Spiritual Competence

The world I live in now is very, very different from the world I used to live in. This new world is filled with beautiful, open souls who are saying yes to life and sharing their loving messages with the world. This new world leaves me with such a deep sense of connection – a deep sense of coming home, which isn’t something that I had felt at this level before in my entire life.

The world that I used to live in was much more closed off and never, ever felt like home to me. I constantly felt like I was visiting and would eventually be asked to leave. (Thankfully I had a new world to go to when that happened.)

And now that I have both feet in this new spiritual world, I can honestly say that there is no place that I would rather be. I feel full and alive and completely plugged in.

There is just one part from my old world that was filled with logic and skepticism that I would like to bring forward into this new spiritual world. And that is competence

In many spiritual circles it seems to be almost favored and quickly excused when someone doesn’t follow through with what they say they will do. Because they are spiritual or a healer or someone in a helping profession and they are working from a heartspace rather than a headspace, we tend to excuse the fact that they are late and aren’t keeping their word or following through. For example:

  • If they say that they are going to be somewhere at 3:00 pm and they show up at 3:30, we let it slide.
  • If they offer to help with a project and then forget about it, we don’t call them on it.
  • If they are living with their head in the clouds and are rarely seen down here grounded in the earth, we just let them be.

They’re spiritual beings. They’re messengers. They’re dreaming and praying and healing. Let them be, we say.

Now, before I go any further, let me just say that I am certainly not perfect. I have definitely gotten caught up in the moment and left my head in the clouds and forgotten to follow through on things. I am not immune to this flakiness. Although, I will also say this: I am pretty darn grounded and pretty darn competent, too. And also pretty darn spiritual.

I’m spiritually competent. 

What this means is that I live a life where I’m completely plugged into the universe. I feel the energy from beyond all of the time. I am tapped into it – I live and breathe it. I pray. I listen to my soul. I hear the angels. All of that.

But…I also am a human being who loves living here on Earth. I love being in a physical body and doing earthly things – like typing and working and making appointments and showing up for those appointments on time. I love incorporating both of these worlds and living an open, loving, on-time, efficient, completely non-flaky life.

In my old world, if you didn’t show up when you said you would, you were not excused (unless you had a really great excuse). In my old world, if you didn’t follow through with something that you said you were going to do, you were called on it. In my old world, if you lived with your head in the clouds, you were passed by and seen as flaky.

I think this notion that it was okay (and even admired) to not be spiritually competent began because so many of us left a much more rigid – sometimes corporate – world to follow our hearts and live a life where everything just flowed freely. And so we sometimes reject anything that has to do with structure and the “old world.” But… we still live here on Earth, and the loving messages that we want to share aren’t going to be heard if we aren’t able to keep our word and get our act together.

I know that this may seem harsh. And maybe it is. But here’s why I’m writing so strongly about this: because I care so much about you and your message. Because I know, really know, that you are here for a reason. And I know that you have so much to share with the world. And if you aren’t competent, no one is going to take you seriously. No one is going to listen.

I know this for a fact. Potential dear hearts who were waiting for your message are going to walk away if you don’t pull it together and follow through and show them that you can be trusted.

And that hurts my heart. So much.

So please, for the sake of the world, let’s pull it together here. Let’s embrace our spiritual competence. Let’s see this as a positive thing. Let’s show up when we say we’re going to. Let’s send the emails that we are meant to send. Let’s complete the projects that we have committed to. And let’s prove to the world that we, spiritual teachers, can be trusted and counted on and listened to. 

Are you in? 

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Spiritual Competence — 32 Comments

  1. I like the phrase spiritual competence! For years, I’ve thought of it as integrity, but not from a moral, right/wrong perspective; from a place of workability. For example, it doesn’t work if I forget about an agreement or am 30 minutes late. It’s not that I’m a bad person, it just simply doesn’t work – like a bike wheel that has too many spokes missing. It’s not bad, it just doesn’t work and it may not be a safe ride. That gave me freedom when others didn’t keep their word because it was no longer personal.

    But this idea of spiritual competence gives me a whole new way of viewing it. Thank you!
    Sandi Amorim recently posted..Trust the Call That Nourishes Your HeartMy Profile

    • Hi Sandi!
      I see it as integrity, too – and valuing someone else’s time and space. And you’re right in that it’s definitely not that we’re a bad person if we flake out on something – but if it becomes a habit maybe it’s worth looking into why that is happening.
      I’m so glad you’re here! :)
      Jodi – Soul Speak recently posted..Spiritual CompetenceMy Profile

    • Hi Loes!
      I love that you’re taking personal responsibility and seeing how living this way has impacted your life. That takes real reflection and bravery to admit that – which is so inspiring! You’re absolutely right that our self esteem takes a hit when we don’t keep our word – and the opposite is also true: it soars when we are spiritually competent. When we know we can count on ourselves. :)
      Jodi – Soul Speak recently posted..Spiritual CompetenceMy Profile

  2. Great points Jodi. There’s nothing spiritual in letting people down, in not keeping your word or your commitments, unless, as you point out there’s a darn good reason. Life gets in the way for all of us at times. I would also ask myself if it were happening to me, what the heck is in my consciousness that I get to experience this. And begin to imagine better and greater experiences for all.

    Love Elle

    • Thanks, Elle!
      That’s such a wonderful point to make – especially if it keeps happening to someone. For them to really look deeper and ask what’s going on to have created a life where they can’t be counted on. And to realize that they are worthy of great experiences and are an amazing soul that others can count on. XO
      Jodi – Soul Speak recently posted..Spiritual CompetenceMy Profile

  3. I can relate to what your experiencing and like Sandy I learned to not take it personally. That wasn’t easy at first but it was necessary in order for me to stay grounded and happy. I then realized that if someone doesn’t do something it is because I was delivering the message in such a way that often they felt they had to do it.

    The more I pushed the less results I would get. Try letting people do what they are capable of with no expectation and you may see a big change.

    Even if you don’t you will be happy and at the end of the day that is the only thing we all can do is take care of us and hope that other people learn through our examples in life even if those examples are of us falling apart, nothing is ever as it seems. :)
    dawn abraham recently posted..ChristinaMy Profile

    • Hi Dawn!
      I do agree with you on this to a point. I get what you’re saying about expectation management and knowing that we can only control ourselves. But… I also like knowing that I can count on and trust those who I interact with. For instance, we have a weekly appointment – and I know that each Friday (unless otherwise stated) we will chat at our regular time. I will call you right at the time we have scheduled, and we will both have cleared our schedules for that space. And so I do expect that to happen – just like I hope that you expect for me to show up then, too.
      And I love that we get to choose our reaction to other’s actions, too. So if we notice that we aren’t feeling respected or honored in some way, we can decide how to deal with it – either walking away, talking about it, or doing nothing at all. Either way, the choice is always ours.
      Jodi – Soul Speak recently posted..Spiritual CompetenceMy Profile

      • Yes I agree 100% and if people are not respecting your time you have the right to say something and if they can’t or won’t commitment you can always move on. I would that’s for sure.

        I love our Friday chats. They are wonderful and yes I would never flake on you. Unless I dies then we may have a problem. XOXO
        dawn abraham recently posted..ChristinaMy Profile

  4. I think this post deserves a standing ovation, Jodi. I will admit… I try to be understanding and compassionate when someone doesn’t follow through on something they’ve agreed to do for me.

    Inside though? At best, I’m disappointed. At worst, if they’re not the first person to let me down that day? I can end up seriously frustrated.

    Either way, the conclusion I can’t help taking away is that – unless the person had a really good reason for letting me down – they’re either unreliable or they don’t t place much value on our relationship.

    Now, like you, I’m not perfect myself. I don’t always get things right. But I do see either keeping my agreements or renegotiating them ahead of time as key components of being in integrity.

    When I interact with people who don’t? Well, let’s just say I don’t tend to continue interacting with them for very long.


    Tanja @ Crystal Clarity recently posted..Resource Review: Total WordPress Website Care from 2FishWebMy Profile

    • Hi Tanja!
      Yes! I couldn’t have said it better! There is something really special about having enough self esteem to know when you’re being respected and to step away when you aren’t. Bravo to you for being strong enough to love yourself enough to walk away when your needs aren’t being met. XO
      Jodi – Soul Speak recently posted..Spiritual CompetenceMy Profile

  5. That’s a very good observation. I’ve noticed this pattern as well.
    On the other hand, I am a flake too, I just don’t have a strong spiritual background to absolve me of this sin – but I’m trying to change it.

    • Hi Nela!
      I definitely don’t think it’s a sin to be flaky. 😉 But… if it’s something that you would like to change, the great news is that you get to make that choice in each moment. For me, I have found that each time I keep my word, a little piece of my soul lights up. And when I don’t, I can feel it dim inside. And so this is a great barometer for continuing to be competent – in the best way that I can.
      Jodi – Soul Speak recently posted..Spiritual CompetenceMy Profile

    • Hi Cathy!
      You’re absolutely right that it really comes back to basic consideration for others and for ourselves, too. I want to know that I can be counted on, so that’s what I will continue to strive for. Hugs!
      Jodi – Soul Speak recently posted..Spiritual CompetenceMy Profile

  6. You’ve made some great points, Jodi. I agree that folks who are engrossed in their spiritual side can sometimes come across as less-than-present or ungrounded, and that behavior often creates an unfair perception that spirituality = spaciness. In my opinion, I feel that the true reflection of spirituality is in how you manage the balance of being in spirit and grounded in every day life. It’s important now more than ever to lead by example.

    As someone who is also a recovering technical writer and current copywriter with an ever-unfolding spiritual path, I believe it’s a bit easier for me to continue the grounded behaviors because it’s part of how I’ve always been. It’s sometimes harder for someone to shift the other way, until they realize what it may be costing them personally.

    Looking at similar experiences “from the treetops” — I see them as an opportunity to possibly help someone learn how their behavior may be perceived by others, and speak up if I feel inclined in terms of how it makes me feel personally. I have just as much of a right to speak up and discuss my boundaries as the other person has to act as they wish. In the end you may not continue to collaborate or connect, but each person has had an opportunity to speak their truth.

    • Hi Katrina!
      You really nailed it – that’s actually what my book is about: learning to balance spirituality while embracing our time here in the physical world.
      It sounds like our backgrounds are very similar: I was a technical editor for many years, which I’m so grateful for. It gave me that grounding right from the start. And I definitely realize that it may not come as easily to everyone.
      And I completely agree that speaking up and creating boundaries is a beautiful way to walk through life.
      Great comment! XO
      Jodi – Soul Speak recently posted..Spiritual CompetenceMy Profile

    • Hi La Toya!
      I’m going to go check out that site right after I write to you. Thanks for sharing it – I’m so glad you’re here!
      I love how messages are so often seen and received exactly when we need to hear them the most.
      Jodi – Soul Speak recently posted..Spiritual CompetenceMy Profile

  7. Jodi, sweetie,
    You are really wrong on this one. You still have a foot stuck in judgment. Everything is perfect the way that it is. War is perfect. ‘Crime’ is perfect. It’s all a beautiful experience.
    There is no such thing as ‘spiritual competence.’ That’s your ego, sweetie.
    Everything a reflection of you. It’s all a mirror. If you see people spiritually incompetent, it’s a reflection of you.
    With love,

  8. Right on, sister! Great post!

    I just had a visceral reaction to this. I remember my mother telling me that if you make a commitment to do something, or be somewhere, that it’s your responsibility to show up and on time! Wow. Like a moral responsibility.

    I agree, too, that it is a matter of integrity. It is possible to be both spiritual and grounded. People will trust you if you are reliable. They won’t if you are not.
    Loran Hills recently posted..Weaving a garment of brightnessMy Profile

    • Thanks, Loran!
      I see it as a moral responsibility, too. And whether it’s a spiritual path or an Earth path, it boils down to the same thing – respecting ourselves and others. :)
      I love that we can be spiritual and grounded at the same time – this is something that I am still learning to balance and really seeing that it is possible.
      Jodi – Soul Speak recently posted..The Gratitude GameMy Profile

  9. What a great post, Jodi! I agree completely. No matter how inspired – and inspiring – a person may be, it is extremely difficult to take them seriously if they’re not grounded in honouring their commitments. For me it’s definitely a matter of trust and respect. If someone has committed to working on a project with me, for example, and doesn’t follow through, unless there’s a great reason I find it very difficult to place my trust in them again. It suggests to me that they don’t place much value on their commitment to me. And if they schedule something with me and just don’t show up (with no reason), it suggests they don’t respect my time.

    Hmmm… maybe my Mom harped on this a bit too much when I was little! I tend to feel anxious if I am late for anything!!
    Christine recently posted..Stressed? 3 Relaxation TipsMy Profile

    • Thanks, Christine!
      I think your mom was onto something, and I’m glad you carried it with you! It’s really about honoring your word – both for yourself and for others. Knowing that you can trust yourself to do something and that others can depend on you to follow through.
      Hugs to you!
      Jodi – Soul Speak recently posted..The Gratitude GameMy Profile

  10. Well said, Jodi. If people want to be taken seriously, they have to be serious and show up here (on earth). This ‘stuff’ is not woo-woo, nor flaky. Being spiritual is not an excuse for being flaky. I guess you can be both if you want, but then suffer the consequences.
    Marla Bollak recently posted..The Power of Self-AwarenessMy Profile

  11. Hi Jodi, I echo your sentiments as I often wonder, especially when you are working with people in the “helping profession” why they do not hold themselves to a certain standard…like showing up for appointments or returning e-mails. Having said that, I often find myself apologizing for not getting back to people sooner, and think it is a product of the hectic pace that we are living in on this earth. Perhaps if we ensure that we incorporate our spirituality into everything we do we can get a handle on the multitude of tasks and show just how competent and caring we are! An honest post from an honest person!
    Angela Goodeve recently posted..Best Wishes for the Holidays from Life Coaching with Ang!My Profile