She sat on a chair in the college psychology professor’s office, talking about how badly she was being treated by her boyfriend. When she stopped venting, he stared at her and finally said “You are a psych major, right?” She nodded the affirmation, and waited to hear the special help he would offer. He said, “I follow the GOYA school of psychology”.
Confused, she stammered “I’m not familiar with that – is it kind of like surrealist, for the artist?" (She wasn’t an art major).
He said, “No – it means get off your ass! If you don’t like where you are – move! If you are in pain because you are sitting on a pin – Get Off Your Ass!”
He didn’t mean to dispense spiritual advice, but that is what he gave. In many situations, we don’t need therapy or a guru – we just need to follow the GOYA school. Hate your job? Cannot recapture love with your spouse? Need friends? Weigh too much? Dreams out of reach? Want to start a business? Try the GOYA school.
Maintaining the motivation to continue is a huge barrier to those who sign up with the GOYA school. Find one friend who also wants to make significant changes – and meet at least weekly to report on progress and identify next actions. It is amazing how far you can travel in a week if there is accountability at the end!
So how does the GOYA school work?
Therapy is useful, and a therapist could act as the partner, though recruiting a reliable friend with a similar bad habit or goal is much cheaper. The spiritual element is to take charge of personal changes, to set a goal to improve your life on this planet, then take action every week to achieve your goals. This is the essence of spiritual progress, and an effective way to build self-reliance and self-respect. There is no achievement sweeter than recognizing and overcoming a stuck place in your journey. Everyone, at some point, gets bogged down in the swamps of despair, fear, anger, and conformity. Pulling yourself out of the sucking mud is a heroic task, with the ever-constant urge to give up and fall back!
But what is the spiritual element of the GOYA school? How was this spiritual advice?
The ultimate goal of any spiritual path is transcendence – becoming the best possible you. Some spiritual traditions offer a single lifetime in which to achieve self-knowledge and a spiritually aware life. Others teach that when a soul incarnates, it chooses a set of challenges to meet – and overcome – in the upcoming life. It also carries the “seeds” of past choices – or karma – that is carried along to offer “learning” from past experience. Of course, no situation is truly the same as those of the past, so old knowledge often fails to resolve the current challenge. In either tradition, when confronted with seemingly impossible obstacles, the soul freezes, waiting for an epiphany or flash of insight to provide salvation, sitting in the pain and crying out in frustration and terror.
This is the moment when the GOYA school delivers the next step to growth. Rising to one’s highest self is impossible when sitting in pain and terror – the only way forward is through! In many situations, the most spiritually appropriate act is to leave the current position and face the future with courage and resolve.
Register now at the GOYA school – and begin working on a Master’s degree in living!
An exploration of the spiritual truths in taking action to resolve life’s problems. Explains how to implement this approach, and discusses the spiritual validity of this advice.
Tess Pender is an ordained Interfaith Minister, active in 12-step programs for over thirty years. Her spiritual practice began with Native American Sweat Lodges, and continued with a series of Vision Quests. She led a Teen Spiritual Education Program, and regularly teaches classes on accessing intuition. She practices Earth-Centered Spirituality. She can be reached on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Rev-Tess-Interfaith-Minister-1333335763419...