Live Your Grandeur

You are so much more than you may think you are. You are so much more than others may think you are. Your grandeur is beyond your most exaggerated imagining. The world needs you—and it needs the grandest you possible.

“These are the times. We are the people.” This is how Jean Huston puts it when referring to the conscious evolution of humanity.

As a transformational coach and a teacher and practitioner of the Andean mystical tradition, I second Jean’s statement, and I up the ante by asking you to own your grandeur.

Nearly thirty years ago I wrote a long poem, the ending of which I have taken to be my life’s motto (although in practice the feeling of the “need to know” has become  the more conscious “choose to live”)

I need to know my life sparks light

and that my fleeting dance across the dark

sends a shower of shooting stars

quivering like a kiss

along the universal spine.

I repeat this to myself during those inevitable times when I get small and stuff myself back in the box. It’s my mantra, my song, my call of the wild to break out again, kick up my heels, whirl like a banshee, and sing at the top of my rock-star lungs that I am here, in the world, and I not only matter but the world needs me! No one can bring what I can to the world. Just as no one can bring what you can to the world. We are each a necessary, vital, and irreplaceable part of the kawsay pacha. That is what the Andean mystical tradition teaches. That is why we are paqos, and I urge you to not forget it.

The goal of our work is conscious evolution. As Gandhi said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” That process of deep inner and outer change is engendered by our refining our energy body and growing our Inka Seed, which is our connection to the Mystery from which we came and to which one day we will return. Our most sacred ayni is to return to the Mystery more fully realized than when we came to this Earth. By growing grander selves, we contribute—each and every one of us—to the rise of the New Humanity and the dawning of a New Age.

If you are a paqo with any other goal, let it go! Resolve right this minute to settle deep and comfortably into the heart of the tradition, a heart that pumps the blood of you and me and him and her through the veins of the universal body.

The Andean energy work both empowers you and strips you to the bone. It helps you to discover who you really are. But to see your true self you first have to peel away the many disguises you have acquired throughout your life—the disguise of less than, not good enough,  not worthy, false modesty . . . And also the disguises of conceit, arrogance, judgment, exclusivity . . .

The other day someone reminded me of a story Juan Nuñez del Prado told at one of his trainings. I have heard this story many times, but had forgotten it. Hearing it again inspired this post. It goes something like this:

When he was a relatively new apprentice to don Benito Qoriwaman, Juan went to the marketplace in Cuzco and bought a poncho and some traditional Inka clothing. He showed up at don Benito’s in his new garb, looking like a proper Andean paqo. He sat outside the little adobe building that served as don Benito’s clinic, waiting for don Benito to call on him to assist in the healings. This was their normal procedure, and usually Juan was continually being called upon to assist. On this day, hours went by with no summons. Don Benito walked by Juan many times but didn’t so much as acknowledge his presence. Juan was extremely patient. But by afternoon, he was angry. Why was don Benito ignoring him? Finally, out of exasperation, Juan stopped don Benito the next time he walked by and said, “Master, I have been here all day, waiting for you to call me to assist. Why have you ignored me?” Don Benito looked surprised, like he barely recognized this man before him. All he said was, “I did not know I had an Indian apprentice.”

Juan got the message. Be yourself. Don’t try to look and act like someone you are not. Don’t put on a disguise, because the world needs the real you.

Fredy “Puma” Quispe Singona tells the story of a paqo who goes into a cave overnight during an initiation. Many spirits arrive, and they ask him, “Who are you?” He replies with his name. They ask again, “Who are you?” He thinks for a moment, then replies by giving his parents’ names and saying he is their son. Still the spirits are not satisfied and ask again, “Who are you?” He gets an inspiration and eagerly declares, “I am a paqo.” Again, his answer in unsatisfactory. Finally, the spirits tell him, “See, even you sometimes do not know who you really are. But we know.”

Spirit always already knows. Now it’s up to you to “know thyself.” It might not be easy. But when you do, I am confident you will find that you are a wondrous being through and through. Are you ready to show up in the world as who you really are?

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