Spiritual Growth 2

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Spiritual growth involves growth on 3 levels – the physical/earthly level, the psychological/consciousness level and the Spiritual level.

The Psychological/Consciousness Level:

There is so much for us to learn and to understand about this level and once we take it on we will begin to realise what causes our suffering and how we can heal.  We will begin to realise that we can learn through deepening our understanding rather than from the school of hard knocks – where we learn through suffering – repeating the same old lessons over and over.

The first two major lessons on this level are personal power and self love and worth. Developing personal power is about taking charge of yourself and all your energies; choosing the thoughts you allow into your mind and those you don’t allow, understanding that we become what we think about all day long. When we first become more aware of our thoughts we see how negative they are so much of the time, generally fear-based and full of negative expectations. When we desire, and work, to fill our minds and hearts with spiritual, positive, love-based, joyful thoughts then this is the energy we are carrying around with us and radiating out to the world and this is what we experience more and more of in our lives.

Developing self love and worth is also essential to our psychological and Spiritual health. Your relationship to yourself is the most important relationship in your life because if you don’t love yourself it affects all your relationships – you are constantly seeking love, affirmation, security, approval, from others, from outside yourself, and this is not where it is.  When you learn to love yourself then you come into relationship with others as a whole being, rather than a part who believes that what you need is outside of yourself and your whole existence depends on you getting this. Others can never satisfy our love and security needs. We must first learn to love ourselves.

You first need to make the choice to love yourself – understanding and continually reminding yourself that you are a Soul, you are divine, you are love. You are not that lowly worm, not good enough, separate, trying to fit in, always under threat. Always speak to yourself as you would to a best friend. Your critical inner parent will focus on the little part you didn’t do so well and give you a hard time. Replace that pattern with an inner parent who is very focused on what you are doing well and points these out and then with the bit that needs improving you choose to improve and work out a plan to help yourself with this. Love and firmness, gratitude and acknowledgement of victories – are all essential to learning to love yourself. Never give yourself a hard time or speak in a critical, harsh way to yourself – these faulty habits just have you feel unlovable and unworthy and that is illusion.

 

Seeing Opportunity not Problem

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We have the choice to feel a victim of our challenges or to focus on the opportunity they bring and learn from them. This takes a huge shift in our thinking.

When we rail against what happens, complain about it, look for someone or something to blame for it – we increase our feelings of powerlessness and stress.

When we say thank you for the challenge and seek to understand the opportunity in it, we discover strengths, power and resources in us that we never realised we had.

Our automatic reaction to something that upsets us is to struggle against it and see it as unfair. It takes practice to change our attitude to seeing the experience as teaching us.

Even the little things that irk us – they are our teachers.

Most of the time we are repeating the same old experiences over and over because we keep reacting to them in the same old way. Einstein put it this way “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Every time you experience conflict or disharmony within you, this is telling you to examine your thoughts, beliefs, attitudes, interpretations. Take your focus away from the other person or the situation. Stop the replay of what happened – which only serves to increase your negative thoughts and feelings. Instead, take your journal as soon as you can and write about why this is upsetting you and what it is teaching you.

Just think, everything is teaching us exactly what we need to learn. With this attitude we are owning our power and taking charge. We are increasing our understanding, using our minds, thinking creatively and thinking solutions. It is so different. We are beginning to heal the disharmony we live in so much of the time.

Next time something upsets you, big or small, take a deep breath and try saying thank you and thinking about what it is teaching you.

Two Ways of Thinking

There are only two ways of thinking – positively or negatively. There are no neutral thoughts.

Thoughts are either positive and spiritual or negative, separative and fear-based.

Negative thoughts drain your energy and keep you stuck.

When you observe a negative thought come into your mind, choose to connect with your personal power and deny that thought and choose a positive, spiritual thought instead.

Positive Spiritual thoughts increase love, joy and connection.  They uplift us and inspire and motivate us and keep us moving forward.

 

It takes personal power to …

It takes personal power to be true to thine own self and to stand in your truth.

It takes personal power to stop the drama of feelings and use your mind to analyse them so that they don’t run you.

It takes personal power to be disciplined and make time to meditate, to journal, to learn and grow on your Spiritual path.

It takes personal power to be discerning and think about things and not just go along with the general opinion.

It takes personal power to attune daily to your soul and Spirit and choose to live your life in service of love and truth and not the ego.

 

 

More ways to use Personal Power

It takes personal power to take responsibility for your own reactions and to take time to understand the cause of the upset in you.

It takes personal power to be honest about your own negative thoughts and feelings so you can clear them and choose differently.

It takes personal power to stop procrastinating and get clear about what you need to do and take positive action.

It takes personal power to think about why you may be experiencing low energy at any time and think about what changes you can make, in your diet and in yourself, to increase your energy.

It takes personal power to love yourself no matter what and to forgive yourself for your mistakes and to praise yourself, being determined to keep to keep learning and growing.

 

 

Personal Power in Action

When I am owning my personal power I understand that my thoughts create my feelings and my reality and what I attract and repel in my life. I need to be in charge and conscious.

Personal Power is about being a leader over self and in society – mastering your energies in service of a Divine purpose.

We have the choice to give our negative thoughts and emotions free reign and to suffer the ongoing consequences or to choose to think positive spiritual thoughts and experience the feelings such thoughts create. This demands personal power.

Personal power is about caring and being involved in making changes that serve the greater good.  This power is in each one of us.

Personal power means that I take responsibility for my own reactions and learn from my mistakes and keep learning, growing and discovering.

 

 

The Cause of Suffering  

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This is an interesting one to think about. Most people believe that the cause of their suffering is outside of themselves.  The truth is that it is our thoughts, beliefs and attitudes that cause our suffering.

Yes hard and challenging things do happen to us but the suffering comes from how we respond or react.
Life is a tough school, there is no doubt about that, but we can choose to learn from what happens.  When we don’t learn, we just end up repeating the same suffering over and over.
You learn from experiences when you accept that everything is a challenge and opportunity to grow and not a bummer, bad, wrong.
When we see things as problems we give them a negative charge and make them much harder.
When we struggle against what is happening we increase the pain in it.
Feelings take over.

It is a very different experience when we accept that everything is teaching us something that we need to learn.
The key is to accept what has happened and take a little space from it.  Then think about it and write about it in terms of challenge and opportunity.  Part of your mind will want to ridicule this idea but persist and stay with it. Think about why this is challenging for you.  What is it you fear?  What is it you want and what do you not want? Focus and get very clear.
Your feelings will want to get rattled but use your mind to keep clear and keep learning.  Your mind is your most powerful tool.  Feelings connect us and we need to listen to them but not to let them take over and be run by them.  This is what happens for so many people and in so many situations.
When you see it as teaching you something you need to learn, then you can choose how to respond and you can think in terms of solutions and discovery.
Lessons and challenges teach us all kinds of things such as patience, unconditional love, forgiveness, personal power, non attachment, to stay centred, to choose love instead of fear, courage.
However, first and foremost, lessons are teaching us to realise that we are Divine and not just physical bodies and personalities going through life and making do.  Life is a Spiritual path.
 
Photo thanks to John Rossiter