Spiritual Success

Spiritual Success
What components make up your success? And what paths do you need to follow to get to where you want to be?

I know that one important journey I must take on my road to success is a spiritual one. So I started reading Living Life in Full Bloom: 120 Daily Practices to Deepen Your Passion, Creativity & Relationships by Elizabeth Murray. Keep in mind that spirituality here does not necessarily involve religion. In fact I will reference an article from psychologytoday.com that says spirituality can mean being in touch with one’s “inner self, and even a sense of personal well being.”

And that is the aim of Living Life in Full Bloom. The book guides readers in connecting with our inner world via four paradigms or archetypes--The Gardener, The Artist, The Lover and The Spirit Weaver. “I believe each of us has four distinct personality attributes...that create a framework for practicing mindfulness, unleashing potential, and revising a sense of play,” states Murray.

For each of the pathways, there are 30 guided activities. As a city dweller some of the outdoorsy exercises Murray suggests--like putting up a bird feeder and a garden alter--are not feasible for me right now. But as the premise of the book suggests, we all have the capacity to cultivate the Gardener within. The Gardener does not waste, honors maturity and encourages change. As practice Murray urges readers to go out in the rain and to simply breathe, two activities that anyone can do.

“Your breath is always available to you--to quiet your mind, to be present in your body, and to become one with your environment. A breath of fresh air can cultivate your inner garden and bring a joyful awareness to the moment.”

Living Life in Full Bloom features Murray’s vintage photography. Also throughout the book there are profiles of inspirational “bloomers” or role models who exemplify the guiding principles.

Once readers move through the four pathways, Murray provides instructions on how to create a “Life Map,” a simple diagram that shows the interconnections of “Passions,” “Skills and Talents,” “What the World Needs,” and in the center your North Star.

“When you live your life in Full Bloom, it is like falling in love,” writes Murray. “You are filled with delight and a sense of direction. Life is good. Life has meaning. Your creativity is juicier. You’re in harmony with all of the world. Your awareness increases, your heart sings with gratitude, and you honor all living things.”

I’m thinking of adopting the above quote as my own personal definition of spirituality. And of course all of this will take work that extends far beyond one book. Murray provides a substantial reference section with dozens of resources for further research.

I borrowed Living Life in Full Bloom from the local library.

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