We are living in a time of global stress which has been called a health epidemic and many people, even those who experience success, are afraid of what the future will bring. As a psychologist, spiritual mentor and motivational speaker, I see the main solution is to understand that truth cuts through fear. My work is about getting to the very root of the problems that are causing the fear which leads to stress. Often what we are experiencing is a build up of unconscious beliefs and denial that forces so many of us, even the most accomplished and heart-led, into cycles of fear.
Fear is complex and takes up energetic space. It limits thinking, creativity and leads us to a state of fight or flight. The untruth that we become caught up in is the idea that we need to choose one thing over another. For example, that we need to choose either love or money in our work and either security or passion in personal relationships. Sometimes this singular focus results in despair and we don’t even know how or why the despair has come about.
Confusion and anxiety can disorientate even those people who are very much in charge of their lives, and those who, especially in business, may have achieved significant outward success, but still feel an emptiness or loss. A connection to a deeper truth is needed; a more holistic and spiritual perspective.
Truth and spirituality are integral to each other. Spirituality is about connecting with authenticity and the wisdom of the heart, which is proven to be a powerful intelligence, in constant communication with the mind, body and outside world, energetically informing our experience of life.
Cultivating spiritual awareness offers us a bird’s-eye view as we travel through inevitable ups and downs. As a result, we move through challenges and towards our visions with greater ease and deeper resilience than with mindset alone. The benefits are qualitative, we develop a sense of inner knowing and create positive outcomes that can at times defy logic. Some call this grace, synchronicity or even a miracle, but it is energy and information that we can each tap into. I am talking about a deeper, intangible intelligence that leads to material and tangible outcomes, which includes transforming challenges or the amplification of what is working for you in your life.
In the words of philanthropist and media executive Oprah Winfrey – “Spirituality is recognizing that I am connected to the energy of all creation, that I am a part of it and it is always a part of me…A spiritual practice is the foundation of a meaningful life.” For example, one may focus on developing skills or getting expert advice that specifically informs their business or work, whilst not being aware that spiritual development and navigating the realm of our feelings can offer a greater perspective in one’s career, even transformation.Though the results of this holistic work can deliver rapid turnaround and lead to sustained contentment and success, I have identified three main reasons why people are hesitant to consider a spiritual approach.
Firstly, we may think we are managing stress by finding outlets that distract us, some of which are socially acceptable and encouraged by mass marketing. For instance, screen bingeing, self-medication through food, drugs and alcohol, over-working and excessive exercise. These behaviours can mask deeper issues and lead to a build-up of emotional baggage that becomes harder to address over time. Denial triggers a chain of events that may lead to mental illness that can be mitigated or resolved by acknowledging the problem behind our compulsions.
Sometimes it’s hard to admit we need help when we are at the top of our game. In Western cultures, we are often encouraged to always have our act together or in other words, grin and bear it. There is a stigma around seeking counsel especially for alpha personality types who may question whether anyone can meet them at their level of thinking.
When I have been able to help leaders and people in positions of great responsibility, the gratitude they feel and the tangible results they witness, confirm for me the importance of spiritual mentoring. It can be a relief to have that support when you are used to being the person everybody leans on and furthermore to be able to connect more genuinely to your team, colleagues and anybody who interacts with you. Through the perspective of love, rather than fear, you can actually make better decisions and achieve more, though you may need the courage to accept the truth when your mentor is radically honest.
Often people find the commitment to awareness as a result of a traumatic life event that forces a questioning of beliefs. In moments of pain, there is an opening to a new view on life that then shapes a fuller worldview. My vision is to see people embrace spirituality without a need for an initial jolt or shock. Ancient cultures naturally balanced left and right-brain activity, head and heart, through music, dancing, communing with nature and not dismissing the dreamworld. Generally, there was an intrinsic appreciation of transcending the realm of the mind and thought.
Nowadays we can apply a scientific understanding to anything, even spiritual activities like meditation, but what about the intangible experiences that we have, the events, like a retreat, that can’t be measured and assessed, and that on occasion, have even saved lives? I believe we need to be open with our personal stories, and understand that truth is the core to achieving self-realisation and improving our collective consciousness. It’s okay to share the successes you’ve had as a result of your spiritual work, to have the courage to express what can’t be scientifically proven.
Life can take us by surprise and uncertainty can be stressful. Through love, listening to the heart, and giving value to intangibles, we can navigate more effectively through our lives. Change is never easy and especially when we are going against dominant ideology. By discovering our truths we open ourselves to all aspects of life and we experience them working in unity. Once we are living in a space of constant possibility then we create a positive ripple effect that goes out into the world. Welcome to the Heart Renaissance. As we heal ourselves, we can heal humanity.