Where to Begin on Your Spiritual Journey
We live in an insane world- one filled with hatred, violence, and fear. Our thoughts and beliefs (the ones we learned from childhood through schooling, parents, and the media) echoes that insanity. We are afraid; we feel we are not good enough; we look in the mirror and criticize ourselves; we think other people are smarter than us, or have more than us; we say things like life just isn't fair.
We think and believe these things because we have been taught them, not because they're true. We hold on to limiting beliefs because they've been so deeply ingrained in us, and we must choose to let them go. When beginning our spiritual path, we can choose to give up the thought system of the world.
That is where we begin on our spiritual path.
We put down what our parents told us, what television told us, and what magazines told us, and we feed our minds new information. We read Rumi; we study Buddhism; we find spiritual books that call to us - books about transformation, how to cultivate peace, how to fill our lives with joy. We read Marianne Williamson, Michael Beckwith, Gabrielle Bernstein, Wayne Dyer, Gary Zukav, Osho, or any other teacher with whom we resonate.
Imagine this is earth school. We need new curriculum.
Everything we've ever learned is wrong. We are good enough. We are worthy of love. There is a beneficent God (organizing, creative force in the universe) that wants nothing more than our joy, that is rooting for nothing other than our enlightenment - the realization that we are spirit inhabiting a body, not bodies attached to a particular identity and ego story.
But we've been thinking the wrong things. We'v been watching reality television and telling ourselves that it's real. We've been watching movies and telling ourselves that that's what love looks like - Pixar's version of Prince Charming on a horse.
I was wrong for many years. I hated myself. I was filled with rage. I blamed others. Until I realized that I was taught to be angry and negative; my behavior was learned. My beliefs mirrored what others believed.
I got so fed up with being unhappy that I began to seek for something else, and I read every spiritual book I could get my hands on. I filled my mind with thoughts of love, peace, and joy. I realized that I had been insane; I didn't need to look different or be different. I was love. I was enough. I could be peaceful. I could choose to be happy, even if everyone around me complained and expressed fear and worry.
I was willing to give up the thought system of the world... and I found something else: a new thought system, a new way of being - how to be in this world but not of this world.
And that is where I began my spiritual path - with the tiniest willingness to open up to new ideas. From there, I discovered Osho, a great spiritual teacher, followed by Abraham Hicks' videos on YouTube about the law of attraction, and a sleuth of other teachers with whom I resonated. It all began with my willingness to seek for something else - to think new thoughts and shift my perception so I could shift my life.