Starting A Spiritual Journey
Welcome, you must be here for a reason! Maybe lately, you’ve been intrigued by something mysterious you cannot explain, or you’ve found synchronicities that cannot just be coincidences, maybe your mental health has fizzled out and needs a jump start, or maybe you wish to feel more self-empowered or purposeful with a deeper connection. Many of us begin a spiritual journey because there are answers we are seeking that may not have been there for us in our education and we seek to go beyond. There are so many reasons why starting this journey can help bring happiness and deeper meaning to your life. But… where to start? There is so much information! It’s true. There are a ton of things to explore, and it can seem overwhelming, but like anything, we can start with one step at a time. Here are some first steps you can take to begin your personal path. Please note that I am not here to tell you which way to go. The truth is, there is no wrong turn when you pay attention to your instincts and inner guides.
1. BUT FIRST… Take a breather
Take time for yourself to collect your thoughts. Whatever your goals are or whatever the reason is for wanting to explore or learn more, the journey starts within. We all have a million thoughts, feelings, and tasks going on at once, right? It’s easy to be swept up in it all without a second thought. Soon enough, our true desires may take a back seat because there is a lack of attention to your inner self.
My suggestion: Choose a time of day (maybe once you wake up, or after work, or before bed) to take 10 minutes to lock yourself in your own space, tell your family you need your zen time, or alone time, whatever you want to call it. They will understand! You will use this time to explore your new spiritual adventure! Take a break from your phone or social media, and other distractions. Feel free to meditate or collect your thoughts, day dream, journal, sip some tea, take a bath, light candles, draw a doodle, blast music and dance around, etc. This is YOUR time, have fun, be free!
2. Create a Spiritual Space
For your personal “zen time”, you will also need a little space to just BE. Plan out the best place for this routine, it may be your bedroom, the couch, a corner of another room, etc. Find something that will be comfortable to sit on while you are there, like a blanket, pillow, chair, bed, couch, etc. You may also want to clear some space in your closet, on your nightstand for the things you like to use in your personal practices. These items may include candles, a journal, your favorite crystal, flowers, a buddha figure? It’s up to you! You may want to start a journal or NotePad, to keep track of what is working for you, what you are learning, epiphanies, setting intentions… Explore your dreams, your desires, what you don’t love or what you do love, your feelings for the day, etc. This journal will help you notice and become more aware of patterns in your life so that you can make the changes you may need for the future.
3. Seek truth and Question Everything
Have you ever had one of those moment where you learned something and asked, “why didn’t they teach us THIS in school?! Everyone should know this!”. There are plenty of things to learn, we are always students of the earth. Question what you have been taught and by whom. Make your own judgements, decisions by finding trust in yourself and your own discernment to find universal truths.
4. Find Teachers, Mentors, Role Models
Mentally and physically surround yourself with people who are interested in spiritual exploration. Read and research from those who have been on their path for years. Spiritual teachers can come in many forms, from ancient wisdom, ancestors, spiritual gurus, modern-day authors, friends, and even our pets! I’ve heard animals can be some of the greatest zen masters if we just pay attention.
5. Surround Yourself by the Things You Love
When we start surrounding ourselves, we enjoy our time, we become happy, we have FUN. When we feel happy and good on the inside, we can begin to project those feelings out into the world. You may also find synchronicities and patterns in the things you love that can help direct and guide your path further. Find one thing that interests you currently, something that caught your attention and research it. It can be a flower or an animal you saw on a walk, a color you’ve been drawn to lately, foods you are craving, a repeating number, a song in your head. Notice those things and explore their histories, hidden meanings and symbols, any benefits or warnings, what energies these things may bring. Note it in your journal.
6. Choose symbols of guidance and love for yourself
Once you start noticing and becoming more observant (with the help of step 5), you may find something that keeps popping up! This “symbol” will show up in your life to remind you that the universe has your back, you are on the right path, you are loved and full of love. This can be a color, an animal, a shape, a ray of light, a constellation, etc. When you see this symbol when you are out and about, acknowledge it and notice what you feel.
7. Love Your Shadow: Shadow Work
Don’t panic when you have moments of darkness, sadness, anger, negative feelings and emotions. We are human, this happens, it is natural! If we suppress these feelings, they will just resurface again later. To avoid the cycle of resurfacing negative emotions, we must actually take the time to shine the light on these shadows. Shadow work is a tough part of journeying within, but it can be the most rewarding when we get through to the other side of things. I will write more on shadow work and how-to, but for now I will offer a quick tip: Approach your negativity with love, as though you are speaking to your younger self. Be kind, compassionate, and patient. Understand that it has taken you this long to build up these emotions, it may take some time to sort them all out. Most importantly, practice forgiveness and gratitude towards yourself and others. See next tip:
8. Forgiveness and Gratitude.
We are where we are now and there are two ways to look at that realization: we can be angry and upset for life dragging us through tough times, or we can be grateful for the good things and experiences we have now. When we surround ourselves in a negative mindset, that the world has been against us, we put ourselves in a victimized mentality and will always remain feeling like a victim. Do you want to live your life feeling as though things are happening to you? Or do you want to take control and become responsible for the wonderful life you are creating for yourself? Learn to forgive yourself and those around you, because we are all on a journey, we are all learning, and many have not come as far as you have. Some do not know better, some do know better but have been hurt. Learn to recognize that others may be in a place where they cannot even help themselves out of their own darkness, and so project it outwards on to those around them. This may have been you at some points. If you need to hear it… IT’S OK. Let me repeat. IT’S OK. Now is the time to break the cycle and forgive. Once we start forgiving, it is easy to become more grateful for the things in our lives. Take some time to find your favorite gratitude practice and try to incorporate it in your daily routine. A few examples: Stir your morning drink while charging its contents with positive affirmations. Literally just say “thank you” or “I am grateful!” out loud.
9. Make it Fun
As always, I like to make sure we take time to step back and ENJOY the journey. If your personal practices are things you are forcing yourself to do, you will dread doing them and you may brush it aside and ignore it once again. To avoid that, make sure you are doing number 5 (things you love). Spiritual practice doesn’t have to be all seriousness. It can be playful, it can be funny, it can be whatever you want it to be. Try new things and see if you like them, you may be surprised! Maybe you tried yoga, but prefer to dance, maybe you tried sitting in silence, but prefer a fun guided meditation. ….Enjoy the practice, enjoy the day, enjoy your life!
Unsure of topics to explore? There are infinite!
So, here are just a few topics that may be of interest to you to start:
-Food, health, fitness
-Energy systems, chakras, auras
-Art, color, mandalas
-Divination tools like tarot, runes, pendulum, tea reading, crystal ball
-Dreams, lucid dreaming, astral projection
-Plants, herbs, essential oils, holistic remedies
-Psychic Intuitions, empathy, sensitivity
If you are reading this and thinking, “That’s it? How do I gain self-empowerment from that?”. I understand that it doesn’t seem like much at first. But even after a few weeks of adding in your practice (even if it’s just a few minutes here and there), you will start to see a shift in your thinking, feeling, and emotions. It all comes with practice, and we are here to make that practice more fun and enjoyable.
Best wishes on your new beginnings!
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