The Long and Winding Road
Anne Frank once wrote that nobody need wait a single moment before beginning to improve the world. And whilst she scribed these wise words after a most harrowing experience, many people today, without the horror of living through a world war, are seeking at the very least to improve their own experience of this world. So it is no surprise as looking ‘outside’ for answers is met with greater hostility, we are increasingly look within. In doing so a path appears, one that we must tread lightly but with conviction, for to successfully follow our very own ‘yellow brick road’ to a promised state of being, we need more than a pair of shiny red shoes. What does it take to really be ‘spiritual’, to follow a path without getting lost in the dense woods of delusion?
Many people confuse ‘being’ spiritual with ‘doing’ spiritual things. As a ‘spiritual coach’ I am often confronted with the request, ‘I want to develop my spiritual side. And when I ask the person to explain, they reply with things like, ‘I want to learn to meditate, communicate with Spirit and angels’ or I want to learn tarot and clairvoyance’, or ‘I want to learn spiritual healing or maybe Reiki’. Becoming adept at such a skill, expanding our knowledge of the unseen universal forces at play in our world, is important because we learn best from our own direct experiences. But the path to enlightenment has never been about what’s out there. It has always been about what’s inside. Even as we learn and experience we forget that the fundamental truth has always been about simply ‘being’ spiritual in our doings!
Yet despite knowing in our hearts and minds what we need to do, we get so easily sidetracked by the demands of everyday life; work, money, family and relationships. But is it not just life that gets in our way, we do too. Mystics have long implied that man is in an unnatural state of separation and it is true. We separate from the ‘whole’ at birth, career off the path headfirst into the woods, and then spend a lifetime seeking ‘connection’ – that elusive yellow brick road, through our relationships. Our egos, which consist of learnt behavior and beliefs, adopted from our society and family, have always sort to separate us. This ‘created self’ desires understanding; it must make sense of everything by relating it to what it has learned. It needs to give our experiences meaning. It needs to feel good about itself, so it needs to be ‘right’ and to be right it needs to make everyone else ‘wrong’.
Our ego will always sit in judgment of ourselves and others, and yet all spiritual pathways teach us to let go of judgment, to accept ourselves and others. But what if there is no meaning, other than the meaning our ego gives it? Science tells us that everything in the universe is made up of the same basic matter put together in different combinations. Therefore the universe and us are all one living being. One consciousness separated into many tiny parts, but all part of the same Universal Creator. Our ego’s often highjack our spiritual pathway. Making us special, insisting that we have a greater purpose in this life, something to achieve. But what if our purpose is simply to ‘be’ the divine within us? To ‘be’ spiritual and if so, how is that achieved in this modern world that we have created, in our busy everyday lives?
We need to remember to implement everything we have learned on our journey. We have to remember to bring love and acceptance to every situation throughout the day. It means letting go of judging ourselves and others. To stop blaming others and the world at large and to take responsibility for our conscious and unconscious choices with which we create our world. We need to remember to ‘walk our talk’ – the true gift of following our yellow brick road. This obviously takes time and practice because, after all, we are breaking the bad habits of generations. Your thoughts affect your feelings, and how you feel is the reality you are experiencing right now, which is the only moment you have. When your thoughts stray to the past (which is now but a memory), or to worrying about the future (which is only your imagination running wild) remember it is your experiences and choices now which carry the real power.
The key is in mastering the mind rather than being mastered it. When you bring awareness to your everyday tasks, you are in the moment; you are experiencing your life in a spiritual way. When you are aware of your thoughts and feelings you can change them to ensure you are experiencing the moment from the spiritual perspective – you are on solid ground, right in the middle of your yellow brick road road. As the Zen saying of shows us, ‘Before Enlightenment chop wood carry water, after Enlightenment, chop wood carry water’ our daily tasks are the same, our needs are the same but we have changed everything because our attitude has been enlightened. Your journey can take a long and winding road, from which you may wander, even losing sight of it, but with the right attitude, love for your heart and mind, it will always show the way, gift you your lessons and get you to where you truly want to be.
Joylina Goodings is President of the British Astrological & Psychic Society – is an international speaker, workshop leader, spiritual consultant and author of the acclaimed Your Angel Journey – A guide to releasing your inner angel, amongst other books. She also offers personal readings and spiritual coaching, retreats and spiritual holidays. Call 07702 956928, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.joylina.com