Personal Ascendance

by Christopher Lovejoy on August 20, 2010 · 3 comments

A path of fulfillment is a part of the journey of personal ascendance.

Such a journey can be described in terms of a triple braid of Being, Having, and Doing – of personal growth, personal fulfillment, and personal development, respectively.

Think of it this way: to do, we must have; to have, we must be.

In this view, personal fulfillment is but one of three aspects of personal ascendance, but it’s an important one; as you can see, it’s central to personal growth and personal development.

On this view, a rather curious implication arises: ‘having’ is central to ‘being’ and ‘doing’.

Now, of course, I don’t mean ‘having’ in terms of shameless, unbridled consumption. Rather, I understand ‘having’ in the broadest sense …

  • having as much as you need to be who you are, and
  • having as much as you desire to enjoy what you do

As far as I can see, there are three basic steps to having continuity with personal fulfillment:

  1. formulate a vision of the fulfillment of your promise;
  2. align your path of fulfillment and your vision of fulfillment; and
  3. refine your vision and refresh your path, as desired

I introduced the first step in my previous post, Radical Transparency, where I laid a foundation for exploring and discovering your promise to formulate a vision of the fulfillment of this promise. In this post, I shed some light on the second step with a basic exploration of Being, Having, and Doing.

Here, I show you what a path of fulfillment might look like and then provide suggestions for aligning your path of fulfillment and your vision of the fulfillment of your promise.

Being, Having, Doing

Your path, for the most part, might meander; you feel at ease, with no compulsion to go anywhere in particular. Your path of fulfillment meanders when you feel at ease with yourself, with others, the world at large, the world within, and the world beyond. For you, the way to do is to be.

Or, your path, for the most part, might go up and down or round and round; you love the adventure and excitement of it all. Your path of fulfillment twists and turns spontaneously as you feed your excitement and love the adventure of having it all or having all that your life has to offer.

Or, your path might be straight and narrow; you feel compelled to move in certain directions much of the time, from A to B. Your fulfillment follows a straight and narrow path when you dedicate yourself to The Goal by moving forward towards the realization of your prize, doing whatever it takes to claim it.

In summary, your path of fulfillment might be concentrated on Being, Having, or Doing. Or, it might be some combination thereof. It all depends on what you feel you need or desire.

For clarity, you might even assign percentages to each – say, 30% being, 20% having, 50% doing – based on your intuitive or analytical sense of what feels right to you. In word and deed, your sense of Becoming flows from some combination of Being, Having, and Doing.

To get more clear about your preferred path of fulfillment, let’s take a look at the benefits of Being, Having, and Doing, before considering how to align your path and vision of fulfillment.

The Benefits of Being

Generally speaking, when it comes to Being, do you submit or express?

That is, do you faithfully submit yourself to what happens in your life? Or, do you express yourself in harmony with who you are to attract and manifest what happens in your life?

This is a crucial distinction. If you don’t understand or appreciate it, then I strongly suggest you think some more about it until you do. Your quality of life depends on it.

If you answered one way or the other, then I tricked you. The best answer to this question is ‘both’. As in, “I do one or the other if or when that feels necessary or desirable”.

Let’s consider a couple of scenarios to illustrate the importance of this answer.

A few years ago, I was let go from a job without warning and any without explanation. When I got home, I was feeling stunned and somewhat fearful for my future. I had a basic choice of Being: I could submit or I could express. I chose to submit. I sat down, entered a meditative state, and allowed the full intensity of my feelings to surface so that I could release them. Before long, I felt at ease. I might have expressed myself through my journal or by calling a friend. I opted for emotional release.

About a year ago, I woke up one morning to find my world spinning out of control. Instinctively, I went supine, turning onto my back and finding immediate relief from the spinning. I had no idea what was going on. This had never happened to me before. At this point, I had a basic choice of Being: I could submit or I could express. I chose to express. I sat up slowly in my bed. Even though my head felt like a lead weight whenever I moved it, I stood up with difficulty and walked to my computer to figure out what was going on. That morning, through online research, I learned the true meaning of vertigo. I could have submitted myself to the experience, but by expressing a natural desire for understanding and by taking action in harmony with this desire, I was able to acquire some peace of mind.

At certain times in your life, submission can be a positive option. It might even be your best option. For one thing, it releases you from your compulsion to control. It gives you whatever space and time you need to consider your options. It prevents you from acting rashly out of fear or frustration.

At other times, expression is your best option. When you allow your behavior, conduct, or actions to flow harmoniously from the essence of who you are, this allowance can do much to restore your sense of control, placing you in a position to express yourself through desired courses of action.

Knowing whether to submit or express requires that you know yourself well enough to choose wisely; it also depends on your store of knowledge, know-how, and experience with life. In light of these benefits of Being, there are definite advantages to confronting your daily challenges, more often than not.

The Benefits of Having

Generally speaking, when it comes to Having, do you permit or protect?

That is, are you inclined to permit more of what you need and desire to come into your life? Or, are you more inclined to safeguard or protect what you already have?

I dropped a couple of hints earlier in this post about the true nature of having: (1) having as much as you need to be who you are, and (2) having as much as you desire to enjoy what you do.

Simply put, this is the essence of personal fulfillment.

Having mediates Being and Doing. You are who you are, and you do what you do, and who you are and what you do add up to one of two outcomes in your life: you either permit more of what you need and desire into your life or you protect what you already have from lack or loss.

If you’re comfortable with your percentage of Being, then you’ll be comfortable with permitting more of what you need and desire to come into your life, and if you’re comfortable with the percentage of your Doing, then you’ll be comfortable with protecting what you already have from lack or loss.

The Benefits of Doing

Generally speaking, when it come to Doing, do you regress or progress?

That is, do you find yourself taking one step forward, two steps back, or do you find yourself taking two steps forward, one step back. Do you live a regressive life or a progressive life?

Let’s revisit for a moment the three basic pathways of fulfillment.

If your primary path is a path of Being, where your primary tendency is to meander, then the question of whether you regress or progress simply doesn’t come up for you. The same applies if your level or percentage of Being is such that Doing just doesn’t figure prominently into your equation.

And if your primary path is a path of Having, where your primary tendency is to “go up and down or round and round”, then again, the question of whether you regress or progress simply doesn’t hold a lot of interest for you. Granted, it might hold some interest for you from time to time, but not a lot. The same applies if your percentage of Having is such that your Doing has a relatively low percentage.

But if your primary path is a path of Doing, where your primary tendency is to follow a straight and narrow path of fulfillment, then the question of whether you regress or progress will obviously be important to you. What might be said about living a regressive versus a progressive life?

This is where personal development comes into play.

If you’re primarily interested in Doing, in living a progressive rather than a regressive life, then your best bet is to place the focus of your life on personal development, which covers such subjects as motivation, time management, and productivity, and such topics as getting up early in the morning.

Those of us who are devoted to Being Who They Are are devoted to personal growth. Those of us who are devoted to Having What They Need and Desire are devoted to personal fufillment. And those of us who are devoted to Doing Whatever It Takes To Realize The Goal are devoted to personal development.

Is it really this cut, dried, and simple? Obviously not. We are complex beings in a complex world full of complex interactions. At certain times in our lives, we might feel more inclined to Be rather than Have or Do. At other times, we might be more inclined to Have rather than Be or Do.

Or our emphasis in life might suddenly switch to Doing, where failure and success, regressive and progressive actions, become evident. And as anyone who understands success knows, failure can be a friend to those who succeed, for without failure, success would never have been possible.

I’ve had periods in my life where I’ve enjoyed extended periods of Being, taking lots of walks in the woods or by the lakeshore, exploring healing modalites like Reiki (giving and receiving), following my bliss with a camera in harmony with nature, and reading inspirational books at my leisure.

I’ve also had periods in my life where I’ve done nothing but do, working 12 to 16 hours a day for days on end and loving every minute of it. From this experience, I learned the meaning of impatience with my basic bodily functions, wishing that someone would invent and legitimize diapers for adults.

Prudence would tell us to take an interest in all three: Being, Having, and Doing – personal growth, personal fulfillment, and personal development, to monitor our levels of Being, Having, and Doing, and to make adjustments according to what feels good or right for us at particular times in our lives.

A journey of personal ascendance might not require that we embrace all three modes of existence concurrently, but such a journey can encompass all three to one extent or another.

Alignment: Path and Vision

Now that we’ve explored various pathways of fulfillment in terms of Being, Having, and Doing, let us now turn our attention to aligning path and vision.

Most of us have some concept of taking it easy, of getting some rest and relaxation (Being).

Most of us have some concept of taking what we need and getting what we desire (Having).

Most of us have some concept of taking the initiative and getting closer to The Goal (Doing).

And most of us have some concept of cooperating and collaborating with others – of working with the energy of caring and sharing and of playing with the energy of give and take.

With respect to personal ascendance, these summations of human experience are as essential and comprehensive as it gets – useful benchmarks on a journey of personal ascendance.

In my post, Radical Transparency, we saw how you could generate a set of intentions to formulate a vision of the fulfillment of your promise. In this post, we see how you can get clear about your path.

But do we align the vision with the path or do we align the path with the vision?

That would depend on the emphasis of your path.

If your path is primarily one of Being, you would: (A) bring your vision into alignment with your path.

If your path is primarily one of Doing, you would: (B) bring your path into alignment with your vision.

If your path is primarily one of Having, you would gauge the relative extent of your Being and Doing. If you favor Being, you would make one choice (A). If you favor Doing, you would make the other choice (B). If you favor neither Being nor Doing relative to Having, then you’d be free to make either choice.

Let’s take a look at an example from Radical Transparency:

“I maintain my commitment to eating raw, living foods …; I enter situations where I can grow and expand into the fullest expression of myself …; I express my feelings more easily, to be more transparent in my interactions with others …; I cultivate more trust in myself and others to expand and experience an ever widening circle of influence; I feel inspired to broaden and deepen the essence of who I am as I continue to understand, appreciate, and articulate the heart and soul of who I am …”.

This is a partial declaration of my vision of fulfillment and I’ve determined, based on what I know and believe about myself, that I am equally suited (at this time in my life) for both Being and Doing. I’ve also determined that Having is more important to me now than either Being or Doing.

My intuitive guidance (you might employ a more analytical approach) tells me that the relative percentages for my preferred path of fulfillment is as follows:

  • Being: 30%
  • Having: 40%
  • Doing: 30%

This breakdown indicates that I can either align my vision with my path, or vice versa.

When you review your declaration of promise in its entirety, which expresses a vision of the fulfillment of your promise, you need only review it with your preferred percentages in mind.

In the course of your review, feel free to tweak either your percentages or your declaration. Or both.

Fair Warning

It’s a scary thing to live in the moment, every waking moment of your life. I mean, what if it took you out of your comfort zone? And kept you outside of it, day after day?

It’s safe to let your mind dwell on the past; it’s also safe to let your mind play with the future – anything but following your bliss, your passion, your excitement, your inspiration, moment by moment.

Indeed, it might be better for you to play it safe and stick with your daily routines. Living in the moment might be too unpredictable, too unstable, too insecure for you.

And yet, living in the moment is where you’ll find the peace, the fun, the adventures, the opportunities.

These reflections pose a strange and curious paradox.

On the one hand, we can all see the benefits of playing it safe on occasion. On the other hand, we can also see the benefits of exploring and plumbing the unknown for hidden treasures.

It’s a balancing act with which many of us are all too familiar.

It’s true that your inspiration to realize a desire can take the lead in getting you from idea to ideal, but what might happen to you if you continued to follow and flow with this inspiration?

It’s also true that after feeling your desire and setting your intention, the visualization of your desire sets up an expectation, which prompts you to take action and (possibly) to form a plan or process to realize it, but again, what might happen if you continued to follow and flow with your inspiration?

There will, of course, be a time buffer between your intention and the realization of your desire, which varies in length according to the complexity of your desire and how well prepared you are to receive it.

You might even formulate a plan or process to manifest it.

Otherwise, your plan or process evolves out of your intention, expectation, and execution.

You naturally or deliberately take action in the wake of your expectation, which serves as your point of focus for getting what you feel you need to realize your desire.

What you need might be a plan, a process, resources, money, or support from others.

But if you allow any or all of this to appear as you go along, perhaps even allow it to appear quickly, as if from nowhere, then you might suddenly feel like you’re out of control. Or out of step with what others expect of you. Or (perish the thought) suddenly out of step with what you expect from yourself.

But if, in the course of your execution, you release any sense of wanting control, approval, security, or survival, your inspiration will drive your execution, and your successes with the execution will inspire you further.

Otherwise, your needs for safety, security, stability, and survival will lock you into a fixed path, with little or no hope of personal ascendance through personal growth, fulfillment, or development.

Just remember this: ascension requires expansion – expansion of your promise, expansion of your possibilities, expansion of your opportunities. This is the essence of your evolution.

If knowing this gives you a headache, here’s the remedy: What you resist persists, with desire as your consequence, and what you accept fades away, with appreciation as your outcome.

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{ 2 comments }

BriteLite August 20, 2010 at 4:20 pm

This is an interesting read with some good insights. I like how you link up the notion of personal ascendance with personal growth, fulfillment, and development, but I’d like to see you develop this link more fully. I’d also like to see a more in-depth treatment of how those with an analytical bent might get a better sense of their path of fulfillment in terms of being, having, and doing. Having said this, I found your fair warning to be thought-provoking and very much close to the truth as I know it.

Christopher Lovejoy August 21, 2010 at 6:50 am

Hi BriteLite, I intend to develop the notion of personal ascendance further, either from the point of view of personal ascendance itself or from the point of view of personal fulfillment. I can also appreciate the preference of those who might want a more analytical treatment to get a better sense of their path of personal fulfillment. I actually thought of giving one in this post but didn’t want to interrupt the flow of it. Certainly, I’d like to do this at some point, if only to sharpen my intuitive guidance.

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