Whatever your religion or spirituality, most of us can agree there is some sort of unseen force in the world around us. Universal power, synchronicity, star signs, soul mates—there are so many facets of this force that we can explore. If you have already begun the shift from surface to purpose, you know that, like all changes in life, this isn't easy. In order to live a more conscious, awakened life, carry some of these tips forward for the curvy road ahead:
1. Be open to learning and leaving.
As you try to hone your spiritual side, not everything you learn about will resonate. Stay open to what is meant to come and what is meant to go, remembering that you'll probably need to release old beliefs and habits along the way. Remind yourself that "spirituality" isn’t some elusive destination. It's a journey of self-growth.
2. Remember that it's not a competition.
Don’t mistake the beginning of a spiritual journey for the starting blocks on a track. This is not a race, and you don't need to compare yourself to others along the way. Stay focused on your experiences, your emotions, your learning, and your expansion. Focus on what's inside.
3. Digest the lessons without resistance.
Slaying demons isn’t the work of spiritualists. It is easy to want to block or bury feelings of anger, but the real spiritual development comes when you learn how to sit with them. Dissect and digest your experiences, notice how you respond, and keep track of what triggers you. Then, what soothes you when you are triggered. Study yourself. Really explore everything you experience, and remind yourself that you are allowed to have any range of emotions. Welcome them.
4. Don't fear change.
The whole point of self-development and spiritual expansion is to evolve as a person. This means that along the way, you are allowed to change: Change your opinion, your beliefs, the way you spend your time and energy. In the end, such change is evidence of growth, so make peace with it.
5. Stay open to your tribe.
Like-minded souls will begin to show up. You’ll discover people who read the same books, try out the same classes, or follow the same teachers that you do. Talk to them. Spend time with them. Teach each other. Support each other. Acknowledge them when your spiritual paths cross. Be grateful for all your teachers, the gurus, the counsel, the bully, the muse. They all have something to offer you.
6. Always search for the lesson in everything.
At the end of the day, spirituality is simply about developing a deep understanding of yourself. With this deeper understanding comes great compassion, joy, kindness, and gratitude. When you see the lesson in every experience, the story in every emotion you feel, you begin to become aware of the lessons hiding in our everyday experience. You become responsible for being the best version of you.
So, here you are at the start. You’ve shown up to the school of life, open-minded, ready to learn, and set to explore everything that you are as a human being. Ditch the judgment, part ways with competitiveness, and simply focus on your path, your experiences, and your emotions.
Find out what one M.D. has to say about the power of spiritual practices here.