Awake in the World

Awake in the World

Spiritual Growing Pains: When Old Places and People No Longer Fit

posted by debramoffitt

If we’re committed to a spiritual life, it means we’re prepared to grow. But sometimes those around us make other decisions. It may feel that – like a child who outgrows clothes – we expand beyond the people and places that have been familiar and comfortable. This phase of the spiritual journey may challenge us as those around make judgments about our new state of being and our ever-evolving approach to life situations. Sometimes old friends and even family may not support the decisions and transformations that we make.

It’s okay. Like kids in school, we don’t all grow and learn at the same rate. There’s nothing wrong with them. There’s nothing wrong with us. Everything is as it is, even if we would like to pull others along with us for the explorations. Sometimes accepting that we need to move on – and leave others behind (or that they have chosen to let us go) hurts. Attachment and affections for old times and good times from the past don’t need to interfere with moving on.

The signs that it’s time to make a move out of a relationship or a place may include:

1)    Feelings of a lack of energy or connection. It may feel as if there’s no point to it, that dullness abounds and the vitality has departed. These may be temporary lulls, but if they prevail, then it’s a good idea to examine the situation more deeply.

2)    A sense of constraint. When the environment around does not foster, but instead inhibits your spiritual growth and brings feelings of contraction, it may be time to make the tough decision and move on.

3)    A sense of lack of purpose. If you’re asking, “What’s keeping me here?” and feel no real connection, pay attention to where your heart is calling you to go. I met a man recently who suddenly felt a yearning to go to Costa Rica to reconnect with his indigenous roots. Once he paid attention, a miracle happened. A friend who did not know of his desire, called him and offered him a job in the country.

Be careful (full of care) with those who are around you and don’t burn bridges. Sometimes these separations are only temporary and your paths may hook up again later on.

Enjoy the journey!

 Bio: Debra Moffitt is author of Awake in the World: 108 Practices to Live a Divinely Inspired Life. A visionary and teacher, she’s devoted to nurturing the spiritual in everyday life. She leads workshops on spiritual practices at the Sophia Institute and other venues in the U.S. and Europe. Her mind/body/spirit articles, essays and stories appear in publications around the globe and were broadcast by BBC World Services Radio. She has spent over fifteen years practicing meditation, working with dreams and doing spiritual practices. Visit her online at http://www.awakeintheworld.com.

Synchronicity: Spirit’s Way of Sending Signs

posted by debramoffitt

When we begin to wake up and pay attention to the world around us and look for meaning, Spirit begins to play and present synchronicities. Synchronicity was a word coined by Carl Jung in the 1920′s. Jung was on a deep spiritual journey that took him into the realms of his inner workings in an unprecedented way. Some of the results are recorded in both writing and exquisite paintings and drawings in his “Red Book.” Jung used what he’d learned about himself in his psychotherapy practice. One day, a patient of his dreamed of a golden scarab. The next day, during the therapy session, an insect flew into the room. Jung caught it and discovered to his surprise that it was a golden scarab. Scarabs are a very rare presence in Switzerland. But the appearance of the insect which was considered sacred by Egyptians, brought a powerful affirmation to the patient and to Jung. It deepened the meaning of the symbol and brought it to cross the boundaries between waking consciousness and dream consciousness.

The word synchronicity relates to timing and being in sync or harmony with the spirit. More and more people who pay attention are noticing synchronistic experiences. These may appear as signs along the way to keep them headed in the right direction and offer deeper meaning. During a period when I dreamed of snakes, snakes also appeared in unusual places – like on a city sidewalk. This brought me to take the inner symbols and images more seriously and to pay attention to what they were trying to tell me.

Synchronistic events that bring together inner soul experiences with physical events in the world of waking consciousness can offer up deep meaning and guidance. Someone may mention that it would be good for you to explore labyrinths, for example, and then another friend unwittingly invites you to walk a labyrinth that she’s discovered in her neighborhood. A man at one of my workshops recently spoke of feeling a deep desire to go to Costa Rica to explore his indigenous roots. A few months later a friend of his who was unaware of his yearning offered him a job in that country.

To benefit from the play of synchronicity, stay attuned to the images, places and people that have an emotional connection for you. When we tune in to the Divine play, miracles can happen.

 Bio: Debra Moffitt is author of Awake in the World: 108 Practices to Live a Divinely Inspired Life. A visionary and teacher, she’s devoted to nurturing the spiritual in everyday life. She leads workshops on spiritual practices at the Sophia Institute and other venues in the U.S. and Europe. Her mind/body/spirit articles, essays and stories appear in publications around the globe and were broadcast by BBC World Services Radio. She has spent over fifteen years practicing meditation, working with dreams and doing spiritual practices. Visit her online at http://www.awakeintheworld.com.

Joy Is Your True Nature

posted by debramoffitt

In India, a dear teacher repeated often, “Ananda (Sanskrit for Joy) is your true nature.” It’s sometimes hard to believe this when life is whirling all around throwing out difficult situations, breaking your heart and disrupting your best plans. But the trick lies in going beneath the surface. When we’re attached to superficial outcomes and expectations, they may not always be in our best interest.

Through trust in Divine guidance and Divine will, we can learn to accept a path that may be harder, but the rewards are so much more rich. We can’t always do the things we want to do. Very often I find that I plan and organize, then God has other plans. When I surrender (practice deep and complete acceptance) and follow that Guide, the outcomes are very different than what my small self would ever expect.

The Divine Guide, the Higher Self (or whatever you want to call that inner guiding voice that shows the way), has a perspective that’s broader than mine. It’s as if He/She/It is on a mountain peak at the top of the universe and can see the possibilities and outcomes in a way that my small self cannot. I’ve trusted that guidance and it has moved me to Switzerland, back to the US and into and out of a marriage. Following that Inner Self or the Divine within can be one of the most challenging things to do on the spiritual journey. The ego-self usually thinks it knows best and wants to lead me in its direction. But the result is often pain and suffering. Following the path of the Heart, the Divine Self, leads to Joy.

 Bio: Debra Moffitt is author of Awake in the World: 108 Practices to Live a Divinely Inspired Life. A visionary and teacher, she’s devoted to nurturing the spiritual in everyday life. She leads workshops on spiritual practices at the Sophia Institute and other venues in the U.S. and Europe. Her mind/body/spirit articles, essays and stories appear in publications around the globe and were broadcast by BBC World Services Radio. She has spent over fifteen years practicing meditation, working with dreams and doing spiritual practices. Visit her online at http://www.awakeintheworld.com.

Simple Living 101: Letting Go of Fluff Stuff

posted by debramoffitt

Much of what we think we need is really fluff stuff. It’s not vital to living a full and meaningful life. It simply weighs us down and makes the journey harder. Have you ever tried travelling with a lot of baggage? It’s hard to maneuver. If you’re on a train it blocks the aisles. If you take a plane it costs a lot. In both cases when you get to the destination if you can’t find a porter (they’re virtually non-existent these days), then it’s a challenge to figure out how to move ahead with so much trailing behind and around you.

Life is much the save. Simple living is a virtue. Keeping possessions to a minimum is a way to conserve natural resources and travel light on the spiritual journey. Have you heard people who have lost homes in a natural catastrophe? The wise ones often say, “We’re alive and that’s what counts.” They face the challenges with courage and rebuild in a new and better way. They view the loss as an opportunity.

A lot of people talk about simple living, but not many actually do it. Plagued by desires for so many possessions, we often find it hard to cut back and live with just what is necessary. Many people keep storage facilities filled with stuff that no longer fits in their homes.

Today, consider what you can do to simplify your life. Start by clearing out closets – both inner (inside your soul) and outer (in the garage, closets and storage facility). If you have a storage facility, consider what you might sell or donate to others. The things you have around that you never use may be of great help or bring joy to others. Try giving away something without expecting a financial return or even a thank you.

Move inside and look at what kind of personal baggage you need to let go of. I cut out coffee (an addiction I loved, but did bad things to my digestive system), gave away many of my things that I did not use and I stopped holding grudges. All of these things made me feel lighter and happier. What will you let go of today?

 Bio: Debra Moffitt is author of Awake in the World: 108 Practices to Live a Divinely Inspired Life. A visionary and teacher, she’s devoted to nurturing the spiritual in everyday life. She leads workshops on spiritual practices at the Sophia Institute and other venues in the U.S. and Europe. Her mind/body/spirit articles, essays and stories appear in publications around the globe and were broadcast by BBC World Services Radio. She has spent over fifteen years practicing meditation, working with dreams and doing spiritual practices. Visit her online at http://www.awakeintheworld.com.

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