I have 3 foundation principles for anyone starting out with spirituality:
If there is one piece of advice I can give to anyone that is in the process of awakening, it is this: tune into yourself.
I spent many hours searching the internet, reading books and watching hundreds of youtube videos. I did this for about 2 years and after awhile I realised that what I was really seeking was external answers and a step by step guide for how to become spiritual. What I didn’t realise is that I have to figure out how my mind works in order to process and put this information into play.
Think about it, your eyes are constantly seeing outwards and looking at the world, how many minutes in one day would you actually spend looking at yourself in the mirror, maybe 1 hour? So it’s only natural with spirituality that you seek things outside of yourself to make sense of and hold on to.
What I wished I learned many years ago was this simple truth: how you think and talk to yourself affects everything you do. The best thing you can do to grow and learn is to know yourself and get to grips with your inner talk. For me this is not a concept of self-love but the concept of self-acceptance.
There are quite a few different areas that this can play out…
Your thoughts create your reality. They impact how you view the world and in turn this impacts the decisions you make.
What can you do?
Once you understand that your mind chatters away and there are different types of chatter, you can identify the chatter that you want to change. This can be a really important trigger for healing. Read my blog post for practical tips on how to identify your thoughts, change them and then heal yourself.
How you view yourself
If you avoid mirrors, are generally unhappy or indifferent to your physical body and your personality then you may be your own stumbling block or barrier to the next big step.
Two things here: 1. I lost 20 kilos over a couple of years 2. my personality is a little kooky.
I found myself at this point where I loved that I lost weight but I didn’t quite know who I was. I didn’t need to go on “find yourself” journey I just wanted to connect all the dots. There was my personality, my mind, my corporate work self, my chill self, my family self, my outer body and my soul. I was focusing on my soul journey and kind of took my physical body for granted.
Because there was a void there I allowed other people to define myself for me. People would say “oh you look great” or conversely, “yeah you could lose more weight”. I felt disconnected to myself and I worked out it it was because I wasn’t owning my body – I needed to look in the mirror when I was passing it and go “sh*t yeah you look amaze balls today” and I also needed to stop apologising for my personality to people “oh sorry I think out loud to process my ideas” or “oh yeah sorry I can be a bit weird like that…” STOP, I stopped it all.
What can you do?
Refer to the self-love section below and follow these steps:
- Cut the crap. Own your body and your personality and stop avoiding yourself and stop apologizing.
- Once you know it, thank yourself for being you.
- Love and forgive yourself.
- Visualize your higher self giving you a hug. This worked for me! It was such a lightbulb moment when I shifted to the idea of self-acceptance.
These steps help if you are an empath as you also learn how people affect you and what your patterns are for taking on people’s junk.
How your mind works
It is good to understand how ideas and thoughts play out in your mind, as you grow spiritually – this is how you will most likely receive guidance.
Once I started to tune into my self-talk I realised that I receive quite a lot of ideas out of the blue. A random person would pop into my head, I’d arrange to catch up with them and either I would end up helping them or they would be a catalyst for events in my life. I have now learned that this is guidance.
I have also learned the difference between my day dreaming and actual visual images coming into my mind.
I know the difference between my own mind chatter and guidance.
What can you do?
Start with tuning into your thoughts and what you are thinking about.
This trains you to start picking up on what’s happening in that head of yours and stop being on auto pilot.
I would then encourage you to be still (refer below) and see what comes to you. It takes practice and time but you might find that you are quite visual, maybe you see colours, maybe you feel things (goosebumps / tingles), maybe you see colours or sparkles of light.
Start untangling what is the mind chatter that your ego generates versus what your soul is communicating to you.
Being present / mindful
You need to be able to be still to interpret messages that are coming in to you.
You need to know how to get yourself into a still, calm state for those times when you are stressed and emotional.
What can you do?
Guided meditations are a good place to start, once you get the hang of meditating then take a few minutes at the end to sit in silence. I picture a sky in my mind and focus on each breath in and out, then when a thought interrupts me, I picture the thought as a cloud and move it on in my sky. This sounds bizarre typing it out but it works for me.
If meditation is not your thing then try writing. Put pen to paper and see what comes out. If you like painting then you could paint – the principle is the same it’s all about being in the “now” moment.
Next level: these days I am always striving to be on top of my thoughts, when I catch myself thinking about the future for prolong periods (you know those day dream type scenarios you play out in your head?) I snap myself back.
Additional tips that have helped me:
- Guided free meditations, group meditations, yoga or knitting.
- Prioritise what you’d like to do and make the time for it (walking, gardening, taking a class) you are validating that you are worthy. For women I find there is a feeling of guilt that comes from this but we can tackle that another day, for now just do one thing each fortnight that is for you.
- Join a new club or group, like-minded people help support and expand your mind and it’s also quite interesting to have a whole group that is completely separate from any other area of your life.
- Set internet guidelines in your family so that you are present with each other – you might all be like zombies watching the TV together but at least you’re all present in the same space.
- Explore if there are any areas that need healing then tackle it head on (I’ll write a separate post about this soon).
- Try new spiritual things, do a reiki healing session, get your aura read or visit a crystal shop. By trying new things you start to see what you connect with what resonates with you.
It is important to love yourself, it is pretty corny but it really is important. I would recommend Louise Hay’s book Mirror Work. She gives you cringey exercises to do each day which involve talking to yourself in the mirror but it is worth it because it helps break down the barriers that you’ve put in place.
If you can’t stick with this book or the exercises then please do one thing for me… learn to smile at yourself every time you walk past a mirror. I don’t really know why but it worked for me and I recommend this to anyone that needs a little helping hand in the area of self-love / acceptance.
Do you see how this all links?