A friend just wrote to me asking for some clarification regarding my last post, “When a question arises from a friend or family member, what do I say if I don't use my own experiences with my life? Or should I not say anything at all and just let them talk? I don't want to influence their path. They have a compass, so can they learn how to use it in their situation?” Your tools belong to you and are specific only to your own toolbox, because you lived a very different reality than other people. We all have so much in common, but the way we experience life is what differs so greatly—our impressions, our world-views, beliefs, ideas, the foundations that we stand on differ greatly. And this is the challenge that we have: not to project our own experience on others, and not to judge, assess, or criticize. .
In most recent times, I live by the practice to "listen to God, not man..." a quote from a dear friend, a spiritual teacher. There were so many times that I had listened to other's people's advice...and what did they know about me, my experience, or my path? I didn't tell them everything about my history. I allowed myself to consequently be steered in such a wrong direction, so far from where I am going today. And it cost me so much time, effort, and introspection to change my direction and turn around to regain my sure footing on this path. And the lesson for me was to learn to receive the right guidance from my divine source (whom I call God.) I have to “pay attention to my body” and to my thoughts, and feel inside to know what is the right move for me, or the right move for my husband and I, as a partnership. I must be vigilant so that I don't believe anything that anyone says, only what God says. And most people who are searching for God will believe anything today, they are as credulous as I was. And if they learned how to “prove to themselves what God is,” and trusted in their guidance—they might find wonderful results, that their lives become happy, and they have everything that they need.
So this is the tool that I speak of: learning how to discern what is divine guidance, and how to get the right guidance from God. This is the most basic tool, because it is like your survival compass, or your own personal “spiritual GPS,” your spiritual navigation system that enables you determine your exact location; how you position yourself spiritually affects your life on earth, and if you believe in a “thereafter,” well—then there too.
If you have children, then it is important to trust in their own decision—to speak about it with them—but also it is your duty to educate them to listen to their own inner guidance. For example, "feeling in" to see if they get a Yes with a good body feeling, or a No with a not-so-great body feeling when they pose a question to God for the right direction or decision. Yes, you can use your own experience, but not without the right guidance. Sometimes I ask God to speak for me, because perhaps I can't find the right words, or the right attitude, or I have a bias of some kind. And then suddenly flowers come out of my mouth—the sweetest words. Use your will to discern when to use your own experience—that there be no hidden agenda—that your intentions are pure, without the need to influence, because if “you know it all and are right about this situation.”.then maybe it is best for you to stay silent. When I had this kind of demeanor, and became silent, I learned so much.
That “gut feeling” can be a path-marker, so to speak, that allows us to know when something is not quite right, and to pay attention to our words, or to the thoughts that are coming to us. Just tonight, my husband and I were seeking divine guidance for a certain matter, and we were both surprised when we each received a No at the same time. We both felt that this was what we needed to act on, which we did. This guidance not only saved us money, but also gave us time to prove the legality of a certain situation.
Another example that helps us attain greater depths into our spiritual self is the challenge that most of us face daily, and that is how to “live in the real world.” Often I hear people comment how “difficult” it is when they have to go to their working situations because of the “negative” conversation topics, or the family members and friends who give out “too much information,” or TMI, (and half of it is gossip or not-nice-news.) I was very good at this at one time, I'm sorry to say—and even went to greater lengths to tell strange and obnoxious stories to elicit shock factor from anyone who would listen. Fortunately I don't have a need to be different or get attention in this way anymore.
TMI hits from family and friends can potentially occur when we least expect it. And in my spiritual practice, I was taught to “close my heart” to this kind of information. As young children most of us are taught to be good, honest, and open. But when something morbid and evil (yes, I used this word...) is coming at my open heart, what should I do? Should I let it in, and feel sadness and cry and carry on with negative emotions with everyone else—giving my spiritual power away to the other side? I don't think so! This is about mastery. I protect the Good that is inside my heart, and snap it closed like window shutters! Now this may come as a surprise to some of you—but if I may explain that we are allowed self protection and preservation from things that are not healthy, well, this falls into the same category. You wouldn't knowingly eat poison, right? It's the same thing. Negativity is like a poison, and when you let it in to your heart, sometimes it takes time to regain the Good power that was there. There's nothing personal about this—I do this with anyone who starts to speak negatively. Family members, friends, employees. I snap my heart shut and look at the trees outside because they are pure and beautiful examples of God. And then I change the subject. It is my birth-right to feel Joy and to stay connected to God. This is a good use of my own will power. I am willing for Joy in my life. And this I wish for you as well.
Two years ago, I asked my circle of family and friends to speak to me only about the Good, that I was “only interested in the Good.” Only one family member told me that he felt uncomfortable with this, because he didn't know what we could talk about. I reassured him that we would certainly find good things to talk about. If a friend wants to tell me the same problem a g a i n, I remind them that they've already told me once, and that they should give it away to God so that they don't have to carry the burden anymore...then you don't have to let them take away these Good moments (precious time that God allows us) with their "negative reruns." Trust completely that your friends, your family members and your children will find the right way to interact with you, and eventually with life. Ask for them—meaning ask for divine guidance for them, that they bring Good into their own hearts, and focus more on the Good. Talk to your creator for this guidance.
I believe that there are no victims here (believe me--I played that role soooo well.) but it does your friend a benefit also, by teaching h/im that they don't have to allow anything but the good in their lives. This also invites dignity and grace. Eventually, the word will get around that you are interested in only the Good. And people mostly respect this. Then your life becomes easier and happier. But only you can set it in the right order by using your will power and action.
These are my experiences, but it's best to rely only on God's direction. When you sit in a quiet place for contemplation or prayer, connect to your divine source, and ask for help. Notice how you feel in your body, and listen. Sometimes I feel relief—and I cry with gratitude. It's my time to focus only on my creator, and to receive direction. The signs, insights, and subsequent actions in your environment will substantiate God's guidance for you. And I wish you much reception of the Divine Good—you may even feel it streaming in to you body. All the best to you and yours.
In : The Spiritual Life
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