‘I just can’t get into spirituality!’
I’m not even going to beat around the bush on this one.
Excuses. The reason you can’t get ‘into’ or commit to yourself and your true path is that you’re making excuses.
That’s the short answer. Keep reading to get some tips on moving through them and into the goodstuff.
Let’s be clear. We’re all spiritual by our existence in this world. Whether we believe or not we all have a spiritual barometer on what the hell is going on in this bizarre matrix.
I, and may more like me, are of the belief that we are simply universal energy made manifest. We’re walking, talking, breathing Universe … makes your freak out about the wrong coffee order seem a bit beneath you, no? Because it is!
Our natural state is one of complete union because everything is universal energy – so I am everything and everything is me, no matter how I try to chop it up.
But the world as it exists today is built on the shadow and it very strongly wants to maintain its food source. So society imprints on us fear and insecurities and distrust and shame until that idea of universal connection is, at best, a vague memory.
And THAT is why I can say that wellness and connection and joy are the birthright of every single human. Because it was ours. We just need to remember it!
That being said, if you’ve ended up in this end of the internet you’d likely identify as spiritual or spiritual-adjacent or spiritual curious. The later two groups are the ones I get most questions from and they all centre around the same theme…
‘HOW DO I GET STARTED?!’– every newly returned spiritual ever
So maybe you’ve bought the books that someone on Instagram said you should and you have the mala beads and you’ve been looking into retreats and it just doesn’t feel … right. Like, you’re not getting that bright eyed glow that those other folks have. It all feels a bit performative. CAN’T I JUST BE ENLIGHTENED ALREADY?!
This one isn’t actually too complicated….
Spirituality is personal to each and every individual. It is a process of unlearning as much as it is wisdom gained. We are all on different paths to the same location so what works for once cannot and will not feel natural to another.
But now what? You’re just floating about, directionless, right? How are you meant to know where to start?
Ah but lovie, you already have. You’re here and this is the first of many layers of bullshit you will work through. Congratulations – write down the date so you can look back this time next year because, trust me, the you of that time will smile with so much love at the current you!
Now for the engagement with the shadow that’s keeping you locked in past cycles. Aka, now the fun really fucking starts.
You are currently making excuses for yourself and that’s why you’re not moving forward in your practice.
Sit with that. How does reading that feel? Are you creating more excuses in the mind RIGHT NOW to justify it?!
Here’s how I know we’re all making excuses – we all know the SHOULDS in life. We should meditate, we should move a bit, we should lead with love, we should live to serve. Soooo … why don’t we just do it? Like, if that’s the good shit – why would we CHOOSE to do the opposite?
Because the shadow doesn’t want to be released. It values itself greatly and it has been fed into, probably, our entire lives. And one of the ways it ensures its survival is to convince us NOT to grow.
‘I don’t have time’ – ‘I will do that on Monday’ – ‘I can’t do that’ – ‘I don’t know enough yet’ – ‘oh I should research that other meditation technique first’ – ‘let me find the perfect background music’ – ‘I want that crystal first’ – ‘let me consult my tarot’ – ‘oh look, this incredibly elaborate ritual looks cool’ – *every Youtube rabbit hole, ever* – ‘I’m just not this person’ – ‘Fuck this, I need to look after myself in this world’ – ‘this niggly sense of doubt just won’t go away’.
Baby, I could go ON with a hundred more excuses I’ve played through my mind and I’m sure you have to.
Can you see them as the ego trying to stop you from making it redundant? Can you see them as the rememant of a stagnant defence mechanism? Can you see how amazing the lengths the shadow will go to – and how convincing it can be?!
It’s your very own nonsense that’s keeping you stuck. And there’s literally no point in raging against that (hello insecurity shadow), or beating yourself up (hello shame shadow) or giving up because of it (hello inadequacy shadow) – BECAUSE ALL OF THAT JUST FEEDS INTO THE SHADOW. This bitch is trick-y.
5 steps to find your spiritual direction
Come to yourself with compassion. The Catholic Church has been trying to literally beat spirituality into us Irish (and many more!) for centuries and it just doesn’t fucking work. When we step up to our Self with compassion and love and gentleness – as you would a tiny baby – you’ve already begun the healing. You’ve already begun the deprogramming. Compassion is everything!
Practice self awareness. Before anything else we need to realise what we’re doing and the reasons behind it. Only when we’re aware of what is has been happening in our moments of unconsciousness can we begin to unlearn and move forward to our truest Self. You can find some tips on awareness building and conscious thought here.
Identify your very own personal brand of bullshit. Awareness leads to this step naturally. You’ll be AMAZED at the tales your tell yourself and the manipulation you try to pull off and the lies you embody all thanks to that shadow self. These aren’t things to beat the crap out of yourself for. These are things to wonder at. Look at how the mind tries to protect you still. Look at the tall tales we’ve invested in fully through out actions. It’s all amazing! We are drowning in spiritual tools but we can’t take the first step because we don’t see ourselves as worthy or capable. But here’s the secret – you have ALL the power here.
Trust your gut. There are a million modalities available when it comes to spiritual practice. How are we meant to choose. Here I say, look at what’s being presented to you. What tools has the universe already put into your path that maybe you’ve overlooked so far? It could be a friend or teacher. It could be a book that’s been in your house for years. It could be a class running nearby. The universe is about ease. You don’t need to rediscover some abstract Buddhist strain of meditation. Everything you need is IN YOU. The doors to help you step through will be nearby too. And, this is important, they will RIGHT. That rightness could be an internal yes, excitement, contentment, unburdening, lightening, contentment. And as you’re ready to progress the universe will provide the deeper tools – she’s cool like that. So reach out. Step up. Explore!
Show up. Here’s where so many find issue. Consistency is key. It’s not glamorous or gorgeous crystals or gathering in a circle. It could be practicing at 6am in the dark, or after working to jobs or in the car as you wait to pick up your kids. Think of how deeply ingrained all our worldly bullshit is. The unlearning and moving forward isn’t a weekend practice baby. Some can be resolved in a day. Some will take ten years. Such is the nature of healing and returning to the Self. So set an alarm or put it in your diary or ask your partner to hold you accountable until this becomes habit. Because once that habit is formed and you’ve developed the awareness above, you’ll see the benefits. Oh and baby those benefits will have you coming back all on your own.
That’s it. They’re the five steps that built the foundation of my healing and spiritual progression. These steps have opened doors to incredible teachers and community and opportunity to delve deeper into my Self.
And they’re SIMPLE – definitely not to be confused with easy! They are accessible to each one of us. Because, let me say it again, healing is our motherfucking birth right – so why on earth would it be difficult?
Keep growing, gorgeous.