Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Finding your way in this crazy world...

There are many times in your life where you are called to choose a path, literally or figuratively. Many people chose to follow the simple path, the way that all others before them have taken.  Then there are those who chose the difficult path, the road less traveled; the road that has become overgrown with many hazards along the way. How do you know if you are on the correct path or if you have gotten lost? Is it possible that you feel you are lost, but have simply taken a detour on this road called life to lead others out of darkness?

The simple path is the road most frequently traveled.  It is the safe road, the one you follow every day because it is predictable, reliable, and you always know where it will lead. For some this may be fine, for others it may leave you feeling like you are missing something. This emptiness is what ignites the fire within you to find something more; it makes you feel like you have a greater purpose in this lifetime. You do!  You are not simply born to live your lives and die, we are all here for a reason and it is up to you to find what your reason is. No one else may choose your path for you; you are the only one who knows what is in your heart and soul.  A path that may be good for one may be disastrous for another.

Think about it… each of us are born into different families with different values and belief systems whether they be religious, political, traditional, or spiritual… and yes, spiritual is different from religious. Someone who grows up rich will see things completely different from someone who is poor. Someone who has grown up with unconditional love,compassion, and acceptance will see things differently than someone who has grown up in a family where everything came with a cost. Imagine you come from a home filled with violence or abuse and you meet someone who comes from a home filled with love. You may find yourself drawn to it because it is something you have searched for all of your life. You want to be a part of that home so you join that family hoping to find what you were missing. Now this can be a physical family, a spiritual family or even an internet family.  This is where things can get tricky and people may become misled…

There are many different types of families and social groups that exist and some people may find themselves led astray by people whose intentions are not out of the goodness of their heart. Many examples can be found with a simple quick Google search.  Look up James Arthur Ray, the self-help Guru who was a bestselling author and was endorsed by Oprah Winfrey. His attempt to copy the sacred ceremony of the Native American sweat lodge without a true respect for its sacredness led to the death of three individuals.  His five day “Spiritual Warrior” event was a sham to do nothing more that take advantage of people’s curiosity of native spirituality.He was selling something that cannot be bought with any amount of money.  You can’t buy spirituality no more than you can buy your way into heaven.  It’s that simple.  Many people get led astray by false shamans, preachers, or others claiming to be holy men or women.  A true healer will never charge someone thousands of dollars, or promise you will be healed. The power to heal comes from within you. You have two choices when it comes to healing; Stay on the simple path or create your own.

If you chose to stay on the path you are on hoping for a change you are choosing the simple and easy path. How will anything change if you don’t take that leap of faith and see where a new path will lead? Some people follow many different paths and then one day they come to the conclusion that none of the paths they have followed led them to where they want to go. That is when you stop and ask yourself, “Am I content living the life I am now, or do I want something more?”

If you answered that you want something more this is my advice to you… First, take a deep breath and remember to breathe. Change may be scary, even down right terrifying to begin with, but if it the one thing in the universe you can always count on. The world is in a never ending cycle of change. You are not the person today that you were yesterday;life’s circumstances will continue to mold and alter your perception with every breath you take. So why fear that which is the most constant thing in the universe…change.

This new path will not be easy, you will have struggles and you may have to let go of all expectations… Anything worth having requires work and patience. Be gentle with yourself and never expect too much too soon!  You can’t rush your destiny, things will happen when they are meant to happen.  Also, you may occasionally get called off your path to help lead others in the right direction. Never tell them what path to take;you have not walked in their shoes. What you can do is teach them to look into their heart and support them in their journey. If you feel that you are unable to support them for whatever reason then please just walk away. Their struggle may simply be a part of their own journey; we all learn differently.

Now, sit back and picture yourself in the future doing what you have always dreamed and feeling the joy that it brings you in your life. Allow yourself to see it as if you are already there.  Visualize yourself standing in the woods and there are two clear paths before you, or is there another option? Don’t limit yourself to what you think you see… look deep into your heart and you just may find that it is time to create your own path out of the woods.  Here is a simple exercise to give you an idea the power of belief…

1. Stand up with your arms spread wide straight out from your sides.

2. With your eyes open twist only the top half of your body as far as you can making note of what the tip of your finger is pointing at. remember that spot)

3. Go back to facing forward again and close your eyes.

4. This time imagine yourself reaching father then you ever imagined you possibly could and repeat step 2 with your eyes closed. Open your eyes once you have turned as far as you can.

5. Look at where your finger is pointing now. Is it the same spot or much farther from its original destination?Whenever you are feeling that you can’t do something stop and do this simple exercise as a reminder that when you believe something, you are capable of doing far more than you ever imagined!

Back to the path in the woods… the stronger you believe in yourself and have faith in your journey the easier it will be to clear your own path. When you doubt yourself the path will be riddled with obstacles, down trees, thorns, and other hazards. This is a manifestation of your fears; you are creating your own roadblocks. When you reach these ask yourself “what am I afraid of?” Ask yourself this each time you feel stuck and your answers will guide you toward what needs healing in order for you to proceed on your journey. Like Richard Bach says, “Overcome fear and behold wonder!”  An amazing journey awaits you! What are you waiting for?

By, Stephanie M. Goodman January 10, 2014 ©Stephanie M Goodman