What does it mean to be spiritual, really? Do you need to burn sage, chant, wear white robes, eat lots of greens and abstain from sex? Of course not!
How about spiritual growth? Do you need to walk away from material goods and lead an unassuming life? Clearly the answer is no. “There’s the notion that you cannot be wildly successful and highly spiritual at the same time, but this isn’t true,” says James Arthur Ray, a success expert who blends spiritual and practical aspects to help people achieve abundance.
According to Ray, if we weren’t meant to experience the physical in full splendor – the fine wines, fabrics, food, money, power and yes, even sex – then why did we even bother coming here?
“You’re a spiritual being having a physical experience. But remember, you are having a physical experience,” says Ray. Technically then, everything on earth is sacred… from a pine tree to a Porsche.
But not so fast. Every choice we make can make us grow spiritually or lead us into material wallowing. In other words, to be a practical mystic, there’s a sense of balance that you need to strike. Here are a few considerations on how to simultaneously embrace being both a human being and a divine spirit.
Many of you think that abundance belongs to someone else. Or, you feel guilty for wanting things. First things first, abundance is your birthright. If prosperity seems to be missing in your life, what is your current state of mind? Because it all begins and ends with you – with your thoughts, your beliefs, and your actions. For you to have, you must truly believe that there is no lack and that you are not struggling. The cool thing is, even in tough times, we can be spiritual and have lots of abundance. Even if your salary has dipped, look around you at all you have and know that you have created it – in abundant things and relationships.
“In my world model, the word ‘life’ is comprehensive,” says Ray. “It doesn’t work if you’re financially well off but your relationships stink or you’re really ‘spiritual’ but you’re sick and broke all the time or that you’re mentally sound but you can barely drag your overweight rear-end up a flight of stairs,” says Ray.
Life in abundance is a life of harmony in all areas of existence: financially, relationally, intellectually, physically and spiritually – because remember, it’s all spiritual.
Very often, material possessions serve as attempts to fulfill spiritual longings, but that doesn’t work, says Claire Michaels Wheeler, MD, PhD., author of Ten Simple Solutions to Stress. As a practical mystic, you resist the temptation of material bounty lulling you into the illusion that life consists of what you have and what you do. While you may love your sacred Mercedes, it doesn’t define you and you’d survive if it were stolen or damaged.
“Live in the world you’re in, with as few illusions about its permanence and depth as possible,” says Wheeler. “Get up, feed the kids, do your job, keep your house, make love with your partner, and seek entertainment, but never lose sight of what is above, beyond, and all around this everyday reality.”
Magnificence in the mundane
Being a practical mystic means finding the mystery in life on a daily basis – in the big things and in the little things, says author and therapist Ragini Elizabeth Michaels. There are no ordinary moments. This is the essence of gratitude. No moment, nothing in life, should be taken for granted. Develop gratitude for the simple joys, and even for the challenging times. That’s the way to feel the magic that surrounds you every day.
Sure, burning sage and meditating can make it easier, but if you don’t know what you’re looking for, you can easily miss what is most obvious – the all pervading mystery that changes how you perceive everything, says Michaels. “So enjoy the tea and the cognac, the beer and the pizza, the laughter and the fun, material wealth and worldly success.”
Be of service
If you spend your days lamenting your failures or focusing on your shortcomings, your world becomes rather small. In fact, it becomes all about you. Thinking about other people – whether you simply call to brighten their day or say a prayer for them – or being of service will take the focus from you to the planet and that large community we call humanity. We need to interact to help one another and help heal everything around us.
Simply put, a practical mystic means getting in touch with and becoming aligned with your spirit. If you can live by these principles, your spiritual growth is a done deal.
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