If you are beginning your spiritual journey, you have so many options but little to no direction. The two unsung factors I share here will give you the right mindset for getting started safely and keeping you in control the whole time. You will want to refer back to them even when you become more experienced.
Table of contents
- The life-changing magic of beginning your spiritual journey
- Unsung factor no 1: an open mind
- Unsung factor no 2: intuition
- Guilt-free spiritual practice for introverts
The life-changing magic of beginning your spiritual journey.
According to Christina Puchalski, spirituality is:
the aspect of humanity that refers to the way individuals seek and express meaning and purpose and the way they experience their connectedness to the moment, to self, to others, to nature, and to the significant or sacred.” (1)Puchalski is MD, Director of the George Washington Institute for Spirituality and Health.
You may remember that I work with three main blocks inside holistic healing. Two of these, childhood conditioning and introversion, are quite recent findings.
Spirituality, on the other hand, is my first and oldest love. I was barely a teenager when I started exploring spiritual matters. The attraction was so intense although I couldn’t tell where it was coming from.
In hindsight, though, I followed my instincts and made the right choice.
Spirituality turned out to be the most accessible way to quench my thirst for knowledge. That is, compared to childhood conditioning and introversion, to which I was utterly oblivious. It provided wonderful tools to bring more peace into my days and build a better lifestyle.
Of course, being a teenager right before the internet, I relied mostly on books for my self-education: the ones I could afford on pocket money, those I would borrow from my father, and the ones I stared at in awe of at local bookstores.
My first title ever was by Dr. Brian Weiss, regarding past lives. I was so fascinated by the topic that it still holds its place in my energy work sessions.
Spirituality is truly the magical place where it all started.
Unsung factor no 1: an open mind
Spirituality truly permeates – potentially – every aspect of human life. In order to be ready to grasp it, we should appeal to our ability to have + keep an open mind.
I’d consider it a prerequisite to enter this world. Synonymous with curiosity and a willingness to explore new ideas, it will allow you to change your life for the better.
Anyway, an open mind will be your best ally regardless of whether you’re beginning your spiritual journey or more advanced. Like I said, you will want to refer back to the 2 unsung factors even when you feel you have got the hang of spiritual growth.
Why is an open mind so important, anyway?
Learn to be open to every possibility for growth
You may link spirituality with religion, perhaps the one you were brought up to.
You have also read about my fascination with past lives: to be honest, Dr Weiss’ book offered me so much comfort. Unbeknown to me, it rekindled my faith. Faith in the fact there is more than meets the eye. Thank goodness! It meant I had better/higher chances to find solace and peace where rational reasoning fell short. And it was just the beginning, obviously. The truth is, as soon as it opens its doors to you, spirituality will reveal how immense it is.
A mind-boggling variety of schools of thought, currents, modalities, and techniques…
Some will sound totally weird,
others more plausible,
a few difficult to label,
a bunch of them will sound familiar and make for the perfect starting point.
The temptation to scoff, judge and laugh can be so strong! Take me, for example. I believe in so many incredible “things”. past lives or even parallel lives. I swear by different types meditation and I have used visualization to manifest my dreams. Even though I am not a direct practitioner, I certainly don’t rule out the fact that some folks out there master telekinesis.
Despite this, I don’t know how I feel about UFO’s (or living beings inhabiting other planets): I don’t believe in them. But it doesn’t make it any less true to someone else.
An open mind asks you to make space for new ideas, no matter how crazy or out there they sound. Right now, there’s no need to accept, discard, judge. Just let be.
Fun fact: we (Europeans) have an institute in Europe, called Eurospes, which recognizes the following regarding to spirituality: “It appears in humanity’s dealings with nature, home and community, healing, economics and business, knowledge, and education.”
Not too bad for a topic frequently labelled as wacky, rubbish or ‘New Age’!
Choose the best options for spiritual growth
By letting a new idea be, you are able to just look, with no pressure.
Stay open so that you won’t miss out on any, ‘new’ enriching discoveries. Let your spiritual evolution spread its wings.
Then, once when you’re ready and inspired, pick the best practice for that specific time of your life.
I have often heard about a meditation style or a theory and decided they weren’t for me. I put them on hold, knowing they might serve me some day. Which actually happened, for instance with Kundalini. I first read about it around 2007 but it wasn’t until 2021 that I finally practiced it, both yoga and meditations.
Unsung factor no 2: intuition
I firmly believe in the power of intuition and instincts, that profound wisdom steeped within our bodies.
Mind and body engage in an eternal dialogue, all in our best interest. What you feel in the body is thought to be the Soul’s way to let you know what she (and your higher Self!) truly needs – vs our never-ending thinking Mind.
I, for one, knew at an instinctual level that I’d find a “friend” in spirituality. Well, it has yielded comfort, trustworthy information, a sense of belonging. It has helped with becoming more present.
Let intuition guide you
The young girl was certain she’d find answers (= lightness) in energy work instead of ‘regular’ therapy. It seemed almost obvious that most of ‘my stuff’ could be addressed from planes other than the 3-D one. By following my heart – or intuition – a fulfilling journey of self-discovery was set in motion.
The heart didn’t lie. Life actually became more bearable, enjoyable, empowered.
So, think of intuition as a compass, guidance with very practical decisions, too.
Like, deciding to rest if you get tired of learning. As well as taking a break if something doesn’t feel right or you don’t want to ‘commit’ to it right away. It all starts in the body and its sensations.
It is true that, when we talk spirituality, we tend to leave the physical body out of the equation. But it is the opposite: by paying attention, we learn to attune to intuition and – hopefully — act accordingly.
It turns out to be twice as miraculous to introverts like us. With our heads (almost) always in the air, paying attention to physical sensations drags us out of the Mind intentionally, to create sustainable, life-changing habits.
Don’t give away your power.
This is a crucial point. It affects free choice and your core beliefs. What do I mean?
In this cauldron of schools of thoughts that make up spirituality, it’s tempting to adhere to ideas and philosophies out of fear. Out of an urge to belong and conform. Pretty much like giving ‘everything’ to a spiritual practice because you admire its founder or members. Especially if you are just beginning your spiritual journey. It is human nature; I am telling you because I have been there.
Nothing scary or dangerous, but once you’re privy to it, you’ll be safer and in freaking control of your time and energy. Just make sure you always go back to what you’re feeling in your heart and guts.
GENERAL ADVICE... It is totally OK to practice a method partially, quit at some point and resume in the future – or never again. Likewise, you shouldn’t feel guilty if you don’t stick to a suggested schedule. More importantly, don’t let the thoughts in your head trick you into self-guilt.
You are under no obligation to conform to anyone’s rules if it doesn’t align with your wisdom, core values and beliefs. Always trust your heart, your deepest needs. Because you are YOUR OWN BEST GUIDE.
Guilt-free spiritual practice for introverts.
Alone or in class, online or offline
When you’re beginning your spiritual journey, you have the option to work on your own, with groups of people, or a little bit of both.
As a hard-core introvert, I tend to avoid classes. I like to practice in my own time and fashion or guided by a coach. All my life, I have only done yoga at a couple studios and been to group meditations twice. After all, I love this time of history: through the internet, you can achieve pretty much anything!
Anyway, if you do like the experience of learning in groups, then let me remind you – once again – of the power you hold.
No group, teacher, or coach should ever tell you how to behave or think if it goes against your core values and beliefs.
You know, it’s not unusual to bump into self-proclaimed gurus in almost any area pertaining to well-being: spirituality, fitness, mental health. It happens both in real life and online.
Yep: the digital world too will trigger self-guilt or trap you through the infamous ‘all or nothing’ culture.
Something I have often felt vulnerable to, as an INFP introvert… I tend to think too much, want to go all the way in, at the risk of betraying my own core values and beliefs: knowledge with an element of lightness and playfulness.
At the end of the day, you will benefit from a mindfulness technique without worshiping its founder; feel elated by the teachings of, say, Buddhism even if you will never go to a temple.
Sharing to people close to you
I rarely open up to someone unless I trust them deeply. The number of trusted people drops even lower if it involves spiritual matters: for example, I don’t talk about these things with my best friends. I love them to the moon and back but it’s just not their jam. And I respect that.
Better still, I respect myself. My personal experience has shown me that the second I detect suspicion or mockery in reaction to my words, I shut down. I instantly resolve to avoid that person for a while — like, a long while!
Putting your trust in another person is hard, we know that too well. More so with delicate matters like your spiritual side (not to mention the super personal struggles behind it).
We must protect our energy, first and foremost, then make sure we preserve the sacredness of the spiritual work we do.
Which is why I invite you (once more!) to use intuition as a powerful, innate “device” that will lead you back to a safe space, where you won’t need to prove anything to anybody. You’re in command there.
BONUS TIP: keep a note pad close so as to monitor the beginning of your spiritual journey and its evolution. Write down anything you deem useful, like impressions, messages from your intuition, doubts you’ll want to explore later on.
As you take your first steps into the vast realm of spirituality, an open mind and your intuition will be already by your side.
Remember: you can practice alone or with other people, a lot or just a little bit, as long as you stick to what feels good, authentic to your Self, core values and beliefs.
Beginning your spiritual journey — and keeping it up — should empower + make you free to choose only the best for your healing, evolution, and thriving.