In one of my recent weekly conversations a student asked me:
“I feel that a big part of being on a spiritual path is focusing on the divine, but how does one stay on that path when they are just trying to pay the bills?”
This is indeed an issue that arises in us all, and in many ways, it relates to a series of misplaced perceptions and clichés surrounding the nature of a spiritual path. The underlying truth of the matter is:
- Our spiritual path does not solely traverse through utopian sanctuaries that are free from conflict.
- Our spiritual path is not relegated only to the practice of meditation or yoga.
- Our spiritual path does not require time spent in nature, or intensive isolation in a faraway cave in order to work.
In actuality, a spiritual path is a synonym for a conscious life! A life of alertness, vitality, awareness, openness…..a life of aliveness.
Unconsciousness does not exist solely when the bills aren’t paid and we find ourselves burdened with financial worries. As a matter of fact – it does not depend on life circumstances being difficult at all. Unconsciousness exists even in the inhabitants of the world’s most rarefied and luxurious castles. It can abide anywhere, in anyone being, at any time.
The unconscious passes over us like a never-ending tide; An unyielding force whose undercurrent pulls ever deeper into the depths of despair and threatens to keep us in its aqueous clutches for all time.
Our worries, our issues, the emotional pain that we cling to, and our perception of them, are all tools of the unconscious. The unconscious is seemingly relentless and supported by all that we see and hear around us, from news media to our friends and more. We are seemingly well-trained and obedient to it, and sometimes all it takes is just one more piece of bad news to get lost in the flurry of emotions and negative thoughts that paralyze us to our very core.
A Spiritual Path, provides the focus, the tools, the information, the support, and therein the potential to rise above the all-consuming tide of unconsciousness that we see around us and forge a life of freedom.
The act of bringing your conscious attention to your mind, your emotions, your heart, and life circumstances is a great beginning to your spiritual path.
The great thing is that there is no prerequisite condition or moment – this can be done anywhere, anytime and under any conditions.
Then, the processes of questioning what is real, what matters, and what is the truth begin to build a home for consciousness in your life. The willingness to look deeply and poignantly at yourself and keep your eyes wide open (no matter what) is another aspect of a spiritual awakening. Being intent on the act of releasing your pain, your attachments, your ideas, and your identity allows your conviction to grow.
A Spiritual Path includes investigating your ability to pursue and sustain unconditional friendships, and a commitment to be the person who manifests the characteristics and actions that leave the world a better place.
Paying our way here on earth—regardless of the price and the method of currency—is a part of living on this planet. This will never change. But, you can. Your attitude, your feelings, your approach, your skills, your talents, can all change.
We can all bring our intention to grow and heal into every moment. We can pray and meditate and connect to the Divine while we work, clean, and even pay our bills….anytime!
Within the day-to-day worries, the madness, the boredom, the waiting for solace; within the pain, and the murky depths of the unconscious light can grow. From out of a tiny seed of curiosity, a firm path to the surface can be born. And the best thing of all is – you are exactly where you need to be to begin your path to freedom.