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Spiritual Growth and Self-Sculpting


Spiritual growth cannot be learned by reading alone- or by listening or watching others.  Those may be the first steps, but ultimately spiritual growth can only happen through personal EXPERIMENTING- which is another word for personal EXPERIENCE. 


The “experiencing” of it happens through a “chipping away” process- much like a sculptor chips away at a stone- removing bit by bit everything that is not true- not part of the sculpture.  


This chipping away process is something I have started to do on myself and I invite you to join me in this wondrous- but not always easy “self-sculpting” process. 


I do not claim to be finished with this process- or even very far along.  The process is never really done- it is a life-long process, even an eternal process that goes beyond this life.  But it is one that we can help each other become awake to and encourage each other to have the courage to break away the chips and chunks that we may have become attached to or feel are “just who we are.” 


I love the sculptures by Bobbie Carlyle titled “Self-Made Man” and “Self-Made Woman” which illustrate the principle so well.


 Self Made Man

 Self Made Woman

 Self Made Man  Self Made Woman


There are many other sources outside of ourself that can assist us in the chipping away and revealing process.  Our spouses, our children, our co-workers, our neighbors- virtually anyone and anything in our world can help know where our rough edges are.  But ultimately it is us and us alone that must wield the hammer and strike at the chisel.

So grab your chisel and hammer and let’s go to work!    


A Few Key Points Before Getting to Work


1- Perfection is not the goal- incremental "chipping away" is the goal.

2- Self-Sculpting can only be done on you, not on anyone else.   Unsolicited advice is toxic!

3- Begin with a child-like “Don’t Know” mind. 


From a verse of Lao Tzu's Tao te Ching we read a very important truth:


“When they think that they know the answers,

People are difficult to guide.

When they know that they don’t know,

People can find their own way”


The “Don’t Know” mind is the mind that is open to whatever life brings. I don’t know what ultimate form my own sculpture will take let alone what your's will take. If we really want to discover the truth about ourselves, we need to stay open and curious and willing to see that what we thought was us, wasn’t.   


John Groberg writes on a wide variety of topics related to personal and spiritual growth. His slogan is Grow. By Choice™. His articles draw out principles of personal and spiritual growth common to the world’s ancient wisdom and spiritual texts as well as many of the great philosophers, poets, and writers of ancient and modern times. These principles are then put to the test in his own life with an emphasis on simple, sustainable practices we can apply in our daily lives to more effectively deal with the stresses and struggles of modern life and to more fully realize the benefits of deliberate growth. John developed a model called the Divine-Align-Shine model as a way of visually organizing the principles, practices and the overall process of personal and spiritual growth. His writings are cataloged and organized on his website, www.johngroberg.com where contact information is available.       


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