When I was starting out in this work I used to admire readers who made it look so easy. Any time they wanted an answer they simply went within and got one. Farther down the path, however, I began to notice that it’s possible to get complacent in one’s practice. What does this look like? Generally like the work is so easy that it’s stopped being inspiring to the reader.
You might see this in readers who rehash the same messages over and over again. To be clear, consistency is not a bad thing, and certain spiritual truths will run through one’s work. The danger is when the messages no longer seem to emerge organically from the energy of the clients but from the past experiences or personal views of the reader. As a sitter, I’ve worked with readers who I felt were imposing certain ideas on me, when what I wanted was to develop my own sense of spiritual authority as someone held space for me.
A milder sign of staleness is when a process becomes formulaic. In its simplest form it might go like this: “If you are looking for answers, go within and connect to your inner wisdom. Ask it a question and wait for some kind of answer. If you don’t understand the answer, ask for it to be sent in a way you understand.” This process really does work but sometimes the answers are not so immediate or so cut and dried. And sometimes no answer is in itself an answer. If you are always getting quick and easy answers you might try diving a little deeper.
Mastery is a slippery concept because we can work so hard to develop it that once we feel we’ve gotten there it’s tempting to revel in the ease. But mastery can lapse quickly and imperceptibly into staleness when we stop learning and practicing at our edge. Sure it can feel destabilizing opening your practice to change, and trading your sense of mastery for beginner’s mind can activate your vulnerability. But living on the edge will also breathe fresh life into your work, which in turn returns you to joy and brings you closer to the juicy marrow of truth.