Friday, September 19, 2014

10 Essential Steps To Your Spiritual and Emotional Freedom

10 Essential Steps to Your Spiritual and Emotional Freedom

If you have become stuck in feeling bogged down by life, there are some essential steps that you need to to take to live the life you always wanted. Below is a list of 10 of the most important steps which many spiritual and self-help teachers share, and research has shown that they will allow you to get over your emotional and spiritual hurdles and to get on with the business of living!

10 - Let go of the past

All of us have been hurt by someone we trusted, and all of us have caused others to feel hurt or betrayed. But when these events happened long in the past, why are we still allowing them to control our lives today? The only way you can truly move forward is to let go of the anger, resentment and grudges which you hold, and to forgive others as well as forgive yourself. 

Forgiveness has been shown to be one of the most healing practices. Not only will it leave you feeling emotionally lighter and enable you to move forward with what really matters, but it will also have many physical and psychological benefits as the stress associated with holding grudges will leave you.

Being able to forgive yourself for your past embarrassments or failures, being able to make peace with your past hardships and learning to find true forgiveness will be powerful steps to take on your spiritual journey.

9 - Cut the bad habits

How can you make your life better when you are still ritually engaging in things that make you feel so much worse? In order to make space for the new, you need to cut out the old. That means stop wasting your time and energy on things that hold you back in life, and start spending these precious, limited resources on things that make your life amazing!

Bad habits could include a stale, stifling relationship, worrying about what people think of you, overeating, not exercising and doing things that make you feel disempowered. The sooner you get rid of this excess baggage, the sooner you can start the healing process.

8 - Develop good habits

Now, once you have cut out the old, replace them with healthy, energising habits that make your life better. Focus on things that you can transition to easily - don't place extra obstacles in the way of your wellbeing! Don't try to move a mountain if you haven't started by practicing to move something smaller first.

Find a type of exercise you enjoy. Shop for and cook your healthy meals in advance so that you won't be tempted to cheat. Spend as little as five minutes meditating regularly. And reward yourself for succeeding at these goals. Once you master the easier goals, move on to the more challenging ones. Your habits need to reflect the life that you really want!

7 - Stop making excuses

To put it bluntly - don't allow your sob story to define your life. You absolutely need to value and acknowledge the pain of your past, but if you continuously use it as an excuse to avoid the path towards your own joy, you are robbing yourself of the good things in life.

If you find yourself saying: "I'm too tired"; "This is not a good time to start"; "People will judge me", or whatever your excuse might be, stop yourself right there. Excuses take away your power to change your life. Identify your regular excuses and whenever you catch yourself falling into this trap, remind yourself of the benefits of taking action that strengthens you instead of taking no action at all.

6 - Make time for the important people

A wide range of research shows that quality time spent with loved ones will lead to a more productive, fulfilling life. 

All of us become busy in life, but you need to prioritise the people who love you if you want to foster connection and meaning in life. These people will be the ones who are there during the hard times, and they will be the ones who give you laughter and joy, but only if you invest in the relationships. Otherwise, you will find them grow more distant and you will wonder why it feels so difficult to connect with them.

Scheduling time might help if you lead an extremely busy life, but don't make excuses for missing out on time with loved ones. This is where you make your best memories in life, not in the office or surfing the internet.

5 - Do the things that make you happiest in life

"Do what you love" is the common refrain of many self-help teachers, but what about when the thing that you love can't be your career, or when you have very little time for it?

The goal is to make sure that a great amount of your time is spent doing the things that make you feel joyful, powerful, fulfilled, connected and useful. If you can do that regularly, then you are making your life a reflection of your highest self. 

Also, even when something doesn't bring you money or fame, it doesn't mean that it is a waste of time. Do those things that you love as often as you can, because those moments of joy are like food for your soul, and even if it does not become your career, simply doing them is reward enough.

4 - Get over your mental barriers to achieving what you want

Fear is one of the main reasons why people do not pursue their goals in life. Our emotions often influence our ability to perceive and to take risks. You need to understand your emotions and your mental barriers in order to go after what you really want in life. 

If you are afraid of pursuing what you really want, be it more money, a fulfilling relationship or any other goal, it is important to examine your mental barriers to taking this risk. 

While there is a chance that you might fail, taking a risk is also the only way that you can ever achieve anything worth achieving. Ask that interesting person in your office out on a date. Go to that dance class. Apply for the job you really want. What do you have to lose that is really worth missing out on what you could potentially gain?

3 - Read, listen and learn more. Remember that you don't have all the answers

The most successful people are those who are lifelong students, and readers are much more likely to achieve professional success. The more you read, listen and learn from others, the better equipped you will be to make balanced decisions and to achieve great success in life.

Try to broaden your own knowledge base or practice your skills as often as you can. Only by exposing yourself to new things can you find what you are really good at.

No one knows it all, and being humble is a great part of leading a successful life. Even when you think that someone has nothing to teach you, you might be surprised to find that they have wisdom in ways that you don't.

2 - Be grateful

Being grateful has been shown to be one of the single most powerful spiritual practices in order to improve one's quality of life. It has been shown to have physical benefits, increase emotional well-being and even create closer connections with loved ones. 

Many spiritual teachers advocate gratitude as an important way to see the beauty and the joy that life has to offer and to appreciate the things you already have in life. Gratitude also helps to focus your attention on what you really want, so that you can choose more of it in future.

You might consider starting a gratitude journal, listing a few things that you are grateful for every day, and eventually you will see your life transform into one where gratitude comes easily and naturally.

1 - Get to know yourself, and shower yourself with love

The ancient Greek aphorism "Know Thyself" has been the cornerstone of modern philosophical thought. Getting to know yourself seems to be a rather trivial concern - who knows you better than yourself? What is the point anyway in getting to know yourself better?

But the great leaders of the world know the value of self-exploration and self-knowledge. It is an integral part of successful living. It has even been shown that the greater a leader knows him- or herself, the better they are able to lead, and the more success they will reap.

Getting to know yourself means looking deep into who you are and why you are here, understanding your strengths and weaknesses, and recognising that life is never complete but that there is always more to learn.

Begin to know yourself by journaling or by reading good books - the more you experience about the world and yourself, the greater your ability to understand.

When you learn more about yourself, it is essential to find love and acceptance for these new parts. Often, we are trained to dislike or to suppress parts of ourselves, or to be overly modest or self-deprecating. Instead, learn to celebrate and be joyful for your own uniqueness. Even though you are imperfect, you are incredible! Remembering this will help you to rediscover the wonder of who you are!

Get The Joy of Being Incomplete by Grant Andrews.