So many people who go through self improvement courses, or even life changing experiences stop after one or two rounds. It is like saying “I did the work, I’m done now.” This is a big mistake. Self improvement does not end when the retreat ends.
Digging a well
Liken spiritual development to a well. You dig the well and begin taking refreshing, clean water from it. That’s great! But remember wells have a way of drying-up, or getting filled with debris. Once in a while one has to get into the well, clean it out, maybe even dig it deeper to continue to get that refreshing water. You probably have never had to dig a water well, I certainly haven’t, but I have gone through countless self improvement courses and exercises. Even if I do them with my whole heart I still have to continue to practice what I learned. Once in a glorious while I discover that if I dig that well a little deeper I get an even better result.
Imagine a fifth grade student telling his parents “I learned how to multiply 5 times 5 today, I don’t have to learn any more math.” If you overheard this you would probably simply smile gently and recall how much math you, yourself, had to learn after that same point. The same is true with personal growth. We need to continually learn, experience and embody deeper teachings all the time. Many of my fundamentalist friends are like this too: they read the Bible (or other religious text) and say, “I have it now.” No, you don’t have it now, you have the beginning chapters. What every great teacher has shown us is; here is the beginning, now, go make it yours. You have just begun.
No matter where you are on your spiritual path, read Think, Believe, Receive–Three Steps to an amazing life.