by Laura Castanza and Julia George
One of the greatest challenges for souls who have chosen to reach higher consciousness in this lifetime is how to use our newfound awareness and still address and endure a physical existence which is mostly operating at lower frequencies. Once we awaken to the realization that we are spiritual beings having a human experience, our dilemma is creating balance between our awareness and
the surrounding, less conscious, physical world. Unless we are born in the context of a religious tradition that surrounds us with teachers and gurus in some monastic environment, we find our self in a unique position of trying to practice our spirituality among others who are largely unaware. Our ego struggles with its purpose to survive and be significant, while our spiritual self innately knows our purpose, the impermanence of our existence, and the bigger task at hand which is to heal and uncover/become the source of light we are. This duality can cause much suffering unless we recognize the conflict and incorporate the basics of our spiritual practice to resolving the issues in our daily life.
Our spiritual practice can be tied to religion or not, and is represented through our personal value system. Our practice usually brings us into a moment of awareness, connection, and contemplation with our presence here on Earth and that of the spiritual world. When we engage in our practice, we take time to enrich our self with prayer, meditation and teachings/philosophies that reference and support our beliefs. Our value system is derived from this context and tends to direct us towards loving our self and others. We can spend minutes, hours, and days studying scripture and teachings from masters, but it matters not if we do not feel the messages from within.
Hypocrisy is the result of knowing valuable teachings and practices towards betterment, yet unable to produce the antidote(s) in times of distress. A classic example would be engaging our self in a religious service, yoga class or meditation, and then initiating or participating in road rage/anger on the way home. Intense emotions are part of the human condition, born of our story/upbringing, causing damage when we lack the immediate emotional awareness as to what is happening within us. Emotional awareness then becomes our savior.
Emotional awareness is when we identify what we feel at any given moment, and deal with those feelings consciously. Emotions are physical indicators followed by thought. Because we are energy, emotions sense undercurrents in every situation, and our response is physical before we even know what we think. Thoughts emerge *almost immediately, referencing past experiences of pain or pleasure that leads to our reaction. If we feel pleasure, we’re apt to indulge in the situation. If we feel pain, a “fight or flight” reaction occurs. Either is bound to create further pain through the destruction of another and our self (fight), or the continuous avoidance of our issues (flight). There is an alternative.
Facing our emotions through identifying sensations, and then lessening their intensity through self care is our opportunity to create harmony and awareness in any situation. This is our chance to transform old patterns and reinforce our higher self. How do we do this? Through the basics of any spiritual practice: breathing, mindfulness, gratitude, and harmony.
Breathing is the first and foremost action we must take in any situation. If we don’t breathe, we cease to exist. When we *consciously breathe, we are caring for our self and lessening the intensity of the situation (everybody benefits). Whatever is happening externally, beyond us, becomes secondary to our self-care whether the situation is serious or not.
Mindfulness is the monitoring of our thought process in the present moment. Our mind can be wild and unpredictable with the stories it creates in every situation. If we let it operate in an undisciplined manner (without our attention), we risk succumbing to a creation that is not in our best interest, nor in the light. Mindfulness is also referred to as *moment-to-moment awareness: listening and responding thoughtfully (even if only an internal dialogue takes place).
Gratitude is being thankful for all of our opportunities, no matter what. We have choices, giving us what we need in our life. If we are on a spiritual path, we have an understanding that we are working towards healing our self. Healing takes effort, and is assigned to us through lessons related to the choices we make. It’s experiential learning. The more we become aware, the less drama we experience. We will still experience pain, loss, and the gamut of emotions; however, the duration and suffering will lessen over the course of our lifetime (if we are truly feeling).
Harmony is contributing/shining our light in every situation. When interacting with others, it is important we bring our best self into the mix. This is not to say that we cannot or should not share our challenges with others; it means that we must deal with our self and not rely on others to carry our burden. There’s nothing in this life that will be too big for us to handle, otherwise we would not be subjected to it. The Universe *is benevolent. Our emotional awareness propels us through every situation we encounter, getting us to the other side as quickly as possible. This is why we are here.
The only path to share is the one we are walking. Those of us on a spiritual path have all stood on the “soap box” preaching to others, usually self-righteously while we spewed wisdom we had yet to practice. Words mean little without action, and our lack of action stems from our human condition. But, once we become aware of our discrepancies, we must own them, accept them, and move on. We move on through our actions; walking the talk. Once we know something to be true, there is no need to explain or justify with words unless another inquires.
How do we practice being spiritual in the physical world? By developing our support system. Without sharing the path with others who are choosing higher frequencies, we live in a vacuum unable to discern difference with acceptance; we remain at odds with all that we are. As we connect with those who are working to be in higher consciousness, we add positive energy to the collective without exhausting our self in the process. Living spiritually becomes an authentic manifestation of our true self, our true calling, and is the light of this world.
For more information or to talk about this topic one-on-one, call Julia George at 561-750-9292 or email [email protected]