This blog is based on a Spiritual Life Upgrade Masterclass led by Adrienne van der Valk, one of the SLU Coaches.
Embarking on a spiritual journey can be a life-altering experience, but it does need to be approached with a gentle mindset and realistic expectations, so we don't become overwhelmed.
We have had many new members join us in The Spiritual Life Upgrade over the last few weeks and we are loving all the conversations, questions and support these folks are bringing into the membership. We also understand how taking a step to join a spiritual community and increasing your learning can not only start to help you feel happier and more more resourced, but it can also trigger big emotions and big questions for ourselves.
In this week's blog we explore some valuable insights when beginning to integrate spiritual practices into our daily lives. There are three common themes that often arise during the spiritual journey: the need to embrace change, practising non-attachment, and cultivating emotional resilience.
1) Embracing Change:
When we set out on our spiritual journey, it's natural to expect specific outcomes and dramatic transformations. However, remember the universe works in mysterious ways, and our intended results may manifest differently from what we envision.
The path to our desires may take unexpected twists and turns, guiding us towards unforeseen opportunities and experiences, and we need to try to remain open to this.
Rather than fixating on specific outcomes, we can simply set intentions and work towards our goals, learning to embrace the mystery of the journey. This allows us to appreciate the beauty in every unexpected turn. Often, the most transformative shifts occur when we least expect them, leading us to paths we would have never imagined. Learning more about our own energy and the universal web of energy, alongside developing the connection to our own spiritual guides can help support us through these changes.
2) Practising Non-Attachment:
Balancing Aspirations with the Present
The pursuit of our spiritual goals can sometimes lead to an unhealthy attachment or grasping to our desires. The trap of constantly yearning for a future we envision may overshadow the joy and beauty of our present reality. Cultivating non-attachment does not mean suppressing our desires or emotions. Instead, it involves understanding that fulfilment lies in embracing both our journey and the destination we envision.
When we develop our practices in the early days we can tend to just focus on what we want to bring into our lives. Rather than fixating solely on the future, try to find a balance between dreaming of the life we desire and embracing the present moment with gratitude and continuing to take action towards your desire.
Non-attachment allows us to cultivate equanimity, accepting our emotions and experiences without judgement. By learning ways to tolerate all feelings, including the ones we may perceive as negative, we can start to understand ourselves on a deeper level and potentially free ourselves from the pressure to constantly maintain a facade of positivity. We can be authentic with ourselves as we navigate the spiritual journey on a day-to-day basis.
3) Cultivating Emotional Resilience:
Honouring Our Feelings
In our spiritual journey, it's crucial to understand that we are human beings with a full range of emotions. Emotions are not obstacles but essential aspects of our existence. The notion of toxic positivity, which demands eternal positivity and rejects negative emotions, is unrealistic and counterproductive. The 'love and light' language that is prevalent right now can invalidate your own and others emotions, which is not good for anyone.
Instead, we need to try to honour and accept our emotions while maintaining emotional resilience. This involves allowing ourselves to feel our emotions fully, even the uncomfortable ones. They are there to help us grow and learn about ourselves.
Be gentle with yourself as you feel your emotions. We are taught to suppress or avoid many emotions that arise for us, so this might be a new feeling for you.
Journaling is a powerful tool to release some of what is being held inside about the emotions you are feeling. Emotional resilience empowers us to learn and grow from our experiences.
As we develop our spiritual practice one of the most powerful things we learn about ourselves is we can have our own back, and when it comes to our emotions we have a right to feel them and work through them. Doing this helps us adapt to life's challenges with strength, empowerment and feelings of self knowledge.
Ultimately integrating spiritual practices into our daily lives requires an open mind, a flexible approach, and a compassionate heart. As we navigate this transformative journey, we can continuously learn to embrace change, practice non-attachment, and cultivate emotional resilience.
This is not a linear path but keeping these three factors in mind we can create an enriching spiritual path, filled with growth, self-discovery, and an appreciation for both the journey and the destination.
Being gentle with yourself and staying realistic can feel counterintuitive when we see so much about 'break-throughs' and 'up-levelling' on social media, but remember this is your development, your journey, and your destination - no one else's.