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If You’re Ready To Start Your Spiritual Journey, Do These 5 Things First

In 2012, I experienced a spiritual awakening. There were many circumstances leading up to my awakening, however, at the time there was a theory going around that the world was going to end due to the end of the Mayan Calendar. I’ll be honest, I was scared shitless. My anxiety was high, my stress was out of control, and all I thought about was how everyone was going to die. Everyone I loved was going to perish. It was horrible.

Needless to say, I was living in an all encompassing state of fear. Everything I did, said, and felt came from the energy of fear. I couldn’t escape it. And it definitely wasn’t healthy for me or anyone around me.

One night, as I was laying in my bed riddled with anxiety, I heard the words, ”The world isn’t going to end, it’s going to awaken.” I’m not joking when I tell you that my anxiety instantly lifted. I felt it leave my shoulders, my chest, my heart.

When I awoke the next morning, there was something new in my bones. A feeling of lightness, of magic. I remember going for a walk around the block and noticing that everything looked and felt different. The trees looked greener, the flowers looked brighter, and even the skies were bluer. It was a truly beautiful experience.

This was the beginning of my spiritual awakening, the journey back home to my heart and my truth. And I will tell you, although it’s a magical and beautiful journey, it can also be very painful and scary. Venturing into the unknown always is. The darkness is daunting. But that’s how we find our light—it’s in the depths of our own darkness.

If you’re navigating your own spiritual journey, it can feel confusing and overwhelming, and at times you may feel lost and alone. I want you to know you are not alone.

Give yourself grace

​The spiritual journey is definitely not an easy one. There are many moments of discomfort and pain, anxiety and stress. But there are also moments when you are experiencing the most profound feelings of joy, moments that are fleeting, but never forgotten. I still become emotionally overwhelmed at the sight of a majestic red sunset or the simplicity of a pretty spring flower in bloom.

​As you venture and navigate through your journey, it’s important to be graceful and gentle with yourself. You will have many ups, and you will have many downs. And those down days are the ones when you need to nurture your soul, to let yourself be right where you are without judgment but with love and compassion.

I used to get frustrated with myself on my down days, thinking I was reverting back to my old self and that all the work I did was in vain. It was pointless. But that wasn’t true. It was just me being a human being. And we humans come with an array of emotions that we are meant to experience and feel fully as they come, as uncomfortable as they may be. Because feeling is healing. 

So be mindful of the Egoic mind and what it will try to make you believe. That’s your old programming trying to keep you stuck, trying to make you believe that you can’t change or that you’re not worthy of change. But you are. You most certainly are.

So, grace, my friends. Be easy on yourself. Appreciate the bad days just as much as you appreciate the good days, because those bad days hold lessons that will serve you purpose. They are meant to help you heal and grow. Please trust that notion.

Remember: you are not your past

​We can get caught up in our past, feeling regret and guilt for the choices we made or didn’t make. This reminiscing of regret, however, can actually keep us locked in the past, preventing us from moving forward on our own unique journey.

​When it comes to your spiritual path, it’s important to acknowledge your past, including your past mistakes (or as I call them, “missed takes”), but it’s also important to make amends with them. It’s the act of acceptance of what was so you can live fully and freely in what is right now.

Your past is not a definition of you, it’s a reflection and collection of experiences that made you who you are. And all those experiences and all those stories, even the ones that broke your heart, brought you to this very moment in time. A time when your heart and soul is ready to heal. It’s ready to grow and evolve. To become. And how beautiful that is. 

We do our best with what we know at the time. I truly believe that. And when we know better, we do better. In order to move forward on your spiritual journey and become the best version of who you want to be, you will need to make peace with your past and offer forgiveness to your own loving heart.

Explore your beliefs

​Beliefs are a funny thing. For many years of our lives, we hold sets of beliefs that we believe to be ours. Looking back, though, how many of the beliefs that you held were actually your own?

Growing up in religious environments, oftentimes the beliefs of our peers and our parents became our beliefs, even if they didn’t sit well with us. Even if they didn’t feel good in our own soul. But we usually didn’t question that. We simply conformed without really knowing.

In doing so, hundreds of beliefs began to form in our unconscious mind, and they dictated many things for us. We made decisions and choices based on beliefs that weren’t ours. This is often one of the reasons why we end up in unhealthy relationships and unfulfilling careers. We did, and do, things that aren’t aligned with own truth, and we’re left living unhappy and dissatisfied lives.

When it comes to spirituality and your beliefs, take time to reflect on your belief system and ask yourself, “Is this my core belief, or is it someone’s else’s? Do these beliefs serve me, or do they do me disservice?” Challenge them and give yourself permission to release any beliefs that are not your own.

​Free your mind, free yourself.

Trust your intuition

​There are many self-proclaimed gurus out there who hook people in by claiming they have all the answers to all your problems. While seeking a spiritual teacher for guidance and support is absolutely okay, it’s also necessary that you use your own discernment and intuition when it comes to who you choose to follow and allow into your energy field.

At the start of my journey, I was watching so many YouTube videos and reading tons of articles related to spirituality that it consumed me. It consumed my time and my energy. Eventually, I ended up overwhelming myself with overloads of information to the point that it became too much for me. It actually made me withdrawal at times and almost regress.

There was a lot of “this is the right way of doing things, and this is the wrong way of doing things.” By the way, if someone tells you there is only one way of doing something, well, you might want to steer clear of that energy altogether. Not everything works for everyone.

What I have come to understand is that there is no right or wrong way when it comes to your spiritual journey, there is only the way that feels right for you. And if something doesn’t sit well in your soul, or if the person you’re listening to feels “off” at all, well, trust your intuition on that. It doesn’t mean the teacher or teaching is bad or wrong, it simply means it might not be for you right now. And that’s okay.

One thing I share with my clients when it comes to anything, really, is asking yourself, “Does this feel good and right for me right now?” Your energetic body will answer yes or no—believe me, it will, and it’s up to you to honor what your heart is guiding you to do. Remember to trust yourself and trust that the Universe will support you at all times.

You are what you are seeking and all your answers reside in the very seams of your soul. There is nothing you need to find outside of yourself—everything is within.

Develop a spiritual practice

​Developing a spiritual practice will help you connect deeper to your soul and spirit. It will be the means to help you ground and balance your energy on the good days and the not-so-good days.

I can recall a time after my awakening when I started to feel a lot of anxiety again. I felt really disconnected and my energy was way off. I mentioned this to my partner and he said to me, “Well, you haven’t been listening to your meditations lately or sharing your spiritual posts or reading your books.” He was right. I had disengaged from the things that were helping me. The things that were bringing my joy and making me feel purposeful. I disconnected from my truth. And that was all it took for me to get back on track and feel like myself again.

Creating a spiritual practice, whatever it will look like for you, will help keep you connected to your essence, your energy, and your emotions. It will bring you joy and peace, meaning and purpose. Your practice can be seen as your “energy tool box” that will assist you in keeping the lines of communication with self and source nice and open.

Here are some ideas for a spiritual practice: Meditation, oracle/angel cards, yoga, connecting with nature, journalling, prayer, expressing your creative energies, reading self-development books, using daily affirmations, practicing gratitude, and spending time in solitude​​.

This is the beginning of your journey back home to your heart, to the absolute truth of who you really are and what you came here to do. This is not an easy journey by any means, but it’s the most rewarding journey you will ever take.

About the author
Intuitive Energy Healer | Spiritual Life Guide | Bestselling Author Follow Vanessa on Instagram or read more articles from Vanessa on Thought Catalog.

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