Spiritually Confused

Julia in San Francisco, writes:

My New Year’s resolution was to become more spiritual in my everyday life. I’ve already tried chanting and three different kinds of yoga. I find that I don’t like the feeling of being quiet with myself. What else should I try? It’s February, and I don’t know what to pick next. Suggestions?

Dear Julia,

The problem these days is that people wander from one group activity to the next trying to find what works for them — yoga, chi gong, meditation — practices that all bring you to your center. Unfortunately, as people experiment with these activities, they often find that the ‘center’ can be a very uncomfortable place to be if the prep work hasn’t been done.

Being spiritual simply means honoring the higher self and living life from the heart, not the head. The best way to begin your new path of spiritual growth — so you won’t have to back track is — is to heal your past with forgiveness. If you are going to live from the heart, you have to release some of the pain you hold there. If you don’t, you won’t be able to maintain your practice over time.

Unfortunately there are no shortcuts to total surrender. As you release the past, you will gradually heal. Once the pain and grudges are forgiven, the spiritual heart begins to open and true connection to the higher self begins. Compassion starts to grow inside of you as you practice acts of love, kindness, humility, non-judgment, and reach out to help others and expect nothing in return.

These five steps will prepare you for your spiritual practice:

1. Make a list of all the people you feel have hurt you in any way. One by one, forgive them and find peace in your heart.

2. Let go of disappointments and what you think should have been. Accept all that has happened. You do not have to like it, but you do have to accept it.

3. You also have to forgive yourself (this is a big one). Not only have you been hurt by others, but you too have hurt others, and you have hurt yourself.

4. For seven days, become very aware of how you interact with and treat other people. Notice what your emotions are as you do this.

5. During this week, also keep track of how others are treating you. Do their actions mirror the way you treat others or yourself?

Do not try to force spirituality, but instead allow yourself to become spiritual. As you progress through the past, you will see that some things you thought to be true about yourself were just someone else’s opinion. With this, the search for your true self begins. You are now ready to discover your spiritual practice.

In Love and Light,


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