Starting a spiritual journey, maybe?

path through forest

Make your path your own

Say the words ‘spiritual journey’ and sit back to witness the kinds of responses (or facial expressions) you will get back!

You may or may not consider yourself spiritual, or maybe you really haven’t thought about it too much. And if you are spiritual, how do you express that in your life?  I would put money on one thing – that if you haven’t thought it was important to you, once you are faced with a life-challenging situation, such as serious health issue or the death of someone important to you, you probably will start thinking more seriously about the gift of human life.

I have found in talking to people that ‘being spiritual’ can mean a variety of things.  Some say ‘I consider myself spiritual but not religious’, and some say their spirituality comes from their religious beliefs.  Some talk about their soul’s experience in this lifetime. Some people glaze over or try to mask their discomfort when the word ‘spiritual’ is said. Some people just don’t know.

How does one ‘start’ a spiritual journey?  What is a spiritual journey? Why would someone want to do this?

These are good questions, and if you happen to be someone who is at this point in your life – curious, interested, but unsure – do not fret over it, but approach it with wonder and exploration.  Know that everyone’s journey is unique. There are unlimited ways to explore your path.  Be careful not to make a judgment about a spiritual path because maybe you’ve talked to some people and have made assumptions about what it is.  You can make it your own.

To me, the simplest way I describe my journey is being awake and aware (not living life in auto-pilot), and living life with intention.  I exploring my life’s purpose, and choose how to live my life every day that speaks to this purpose.  I am not perfect, and I have unlimited opportunities to grow and learn.

This is obviously a huge subject, but in my view, an important one.

So now I ask, what is your spiritual journey?

~Wendy

Don’t try so hard all the time

Trying too hardSince I have embarked on my journey to grow personally and cultivate more joy in my life, I have caught myself numerous times ‘trying too hard’.

If you too are on an intentional journey of personal growth, I imagine you know what I am referring to.  We tend to crave for ways to learn and improve.  We have an insatiable thirst for discovery and trying new techniques. We seek out others who share our interest and want to share our stories with them.

Being self-aware is a great thing because you can be an observer of yourself. Recently I sat down in meditation, on a day I was feeling particularly overwhelmed, and a very clear message came to me “Don’t try so hard“.  I immediately knew what this meant; that I need to slow down and to not over commit myself.  One of my weaknesses is trying to do too much and I wear myself down.

Meditation is a wonderful thing.  I often get messages, clarity and answers through meditation.  When I got the ‘Don’t try so hard’ message, I immediately felt a sense of relief. We need to flex and adjust ourselves with the ebbs and flows of life, and this means lightening up sometimes so we don’t put unnecessary pressure on ourselves.

Have a lovely day, and notice the wonders in your life.

Part 5 – When you don’t have a partner on your spiritual journey

Garden of the Gods mountain range

Garden of the Gods mountain range in Colorado Springs. A sacred place full of energy.

This is Part 5 in the series ‘Is your partner with you on your spiritual journey?’.  This post: How about when you don’t have a partner?

This topic is a simpler one.  When you are in the situation of not having a partner, and want to pursue your spiritual growth, what do you do?

* * * Go for it! * * *  That’s what you do!

There are so many ways to grow. Here are some ideas:

  • Try out different community groups, meetup groups and events – whether it’s for meditation, listening to a speaker or attending a workshop, there are so many activities out there in the world to try. The key is to keep an open mind, go with no expectations or pre-judgments and allow yourself to explore, learn and be opened.
  • Do not make a generalization based on one event. Sometimes a particular event may not be right for you, maybe you interact with people that you don’t like,  but do not let this close your mind. For instance, not all meditation courses or sitting groups are the same. If you go to one that makes you feel uncomfortable, try another one.
  • Seek out like-minded people. Broach conversations with people to discover what similar interests and beliefs they may share with you. Having a coffee or talking a walk with like-minded people is invigorating. You will find the conversation can go on for hours.

When I was younger, I did not have the benefit of understanding how to seek out like-minded people or how to go about expanding my spiritual interests.   Not only didn’t I understand how to go about this, I also did not have the self-awareness to realize this was an area of interest for me. But I think it was life’s hard knocks and maturing that gave me the insight to realize what I wanted to explore.

If you are seeking to find a partner, what a great opportunity to get out there to interact with like-minded people; maybe you will find someone who wants company on their spiritual path too.

This concludes the 5 part series about spirituality and partnerships.  I hope you enjoyed reading them.

~Wendy

Part 4 – When your partner rejects your spiritual journey

The sacred Garden of the Gods - "Sleeping Giant"

The sacred Garden of the Gods – “Sleeping Giant”

This is Part 4 in the series ‘Is your partner with you on your spiritual journey?’.   Do you have a partner who rejects your spiritual interests?

I have talked to many people who steer away from talking to their partner about spiritual topics, because their partner firmly rejects or mocks it all. Typically, here is how the rejection looks:

  • the partner talks about spirituality as ‘woo-woo’, ‘Oprah-ish’, believing in angels, ghosts, auras, witchcraft, etc.
  • makes jokes about it
  • makes the person feel silly, and that it’s all a waste of time

The partner’s rejection becomes obvious pretty quickly, which creates a negative, unsupportive environment.

I’m talking about outward rejection, not just indifference.

Whether the person seeking spiritual growth admits it or not, I have found that they feel somewhat rejected and diminished, as they take their partner’s verbal lashings to heart. It typically causes an unfortunate, underlying distance between them.

I have seen cases where the spiritual seeker essentially abandons their interests because they don’t want to pursue it without their partner,  simply don’t want to be ridiculed, or don’t want their differences to ruin their relationship.  Sometimes it causes the seeker to go ‘underground’ – reading books, surfing the internet or engaging in conversations unbeknownst to the partner. I’ve seen the odd case where it contributes to the breakup of the relationship.

However, I would say most often what I see is the seeker longs to connect with like-minded people, trying to find a community of people to growth with, and hopes that maybe one day, their partner will open his/her mind and curiosity as well.

To anyone who might be the ‘partner’ in this case, meaning the one who is not interested in spirituality but their partner is, I ask you to be open to allowing your partner to explore in a supportive way.

Have you experienced rejection behaviour or witnessed it in other couples?  If so, I invite you to share things that you have done to get your partner interested in spirituality, or how you feel if your partner rejects your beliefs. You can leave a comment without using your real name if you so desire.

Please click the ‘Comment’ link below to join in on this conversation.

Part 3 – When your partner is indifferent to your spiritual journey

The sacred Garden of the Gods

The sacred Garden of the Gods

This is Part 3 in the series ‘Is your partner with you on your spiritual journey?’.  In this post,  let’s specifically discuss ‘when you partner is indifferent to your spiritual journey’.

So if you have or had a partner who looks at your spiritual journey with indifference or apathy, what’s really going on about that?

  • Maybe the situation is that the two of you really haven’t discussed this very much, so you are assuming he/she doesn’t really care.
  • Maybe he/she really doesn’t care!
  • Maybe he/she ‘lets’ you do whatever you please in your journey; perhaps you could even say he/she ‘supports’ you but just doesn’t want to be an active part of it.
  • Does it make you feel that you are less connected with him/her?

I have spoken to a number of people who are in a relationship such as this, and some people really do not care if their partner is along for the journey or not.  However, in these cases, I tend to see that the journey tends to be a bit lonelier, and the motivation to pursue it is somewhat diminished.

Then again, I’ve spoken to some people who already live their lives quite independently from their partner so seeking spiritual growth does not threaten the relationship whatsoever.

For someone whose spiritual journey is very important, I would suggest that having an open conversation with your partner can be very helpful.  Don’t assume that if your partner is indifferent now, that he/she will be indifferent sometime in the future. People change all the time.  I think if someone is not interested but is open-minded, you can slowly introduce ideas and experiences, and you never know what may catch their attention!

Here are some things in my past experience that caught my partner’s attention and helped him ‘open up’:

  • bringing him to a welcoming beginner’s meditation class
  • introducing him to Eckhart Tolle’s ‘A New Earth: Awakening to your life’s purpose‘.  This is SUCH a terrific book, and much better and easier to read than his previous book called ‘The Power of Now‘.  Please note that the person needs to be ready to read this, and if they are not, usually it is tossed aside. This is what initially happened, but then after about a year, I re-introduced it and he saw it with new eyes.
  • introducing him to spiritual people who are down-to-earth, easy and fun to be with, so he could see that spiritual people are not stereotypically ‘woo-woo’ or strange!

At this point, I invite you to share things that you have done to encourage your partner’s interest in spirituality, or how you feel if your partner is not interested. You can leave a comment without using your real name if you so desire.

Please click the ‘Comment’ link below to join in on this conversation.