A powerful definition: of spirituality, spiritual awareness, spiritual development, spiritual growth, etc. ‘Spirituality is about having the courage to get-out-of your own way and allow yourself to be guided by a God or a Higher Power, of your own understanding and beliefs’. THAT is spirituality! It is those last six words in this short statement that are the real ‘kicker’ here – of your own understanding or beliefs!
Let us go back to the start of this definition: – having the courage to get-out-of your own way. What does this mean? Well, it is about having the courage to quieten or to control your ego. Our ego tends to impede our capacity to become aware. The ego impedes the necessary ‘shift’ in our mindset. It requires honesty and courage to step outside of your ego. Your ego always likes to be right! You must quieten your ego to allow your thoughts to be guided by that God or Higher Power that you cannot physically see. Spirituality, spiritual awareness, is also about the awareness of the need to capture periods of stillness in our daily life. Stillness is also required in order to ‘shift’ our thinking. We have been ‘conditioned’ on how to think, from a young age by other well-meaning individuals (i.e. our parents, teachers, bosses, etc) or by institutions (e.g. religious, etc).
One must accept the premise that we as individuals are all made up of a body, a mind, and a soul. Body – Mind – Spirit. Many of us are aware of the benefits of spending time working on our body and mind by exercising, healthy eating, meditation, reading good books, etc. But most spend little if any time at all working on their spiritual side! Therefore, one must regularly find time to be still. To sit alone in silence and allow their ‘spirit nature’ to awaken. One must have the courage to develop the daily practice of becoming a ‘spiritual seeker’.
When you uncover the benefits of this quiet, alone time, you begin to notice a subtle ‘shift’ in your mindset. In your thinking. You begin to gradually build awareness & courage to think deeply for yourself. To think about the possibility of a God or a Higher Power being in control of all outcomes. Subsequently, the two initially difficult obstacles for discovering your ‘spiritual nature’ are: (a) finding the courage to allow yourself to be guided and (b) quietening the ego.
One of my all-time favorite spiritual mentor’s Dr. Wayne Dyer expressed a brilliant analogy in relation to the ego in a YouTube interview many years ago with Oprah Winfrey. I will summarise it. Dr. Dyer put it like this: the ego stands for Edging – God – Out – (EGO). Now, if you have the courage to not make a rash dismissive judgment about this powerful statement, and instead find short periods of time to sit quietly and meditate on this definition. Then over the coming days, you will hopefully become aware that this is a statement of fact. Most, from a young age, have edged God (or that Higher Power) out of their daily lives. You have allowed, even been encouraged by outside forces, to let your ego run rampant!
Awareness = Wisdom
In the 1990’s I read in a book a wonderful short piece from that amazing little nun – Mother Teresa. This is a woman who spent her entire life working with the poor in the back streets of India. She spoke about the problems as she saw them for the World at that time. And she said this: “the problem with humanity today (mid-1990’s) is that it is spiritually deprived”. Hence, it is our individual and collective thinking that is holding us back.
I did say in the definition of spirituality that it is about being guided by a God or Higher power, of your own understanding and beliefs! The operative words here: your own understanding and beliefs! This is not about institutions based in foreign countries dictating to you what your faith or beliefs should be. Spirituality – spiritual awareness is about searching and discovering for yourself, that God or Higher power that you have faith in. That external power that you believe in. It is then about having the courage to allow yourself to be guided by that external, invisible force.
Of Your Understanding & Beliefs
Who or what you believe in is your spiritual awareness no one else’s. Your beliefs and faith do not have to conform to anyone else’s beliefs or faith. Raising your levels of wisdom and spiritual awareness is the vital ‘inner work’ that you must participate in. Without nurturing and building your levels of wisdom and spiritual awareness, your struggles and suffering will continue.
Higher Power Connection
When you can daily or at any moment connect with YOUR God or YOUR Higher Power, then your thoughts and actions, become the foundations that you cast your future life upon. It may well be that any faulty patterns of thinking or behavior you currently hold could be what is holding you back. Connecting with YOUR God or YOUR Higher Power is the first step in transforming or ‘shifting’ your mindset. Your mindset is – your personal responsibility!
“The greatest weakness in life is lack of awareness”
“The greatest enemy in life is the Self”Buddha
Spiritual awareness is one of the keys to happiness, inner peace, and contentment. When you are ‘spiritually awakened’ and have developed the daily habit of connecting with your God or Higher Power, you are empowered. You learn the benefits of letting go of the past and living in the present!
Sarah Ban Breathnach many years ago wrote a powerful new year resolution that one can adopt at any time of any year, and that resolution was this:
‘Turn away from the world this year and begin to listen. Listen to the whispers of your heart. Look within’.Sarah Ban Breathnach
We all need to be more heart-centered. We need to awaken spiritually. We must become more aware of how everything we think, say, and do shapes and creates our destiny. Spiritual seekers, or seekers of wisdom, are more likely to aspire to become ‘spiritually awake’. They quickly connect and are guided by that God or Higher Power that they come to know and believe. Spiritual awareness is about: seeing clearly how things work when stepping away from the noise of the world ‘outside of Self’. When you practice wisdom and spiritual awareness, you give your life richness and purpose. THE BEST environment in which to engage in this routine of seeking wisdom and spiritual awareness is to regularly sit alone. Learn to sit alone, in complete silence, and simply –be!
‘The quieter you are – the more that you hear’