Still Being Tested
by Graeme Kapono Urlich
A few months ago I wrote an article about "being tested" and I was recently asked the
I thought I understood the meaning of these lines but something seems to be missing when I reread
....please could you help me with some clarity?
"If there is a purpose to being tested by ourselves or by others then perhaps it is this: When we
harness the power we have within us and direct it towards living in the world, toward purposes we
choose, we gain confidence in ourselves and the effectiveness of our choices. The feeling of being
tested, then, is simply feedback from our own decisions and actions."
The feedback could be positive if we stand to gain confidence....how does the feeling of being
tested then kick in?
The idea of being tested by God or the spirits comes from a warrior perspective and became a very
common reason given by religious leaders when they really didn't know why something bad had
happened to someone. In the Kupua tradition, which is purely an adventurer tradition, all
power comes from within. The feeling of being tested is simply an arbitrary meaning that is commonly
given to the resistance we feel either to change that is happening around us that we don't like or
to change that we are actively cultivating in ourselves.
I like the analogy of momentum from physics. If we are driving along a straight road in a car and come
to a corner we feel a push in the original direction until we are all of the way around the corner and
on a straight path again. Our beliefs and patterns have a similar momentum. If they didn't, then
every whimsical thought would manifest instantly and reality would be so fluid that as humans we
couldn't achieve anything in the physical realm. I guess you could say that the resistance we feel
with any form of change is a kind of natural law in the physical realm.
If, for instance, we are trying to increase our level of wealth and we buy an investment that fails,
then the failure isn't from a test of our wealth building skills or a warning that we aren't
allowed to be rich. The failure is simply a reflection of a belief that we hold that prevents us from
being rich, the belief or fear is stronger than our desire to be rich. With focus we can change this
belief and become as rich as we like.
How fast we can change the belief determines how quickly and how rich we can eventually become and
this usually reflects our level of self esteem and confidence as well as how much importance we place
on making the change. The process of making this change will cause resistance and uncomfortable
feelings of some kind or other and there are only two ways to relax these feelings.
The first is to accept the status quo and decide to be happy with things the way they are and with
whatever changes will happen around you. If we don't decide to accept the status quo without
doubt, regret or guilt then there will be a different kind of resistance which will build up as
stress, come out as anger or sadness and send us into a downward spiral potentially resulting in
The second way to release resistance to change is to cultivate a new belief and continue to move
towards your goal while accepting the resistance, knowing that it will disappear when the goal is
reached or at least when our beliefs are lined up in such a way that there is no longer any resistance
to achieving the goal.
How much resistance you get depends to some degree on how fast you try to make the change happen.
Generally I use the rule of thumb that the path of least resistance is best. Some people choose to
blast through stuff and others prefer a more gentle approach, taking it more slowly.
If you let the resistance persuade you that you aren't strong enough, that it isn't worth the
effort or that you aren't "meant" to make that choice and follow that path, then the
feedback is essentially negative or, more correctly, your reaction to the feedback is negative. The
feedback itself is just that, feedback.
If you acknowledge the resistance as being an indicator that you are successfully accessing the
patterns that you want to change and that the uncomfortable feelings are the change in progress and
use it as encouragement, then your reaction to the feedback is positive.
Usually there will be a mixture of positive and negative reactions and it is a case of refocusing on
the positive when things get shaky. This takes some practice and discipline but after a while we get
better at choosing the reactions that we prefer. If you like the concept of being tested, then maybe
this can be considered as a litmus test of your effectiveness, but it is not coming from an external
source or power.
The more Ku perceives a fear of the desired goal, the more resistance and discomfort we will
experience and the more "obstacles" we will encounter. The more joy or, if not joy, at least
a reduction in pain or fearfulness, that our subconscious minds perceive in a change, the less
resistance we will experience and the more help we will encounter. Joy is a magnet to Ku, so
always look to the joyous benefits in the changes that you want in your life.
Graeme Kapono Urlich (April 2009)
Aloha New Zealand - School of Huna and Hawaiian Shamanism