the basic tools that you're going to need to really cultivate spirituality in your life. I've written about the importance of reading spiritual literature and about the purpose of meditation. I've talked about how to use your intuition, what god is, and what spirituality is. Now it's time to put the basics into action and actively develop your awareness in the real world. If you haven't been reading my past blogs, I'm collecting the ones for cultivating a spiritual awakening on this link.
Taking Care of Yourself
A lot of people have a view of spirituality that seems to apply to only the most abstract and high energy experiences. I don't have that view. I believe that spirituality is in everything, and subsequently, everything can become a gateway to accessing it. For starters, you want to consider the bottom, most essential part of your life: shelter, food, and taking care of your means for survival. This is your base. Before we go wandering about in seas of endless love, we need to take care of our basic means. A starving person doesn't go very far on the spiritual path except through physical death.
If you don't have a stable source of income, now is the time to find one. It doesn't have to be perfect. It doesn't have to be focused on saving the world. So long as it doesn't involve degrading yourself or selling harmful products/substances, you'll probably be okay. You can be an enlightened plumber, teacher, property manager, cook, astro-physicist, or many other occupations. At this point in this series of blog posts, what matters is that you find a job to be mostly okay with and that meets your basic needs.
Knowing Your Basic Needs
I know that you may feel like I'm being really pragmatic, but you can also think of spirituality like a Mazlow's Pyramid of needs. Generally speaking, you gotta take care of the base of the pyramid before growing up into the higher spaces. So now's a good time to have some kind of ledger and be aware of your finances. If you aren't meeting your financial needs, then you need to take a look at the lifestyle that you're leading. Many people in Western Culture have no clue what their basic needs are. It's time to bring some awareness to that. Because you don't really need 500 channels of TV, the latest iPhone, or any of this other stuff that suddenly has become "must-have." You're bought into someone else's ideas for you, and if you have mounting debt, you're in a state of depleted energy.
Money Is Not Evil
Money is not evil; it's just a tool. So long as you're earning it honestly, having a lot of money flow towards you suggests an alignment with your life and the universe. This isn't always quite true, but usually, I've found it to be the case in my life. If you end up in a situation where you are constantly losing money, then you need to look at what you consider to be basic needs. If you really are living frugally, then you need to consider a job change or career change to put yourself in a position to meet your needs. And when I say meet your needs, I don't mean get rich. I mean that you can pay all your bills, stay out of debt, and potentially put a little money away for savings. If you like, consider your savings bank as a growing source of energy that will help you to overcome obstacles in life and create a broader sense of safety and security for yourself.
Safety and Security for the Root Chakra
Some of you may have already guessed that I'm talking about a lot of issues involved in the root chakra. Building safety and security for this foundational energy center gives you a sense of strength and durability. It's essential for you as you build into the path. Everyone has different issues, so if this isn't a big issue for you, then congratulations. You have already taken care of a major issue. But for many others, money is a constant struggle. If that's true, then let's start to dig a little deeper.
I Can Never Get Ahead
Now, we need to start getting the tools out. The journal is probably one of the most important to start with. So why can't you get ahead? Are you spending too much? Are you underestimating your own value? Begin with these and other questions that come to you. It's important to really dig into these issues. As you go deeper, one answer may lead to a truth even deeper inside you. What are your immediate objections that come up in your mind? Do you need to turn to friends and outside support for help? If so, your spiritual community becomes a great source of support and insights. Down in the first chakra, there are some big issues that are often linked to our families that can be at work. We take a lot of cues on what kinds of work we do from our parents. If you became a plumber just because your father was a plumber and you can't make ends meet, perhaps you need to re-evaluate whether this career truly serves you and your talents.
This is the tip of the iceberg. So many major issues can reside in this energy center. You don't need to solve them all initially, but you will notice that the unresolved ones will continue to cycle back into your life for resolution as you grow spirituality. The big thing is making sure that you can keep a roof over your head and food in your belly. If that is happening for you, then we can move on to other topics.
Next up in the blog list is about food and your relationship to your body, as we look to build a safe space for spirit to manifest in your life.
Next blog: Creating a Relationship with Your Body
The photo comes from my friend and reader, Becky
Stiller. Please feel free to check out her beautiful work on her flickr link.