Shortcuts to Spiritual Awareness
In my previous blog post “Shortcuts to Spirituality” I listed 5 shortcuts to help you progress along your path with fewer setbacks. Recently, I have personally run into a few more shortcuts which I will pass along below:
Avoid Energy Drinks/Stimulants
In my last blog on quick and easy shortcuts, I started by listing coffee as something to avoid, but made no mention of energy drinks and other stimulants. At this time, I’d like to expand on this shortcut by including any off-the-shelf (or black market) stimulants. The main benefit to stimulants in our current society seems to be that they allow us to get through a few more hours of a tedious day sitting in front of a computer, doing mindless work and shuffling around large volumes of paperwork. In fact, I don’t think the current office environment would be nearly as efficient without these stimulants (namely coffee and energy drinks). So… what does that say about what we are doing with our lives verses what we SHOULD be doing with our lives? This is something that draws attention to a much deeper issue, so we’ll save these implications for a future blog post. In the meantime, try to avoid stimulants for the next 40 days and let me know how you feel!
One of the biggest shortcuts to spiritual awareness is finding what works and doing it every day. For me personally, I have a tendency to skip my daily practice when I’m feeling great. My mind plays tricks telling me, “You’re feeling great today, go ahead a sleep in an extra hour.” Or, “You’ve been doing great, go ahead and stay out really late tonight.” Now, I understand that we should allow ourselves to indulge once in a while if we so choose, but this indulgence quiet easily becomes a new habit which overtakes our previous, and more enlightening, spiritual habits.
Avoid Negative Influences
Negative influences can come from unexpected sources. These sources include, but are not limited to the following:
- Negative People
- Violent Movies/TV
- Our own minds
We are all probably aware of negative people as soon as they approach our “space,” but we are not always aware of the negative impact of what we watch, witness and think. The next time you are watching a violent TV show or movie, pay attention to how it makes you feel and notice that this feeling carries forward into the rest of your day and perhaps even the rest of the week. Is this negative feeling worth the 30-60 minutes of mindless entertainment you received in trade? Speaking of feeling bad, most news is entirely based on violence or complete bullshit and is simply an ad-selling machine. Think you need to stay “tuned in” in order to be an effective human being? Think again.
Avoid Junk Food
Eating junk food has many negative impacts on our lives. Feeling terrible, for instance, is an immediate indicator that we have consumed something which is having a negative impact on our system. If you are not yet at the point where you can immediately “feel” which foods agree with you, then your first step is to consciously pay attention to how you feel after each meal, snack, etc. Once you begin to develop a certain awareness, your body will quickly let you know if you ate too much, too little or consumed the wrong type(s) of food. If you are like me, making the wrong food choices immediately results in aches and pains from a body that is otherwise happy to process whatever it receives without complaint.
Does this all sound easy enough?