Making the decision to embark on a spiritual path is hopefully done with a healthy amount of deliberation and intuitive guidance. However, with the overwhelming number of choices we have available to us today and the waning of ancestral wisdom in mainstream Western culture, the possibility exists that we may sally forth down a road which presents dis-empowering concepts and inaccuracies. In the spirit of advocating for personal power and responsibility, this post is distilled from comments and feedback from my readers. Thanks to everyone who wrote and commented on my Facebook page!
1) Spiritual growth is all airy-fairy, rainbow-farting unicorns and the like. In other words, it’s all light/positive, no negative/shadow. This couldn’t be further from the truth. To grow as whole beings, to blend the spiritual and the material and all that lofty stuff, we must acknowledge ALL that is within us. We must face the dark parts, the parts where despair and heartbreak exert an iron-like hold. Integrating this part of ourselves is some of the most difficult work we can do, but the rewards are vast.
2) One-size-fits-all. You must meditate, say this affirmation, burn this incense, create a vision board, etc., ad infinitum… to get the result/outcome you want. No. What works for that chill dude over there may or may not work for you. My suggestion would be to examine your intention. Clarify your goal. Customize your spiritual discipline for you and only you.
3) Spirituality isn’t practical. Nope again. The only way spirituality works is for it to be put to practical use. Use that shit everyday. How? Monitor your thoughts and work on eliminating negative thought patterns. When you’re out in the world, remember that everyone you meet is struggling inside with something. Treat them like a human being, even when (especially when!) they fail to treat you as such. Caveat: don’t be a doormat. See? Tricky!
4) Meditating is a must and it takes years to master. Not necessarily. The thing to remember here is to use the method of meditation that you need at this point in your life. This may require some testing of various types of meditation, of which there are many. Have a look at this article for suggestions.
5) Alternative spiritual practices are not “from god” or are “pagan, heathen” yadda yadda. Hmm… well, so what if they’re pagan, heathen, agnostic, Hindu etc? And as for being “from god”, that denotes a Judeo-Christian perspective, which in and of itself is neither good nor bad. It’s just that, a perspective. Like all the other perspectives of the 7-plus billion unique souls here on Earth. If you are developing a connection with your higher self, divine source, creator, god or whatever you choose to call it and you are taking personal responsibility for your creations; if you are practicing loving kindness in your daily life, you’re off to a good start.
6) To be “spiritual” is to eschew financial abundance and ignore/demonize money. Arrgh! There is so much that can be discussed regarding money and spirituality and covering it fully is beyond the scope of this little blog. Remember this: money is a medium of exchange and energetically, it is neutral. It’s what we do with it that gives it a positive or negative charge.
This list could go on and on but I must stop here for brevity’s sake. What are your thoughts? What are some misguided ideas you’ve encountered regarding spiritual growth and development?
Until next time,
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Sara Martin: Soul Transformer, Creatrix, Teacher.