooting our actions in self-love, by practicing discernment through non-attachment, we can learn to cultivate timeless love and see beyond temporal, manufactured sparkles into eternal, expansive light.
Parvati Devi is the editor-in-chief of Parvati Magazine and an internationally recognized Canadian musician, yogi and new thought leader. As a chart-topping touring musician, Parvati spearheads the Post New-Age musical genre with her independent success hit single “Yoga in the Nightclub” and accompanying show “YIN”. She founded YEM: Yoga as Energy Medicine, a powerful yoga method that combines energy work and yoga poses. Her critically acclaimed self-help debut book “Confessions of a Former Yoga Junkie – A Revolutionary Life Makeover for the Sincere Spiritual Seeker” is currently in its third edition.