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Monday, October 11, 2010

Being Spiritual in tough times....

So, you're on your spiritual path. You meditate, you live in the moment, you're open to, and see abundance in your life, but what happens when things go bad? This is something I do see in people, myself included. Spirituality is easy when things are going great, but what happens to you during the tough times? For me, I find it's a time of great reflection. I like to see if there's a test in front of me, or maybe something is calling to a lesson I have not fully learned yet. What is your reaction to when things get tough? I always like to say that you see someone's character when they face adversity. Adversity can bring out the drive in people, or the worst in people. Again, it is in the way you look at things. You're world is created with your thoughts, so what are you thinking? Remember the genie on your shoulder? Are you having thoughts like "This will never work for me", or "Why are these things happening to me?" Or are you in the mindset of "what am I missing?" or "What can I do to make this better?" It is when things get difficult that we are to use what we learned in our spiritual practice to approach the situation from our center with peace.

Just as you use what you have learned about math to solve a math problem, so must you use the lessons you've learned on your path to solve the problem facing you. That may be easier said than done, so here are some tips to help you out.

First, is there anything about this situation that is the same as something that I have gone through before? This question is important because not only may it help you to overcome something happening in your life similar to something else, but it may also help you to realize that you may have not completed the lesson the first time around. The Universe constantly tests us. If you find you are in the same situation again, there's a very good chance that you are the one that put yourself there. There were no thoughts or changes in behavior within yourself to create a different outcome. Remember, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome.

Second, what about this is different than what I've been through before. Reflecting on this question will awaken you to a new side of something. It may be the first time you're seeing it, or, you may realize that it's been there before, you just never looked at it in a certain way before. It may also awaken you to something new inside yourself. You may find the answer flows freely from inside of you when you take time out to reflect and see "what is" in front of you. Finding time to sit and meditate in times of crisis is very important, because you must free your mind of the clutter of not only the everyday "stuff", but also the emotional reaction to the situation you are in right now. As Dr. Dyer says, "when you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change."

Third, be aware of your actions and reactions during the tough times. It is a great insight into what's in your heart, and where you still can grow. My weakness is traffic. I am fully aware that traffic cannot affect me, but I do let it. I'm getting better, and I will overcome this. But I am fully aware when it is happening. In fact, most times I just look up, smile and say "Ok, I failed this test again, but keep it coming! I'll pass it someday!" Also, realize that it is absolutely 100% ok to fail a test! We are on the path, not at the end of it. Some lessons we learn quickly, some we repeat daily. But being aware that it is within you, and not the external circumstance will help the growth process. When you blame someone else for your reaction, ie: "That guy cut me off! What a *@#!@&!" Well, you can choose to be upset, or you can choose not to be. The judgment is in place because you are blaming him for something, and he is at fault. That means you are right, and he is wrong. That, of course, is ego. It also stems from the connection to "I want". "I want to drive without someone cutting me off and I want to get to my destination." And when something stands in your way, then out comes the dis-comfort. But when you are aware that it is within you, you relieve the situation of doing something "to" you, and your ego is in check. You are responsible for your actions and reactions. And even if you didn't handle it the best that you could, you are aware of it, and you can then continue to grow.

There are always going to be times in which we feel disconnected. It is worse for us when we have felt connected for a long time, because now we "feel" that something is wrong. As I mentioned in another blog, that "dis-comfort" is only telling us that we need to work on something within us. Using the above methods can help you tremendously to get through these times, and as I've found out again and again, there is usually a period of tremendous growth after a period of "disconnection", as long as you continue to do the work. Remember, it's a spiritual practice, which means we must continue to practice. The more you practice, the better you will be. And with time, you will overcome all obstacles.


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