Deepen your spirituality on your terms
Cracks and Light
You have a Source and now you have decided that you want a deeper connection with that Source. How can you strengthen the connection and get a deeper understanding of your Source? In the 12-step programs they say that any effort made on our part is enough to get started connecting to Source, and that makes me think of a line in one of my favorite songs by Leonard Cohen, “Anthem”.
“There’s a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.”
Let’s say you like this idea that there’s a crack and there’s some light coming in. You like the idea of having a Source. Maybe you believe there is one already, but you’re not clear about how to engage with it in an active relationship. When the connection is strong, you often have experiences of feeling good and life flows smoothly. Wouldn’t it be nice to be more aware of that connection, to strengthen it, and find ways to maintain it? And when you lose it, wouldn’t it be terrific if you were able to get connected again quickly and effectively? As you may be able to tell, I’m talking about an active and engaged relationship.
My Own Life Example
I’m going to use an example from my own life. There’s a certain kind of sadness or loneliness that I sometimes experience which I believe stems from a spiritual need. It doesn’t come from feeling disconnected with other people; it’s not that kind of sad and lonely. It can happen even during times when I am very connected with others like on vacation with friends or holiday times with family. It feels deeper than that and has to do with my contentment in life. It has to do with where I’m at; the philosophical part of me can feel really empty and sad. Whether I connect by meditating or journaling or taking a walk in nature, it doesn’t seem to matter. What is important is slowing down and tuning in. When I deliberately force myself to slow down and take time to reflect, I automatically begin to feel the connection with my Source. The panel of loud opinionated judges in my head begins to fade out as I tune into my quieter inner voice, my intuition, which I consider an important part of my source connection.
If meditating, journaling, or exercising in a way that puts you in the zone is part of your daily routine, then you probably find it relatively easy to connect with your Source, and you don’t necessarily have to spend a lot time deepening it. You can do 5 minutes or 60 minutes a day depending on your activity of choice. But, if you haven’t slowed down, tuned in, and connected in a really long time, then it might take more than just 5 minutes, and you may need to clear out the channel, so to speak.
I find that when I haven’t meditated in a while, my head is often much busier and louder than if I’m on a roll of daily meditations. The same holds true for journaling; if I’m in a daily practice, then I write out the voices in my head in a few sentences and get on with the inspired and creative stuff. If I haven’t been journaling in a while, I frequently have to write several pages of ranting before I’m clear and ready to be open to anything creative and inspired.
Practice, practice, practice
If you don’t have or have never had a regular practice, then it’s going to take a little more time and commitment to get your connection going. It’s similar to exercise. If you’re in good shape and you just want to maintain what you already have, then you can do it in half an hour a day, or a few times per week. But if you haven’t been in shape for years, then you’ll have to work out for a while before you start to see results. The same is true when it comes to connecting with your Source. It is going to take some time of regularly connecting before the connection feels solid and trustworthy. Over time, you will find that you can stay connected for longer and longer periods of time even when you’re not deliberately trying to connect. People who meditate regularly for long periods of time report that their intuition become a conscious part of their working mind and that life often flows like a meditation even when they’re not actively sitting down, because their minds become trained over time.
If you are new to this or if you haven’t connected to Source in long time, then I recommend you start slowly with just 5 to 10 minutes a day. Just like you would with any new practice. Start gently for short periods of time, being as patient with yourself as possible, and as you build the “muscle” you can increase the time and intensity. You do not have to do traditional meditation or prayer unless that appeals to you. There are many ways to open yourself up to experience your connection to Source. One of them is engaging in creative activities. When you engage in creative activities just for the joy of doing it, like playing an instrument, drawing, painting, journaling, you can connect the flow of Universal Life-Force energy. The goal is to develop a practice that is easy for you to enjoy so you want to integrate it into your daily life.
As you develop your personal practice and get the hang of this Source connection, it has the power to alter how you experience life. It can alter how you respond to people, stress, and anything unexpected in life. There is a lot of research from the last two decades on how good it is for us to meditate and to develop mindfulness practices that reduce our stress levels. Stories of people having spiritual experiences and their lives being altered for the better as a result are as old as humanity. Many of the stories have real events behind them, but most of us don’t experience spirituality in the “flash, poof and you’re changed” forever kind of way. We don’t get hit over the head with a lightning bolt. What most of us experience is a more quiet, internal journey that starts out with a little crack where the light gets in, and then it slowly grows and becomes deeper and more meaningful along the way. I invite you have fun with your journey and to experiment with all the different ways you can slow down and tune in.