INSIDE: Starting a spiritual pilgrimage can be one of the most wonderful and also one of the most intimidating things we do in their lives. But to increase our likelihood for success in this test called life, it's important. These tips will help.
A spiritual pilgrimage is mostly a time of transformation. It will be the path you take to a new level and dimension in your life. At some point in our journey, all things will merge into a singular joyous and beautiful feeling, revealing to us that everything is connected, spiritually and physically. But the journey will surely have its ups and downs.
If you are of the opinion that there is more to life than the sleep, work, and pay bills cycle, you are the perfect student to become your own teacher and embark on this voyage of self-discovery.
Some people think a spiritual journey is a somewhat conceited act, when really, it’s a journey that uses our experiences as an individual to teach the simple, yet sometimes hidden meanings in life.
Every second of everyone’s life is actually a spiritual one, but it's only when we become aware of that truth that we can we learn from it.
Starting A Spiritual Journey
Whether you are starting a new spiritual pilgrimage or restarting an old quest that lost its path, here are 9 suggestions that can assist you along your way...
We've all heard the saying, “As above, so below.” Well, the same goes for the exterior vs. the interior of our lives. A spiritual journey is all about retreating from the outside randomness that we can’t control, and going inside where we can reach the point of controlling our reactions to outside forces.
During this inside-outside work, it helps immensely to be in a clean, orderly environment, in order to give your outside personal space as much constant good energy as possible.
What’s going on outside reflects what’s happening on the inside. The best first step when starting a spiritual journey is to deep clean your room, house, or office space. Smudging is a great way to clear negative energy in your space.
Whether you have someone to share your thoughts with or not, it will be important to express yourself on pen and paper as you start your spiritual pilgrimage.
Not only will journaling help you form your personal routine (more on this later); it will also give you the chance to hear your own unfiltered thoughts as you reflect on your writings.
Choose one day of the week to re-read the previous entries to see how you handled the problems of that day, while looking for lessons that were available to you.
Start A Routine
To gauge progress in any area, there has to be repetitive actions to see measurable results. A spiritual pilgrimage is no different.
To gain more control over the times when we have to be on someone else’s schedule, we must first gain control of our own schedules. By scheduling and arranging our time in advance, we often see that we really weren’t that busy to begin with; we were just unorganized and not utilizing our free time to the fullest.
Spiritual growth takes work and dedication, but it is also liberating. We need to make the time to do the extra work needed to progress and upgrade ourselves.
Go Easy On Yourself
Making the choice to start a spiritual pilgrimage is a huge decision in itself. It takes a lot of honesty and self-realization to realize its importance. Giving yourself time to adjust to and maintain your gradual progression is key to the process.
A spiritual journey is defined as a long journey, and the only way to maintain the motivation to continue on this journey is by not being too hard on yourself. There will be times when we make huge leaps and things seem easy, and there will be other times when we get discouraged because of mistakes and setbacks.
Trust your own speed and rhythm and know that whether it be fast progress, slow progress, or no progress, it’s a long road and every experience along that road is needed for your spiritual growth.
Follow Your Own Feelings
The only way to know if we’re progressing on our own spiritual pilgrimage, and not someone else’s, is to make our own decisions. However important it may be to speak with those more knowledgeable and experienced in spiritual matters, the choices and decisions need to be ours.
Only we will benefit from the successes, and only we will have to deal with the bumps in the road that we'll inevitably experience.
Be Honest & a Little Selfish
A common realization that people come to when trying to make a change in their lives is that they can’t continue to spend so much time and energy doing things for others.
For those of us who are parents, or who take care of our parents, it can be difficult to find time for self-care, but it's incredibly important, especially in those cases. Be honest with those close to us, letting them know why we may seem to be making different decisions.
Starting a spiritual journey is a deeply personal thing, but it isn’t necessary to cut everyone off and ruin relationships. If those closest to you truly love and care about you, you won’t have to explain much to them. Simply letting them know you need more time for yourself should be enough to relax their worries and stop them from assuming the worst.
Be Mindful of Your Company
This might be the most difficult step on a spiritual pilgrimage, because sometimes it can be our closest family and friends that aren’t on the same vibrations as us at the time we choose to start our spiritual improvement.
It can be impossible to arrange your days and weeks in such a way that you spend most of your time around only positive and knowledgeable people that will only help you move forward in your journey. But, do your best. Even just a few hours alone, or a few minutes of intentional time with someone that you know shares positive energy is priceless.
Whenever you have control over who you are around, use that time wisely, and then don't stress over the times you aren’t in control of. During those times when choosing your company isn’t in your power, concentrate on your own peace and your own reactions to outside stimulus, which can be a huge area for growth.
Be Free Of Judgment Until The End
Often times, when starting something new, we are too quick to make an end judgement and decide if something is working or not.
Maybe we get lucky, and things go great in the beginning, and we think whatever we’re doing is easy, but then we lose focus, only to backtrack because we didn’t fully get used to putting in the work to get results.
Conversely, we might put an ample amount of work in at the beginning, but see no discernible results. This is where this step becomes important. Be free of judgment until the end.
The key here is in the timing. Can we really tell when “the end” is? That concept is impossible to predict, so really, there is no end. Once we understand the end can’t be forecasted, this step becomes even simpler. It’s really just, releasing attachments and expectations.
Be free of assumptions that something will go one way just because it did in the past. Positive thinking can quickly turn a negative situation into something wonderful, and vice versa.
Take each new experience that you go through while on your spiritual journey as a new experience, unattached to anything that has happened before.
Be A Sponge
To get ahead and start seeing some real progress in your spiritual pilgrimage, you must be able to learn from past mistakes and not be embarrassed by them. Every error is a learning experience.
It may take a few times to see the lesson, but the ultimate sign that we have passed the test is when you stop making the same blunder over and over again. Still, repeating mistakes is sometimes necessary to enable us to learn the lesson and move forward. The only real “mistake” is failing to learn from them.
Also, the oversight doesn’t have to be yours to learn from it. You can learn just as much from someone else’s mistakes as you can from your own. This is where reading, talking to others who are more knowledgeable than you, or even watching interviews about other people’s spiritual journeys can benefit you.
As long as you keep the understanding that everyone is different, you can absorb the similarities in situations without unnecessarily comparing your path to others.
By no means is this list an end all be all. Everyone is starting from a different place and going to different destinations on their spiritual pilgrimages. The key point is to have a plan. Hopefully, these tips provide you with a few good starting points to begin with. Remember to change, rearrange, or add any other steps that you feel are necessary for your spiritual growth.