I just got back from a spiritual pilgrimageto India, where for three weeks I was tantalized by the sights, the people, the sounds, the smells, the vibrations, the colors, the conversations, the music and the overall energy of the place.
Although I could never accurately express the depth of my personal transformations,I’d like to share some of my self-discoveries from the voyage.India touched me in many ways, even physically when I wasafflicted by an infection on my leg which arose after cutting it on something when taking a photo from the Ganga River; I think itwas Ganga the Mother’s way of forever leaving her mark on me.
My traveling companion was always there to support me asour mental, emotional and spiritual bodies blossomed in magnificent ways. India is a place of life and and a place of death. It’s where we cango to embrace a rebirth, a reintroduction to life. The passion involved in the Indian lifestyle, combined with rituals and spirituality, are all attributed to the Indian people’s way of embracing life as if it were their karmic dream.
My realizations from this spiritual pilgrimage have lead me to ask whyWestern society is caught in a pattern of self-destruction, despite the majorityof us claiming to have spiritual beliefs and associations. Here are some of the discoveriesand questions that surfaced from my personal transformation.
1. We don’t think our dreams can come true.We live in a cultural environment with a belief system that does not emphasize the practicality of doing the things you love and allowing yourself to live your dreams.
2. We don’t know how to take steps toward fulfillment. We’re unable to love what we do. We hate our careers yet we stay with them, taking the pathof least resistance rather than the path of fulfillment. We are paralyzed by our fear of change.
3. We don’t believe we have the right to live our dreams. Everyone has a dream, but some never envision it as a partof reality. We’re so caught up in our daily schedules thatwe fail to notice the dreams that lie deep within our cores.Release your dreams from inside of you, nourish them, and they will become reality.
4. We think we can’t afford to make our dreams come true. I’ve heard many people say that they’d love go on a spiritual pilgrimage, that it has been theirdream to travel and seek spiritual clarity, but they never do it! If we continue to avoid risks by relinquishing what would make us truly happy, we’ll never know the adventure nor the manifestation of our dreams. When we stick with jobs and other arrangements for ease and familiarity, we’ll never know what it’s like to find security in spiritual fulfillment.
5. We are a listless culture. That’s not to say that everyone is lazy, but most of us havebecome resigned to our fears and even depressed about ourcircumstances. When you become stuck in the rut of mediocre existence and you don’t take action to bring about self-fulfillment, you may see a minimum of productivity and positive change in your life.
6. We don’t have time for our dreams. Watch life slow down in India and see that there is time foreverything. We in the West are stuck in the chaotic whirl of daily life and don’t believe we have time for our dreams. To pursue what makes you happy, you have to make time and sacrificesby giving up what blocks you from your own spiritual pilgrimage.
7. We think the daily grind will have its rewards. I am not advocating a ban on hard work, just the necessity of putting your heart and soul into that which you work hard at. If you havethe passion to fall in love with your work, it will be fulfilling for you.If you hate what you do, you must find it within yourself to evoke positive change.
8. What do you fear? In most cases, we don’t even realize our fears exist because they’re such natural fixtures in our actions and thoughts. Fear of failure, rejection,relationships, and even being yourself–these are all common hindrances that keep so many people from making spiritual pilgrimages. We are all fearful of something, and if we allow that fear to consume us it will always be an obstacle.
9. We don’t love ourselves. We don’t love ourselves enough to believe wedeserve to be happy. Why do you deserve to behappy and live your dreams? Because it’s your rightas a human to be happy. If you don’t love yourself, you’re blocking all that joy you could be experiencing. It’s time to invest in yourself and know that YOU are worthy!
10. We’re never quite ready. You may be a person who is fully aware that the way you live will not bring you fulfillment. Youmay also know that it will take a great internal effort to change your path. Or you may be a person who is afraid to really put your life under the microscope, to analyzeyour career, your living situation, your relationships. Are you ready to make the investment required for positive change?
What is stopping you from making yourself available to your dreams? Are you a victim of a false belief system,a false sense of security? Or are your limitations self-imposed?What in your life has lead you to believe that you can’t change?Remember, only one thing is stopping you from livingthe life you want to live YOU.