Do you ever pause and wonder why you have a spiritual practice? Or why being on a spiritual path is important for you and for the world?
We are all spiritual beings. It’s always good to remind ourselves of this.
We are spiritual beings who have come to earth and are living an earthly life.
But, being on a spiritual path during our earthly life is really a choice. A choice we each make, in freedom.
Coming into the World
When you’re born, you come into the world in a state of wonder and innocence in the world. You still have a strong connection to the Divine, as you did before coming to the earth.
Your next several years are learning how to be in the world and live on the earth. How to use your body, interact with the world, relate to other people. You learn to think, feel, and act.
Becoming an Individual
Over time, you become more of an individual with your own ideas and thoughts and ways of being in the world. Your spiritual connection often diminishes the more you become skilled and competent on this earthly plane. You feel more comfortable functioning in the world on your own and may even feel confident and successful in your life.
At this point, your life can continue to become self-centered, where you want to acquire more material items, money, status, or power. Or you may lose yourself in the life of others – spouse or children, expecting something more in return for your sacrifice.
Search for Meaning and Purpose
If you have even a glimpse of consciousness or awareness around this time, you begin to look for deeper meaning and purpose in life. Who am I? Why am I here? Why are we alive and on earth? What is the purpose of our lives?
You may decide to start helping others because you feel that is more meaningful than just serving yourself. As you do, you recognize your giving can become selfless, not for recognition or reward, but out of love and compassion for the other. You start to see how your life could have a purpose.
Creating a Spiritual Practice
Around this time in your life, you may begin a regular spiritual practice as you long for deeper meaning and wisdom in understanding this purpose in life. You may meditate, study spiritual texts, and engage in other contemplative practices. This is a conscious choice that you make for further spiritual growth, a path that not everyone follows in life.
But, if you do, and stay with a regular practice, you begin to awaken. You start to have insight into the whole of the Cosmos and your part in the whole. You realize this lifetime is just one part of the bigger whole of who you are in the Universe.
Discovering Unity and Harmony
Continue on your spiritual path and soon you experience there is no longer separation between you and the Universe, only oneness. You begin to function in the world in total harmony with nature. Your actions become effortless and harmonious in the world. You begin to experience your True Self and tap into Divine Consciousness with an open connection to a flowing Cosmic Energy.
At many points along this path of awakening, there are moments of choice- for further spiritual development or further attachment to self and the material world. Do I choose truth or illusion? Material or eternal?
Staying disciplined and regular in your spiritual practice at this time will support your growth on this journey. Yet, it’s wise to not waste your energy on being discouraged if you falter or wander off this path! Just return once again and take up the work with deeper awareness of the purpose of the path.
Soon you’ll experience there are no longer choices. There’s an inner quiet and light. Unity and oneness. Total freedom.
You’ll no longer experience yourself as a victim in the world. You experience the deeper truth about the world and your True Being.
Experiencing Inner Peace
When you surrender again and again, you begin to experience states of peace – inner peace. This brings you a great strength, as you no longer are controlled or manipulated. You have found an inner peace or, one might say, state of enlightenment.
This energy of peace radiates outward into the world. So that your own spiritual growth, your own evolution in the world, serves all of humankind.
By reaching these higher states of being within ourselves, we become a healing presence in the world. Healing ourselves, we heal the world.
“We can never obtain peace in the outer world
until we make peace with ourselves.” Dalai Lama
Interested in more support on your spiritual journey? Check out my Free Healing Library on my website at Doctor of the Soul. Click here to become a member.
There are moments in my life when I haven’t felt fully confident in myself. I’m sure most people feel like this from time to time.
Sometimes, old stories and negative voices from our past sabotage us.
Sometimes, we have fear and anxiety about putting ourselves out there in the world – vulnerable to judgment and criticism.
Sometimes, we just feel weak and anything but courageous.
When I’m in this place, I love to bring an image of the Hindu goddess, Durga, to mind.
She’s invincible and powerful, the protective Mother of the Universe.
She emerged from the powerful and fierce light of the great Goddess as a divine woman with one thousand arms - both beautiful and ferocious. In each hand, she carries a weapon that was given to her as a gift from the gods. Armed with the multitude of weapons, she mounts and rides her tiger that roars so loudly that the heavens and earth tremble.
I hold this image of Durga, and even chant a mantra invoking her as I remember the 5 tips noted below. This helps me to step into my own power with confidence. You can access a recording of this mantra by becoming a member of my Free Healing Library. Click here to become a member.
You can do this too when you need a boost to your self-confidence and it’ll help you be able to shine your light into the world! You’ll feel empowered, powerful, and strong. You’ll be able to take up actions with courage.
Doubts, insecurities, and criticisms will start to melt.
You’ll align with your True Self. You’ll embrace all that you are.
Here are 5 tips to help you give your self-confidence a boost when you need it most.
1. Be mindful of those negative voices in your head! If they’re making awful comments about you or your abilities, change that tune. As soon as you notice the negative voices, stop them, fill yourself with compassion for YOU, and shift those voices to positive, kind, compassionate words.
“Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.” Lao Tzu
2. Spend a few moments sending love to yourself. Imagine warm, golden light in your heart. Feel this light warm and expand your heart. Feel it reach out beyond your heart and encompass your whole being. Speak those compassionate and kind words to yourself in your head. Do this every morning or several times throughout the day, as needed.
3. Seek those in your community who can support and encourage you. Maybe these are your close friends or maybe a support group with a specific focus. Find those who can give you encouraging and positive feedback.
4. Shift your posture. Sometimes when inwardly we don’t feel very confident, we can shift our soul mood by shifting our physical body. Stand in a posture that speaks confidence to you. Maybe legs apart a little, hands on hips. Or sitting upright, leaning forward. Relax your face, breathe deeply, and smile. Hold the posture that you experience as CONFIDENCE for a couple minutes. This helps to shift your mood to one with more inner power and confidence.
5. Leave the rest to the Divine. After you’ve done the work that you can, simply turn it over to the Divine. The Divine has wonderful ways of supporting us and moving us along our journey in life, as long as we put forth our own effort. So, offer it up to the Divine for further guidance. Trust that Divine support will come to you. Say a prayer out loud. Here is one of my favorites from the 12 Step Tradition: "God, I offer myself to Thee, to build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt. Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will. Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to those I wold help of Thy Power, Thy Love, and thy way of life. May I do Thy will always!" (Alcoholics Anonymous, page 63)
Interested in more? Check out my Free Healing Library, including a mantra for Durga on my website at Doctor of the Soul. Click here to become a member.
This week, as I’ve seen the beauty of the sun shining on the sparkling white snow resting in the branches of the evergreen trees, I’m reminded of a favorite Navajo Prayer Song about beauty.
Now I Walk in Beauty
Now I walk in beauty
Beauty is before me
Beauty is behind me
Above and below me
Beauty’s easy to see in the world when we look at something like the sun shining upon the glistening snow or a palm tree sway in the breeze over turquoise waters
But what about on a gray overcast day when you’re not feeling particularly energetic and enthusiastic about life? And there seem to be many problems that you’re facing at the moment.
How do we find the beauty in the world then?
I’ve learned, in my life, that this is the most important time to see the beauty in the world. Even though it may be hard.
When we do find the beauty – either see the beauty that is already there or create beauty in our lives - it’s like healing salve to our soul.
It helps us not get bogged down by our difficulties.
It brings us a sense of peace and joy in our day and in our lives.
Take a moment and consider the beauty that is all around you right now. Maybe the dazzling color of a blooming flower or the crackling flames of a fire in a fireplace. Maybe a soothing song you heard on the radio.
Consider the beauty you create in your life too. The beauty of a meaningful encounter with a loved one that ends with a warm smile. The beauty of a nutritious salad you just made for lunch brimming with fresh produce with all the colors of the rainbow.
Taking time to become mindful of the beauty in your life can help you to….
2. Awaken gratitude – When we become aware of the beauty in our lives, it awakens our sense of gratitude for all that we have. And,
we know how beneficial this is to our personal growth and our health.
3. Be in the present moment – When you pause to see and recognize the beauty around you right now, you come into the present
moment. You set aside your thoughts about the past and about the future and become mindful of what is in the present in your life.
4. Cultivate a mood of calm, peace, and joy – Noticing the beauty in the present moment, automatically slows us down. We breathe
deeper, feel warmed within, and smile. A wave of peace and joy washes over us.
5. Express your love and care for yourself and others – Beauty in the form of actions such as a vase of flowers set lovingly on a table,
a tidy kitchen, a warm smile, or a handwritten note all express love and care for either yourself or others.
What beauty can you find around you right now?
How can you bring beauty into your life more?
Interested in more? Check out my Free Healing Library on my website at Doctor of the Soul.
It’s the beginning of February. How are your New Year’s resolutions going? This is the time that most people lose their enthusiasm for their resolutions, and let them fall by the wayside. How are you doing?
Have you considered not creating resolutions, but life goals for yourself?
Ones that you’re passionate about and are committed to reach in your lifetime. Ones that you feel help you become your best self.
That’s what I prefer to do!
Do you have goals for your spiritual growth such as regular meditation or another similar practice? What about time to discover your own creative expression of who you are and who you are becoming?
And how about your own self-care – nutritious food, adequate sleep, movement?
Any financial or career goals you’d like to achieve? And relationship or family goals?
“The first step to getting anywhere is deciding you are not willing to stay where you are.” -John Assaraf
Here are 5 steps that’ll help you unlock your inner power and be on your way to reaching any goals you have for your life!
Sometimes we also think of our goals in a negative light such as Don’t stay up so late at night. Don’t eat sugar. Instead, create goals that are specific and in the positive: I take care of myself by going to bed by 10pm each night. I eat healthy meals that support my well-being with only natural sweetener on occasion.
2. Write down your goals in the present tense with a detailed action plan. Choose only a few goals at a time. The most important ones that you truly are passionate about. Write them down. This makes them real to you and strengthens your commitment to each one.
Write them in the present tense so you can live into already having achieved this goal.
Create a detailed action plan for each one that leads you through the steps to success.
Goal in present tense: I care for myself through exercising regularly 4 times each week for at least 30 minutes each time.
Action plan: I do yoga each M and Th from 4-5pm. I run for 40 minutes each W and Sat. at 3pm.
3. Review your goals regularly. Review your action plan briefly each day and check on your progress. This will keep you motivated!
Maybe even record yourself stating your goals and action plan and listen to it daily if that is easiest for you.
Review your plan at the end of the week. How’s it going? What milestones can you celebrate?
Take time to celebrate your accomplishments, no matter how small! This will help you to stay committed and on your path to success.
Your desire to change must be greater than your desire to remain the same. -John Assaraf
4. Be patient. Remember changing your habits and mindset takes time. Sometimes several months. Be patient and kind to yourself, while still using self-discipline to keep yourself on the path to success.
Don’t get hung up on small missteps and badger yourself with negative voices of failure. Celebrate your successes, adjust a goal or an action plan that appears to be unrealistic or too far out of reach, as needed. Then continue forward with positivity and passion.
5. Ask for spiritual guidance. Don’t forget to offer up your goals to your spirit guides and ask for support. Be open and attentive to receiving in quiet moments such as meditation, but also in the course of your usual day. Support may come in surprising ways!
Interested in more guidance in creating your life goals? Schedule an individual session with me at Doctor of the Soul
I was born in London, England, educated in Switzerland, and am fluent in English, German, Spanish, and French. I hold a Doctorate in Ministry Degree and Masters Degrees in Counseling Psychology and Education. Also, I am an accomplished artist and educator. I use all of this and much more when helping others heal their souls.