When we start something new, it can feel daunting and overwhelming ~ making it difficult to know where to begin. The same can be said for the beginning of a new year. No matter what we believe or how we might celebrate, there seems to be a collective energy focused around fresh beginnings.
Among many other aspirations I have for this coming year, I have recently decided to take my spiritual practice to a higher level. So, what does this mean? Will I have to spend more time in meditation and prayer? Is it about ritual or new practices? What is it I am looking for?
I am interested in strengthening my sense of connection to the Divine. I intend to feel a stronger sense of being guided ~ a more fine-tuned ability to receive the messages from my intuition. A clear channel to creativity and inspiration is something I wish to see established and nurtured in my life. To cultivate stronger faith is on the top of my list.
So, is it about stopping everything else in my life so that I can sit in stillness alone or can I find ways to tap into divine energy within my life as I live it? Can I learn to slow down inside while I continue to actively engage in my activities? How can I do this without making my spiritual practice separate from the rest of my life?
This really appeals to me. I have been a master at turning everything into a task. Adding one more item to the to-do list. And I have been regimented. Boy! Everything had its time and place.
Meditate at 6.
Walk at 6:30.
Journal at 8.
Nothing about that feels enlightened. I am tired of the boot-camp approach to life. I am longing for balance. I desire integration. I am looking for flexible structure.
In order to explore what it will mean for me to bring my spiritual practice to a higher level, I thought I would follow my own guidance and consult some of the Cardinal Truths associated with the Conscious Service Approach.
You are a Spiritual Master ~ Learn to Be
Now at first glance, it might seem like I’m advocating more time in silence and stillness ~ more time doing nothing. And that activity is valid. Research has shown us the benefits of meditative practice ~ being quiet ~ the gifts of simply stopping.
I’m talking about learning to be ~ even when you are in motion. Active engagement and connection to stillness within do not have to be exclusive states. We can learn to be in the moment without moving to change it.
Be present. Even in the midst of chaos, allow yourself to be within the experience.
Be engaged. Even as you connect with another, stay present to yourself. Observe who you are within the interaction. Watch your thoughts, your emotions, your feelings, and your perceptions.
Be yourself. Show up. Bring who you are in any given moment to your experience. To simply exist with your internal landscape means that you are not rushed to share it with anyone else. You simply witness what is happening.
When you are confused or facing a big decision, settle into the uncertainty. Be with your uneasiness. Show up for yourself.
Let me ask you something.
Are your beliefs life giving and supportive? Can you identify any destructive beliefs? Perhaps, these beliefs have served a purpose in the past, however, may no longer be useful. For example, the belief that one must work very hard to succeed could be instrumental in developing discipline in life. However, many years later, this same belief may also be supporting work-addicted behaviour. It is no longer serving a healthy purpose. This demonstrates the benefits of ongoing self-inquiry into your belief system.
What beliefs are most powerful for you at this time? What do you believe about yourself? What beliefs can you identify that drive your purpose in Service to others?
What values guide your life and your Service? How have your values changed over the course of your life? If you could choose one value right now to bring more fully into your life, what would that be? That’s a tough question.
Consider how your actions reflect your deepest beliefs and values. How do you behave in accordance with what you believe and what values you ascribe to? Where does your behaviour fall short? This inquiry can illuminate the areas of your life that you are motivated to bring into alignment.
If you are struggling with an inefficient ~ potentially destructive ~ belief pattern, you can begin to challenge it.
Let’s say you have always valued hard work. You believe that in order to be successful, you must go above and beyond in your level of productivity. This has served you well over the years allowing you to achieve many goals and create a sense of achievement in your life. However, recently, you are noticing that you no longer have the same drive to work at the level you had before. Does this mean that you can kiss success goodbye?
Is it possible that people can achieve immense success without working themselves into the ground? Are you willing to shake up that belief system? Is it possible that your values have shifted and you now see a space in your life for more fun and relaxation? Maybe, your very definition of success has changed and means something else to you entirely.
Our values and beliefs reside in the spiritual realm of responsibility which means that we can respond to any outdated systems by choosing to change the game. You can tell worn out beliefs and values that they no longer apply in your life anymore. You can put them on notice that things are about to change. You have decided to govern your life ~ your actions ~ your contributions through Service ~ through a brand new set of principles.
On the next episode of Serving Consciously airing on Friday January 12, 2018 at 12pm (PST), we will explore these concepts with a view to enhancing spiritual practice. The dawn of a New Year is the perfect time to establish and alter practices that can align us with all that we wish to create, achieve and experience in the next 12 months.
Join me to engage in a conversation about what it means to actually allow ourselves to be without stepping out of our lives ~ and what it means to take personal responsibility at the spiritual level. We
’ll share ideas and exercises to shed light on spiritual practices you can easily incorporate right away!
Tune in at www.ctrnetwork.com and click on Listen Live. Remember you can call in to share ideas or ask questions throughout the show at 1-844-390-8255.
Let’s get started!
How can your life become an expression of your spirituality?