Devotion is a part of every spiritual path. Before you recoil in horror, it would be good for you to understand you already practice devotion.
You are devoted to many things, many people, and many concepts. You are devoted to your children, mate, friends, pets. You are devoted to a career, getting ahead, losing weight, working out, or practicing yoga. You are devoted sometimes to drugs, alcohol, self-hatred, self-loathing, unforgiveness of yourself, the relentless worship of punishing yourself for your perceived or sometimes real misdeeds.
You worship. You do. You spend hours on your practice. It comes naturally now, but did not at first. At first you had to spend hours on your practice, until it became a habit. Not only a habit, it morphed into your very identity, essential to you, your way of being, how you make decisions, how your prioritize your life. You have been doing your practice so long you forgot you created it, and carried it out until you and your practice have become virtually inseparable.
True strength lies in submission which permits one to dedicate his life, through devotion, to something beyond himself ~ Henry Miller
Changing your practice? Wow, enormous. First you have to wake up. First you have to discover that you do indeed have current practices, devotions. Then you have to look at them, identify them, own them. Twelve Step programs call this ‘coming out of denial.’ Spirituality often calls it an ‘awakening.’ Whatever your words for this discovery… it is, it will be shocking, to your entire system, your lifestyle, your very being – to discover, to realize, you and your devotions are two separate identities.
Devotions are a practice, to help your beingness to evolve, or devolve. As you change, so do practices and devotions. They can get more complex, evolved, time-consuming; or begin to fade, rust or disintegrate. Nothing stays the same, change is constant.
So, get over your previous brainwashed ideas and rebellions about devotion. You already do them, everyone does. Everyone has a practice of worshiping something – whether it be technology, or some belief system about yourself or the world or Spirit. Do you know what your devotions are? Find out. Then notice them throughout the day. Mindfulness, self-awareness, discovery… these are the first steps.
How are your devotions working in your life? Are they actually working for you, or against you? Are they still relevant? Have you out grown them? If not, are you willing to take the next steps? You put your devotions in place. You can put new ones in place as well, but guaranteed it will be a challenge and typically you cannot do this by yourself.
Unfortunately most people do not look at their devotions until they are in enormous, unbelievable, excruciating pain. Why is that? Usually you do not remember that you are not your devotions. You are not what you worship, so you resist what you are shown when the first awakening comes. Like the alcoholic that must first bottom out (and everyone’s bottom is different – some need to lose everything, some just a little) most people simply cannot come to the realization that the devotions they are living might be outdated, or even harmful.
True devotion is motivated by love alone and devoid of selfish entanglements ~ Rick Hocker
Like alcoholics, drinking alcohol was at one time the practice that saved their life, but now has morphed into addiction, a lifestyle, a way of ‘being.’ Now one cannot imagine, does not have even the skills to live without the practice of alcohol. This description is true for all unexamined devotions that have taken over your life.
If you have a true spiritual practice, working with energies and spirit (this is different than a New Age or Yoga lifestyle – lifestyle is not a practice) you will be shown how to change, with much less pain. Why? Because you have learned the practice of acceptance and surrender. If not, the Universe, Spirit, your life path, will come and squeeze you, as hard as is needed, to wake you up, to save your life.
Releasing the old is not as simple as letting go. You are balanced around your practices. Letting go means a readjustment to re-balance, like taking the training wheels off of a bicycle. Also, many cannot even identify their current devotions as many were put into place at a young age, forgotten as devotions and believed to be the ‘real you.’
In the beginning, if you are not able to cultivate actions that support your intentions, work with a teacher who can help you have a practice, who can help you come home. When you first meet a teacher, you usually have no idea how to develop actions or connect with energies or Spirit, that will support your journey into new devotions, new practices, a new awareness. When you work with a true teacher, you will develop confidence in yourself, in your practice and your ability to connect with Spirit.
As the confidence grows, you will come to see that your connection to Spirit is the real teacher, which is the gift true teachers give to their students. With a strong practice comes a strong connection to Spirit and guidance, and then your devotions will grow and change with you through guidance, rather than coming in so strongly through pain and suffering.
It is by undivided devotion that I can be known in such a form, truly seen, and entered into ~ Bhagavad Gita
Take the first steps. Look at what you spend time on, where you place your attention. Is it on body image? Depression? Avoidance? Always wanting to appear ‘good’ or kind or spiritual and therefore always monitoring your actions and words rather than risk being authentic or making mistakes? Where you place your attention is where you worship, your devotion.
Life will continue to challenge you, as well as be amazing. A spiritual discipline and practice means maintaining your devotions. Meaning you remember, daily, to keep your attention on the Divine, on Spirit, on your Life Path and your Soul Evolution.
If you are stuck, see if you can get off your ego, overcome your fear and trepidation and work with a teacher. Seek evolution, it is the most amazing pain killer and life affirming path one can take. Journey on.
| PsychicAccess.com.Nonna lives in Southern California, and is a professor of psychology and a teacher of psychic development, energy work and meditation, who has recently finished her PhD. She has been a counselor for both humans and animals for thirty years, removing energy blocks through her expertise in the spiritual arts. She also has numerous years of study and practice with classic psychological therapeutic models, family work, twelve-step processes, nutritional and body/mind/spirit healing, complementary, alternative, and quantum medicine. Nonna is brilliant at unearthing the gems in every client’s soul and polishing them to a fine finish. To release your own soul’s sparkle, contact Nonna at |
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