What's keeping you from developing your spiritual side? It might be the belief that working on your spiritual self is impossible in today's modern w
But it's precisely today's modern world that calls more of us to develop spiritually. So how do we reconcile this?
I believe we must cast aside our notions of what it is to be a more spiritual person.
Here are some common myths that I have encountered:
Myth #1: to be spiritually-minded you must be vegan and avoid alcohol
Not so! Food gives us great pleasure. If we have a physical need to limit dairy, meat, or alcohol, then changing our diet makes sense. But not everyone does. And some spiritual traditions include wine and/or the occasional ceremonial use of natural mind-altering plants. Rather, I suggest we eat healthy and organic when possible and enjoy what we love in moderation, being mindful of any personal addictions. No judgment.
Myth #2: to be spiritually-minded you must rise early, sit on a cushion and spend at least an hour (or more) in meditation.
Not so! In fact, if this was required, there would be very few spiritual people in the world. I have great admiration for people that can do this, but I cannot. I have tried to rise before the sun and sit, but when I do, I fall asleep. I have realized that, meditative practice comes in many forms. No judgment.
Myth #3: to be spiritually-minded you must follow a guru.
Not so! I think many of us in the Western world are wary of gurus. Too many of them have been found guilty of the sins of their ego. I appreciate and look to several different spiritual teachers and practitioners, but will never have a guru. That's me. But no judgment.
Myth #4: to be spiritually-minded you must be religious.
Not so! Spirituality cannot be confused with religion. What is so beautiful about our modern world is that we now have access to different beliefs and practices that we never had before in human history. We can have a direct connection to the Divine, Co-Creative Spirit. There is no need for an intermediary. There is no need to follow one path. All roads lead to the same truth. No judgment.
Myth #5: to be spiritually-minded you must always be happy and at peace.
Not so! Although very spiritual people often convey a sense of happiness and peace, it is because they've worked really hard at staying in their center. The center is like the eye of the hurricane. It is peaceful and calm when all around is stormy! This is a great goal for our practice, however, we are human and can often be reactive to life situations. If we strive to be in our center, that is the goal. Again, no judgment.
Myth #6: to be spiritually-minded you have crossed the finish line.
There is no such thing as enlightenment, at least not an end point to enlightenment. There are moments where we may have glimpses of bliss, which may expand as we continue our spiritual practice, but there is no "there." The spiritual journey has no mountaintop or finish line. We are always on the journey. No judgment.
Myth #7: to be spiritually-minded leads to a boring life.
Not so! In fact, the more I develop my spirituality the more amazing and multi-dimensional this world becomes! When you start seeing the underlying patterns of reality and how we are all connected it is joyous and fascinating at the same time. Once you glimpse this, it's impossible to live the same way again! You see how negativity creates more negativity, and how being more loving and accepting, brings more of that into your life. You cannot help but see the world in a brighter and more expansive way. No judgment.
Myth #8: to be spiritually-minded is hard work.
Well, unfortunately, this one is true. But it's really a trade-off. Would you rather spend your energy on being mindful of your thoughts and actions and how they are influencing those around you? OR...Would you rather spend your energy on feeling like a victim of this or that and living a miserable, dark, dull life? I'd rather spread light into the world, than try to grab each light particle from another.
Basically, what these myths tell us is that we are still tied to the traditions of spirituality from the past -- spiritual practice as a cold, austere life. Most of us cannot live in a cave or monastery our entire lives. Right now, this world needs more people to develop spiritually and raise their consciousness as possible. And we need to live in the "real world" helping with real life issues and helping each other.
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