Starting out on your own spiritual journey can be quite the overwhelming task. Where to begin? What to change first? Who to talk to? We know we want to change our lives, but how exactly? When I had this feeling inside, I began to search around for people who found themselves in the same place as I. It was too much for me to look too far ahead, as I became intimidated by the leaps and bounds others had made when I found myself fairly stuck and in a rut that I wasn’t sure how to get out of. Of course, everywhere you look there are memes and words of encouragement, councillors you can call, family and friends who jump at the chance to lend their advice. All of these things are filled with love and the greatest intentions, but are they really the things that directly put you on the right path?
For myself, I was tired of a false sense of change. Do you know the type? On the surface, things look slightly different but really you have just exchanged one mask for another. It feels a little more like you but still covered with illusions of who you really are and when you connect to that place deep inside you, your heart space, nothing has truly changed. So how then, how do we begin this journey of stripping ourselves of our false stories, recognizing of all that we want to change and everything we need to let go of in order for it to truly begin, to truly change? The answer is courage. The origin of the word literally means “more at heart”. Webster’s English Dictionary defines courage as “mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty”. What could possibly require more mental and moral strength to venture inwards, then the journey deep into you? To let go of everything you’ve been told, and told yourself, about who you are in order to stand in your truths. If you’ve ever made a change in your life that was best for you and you alone, you have courage. If you’ve ever spoken the words “I want things to be different” or “how can I change this?” you have courage. If you’ve ever stood in a place where you’ve listened to your heart, YOU have courage.
To have courage is to live more in your heart. Your heart is the center of your energy, and plays one of the biggest roles in creation. And if you are your own creator it is essential to stay in your heart space, but how do we do this? When I first learned this to be true, the hardest part was not allowing my mind to interrupt what I felt within my heart. Especially, I had trouble when talking to others who were in a different place than I, friends and family who were still choosing to be tangled in their own negativity, searching for external answers to their paths and happiness. But these moments are opportunities for you to stay in your truths once again, and each time you do your heart opens a little more and you become more aware. Michael Singer states in his book “The Untethered Soul” that “While you are the experiencer of your heart you are not your heart and that the key is not allowing your heart to close.” When we close our hearts, we stop experiencing. Singer writes “When you take in the world through your senses, it is actually energy that is coming into your being. Form itself does not come into your mind or heart. Form stays outside, but it is processed by your senses into energy patterns that your mind and heart can receive and experience.” But when the heart closes, these energy patterns get blocked and we don’t fully experience our own life. “What it means to live life is to experience the moment that is passing through you, and then experience the next moment, and then the next…if you could live in that state, you would be a fully aware being. That is how an awakened being lives in the now.”
To learn to live life in this space, is how one learns to stay present and if you can to learn to stay present then you are creating the life you want. Of course it takes time and practice to achieve this, but having awareness of it, I believe, is an amazing place to begin the spiritual journey, because when your journey becomes unclear, you trip and fall, you know exactly where to come back to, the heart. You see we already have all the tools within us to create our own journeys and we are only responsible for ourselves, always. As Dorothy taught us, there is no need to look further than our own backyard. What we need for our journeys was with us all along, we just needed to recognize our courage and live in our hearts.
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