My Spiritual Journey!

Something has changed in me the past two years, I am a very different person, I am extremely sad, yet extremely happy.  I see the world in a completely different light and it is beautiful.  I love to  watch the sky because it is amazing, I love to watch birds going about there business because they are amazing too, I love to smile at strangers when I recognise goodness in them and sometimes even when I don’t.  Most of all I am learning to love myself, I don’t care what anyone says or thinks I know I am a beautiful soul, because I feel beautiful.

The past two years has seen many changes in me, the way I think, the way I eat, the way I exercise, the way I interact and appreciate people, and especially the way I view the world.  I no longer overthink, I no longer think I am not good enough, I no longer rely on other people’s opinions, I form my own and trust in my instincts.

I haven’t yet found my purpose, but I am constantly craving knowledge, insight, appreciation and gratitude.  Somehow, I feel more spiritual, no I haven’t found religion as I don’t believe in religion because it is man-made, my beliefs are spiritual.  I have struggled being an oversensitive person all my life, but now it is no longer a struggle, I feel blessed because of my sensitivity, I see good in people and I like that I have that insight.

Is this an awakening? I feel that it is, it feels strange, yet good, scary yet courageous.  I feel out of place in this world, yet I can  comfort myself.  I have not really discussed with anyone how I feel, but I have told a few close friends of my new found spirituality.  There are two reasons why I have not expressed how I feel because; 1. I can’t find the right words to fully explain what I am going through and 2. the people around me would not understand because they are caught up in this false, fake, materialistic, all consuming world, no judgement at all upon them, I too was caught up in that world for almost 50 years.

I am struggling to do my menial office job, I have lost all interest and motivation for it because I don’t feel like I am bettering the world one tiny iota.  I dream of doing something good, helping animals, changing people’s mindsets, but I don’t know where to start.  There are lots of things in this world I would like to change, I am at the stage where I am running through them in my head, aware I can only do a very small amount of good but it doesn’t matter as long as I am doing good, helping animals, helping people it doesn’t matter.

The world we currently live in creates problems, that don’t have to exist, if only people were more spiritual, believed in themselves and were more compassionate.  Depressives don’t know that you don’t have to be depressed, drug and alcohol abusers don’t know that they can change, people have more power than they think they have, if they learn and grow by doing practices that will give them spiritual growth.  Practices such as gratitude, meditation, exercise, reading, learning, self-compassion, all of these practices will help you grow as a person, reduce or even eliminate addictions, anxiety, depression and anger.   You don’t need any special talents or knowledge to do them as long as you do them you will learn as you go along.

My thirst for spiritual knowledge is unquenchable, I now realise I have always had an interest in spirituality, but have suppressed it most of my life.   I don’t yet know what my life purpose is, but think I may be able to help others awaken, or at least help them realise that a spiritual path is a beautiful one, it can help with difficulties in your life, it can ground you and most of all see the beauty in everything and everyone, it makes life feel magical.  So many people suffer because they struggle with emotions and don’t know how to fully accept that emotions are a normal human trait and essential to personal growth.

I have just ordered some tarot cards and a book to fully explain how to use tarot.   I do have some oracle cards, but never really use them, because I don’t fully understand what I am doing.  It’s funny because I remember about 20-25 years ago I actually had tarot cards and did use them, but I can’t find them, another sign of my suppressed interest for spirituality.  Now I feel I am closer to the real me than ever before, finally I see the matrix for what is is.

My eyes have opened in the past two years, although I have a long way to go, I have come such a long way in a couple of years.  I am so grateful for whatever it was that caused my awakening because I feel so much better than before and I wish everyone could experience it.  There would be less fighting, wars and the potential for a peaceful earth would be high.  I wish I could tell people how to awaken, but it is difficult because mine was my own very personal experience and one that I felt I had no control of (although I am not fully convinced of this).

My advice to anyone that would like to wake up is to gather knowledge, learn as much as you can and see if this triggers an awakening for you.  I truly hope it does, because although strange, scary and lonely at times, it is the most wonderful feeling, I feel full of love, for myself, for the planet and for all life!  I am appreciating my body and how it keeps me healthy and alive, hence my regular gym visits, I want to pay it back and take better care of it, this is another sign that I have changed, as someone who never liked exercising, believing it was too hard, I am actually now enjoying, because I know I am now honouring my body and health.

This awakening has impacted me in a number of ways, the changes in me in the past two years is pretty staggering, these are some of the physical, mental and spiritual changes that have happened to me so far; veganism, health conscious, improved mental health, resilience, healthy eating, meditations, gratitude, thirst for spiritual knowledge, love of animals (again suppressed in the past), love of life and appreciation of the different journeys people are on.

Reflecting back, I thing the first sign of change in me was the strong feeling of a need to declutter my stuff and my life.  My life at this present time is pretty hectic, I feel like I have no time, I am very busy, I try to volunteer at Shetland Rescue animal sanctuary at least once a month.  My views have changed of people and of animals, I now see how beautiful people are, I am more accepting of a person’s faults because they are human and imperfect, like me.  I do sometimes feel overwhelmed, I have a complete disinterest in superficial things such as celebrity news, reality TV shows, I value my time like never before, and I now read daily.

Other changes in me are getting up earlier, most days I feel an excitement for the day ahead, I am not as self conscious or fashion conscious as I used to be, as some one who used to spend most of my spare income on clothes, I am now spending less, sending back things I don’t love.  I have had strong desires to simplify my life, including my wardrobe, wearing plainer clothes, a ‘less is more’ approach.  I sometimes feel sad for those that are caught up in this consumer world.   I am trusting my intuition more, doing what feels right and not what everyone else is doing.  I am walking a lot more and my fear of this world is diminishing.

I sometimes get frustrated, seeing the toxic situations people are in and getting frustrated they can’t see it and that they are harming themselves, but trying my best to let them be because they are on their own journey and will hopefully wake up, because I went through exactly the same toxic situations in the past.  I feel excited and at times chaotic in the sense I feel like I have little time left to achieve what I want, but at the same time I am learning to trust the universe, knowing I am progressing and have come so far, yet still have so far to go.

When these changes within me started, I initially felt very disconnected from people, but once I accepted they are on their own journey, different from mine, I have started to reconnect with them again, which has improved my relationships.  I have realised the consequences of my actions on people, the planet and animals and am trying to do the right thing not only for me but for everyone and everything.  I have realised my love of animals, I now believe in myself, as a life long non-swimmer I learned to swim a couple of days ago, it was only self-doubt that stopped me from learning in the past.

I no longer waste time on watching superficial You Tubers, I have switched to watching those that genuinely want to help people, mostly awakened You Tubers.  I have acknowledged my own flaws and have a desire to fix these.  I no longer accept people in my life that don’t treat me right or try to manipulate me to fit in with what they want, not what I want, for example going along with a ‘friends with benefits’ relationship when I want a real relationship.  Just because you like a person and hope the situation will change, it usually won’t because you have accepted less than what you want, one lesson is never compromise your self and what you want, don’t do anything that doesn’t intuitively feel right, and definitely don’t waste your time or money doing things other people want but you don’t.

I am currently looking at doing a healing course, probably Reiki just because I am drawn to it.  I know this post is all over the place and a bit chaotic, this is how my mind is at the moment, it’s thinking faster than I can move, I will continue to meditate to slow it down.

If there is one thing I could teach people, it would be how to awaken, unfortunately I don’t have the knowledge or skills to help people, but I do hope that you reading this post may get you thinking enough to explore and be drawn to your own awakening!

 

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Self-Compassion – Feel the (Self) Love!

There are so many benefits to practicing self-compassion, these are simple everyday practices to help you love yourself!

Self-compassion, self-love or loving kindness is a tough one to grasp, when you have always been your worst critic.

I discovered self-compassion only a few years ago, when doing a free mindfulness course on Future Learn.  To me, self-compassion is to give yourself understanding, love and self-acceptance, it is about turning off that critical inner voice and listening to that compassionate understanding voice inside you.  It feels good to be compassionate towards your self and it really isn’t too difficult, but does take regular practice.  Unfortunately, I don’t always practice this on a regular basis, but it is on my daily good habits wishlist.

What is Self-Compassion?

Feeling compassion for anyone is to understand and empathise with that person, to take it a step further you may show that person compassion by talking empathetically with them, showing them you understand their pain, trying to help them or simply giving them a great big hug.  At times when we are feeling low, there is nothing like a genuine hug, it tells us that the person hugging us understands our feelings and above all accepts us, this can give us great comfort in that moment.  So, to be able to give ourselves that kind of comfort when we most need it, is quite something, unfortunately, we often don’t do that because we have learned to punish ourselves by criticizing either what we have done or haven’t or simply shaming ourselves for our flaws or feelings.

Benefits of Self-Compassion

The feeling of self-love is compounding, it continues to grow and makes you feel relaxed, calm, and self accepting.  Would you treat others as badly as you treat yourself? No, so why punish yourself with your negative self talk.  The thing is, when you practice self-compassion, you find yourself being more compassionate towards others, so they benefit too.  Once your physical body is taking care of, one of the best things you can do for your wellbeing is to practice self-compassion.

Self-Compassion Practices

Meditation

My favourite practice is mindful meditation specifically for self-compassion, guided ones are the best for beginners, doing meditations really helps you to focus on love and compassion towards yourself.  We are human and therefore all make mistakes, self-compassion helps you accept those mistakes regardless of what the consequences were and only by accepting how you feel can you move on to the self-love part.

Apps are a great way to start, You Tube is also great for free meditations, both guided and non-guided and there are plenty specifically for self-compassion, some are short, 10 minutes for example, others are 9 hours for whilst you are asleep, these are subliminal.  My favourite Apps are Calm and Headspace, there are some free guided meditations if you don’t want to subscribe to them or just want to test them out.

If you are in a bad place right now, I recommend practicing daily, even for just 5 minutes, but preferably 10.  If you have no time at all, do a sleep meditation, everyone has to sleep.  Even a daily minute of self-love practice is better than none.

Self-Care

I include self-care as a practice for self compassion, self care makes you feel good about yourself and it can include anything that makes you feel good.  I have regular self-care days which include a long soak in the bath, usually with Epsom Salts (for detoxing) or Himalayan Salts (for relaxation) which leaves you with the softest skin.  I make sure I soak between 20-40 minutes to absorb the benefits of the salts.  Whilst I am lying there so long I do some mindful meditation.

Other things I do are giving myself a facial; double cleansing, face mask, essential oils (patchouli) this is my favourite and its good for aging skin too.  I don’t know what it is about this oil, but for me it gives me a huge sense of self-love and calm, funnily enough when I first used I wasn’t keen on it, but it is my favourite now.  If I want to feel good after a bath I put this on my face, neck and chest, it instantly makes me feel safe and cosy.  Everyone is different, so trial some, you can get 10ml bottles to try them out, find the oil that works for you, do your research though, some oils are not recommended to put directly on your skin without a carrier oil.

I will body brush, do my nails, deep condition my hair with ‘Bleach London Silver Conditioner‘ by leaving it on at least 1 hour, usually whilst I am in the bath, lather myself in my favourite vegan ‘Lavera‘ body lotion and put something comfortable on, then sit and read a book.  I would do these things everyday if I could, but as you know when your working you simply don’t have the time, but make sure you do at least once a week, your mind will thank you for it.

Journaling

Journaling helps with self-awareness, thus bringing out the empathy and understanding  you need to be compassionate towards yourself.

I love to write things down, if I am struggling with something, if I am angry  with myself or others, I tend to write down my feelings, but I try to do it from a sympathetic perspective. Rather than express just my anger, I will write down how I feel  and then try to write something about understanding why that person did or said what they said, not to justify their actions but to understand them.  This really helps me to not hold on to  negative emotions, so that when I see that person again I feel more compassionate towards them, which in turn makes me feel good.  Anger  hurts ourselves, more than anyone else.

Final Thoughts

We all suffer in one way or another, we can’t always escape what life throws at us, the best we can do is accept unavoidable suffering in order to minimize it, practicing self-compassion is one way of doing this. Go love yourself, you deserve it!