"If each and every disappointment, each and every condition that arises, is used as a stepping-stone for better things and looking for it and expecting it, then there will still be continued the optimism."

- Edgar Cayce reading 462-10

This central tenet in many spiritual traditions is also familiar to students of the Cayce readings. Yet it calls to be examined with new eyes just now when most of the world is … in quarantine!! Weeks into the new experience of this ever-changing big picture, most of us are grappling with unimaginable upheaval. The term Earth Changes suddenly has new relevance. The ‘solid ground’ we so recently took for granted is now shaking.

Within this reading’s challenge to see ‘… each and every disappointment and each and every condition that arises as potential stepping stones,’ there is fertile ground for spiritual growth right here and now. How we react during these hard, scary, stressful times is key. Our daily reactions are one thing; how we deal with that nitty-gritty is an essence of spiritual growth. Here in the weeds of our messy emotions and reactions – with ‘each and every condition that arises’ - is fertile ground for profound soul development.

Typically, it’s easy to shy away from our own nitty-gritty. It’s uncomfortable. We want to avoid it and it’s easy to. A myriad of distractions and obligations beckons. But in this peculiar abnormal time, it’s not as easy to avoid facing our reactions. Here at home, we are pushed to witness our personal nitty-gritty whether we want to or not. And thank you for that, Universe! Because most of us ARE members are interested in spiritual growth and here, right in our faces, perhaps more than ever, is a unique opportunity for it. Studying spiritual texts is one path; mediation and prayer is another; there are many. Attending to our reactions, to let them go, is another crucial path toward soul development.

Right now, most of us, across the globe, are at home. That fact is rich with (hopefully positive) potential. Lessons abound here. What are they? How are we actually doing day by day, moment by moment with this scrambled time?

Quarantine invites us to open our eyes wider. Imagine the global changes that could be triggered if many people paid attention to just this.

With no one venturing out for necessities nor safe from threats to our most basic security, the world’s population is suddenly subject to drastic fast-paced changes and fears.  We may be physically separated but we are all vulnerable to huge, unprecedented challenges.

As our basic needs are shaken, how stressed, fearful, anxious are we?  What about others – are we reaching out? Transforming these challenges (stumbling blocks) into spiritual growth (steppingstones) starts with such observations. Taking an initial step of paying more attention to our reactions, we may find that difficult moments also offer different responses than usual. With more time now to observe and contemplate, we may start to choose those.

Quiet moments within these quieter days invite us to take stock. Here at home, how are we with this scrambled time? How’s our relationship to money? Spending less time at a computer? Or more? Picking up neglected projects or friends? Simplifying our stuff? Feeling increased restlessness or anxiety or calm within the storm? How are our relationships impacted? Taking stock …

Noting our feelings and reactions – looking within - is the spiritual instruction of the most spiritual traditions, including the Cayce readings. Now, as circumstances push us to reevaluate major swaths of life, this instruction looms large. Within our stew of emotions, this ‘range of each and every condition,’ are we kind and gentle with ourselves and others? And as we inevitably falter or lash out, how do we deal with that? Taking stock…

The nitty gritty of our detailed observations creates the space needed for positive choices and changes, for stumbling blocks to become steppingstones.

Quarantined at home, choices are key. They are one thing we can control. We may choose to step away from being stressed and to step instead toward observing our reactions to stress. These unique circumstances of fewer distractions and increased challenges make it harder to avoid our own selves. Thank you, Universe! Let’s say yes to the invitation to tread this unwieldy spiritual path of honest self-observation. Let’s choose to use this unprecedented quarantine as a needed push (one we may even have longed for) to step toward soul growth by creating some distance from our own reactions.

 As we choose in this manner, the fertile ground where stumbling blocks turn into steppingstones is revealed. At this precise moment in time, opportunities to accelerate our soul development open up as never before.

… each and every condition that arises, is used as a stepping-stone for better things and looking for it and expecting it ….

- Edgar Cayce reading 462-10