Getting Out of Your Own Way – Gaylon McDowell

By February 25, 2019 March 11th, 2019 Events, Home, Messages

Gaylon tells us, when the struggle feels real, lean in on your truth. Recognize and acknowledge that sometimes we get afraid of the stuff that we’re seeing. Even though we’ve been told that the struggle is not real, sometimes we get scared.



This “talk” is electronically transcribed. Please excuse any errors or omissions. 

Gaylon: So today, I am wrapping up the series that Lola mentioned earlier, that the struggle is not real. When you work with titles, like The Struggle Is Not Real, the title in and of itself can be a struggle. Why? Because to struggle means to proceed with difficulty or with great effort. It also means to make strenuous or violent efforts in the fact of difficulties or opposition. So the moment you say, “The struggle isn’t real,” you are also saying, “The opposition isn’t real.” When you say, “The struggle isn’t real,” you’re also saying, “The difficulty isn’t real.” But let’s play with this word called “real”. Let’s keep it real about the word “real”. Metaphysically. Say, “Metaphysically.”

Congregation: Metaphysically.

Gaylon: The word “real” means that which is eternal, unchanging, permanent. So, when you say that God is real and God is good, you’re saying that real is permanent and eternal, and it can’t be changed. Now, we can live outside of the awareness of the real and suffer, and the real still just is. So, we start to work with this concept called “The struggle is not real,” and my lesson today is “Get out of your own way.” To recognize that the struggle isn’t real requires you and me to get out of our own way.

Gaylon: So, I started to think about this lesson from the standpoint of what Lola mentioned earlier. I’m one of the people who has always pushed back against this concept that the New Thought or new age, or progressive spiritual communities always has to be rainbows and unicorns. I’ve been pushing back against that for 20+ years because I don’t believe that people who claim to be strong should be so sensitive to the point that anything that shows up in their space that’s not like they want it upsets them to the point that they get out of balance.

Gaylon: You don’t know what you’re made of until something is appearing, I didn’t say real, appearing to go against what you believe is your divine expression. I, for one, have always said that if you can’t put teeth into your truth, in other words it can chew on some things, if you can’t put teeth on your truth, it’s useless. It’s useless. I’m going to give you an example, and then I’m going to get to my points.

Gaylon: In 1999, end of 1999, my grandfather, Dan McDowell, was coming back from Wisconsin taking my cousins to my uncle’s house who was living at the time in Wisconsin. On the way back, a 16-year-old driver drove across the side of the highway, brand new driver, hit him head-on. Helicopter had to take him. Eventually, he died from the complications of the accident, a brain injury. At that time, I’ve been teaching New Thought for a couple of years, two/three years, and I got a call at home from Johnnie Coleman, who was the founder of Christ Universal Temple and the Universal Foundation for Better Living, and who I call the Haley’s Comet of New Thought. People like her just don’t come around all the time. She was beyond awesome.

Gaylon: So she called me and she said, “May I speak to Gaylon?” “This is he.” “This is Johnnie Coleman.” That’s how she talks. She was bold. I know. She said, “How are you?” And I told her, “Johnnie, you taught me to never allow myself to get too low. I’m fine.” She got excited. She said, “Good!” And she told me some immortal words that are simple but they have always stayed with me. “What good is this truth that if when you need it the most it’s not there for you?”

Gaylon: Don’t let yourself get off of your truth when you’re going through the complications. Lean in on your truth. So, how do we do it? The first thing we have to do is just have to recognize and acknowledge that sometimes we get afraid of the stuff that we’re seeing. Even though we’ve been told that the struggle is not real, sometimes we get scared. We get scared when the money isn’t where we want it to be. We get scared when the diagnosis isn’t favorable. We get scared when we’re seeing things that are happening in the world to people who look like us, or you individually.

Gaylon: We get scared when we see things that are happening on a national/international platform. We get scared sometimes when we feel as though that the relationships we have in our lives, or the intimate or family or friends, are not necessarily meeting the emotional needs that we have in life. We get scared sometimes, but we’re spiritual so we don’t want to admit it. But you have to deal with it, so my first point is, most people do not understand their subconscious fears and the blind spots that are created from them. When you have fears, you create your own blind spots.

Gaylon: Why? Because the fear blinds you from seeing what’s possible in your life. The fears blind you from seeing the infinite potential of life. The fears blind you from seeing your own inner wholeness because we get paralyzed by looking at what we consider the problem! And because it’s subconscious … Say, “Subconscious.”

Congregation: Subconscious.

Gaylon: That means that we’re normally not consciously thinking about it, so some people are just walking around in fear, walking around in frustration, and don’t even know why! It’s subconscious, and it creates its own blind spot. Why? Because fear is a paralyzer. It is the main cause of procrastination, doubt, frustration, anxiety and indecision. That’s my next point. Fear is a paralyzer.

Gaylon: If you’re wondering why you’re procrastinating, it’s something in you that’s scared to jump out. If you’re having a lot of doubts, there’s something in you that makes you just for a moment pause because you don’t know if you really can handle what’s on the table. If you’re frustrated, it’s something that fear is creating that is making you believe that you’re not equal to the task, or that you have to have other people show up a certain kind of way for you to be whole. If you’re frustrated with somebody else, you’re saying to them, “You have to act right for me to be whole.”

Gaylon: When we are anxious, we’re anxious because we think that if I don’t get it right, right now, right now, right now, right now, there’s never another opportunity. God is giving me a window, and if I don’t take this window, it’s over. God doesn’t have nothing but windows! Indecision. When we’re afraid to make the choice, it’s because we’re scared and we don’t want to admit it because in the back of our minds, we’re asking ourselves the question, “What if I get it wrong?” And the threat of getting it wrong paralyzes us.

Gaylon: There’s an acronym for fear that people use many times. They call it false evidence appearing real. You’ve heard that? False evidence appearing real. Now, here’s the thing about the statement. The evidence can be factual, but it’s not the truth. We have to learn how to face facts with truth. We have to learn how to apply truth to facts. Why? Because facts can change. There are going to be people who are going to tell you to give up, to not do it, to just accept the diagnosis and the prognosis, to accept that things don’t have to be changed. They’re going to ask you to be, or indirectly ask you to be resigned to the relationship being the way that it’s always been, and you have to say, “No! I don’t have to accept it because it’s false evidence appearing real.”

Gaylon: This is why Jesus said, “Judge not according to appearances, but judge righteous,” judgment based on what? Truth! The truth about God and the truth about you. In other words, how God is showing up in through and as you. Are you getting this?

Congregation: Yes.

Gaylon: Fears look real to people when you’re in the midst of the storm. So this is one of the things that I tell folks in my classes at Christ Universal Temple. Any place in our souls that goes to emotionalism before we go to our truth is showing our lack of spiritual maturity in that aspect of our soul. Now, notice I didn’t say emotionalism was bad because as Reverend [Ike 00:11:45] would say, “Feeling gets the blessing.” In other words, you need the energy of feeling to manifest, but emotionalism unchecked is rowdy to your soul.

Gaylon: Emotionalism is being triggered. Emotionalism is your story. Emotionalism is your interpretation that is based in a sense of separation and lack because if you felt whole, you wouldn’t react like that in that experience! So I’m not saying your feelings don’t matter. Of course, they do. What I am saying is, are they leading the conversation or is truth leading it? Because your feelings are going to say, “This is how I am now,” but feelings change. Truth is eternal, permanent, unchanging. I’m painting a story here. So I want to give an example of how you can work it by giving you someone that most people know in the western world, a character named Moses. Now, what I’m going to do is give you a metaphysical interpretation. Say, “Metaphysical interpretation.”

Congregation: Metaphysical interpretation.

Gaylon: Not literal.

Congregation: Not literal.

Gaylon: Metaphysical interpretation.

Congregation: Metaphysical interpretation.

Gaylon: Not literal.

Congregation: Not literal.

Gaylon: Okay, you got it? I’m not trying to mess with anybody’s characters, your bible, your Moses, your Christianity, your Judaism. I’m not trying to mess with your people. Okay? Somebody’s holding vigil, right? So, for those who might be new to this method of interpretation, it’s a lens through which you look at scripture and you relate it back to your own being, the spirit within you, your own ideas, your own thoughts, your own feelings, your own beliefs, how consciousness works in through and as you. That is metaphysical bible interpretation. Are we clear? So, every character from Jesus to Judas is in you. You got it?

Congregation: Yes.

Gaylon: Okay. So, Moses in Hebrew means drawn out, literally. Literally, that’s what his name means, or drawn out of water, or to draw out of water. Metaphysically, he represents an understanding of God as divine law. Now, why is this important and what does this have to do with the struggle is not real and getting out of your own way? It has everything to do with it because if you want to learn how to get out of your own way, one of the things that you will learn, and you learn when you take the Bodhi Basics class here with Reverend Lola and her team is that there are spiritual principles that govern the universe that work for everybody all of the time, but if you don’t know how to work it, you can’t work it.

Gaylon: At Christ Universal Temple, Reverend Coleman was saying for 50 years, since 1956, “It works if you work it,” but you can’t work something you don’t know. What is the “it”? The “it” is the principle. The principle works if you work it. So, one of the things that you have to recognize is that there is an aspect or there’s a Moses within you that is drawn out. You have a belief in liberation. You have a belief, or a thought, or an idea that says, “I don’t have to go through this. I deserve better than this. I deserve to be free!” That’s Moses in you.

Gaylon: That ah-ha moment when you recognize it’s time to leave the job, the ah-ha moment when it’s time to leave the relationship, the ah-ha moment when you reconcile your issues that you have around identity, around family, around anything, when you say, “You know what? I’m going to live my truth,” that’s your Moses. So when Moses arises in you, what Moses comes to teach you is the realization of God within you as divine law, that if I apply principle a certain kind of way, I have to always get certain kind of results. Why? Because a watermelon will not produce apple trees with apples, a watermelon seed rather.

Gaylon: Why? Watermelon seeds have to produce watermelons. Apple seeds have to produce apple trees with apples, with more apple seeds in them. Why? Because that’s divine law. So, there’s an aspect of you that is seeking freedom, and there’s something in you that says, “I can be free,” but that freedom shows up many times trying to do things in a forceful kind of way because it has not been spiritually illuminated yet. So Moses, for those who are familiar with the story, or watched Charlton Heston’s Ten Commandments, you would know he was born Hebrew, taken into the house of Egypt as a baby because Hebrew males were being murdered, he grew up knowing he was a Hebrew, and when he saw an Egyptian man punishing a Hebrew slave, he killed the man.

Gaylon: Have you ever in your enlightened thought believed that it was necessary to take whatever actions that were needed to get the job done, because you’ve got to play the game the way it needs to be played. That’s Moses killing the Egyptian, not the divine spirit’s way. We act out of emotion. We act out of a sense of rightness. We act out of a sense of scapegoating someone else because we don’t want to deal with the truth within ourselves and allow spirit to guide our actions, so we just act, we just say it, we just do it with no recognition or realization of the consequence until we come out of our emotional haze and realize, “Oh Lord, I done did something crazy. Let me get out of here.” Is this making sense?

Congregation: Yes.

Gaylon: I’m trying to paint a picture. What is law? Law is the faculty of mind that holds every thought and act strictly to the truth of being, regardless of circumstances or environment. So what this is saying is that as Galatians 6:7 says, “God is not mocked. Whatever a man soweth, so shall he reap.” This is saying that through divine law that every thought and act has to have its own consequence, or as we would say it in the New Thought movement, “There is causation, and it’s mental.” All causation is mental, and you must have it a fact.

Gaylon: The Moses in you comes to you to teach you how to work the law of compensation, the law of cause and effect, the law of sowing and reaping so you can be intentional about what you desire to create in your life. But you’re going to bump into some inner opposition. The struggle isn’t real because once you realize that the struggle is happening within you, you have the key. Let me quickly give you the keys so we can wrap this service up. Next point, Pharaoh.

Gaylon: The opposition was Pharaoh, right? The Pharaoh that keeps you in bondage, I’m sure you can read it behind me, is your own human ego, your personal will. It’s belief in building life through fear, external power, and willfulness. Your Pharaoh suppresses your higher spiritual ideas, attributes, ideas and qualities. The Moses in you, your understanding of God as divine law can set you free. What is this saying?

Gaylon: Pharaoh was a builder. See, many times we think that if the spirit doesn’t build something, it can’t be built. No, that’s nonsense because I am the thinker that thinks the thought that makes the thing, as Reverend Coleman used to tell us. Therefore, the Pharaoh builds a certain kind of way, through fear, through manipulation, through external power, not in an authentic way. It must use force to maintain it because it’s not built on anything that was meant to last.

Gaylon: So when you get the idea, your Moses, that you need to be free, you start to look at your life and everything that the ego has built, and then you start to look at the world and everything that the collective ego has built, and then we get scared all over again, even after we have our own personal burning bush moment with the burning desire of intuition in our soul that is revealing God to us! You know it’s real. You know what the intuition has guided you to do, but like Moses, we’ll do this. “Well, you know, what am I supposed to tell the people when I go? You know God, I really don’t speak well, and … ” What’s your excuse for now doing what you know you’re supposed to do?

Gaylon: He had an excuse. We have excuses, so it’s kind of funny in the story. This is what he was told. “Tell them the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob sent you.” This made me think, Lola. I might not be here if my grandmother and grandfather and great grandmother and grandfather had a God of their understanding, not of mine but something that was personal to them, the God of my own granny. See, it has to be personal to you. See, I’m trying to drive home this point, that he was saying the same power that allowed your people to overcome, the same power that showed up as breakthroughs after they prayed, the same power that shows up that allow Bodhi to stare down a five-day notice is the same power that’s working in you now.

Gaylon: The power hasn’t gone anywhere. You tell the people, in other words you tell your thoughts, you tell your beliefs. The same God that got you over is the same God that’s working in you now, not some big Santa Clause figure in the sky that’s checking a list and checking it twice and trying to find out who’s naughty and nice, but the invisible energy, intelligent presence that works in through and as you, that permeation the universe sustains in perfect and divine order and harmony, even when we’re acting chaotic!

Gaylon: Therefore, this power is the power that frees you from the bondage of lack. Let my people go. Your people are not physical beings. Your people are your thoughts. Let my people go from sickness. Let my people go from bad relationships. Let my people go from negative habits. Let my people go! In other words, let the higher spiritual qualities that seek expression go! Stop allowing Pharaoh to take the control of your mind! As I close, I have some homework because I think this lesson required some homework. So, let’s put the homework up here. A) read the chapter, Statement of Being and Faith in the book, Lessons in Truth by H. Emilie Cady-

Lola: One of the best books you’ll ever get your hands on.

Gaylon: Yes. It’s available for free, but I recommend the Unity Classic edition that came out post 2000. But it’s a free book so nobody can say … But I recommend the Unity Classic version. It’s kind of slightly updated. Why do I want you to read those chapters? Because Statement of Being, the subtitle in the Statement of Being is Who and What God is, Who and What Man is. It’s an old book, so it’s going to say “man” instead of “people”. But get the point. He’s trying to drive home the principle of “God is law”.

Gaylon: Then Faith, why Faith? Because in the chapter on faith, it tells you why you can have faith in the principle, because there are certain things that are so … are put together by the universe that cannot go against itself. The universe will fall upon itself, if something got out of order when the divine spirit and creator created it to act a certain kind of way. Second homework point, write down the top five things that give you concerns. Right after the concerns, and let’s read this together, “My understanding of God as divine law heals and transforms this experience now.” So, every time, you write the five and then after each five, you make that statement. Do that for 21 days. Why? Because you’re challenging the belief.

Gaylon: Third homework point, meditate for a few minutes after your prayer statement, so after you do the work, sit still and then write down any inspiration, every inspiration that comes to you. In other words, God or spirit or your divine intuition will answer with ideas. The Cadillac is not going to just fall out through your roof. You get the idea how to get the Cadillac. You get my point, right?

Congregation: Yes.

Gaylon: So, as I close, one minute, I have a lot of faith in communities like Bodhi. Why? Because I’ve dedicated my life to the empowerment of the human being. It matters to me that you win. It matters to me that you discover who you are so you don’t have to be as they say in the old church the tail, not the head. You have within you the capabilities to be all that your consciousness can realize, but you have to do the work. This isn’t magic. This isn’t Harry Potter.

Gaylon: This is consciousness development, so my request to you is this: get serious about knowing and discovering your own wholeness, get serious about beholding and seeing the wholeness in others, and what you will discover is, as your life transforms in miraculous ways, people will want to know how you did it, and then you can tell them and you can bring them here.

Gaylon: Then, as you let your light shine, and then you bring other lights to it, Bodhi can do more and beyond anything that you could imagine when you get serious enough to say, “I’m willing to have my own burning bush experience,” and then follow the divine directive given to me in my high moments of spiritual awareness. So it is, God bless you.





About Bodhi

Bodhi is a non-religious spiritual community in Chicago, IL. We awaken individuals to live their inherent power and purpose. Through unconditional love, creativity and conscious community, we reveal Oneness in service of the people of Chicago and beyond.

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