I had a session with a client recently and at one point we were talking about her meditation practice. She’s only been practicing for a short time, but she’s doing it daily and seeing the benefits. However, at this session, she mentioned her difficulty in “getting rid of her thoughts” and “getting her mind to be quiet.” We talked about how this is not really how the mind is built, nor is it a realistic goal of meditation. She said, “Oh, yes, I guess I forgot that,” which I thought was such a sweet and gentle acknowledgement of where she’d gone off track.
Reflecting on this, I got to thinking about how many basic spiritual tenets I talk about with clients over and over. These are the fundamental “laws” that govern our human experience. As real as gravity, these laws are unchanging, despite our best efforts to ignore or deny them. I’m sure there are more that you encounter every day, but here are 10 reminders, quite possibly enough to work on for at least one lifetime.
Download the PDF HERE.
Back To Basics: 10 Spiritual Laws To Practice and Remember
1. You can’t change people, places, or things. You can’t change anything, except YOUR REACTION to what’s happening around you. It doesn’t mean you can’t act or influence or change or make things happen. It means the energy you spend wanting other people to be different, or trying to make them so, is a complete and total waste of time.
2. You are COMPLETELY AND ENTIRELY RESPONSIBLE for your own experience in any given moment. It’s no one else’s job to make you happy, even someone one who promises to try. Feeling lovable is your choice, no matter how much you weight, how smart or successful you are, or how beautiful society deems you.
3. The reason you can’t do, be, or have what you want is NEVER about having enough time or money. It’s about your PRIORITIES AND WILLINGNESS to choose what to put effort into and be consistent about over time.
4. You decide the STORY YOU’RE TELLING about everything that happens and everything you feel. And it is a story. Once you realize that, you have permission to tell a different story, anytime. In order to do this, you must learn to witness your thoughts, expand your perspective, and let go of your habits of mind.
5. FORGIVING yourself for your mistakes is the only way to access the lesson of the error, learn from it, and move on, taking the wisdom of the experience with you. Nursing regrets keep you in a state of suspended animation, where no growth can take place.
6. NOTHING anyone does is about you; it’s about them. This is always true, no matter how personal their actions feel. Everything people do is for two reasons, to survive and to be loved. Their efforts may seem twisted to you, but that’s because you don’t know the scars they carry from their childhood and how they initially learned to live in the world. Knowing this doesn’t pardon their actions, it just explains them. You still need to discern who to trust and keep close, and who to set a boundary around.
7. BOUNDARIES are created by becoming full of your own energy, spirit, strength, groundedness, and connection to the Source. Limits are set from the place of knowing your values, capacities, and limitations and by honoring and respecting yourself. Boundaries are not made by pushing others away, which is very draining. Only when you are full and robust in your sense of self, can you encompass others in your compassionate heart, where their negativity can’t touch you.
8. The missing piece in changing your thoughts, feelings, or actions is SELF ACCEPTANCE. When you notice something you don’t like about how you’re being or what you’re doing and rush to change it, skipping over self-acceptance, the change is usually short-lived. Pausing and accepting (not the negative thoughts, feelings, or actions, but your Self) and wrapping yourself in loving kindness is the necessary energetic shift that makes real change possible.
9. Every type of spiritual practice (yoga, meditation, etc.) is a means to an end and not the end in and of itself. These practices are part of the Path of Skillful Means, which are excellent and worthy of your diligent effort. But the Truth is that the Path of SURRENDER TO WHAT IS in every moment is what all the practices are training you to embody. Remember this, so you don’t get lost in making perfection of the skills your only goal.
10. Emotions are not what they seem. All are real, but not all are true. The opposite of love is not hate; it’s fear. Underneath anger is fear or sadness. Anger teaches you that your boundary is being crossed or that you feel a barrier is blocking you in some way. Fear shows you that your survival or ability to get the love you need feels threatened. The only way to explore these feelings and learn their powerful lessons is to be willing to FEEL THEIR ENERGY IN YOUR BODY. Spiritual and psychological practices can train you to expand this capacity, which will increase your ability to experience life, love, and joy, as well as your capacity to let others have their feelings without you feeling responsible for them.
Get these in a one page PDF HERE.
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All My Best,