Keen Category: Spiritual Advice
Most of us are naturally interested in rising up the spiritual ladder to spiritual self-mastery. A good part of the climb is definitely about shifting your attitudes out of the conditioning of limiting and negative beliefs and adopting values that are deemed spiritually aligned. Spiritual values are those that feed the soul and advance your spirit and human understanding. Striving to become consistently virtuous, spiritually strong, compassionate, generous, self-aware, wise and, of course, happy will steer you towards spiritual excellence.
The mind can be stretched, directed, coached and nurtured to accept a spiritual perspective to life and to adopt attitudes that are aligned with love. But training your mind is only part of the answer. Without your heart actively driving your thoughts, your mind will tend to revert to old conditioning and love will be absent from your thinking. More than "doing the right thing", it is about living a life filled with love—a life that is in the spirit of the "authentic you". You are a unique "love-note" in the universe and it is your task to discover your innate spiritual gifts and to rise in each occasion to use them.
Everyone needs a bit of spiritual coaching to shift the mind out of spiritual deadness and habitual patterns of thinking that are culturally driven. Here are some insights and tips derived from a few experiences at the supermarket that should offer some food for thought:
Put Yourself First While Still Considering Others
Too many of us believe to be considered compassionate and kind and an all around good person one must submit, sacrifice and consistently put others first. A case in point: An old gentleman in his late seventies moseyed over from the side and cut three places in line at the quick checkout stand of the supermarket in front of a beautiful young girl, who was holding two gift bows and a greeting card with a nun caricature on the front. In back of her and in front of me was a senior citizen who walked with a cane. In fact, I had fallen off a ladder that week and had considerable discomfort standing in line. When I pointed out to the girl that the man cut in front of us, she said, "I don't mind." I am sure she was thinking she was doing what the nuns taught her in catechism: "Age before beauty" or "respect your elders". But the consequence of her allowances for one masterful old man, who I intuitively knew had done the same thing more than once, created stress for four more people in line in back of her.
Know Your World Is Being Created in the Moment to Enlighten You
Life is a meaningful play presenting you with reflections, signs and messages at every turn aimed at advancing you spiritually. You have only to believe it, to open your awareness to it, and to decipher the signs and messages before you. The situation at the supermarket had many layers of meaning. The girl holding the card with the caricature of the nun and the old man who, by the way, had a basket full of Bounty paper towels, were reflections carrying signs. Noticing what was in the man's basket offered another layer of meaning to the situation. He was a "bountiful" man, perhaps because he thought himself deserving. Seemingly then, the message was that there are situations when we need to put ourselves first to collect life's bounty, an attitude adjustment that likely everyone in line needed to appreciate. The greeting card's message didn't become clear until today when I went back to the store to look for it. I knew it held meaning to the situation. When I found it, I couldn't retrieve the message until I combed the store and asked everyone I came across if they could read Spanish. One of the checkout clerks helped me out. The outside of the card read, "It's a sin." The inside read, "that you look so beautiful year after year. " I glanced behind me and noticed a woman wearing a purple tee shirt that read, "More beautiful than words." How many of us grew up thinking it is a sin to be beautiful?
Surrender Your Need for Peace and Serenity
If it's complete peace of mind you are after, you are on the wrong planet. Having the right spiritual attitude is not so much about striving to maintain a state of peaceful bliss as much as raising your heart frequency to embrace yourself when confronting a difficult situation. Peace of mind is more apt to come after the successful resolution of a problem, meeting a challenge with an enlightened perspective and realizing that the challenges are there to evolve you. Life lessons can be uncomfortable and messy. Chanting OM while meditating raises your consciousness, yes. But true peace comes first through self-acceptance and pushing through anything that is uncomfortable with spiritual strength.
Defend the Right to Give – Love Is Not a Crime
At the same supermarket next day, I was handed a coupon for a dollar off a pound of coffee along with my change. With a smile on my face, I offered it to the next person in line and told her if she didn't want it I would just leave it at the side of the counter for another customer. Before she could answer, the clerk said, "Give it back to me." She snatched the coupon out of my hand and said that she had to throw it away. It was store policy that if I didn't want it, it goes in the trash. In a culture where the simple act thoughtfulness and generosity is policed by policies of greed, it is no wonder so many hold back from giving. Frankly, I was so shocked by the experience I was tongue-tied. If I had my druthers, I would have made her fish the coupon out of the trash and taken it outside the store to give to the next person I saw.
Remind Yourself Compassion Is the "Law of the Land"
An even more dramatic confrontation, this time with a dispassionate cruel heart, happened the week before. A developmentally disabled young woman about the age of 20 seeing that I had a package of Oreos in my basket at the supermarket, stopped me and said, "I want some Oreos too, but I don't have any money." She was as innocent as innocent can be, having the intelligence of an eight-year-old. I told her to go down the aisle and get herself a package and she came back with only a snack size pack consisting of 4 Oreos. While we stood in line, she compared her size package with mine and changed her mind thinking she could have a larger package because I was so nice. She said, "I want one of those", pointing to my package. By then we were standing in front of the clerk and I was ready to pay for my purchases. When I told the girl to get a big package, the clerk scowled and yelled at the girl, "No, you can't have a big package." She ran out of the store. With my hands on my hips, I confronted the clerk, "If I want to fill my basket with packages of Oreos and give them to her, it is my prerogative." I pointed out that she was developmentally disabled and hungry. The clerk proceeded to lay down the "law of the land" as dispassionately as anyone could. "I don't care that she is disabled", he said. "She shouldn't be here pestering customers and begging for food."
Flex Your Spiritual Muscle
Although, I was tempted in both situations to silently chant "Om" and say prayers of forgiveness, I knew something greater was being asked of me. I had to ask myself, "What is the great lesson here and what is being asked of me?" Spiritual mastery requires we understand the lessons and opportunities that are being presented. We must recognize our places of spiritual weakness and that often we are being called to exert spiritual strength in order to make a difference, especially when confronted with the "love-police". My task was to defend my right to give and be an example of compassion, generosity and love. The best way to accomplish that was to confront someone whose disdain for the impoverished and disabled needed a confrontational tone to humble his arrogant soul.