spiritual growth

Seven Ways to Help Yourself in the Midst of Soul Work.

So you know you’re in a time of soul work. Here are seven ways you can help move things along.

1. Get extra sleep.

This isn’t possible for everyone, but if you can manage more sleep, do it. Not only is it physically and spiritually necessary, but it’s a way of telling yourself I matter. This process matters, and I will take extra time away from the rest of my life to facilitate it.

2. Write down your dreams, or talk about them with a friend.

They have a tendency to slip away from consciousness soon after waking. The more meaningful ones tend to come back to me later in the day – a deer runs in front of my car and I remember Bengal tigers running around rural Indiana, or I think “I need to put air in my tires” before remembering the flat tires were a dream.

The process of writing them down or talking about them with a friend is what usually helps me interpret their significance.

3. Develop a spiritual practice.

It’s easy to feel…untethered when you’re deep in the mire of soul work. Developing a spiritual practice has helped me “bring it back in” and center my mind. It also provides regular spiritual “food” for the process.

Every morning I get a cup of coffee and grab my Bible, journal, and a nourishing book (currently: Women Who Run With the Wolves, which is why you’re seeing quotes from it all over this blog).  Any quotes or bits that strike me as interesting go in the journal. Then I usually pull a tarot card for the day and write about it. No matter what happened the day before or how weird my dreams were, I’m still on my couch with a cup of coffee and my books in the morning, and that “quiets my spirit” as my mom used to say.

This is my practice, and I’m just putting it here as an example. Anything that makes you feel grounded and spiritually connected is valid. Anytime it needs to change, change it.

4. Organize your outer world.

I absolutely cannot deal with spiritual matters in a messy house. If I see chaos in my outer world, I feel chaos in my inner world. As a way of honoring myself, I have a regular schedule to clean the apartment.

Now, mind you, Martha Stewart would be appalled if she walked into my place. This is my version of clean and organized. I do what I feel facilitates a peaceful and productive home life – no extra to impress. I have other things to do in a day.

Figure out what makes you feel organized. Find the sweet spot between not enough – you feel chaotic and can’t focus – and too much – you feel overworked and can’t get around to doing the more important stuff.

5. Find a way to connect to your intuition.

I cannot overemphasize how important this is. Your intuition is what lets you connect to your inner world. It facilitates this entire process.

(For those of you who believe in the trinity, just insert “Holy Ghost” whenever I say intuition. Or “higher power” if that’s your thing. If intuition is too woo-woo for you, insert “gut feeling”. It doesn’t matter what you call it – just use it.)

I consciously work on developing the connection to my intuition by reading tarot cards, free writing, checking in and listening, and then acting on what it tells me, even when it doesn’t make sense. If I’m supposed to be somewhere, I go there. If I’m supposed to say something, I say it, even if it doesn’t come out right or makes me look really weird. The acting is what creates the trust.

6. Develop your creative life.

This is really just another way to listen your intuition. Creativity and intuition live in the same (weird) place.

Creativity is not the privilege of a select few. It’s part of being a healthy human. You cannot constantly take in and never release. And often the things we create pave the road for further spiritual development.

You don’t owe it to anyone to be “good” at creating, whatever that means. Just get it out there, whatever it is you make, because you’re human and that’s what humans do.

7. Find support and guidance.

Sometimes this support comes from what I call “spiritual food” literature, books and blogs that facilitate spiritual growth. Sometimes it comes from a friend, someone who doesn’t belittle your experience. Sometimes it comes from a professional counselor or a clergy person.

Wherever you can find help and support, take it. Just don’t let it be a substitute for your own intuition. This is your journey, not theirs.
Like I said in the introductory post, I’m not a psychoanalyst or professional counselor. This is all just my experience, so I’d be interested to know what other people do to invest in their spiritual lives.

What do you do that “feeds” your spirit? How do you react in times of spiritual growth?

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