Your spiritual journey begins with this first step: Opening your heart to a sincere desire to renew the spiritual vitality of your life. Since it is truly a responsive universe, if you are sincere and open to your heart’s intuition, you will begin to see signs that point you toward your next step. You will begin to notice where you are investing your spirit—where you are being drained and where you are receiving a return on your investment.
The spiritual journey is also one of knowing that you have inside you what you are looking for. It is not about earning or acquiring something you don’t already have or about finding another person to complete you. It is about awakening to the spirit within you.
Three simple keys will help you to weave your spiritual journey into your daily life:
Live your life wholeheartedly with as much conscious, loving presence as you can. Hold the intent that you can contribute to your own balance and bring a greater harmony to your own and others’ lives. Pay attention to where you are investing your energy and stop the “leaks” that cost you your spirit.
Understand that spiritual practice is a path of deep relationships within your life. Begin your day by recognizing how you are connected to your spiritual principles, your friends, your family, and so on. Our relationships provide a mirror to us of ourselves.
Have gratitude for the moments of “grace” that you experience daily. Don’t live your life waiting for something to happen so that you can start really living. Live your life fully right now in this moment and every moment. It will take conscious thought to do this. It will require that you respond rather than react to the events in your life and in your relationships. But, yes, it can be done.
Taken to heart, these simple steps can transform your life and allow you to “awaken your spirit within.”
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.
Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
How often do you focus on the present moment? How often on the past or the future? Did you know that all real power exists in the current moment because our lives are always unfolding in the present?
So being present is about bringing your body, mind, and spirit into full alignment with what is actually happening at this exact moment in time. While you may make visits to your past to remember events or ideas, your mind doesn’t live there. Equally, while you may consider and dream about the future, you don’t do so to avoid the present.
What role does your ego play in all this? Well, your ego is generally concerned with keeping the past alive since it holds your personal identity. It is also concerned with being sure the future will happen because the ego holds that you still have to “become” or somehow experience life fulfillment.
Each of us has a “story line” which is derived from our life events. Your story will tell you that you are not enough and usually perpetuates the need for striving while it most often lacks a view of yourself as divine consciousness. The story often separates you from the idea that you are a “whole” and worthy being. Your ego will not want you to give up your drama.
The key is not to let your story limit your life–not to let your perceptions about who and what you are based on your history to stifle your real living and personal growth.
One way to keep your “story” in check is to learn to hold a witness viewpoint and to be able to rise above your life circumstances and look at the bigger picture of it all. With this added view, you are then able to look at your reactionary behavioral patterns and make new choices about how you are being in your world. And most important, how you are being in this present moment.
The act of forgiving both yourself and others will also free you from the past while honoring your current life as “enough” will help you accept each moment as the gift that it truly is.
At varying times in our lives, we encounter life passages. I’m not convinced there is a specific age associated with this time in our lives as much as a state of consciousness as related to our circumstances.
When we arrive at a place in our psychological/spiritual development in which we begin to feel that our outer world may not be supporting our inner world, this causes us to pay attention and make changes.
During these passages, certain feelings may arise:
we may feel unfulfilled or bored;
we may find that we have unrealistic expectations;
we may have an overly negative attitude;
we may feel uninterested in our life situation;
we may have work or family difficulties that were not expected.
It is at these times that we are often ready for change or what has been termed a “rebirth.” Our old compasses may no longer work and the new compass needs to be held differently. It may be a time to revisit our intentions and goals in order to course correct.
Also, throughout our lifetime, we must recognize that things cannot stay the same. Part of life involves change and growth. How else are we to learn?
So we can ask ourselves some questions:
“How might I see or participate in my current circumstances differently?”
“What am I avoiding feeling or doing and how might I embrace this?”
“Am I willing to change, and if so, how?”
“What have I not yet ‘become’ and am I willing to embrace this now?”
What plan might I create for myself and how can I take my first step?”
As we then embrace this time, instead of resisting the feelings and circumstances, we can see it as a twist or turn on life’s path that takes us into new realms that can further our life lessons.
Do you sometimes catch yourself verbalizing thoughts that are self-defeating? Do you hope desperately for something yet limit what you think you deserve, thereby dividing yourself against yourself?
Or do you find yourself able to understand that your thoughts do, in fact, create your reality, yet still feel unable to move your awareness into any conscious action to change?
It is my view that awareness is the first step toward conscious living.
One must understand the dynamics of thought and how our thoughts create our reality. So how do you move through awareness into action? A necessary second step is willingness—that is, the willingness to hold consciousness in the moment toward what you wish to have or be.
For example, I may desire a more loving relationship with my spouse. My desire may not be congruent with my thoughts. Throughout the day, I may be lamenting that I do not have a loving relationship and focusing on the lack and the desire.
So what can you do to align your thoughts with the reality that you wish to create?
Begin to act as though you already are what and where you would like to be. Concentrate less on the behavior and more on your thoughts.
Stop yourself from verbalizing or thinking thoughts that are self-defeating. Bring your awareness back to the present and remind yourself that you are your thoughts.
Use the power of visualization to support your conscious thoughts.
See yourself manifesting what you desire. If you wish to be out of debt, visualize yourself out of debt. Add an affirmation that you repeat consciously each day: “I am free of debt” OR “I draw wealth to myself.” Choose words that resonate for you and that match your positive visualization.
Marvel at all the wealth you actually have—water, air, food, sun, clothes, shelter, friends, love, laughter. If you find yourself lamenting over what you do not have, remind yourself of two things you do have. A wonderful thing happens when you delight in how really wealthy you are—more and more of what you want and need flows to you.
Above all, be willing to do whatever it takes to make your visualization happen.
You may find it helpful to use the Heartliving mantra: “Ask the universe for what you need. Visualize yourself receiving it. Know that you will receive it. For you are worthy.”
We have all had those moments in our lives in which we relied on our “strength” to get us through.
I can recall numerous times when I needed to pull myself up and continue despite the pain I was experiencing, especially emotionally. I didn’t view myself as being strong. I simply did exactly what I needed to do to keep going, to be fully alive, and to honor my commitments to myself and others. For someone else, strength may involve enduring a painful relationship or even getting out of one.
Even those who have experienced horrific conditions, report having survived in part because they felt no one could take their spirit. It is as though the person locks into a life force reserve that guides them through the treacherous time. They are able to hold onto something beyond the current fear to a future vision of peace and safety.
“Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear.” –Ambrose Redmoon
Something beyond the fear guides us, allowing us to be both present yet a witness in the moment, attached to our safe outcome.
When you encounter difficult circumstances, how might you remain strong?
In moments when you know to your core that you belong or don’t belong, remain true to yourself;
Practice forgiveness, let go of the past, and focus on shared future;