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- Bill Gaum
When we first start to spiritually awaken, it is often a rather delicate time for us, when our tender spiritual hopes and feelings can easily be damaged or maybe even crushed by the "world", or by sarcasm from those who are not yet feeling what we are feeling.
In India, they illustrate this delicate time of the early stages of spiritual awakening by using an analogy. They liken it to that of a little sapling that has just been planted that needs to be protected from the grazing cows by a little fence. In this way the little sapling of awakening spiritual consciousness can be protected, so that it can strengthen and eventually grow in to a great tree who's protective spreading branches can eventually provide shade for the very animals who would have unconsciously eaten it when it was a small sapling. Thus, the very cows that would have ignorantly destroyed it by eating it, can now be blessed by it by resting in it's shade.
So it is vital that we protect our tender "spiritual plant" that is now growing within our hearts, so that we can eventually be a greater blessing to all - including to those who would have unknowingly crushed it out of us in the beginning with their unconscious spiritual insensitivity.
Here are some helpful practical ways of doing this.
• One way of protecting our awakening spirituality is by keeping our budding spiritual aspirations and hopes "close to our hearts". In other words, to be discreet about them and only share them with those who will nurture the feeling, rather than "put it down".
• We also need to set aside some time each day for prayer and meditation. This is extremely important, even if it is just for a few moments, because it is during this time that it is easiest for our Higher Self to pour into us the uplifting feelings, soothing Divine Love, nurturing subtle spiritual energy, and Light of our Higher Self, which does so much to sustain, and increase our awakening spiritual consciousness. In part, we can do this by gently substituting some television and internet time, with the much more healing and uplifting activity of prayer, meditation, satsang, and reading of spiritual literature.
• This is also a good time to be reading uplifting sacred books or visiting inspiring spiritual websites.
• As best as possible try to diplomatically avoid spending time with people who are angry, antagonistic, unforgiving, mean-spirited, cynical, or otherwise have difficult or discordant, "feeling worlds". Naturally, if someone like this happens to be a family member, or someone else whom we need to spend time with, we may not be able to achieve this, but we can do it with others.
• It's also very helpful to choose friends who increase our spiritual consciousness, rather than diminish it. Similarly, it is helpful to gradually let go of those "friends" whose thoughts, feelings, words, actions and interests diminish our spiritual consciousness. We can do this by praying to GOD to gently remove them from our lives, while replacing them with "friends of Light".
• Choosing to smile more often - sincere, genuine, heart-warming smiles which "reach out to others", while being pleasant and kind, and radiating pleasant and kindly feelings and thoughts from our heart and mind.
• It is also important to start choosing delicious food that raises our consciousness, rather than lowers it. For instance choosing scrumptious, nutritious vegetarian food, rather than unhealthy junk food which is full of empty calories.
• It is also a blessing to listen to Soothing, spiritually uplifting music.
• And choosing artwork that is soothing, uplifting and inspiring to look at. Art that makes us feel happy!
• Choosing activities that are uplifting and wholesome, rather than consciousness lowering.
• If possible spend time in nature and natural settings that are peaceful, beautiful and uplifting. Even if it is just going for a walk, meditating in a garden, visiting a park, or sitting by a stream.
• Try to be more helpful to others.
• Choosing clothing, etc, that use "Angel Colors". Especially helpful are various beautiful clear shades of pinks, lavenders, blues, turquoises, aquamarines, greens, yellows, peaches, and golds. Bright happy colors, or soothing soft pastels, are usually the best.
• Occasionally setting aside a "spiritual day or weekend" for oneself, for only doing spiritually nurturing things, either alone or with like-minded friends, family members or others.
• Possibly attending an occasional spiritual "retreat" of some kind such as one hosted by one's church, temple, synagogue, or some inspiring spiritual educator.
• Be kind to ourselves as well as others. This can include once in a while buying a little something special for ourselves or our sacred living space. Maybe a little statue of Quan Yin, Blessed Mary, the Buddha, or an angel; or a poster or painting of an angel; or some soft, inspiring music; or something else that lifts our spirit and gives us happiness.
• Be kind to animals.
• And it's helpful to be patient with ourselves. Even the great spiritual masters did not become masters overnight. It's a gradual process. And always remember that sincerity is the key to spiritual progress. It's the bottom line. No matter how challenging life can be, and how difficult it is to rise above various unhealthy personal habits, if we're sincere and stick with it, we will gradually make the kind of deep spiritual progress we are seeking. This might not manifest right away in our everyday experience, but it will surface eventually. That's where the patience comes in.
For more ideas, please check our section on "Positive Living".
Blessings on your spiritual journey dear friends. And remember to be kind to yourself and take care of yourself - you're a child of GOD!
Copyright 2018 Bill Gaum. All Rights Reserved