Tag Archives: Spirituality

Spirituality Without Fanfare

Once you have been on your spiritual path for a while you will start to realise that it is best to not take yourself too seriously.

There are two types of people who practise spirituality, in my experience. Those who tell others how powerful they are or how enlightened they are or how good their expensive courses are…and those who just get on with it, quietly and without fanfare. Do a course for fun if you think you will get something out of it but do realise that the only thing really worth spending is time itself. Time to learn, time to experiment, time to let things simmer.

Unfortunately being bombarded with all these enlightenment sellers can put some potential newcomers off discovering more about themselves and their possibilities and that’s a shame as there is nothing to be nervous about. Don’t be scared by the hype, don’t be put off by those who dress themselves up as mystical beings who need to be adored. They are selling a service which is the spiritual equivalent of getting your nails painted…it’s fun but it isn’t an essential life choice. You can do what you need to do with a little online research, free resources, reading books and, most importantly, living the life and gaining the experience.

Those who are quietly spiritual know that everyone is an individual who will be spending years on their unique path, no expensive course is going to get anyone there quicker. Sorry. Sometimes it can even slow progress down as you are following someone else’s path not your own. Their way of doing things might not be yours.

Your path is your own and you don’t have to be doing A, B or C to qualify for any award. There is no award. There’s a reward for taking a spiritual path though. Several of them.

If you can successfully meditate you can make your daily life calmer and happier. This can take the edge off the hardest situation. YouTube has some really good meditations. Try Michael Sealey or Jason Stephenson.

Practising mindfulness will give you a better outlook on life and will make those challenges easier to deal with because you stay in the moment, at least long enough to have a break from your mind chatter. Here is a 8 week free course, run by Dave Potter a fully certified MBSR instructor.

Being able to work with the energies to heal yourself and others for free is your way to give back and to do your bit to help change one small part of the world which is suffering…whether that be an individual or a situation.  Learn how to give reiki to yourself with this previous article of mine Reiki For Self Love.  Where you go with it afterwards when it comes to helping others is for you to decide.

Ritual is a way to bring order to chaos as well as engaging in aged practices – whether you just count your morning ritual of shower, tea and toast before work or rituals used with your deity of choice, such as prayers. A good morning ritual sets you up for the day and most of us have several rituals which we enjoy. Perhaps yours is a candlelit bath or a cup of chamomile tea last thing before bed. A ritual is simply something you do at a certain time and, sometimes, for a certain reason. Getting a few rituals of your own in place will bring structure and certainty to your day and you will find you look forward to doing them. They will bring a comfort and a smile, a sense of well-being.

Learning how to work with herbs is another way that you can help yourself. Again there are many online courses out there for the basics but a good book will do you just as well too if money is tight. The work of Susun Weed is a good start if you are in the USA or Herbcraft by Anna Franklin and Susan Lavender is an excellent choice for those in the UK and Europe. Herbcraft gives a broad use for plants including medicinal and magickal as well as a bit of history for interest.

Learning which plants are edible is very important so do take care as there are some deadly ones out there too. 

Knowledge is essential when using herbs in whatever form you choose them. Several good books for cross referencing are essential and you should never rely on just one photo in a book to decide which plant is in front of you in the wild. Several good, clear close up photos are needed. Of course, the company of someone who already knows is ideal but few of us have that and so we must take things gradually and be careful with our choices by being sensible.

Here is a fun video done by someone just starting out using herbs. We all have to start somewhere…

Many of us enjoy a cup of chamomile tea or peppermint tea so why not take it a step further and start learning how to work with the energies of the plants in your vicinity, growing your own or even just in their essential oil form. Pure oils can be used for cleaning and sanitising your home, refreshing the aroma, getting rid of garden pests, used to heal yourself and pets and in a multitude of ways.

I have had no training in essential oils but taught myself gradually over many years and now use them in every part of my life. They are surprisingly versatile, useful and helpful and, of course, chemical free if chosen wisely. There are many articles online which will help you choose a starter arsenal of essential oils. My first three choices would be roman chamomile, lavender and peppermint. I have linked to an article for each to get you started if you are new to essential oils.

If you are starting off on your path and follow the signposts above and in my previous nine articles then together they should give you your first few footsteps. You will be on your way to a spiritual life which allows you to grow, gain confidence, deal with challenges, heal your everyday niggles and give love and strength to those around you. There will be days when it all seems too much and you will want a break. Be kind to yourself on those days and do whatever you need to do. Everyone has a spiritual crisis at some point in their lives…sometimes more than one…but this is good because this is where the biggest shifts happen.

My final suggestions are to enjoy life, love who you are and do what you have to do to make your life your own. Never be dictated by those who surround you or even those in your area of choice spiritually. Always trust your instincts and if you aren’t sure what they are saying then meditate and wait. The answer is there.

This article is part of Your Spiritual Life series. Other articles in the series can be found in the top menu.

Using Tarot Cards To Receive Answers From Your Spirit Guides

I believe everybody has their own spirit guides. Whether they come in the form of guardian angels, your own higher consciousness or separate energies such as ancestors, reiki guides or deity is entirely up to you to decide.

Some time ago I found having a scientific brain made the of concept of believing I was able to talk directly to my guides quite difficult to accept. I thought if I did (or was trying to do so) that it could well be just my imagination and that the answers received were therefore not reliable enough to be taken seriously. I needed another way.

I have a few tarot decks which I have bought myself or that other people have bought for me for special occasions. I had been starting to learn the tarot for use with the Kabbalah and for self improvement purposes only as I wasn’t that keen on using them for divination as such. I prefer to make my own future and always hope that I do a better job than some of my past decisions. I believe that the future is a fluid, changing wave and therefore any type of fortune telling is a bit of a waste of time. This is just my opinion, based on my energy work, and I am happy for people to disagree with me 🙂

I had a particular deck of cards my partner had bought for me. I couldn’t seem to get these cards to work for me in the usual way I used them. The cards were shuffled and dealt as normal but never seemed to deal with the matter at hand. I was very disappointed as I loved the look of them and had asked him specifically to buy these ones for me but now I couldn’t gel with them.

One day I had got the pack out to try again and I idly shuffled them as I pondered a difficult family matter, my mind drifting off the task at hand and on to more personal matters…happens to all of us! As my mind mulled over the problem a card flew out of the pack. Instead of thinking myself clumsy and putting it straight back in the deck I felt compelled to give it a closer look. What I found was exact guidance to my family matter. Curiosity compelled me to carry on. I talked about the problem as if talking to a friend out loud and asked for two more cards to fall out. These came as I talked and the three cards together gave me the guidance I needed.

Of course, I tried this several times after that. I would sit and talk fluently out loud about a problem or situation and the cards would fall out as necessary.  They have never been wrong since and I now use this particular deck all the time as my own special thread between myself and my spirit guides. It is a great comfort and extra special as my partner bought them for me.

You don’t have to know how to read tarot cards to use them to communicate with your spirit guides.

To start with you can use the guide book to look up the meanings and write each session up in a journal so you can look back on the situation, and the insight given, another time. As you go forward you may find your intuition allows you to decide what each card means for you personally. The interpretation in the book which comes with the deck is the interpretation of the decks creator but it is not cast in stone and you may find the meanings change for you. This is perfectly okay. You can meditate on the cards individually without a question and answer session to decide their meaning for you and write this up in your journal or you can simply let nature and determination take its own natural course and let their meanings make themselves known as you go along.

There is never an incorrect way in spirituality and your path is your own…always and without reservation.

The advice you get through the tarot will always be helpful when it comes from a place of unconditional love. Before the start of each session it would be sensible to visualise yourself in a crystalline egg, surrounded by white light. Set your intention at the start of the session for the work ahead and ask your spirit guides to come through with unconditional love, protection and advice for your highest good.

Your guides will always give loving advice and will never tell you to do something which you find uncomfortable. Neither will they mind if you don’t follow their guidance. Everything is your choice and you are always in control.

Try this for yourself and let the answers you seek flow freely, in trust that the help is there whenever you need it.

This article is part of Your Spiritual Life series. Other articles in the series can be found in the top menu.

Finding Your Safe Place

Lots of people have already found certain places in nature where they go to regroup or relax. This can be as simple as a tree in the local park where they can stop off whilst walking the dog to take in the view and taste the air.

My favourite place is by a particular tree which is generous enough to replenish me with its energy whenever I visit. I don’t visit quite often enough for my taste but it is a difficult tree for me to get to and so I savour it when I do get there. Not even my immediate family knows of my attachment to this particular tree. I keep that knowledge close to my heart because it is special to me and holds more power than if I verbally share it and its whereabouts indiscriminately. That’s what I choose to believe and that belief has served me well.

If you are lucky enough to have a public park near to where you work then do visit in your lunchtime. Take that half hour and your sandwiches and get outside. It will wake you up, increase your productivity and your mental agility too. Even if you haven’t got a whole park to yourself then a bench or somewhere peaceful outside is ideal to replenish a weary mind. It can also be the place you go to catch your breath when the human race has been particularly trying. It will become a place of regrouping, comfort and fresh starts.

If you don’t have a few trees handy then the next best thing is putting on a pair of noise cancelling headphones on and listening to sounds of nature or, taking it one step further, imagining a forest in your mind’s eye and creating your own place to escape to during meditation. You might want to start with a guided meditation first if this seems daunting. There are plenty of options on YouTube if you want to try this. How about this one from Linda Hall?

A place to feel joy, gratitude, love and happy memories and to make new ones.

A place to go to when times are testing.

A place where you can be yourself, without judgment.

However you find your sanctuary it will serve you well.

This article is part of Your Spiritual Life series. Other articles in the series can be found in the top menu.

Why Do Bad Things Happen?

Usually bad things happen because we were in the wrong place at the wrong time or a decision we made has led to the circumstances we now face.

It certainly isn’t because we have upset a higher power. How do I know this? Because if our chosen gods were that involved in what we do there would have been no Adolf Hitler or any other dictator of a similar ilk. Lightening, if it were to strike anyone, would surely have struck Hitler or any other past or current leader who has done or currently does that amount of harm to so many.

Bad things happen because, well, they just do. It’s part of the web of life.

I don’t believe bad luck befalls us because we have asked for it or deserve it.

Some might argue there is always a plan. That our chosen deity has put these people or difficulties in our way to challenge us individually or as a species. Hitler certainly did more than challenge and it appears very few of the lessons humanity was taught by Hitler have done anything to make a significant change in the here and now. In 2017 I would say we are even regressing when it comes to racism, bigotry and committing genocide. Hitler got in to power because he was charismatic and he pandered to greed, power and superiority complexes not because a deity put him there to teach us a lesson.

Some religions would have us believe if we don’t do as the ambassador for that religion dictates then we will be punished by deity for our actions. I don’t subscribe to this nonsense at all and believe it is simply a way for religious leaders to control those people who choose to hang on to their every word.

I have had some horrible things happen to me (and to those in my family) in my lifetime so far. This isn’t because we deserved these things to happen nor because we attracted this bad luck. They happened because we made some questionable choices which resulted in these things happening. This isn’t self-pity by blaming myself or them, this is a simple fact. Every day we face choices and every day consequences of those choices are felt. If we fall over a crack in the pavement then we should have watched where we were going. Years ago we would do these things, laugh with some embarrassment or cry with pain and move on.

These days we look to blame others and be compensated.

We are building a culture of blaming others and taking no responsibility for ourselves.

When we blame bad luck we are turning the focus from our own choices on to the Universe and blaming that instead. Anything rather than just accepting that sometimes s*** happens or that we really should have thought more about the idea which led to our present circumstances before taking action.

Next time, hey?

How we deal with an upsetting event in the here and now is what will potentially shape our next few weeks or years.

It probably won’t change the life of whom we blame. In fact blaming someone else or something else can often result in the emotional impact living with us for decades because there is often no come back, no compensation and no karmic return and this can lead to depression, shame and regret. Sometimes even going so far as to destroy lives.

What bad things do give us is an opportunity to look within and grow as people. We can use these circumstances to better ourselves as individuals and come out the other side stronger and more able to face further challenges in the future. It also gives us the tools to help others who have similar things happen to them and it gives us a clearer perspective of our own blessings. If you have ever been hungry, truly hungry, you will appreciate every meal after that. If you have been cold, you will notice and appreciate the heat of a warm home. If you have ever wondered if you have a true friend then any bad times you have will make this clear one way or the other.

If you can learn to appreciate the small things around you that bring life and sustenance then you can find joy, peace, happiness and love for yourself and for others who cross your path.

Those things are ultimately the good parts of when bad things happen. If we let ourselves look at the hard times in that way, by looking inward for growth rather than looking outward for rewards, we will become more able to see the joy and be in our truth.

This article is part of Your Spiritual Life series. Other articles in the series can be found in the top menu.

Your Spiritual Cement Mix

When you are building the foundation for your life path you are going to want to make sure your cement mix is well-balanced so your cobblestones stay fixed 😉

Your mix may consist of many things, here are a few of mine, not in any particular order, apart from the first. Meditation is one of my foundation corner stones.

Meditation Aromatherapy
Mindfulness Flipboard Creativity
Podcasts Tarot Cards Oracle Cards
Knowledge Audiobooks Laughter
Love Herbs Hugs
Understanding Gardening Appreciation
Reiki Photography Gratitude
Crystals Films Learning

These are just some of the things which, together, see me through life and keep me walking forward. Now there are still days when this lot aren’t enough and I allow myself a pyjama day. Yes, awful, isn’t it?Awfully GOOD! Do I feel guilty because I am having a not-so-good day? Nope. Life happens. One foot in front of the other. A tub of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream is optional.

Getting your mix right is a lifelong challenge and when it works you won’t need to change a thing. Sometimes though you can come unstuck and then you may want to try other things. It is worth investigating potential things for your cement mix when things are going well. That way, on a difficult day, you don’t have to think too much. What about having something crafty to do on standby or go to somewhere like a park in your lunch break with a new book to read as you eat? Keep something to one side which you will see as a treat and something to fortify yourself with in times of greater need. I have a bar of Dairy Crunch on hand for emergencies. You may see a theme here…chocolate and ice cream are real treats for me and are also a bit naughty 😉

Whatever floats your boat and rocks your world.

Personally I don’t watch the news on television. I get the main headlines online and then I do some investigating if I want to know more. This not only means I choose how much negativity to bombard myself with, it also means I am more informed than I would be by just listening to one or two news channel’s narrow reporting. It allows me to read about both sides and make my own mind up rather than being told what to think.

For other news, such as science, nature or environmental issues, I simply use Flipboard to weed out the latest and then, again, research it myself if it piques my interest. It is amazing how much more you find out and, sometimes, how different it might be from what you have heard. The above video made me laugh, laughter is good, and yet the content is also so very true.

Once you have the right cement mix you can start building your path and then start trying out various things which enhance you and encourage emotional and intellectual growth whilst knowing your emotional core is strong. A strong foundation gives you the strength to be more independent in thought and more curious to try out new things. Find out what resonates with you and don’t wait for someone else to tell you what that might be.

This article is part of Your Spiritual Life series. Other articles in the series can be found in the top menu.

Your Spiritual Life

This week sees the start of a little series called Your Spiritual Life containing my musings about living a spiritual life. I am starting with the very basics of your foundation and then moving into all sorts of areas which will include articles on things which have helped me personally.

You can find this series in the menu at the top of my blog and I will put a heads-up on here when a new article has been posted.

Today you can find articles there on:

Personal Needs

Faith

Tolerance

Your Spiritual Cement Mix

Why Do Bad Things Happen?

Finding Your Safe Place

Using Tarot To Receive Answers From Your Spirit Guides

Creation and Growth

Irrational Fear of Others

Spirituality Without Fanfare

See how these play their parts in creating a strong foundation which will help you to get the most out of your spiritual life.

In fitness a strong body core is often talked about but we also benefit from a strong mental core and sometimes we may find ourselves floundering a bit when we realise something is missing from our lives but we don’t quite know what it is. I believe that missing piece is our spiritual need, regardless of whether we have a religion we follow or not.

One point I must make is that I follow no named religion and have not written this to preach or turn anyone away from what they believe in already. My musings are to spark ideas and give tools to those who want to enrich their lives. It is for those who wonder and have a curiosity but don’t know where to start.

I respect all religions and the right of anyone to believe in what or whom they wish as long as they harm no other or themselves.

I hope you find the series of value 🙂