We Are Here For One Journey — The Journey of Ascension™
By Akanke Rasheed, The Ascension Coach
Life is a journey from God back to God, from Source back to Source, from Love back to Love, from Mercy back to Mercy and is designed to give us a myriad of dynamic experiences to cultivate our spiritual strength, courage, and beauty. When it is lived with awareness, it is a journey that has prescriptive growth in which we ascend higher through embracing and learning from our joys and challenges.
I started seeing life as this journey—The Journey of Ascension™—when I introspectively started looking at my life over different periods and phases and could see a consistent pattern. I noticed that no matter what challenges I had been through, I not only eventually got through them, but I also learned from them and became wiser and stronger because of them. These challenges could have easily caused me to give up on myself, on others, on life, on love, and ultimately on belief in God.
But, instead, I didn’t succumb to the challenges, I rose up—sometimes through pools of tears, great uncertainty, paralyzing fears, homelessness, instability, and self-doubt and emerged stronger.
From seeing this pattern of learning and growing from challenges in my life I saw the spiritual lessons that came with them. Then I also realized that this pattern was not unique. Rising above our circumstances and thriving in an innate part of the human experience. There are countless women and men who have done so and this is how God has intended it. Our life experiences—the joys and especially the challenges—are indeed prescriptive. They are the tools, tests, and trials that are designed to help us become stronger and more spiritually fortified. Quite simply, in this earthly life, our souls are being tested. As we journey back to God, back to Love, back to Source, back to Mercy—back to that One Supreme Entity from whence our souls originated, the One God who is known by many names and has many amazing attributes, that One Source of all that exists—we are being tested.
But, how often do we think about the spiritual nature of life—the fact that we are souls, the fact that life is a spiritual journey, the fact that everything is innately a spiritual experience—a spiritual assignment and test? Not often enough.
I came to an even deeper realization of this spiritual nature of life when my mother passed over twenty years ago.
Her death was one of my biggest tests. It tested my spiritual understanding in a way that I didn’t see coming.
For the first time in my life, I viewed death not as a horrible thing, but as a deeply spiritual experience and I began to truly understand that we are souls with bodies having an earthly experience. These words are easy to type and easy to read but to live in the awareness of our spiritual nature can be quite nuanced and evasive.
As human beings our existence is contained largely in doing—we live, we laugh, we cry, we think, we get angry, we work, we love, we marry, we make other humans, we make a lot of mistakes, and we repeat a series of cycles and patterns in our life. Rarely, however, do we see the patterns as we are immersed in living. It is often in hindsight that we can see the patterns and assign meaning to them—and then only if we are living consciously.
From this coming into the awareness about my personal growth and seeing the patterns that emerged, I was inspired to develop a framework that identifies the patterns and in identifying them, helps accelerate our personal growth, self-actualization, and transformation.
What is The Journey of Ascension™?
Encouraged by my training to become a certified retreat leader, I had to give my framework language and form. I had to be able to articulate it in order to begin to share it and offer it as a useful tool for transformation. The idea of ascension is not a new concept and while the recovering perfectionist in me would want to dive into “all things ascension”, my higher self knew I could not become concerned about what it meant in other contexts. I only had to respond to what I was getting from Source and articulate what had been and was being revealed to me about the journey of life—from God back to God.
So, here is my working definition of The Journey of Ascension™.
The Journey of Ascension™ is the journey of life, from God back to God, in which one makes an intentional conscious decision to live life with healthy self-awareness in order to actualize one’s wholistic human and spiritual potential. This is done by experiencing life’s joys and challenges as blessings and lessons and learning and growing from them as a means of cultivating spiritual fortitude and certitude, positive self-esteem, and a rich and empowered relationship with God Almighty.
The Phases on The Journey of Ascension™
There are seven phases on The Journey of Ascension™. Throughout the journey there is a continuous process of learning, growing and becoming and each phase gives us access to more of ourself through surrender and assurance about how life unfolds. When understood properly, the framework can be applied to any area of personal growth—spirituality, health and wellness, relationships, marriage and more and can guide and accelerate our trajectory by heightening our awareness. Heightened awareness allows us to see life as a journey and a series of growth opportunities—joys and challenges—prescribed for our individual growth.
The seven phases are:
Awareness is the first gateway on the Journey of Ascension™ because it is the intentional act of opening and receiving new information which expands how we “see” ourselves inwardly and outwardly. It is the process of becoming a more conscious human being through intentional asking, listening, thinking and reflecting on life, our soul and who we are— with ongoing inquisitiveness and compassion. This process offers great insights and transformation, it can be difficult, but it is a beautiful and meaningful undertaking for our personal growth.
Acceptance is the spiritual state in which we trust that things are as they should be at any moment in our lives. We embrace imperfection and the reality of who we are, and we grow from a loving and compassionate space of self-acceptance, self-love and self-compassion. It requires a deep level of okay-ness with who we are knowing that we are a work-in-progress, which frees us from negative self-consciousness, worry, and anxiety and cultivates deeper faith and trust in how God has “fashioned” us. This helps us sincerely accept who we are so that we can move forward, ascend higher, and grow in the direction that God leads us.
Assurance is the state in which we live and act with spiritual certainty about God’s Omniscient Power, His Promises, and His All-Embracing Love, Mercy, and Generosity as The One Source from which all our needs are met. This spiritual assurance strengthens our will and gives us knowing that God is always with us ready to help us succeed.
Alignment is a spiritual state that is brought about when we have certainty in our faith and are in harmony with our purpose. Through alignment we are able to resurrect ourselves and stand taller by connecting to and embracing the deep yearnings within us. Alignment helps ground us and supports our spiritual ascension. When we are in alignment it helps us trust that what awaits us on our journey will be meaningful, prescriptive, guided, and blessed because we will be in alignment with God’s will.
Awakening is the activation of our key energetic centers—our heart, soul, and mind—and comes as a result of having proper spiritual alignment. Awakening produces heightened intuition, clarity, more fluid communication, and spiritual excitement. It charges our spiritual, emotional, and physical intelligences and generates greater joy, wholistic energy, and greater insight. It is like plugging a cord into an electric outlet and charging our inner knowing, our soul’s purpose, and our life’s mission.
Alchemy is the inner dynamic transformation that results in the outward blossoming of one’s potential. This is when the process of spiritual transformation begins to show up in tangible ways and we begin to see and feel differences in who we are, how we are, what we think, feel, and do—in mind, body, and spirit because of the collective experiences in the previous phases. Some changes are drastic, most will be subtle, but they all come from a deep core that gives birth to profound shifts—over time—with constancy.
The Ascension is the unending, ongoing, dynamic and evergreen process of our soul’s expansion and contraction, stretching and bending, growing and becoming. It is the ultimate goal of our journey—to engage in self-actualization as we move dynamically in life as we move closer to our ultimate return to God Almighty. The Ascension is a continuum on which we journey through life with active awareness experiencing our joys and challenges with a strong commitment to personal growth. The ascension is challenging. It demands and cultivates qualities of resiliency, certitude, fortitude, self-determination, and self-compassion. It builds inner strength, trust and love for God as we experience the dance of life and trust the flow of our unique divine ascension.
The phases on The Journey of Ascension™ happen in cycles—many cycles—and the ascension is never a straight ascent. There are countless dynamic twists and turns in life, and so it is on the journey. To live consciously, means to live, learn and grow through an intentional and sincere desire. As we all continue on the rest of our journey I pray that we embrace and enjoy the journey by making the most of what we have each day, because every step on the journey is the journey.
The Ascension Coach
Akanke is a Muslim woman who loves God, life, people, spirituality and sincere conversations. Her journey of ascension started in 1989 when she decided to leave a burgeoning corporate career to pursue self-development in the face of uncertainties. Since then, her journey of self-actualization has taken many twists and turns—including becoming widowed twice. Her trust in God has helped her endure life’s challenges with great success. 30 years ago, she didn’t even believe in God. She gives other women the tools needed to live with divine success, grace, and abundance.
The Journey of Ascension: Explore the principles of faith and resiliency and pick up to the tools needed to build a life of success and abundance. Learn to see life’s challenges through a spiritual prism and find the beauty and blessings inside life’s lessons which will help define how you resurrect yourself and serve others in the midst of discovering your strength and courage.
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