Thursday, August 9, 2012

Staying grounded in spiritual journeys

When I was a teenager (1994 to be exact since I used to date all my book purchases), I bought a copy of Hester Mundis' "101 Ways to Avoid Reincarnation".  It was a silly purchase that I have now spent years giggling over, but it was also my first lesson in why we need to keep at least one foot on the ground while on our spiritual journey. While mocking isn't the ideal way to make a point about what should or should not do along your path through life, it does sometimes make us stop, question what we're doing (and spending money on). This book ,over the years has been another of mirrors I use to see my life clearly.  It's made me uncomfortable; it's made me laugh, and most of all, it makes me stop and think before I try out somebody's new idea.

My advice for staying grounded (earthed as Ffaff the Ffooter in Brian Froud's faery cards calls it- see Keeping your feet on the ground for an exercise), is simple.

  • Before you buy what anyone is selling you, ask yourself what they get out of you if you follow their advice and what do you get out of it.  If that weighing seems lopsided, beware.  
  • Leave room in every new belief or practice for change, including changing your mind completely.  Spiritual growth is never static and one size does not fit all.
  • Your spiritual journey should not ever deprive you of access to your loved ones, your money or your own opinion.  If a group, a guru, a relationship tries to cut you off from the world, it wants to control you, not help you.
  • Practice informed consent in regards to medical care, healing, and therapies of all types.  It is your right to know what's going on and how to leave if you are uncomfortable.
  • The physical world is only one piece of the equation.  True growth will touch all aspects of your life.
  • Letting go is hard, but sometimes very necessary.
  • Ask for help, listen to advice, research things, then make a choice. Wandering lost doesn't help you, especially if there is map within reach.
  • Imitate trees- be flexible in the wind, but keep your roots protected.  Sunshine, rain, and soil can cure many little ills if you let them.
  • Laugh at your mistakes.  There is always someone out there who made a bigger one and laughing it off helps speed healing rather letting it fester under the surface.
  • No one can walk your path for you because yours won't look like anyone else's.  I share mine with you because you might be able to pluck out a bit of wisdom or help or comradeship from my stories, but not every post will ring true for you.  Writing is a way for me to learn, but yours may be very different and that is a wonderful thing.
The toughest part of spirituality is to remain both in the here and now, but to also touch the otherworlds within ourselves.  If we focus too much on either side of that balancing act, things shift out of place, leaving us vulnerable to harm.  Staying grounded is very important.  If what you are doing to grow spiritually feels wrong or threatens your hold on your everyday life, you need to let go of that practice, maybe just for a little while.  It does you no good to be happily drifting along in the Astral if your physical life is falling to ruins.

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