Posts tagged ‘Spiritual Growth’

Thoreauvian Living – Is it for you? On less is more.

Henry David Thoreau – His philosophy is best described as a praise to simplicity, nature, and in more common terms, “less is more.” To live in truth and authenticity.

It is in our nature to search for truth, our truth, and it varies from person to person. When we find it (or think we do) we hold on to it despite social trends or what people may think. I see a movement of many souls wanting to return to simplicity and to nature. Whether they go back to farming, move to the country, embrace tiny-house living, or sell everything and make RV traveling/living their new surroundings and lifestyle, they are all yearning for the same – the sweetness of a simple life.

Many times, a catalyst in people’s lives causes the longing, followed by action and change. The person who has not gone through this process might not comprehend, or think of it as crazy, but only one who knows finds meaning in his/her new truth. It takes simplicity of heart and freedom of mind to embrace your truth, whether you find it in a cabin in the woods or in a penthouse on Fifth Avenue, Manhattan.

To each its own, and to all, truth in being.

Crescent Moon, Rising Sun – On little by little, one step at a time.

This post is a reflection on my experience. At one point, I had become fully engaged in multiple goals, personal and professional – maybe too many. I had always been a dreamer, and the type of person who felt guilty if there was a slot of time not filled with something productive. Multitasking sounded more than acceptable, and I engaged in it as well. It was right of my alley. I put a lot of pressure on myself over the past 10 years to accomplish everything that I thought “was due.” Some things I did not accomplish, some I started and decided to stop because the time was not right for them to be fruitful, and others, I decided to put aside for good. At times, it felt as if I was swimming at high-speed not to miss the boat that was already gone, or so I thought. I tried to catch up with my dreams and with time. It was a matter of time before the crash.

I had to learn to slow down and live one day at a time. I discarded the word multitasking and adopted a new philosophy of living – one thing at a time, one day at a time. I stopped blaming “others and the situation” and accepted the truth – that I am the only one in control, and the one who sets the pace. I had to go back and retrain myself in various areas. I also learned to depend more on God and less on my vision of things, although I don’t consider myself a religious person in the popular meaning of the word. This process strengthened my faith and patience. I saw that I could express more little by little, step by step. I enjoy the task at hand more, and am able to widen my vision; I see more now. I trust God’s process more.

I was a heavy planner and I thrived on multiple lists both short-term and long-term, many times as far as a 10-year plan. I am not suggesting that planning is bad, on the contrary, it is healthy; obsessive or too much structured planning is not the best choice. I had to understand that life’s plans can change in a split of a second – it is called life. Life doesn’t get in the way, it just is. It is called living. I plan now for living, not for the sake of achieving. Some of you might argue that part of living is achieving, and I agree. I say that achieving without living is pointless.

Now, I look at a crescent moon slowly gaining its fullness. I look at the rising sun after the darkness, and I know that all happens one day at a time. All.

 

Leave Behind What Does Not Fit

Life is a cycle. We are born, grow up, mature, age, and die, but during that time, we are being reborn over and over, not only physically as our organism regenerates, but also, mentally and spiritually. We go trough many experiences that shape and mold our thinking, our souls, leading to spiritual growth while developing our humanity. This growth is as personal as it can get, individual and unique. What may seem unfair for someone is what the person/spirit needs to advance to the next level.

Imagine a perfect life where everything is in balance at all times, where there is no conflict and things always work the way it is expected. How can there be growth? Many times, we observe the person who seems to have the perfect life according to our definition of “the perfect life” and that person seems to be going through a rough patch. Immediately, we put on our judgement glasses and we cannot understand how is possible for Mr. or Mrs. Perfect Life to even feel challenged in her/his environment. Our human minds cannot accept or comprehend it. However, if we take off our judgement glasses and put on spiritual glasses we see that the person is going through his/her own growth cycle and the experience is unique, and at a different level than our own. What that person feels and experiences is what is necessary for the spirit to move along the journey. Sometimes there is growth and sometimes there isn’t, and that is a decision that every soul in the planet has to make according to the choices presented and the opportunity to choose. The adage, “To each, its own” says it well.

When we are experiencing the challenges of life, the opportunities to grow spiritually and humanely, we get the chance to reevaluate our lives, the challenge, past and present experiences, and look into the future with new eyes. We are given the opportunity to leave behind what does not fit anymore, and change armor. We all do it throughout our lives, at our own level and pace. In order to grow, it is necessary to leave behind that which does not fit our Now.

Acceptance is Transformation

Following my earlier post about core topics on my novels, I decided to write today about the core theme in Ramblings of the Spirit. Although there are many themes throughout the novel, these are driven by one core theme – acceptance. I mentioned before that change is transformation, but before transformation takes place, acceptance must be present.

Acceptance just as change, is never easy. This is because when we come to the point (at a place in heart and mind) to accept, we have fought a battle (physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually). If we are to receive growth and transformation, we must let acceptance in. Acceptance is very personal and different for individuals . Why? Because it draws from all the above mentioned (four) areas and prepares the person (the whole) to undergo transformation.

In Ramblings of the Spirit the theme of Acceptance is shown through different characters, but mostly through Dinorah Sandbeck, the main character. At one point or another in our lives, we will undergo change and transformation, and in between, lies acceptance. The battles that we fight in the four areas of our whole persona are fought at once, whether we realize it or not. Acceptance becomes the vehicle, the bridge towards transformation. When we learn to accept, we open these four areas to receive, and to receive what fits us at the moment of transformation. Acceptance does not equal resignation or giving up, on the contrary, it keeps us going so we can be transformed. When we accept, we view our situation with the eyes of understanding, knowledge, physical strength, and spiritual discernment – all leading to transformation.

I leave you with an excerpt from Ramblings of the Spirit (Book 1 of The Dinorah Chronicles). It is a good example of the senses and four areas engaged during transformation.

“The run there cleared my thoughts. I was ready to handle the consequences, for better or worse. The water was cold so I sat by the dock. The water had a purifying effect on my soul, always did. Every time I visited the lake, I felt renewed. The sound of the water hitting the canoes was relaxing, and the scent of dead leaves was intoxicating. I abandoned myself to the kiss of the sun and the coldness of the dying grass. The sky was crisp blue and a few clouds seemed to dance on it. All this magnificence surrounded me, and yet I felt so tiny inside. My heart was shriveled with pain, the pain and fear of …” – Dinorah Sandbeck.

 

Cover for Ramblings of the Spirit

Cover for Ramblings of the Spirit

 

 

Change is Transformation

Yesterday, I was thinking about all the themes in Moonlit Valley, my first novel. Throughout, I could identify many underlying topics such as love, trust, spirituality, the paranormal … and many others; however, I wanted to identify a core theme, and I think that if I was going to select only one theme, it would have to be the idea of Change.

In Moonlit Valley, the idea of change carries all the other themes, and it makes itself present throughout the entire story, up to the ending.  Change is never easy. It may be good or bad, but never easy. Why? Because it shakes our foundation, causing us to react, and pushes us forward. Even when we resist change, we have to react to it – whether for better or worse.

When change manifests (or we bring it about), inevitably, we become engaged in body, mind, and spirit, as well as emotionally. Our reaction and action will engage those aspects in different degrees, and how we deal with each part, will propel or slow us down.  Many times, we “hover” but not necessarily resist change; sometimes, hovering is what we need – a truce – to be able to proceed with the proper action for us.  Whether that time is short or long does not matter, as long as we recognize the need for it. It is after the truce, that transformation occurs.

Because change is never easy, we should prepare our mind, body, and spirit for it and through it. We do that by minding each aspect, and doing what is needed to promote its wellness, as an example, you would nourish your body by eating well, healthy foods, and exercising it, and avoiding unnecessary stress situations, patterns, or habits. Nourishing the mind and spirit as well, will ease transformation. Many times, change brings with it a sense of spirituality or spiritual transformation, of growth and connection. How we deal with change, during the transformation, will determine our growth, or stagnation – but it is always up to us. We are in control of our emotions.

I leave you with a small excerpt from Moonlit Valley.

“Loss changes your perception of things. It sweeps the hallways of your mind and dusts off your most precious memories. It forces you to open the doors of rooms closed for a long time and peer into your soul, looking for the last ray of hope, of faith. The hope you desperately need now, knowing that at one point, you had put it somewhere and forgotten about it. When you find it, you grab a hold of it, tight, fearing that when you wake up tomorrow, it could be gone. Tomorrow arrives and you realize that although in a faint state, it is still there, and you hold on to it again.” – Rose Carrigan 

MOONLIT VALLEY

MOONLIT VALLEY

Not all Who Wander are Lost …

The Wandering Jew, a protective figure of the ...

Image via Wikipedia

“Sometimes we may think we are on the right path, but only to find that we have wandered without a purpose.” 

This was my reply to one of my posts that gave birth to this post.  Many of us may be familiar with this quote “Not all who wander are lost” (J.R.R. Tolkien – The Lord of the Rings).  I am a fan of it.  It may seem to contradict my earlier statement, however it does not.  Sometimes, wandering takes a purpose on its own – a purpose of exploring, of wonder, of self-love, self-help, of the lessons that one has to learn to be able to set foot on the right path.  I can surely say that I have wandered for most of my life.  At times I felt lost, sometimes I sworn I was in the right path, on the right direction, and at other times, I realized that the detour was necessary for my personal enrichment and enlightenment.  However, in all my wandering there was always a purpose, it was never aimlessly.  Wether that purpose was right for me at the time or not, is not important, because it made me wander the paths that made me who I am today.

Yes, there are many times that I look back and say, “If I wouldn’t have taken that turn, I will probably would have accomplished this and that, and save some time in the process.  However, I recognize that those lessons were necessary for my spirit and for my mind.  Today, the quote “Not all who wander are lost” resonates with me as true as ever.

Simplifying Your Life

sun rise of margate and redcliffe sunrise with...

Image via Wikipedia

Simplifying your life may sound easier than done.  That is because when we decide to (truly) simplify our lives, the process has percolated in the spiritual sense.  Something has happened on the inside that is starting to manifest on the outside.  The truth is that we do not recognize this; we just feel the desire of simplifying our material lives and this is where we usually start.  Suddenly, we start decluttering our home and environments in which we spend most of our time.  We declutter our desk, closets, attic … and the healing begins.  This is necessary to make space on our cluttered minds and hearts to welcome the things that are needed for our healing.  This is a personal process, for some people, it takes longer than for others, and you arrive at this cleansing stage on your own terms and in different circumstances.  The important issue is that you arrive and let the growth begin.

What started as material decluttering suddenly transforms into spiritual decluttering as well, and the path’s design is personal – unique to you.  Each one of us are here on a journey – whether a short or long journey.  Many times, people watching you from the outside do not understand this much-needed cleansing and may think that you are going nuts, even try to dissuade you to hold on to your stuff – “Get a storage space,” they will suggest, “You will be sorry you got rid of that one day,” and some other similar remarks.  However, it is up to you – it is always up to you to continue your journey.