There are a lot of stigmas in society that are based on what it means to be spiritual, whether it is belonging to a group, religion or venturing into the unknown to discover the mysteries that surround us. The stigmas often come from what we are taught or what others "believe" with the spiritual world that is being created. At this time, there is a massive amount of information that is available, all which is based on awakening, spirituality and moving into the mystical. These serve as a motivation but also have created expectations and beliefs about spirituality.
The concept of belonging to a spiritual movement is one that has taken several forms. The first is what I call the "Ramen Noodle" form. This is where we seek answers but when they are found, they are simply knowledge. Ramen Noodles is when we just add water and expect to have our appetite fulfilled and to reach a sense of enlightenment. Usually, it leads to a lot of talk about spiritual concepts but rarely leads to a change in life or what is occurring around us.
The second common approach that occurs with spirituality is "bliss land." This is when there is overlooking of the 360 degree picture and instead an approach that is based on always being in the universe. We go into this world to experience the divine, love, peace and the worlds beyond. Often, those that are studying a form of mysticism will go into bliss land and look at all that is beautiful, many times in the imagination, sometimes in the mystical, to see one side of the coin that is based on rainbows, flowers and beauty. Even though this holds truth, it often doesn't allow us to look deeply into the complete picture of our existence and humanity.
There are other ways that allow us to shut off when we are turning to spirituality and to not look at the realities of everything that is surrounding us. However, in most mystical and spiritual lines of thought, there is another concept to be aware of. Most refer to it as "doing the work." This is where the mystical and spiritual exist and there is work that we have to do in order to recognize what holds us back from those realms as well as what we are doing to reach awakening or enlightenment. The work is an inner examination that helps to redefine who we are and what we are performing in this life time.
Doing the work first requires an inner gaze. What comes up for you in the moment and how do you work through this? What is it that is harming or injuring you and what is propelling you forward? The work and the inner gaze require a 360 degree view of who you are and what you are doing. It often requires looking at patterns and ways that you have built your life that don't serve you or that do serve you.
With this work, there is nothing to do but recognize what comes up. Often times, thoughts will swerve through your mind. Other times, you will be approached with anger, sadness or forms of patterns that have served you for years. These are all to acknowledge and to allow to come up. This is where the work comes through. As you recognize and work through with your humanity and all parts of you, you will be able to grow and move out of them. This allows you to release and clean out what doesn't serve you, so you can move into what can.
My challenge to everyone is to do the work. Meditate and move into spiritual bliss, find the answers but also turn your gaze inward and look at the things that serve or don't serve you. These things are not who you are in your being or spirit and are meant to move through and out of you. They are also meant to be recognized, specifically so there is not repetition or continuous patterns that are repeated. The greatest gift with the work is to reach the revelation and to release, specifically so you can become closer to your true self and to who you are.
About the Author
Brooke Mananuka Hart is a spiritual practitioner and energetic healer. She has several years of experience of working with clients that require assistance with shifting their lives and moving into the new.