Friday, July 25, 2014

Searching For Your Spiritual Path? You're Already On It.

In my last post, I wrote that spirituality is about our personal relationship with the energy of the Universe, whether you call it God, the Tao, Great Spirit, Physics, Law of Attraction, or Source. Trips to foreign lands or to a guru are not necessarily required to explore this relationship (unless that is supremely appealing to you). Spirituality begins with us, where we are, in the moment. And it's up to us to nurture this relationship in ways that encourage and promote our well-being and growth. Of course, there are many ways to do this; it's a matter of finding what resonates with you.

As we awaken to our spiritual nature, life takes on new meaning and things begin to happen in inexplicable, mysterious, even miraculous ways. We begin to see things differently as our awareness expands beyond the trappings of our ego. We come to "know" things that can not be quantified or fully explained. There is a surety to this inner knowing that can not be shaken. It's the kind of surety that made martyrs out of some of Jesus' followers.

Years ago when I traveled to Israel, I was baptized in the Jordan River, the same river in which Jesus was baptized by his cousin, John the Baptist. No dove descended from the heavens. No voice announced, "This is Penny, in whom I am well-pleased." I felt...nothing -- even though others cried with happiness, raised their arms in praise, or were "slain in the spirit" as they convulsed on the ground. This experience didn't resonate spiritually with me.

What did resonate with me was realizing that whatever spiritual path I was to follow, it wasn't going to be the same as everyone else's, and that was okay. I found immediate comfort, freedom, and relief in that realization. I knew there was more, whatever that more was, and something deep inside was driving me to explore it.

The spiritual path, while accessible to all of us, is different for everyone. But, searching for you particular spiritual path is irrelevant because you are already walking it, being the spiritual being that you are. It may not seem spiritual to some, but that is because they may have a skewed perception of what spirituality is and what the path entails. Every action you take moves you forward on your particular path, even when it feels like you are going backwards.

What can you expect on the path? Each experience is unique to the individual. The lessons you learn on your path may not be the lessons I learn on mine, though we may share similar experiences.

There is no "normal" when it comes to spirituality; we have the freedom to believe and practice whatever we choose. As we awaken (return) to our natural state of spirituality, we release the need to judge other wisdom traditions and religions that exist today. We realize that are all on the same journey; we're just taking different roads to get there. There is no "right" or "wrong" way, and Spirit will call you to what is best for you. Spirit expresses Itself in unique and different ways, and you just happen to be one of those expressions. Trust the path that you are on because it is leading you to the highest expression of yourself.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Not Sure If You're Spiritual?

If you think taking a trip to India or seeking a guru is needed to live a spiritual life, think again.

Spiritual living is accessible to all of us simply because we all are spirit.

Spirituality is our personal relationship with the energy of the Universe. It is not religion; it doesn't mean following a specific set of "rules" to reach "enlightenment." Spirituality arises from deep within. It's when you come to know that there is much more to life than what is; and even though you can't fully articulate it, you have felt it affirmed many times. It just is, and it is not reserved only for those who have had some kind of awakening or who are the most zen.

Call it Source. Call it God. Call it Universal Intelligence. Whatever we choose to call it, when we get in touch with this spiritual side, we find ourselves living more harmoniously with others, our environment, nature, and much more. Life begins to flow in magical ways. Even a trip to the local supermarket can turn into an enlightening experience.

It's not about how to become more spiritual, but knowing that you already are. We naturally call spirituality into our lives. Many of us don't realize that we are doing it.

Ever look up into the expanse of night and feel nothing but awe under a sky peppered with millions of stars, wondering what set all of this into motion?

Ever help someone in need because you were moved to help, without expecting anything in return?

Ever been guided by your intuition, only to find out that it spared you from some kind of danger?

Ever felt the power of forgiveness?

Ever felt compelled to seek the truth in situations?

Ever become so absorbed in a creative endeavor that time didn't matter, and hours passed by in what seemed like minutes?

If so, then you have felt your spiritual energy in action. It's moments like these that demonstrate your connection with a powerful, inexplicable source of energy and life. It's a connection that is always there, whether you are aware of it or not.

Acknowledge it. Explore it. Embrace it. Honor it. Spirituality is our natural state.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

The Great State Of Appreciation

Whenever someone asks me what state I am from, I say "the great state of appreciation."

I often get quizzical looks.

What is appreciation?

It's the intention to live with gratitude in our daily life.

It's the conscious acknowledgement of the value within and around us.

It's the willingness to notice all that is good in our lives.

And it's the desire to experience all of life with this attitude.

Appreciation is where real pleasure comes from, and it is a dynamic magnetic energy that when activated and when really felt will bring bliss to your everyday life. The more you feel it, the more you create because that which you focus on will expand in your life. Universal Law does not budge on this point.

Underneath all positive emotions is the state of appreciation. Likewise, behind all negative emotions is some sort of dissatisfaction or fear. Here's a test: Do you consciously seek to enjoy the present moment, seeing value and worth and giving gratitude for what you already have, or do you look around at your life and constantly see everything that is missing? Understand that whichever state you are in, your attitude affects both your consciousness and your energy. You are either filtering everything through an awareness of abundance or of lack. And as mentioned previously, the energy you give is the energy you get.

We can't experience joy without appreciation. To shift from a state of dissatisfaction, discontentment, or fear to a state of appreciation requires a shift in perception. This means taking responsibility for your own happiness by harnessing your power of choice to cultivate your appreciation.

How?

Search for things to be grateful for throughout your life and deep within yourself. Write them down in a notebook or journal. Big things. Little things. Do this in the morning when you arise and in the evening before you fall asleep. Your willingness and participation in this activity is part of your consciousness and energy production. Cherishing the simple things will magnetize an abundance of joy. Whenever you get lost in the stress of everyday life, read over this list to remind you of all that you have to be grateful for.

You can also use (or create your own) visualization techniques. Take a few deep breaths to relax your body and mind and imagine your problem (as a bird or a cloud or smoke) floating away to the Light for healing and transformation. Use whatever imagery feels best for you. As you continue to relax, think about something you appreciate. It could be a memory, a person, a place. Visualize all the details and immerse yourself in the center. Allow yourself to feel the peace and joy that this imagery brings. Stay with it and feel that resonance. As you do, you open your heart to receiving more.

When you live by filtering everything through a genuine sense of appreciation, you create a highly attractive vibration to which the Universe will respond. Your energy of gratitude will only attract more to appreciate in the future.

As you appreciate your life, the value of your life appreciates, too.