Recharge your spiritual growth this year
One of the simplest and useful tools to use as a coach is the Wheel of Life. This is a great introductory aid to help a client to understand what area of their life needs more focus. The wheel also helps people to identify those areas of their life they can feel gratitude for when things are going well. One of the portions of the wheel is around spirituality. Although you may be attracted to growing spiritually, like others, you might find you aren’t putting in enough time or effort to recharge your spiritual growth.
While I don’t subscribe to religious doctrine, I do advocate having some daily rituals or practices which help to open your mind to your spirituality and to deepen your understanding of your true self, or your spiritual self.
Stages of spiritual growth
How to Know God by Deepak Chopra describes a number of stages of awareness we proceed through in our spiritual journey. Broadly speaking the stages are:
- Fight-or-Flight Response: God the Protector
- Reactive Response: God the Almighty
- Restful Awareness Response: God of Peace
- Intuitive Response: God the Redeemer
- Creative Response: God the Creator
- Visionary Response: God of Miracles
- Sacred Response: God of Pure Being–“I Am”
Stages of awakening
There are of course many paths to God and A Course in Miracles discusses 6 stages of awakening. The premise of ACIM is to undo the ego and to end existential guilt. ACIM is an extremely loving text although it is not for the faint-hearted, and timing has to be right to delve into this. Your intuition will guide you here. However, according to ACIM the stages to achieve these aims and become a teacher of God are:
- Sorting out
- Settling Down
Whatever your particular path, sometimes progress isn’t always linear. For you to recharge your spiritual growth, you sometimes have to take a backward step. There are times you may feel you are back where you began! In order to stay in touch with your true or spiritual self, then certain daily practices can help to keep you on track and to remind you of your progress, as well as deepen your understanding.
1. Read or listen to spiritual teachings
It’s really difficult to recommend spiritual teachings in the form of books or audio because everyone’s’ spiritual path is unique. Just be guided by your intuition and see what resonates with you. In the past, I’ve personally felt deep excitement when ordering books which I have felt guided to read. The trick here is not to worry too much as to whether you are choosing the right teaching. Sometimes what you read or listen to doesn’t resonate.
One reason for this may be you are simply not ready for the teaching. I had A Course of Miracles on my bookshelf for almost 8 years before I reached the stage of wanting to study it. Another reason might be you are being shown contrast so you can decide a particular teaching is not an idea or a path for you. The important thing is to get started in order to recharge your spiritual growth.
2. Write a daily journal
I cannot stress enough how powerful the habit of writing is on your spiritual journey. Buy a special notebook which is for your eyes only. This notebook will serve as a communication tool between your spiritual self and your higher power. You can use your journal to write how you are feeling. If you are feeling negative, you can use your journal to pivot your thoughts and ideas, until you can feel more peaceful inside. Write down inspirations when they come to you. Get busy with writing down situations and people you feel grateful for. Developing gratitude in this way brings much good to you. Ask questions of your higher self by writing them down. Sometimes you will be inspired to write the answers and at other times the answer will pop into your mind.
3. Pay attention to your dreams
Carl Jung the Swiss psychoanalyst developed theories that dreams can be messages from our subconscious minds. He believed that dreams provided symbols which can help us to identify ideas, beliefs and observations that come from this hidden part of ourselves. A deeper theory is that people who appear in our dreams are simply aspects of ourselves we need to become aware of. Dream interpretation often isn’t a practice you may be able to be an expert at immediately. However, with some patience and will, your dreams can recharge your spiritual growth by helping you to learn more about yourself. Use your journal to record significant dreams and allow yourself time and space to decipher what they mean. Like all spiritual intuition, your dreams are helpful and benevolent. If you experience nightmares, these are more about your fears coming to the surface.
4. Keep Order
It’s difficult to recharge your spiritual growth if you are distracted, confused, stressed or your attention is on other things. If you keep order in your environment, either at home or at work, it is easier to relax and make time to connect with your higher self and undertake regular spiritual practices. If you have a personality whereby you like order and organisation, this will be easier than if your personality likes spontaneity and detests being orderly. Introduce a simple practice of keeping correspondence up to date. Clear away clutter and items you simply don’t use. Tidying up every morning or evening helps keep your mind focused and at peace. Keep a “things to do” list and make sure you get into the habit of crossing off your priorities every day.
I used to struggle with the practice of meditating until I realised two things. Firstly, just the habit of clearing my mind of thoughts and activity was soothing and help to interrupt negative thought patterns. Its a little bit like running a constant race, feeling breathless consistently, and experiencing the relief when you stop. This first realisation made me understand that I didn’t have to achieve great things through meditation. As a result, I simply relaxed.
The second aha moment came when I realised there was very little chance of me connecting with my higher self when my mind was in overdrive on the mundane. The ego thought system is definitely in charge most of the time. What the practice of meditation means is I stop listening to the ego and open my mind up to my higher self. There is no right or wrong about how you meditate, but do persevere. You will definitely reap the benefits eventually.
So there are my 5 recommendations to recharge your spiritual growth, what are yours? Do comment below, I’d love to hear your experiences or tips!