An Interview With Renowned Spiritual Thought Leader Caroline Myss
Ever since she released her first New York Times bestseller, Anatomy of the Spirit, Caroline Myss has maintained her role as a pioneer in the fields of spirituality and mysticism. In addition to being a revered author, thought leader, and medical intuitive, Myss regularly travels the world giving lectures and workshops on her tried and true methods for spiritual healing.
Now, after more than two decades and four more bestsellers, she continues this work with a new series on Gaia, as well as her live workshop, Revolutionizing Spirituality at the GaiaSphere event center next month, on the weekend of Aug. 16-18.
Caroline, tell us about your newest book “The Power of Holy Language: Prayer, Guidance and Grace”
“This is a book that examines what holy language is, the power of holy language, and the price we pay for the absence of holy language in our common vocabulary. For example, I once said to an audience ‘How many of you are able to recognize if a friend is in a spiritual crisis?’ How many people are able to even recognize what that is?
We’re accustomed to thinking about a psychological crisis, we say somebody is depressed. But could you recognize an actual spiritual one. We’re not used to thinking in spiritual language anymore at the level at which I’m speaking about. This book examines what holy language is and the power of it. Then it’s filled with prayer, guidance, and grace.”
And your new show Sacred Power recently launched on Gaia — what is it you want people to take away from this show?
“I think I want people to gain a new perspective on the nature of how we understand our power, how we understand the power of our soul, how we approach healing, and how we understand archetypes. I’ve done 12 episodes and each one is a mini-sample of the whole of my life’s work, actually.
But, I think the core word is power. So, it’s a journey into understanding the nature of our power, from multiple different views.”
What was it like shooting the show in front of just a camera, compared to a live audience?
(Laughs) I had a blast, I have to tell you the staff is wonderful, they were so helpful, especially with someone like me who is a luddite and I’m uncomfortable in front of the camera and I don’t know what I’m doing, so it was great, but it was nerve-racking.
But for me, I love a live audience, I thrive on a live audience — it’s electric for me, so when I had to speak to a camera I thought, who am I talking to? So that was hard for me to adjust to.
And then you’re giving a live workshop here at GaiaSphere called Revolutionizing Spirituality, August 16-18. What is your vision for that weekend experience?
“I’m now doing a great deal on prayer; that’s become a major part of my teaching. It’s become a part of my calling and so a great deal of that weekend will be focused on what is required for health and healing, but also ‘what is God?’
I’ve noticed in these years of helping people as a medical intuitive, but also as a teacher that often times people assume that the depression they have is clinical, when in fact it’s a spiritual crisis, and if they understood that it would be treated very differently. So, I’m going to go into that. Then I’m going to present a very different understanding of where I think spirituality is going as a whole, which is into a bio-ecological-spiritual model. Then spiritual direction, why we need that. And finally, I will go into holy language.
Is there a religious connotation with prayer?
“As I’m very clear in my book and certainly in my lectures, I think religion is the politics of God and in many ways we are experiencing the end of an era of religions. Which is why I talk about the beginning of bio-ecological-spirituality — a spirituality that reflects our biology and ecology that is very much like the nature of God.”
In a blog post you recently talked about “divine entitlements” what are divine entitlements and how do we work to consciously overcome them?
“Entitlements are what gets you in a lot of trouble in your life. Entitlements are the cause of a great deal of your suffering. If we were here in a workshop, this is what I’d have you do, I’d have you write out your book; a book of how to get to know you and what you think you are absolutely entitled to because you’re you. Like I’m entitled to my own space. I’m entitled to respect. From whom? Does everybody in the world know you deserve respect?
I’m entitled to happiness — well where’s that suppose to come from? Are you supposed to be delivered happiness? I’m entitled to health. Nobody is entitled to health. But if you have this in your mind, you’ve built your life around that and what people don’t get is that entitlements presume that there are people out there whose role it is to deliver those entitlements to you. Where are they? Where are these people? So entitlements are a real burden if you carry this sense of ‘I’m entitled to something.’”
Well, we look forward to the release of your new series Sacred Power and can’t wait to have you here at the GaiaSphere for your workshop Revolutionizing Spirituality.
“I hope people love Sacred Power as much as I loved creating it with everybody at Gaia. I’m so touched by everything people contributed to it there, it warms my heart. And I’m looking forward to coming out in August for the workshop.”
How Practicing Gratitude Increases Our Abundance
Both gratitude and abundance are states of mind. They are not dependent on the actual outer provisions or circumstances we have at any given moment. It is our belief in abundance or the lack thereof that creates our experience of it. And our ability to be grateful for what is present that brings more goodness to us. The Yoga Sutra that addresses this says:
“Acknowledging abundance (aparigraha) we recognize the blessings in everything and gain insights into the purpose for our worldly existence.”
Sutra 2.39 translation by Nischala Joy Devi, The Secret Power of Yoga
The first key word to note from this sutra is “acknowledging.” Abundance exists all around us all the time. The Universe is an ever renewing, incredibly infinite source of potential. Yet we often keep our vision so trained on the tiniest little speck of reality, that we block the flow of this infinite potential into our minds, hearts, and lives. We focus on what we don’t have instead of giving gratitude for all that we do have. And we suffer because of our limiting beliefs and limited perceptions. When we remember that the truest source of all resources is inexhaustible, and we place ourselves into the stream of infinite potential, we open into all the goodness, joy, beauty, love, opportunities, support, guidance, and creativity that life has to offer. Spirit is our constant storehouse of abundance.
Recognize the Blessings in Everything
The other essential teaching in this sutra is to “recognize the blessings in everything.” That means that even when we hurt or struggle, even when we are frustrated or feel tremendous lack, that we see the inherent opportunity to “acknowledge abundance.” We may not love the process of personal growth that comes through suffering, yet we can be grateful for its value in the long run. If we could really accept that every situation, every experience, every encounter holds a blessing for us, what a difference we would feel when faced with challenge. Instead of being afraid or pushing it away, we could embrace it as a gift of abundance from the Universe.
This is a paradigm shift much like the old question, “Is the glass half empty or half full?” By choosing to acknowledge abundance and blessings even when things aren’t exactly as we would like them to be, an amazing thing happens. We open ourselves to the flow of infinite Universal energy. If we hold on or hold back, we impede this flow. ‘Holding’ often comes in the form of believing that we don’t or won’t have “enough.” And this leads to mental restriction, lack of generosity, and availability to life. The energy of abundance requires the ebb and the flow, the receiving and the giving.
Perceiving Our Purpose
The last aspect to consider in this sutra has to do with perceiving our “purpose.” It promises that as we develop an abundance consciousness, we begin to see more clearly the meaning and purpose of our lives. The beautiful thing about abundance is that when we start looking for it, it appears everywhere. Although outwardly we may feel we have little to spare or share, by seeing the ‘glass half full’ we bypass the perceived lack, and find the ways in which we do have abundance. To share the love in our hearts, to offer time for service or a listening ear to someone who needs support gives purpose to anyone’s life. As we magnify the love in our hearts through the glass of abundance, giving freely, we receive even more in return.
So don’t wait for Thanksgiving to express gratitude or to experience abundance. Take some silent moments to open up to and feel the infinite blessings that surround you. Immerse yourself in the flow of Divine abundance now.