Spiritual Path
Thorn Yang

Photo Credit: Thorn Yang

Many of us have been on a spiritual path since early in life, wondering about and seeking enlightenment that offers understanding about a lot of questions we have. When I was in my late teens, I was very curious and confused. Having experienced a difficult childhood, I had a lot of questions. As a result, I was attracted to books and articles about spiritual enlightenment, religion, psychological studies and perspectives, and any other material that might help me gain clarity about this complicated adventure called Life.

As we age, even more of us seem interested in finding inner peace and a spiritual connection with a Higher Power. Maybe it’s because our souls know we are getting closer to “going home,” or maybe it’s because our souls know what our minds do not – that we are actually here to seek higher consciousness.

Inner Peace Leads to Physical Health
At the age of 50 plus, it becomes increasingly important to maintain the health of our bodies to maximize quality of life and minimize pain. Doing so is an ongoing battle as we lean more heavily on medication and surgery to keep our bodies going. But what if there was another way–a practice, so to speak–that would enhance our physical health, minimize (or prevent) physical pain, and reduce mental anguish that relied instead on living a life that embraces inner peace?

Negative Space

Photo Credit: Negative Space

In his book titled Practicing the Power of Now, Eckhart Tolle argued that, “Although the body is very intelligent, it cannot tell the difference between an actual situation and a thought. It reacts to every thought as if it were a reality. It doesn’t know it is just a thought. To the body, a worrisome, fearful thought means ‘I am in danger,’ and it responds accordingly, even though you may be lying in a warm, comfortable bed at night. The heart beats faster, muscles contract, breathing becomes rapid. There is a buildup of energy, but since the danger is only a mental fiction, the energy has no outlet. Part of it is fed back into the mind and generates even more anxious thought. The rest of the energy turns toxic and interferes with the harmonious functioning of the body.” In short, our minds may contribute to physical and mental illness.

Knowing that our minds can be our worst enemies, what can we do to prevent undue anxiety and stress that could result in illness? One solution is to stay in the moment as much as possible without replaying past events or worrying about the future and what could happen. To be in the moment is to focus on where you are right now. Let’s say that you are lying in bed and worrying about something that could happen, and your mind is in the future. Stop, recognize what you are doing, and ask yourself, “How am I doing right now?” You will see that you are lying in a warm, comfortable bed and safe in your own home. You also will see that you are feeling fine, and the things you are worrying about are not happening right now. What we think, we often create. Stay in the present moment, and when things actually happen in the present, you can take care of them with greater focus and efficiency. The universe has a way of offering solutions and opportunities to those who are at peace and open to receiving such answers. Difficult or challenging situations in life are often minimized (or even disappear) when there is no resistance or fear about what might happen.

Creating Abundance

Oleksandr Pidvalnyi

Photo Credit: Oleksandr Pidvalnyi

You may have heard the age-old adage, “What we think, we create,” or “What we put out there comes back to us.” It is useful to understand that our thoughts and words have energy and power. If we want to live an abundant life–in our personal relationships, our careers, our financial and emotional situations, and in the things we want and need, it is important to realize that abundance doesn’t exist outside of us, it is a part of who we are. To attract abundance, begin each day by acknowledging the good that you already have in your life. Your blessings are the foundation for more abundance to come, and the kind of day you have largely depends on how you begin it. Try starting your day by writing down three things for which you are grateful in a journal, on a dry erase board, or on a piece of paper taped to your bathroom mirror. Read the list aloud to yourself several times a day for a week. You may marvel at the response the universe gives you.

Listening to meditation music also can be very powerful. You can use soothing music to relax and be more centered and focused. While listening to the music, imagine abundance flowing to you and peace bathing over you. Quiet music also can enhance your experience if you choose to begin your day with yoga. There are many choices online for free meditation music. Here’s one source: https://soundcloud.com/meditation-music.

Becoming more conscious of ourselves will affect how we treat others and, in turn, how they treat us. Observing the fullness of life around us–in the warmth of the sun, the blooms of the flowers, the laughter of a child, and the consistent beating of our hearts–IS abundance. The more we are grateful, the more abundance will come to us. And the more at peace we will be.

May you experience abundance in your life today and always.

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