CONSCIOUS REMINDER: “10 ‘Spiritual’ Things People Do That Are Total Bullsh*t”

“My vibration is so high, man. My chakras are so aligned. F***ckkkk, I’m a spiritual beast, bro.”

 

No one ever told me spirituality could be a self-sabotaging ego trap.

I spent about three years reading about spiritual teachings and incorporating them into my life before ever learning that spirituality has a dark side.

Naturally, I was taken aback. I felt kind of betrayed.

How could something that seemed so pure and good be harmful?

The answer has to do with something that psychologists call spiritual bypassing. In the early 1980’s, psychologist John Welwood coined the term “spiritual bypassing” to refer to the use of spiritual practices and beliefs to avoid confronting uncomfortable feelings, unresolved wounds, and fundamental emotional and psychological needs.

According to integral psychotherapist Robert Augustus Masters, spiritual bypassing causes us to withdraw from ourselves and others, to hide behind a kind of spiritual veil of metaphysical beliefs and practices. He says it “not only distances us from our pain and difficult personal issues, but also from our own
 authentic spirituality, stranding us in a metaphysical limbo, a zone of
 exaggerated gentleness, niceness, and superficiality.”

Painful Realizations: My Own Spiritual Bypassing

In Robert August Masters’ groundbreaking book, Spiritual Bypassing: When Spirituality Disconnects Us From What Really Matters, he writes:

“Aspects of spiritual bypassing include exaggerated
 detachment, emotional numbing and repression, overemphasis on the positive, 
anger-phobia, blind or overly tolerant compassion, weak or too porous 
boundaries, lopsided development (cognitive intelligence often being far ahead
 of emotional and moral intelligence), debilitating judgment about one’s
 negativity or shadow side, devaluation of the personal relative to the
 spiritual, and delusions of having arrived at a higher level of being.”

I encountered the concept of spiritual bypassing for the first time in Masters’ work. Although I was reluctant to admit it, I immediately knew on some level that this concept applied to me.

As I continued to reflect on spiritual bypassing, I noticed more and more shadow aspects of spirituality, and I realized that I had unknowingly been enacting many of them at one time or another.

Though painful, these were some of the most important realizations I’ve ever had. They’ve helped me to stop using a warped form of “spirituality” as an ego boost and to begin taking greater responsibility for addressing my psychological needs and the issues that arise in my life.

10 “Spiritual” Things People Do That Sabotage Their Growth

The best way to understand spiritual bypassing is through examples, so now, it’s time for some tough love.

I’m going to go into detail to describe ten specific shadow tendencies of spiritual people.

Caution: Some of these may hit pretty close to home.

Remember: You need not feel ashamed to admit that some of the items on this list apply to you. I suspect some of them apply to everyone who has ever taken an interest in spirituality. Most of them applied to me at one point or another, and some I’m still working through.

The goal here is not to judge, but to increase self-awareness in order to progress toward a more honest, empowering, useful spirituality. Let’s get into it.

1. Participate in “spiritual” activities to make themselves feel superior to other people.

This is probably one of the most pervasive shadow aspects of spirituality, and it takes many forms. Some people feel superior because they read Alan Watts. Or ride their bike to work. Or refrain from watching TV. Or eat a vegetarian diet. Or use crystals. Or visit temples. Or practice yoga or meditation. Or take psychedelics.

Note that I’m not saying anything about the value of partaking of these activities. I love Alan Watts and think meditation is quite beneficial. What I’m saying is that it’s alarmingly easy to allow your spiritual ideas and practices to become an ego trap — to believe that you’re so much better and more enlightened than all those other “sheeple” because you’re doing all of these rad #woke things. Ultimately, this sort of attitude toward “spirituality” is no better than believing you’re better than everyone else because you’re a Democrat or a Lakers fan. This dysfunction actually inhibits genuine spirituality by causing us to focus on one-upping other people, rather than cultivating a sense of connection to the cosmos and feeling poetic wonder at the sublime grandeur of existence.

2. Use “spirituality” as a justification for failing to take responsibility for their actions.

The essence of the point is that it’s very easy to twist certain spiritual mantras or ideas into justifications for being irresponsible or unreliable.

“It is what it is.” or “The universe is already perfect.” or “Everything happens for a reason.” can all function as excellent justifications for never doing much of anything and never really examining one’s behavior. I’m not commenting on the truth or un-truth of the above statements. I’m just saying that if you’re consistently hours late for appointments, if you frequently neglect your close personal relationships, and your roommates can’t count on you to pay rent, you might want to stop telling yourself, “Whatever man, reality is an illusion anyway.” and start becoming someone others can depend on.

In a similar vein, it’s surprisingly easy to deceive yourself into thinking that anytime someone has a problem with your behavior, it’s because that person “isn’t honoring my truth” or “just needs to grow spiritually.” It’s much more difficult to acknowledge the moments in which we act brashly, selfishly, or thoughtlessly and inflict suffering upon someone else. It’s much more difficult to admit that we too are far from perfect, and that growth and learning are never-ending processes.

3. Adopt new hobbies, interests, and beliefs simply because they’re the latest “spiritual” fad.

Human beings want to fit in somewhere. We all have a deep need to feel that we belong. And we form groups of all kinds to satiate this need. Spirituality is one interest area around which people form all sorts of groups. This is potentially a great thing, but it also has a shadow aspect.

For many people, “spirituality” is little more than a hip thing that a lot of people seem to care about. These people get the idea that they want to jump on the spiritual bandwagon, so they start practicing yoga, wearing New Age fashion items, going to music festivals, drinking ayahuasca, etc., and they tell themselves that this makes them “spiritual.” These “spiritual scenesters” dilute the significance of genuine spiritual inquiry, contemplation, experience, and realization. They also, in my experience, tend to be the “spiritual” people who are using “spirituality” as a reason to feel superior to others.

4. Judge others for expressing anger or other strong emotions, even when it’s necessary to do so.

This is one of the first patterns I noticed in myself after being introduced to spiritual bypassing. I realized that when people became upset or angry with me, my response was to say things like, “Getting angry doesn’t help anything.” or “I feel we would have fewer problems if we could remain calm.” Internally, I would silently judge the other person, thinking, “If only they were more enlightened, we could avoid this drama.” In many situations, this was my way of avoiding deep issues that needed to be addressed.

When you become interested in spirituality, one of the first quotes you’re likely to encounter is: “Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of harming another; you are the one who ends up getting burned.”

This quote is commonly mis-attributed to the Buddha, though it’s actually a paraphrase of a statement made by Buddhaghosa in the 5th century. The subtle point of the quote is that we shouldn’t hold on to anger; we should feel it, express it if necessary, then let it go. However, it’s very easy for the lay person to assume that this means that anger, in any form, is a sign that one is unwise, un-spiritual. This is untrue. Anger is a natural human emotion and a perfectly justifiable response to many situations. Often, anger is an indicator that there are serious issues that need to be countenanced within oneself or one’s relationships.

Ironically, many spiritual people repress all “non-spiritual” emotions and artificially heighten “spiritual” emotions/traits such as compassion, kindness, and equanimity. This leads to inauthenticity. One struggles to constantly present oneself as calm, gentle, nice, and in a state of perpetual peace, and ultimately ends up looking and feeling like a fraud.

5. Use “spirituality” as a justification for excessive drug use.

A lot of people, myself included, believe that psychedelic drugs can occasion mystical experiences and enhance (secular) spirituality. That’s all fine and good, but some people take this realization too far, using it as a way to rationalize self-destructive patterns of drug use and to blind themselves to the dark sides of various substances.

In the most extreme cases, “spiritual” people end up “performing cannabis ceremonies” during all their waking hours; taking psychedelics too frequently or in unsuitable contexts; and completely denying that these substances have any negative effects. Now, HighExistence tends to be pro-psychedelics, but let me give it to you straight: Psychedelics, including cannabis, have a definite dark side. If you’re irresponsible or simply unlucky, stronger psychedelics such as LSD or psilocybin mushrooms can occasion traumatic experiences with long-term negative ramifications. And cannabis, a mild psychedelic, is a seductively habit-forming drug that will subtly cloud your mind and erode your motivation if you indulge too much, too frequently. Respect the substances, and utilize them wisely.

6. Overemphasize “positivity” in order to avoid looking at the problems in their lives and in the world.

“Just be positive!” is often employed as a deflection mechanism by “spiritual” people who would rather not do the difficult work of confronting their own internal issues, wounding, and baggage, let alone the problems of the world. The “positivity” movement has exploded in Western culture in recent years. The Internet is overflowing with seemingly endless memes and articles repeating the same inane messages: “Think positive thoughts!” “Just be positive!” “Don’t focus on the negative!”

Though there is surely value in cultivating gratitude for the many marvels of the human experience, this movement seems to overlook something critical: The darker aspects of life do not disappear, simply because they are ignored. In fact, many problems in our individual lives and on the global scale seem only to worsen or complexify when they are ignored. In the same way that it would seem absurd to offer a heroine addict the phrase “Just think positive!” as a solution to their problem, it is absurd to believe that positive thinking offers any kind of solution to major global issues such as climate change, poverty, industrial farming, and existential risks.

This is not to say that we ought to take the world’s problems onto our shoulders and feel shitty about them all the time. It’s healthy to recognize and feel optimistic about the fact that in many important ways, the world is getting better. However, we need to balance that optimism with a willingness to confront real issues in our personal lives, our communities, our world.

7. Repress unpleasant emotions that don’t fit their “spiritual” self-narrative.

“No way, I can’t possibly be depressed or lonely or scared or anxious. I love life too much, and I’m too [Zen / wise / enlightened] to allow that to happen anyway.”

I ran into this issue when I moved to South Korea to be an English teacher for a year. I thought I had cultivated an unflappable chill, a Lao Tzu-esque ability to just “go with the flow” and float, bobber-like, atop the rising and falling waves of destiny.

Then I experienced culture shock, crushing loneliness, and acute homesickness, and I had to admit to myself that I wasn’t some kind of Zen master after all. Or rather, I had to realize that the ability to “go with the flow” and accept whatever is happening is perennially valuable, but that sometimes that will mean accepting that you feel like a steaming pile of shit.

It’s easy to delude oneself into believing that spirituality is going to make life feel like endlessly floating upon a cloud, but in practice, this is not the case. Life is still full of suffering, and in order to really grow and learn from our experience, we need to be honest with ourselves about what we’re feeling and let ourselves feel it fully. In my case, my desire to always be “Zen,” to “go with the flow,” and to project an image of inner peace to myself and others prevented me from seeing the truth of various situations/experiences and taking responsibility for dealing with them.

8. Feel deep aversion and self-loathing when confronted with their shadow side.

I noticed this in myself pretty quickly after learning about spiritual bypassing. I saw that my narcissistic image of myself as a wise person who had attained “higher” realizations was causing a ridiculous amount of cognitive dissonance. I judged myself scathingly and felt colossal, crushing guilt over any less-than-virtuous decisions.

When you become interested in spirituality, it’s easy to idolize people like the Buddha or the Dalai Lama, and to believe that these people are Perfect Humans who always act with complete awareness and compassion. In actuality, this is almost certainly not the case. Even if it’s true that some humans reach a level of realization at which they uphold “right action” in all circumstances, we need to acknowledge that such a thing is reserved for the very few. I personally suspect that such a thing does not exist.

In actuality, we’re all fallible humans, and we’re all going to make mistakes. The deck is stacked against us. It’s virtually impossible to live even a few weeks of adult human life without committing a few blunders, if only minor ones. Over the course of years, there will be major mistakes. It happens to all of us, and it’s okay. Forgive yourself. All you can do is learn from your errors and strive to do better in the future.

Paradoxically, the seemingly spiritual lesson of self-forgiveness can be especially difficult to internalize for people interested in spirituality. Spiritual teachings can leave one with stratospherically high ideals that result in immense guilt and self-loathing when one fails to live up to them. This is a major reason why it’s so common for spiritual people to deflect responsibility — because being honest about their shortcomings would be too painful. Ironically, we must be honest with ourselves about our mistakes in order to learn from them and grow into more self-aware, compassionate versions of ourselves. Just remember: You’re only human. It’s okay to make mistakes. Really, it’s okay. But admit to yourself when you’ve made a mistake and learn from it.

9. Find themselves in bad situations due to excessive tolerance and a refusal to distinguish between people.

This is me, 100%. For a long time, I’ve taken very seriously the idea that every human being deserves compassion and kindness. I don’t disagree with that idea nowadays, but I’ve realized that there are numerous situations in which other considerations should temporarily override my desire to treat every other human compassionately.

In multiple foreign countries, I’ve found myself in potentially life-threatening situations because I was overly trusting of people I did not know or overly kind to people who I should have recognized as shady characters. Luckily, I’ve never gotten hurt in these situations, but I have been robbed and swindled several times. In every case, I wanted to believe that the people I was interacting with were “good” people at heart and would treat me with kindness if I did so for them. That line of thinking was terribly naive, and I’m still trying to re-condition myself to understand that in certain contexts, being warm is not the answer.

The sad fact is that although you might be insulated from it, the struggle for survival is still very real for vast numbers of people on this planet. Many people have grown up in poverty, surrounded by crime, and have learned that the only way to survive is by preying upon weakness. The majority of people worldwide seem not to have this mentality, but if you find yourself in a city or country in which poverty is fairly prevalent, you should take certain common-sense precautions — basic things, like:

1. Don’t walk anywhere alone after dark.

2. Try to stay away from vacant areas.

3. Don’t stop to engage with people who try to sell you things.

4. Make distinctions between people; let yourself know that it’s okay to trust your brain’s highly evolved pattern-matching mechanism when it tells you that someone looks like they’re on drugs, deranged, desperate, or dangerous.

10. Want so badly for various “spiritual” practices to be correct that they disregard science entirely.

There’s a pretty heavily anti-scientific streak in a lot of the spiritual community, and I think this is a shame. It seems to me that many spiritual people become hostile toward science because certain beliefs and practices they find valuable are considered unproven or pseudoscientific within the scientific community. If a belief or practice is unproven or pseudoscientific, this only means that we have not yet been able to confirm its validity through repeatable experimentation in a lab setting. It doesn’t mean that it isn’t true or valuable.

The scientific method is one of the best tools we have for understanding the mechanics of the observable universe; it allowed us to discover the profound truth of biological evolution, observe the far reaches of space, extend our lifespans by decades, and walk on the moon, among other things; to discard it entirely is to lose one of our most powerful lenses for understanding reality.

As Carl Sagan memorably put it:

“Science is not only compatible with spirituality; it is a profound source of spirituality. When we recognize our place in an immensity of light years and in the passage of ages, when we grasp the intricacy, beauty and subtlety of life, then that soaring feeling, that sense of elation and humility combined, is surely spiritual. So are our emotions in the presence of great art or music or literature, or of acts of exemplary selfless courage such as those of Mohandas Gandhi or Martin Luther King Jr. The notion that science and spirituality are somehow mutually exclusive does a disservice to both.”

We’re All Learning…

I think that in order for the various interconnected global spiritual movements to be maximally impactful and useful, they need to address their shadow aspects.

In this essay, I have attempted to illuminate some of the blind spots that seem to be prevalent in the spiritual community. As I’ve said, most of the items I discussed applied to me at one point or another. It’s decidedly easy to fall into some of the traps of spirituality and to harbor various limiting beliefs and behaviors while feeling like one has reached a “higher” level of being.

The lesson here is that growth and learning are unending processes. If you think you have nothing left to learn, you’re probably sabotaging yourself in a number of ways. It can be profoundly difficult to admit that for a long time one has been incorrect or misguided, but the alternative is much worse. The alternative is a kind of spiritual and intellectual death — a state of perpetual stagnation in which one endlessly deludes oneself into thinking that one has all the answers, that one has reached one’s Final Form. In a rapidly changing world, continual learning is of paramount importance.

At its best, spirituality is a force that can help humanity realize our common identity as sentient beings, gain ecological awareness, feel connected to our cosmos, and address the most pressing issues of our time with compassion, ingenuity, equanimity, and what Einstein called a “holy curiosity.”

At its best, spirituality is a force which propels us toward a more harmonious, cooperative, sustainable future. Here’s to refining our collective spirituality and co-creating a more beautiful world.

 

 

~via ConsciousReminder.com

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OLWE: “Metaphysical Explanations Of Specific Physical Aches, Pains And Sicknesses

metaphysical health.jpg

As many people in the spiritual world know, everything happens for a reason. It becomes a lot easier to understand why things happen when we can see it from a metaphysical perspective. The following is a reference list for physical aches, pains, and illnesses, along with what your body is trying to tell you.

by Olwe

HAIR (head)

SOCIAL ‘STATEMENT.’ The hair and how it is ‘worn’ or grown on the head is the most immediate personal statement made by individuals as to their preferred ROLE in life. Often used as a sexual attractant, the hairdo (like all other ‘parts’ of our whole Self-identity) can become HOLISTICALLY-ENFORCED through time; resulting in a physical ‘proof’ of one’s personal Statement.. as in the ‘tonsure’ or Franciscan-style skull-cap baldness tendency in (especially) men, who wish to cultivate a public ‘image’ of themselves as a peace-loving, kind ‘brother’ even though that image CONFLICTS with certain tendencies to the contrary. Hair loss may coincide with sudden changes in self-image, often due to traumatic experiences that challenge one’s previous self-Statement. GENETIC TENDENCIES must, naturally, be considered a significant factor.

SCALP

SPIRITUAL SENSITIVITY. As the ‘highest’ actually ‘living’ tissue of the body, the scalp reflects CONTACT WITH HIGHER TRUTHS. Conflicts of religious opinion, philosophy or strong ‘psychic phenomena’ that are difficult to deal with may trigger a sympathetic development of skin-distress to the scalp.

SKIN

SOCIAL SENSITIVITY. Touch is the most potent form of interpersonal contact available to us; any traumatic or conflict-generating events in life may trigger a sympathetic reaction to the skin AT THE LOCATION ON THE BODY WHICH ‘DESCRIBES’ THE AREA OF STRESS. Whether eczema, rashes, boils or more serious skin-conditions, the holistic implication is that one’s inner sensitivities are being challenged or ‘outraged’ by events that require us to OVER-RIDE our normal responses, behaviors and feelings.

As many people in the spiritual world know, everything happens for a reason. It becomes a lot easier to understand why things happen when we can see it from a metaphysical perspective. The following is a reference list for physical aches, pains, and illnesses, along with what your body is trying to tell you.

BRAIN & NERVOUS SYSTEM

INFORMATION-PROCESSING. While there are many other things that we value highly and rely upon in life, INFORMATION or ‘factual input’ and how we deal with it is a powerful influence in life. Anytime we are forced to deal with INFORMATION-OVERLOAD or CONFLICTING IDEAS ABOUT REALITY, we may experience a sympathetic response from our brain and nervous system which processes that information. From migraine headache to spinal meningitis or other brain-and-spinal conditions, Information-related crises require deep analysis of one’s Information-Conflicts and how to restore a sense of ORDERLY COMPREHENSION OF REALITY.

As many people in the spiritual world know, everything happens for a reason. It becomes a lot easier to understand why things happen when we can see it from a metaphysical perspective. The following is a reference list for physical aches, pains, and illnesses, along with what your body is trying to tell you.

SKULL

PSYCHIC SELF-‘CONTAINMENT.‘ Our ability to BE OUR OWN UNIQUE TYPE OF PERSON is holistically centered in the bones of the skull. Trauma, injury or illness affecting this area indicates a difficulty ‘remaining who we are.’ The holistic suggestion is that one look at events or circumstances that may be FORCING CHANGE to the self-identity of the individual psyche, and seek ways to resolve the IDENTITY-stresses.

FACE

SHOWING ONE’S TRUE FEELINGS. ‘Expression’ or ‘the look on one’s face’ is subject to stress from any situation which limits our ability to fully EXPRESS our inner feelings. From having to conceal or ‘falsify’ our feelings, to having to ‘face’ strong opposition to those feelings from others, the face can experience a sympathetic response ranging from partial paralysis to inflammations, rashes, neurological ‘ticks’ or other abnormalities. Full, honest and stress-free SELF-EXPRESSION is, of course, the holistic ‘recommendation’ in all such situations.. though that often requires changes in the interpersonal ‘climate’ or lifestyle-situation.

EARS

GETTING THE ‘MESSAGE.’ Other people are constantly ‘telling’ us their feelings, needs and opinions. When we (for whatever reason) cannot or do not RECEIVE those feelings or give them credence, a sympathetic response may occur in the ears and auditory canal. From earache to tinitus (‘ringing in the ears’) or inner-ear infections or hearing-loss, such reactions indicate a ‘message-barrage’ that we are incapable of dealing with. A typical example would be the ‘input-overload ear-ache’ experienced by young children unaccustomed to school-room levels of ‘message-input’ from teachers, classmates and parents combined. While some hearing conditions do not respond to holistic improvements, in general it is recommended that a ‘break’ be taken in the message-input department while the stress is released. NOTE: some instances of auditory abnormalities are connected with unusual PSYCHIC STATES, including ‘spirit-communication.’

EYES

RECOGNIZING OBJECTIVE FACTS. ‘Seeing is Believing!’ We sometimes have to see and admit facts that we would prefer NOT to have to admit. Such conflicts between INNER ‘VISION’ and OBJECTIVE FACTS can cause a sympathetic response from the eyes and optical nerves.. leading to pain, impaired vision or other abnormalities. The holistic recommendation in such cases is to ADMIT THE TRUTH and find new ways to ‘see’ the future that are more realistic. NOTE: there are SOME things that we can see which challenge every conventional idea of ‘reality.’ Whether called hallucination, clairvoyance or ‘divine visions’ these events, too, can only be accepted and DEALT WITH as ‘in-SIGHT’ into the Self and it’s relation to a Reality which may be far stranger than any of us realize!

SINUSES

PSYCHIC SOUNDBOARDS; how we ‘register’ subliminal input from others. Human beings are not always completely ‘up-front’ with each other about their real feelings. Sometimes we are being sent one ‘message’ verbally, and quite another on a silent, emotional level. In such situations, the Sinus cavities in the face and skull can have a sympathetic response in the form of pressure, blockage and infection which informs us that we are receiving PSYCHIC INPUT in between people’s words. The holistic recommendation is CLEARING THE AIR through communication; asking others their feelings and expressing one’s own, until eventually one can ‘track-down’ the source of the pressure. NOTE: some extremely sensitive ‘psychics’ experience sinus-blockage as part of their telepathic and clairvoyant sensitivity, and only advanced psychic-development training can help them ‘track-down’ THOSE sources.

NOSE

TESTING THE AIR AROUND US. Mankind may be thousands of years away from the other animals in intellectual development, but we retain many animal-level senses and instincts that our ‘civilized’ lifestyles do not teach us to recognize. The sense of SMELL is one of those. Recognized as the most direct sensory pathway into the brain, Smell informs us on an instinctive or animal-level of our safety, social ‘welcome’ and natural association with others. When we attempt to over-ride this instinctive, unconscious knowledge, we may experience a sympathetic response in the form of nose bleeding, blockage, pressure or other afflictions to the nasal cavity and linings. The holistic recommendation is greater PERSONAL SPACE, and the ability to surround ourselves with the people and other ‘smells’ that we ENJOY personally.

LIPS

THE SOCIAL INVITATION. No other part of the body so reflects our happiness or it’s absence as do the lips. Smiling or frowning, open with anticipation or trembling with emotion, the lips are almost a barometer of human feelings. When our feelings toward others is severely traumatized, we may experience a sympathetic response in the form of cold sores, blisters, inflammations or other painful conditions.. or even impaired nerve control of the lips and mouth. The holistic recommendation is to ‘clear the air’ through honest communication, restoring the sense of social ‘desirability’ and permission to relate as we are inclined to do.

MOUTH, TEETH & GUMS

INCOME AND THE EARNING OF WEALTH. We truly live ‘hand to mouth,’ no matter how wealthy or removed from manual labor we may be.. for the Body/Mind/Spirit Interface ‘knows’ that all ‘income’ MEANS ‘food.’ When we are undergoing financial stress or change, we may experience a sympathetic response in the form of pain, infections or other trauma to the teeth, gums or inner mouth regions. The holistic recommendation is Career-stress reduction, financial planning or other work-and-wealth related improvements designed to minimize or end the stress over ‘how to earn the food’ one needs.

NECK

KEEPING YOUR HEAD ON STRAIGHT! Structurally, the only real ‘meaning’ of the neck is that it holds our head on. Anytime one experiences a conflict between Ideals and Reality, the neck may experience a sympathetic response in the form of mis-aligned bones, nerve pain or difficulty moving or turning the head. The holistic recommendation is to find ways to narrow the gap between Idea and Fact; either making our Ideals more realistic or making our Reality more ideal.. or BOTH!, whatever it takes to remove the CONFLICT and ‘get your head on straight’ again.

THROAT & LARYNX

KEEPING IT IN OR GETTING IT OUT! The throat has the unique role of EITHER swallowing things (such as food and drink) or expressing things (such as words or song.) Sometimes, however, we get the two functions confused, and start ‘eating words’ (your own or someone else’s.) This can cause a sympathetic response in the throat; in the form of sore throat, laryngitis (loss of voice) or even difficulty with the swallow-reflex. The holistic recommendation is to decide whether one is ‘having something shoved down your throat’ or whether you are swallowing words that YOU really WANT to speak. In most cases, one or the other will be occurring, and merely deciding to change that pattern is enough to end the sympathetic reaction. NOTE: many throat stresses become severe enough to allow the development of virus-infections, requiring medical attention to fully correct it.

SHOULDERS

BEARING THE LOAD. The shoulders are the only part of the body which can carry a heavy weight for any great length of time. As such, they ‘mean’ exactly that to the Body/Mind/Spirit Interface. Anytime we experience stress or change to the burden-bearing part of our life.. such as too much responsibility at work, or a change in our work ‘load’.. we may experience a sympathetic response in the form of pain, loss of strength or nerve-conditions to the shoulder areas. The holistic recommendation is WORK-LOAD REDUCTION.. though that is easier said than done, in many cases. Often we feel we simply MUST ‘bear it’ because other cannot; and our condition may worsen instead of getting better from knowing why the problem began! However, since massage, heat, acupuncture, chiropractic care and other treatments can often reduce the pain of work-load stress, many people continue to overwork long after the body has advised them to stop it. Eventually, the body INSISTS!, and severe distress is it’s final word.

ARMS

REACHING OUT TO OTHERS. The ‘social Embrace’ or how we reach-out to other people depends on both US and THEM; problems reaching-out OR a difficult relationship either can traumatize us about RELATING, and a sympathetic response may occur that causes pain, weakness, numbness or other distress to the arms. The holistic recommendation is RELATIONSHIP COUNSEL; find the STRESS and REMOVE IT. Sometimes that means working on one’s OWN relating skills, while other situations may require work on our partners, co-workers or other important social contacts. The real focus must be; RELATING and RELATABILITY. The details will differ from case to case.

WRISTS

THE SOCIAL ‘POSE.’ Everyone (even those who think themselves completely ‘natural’ in their way of relating!,) has a ‘pose’ or ATTITUDE toward Relating; and this is visible in how one ‘postures’ the hand, using the WRISTS to position them. From ‘limp-wristed’ to ‘hand-fluttering’ to ‘stiff-armed’ we identify our Social Attitude to others, constantly. When any form of conflict or injury to our Social ‘Pose’ occurs, there may be a sympathetic response in the form of pain, inflamed joints, weakness or other abnormalities to the wrist. The holistic suggestion is to discover what the trauma WAS and CORRECT IT through re-building self-confidence and social ‘poise.’ Grace with strength might be a good motto for wrist-trauma healing; for we need BOTH in order to be both strong and flexible enough to remain ourselves in a world full of OTHER approaches to social contact.

HANDS & FINGERS

OUR TOOLS OF THE TRADE. To the Body/Mind/Spirit Interface, our hands are our PROFESSION in life. Whatever we have ‘put our hands to’ as a career, our relationship to it is reflected in the strength and health of our hands and fingers. Any sudden trauma or change to our work-skills (such as a lay-off or job-transfer) can cause a sympathetic response in the form of pain, weakness or other distress to the hands. The holistic suggestion is that one should re-evaluate your professional skills and job-performance, seeking a less stressful or more enjoyable work for your hands to do. While this MAY involve career-change, it may also be a simple matter of Continuing Education or even shared work-duties, to free your hands for happier ’employment.’

RIBS & TORSO

ONE’S PERSONAL ‘BOUNDARIES.’ We each occupy ‘personal SPACE’ in life. Some need more, some less of it. But anytime we are being either ‘invaded’ or having our space taken away from us, we may experience a sympathetic response in the form of injury, pain or other distress to the rib cage and surrounding muscles. The holistic recommendation is that you try to identify how (or whether) your personal Space is being altered by circumstances you cannot control.. and find ways to ADAPT to it if you cannot keep it from happening. In any case, setting WORKABLE ‘BOUNDARIES’ for your own territorial needs is the real issue.

THE INTERNAL ORGANS:

LUNGS

PERSONAL ‘BREATHING ROOM.’ Crowding or the over-pressurized emotions of living too closely-inter meshed with others from whom one cannot get enough distance to ‘be yourself’ can trigger a sympathetic response from the lungs and bronchial airway leading to asthmatic pressures, coughing, respiratory infections or other ailments. The holistic recommendation is for SPACE-CHANGE; restructuring one’s lifestyle to allow ‘Breathing Room’ and the permission to BE YOURSELF without constant stress from those around you. NOTE: if water-retention is involved (as in pneumonia or emphysema) a ‘Sympathy Crisis’ or excess of EMOTIONAL CONCERN for (or FROM!,) others is often involved.

As many people in the spiritual world know, everything happens for a reason. It becomes a lot easier to understand why things happen when we can see it from a metaphysical perspective. The following is a reference list for physical aches, pains, and illnesses, along with what your body is trying to tell you.

HEART & ARTERIES

STAYING IN THE FLOW. We live our lives by COMMITMENT to the people, places and things we LOVE or ‘believe in.’ Anytime this ‘flow of life’ which we have committed-to becomes UN-TENABLE for us (and we MUST allow change in things we do not WANT to see change,) we may experience a sympathetic response from the Heart and it’s arteries.. leading to irregular heartbeat, abnormalities of blood-flow or ‘upheavals’ such as heart-attack. The holistic recommendation is for a thorough re-evaluation of your COMMITMENTS in life; from career to family, relationships to recreation.. seeking areas of commitment that are no longer SUPPORTABLE as a ‘happy FLOW’ in your life. Updating one’s commitments may reduce the stress to these vital life-sustaining tissues.

DIAPHRAGM/PERICARDIUM

THE ‘DRIVING FORCE’ OF PERSONAL PREFERENCE. Of the many human emotions, DESIRE is among the most central to our happiness. When we cannot get the things we desire, we may become angry, frustrated, depressed or lethargic.. and we may experience a sympathetic response from the great muscles which pump our lungs (the Diaphragm) or the muscle which pumps the Heart (the Pericardium;) leading to irregularities of heartbeat, blood-pressure, breath-control or circulation of blood throughout the body. The holistic recommendation is for an honest re-appraisal of one’s REAL DESIRES IN LIFE, seeking areas of personal affection that are missing, difficult to relax about or otherwise traumatic. The real issue is HAPPINESS; what is preventing that MUST be addressed, to restore a sense of contentment.

THE METABOLIC GLANDULAR SYSTEM

OBEYING THE AUTHORITIES THAT RULE US. We are each ‘ruled’ by whatever we consider ‘the Authority Structure’ in our lives. Whether the Law, our Spouse, Family, Traditions, Divine Authority or ‘destiny’ these Rulers literally DRIVE US to obey their wishes through deep psychological influences which govern the secretions of our endocrine or ductless gland system (most of which are located in the brain and torso;) leading to such problems as abnormal weight-conditions, energy-crises such as exhaustion or insomnia, and fluctuations in the body-temperature and other metabolic changes. The holistic recommendation is a re-evaluation of the things which ‘Rule’ you; seeking ways to either change them, relax about them or make them less stressful. A basic guideline is that NO ONE IS REALLY JUST A ‘SERVANT;’ and we do not have to spend our lives ‘obeying’ others. HAPPINESS rather than ‘duty’ is the key to healthy living.

THE LIVER

‘THE ONE LIVING INSIDE YOU.’ The Soul or Spirit may not be a ‘medically recognized’ organ, but it DOES have profound implications for our wellbeing. Anytime we become ‘dis-spirited,’ self-judgmental or in any other way SOUL-‘sick’ we may experience a sympathetic response from the inner organ which performs the same job for the body that the Soul does for the whole Self; the LIVER.. which purifies the body and stores-up the nutrients in our blood-stream for future use. Imbalances of Soul or Spirit can lead to blood-impurities, hardening or inflammations of the Liver and other potentially life-threatening conditions. The holistic recommendation is SPIRITUAL ‘HOUSE-CLEANING;’ finding the areas of self-judgement, guilt, shame or other spiritual crises, and ‘making Peace with one’s Spirit.’ NOTE: a strong connection between such judgements and out-worn religious fears is often part of liver-related conditions.

GALL BLADDER

CRITICAL ANALYSIS: The Ability To JUDGE WISELY. Bile (or Gall) is a powerful ‘analytic acid’ secreted by the Liver and stored in the adjoining Gall Bladder for later secretion into the digestive organs.. where it breaks-down (or ‘analyzes’) our food. Anytime we are under great stress to ‘analyze’ things accurately in our lives we may experience a sympathetic response in the form of DIGESTIVE-ACID IMBALANCES leading to under or over-acid stomach, indigestion, pain or inflammation of the gall bladder (or the development of ‘gall stones’ in the gall bladder.) The holistic recommendation is ACCURATE ANALYSIS OF THE STRESSES WE ARE UNDER. Often these will be found to be relationships or situations in which we have failed to be properly CRITICAL.. allowing less than honest opinions to be expressed, and thereby damaging our sense of FAIRNESS. Honest expression of one’s critical opinions and a full ‘venting’ of one’s feelings is recommended.

STOMACH

THE SATISFYING OF AMBITIONS. Our personal ‘appetite’ for food and our ability to ‘digest’ (or analyze) it properly is reflected in the primary digestive organ of the Stomach. Anytime we undergo change in our Ambitions (or ‘appetite for success’) in life, we may experience a sympathetic response in the form of stomach distress. From nausea (the desire to reject our former ambitions) to lack of appetite (uncertainty about what we really WANT in life) or nervous stomach (anxiety about whether our ambitions will be successful) or even the development of stomach ulcers (over-emphasis on ‘success’ of our ambitions,) such imbalances imply AN AMBITION-CRISIS. The holistic recommendation is a thorough analysis of what you consider ‘success’ to be, and finding new ways to be HAPPY about your ‘success drive’ until you can again happily ‘stomach’ your life.

SMALL INTESTINE

SYSTEMATIC ATTAINMENT. The ability to plan-out and logically attain one’s goals through the ‘daily grind’ of WORK-EFFICIENCY is the natural follow-up to our ambitions.. having an exact mirror in the function of the Small Intestine into which our food passes from the Stomach, to be ‘ground-up’ and systematically reduced to useful elements. Anytime our ability to ‘grind ahead’ in attaining our goals is impaired, we may experience distress to this intestine, leading to cramping, burning, pain or bowel gas-buildups or other digestive problems. The holistic recommendation is for career and goal re-evaluation followed by streamlining of work-systems, logical problem-solving and efficiency-improvements.. until we can again turn the ‘daily grind’ into a sense of daily ACCOMPLISHMENT.

SPLEEN

NURTURING THE BLOODLINE. As our food is finally reduced to useable elements it is passed to the Spleen to be distributed to the body via the bloodstream.. which is a mirror-reflection of how the human FAMILY and HOME-LIFE caretake the individuals within it. Anytime we are having problems with DOMESTIC or FAMILY ‘NURTURE’ we may experience a sympathetic response in the form of poor food-assimilation or the inability to properly USE the nutrition we are taking-in.. leading to bloating, gas, diarrhea, exhaustion or pain in the mid-back and abdominal areas. The holistic recommendation is FAMILY or DOMESTIC RELATIONSHIP COUNSEL, directed at finding where the ‘Nurture’ or SUPPORT Crisis is in one’s life, and restore the sense of being ‘taken care of’ by the ‘bloodline’ or household.

PANCREAS & BLOOD-SUGAR LEVELS

PERSONAL ‘SWEETNESS.’ One of the primary nutrients of the body is Blood Sugar.. the most immediately-useable nutrient sent into the blood after digestion. This sugar is regulated by the Pancreas and it’s glands, which determine the LEVEL or AMOUNT of sugar in the blood. Anytime we are having difficult with our own INNER ‘sweetness’ as a person, we may experience a sympathetic response in the form of blood-sugar imbalances including hypoglycemia and diabetes. The holistic recommendation is a full review of the subject of personal ‘sweetness.’ Are you TOO ‘SWEET’ for your own good.. meaning incapable of expressing your angers, frustrations and personal needs? Or do you ‘bounce’ between ‘sweet’ and SOUR or BITTER as a personality? Such questions rightly answered may have some influence over blood-sugar levels; though genetic patterns may also have great influence over it as well.

LARGE INTESTINE / COLON / APPENDIX / RECTUM

LETTING GO OF THE PAST. Once we have digested our experiences in life, we need to RELEASE them, just as the body does with past food-intake. Anytime we have difficulty letting go of past experiences.. whether from guilt, attachment to the status-quo or other ‘anal-retentive’ tendencies.. we may experience a sympathetic response from the lower bowel, leading to pain, inflammation, bleeding or even rupture (or perforation) of the Colon and it’s Appendix. The holistic recommendation in for LIFE-CHANGE: allow yourself to let go of the situations (or, if need be, the relationships) which are no longer ‘right’ for you.. and (like yesterday’s food) ‘pass along’ the way. NOTE: refusal to let go when we know we really WANT TO can produce life-threatening situations. Caution and speedy resolution is needed.

KIDNEYS

HEALING THE BLOODLINE. Our ‘bloodline’ or genetic family or household is just as capable of having things to let go of as the individual body is. Whether old ‘traditions’ or such stresses as child (or parent) abuse, religious opinions that make happy relating impossible or other traumatic ‘legacies’ such problems may become intolerable and lead to a sympathetic response from the organs which perform the function of purifying the blood for the body.. the Kidneys; leading to infections, kidney stones or even kidney failure. The holistic recommendation is LETTING GO OF FAMILY-ENFORCED PATTERNS, beliefs or behaviors that one does not ‘agree’ with. While this may lead to interpersonal stresses of it’s own, such Self-liberation may have a healing effect on the Kidneys.. and you simply cannot LIVE without their help! The issue to remember is that ‘family traditions’ are only valuable if they are HEALTHY for all members of the bloodline.

BLADDER

RELEASING SOCIAL PRESSURES. Water, which forms the vast majority of our bodies, represents to the Body/Mind/Spirit Interface SHARED EMOTION. Anytime we are having difficulty getting our society to SHARE with us emotionally, we may experience a sympathetic response in difficulty releasing urine from the urinary bladder. On the other extreme, over-pressurized social situations may inflame the bladder and urinary tract, leading to incontinence (inability to control urination) or infections to the urinary tract. Sexually transmitted viruses (rightly called ‘social diseases’) are another indication of over-emphasis on RELATING within society. The holistic recommendation in all bladder complaints is RELEASE OF PRESSURE. Look for ways to RELAX about how society sees you and your way of fitting-into it.

THE REPRODUCTIVE ORGANS

RE-CREATING LIFE. Regardless of our sexual gender, we each have the ability to ‘give life’ on an almost godlike level.. through sexual reproduction and OTHER acts of CREATIVITY. From the arts and music to social reform, there are many ways of Re-Creating Life; and ALL of them are symbolized to the Body/Mind/Spirit Interface as our Sexual Organs and their functions. While we can all see the reproductive ‘reason’ for sexual attraction between breeding pairs, we often overlook the fact that (holistically speaking) ALL SEXUAL DESIRE IS THE DESIRE TO ‘RE-CREATE’ LIVING PEOPLE. Anytime one is having any form of distress or dysfunction to the sexual organs, the holistic recommendation is to look-anew at your sexual DESIRES, trying to see them as a desire to RE-CREATE the people and sexual behaviors you are attracted-to.. for stress or dysfunction to the sexual organs holistically MEANS ‘CREATIVITY CRISIS.’ What you are here to ‘re-create’ and how your sexual nature fits into that is part of the puzzle you must solve! Look to Creativity for answers to any problem involving (in women) the uterus, vagina and ovaries.. and (in men) the penis, testes and prostate (all of which are part of the need to Re-Create Life through shared Sexual PLEASURE.)

THE SPINE

THE UPRIGHT ATTITUDE or Philosophy. How we ‘hold ourself upright’ as a person (our posture) ‘means’ to the Body/Mind/Spirit Interface SELF-OPINION.. which is determined by our basic Philosophy in life. Anytime we experience trauma to that philosophy or the self-esteem it gives us, we may experience a sympathetic change in the spinal bones.. leading to a wide array of pains, spasms, nerve-flow abnormalities and other problems. The holistic recommendation is Philosophic Review.. looking for any possible out-dated ideas about ourselves that the trauma points-out.. as well as any SELF-ESTEEM problems we may be having. NOTE: structural injuries are extremely difficult to correct without professional help! Chiropractic, Spinology, Yoga, Massage or Physical Therapy may be needed, as you address the inner issues of OPINION and SELF-ESTEEM that influence your ‘posture’ in life.

SAECRUM (BASE OF THE SPINE)

THAT WHICH IS ‘SACRED.’ At the very ‘foundation’ of one’s philosophy in life is SOMETHING that one holds ‘sacred’ or LIFE-GIVING. Whatever that happens to be for you (divinity by any name) influences your relationship with the base of the spine. Anytime one experiences anything that challenges or upsets one’s relationship with divinity, there may be a sympathetic response in the form of Saecral pain, bone-misalignment or other injury. The holistic recommendation is a reconnection with divinity by whatever means is possible; whether meditation training, spiritual development courses or even religious ‘rebirth’ if that is one’s opinion of divinity. The real issue is RE-ALIGNMENT WITH DIVINITY: the details must fit your own ideas or experience of what divinity IS.

HIPS

THE PACE OF ONE’S LIFE. The hips set the ‘pace’ or speed of our walking movements. Consequently anything that challenges or changes the pace of our life (anything from aging to sudden demands for faster progress) can cause trauma to the Hips. The holistic recommendation is re-evaluation of the ‘pace’ of our daily lives, with an eye to MORE SENSIBLE or MORE EFFECTIVE ‘pacing.’ Are you moving TOO fast for your own good.. running a bit too hard?.. or in need of a sudden ‘kick-start’ to get you moving faster? The hips will tell you CLEARLY! Listen to their advice, and they will normally return to ‘a happy pace’ on their own.

LEGS

‘SUPPORTING’ YOURSELF. The Legs are our primary ‘supports’ in life, and the way we ‘stand up’ for ourselves. As such, they reflect the Holistic ‘meaning’ of RIGHT LIVELIHOOD (or financial self-sufficiency) and other expressions of self-WORTH. Anything that distresses or changes our ability to Support ourselves can cause a sympathetic response in the form of pain, injury, strain or other problems with the Legs. The holistic recommendation is for SELF-SUPPORT (career or financial) PLANNING.. and changes to make self-support more viable for you. Also, if you are having difficulty in defending yourself against other points of view or authoritative personalities, self-confidence or even martial-arts training may be useful in healing Leg-related conditions.

KNEES

‘BOWING TO THE GREATER GOOD.’ Life often puts us in situations where, in order to serve what we see as the Greater Good (such as the needs of the family, company or society) we must ‘bend the knee’ and BUCKLE-DOWN to our ‘duty.’ Such situations can trigger a sympathetic response in the form of pain, nerve abnormalities or other problems with the Knees. The holistic recommendation is to EXPRESS YOUR FEELINGS FULLY while going on with whatever you feel you MUST do for the Greater Good. This can give you the inner feeling of properly honoring your own best interests as well as those that are ‘greater’ than personal in importance. Long-term knee-stress would indicate a need for greater emphasis on the Self, and less on ‘duties’ that are obviously stress-producing for you.

ANKLES

CHANGING DIRECTIONS IN LIFE. No other part of our anatomy is so crucial to our DIRECTION OF WALKING as the Ankles are. Consequently any trauma or stress over which direction to proceed in (or conflict with others over directions you are jointly moving in together) can cause a sympathetic response in the form of pain, strain or injury to the Ankles. The holistic recommendation for all Ankle problems is a careful analysis of your LIFE-DIRECTIONS in every area from career to lifestyle, relationships to long-term plans.. and try to find any areas of CONFLICT with others in your immediate ‘support-group.’

FEET

TAKING A ‘STAND’ IN LIFE. We are deeply influenced by our relationships with others, and it is often difficult to make our own personal ‘stand’ on things known and respected by those we care about or work around. Anytime the stress this creates becomes more than we can ‘stand’ there may be sympathetic response in the form of pain, injury or other problems to the Feet, toes or toenails. The holistic recommendation in all such situations is to clearly define where you ‘stand’ on matters of importance at the time.. and get that recognized and validated by those around you. Look for any areas of CONFLICT between where you stand and the stand of others, for is is normally conflict that generates PAIN.

SOLES OF THE FEET

CONTACT WITH NATURE. The skin of our feet is our most constant contact with Mother Earth, and consequently the Soles carry all of the stresses we may have over contact with Nature. Injury or other problems to the Soles indicates a greater need for ‘naturalism’ in your lifestyle. Look for new ways to contact the Earth.. including gardening, hiking, swimming, etc… as ways to help comfort the Soles.

TYPES OF ILLNESS

ASTHMA: Ego-Pressure; personal Ego-desires are conflicting with one’s commitments to others

BLEEDING: Releasing Genetic History; letting go of past patterns inherited from one’s family or society

CANCER: Un-Natural Self Image; considering oneself ‘inhuman’ or WRONG in one’s (usually intimate relationship) Lifestyle

CHILLS, COLDNESS: In-Coming New Patterns; Evolutionary Inspiration underway

DIABETES: Sweetness Crisis; enforced ‘squelching’ of ANGER over long periods of time, usually family-enforced patterns

ECZEMA, Skin Rashes: Abrasion Crisis; having to tolerate unacceptable contacts or activities

EMPHYSEMA: Telepathic Overload; “drowning” in unexpressed interpersonal emotions toward oneself

FEVERS, INFECTIONS: Ego-Transcendence; releasing old patterns of self-identity and behavior

GOUT: Pampered Temper; a self-image in permanent ‘pout’

NUMBNESS, WEAKNESS: Avoidance Crisis; something is being ‘abdicated’ or denied

PAIN however caused: Inflamed Focus; a problem-area pointed-out

PALSY, uncontrollable SPASMS: Response Crisis; not knowing how to react to others or situations

PNEUMONIA: Depression Crisis; “drowning” in Self-Pity over things that cannot be ‘fixed’ except by forgiveness

~via IN5D.com ~Thank you to Olwe for allowing us to share this information on In5D. To learn more please visit Olwe’s website.

PEGGY BLACK: “Wisdom and Guidelines For Multidimensional Humans”

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PERRY GARFINKEL: “The 7 Habits Of Highly Spiritual People”

Laughing-Buddha

“The Dalai Lama giggles his way to enlightenment. Alfred E. Neuman has that eternal grin. The Laughing Buddha is, well, laughing. Spiritual people are happy.”

 

In truth, that headline is misleading. This list is merely a starter set, not the be-all and end-all assuring spiritual bliss. (And what’s so mystical about the number 7 anyway, other than that it appears to boost book sales?) As the unofficial and self-declared Stephen Covey of spirituality, I add this encouraging caveat: just like bad habits you can’t break, the same can be said of good habits. Try some of these, reap the rewards — those would be love for and from others, love for yourself, love in general — and they will become addictive, giving rise to many other random acts of spiritual goodness that will take over your life.

#1 Highly Spiritual People Give Rather Than Take.

To give is indeed divine. Some research on altruism suggests people commit selfless deeds precisely because such acts make them feel good, therefore refuting the notion of selflessness. Hogwash. Is breathing selfish? If we didn’t give, and give generously, we’d die. I really believe that. Giving is human nature; it’s just that we forget our own Spirit-Nature sometimes. Giving can take many forms; simply paying attention to someone is a gift.

#2 They Say Yes More Than They Say No.

Naysayers are a downer. “No” closes our hearts like cholesterol. (Naturally, this excludes saying “No” to drugs or other self-destructive, noxious or illegal behaviors.) “Yes” affirms life. People always would rather hear yes rather no. Unless it’s when you ask your doctor, “Do I have herpes?”

#3 They See Possibilities, Not Problems.

As Shunryu Suzuki writes: “In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities; in the expert’s mind there are few.” And this may be the only time you hear Norman Vincent Peale quoted right after Suzuki-roshi, but there is something to the power of positive thinking, if not “The Power of Positive Thinking.” Spiritual people are optimists. They believe in belief. They are the lemon-to-lemonade folks, the problems-as-opportunites advocates, the positive spin
Masters.

#4 They Walk A Mile in Your Shoes.

They understand that empathy means feeling another’s pain but not so much that they take on others’ pain and become another’s pain. With that empathy, they tend to know exactly what to say or do for you to make you feel better. In gratitude, we say to them, “You are a saint.” Even when we do not mean it literally, it is true — literally.

#5 They Count Blessings in Small Wonders.

They do not expect Spirit to appear accompanied by fire and brimstone and a big neon sign flashing in the sky. They are not waiting for the Big A-ha. Nor are they waiting for the cure to cancer, the job promotion, or the love of a lifetime. They appreciate the tiny details: the smile of a child, the sparkle in an old person’s eyes, the morning’s first ray of sunlight. While others have recommended not to sweat the bad small stuff, spiritual people savor the good small stuff.

#6 They Give Compliments Generously, Accept Them with Humility.

There is no limit to people’s need for praise and appreciation. I suspect that even Donald Trump deep down is desperate for a compliment. Spiritual people do not see people’s “need” for support as a weakness or flaw. They see it as a cry for love, and they comply without hesitation. On the other hand, those who respond to a compliment with grandiose objections and deflections, who cannot accept a compliment with grace, probably feel they are not worthy of it. But they are worthy of it. Even the Don is worthy of it.

#7 They Worship Where and When the Spirit Moves Them.

They don’t need a temple or church to practice their spirituality, nor do they need a Sunday morning service at 10 a.m. They don’t even need a rabbi or a priest or a lama or sensei. Their spiritual setting is a forest, a beach, a mountain top. Their setting is a movable spiritual feast, for they know the true spiritual setting is within. And it travels with, and within, them wherever they go.

And a year-end bonus:

#8 They Laugh a Lot

Have you noticed? Santa ho-ho-ho’s his way down the chimney. The Dalai Lama giggles his way to enlightenment. Alfred E. Neuman has that eternal grin. The Laughing Buddha is, well, laughing. Spiritual people are happy. Not just the smiley-face kind of happy, but the deep-down-content kind of happy. If you have trouble getting to happy, try this trick I learned years ago from no less a sage source than the musical “Bye Bye Birdie”: “Just put on a happy face.” The act of smiling alone triggers a happy hormonal shift, from “gloomy mask of tragedy” to “spreading sunshine all over the place.” And what could be more spiritual than that?

So, let’s get to the point.

  1. Source created perfection
  2. You and I are part of that perfection
  3. We inherited the DNA of Source, and we said, “Hey, you know what, we want to also create perfection.”
  4. Source put up a curtain, and created imperfection so that we could create perfection again.

That’s it.

Our imperfect world was created so we could create perfection, instead of having it given to us. It’s like a picture puzzle. Source created this elaborate painting and we said, “Wow, what a painting! We want to create one like that.” So Source made it into a picture puzzle, separating the pieces so we could put it back together.

The chaos in our lives, the distance we feel with others — and within ourselves — is all an illusion. It’s because of the space that was created when all the pieces were pulled apart.

The effort we came here to do is to remove the space. Every time we snap the pieces together – BOOM – another piece of perfection appears in our lives.

Imagine if you were a five year old kid and I said, “Here’s a puzzle, it’s already assembled.” Would you enjoy it? No. The first thing you’d do is shake it up in the box, creating space between the pieces. The more you’d shake it up, the more chaotic it would become.

Then you’d dump it out on the floor and start building the puzzle. That’s when the fun would begin.

That’s what effort’s all about. Happiness given to us doesn’t feel like happiness. Happiness that we create – now that feels like happiness!

Create your happiness this week. Create your certainty. Create your love. If there is pain and struggle in your life, then remind yourself of the picture puzzle. Remember the Light is there, perfect, and that you asked for the sweat on your brow simply so that you could feel the satisfaction of being a Creator.

And know that whatever you are struggling with will have a positive result.