When I learned about Michael Beckwith, I was fascinated with him. He was one of the featured teachers in The Secret and he has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show and Larry King Live, and has been awarded and acknowledged globally for his teachings and the contribution he has made to the world. I deeply admire him and consider him one of my mentors.
In 2009, I went to Agape International Spiritual Center, a spiritual community of tens of thousands of individuals in Los Angeles, and I fell in love with Reverend Beckwith’s energy and presence.
My time at Agape was a remarkable and unforgettable experience because even though I had my purple newbie badge pinned to my dress, I felt I belonged. It is difficult to explain how you can feel a sense of oneness and community, among thousands of people. Agape’s teachings are based in the teachings of Jesus (and I love Jesus), while welcoming all ancient wisdom, and all perspectives and philosophies.
One of the teachings that most resonates with me is what Reverend Michael Bernard Beckwith calls The 4 Stages of Spiritual Growth, a concept he has been teaching since 1984, and which explains how we move through stages of consciousness through our spiritual journey.
These are 4 stages that we incrementally move through in our spiritual practice.
Today, I am going to teach you these stages and we will call them the 4 Stages of Positive Growth, because no matter your spiritual path or what spirituality means to you, or whether or not you are seeking to experience a spiritual awakening, understanding where you are and making progress to evolve to the next stage will help you become a more positive mom and a happier woman. We worry so much about what child we are raising, but I believe what matters most is what person you are when you are raising your child.
Spiritual growth, positive growth, doesn’t happen from one day to the next, it takes conscious, gradual, and consistent effort. And in order to move from one stage to the next, there is always something we must be willing to let go of.
One of my favorite quotes reads “we cannot solve a problem with the same level of consciousness that created it.” I think Einstein is telling us that we must shift toward the next level of consciousness to find answers, solutions, and ideas that are waiting to be unlocked. If you want to see different results in your life, you must change what caused those results and it all starts in your mind.
First Stage Of Positive Growth: ‘To Me’
The first stage in our spiritual path on earth is called “victim consciousness” and it is where you function based on the belief “life happens to me.” Drama!
You feel powerless and defeated because life’s events happen to you and external factors determine your joy, your success, your prosperity, your destiny. You perceive life as painful and unfair, filled with people and circumstances that prevent you from having the life experience you want.
In this stage, positive growth happens when you let go of blame, which results in taking personal responsibility.
A catalyst to this growth is either pain or insight. You get sick and tired of feeling sick and tired, but rather than continuing to ask “Why me?,” you seek a window of possibilities through becoming active agent in your own life.
Since I consider myself a student of pain, I am very familiar with this stage because I’ve been in and out of it a lot, and I will confess that it is a messy ride that requires you to forgive the unrepentant and accept the apologies you never received but you wish you would have… and while it’s not pretty, I have to remind myself that it is worth it.
Second Stage Of Positive Growth: ‘By Me’
The second stage of spiritual growth is called “manifestation consciousness,” and it is where you function with the belief “I happen to life.”
You understand your role in life and our ability to influence, attract, and manifest what you see. You take on the empowering identity of a powerful creator who works with preestablished laws to design life outcomes.
In the manifester stage, because it can be also a manipulative stage, where you use your imagination, visualization, affirmations, and thoughts to alter your reality, positive growth happens when you are willing to let go of control.
In my experience, this stage is dangerous because we feel tempted to stop there, because we get what we want, and think that’s what life is all about, but it’s not.
I remember being 21 years old with a sexy job, a generous salary, living in my own place with beautiful furnishings and air conditioner – all things I set as BOLD goals and manifested because I had started to believe I was the deserving daughter of a Powerful Creator. I had overcome a miserable childhood, a brutal rape, and an 8-day coma, but I was thinking to myself “surely this isn’t it,” and it wasn’t… there’s so much more than manifestation than power, success, and material riches!
Third Stage Of Positive Growth: ‘Through Me’
The third stage of the spiritual path is called “channeling consciousness,” and it is where you function in the belief “I am a vessel.”
You go beyond “making things happen” to “making things welcome,” and open yourself up to let God use you as an instrument and a conduit.
You surrender, yield, and release to the grace and power that flows within you. You allow the next step of your spiritual evolution to unfold and emerge, you are open to receive that which is beyond your imagination. You sincerely ask “What would you have me do?”
I once had a conversation about surrender with someone I was coaching. She had an issue with what she calls “blind faith,” to have a passive role in her life, waiting for “improbable miracles.” This is what Michael Beckwith explained in this regard:
It’s not blind faith, but it’s based upon the inner work that you’ve done on stage two, you can relax into it. You can let it. And then you find yourself having more and more insights, having revelations, having a level of wisdom and guidance and direction—not coming from your planning mind, not coming from figuring something out, but more intuition is being activated. There’s an allowing state—you become more of a vehicle for something to occur.
Because you feel a part of something greater than yourself, positive growth in this stage happens when we are willing to let go of separation. It’s what people talk about when they say LET GO and LET GOD.
This is a “thy will be done” prayer, or as I have been saying for a while “this or something better.” Knowing that I don’t know what I don’t know is liberating and helps me not lean on my own understanding or get in my own way.
Fourth Stage Of Positive Growth: ‘As Me’
The fourth and final stage of spirituality is called “being consciousness,” and where you function with the belief “I am one.”
In this stage, you feel a sense of “at ONEment,” you feel your divinity and your connectedness with God and with everyone, and you see your life as an expression of God. The personal sense of separation begins to dissolve.
I didn’t quite get this stage until one day the words of Jesus sounded a little different: “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30 ). I started to see that intention everywhere in these writings and to connect with these words at a soul level.
That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us…” (John 17:21)
As moms, we experience glimpses of this. For me, it started with hearing my first baby’s heartbeat or feeling her kick my belly from inside me, or sustaining her life with my body.
Surely these are “through me” moments, but when we mindfully experience them, we can feel that oneness with the infinite, we can understand our own limitless timeless power and potential.
Every one of us is at a different stage at different times and in different areas of life. The stage we find ourselves in determines how we view life, how we view ourselves, and what decisions we make. This spiritual technology is helpful to make motherhood a more positive experience and to raise our kids in a more empowering environment.
To me | By Me | Through Me | As Me
As I think of growth, I’m reminded of an old saying from the Talmud:
Every blade of grass has its angel that bends over it and whispers, ‘Grow, grow.’
I believe that if you get still, you will hear your own angel whisper that each moment of each day. I know I feel it. That’s why we must be aware of where we are and exploring what shift is necessary to move up to the next level of our unfoldment.
Where do you see yourself now according to these 4 evolutionary stages of the development of consciousness? What do you need to let go of to move forward toward the next? Share your story with us!
Growing and evolving in our relationship with God is a wonderful transformation. However, I was so focused on the "quest/pilgrimmage/journey" that I was always looking for signs and messages from the spirit world instead of just having faith in God. A very bad spirit took advantage of this mis-step of mine, and used everything from animals to numbers to dreams to lure me in. Once he had my attention with these seemingly harmless things, the road progressively got more and more dark. Asking Jesus for help was what saved me.
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I love Reverend Michael Beckwith. He's so inspiring. I think I am the first stage of positive growth. I'm in the process of taking responsibility for my life. I'm excited to improve myself!