If you’re like me, you value self-study, and when you have an interest in a topic, rather than listen to someone tell you about it, you dive right in to learn something new about the subject and yourself. Spiritual study is a process of deepening our understanding of Universal Spiritual Principles and practices that can improve our lives.
Many of us come to spirituality after a disorienting personal experience. We stumbled into a path to awakening. The last few years have presented each of us with our share of disorienting experiences; Covid, political unrest, and social and racial inequities have given pause to how we function as individuals and as a species. Relationships shifted, and many of us knew fleeing to our old ways of handling our lives would not fill the places where we felt alone. The challenges have pushed many of us to ask some difficult questions.
Perhaps we discovered we lost ourselves in a relationship, and they ended, or we found ourselves struggling with mental health challenges, and we sought therapy for the first time in our lives. Or it could be that our physical health was compromised, and we had to face making hard choices about where we could go and who we could see. Perhaps we bumped up against money challenges making us feel powerless. During the last few years, the depths of despair have made many of us think that our lives will never be the same again. When our self-expression is blocked, and we lose the ability to ignite our passions, it brings us closer to a feeling of despair and a fear that our dreams will never be achieved.
The challenges are many, but I know if you’re like me, and I think you are, we desire to face our deep fear “that there isn’t any reason to get excited about life anymore” and courageously begin a new chapter. At this point, we have choices about how we want to live and start to engage in the deep work of reevaluating the meaning of life. Whether it is the state of the world, money, relationships, health, or self-expression, we always have a choice about how we respond. Those who identify as spiritual but not religious acquired an inner sense of the unity of all of life. We intuitively recognize that there is more to life than what we can see, hold, or touch. There is a sense of an invisible aspect of life. Maybe we call it by a name, Spirit, the Christ, atman, Buddha, Allah, or scores of other words.
I like the Science of Mind and Spirits phrase that describes this omnipresence by referring to it as “The Thing Itself.” It encompasses the idea that Spirit is in everything. Spirit is defined in the dictionary as “Breath.” When we take a moment to watch and listen, we can feel all of life as a breathing and moving organism.
Committing to spiritual study and practices is more accessible than one might think. The first step is to be willing. I love Maria Nemeth, Ph.D., as she shares in her book “Mastering Life’s Energies” by reminding us to affirm, “Nevertheless, I am willing.”
It reminds me to stay in the practice of centering on myself, leaning into the Thing Itself, and making the right choices for my life. Some practices that ancient traditions and the modern spiritual seeker use are Visioning, Meditation, Visualization, Affirmative Prayer, and Journaling. When we think of beginning an exploration of our inner journey and starting a spiritual study, our willingness is essential. Unlike many activities in life, exploring and creating a spiritual practice needs to include two additional powerful elements. The first is choice; no one will be looking over our shoulders to make sure we are doing our practice. The other is curiosity, a deep interest in learning how to unlock what is blocking you from claiming and experiencing all the Joy, Beauty, Freedom, Love, and Prosperity in your lives.
Some of the most effective spiritual tools available to us share a common theme of cultivating a relationship with the invisible, reminding us to enter the still place within us. The area that knows no past and isn’t concerned with a future self not yet birthed.
Living in the moment, not with a blind eye to the world’s suffering, but a comprehensive vision that sees more than we alone see. This ability to walk with eyes wide open is key to our spiritual development. Intuitively, knowing we are not walking blindly and are following the right path. As spiritual beings, we must be willing to embark on our individual and unique journeys to self-discovery. The new horizon only awaits our acceptance of the invitation.
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