Living a Spiritual Life (#899)

There is a wonderful moment in nearly every live program that I run where the person or people attending have an insight into the inside-out, spiritual nature of life.  This insight is often characterized by a quieting of the mind, a feeling of peace and well-being arising in the body, and a light coming on from somewhere deep inside that shows up as a twinkle and a smile.

In fact, this happens with such regularity that the first question my wife asks me when I come up for tea is “Have they ‘popped’ yet?”

This past week, my client “popped” on day 2 of our coaching intensive and went deeper and deeper into the feeling over the next 48 hours. As we were coming to the end of our time together, she mentioned that she couldn’t wait to go back into her busy life and take her new insights and sense of clarity and well-being out for a spin. She was particularly keen to do a visualization imagining how this “new her” would fare in the face of the daily and weekly crises that were incumbent in her job.

Back in my NLP days, this was a typical way to end a session, often called “future pacing”. We would anchor a resource state and ask our clients to visualize themselves in difficult situations they could imagine coming up to see how they would fare with a new set of resource available to them.

The problem with future pacing, as I have come to learn, is that when you experience a fundamental shift in your understanding of life, there’s no way to predict how a situation will occur to you in the future. Things that in the past might have appeared as “difficult” or even “crises” may now pass you by without your even noticing them as significant. I’ve even had clients complain that they couldn’t tell how impactful our time together had been because the “difficult people” in their life had become uncharacteristically helpful or that they had an unusually quiet and low-key month at work or at home.

This makes sense when you consider what a “spiritual life” actually is:

A spiritual life is a life infused with spirit.

It might look like lots of time spent in prayer or meditation or long walks in nature; it might equally look like lots of time spent at work with a quiet smile on your face. At times it might look like the epitome of success; at other times it might look like the fresh new start of bankruptcy or divorce.

In other words, because spirit infuses our lives from the inside-out, we can live a spiritual life without anything having to change in our circumstances or behavior. Changes do happen, but they tend to happen of their own accord, without any particular act of will or effort on our part.

I once had a conversation with an incredibly sincere student who took exception to the idea that waking up to our spiritual nature and living a spirit-infused life was a more highly leveraged shift than directly helping someone with their apparent problems.

“I don’t know about you,” he said, “but if someone comes to me with a broken leg, I’m going to fix their leg before I talk with them about the nature of thought or spirit!”

“I’d like to think that I would to,” I replied. “But I can tell you that in my experience, once you start to see the world through the eyes of spirit, you’ll notice a lot less people have broken legs than you thought.”

Have fun, learn heaps, and may you notice and enjoy the spirit that already animates your mind, your body, and the world around you!

With all my love,

Michael

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