Being spiritual is not an easy thing to do, as you are having to go up against what most people think. It tends to be for people who have endured a lot of suffering in one way or another (it was for me anyway) and certainly decreases a lot of arrogance/assumptions you may have had about life itself. Strangely, despite the huge amount of suffering taking place on this planet, there is still a lot of arrogance, as if people think they know what to do and are trying to force square pegs into triangular holes
The sad thing is, I'm ashamed to admit, is that I've been there myself. As I've mentioned, I've been cynical, and was brought up in a cynical, religious family. I've had my fair share of people ranting at the TV, as well as heated opinions at the dinner table. I know how easily it is to be manipulated by your peers. Breaking away from that isn’t easy.
Which leads me to ultimately believe, that the people who are spiritual are people who are searching for answers, and are desperate to find meaning behind the chaos. When this mentality is embraced, arrogance gets thrown out of the window, and you are now primarily searching for your truth. Here, I list the top things I've realized trying to be spiritual. Hopefully you'll take something good out of this;-)
1- Having an obe/lucid dream is more advantageous than you realize.
I know this is a tricky one for most people, but by having some form of a regular obe session, or even lucid dreaming, will be hugely beneficial to your self/spiritual growth (as well as helping you with the law of attraction). The reason? Having an obe will constantly remind you about your spiritual truths (as you are now separate from your body so you can explore more stuff with your mind) and you get to do many wondrous things, like visit your loved ones, heal yourself (yes, it's possible), speak to your soul guides, plus much more. Even having a lucid dream (which is like having a partial obe) will still yield some spiritual benefits which will help you with your spiritual self-development.
The only problem for most people, of course, is that achieving such a state is tricky. You do really need to watch your conscious thoughts when you drift of to sleep, or even easier (from what I've read) get up after about 4-5 hours, go somewhere else (like a living room) settle down in a chair and watch your thoughts carefully as you relax your body into the vibrational state. This does require practice and self-discipline, which in this modern day and age, not everyone has.
But when it works, it's an amazing adventure;-)
2- Being present is very simple to achieve, yet super difficult to maintain.
The art of being present, in my opinion, isn't so much achieving presence per say but to maintain it. It's one thing to feel present when you are walking on a nice country path going to your local village. It's something quite another to feel present when you are in the office, and you have lots of work to do, lots of customers to speak to, etc… That is when it counts. This is where fantasizing, while giving you a coping mechanism for your EGO to use, is actually more of a hindrance than a help.
Keeping present when you are mentally at work is an art indeed, and requires lots of practice. Your EGO will try to fantasize/day dream/create melodramas out of nowhere, so you do have to watch your thoughts very closely. However, if you can do it, you'll find that your general work stress levels will be reduced significantly, and you will also be more attentive and more mentally sharp (as well as more emotionally in control of the situation). Food for thought.
3- Having an understanding of your Chakras is pivotal for self-growth.
It's all very well meditating and reading about stuff on spirituality, but if you don't get a good grasp on your Chakras, and learn to use them/balance them, you are majorly missing out. Your non-physical vortices, which connects you to your non-physical self do need to be maintained. True, meditation will help you do that by default. Also true, Yoga helps as well as sleep. But if you don't do any of the above, you do need to actively cleanse/balance your Chakras.
The problem when it comes to psychology, is that the chakras don't often get taken into consideration. And yet the Chakras do govern your psychology all too often, from how you speak (Throat Chakra) to how emotional you are (Sacral Chakra). By learning about the Chakras, and then taking active steps to help them when the going gets tough (including using EFT), you get to help the Qi energy flow into your physical body much more easily.
4- Meditating is simple to do, but you do need routine.
Meditation isn't difficult to do. I mean, it's all about creating a sort of, ‘space' in your imagination, so you can feel the peace/deep love from your soul/higher conscious. Now, you can do this while being present; or you can imagine a spinning object, and once you have your full attention on the object let it start to slowly fade away. You will be left with a blank space, meaning that you are therefore meditating. And of course, meditation has numerous health benefits, from increased attention, to the reduction of the aging process, plus much more.
The problem with meditation (I find) is getting into a routine where you do it on a regular basis. Of course, if you go to a Yoga class, (which you've paid for) routine isn't an issue. If on the other hand, you don't have any schedules outside of work, getting a routine and sticking to it can be really tricky for the undisciplined amongst us. It does go without saying that be creating and sticking to a schedule will do numerous benefits to your body and mind. So it is really worth it to find a good technique out there (there are may meditational techniques to choose from) and sticking to it. You'll thank yourself 1 month from now!
5- You still need your sleep, or you're playing catchup!
You can be spiritual all you like, and can read about the spiritual laws, or how we are all one, or how to visualize for perfection. But take it from me, if you don't have you're beauty sleep and are exhausted the next day, being spiritual is pretty much useless. The only exception to this, is that you can try to meditate in Theta to have a few quick energy bursts during your break times, or use a Theta/Delta CD to have an hour nap if you're at home (whatever works best for you!).
Just because you understand (to some degree) what spirituality is all about, doesn't mean to say that you skimp on sleep. Far from it, and this is a hard core lesson that has taken me years to overcome. Why? Because I had got into some real bad habits of going to bed and to sleep later than I realized. And of course, it doesn't help if you suffer from anxiety, which perpetuates the situation even worse.
I won't go into the benefits of sleep too much (this article does a good job of doing that), but needless to say if you do want to take maximum advantage of your souls power, getting your beauty sleep is an absolute must!
6- You can still enjoy EGO melodramas, but keeping to your heart-space is better.
This is a tricky one, because melodramas are a proven money maker, especially when it comes to the visual arts. We all love to see a good thriller/drama, and we all love that exciting, almost intense feeling of justice and right and wrong, and seeing the villain ultimately getting crushed by the hero/heroine. And some of us take this to the next level, by fantasizing that we are the hero, and that we can beat everybody that crosses our path. And we feel so righteous about it as well…
…only except that the feeling of happiness when it comes to EGO melodrama pleasures are actually cosmetic. I once tried to differentiate a feeling of happiness from EGO and happiness from the soul, by trying to observe my emotional state while fantasizing being in a heroic situation, versus being present and in the now, and seeing everybody as extensions of myself (oneness). The results were spectacular…while I did feel excited when I had my EGO fantasy, the deep love and peace when I was experiencing oneness (albeit for a brief moment) went deep into the soul, like a warm gentle dagger to the heart. There is simply no comparison. But it's not easy either, as you have to make a conscious choice to actually try to live fully present, and actually stay there. But the rewards of exuding unconditional love and presence are numerous.
7- Letting go is super tough when you need something badly or are stressed.
This is back to the old law of attraction, where you have to let go to get what you choose. Trouble is, your EGO has more control than you give it credit for, and for most people who practice the law of attraction, letting go is tough. You are essentially accepting on blind faith that something IS going to happen, and that you are thankful for it in advance (of course, for those obe explorers amongst you, you will already know that you thoughts are, ‘physical' in their own right in the non-physical world, so blind faith is no longer required…just patience;-). And when you are stressed, this makes the situation even more complex, and feels like you are going though hell. Not a great way to practice the law of attraction, believe me.
So, what is the solution? The ultimate trick, (and this is going to sound harsh and insultingly cliche, but here goes…) is to try to be genuinely grateful for what you have. That is the secret to letting go. Being grateful for the here and now, and realizing that you are not attached to the outcome. Sure, it will be great if it happens, but you are grateful whatever happens. I know, this does sound insultingly borderline unjust, but the truth is, this is how the multiverse works. Practicing gratitude has long been an old spiritual concept, and it is no wonder why certain religious textbooks also promote this as well. But the ultimate trick is to be genuinely grateful, which may require a change in perception for some people.
8- Changing your mental perception is not a 5 min thing!
Being formally cynical, and then being spiritual, is not easy. There is a lot of deconstructions taking place, and you do feel like you are loosing your sanity along the way. Plus the fact that you might still be hanging around with the same people who got you there to begin with and are themselves also cynics and zapping the energy from right under your feet. True, certain spiritual/psychological techniques, like affirmations/EFT etc do help, but you do have to be on your conscious guard nearly all the time, especially if you are with people who love coming out with negative opinions on why life is hell.
Try to give yourself time to adjust, as life won't suddenly change for you overnight (if being spiritual was that easy, everybody would be doing it). It takes a thing called, ‘time' for the changes to reflect in your behavior, and then your physical reality. It's not a 5 minute thing. Most successes aren’t. Changing your inner perception and then your attitude is always the crucial first step, and must always be taken. You cannot think of helping the world, unless you help yourself first. Harsh but very true.