Tag Archives: Religion & Spirituality

Nurturing Yourself

15 Jul

Do we love and appreciate ourselves?  If we don’t love ourselves, we will sabotage our own spiritual, emotional and professional progress.  We won’t allow ourselves to go higher simply because we don’t believe we are capable or worthy of going higher.  This spiritual malady (often reinforced by misguided parents, peers, authority figures and even the media) will infect us with the false belief that we don’t deserve that fulfilling job, that meaningful relationship, that beautiful home or even those exalting spiritual experiences that we need and deserve.  In addition, if we don’t love ourselves, we will short-circuit our ability to give love and to receive love.  In fact, we may fail, whether consciously or unconsciously, just to prove that we are unworthy.

“Not only does this unconscious self-hatred get in the way of expressing love, it also interferes with receiving love,” writes Dr. Harville Hendrix.  “You cannot feel worthy of accepting love if you unconsciously hate yourself or even hate some parts of yourself.”  Those who are spiritually inclined tend to hold high standards for themselves and to be overly critical of themselves.  They also tend to be extremely sensitive to what others say.  While we should be realistic about area in our life where we need to improve, we also have to be realistic about the nature of life and spirituality.  Life is a path, and spirituality is a process.  Today we are not who we were yesterday, just as we are not now who we will be tomorrow.

When we deal with children, we know that they are engaged in a continual process of growth and refinement, and we don’t criticize them if they make a mistake.  Yet we don’t always translate that process into our adult life and treat our soul in the same way.   The soul is our inner child, still in the process of refinement, still unfolding her full potential.  No matter what our inner child is experiencing now, we can love our soul as she walks the path of becoming whole.  For what’s most important is not how far we still have to go but whether we are fully engaged in the process. Can we listen to what our heart tells us is the next step on our path and take it?

If you want to empower your heart, start by listening to what your heart says you need at that moment.  It could be anything from stopping to smell the flowers to getting a back rub to exploring a career change.  Listening to our heart is empowering because its the first step to taking responsibility for our own needs.  “If you want love, take the time to listen to your heart,” advises author and Buddhist meditation teacher Jack Kornfield.  “In most ancient and wise cultures. it is a regular practice for people to talk to their hearts…In the heart of each of us, there is a voice of knowing, a song than can remind us of what we most value and long for, what we have known since we were a child.”

Sometimes we deny the voice of our heart.  We think that taking care of our own needs is selfish.  But when we take care of our own needs, we are recharging our spiritual and physical reserves so that we in turn can give more to others.  If we don’t nurture ourselves, we can’t really value and nurture others.  Jesus said, “Love thy neighbor as thyself–in other words, love your neighbor as you would love yourself.

Love is, above all,

the gift of oneself

-Jean Anoulh

 

Practical Spirituality

11 Jun

At one time or another we have all had a peak spiritual experience, whether we’ve called it that or not.  How do we sustain that inner peace?  How do we endow our relationships, our family life and our work with a spiritual spark?  How do we tap our inner resources to handle stress and overcome blocks to our creativity?  How do we make spirituality practical?

What does it mean to live a spiritual life, and what is spirituality?  The word spirit comes from the Latin spiritus, meaning “breath,” “breath of a god,” or “inspiration.”  Spirituality is to the soul what breath of life is to a newborn child.  Spirituality infuses you with life.  It gives you peace and purpose.  It empowers you to love and nourish yourself and others.  Spirituality is being able to sustain a working relationship with Spirit. It doesn’t matter whether you call that spiritual fount the Christ or the Buddha, the Tao or Brahman.  We can all get in touch—stay in touch—with the universal power of Spirit by working with that relationship.

WHO AM I?

You are a Spiritual being–a child of God clothed with human form and personality.

chart of your divine self001

Hindu tradition mysteriously describes this indwelling spirit as “the inmost self, no bigger than a thumb” who “lives in the heart. ‘ Buddhists call it the Buddha nature.  Jewish mystics refer to it as neshamah.

WHY AM I HERE?

The goal for each of us is to be, right here on earth, the reflection or our Higher Self–to manifest the full potential inherent in our spiritual self.  How?  By understanding, accessing and developing the spiritual part of ourselves.  By liberating our own inner greatness so that we can fulfill our soul’s highest calling and help others do the same.

We all have moments when we feel connected with our Higher Self–when we are creative and sensitive, compassionate and caring loving and joyful.  But there are other moments when we feel out of sync with our Higher Self–moments when we become angry, depressed, lost.  What the spiritual path is all about is learning to sustain the connection to the highest part of ourselves so that we can make our greatest contribution to humanity. Use this mantra for protection and see a waterfall of dazzling white light surrounding your Higher Self.

Tube of Light Mantra

Beloved I AM Presence bright,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Round me seal your tube of light                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   From ascended master flame                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Called forth now in God’s own name.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Let it keep my temple free                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    From all discord sent to me.

I AM calling forth violet fire                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             To blaze and transmute all desire,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Keeping on in freedom’s name                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Till I AM one with violet flame. (3x)

The ascended master El Morya, know to students of Theosophy as the master M., says our mission involves perfecting the talents that God has placed within our soul. “The purpose of life,” he says, is to find God–in yourself, in your talents, in your calling and in your sacred labor. It is to endow anything you do with Spirit.”   When we do not pursue our soul’s passion the consequences can be spiritually, emotionally and even physically devastating. Not only can it make us grouchy, but it can make us emotionally and physically ill.  “The lost soul,” writes medical intuitive Caroline Myss, “is very susceptible to illness.”  The feeling that life has lost its soul, or that our soul has lost its life, can also lead to addictions as a way to escape from reality.

DISCOVER YOUR PASSION

If you have never thought about your passion in life, answering these questions may not be easy. Just let your heart speak to you and allow the answers to come in their own time.  Ask your Higher Self to send you divine direction, and then be open to all possibilities.

1.  Am I happy with the direction of my life and with how I spend most of my time?

2.  What is my passion in life?

3.  What is the greatest talent God has given me to share with others

4.  How can I refine and perfect it?

5.  How can I use my talent to make the most outstanding contribution to my family, my community, those who need me in my circle of influence?

6.  How can I capitalize on this talent to make a living and thus devote a major percentage of my time to it?

The Art of Practical Spirituality by Elizabeth Clare Prophet