THE SPIRITUAL JOURNEY
The term “Spirituality” is code for “Knowing The Self”. It involves any understanding or experience that leads to a deeper place of connection with what is felt and what we know is genuine truth.
Most ancient texts have explored the concept of healing, and modern medicine is now just beginning to document what I and my clients have personally experienced on our journeys toward health…that the process of “healing” or becoming more “whole” happens simultaneously with one action….AWARENESS. It is in the very act of looking within that one awakens and thus changes.
It is no coincidence that the idea of an “awakening” appeals to people during these modern times when so many of us are struggling with health concerns and symptoms of restlessness and anxiety. The spiritual journey IS about making note of these feelings and listening to what they are trying to tell us. When we suppress them we give power to “dis”-ease within the body. To quote Dr. Bernie Siegel, “The present health care crisis is not just related to health, it is a crisis related to what is happening in our society (and our personal lives). We have become de-personalized, invested in performance and results and not the experience people are having.” It is only when we decide to stop and to listen or notice what hurts…whether it is in our body or our hearts, that healing can happen.
The term “spirituality” is code for “knowing the self”. It involves any understanding or experience that leads to a deeper place of connection with what is felt and what we know is genuine truth. The spiritual journey starts with a desire and commitment to begin to look at our lives, thoughts, feelings and behavior with a heightened awareness of objectivity. To simply stop running on the autopilot of old programming and habits and to open up to the hard truth of ourselves with the enlightened possibility that we really are powerful enough to change, powerful beyond the stories we come to believe, and powerful enough to be enough in our being-ness.
So why and how do we deviate off course and resist our inner knowing? I believe it is part of our human experience. Before any transformation can occur, we must open up to the process of renewal. We need to allow something to die in order for something to be reborn. As spiritual beings, we are conditioned to want love and search for ways to receive this feeling because love fuels us.
We learn as children that we receive rewards by way of cheering, praise, hugs… and these relate to the feelings of being loved. When we do not receive these feelings, naturally, we seek them. As adults this may often lead us to ineffective ways to get to that place; overworking to receive praise for our contributions, looking a certain way to receive adoration and acceptance, sacrificing our own journey to support that of others in an effort to feel needed…the list is endless. But, this never fills the real emptiness that will surface time and time again begging us to notice.
Every cell in our body has DNA and DNA has memory, which is to say that as creatures of conditioning, we are pre-disposed by our life to do what we have always done, to feel what we have become accustomed to feel and to function as we have been conditioned to function…even if it doesn’t work, and even if it hurts us. We go for the quick fix again and again and get attached to this cycle rather than stopping to address the true problem which is that within us there is a disconnect with our truth. We search outside of ourselves because going within means having to change, and change takes time and inner strength. It means letting go of what has been our story, our conditioning, our mask.
It is when we want to make our life more fulfilling, and recognize a calling away from what has been, that we start to question our purpose and want “out” of what we have done over and over because we recognize it will not bring us a new reality. This awakening is the journey that leads us to spirit, if we let it. It is when we clear the past and trust in the process of entering the true self that healing starts and transformation to well-being begins. It may be a long journey but when we finally reach the point of awareness and acceptance the healing is instant.
- Odette Artime