"The spiritual journey does not consist in arriving at a new destination where a person gains what he did not have, or becomes what he is not. It consists in the dissipation of one's own ignorance concerning one's self and life, and the gradual growth of that understanding, which begins the spiritual awakening. The finding of God is a coming to one's self." ~ Aldous Huxley
In the Catholic religion, when a man decides to become a priest, or a woman decides to become a nun, they are whisked away to a safe haven where they are given support, 24-7, to grow into their calling. In this environment, outside temptation is kept to a minimum so they can work on their inner world and find a deeper connection to their Source.
When we choose to walk a spiritual path we get about as much support as we would if we started a new diet, so acquiring the new skill set to walk this path may be difficult, or challenging. We have friends and loved ones who may, or may not, agree with our choices. We have outside temptations to face (should I watch mindless TV or exercise?) while nurturing a deeper connection to our Source. So we spend a lot of time strengthening our resolve while preparing to walk our walk; we buy books, CDs, go on retreats, or attend seminars, all of which can be very helpful, until the excitement wears off. Just like a diet.
This is where I like to remember that if it's been done, it can be done.
All of us have acquired a new skill at one time or another. Most of us know how to drive a car; we can get from one destination to another, and we know how to keep up with the basic maintenance.
Learning a new skill just takes practice, persistence and a plan, even when it comes to walking a spiritual path. Connecting with our Source, and remaining aware just takes a little planning.
Step One – Connect
We are always connected to our Source, we just don't always experience it, like we won't experience a bright, sunny, day if we keep our blinds and doors closed. So the first thing we need to do is connect. There are many ways to connect with God; visualization, prayer, meditation, whatever works for you.
Step Two – Ask
So, after we connect, we want to ask for guidance and inspiration to guide us throughout our day. Often we think people should just read our minds, so we don't ask for what we need, and then we are disappointed when they don't come through for us.
We have free will, and this means freedom to make mistakes and be lazy. Spirit won't intervene for us unless we ask, so it's important to ask for the guidance we need throughout the day so we can be divinely inspired.
Step Three – Believe
Believing in something that has not yet manifested into our experience can be difficult, but think about it, when you were a kid, you did it all the time. I remember going to the beach with my family, and even before we left the house I was filled with excitement. I could "see" myself playing in the water and digging in the sand. I was already "living" my experience before it was manifested into my physical reality.
That's where the power of our imagination comes in. We have been given this tremendous tool that helps create our physical reality (though we don't always use it for good). Edison used the power of his imagination to "create" the light bulb. Gene Roddenberry created Star Trek in his imagination, which in turn inspired technology that we use today; all through the power of imagination!
We remember that the Universe is unlimited, so we ask, and then believe that it will come to pass.
Step Four – Gratitude
Christ performed many miracles, and before he'd perform a miracle, he'd always give thanks. Gratitude is a manifesting force that brings joy and love into our experience. What we focus on will always expand, so if we are filled with gratitude and appreciation we are given more to appreciate.
Step Five – Receive
We are not always good receivers. Sometimes we have a picture in our head of how something needs to manifest. So when our request manifests in a different way than we imagined, we don't see it or don't accept it. The Universe is unlimited, and when we try to limit how God will work in our lives, we are limiting our own good. The Universe is unlimited in expression, and will always exceed our expectations.
Step Six – Act
When we ask the Universe for something, we need to be prepared to take action. Taking action means we are sending out energy as energy is coming in to us, so it establishes a flow. We get inspired, we then take an action, and then something happens. We get inspired again, we take action again, and then something else happens. When we get in the flow of the Universe, more and more will come our way.
Step Seven - Check-In
Take inventory of your feelings through-out the day. If you are feeling loving and inspired and excited, then you are allowing the Light to work through you. If you are angry, impatient or judgmental, you have blocked that flow. So, start with Step One and connect again.
There is a flow in this universe that seeks to work through you and guide you. When you allow yourself to be in alignment with this energy, you become an expression of that divine, creative, energy, which will then allow greater good to come your way.