An Unspoken Path of Personal and Spiritual Evolution

Justin H. Lee
6 min readAug 11, 2021

What is “MAITEM” and how can it support your growth and evolution?

Photo by mathisa via DepositPhotos

I often wondered how far I am along the path of growth and evolution.

Just when I feel I’ve got something down, another aspect of my monkey mind jumps in and attempts to throw the puzzle pieces everywhere.

As cliche as it is, the journey of spiritual growth and personal development really can seem at times like a process of bumbling in the dark as we go two steps forward, one step back, wait where are we again?

What has been helpful for me over the years is remember genuine growth takes time, and that’s part of how it works. While I may desire to be further along or to feel more accomplished, it’s actually when I accept where I am that I’m better able to chart my course with more certainty, boldness, and consideration.

Introducing “MAITEM”

One of the frameworks I often share which helps to ground where I am along my journey of evolution and understanding is something I call MAITEM.

It stands for Mindful, Acceptance, Integration, Transformation, Experience, and Mastery. I’ve found these markers to be invaluable along my path of personal development as they provide the often windy process of conscious growth clear direction and structure.

To guide the flow of this article, I’ll be using the example of someone who wants to complete a 5K marathon.

The first step along any authentic path of growth is Mindful, or being aware of what’s happening for us and our desire for something more.

Here, we begin the process of facing ourselves and seeing where we are, rather than allowing ourselves to imagine where we think we are or where we’d like to be.

In the example of our marathon runner, the Mindful step is where they would assess their level of physical range and capacity. This might mean getting a physical from their doctor, coming up with clear, important reasons why they want to participate in the activity, and deciding if success looks like winning, competing, or simply…

Justin H. Lee

Human/Being • Expat in Asia • Connection Facilitator • Slightly Angsty • Writes on Mental Health, Relationship Dynamics, Man Stuff, and Heart-Forward Leadership