First of all, I want to honor all of you who have come to this blog post seeking spiritual advice. I am not sure how well this action is appreciated in Western Culture. It seems these days that people are all expected to know how to do everything all the time, and consequently, beliefs like that seep into the spiritual world. It can make a lot of people go it alone in a time and technological era where so much help and support is available. It can be just as easy to get led astray by yourself and the unconscious desires of the ego as with a poor spiritual teacher. So congratulations to you in coming this far.
Spiritual transformations of many kinds exist, and it’s important to appreciate your unique growth. A spiritual transformation is simply a shift from unconsciousness into a more conscious state. You are more aware of yourself and what the real world is rather than what you were taught to believe it is. These transformations can be simple or profound. They can include spiritual awakening, becoming a parent, changing your diet to come into alignment with your body, and much, much more. It doesn’t have to be major, but sometimes once you get started on this spiritual path, things start moving on their own.
Which is probably why many of you have arrived on this spiritual blog today. So with that said, I’d like to talk about some different points people may be at in their spiritual transformations and the different types of spiritual help we may need at those junctures.
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Spiritually Starting Out With no Idea What to do
Some people are drawn to the spiritual path, but they have no idea what to do. They simply have a sense of something–a something they can’t fully describe. They know that most of what they are seeing around them in daily life doesn’t reflect deeper truths, and something inside of them is yearning for something. I know. I said something alot. But it really can feel that vague to a lot of people.
This little bit of dissatisfaction with life can be really useful, but it must be turned in the correct direction. That correct direction is inward. Otherwise, it is very easy for the ego to get new clothes. The unconscious ego is always clothing itself in beliefs, and so many people will attempt to drop one set of beliefs in favor of another. This new spiritual fashion statement, if you will, gets you nowhere. It can lead to a lifetime of spiritual seeking when all the spiritual truth you could ever want is already inside of you.
So, as I said, step one is going within. Meditation and journaling are ways to start to get to know yourself. Spiritual teachers and sacred spiritual texts can also assist your spiritual transformation from someone who is lost in ignorance into someone who is wise and at peace with themselves. But the most important part is cultivating your inner knowing so that you feel what is true for you rather than just accepting whatever anyone else has to say or swallowing only the ideas that are convenient to your current ego beliefs.
Those Stuck in the Middle of a Spiritual Transformation
A lot of people will get stuck partway in a spiritual transformation. Maybe a spiritual realization or revelation shook up their world. They had some “ah-ha!” moments, and they acted on them. But when things really started getting intense, the unconscious ego tried to call it quits. This puts people in an unenviable situation–stuck between two worlds. Unlike those who awaken, these individual rarely have the inner energy surge that’ll push them towards letting go, opening up, and flowing with the change–especially the hard changes which are being resisted. So an individual like this can get stuck and trapped for years.
The way out is–go within (yes, I’m a broken record player on this). See where you stopped growing. When did things feel like they were too much or that you did not want to do them. Oftentimes, people encounter a lot of fear and don’t know how to lean into it. Too often people run from fear when they need to run into it. It’s especially important because we create fear inside us, so truthfully, running from fear is running from ourselves. It’s very rare that fear has any basis in the current reality that requires the galvanization of so much biochemistry that we can readily run or fight for our lives. But there seems to be a switch stuck in the “on” position for millions–maybe billions–of humans. Any little insult, comment. or shrug of the shoulders can ignite immense fear in people. Thus, many spiritual transformations get stuck because of fear.
The way out is to face the fear that stopped you. Reaching out to others for support in identifying or facing the fear can be vital spiritual help. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a spiritual teacher, but then again, a good spiritual teacher knows a lot about finding and identifying blocking fears. Regards of the help you ask for–and maybe you ask for a variety of types of help–you will have to face this block and most likely deal with a lot of upset emotions and sensations as you transition and go further in your spiritual transformation.
Long-time Seekers who Need to Start Over
Some of you will not have been so fortunate in your spiritual journeys as to find reasonable spiritual advice. There is a lot of confusion among many spiritual teachers. Don’t ask me why this is that so many teachers can be so clueless about spirituality. It is probably because of fear once more. There are plenty of spiritual teachers and healers stuck in the middle of their transformations, and thus, they do not know how to guide. Others simply follow whatever their spiritual traditions are, and many of those paths are more interested in social order than spiritual liberation. To be sure, there are many reasons as there are many types of spiritual teachers.
But because of this, someone can be 70 years young and need to totally start over on their spiritual path. They are so full of ideas and practices, yet they have no real understanding of what they believe and why they do all these things. They have no idea who they are. Those who are not ready to start over will believe that they do understand all these things. Intellectual egos do amazing jobs at fortifying themselves against reality. For those of you who have realized that you have believed all these things and have gotten no where, then now is the time to sit down once more and be here. Sit with yourself. Sit with all the beliefs and ideas inside. Sit with all the ways you want life and yourself to be, and look into that unreality. Look into the face of the stories you’ve created, and see if things start to shift and transform on their own. Once things start to churn and come up. then it may be time to ask for help, but it’s probably going to be a very different kind of spiritual help than you’ve had before.
The Mature Spiritual Person and Asking for Guidance
Some people will mature on the spiritual path. The real mark of spiritual maturity is that they’ve learned how to learn. It sounds so simple, but because of ego limitations, we often don’t see the most obvious of things. Most peoples’ learning is stunted by our ego limitations, and so most people do the same things and repeat the same mistakes over and over again. As we grow on the spiritual path, we learn to recognize limiting beliefs, feelings, and behaviors. We learn how to interpret when we’re projecting onto situations and when we’re avoiding parts of ourselves. In so doing, we can break out of these limiting loops and become our greatest teachers. Additionally, all of life becomes our spiritual teacher. We can find spiritual help in the birds, in the cab driver yelling at us, in the sunlight, in a friend, in an enemy, and everywhere else.
The beauty of this is that in few other times in spiritual transformation is someone more ready to work with a spiritual teacher than when s/he no longer needs one. There’s a whole new level of teaching, connection, and learning that opens when someone knows how to learn. This is also because knowing how to learn signifies a lot less inner resistance, so the teacher isn’t overcoming someone’s resistance in the work. Now, the student and teacher are joining together far more deeply to go into self-inquiry more deeply. This mature student also can intuitively come into a student-teacher relationship and leave it as they need to. The other situations are situations where people really need the guidance and spiritual help to see all the things they can’t or don’t want to see about themselves.
Becoming a Spiritual Teacher or not
Many people see the end of a spiritual transformation as meaning that they should become a spiritual teacher themselves, but that is not the case. Firstly, the human being is always shape-shifting and transforming. There are certainly spiritual stages of a sort, but they are not things that we try to achieve. Those stabilized transformation points arise on their own when allow them and work on our issues. In opening up, we also will become more clear on whether we want to teach or not. Many people will have no interest in teaching, and that is just fine. A spiritual transformation is like being your own unique plant. Every plant is different and bears different fruit, and this fruit is the exact right thing for you to bear.
However, for those who do find themselves on the road to being a spiritual helper of any kind, your work is very important, and mentorship can be critical. As I mentioned earlier, there are a lot of poor spiritual teachers who have not truly understood themselves, and being a confused and lost spiritual teacher will not help your students heal. So when the time is right, I do encourage you to find mentorship for most of you before donning the role of spiritual teacher. Just don’t do it too soon. The ego self is always trying to do things too soon (unless you’re a procrastinator; in which case, you’re probably past due), and there is plenty of work to do on yourself before learning how to work with others.
The Importance of Spiritual Help
I can’t emphasize enough how important spiritual help can be, especially at the right time. There is a lot of amazing spiritual transformation that we do on our own. Some of you will be able to do it all on your own. Some of it you have to do on your own. But most people need at least a little help and encouragement from time to time. There is nothing wrong with this, and this can help many of you work through issues with a little more ease and perhaps faster than on your own.
The best way to determine if you need spiritual help is to go within (yes, I said it again). Your inner knowing knows when it is time to buckle down and sit in your quiet space on your own. Your intuition also knows when it is time to reach out for a helping hand, and from time to time, we all need a little help from our spiritual friends.