The Results of Spiritual Work: Overcoming Shyness!

Posted on April 18, 2012

I write much about the challenges of spiritual work, the skills that facilitate our awakening, and the great reality of enlightenment. Today I want to write about the simple day-to-day outcome, the normal-life benefits of the transformation we are creating inside us and how it changes our world.

This morning I got an email from Leslie, who has practiced the Skills for Awakening intensely during the last 6 months. She wrote:

“Last week I was in New York, teaching a seminar. Afterwards I spent a day to consult with the director and the team. I enjoyed the people very much, was relaxed and connected. (Many times in the past I was able to focus on the issues, but was not able to connect with staff very well.) This visit seemed different. I was amazed at how positive and friendly I felt.

THEN, I asked the director, (young woman in her 30’s) if she would like to go to dinner with me. She was thrilled and we went out and had a great time and I have a new friend. How strange! As of even 6 months ago, I would NEVER have reached out to engage in a social event that I didn’t have to go to, let alone ask someone out myself. No way. My husband is still in shock and wonders if I even made the whole thing up. (not really).  It made me wonder what is going on; like a personality change.”

~ Here is what I replied:

Dear Leslie, I would prefer not to call it a “personality change,” even though that is correct from a psychological point of view. I find it more revealing to see that your personality is becoming transparent to your real Self. In other words, you haven’t been yourself in the past.

Your experience of life has been ruled by a distorted sense of who you are. This conditioned “you,” your ego, the personality with its worries and suffering, has been a distortion. You have lived in the grip of a mal-functioning mind.

What are the indications that this is so? You have had many stressful thoughts, and they have created negative emotions and behaviors—like fear and shyness. The times of happiness were always overpowered by these mental obstructions.

A mind filled with stressful thoughts is a mal-functioning mind. Of course most people are suffering from some level of anxiety, self-doubt, depression and so on. We live in a world full of mal-functioning minds. Sadly that is the norm. People think they are functioning well only because they do not know their true potential.

Now that you notice all the positive changes, it means you are becoming who you really ARE. How do you know that to be true?

Because it feels good, peaceful, solid, secure. If something feels good in a profound way, it means that it is true to your real being. What is stressful is a distortion – that’s why it is stressful. Very simple.

The Self, your true being, is the Source of all joy, of unshakable happiness, of unlimited unconditional love, and of your capacity for divine intelligence. All these can arise from within you, independent of your outer circumstances, and create for you the life you want.

So embrace the aspects of your real nature that are now shining through. And continue to “peel it out” from even more subtle layers of negative thoughts and emotions that hide from you your true and glorious nature. Don’t stop until you are shining as the Self, the enlightened YOU.

This is a good time now to be very aware of the pain body. As you know, the pain body is the way we are unconsciously attached to pain, to who we have been, to our suffering. It lurks in the unconscious mind and when it becomes active, you can notice it because you find yourself sabotaging your new happiness.

It will probably show up again one of these days, but DO NOT LET IT FOOL YOU! The more aware you are of this tendency to self-sabotage, the less power it will have.

The pain body is fundamental confusion, and the clearer you get, the more firmly you will become established in your new peace of mind and no longer sabotage the emotional harmony and joy it brings you.

Remember: Your true Self is an experience of freedom and happiness that is permanent. As you learn to live from that inner capacity of the heart you will find that you don’t collapse any longer into negative thoughts and emotions. Instead you will be increasingly present and loving toward yourself and the people around you.

I love that you are aware of your great potential and so determined no longer to live a lesser life.


You, just like Leslie, are capable of authentic self-transformation. It is the end of suffering, and it is now available to anyone who seriously commits to this inner work.

We know the goal of our lives—spiritual enlightenment by whatever name; we can learn and practice the skills that can get us there, and we can find guidance and companionship on the way. If you are tired of your pain, go beyond spiritual understanding and embrace transformation through practice. The choice is yours.


with love,

Ram Giri
and the Skills for Awakening team

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One Response to “The Results of Spiritual Work: Overcoming Shyness!”

  1. Dee
    Apr 19, 2012

    This was a great post. I enjoyed it very much. Thank you!

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