Spiritual growth is wearing down your “I, I, I” “me, me, me” and “my, my, my” ways of thinking and living.

It’s chiseling away your preoccupation with yourself and your selfish concerns.

And the payoff? – growing inwardly to become wiser and more peaceful.

You will only relate to this goal if you are, or want to live life more consciously and fully from the inside out.

So, how do you do this?

The guiding light for all spiritual seekers is the principle of Oneness.

The principle of oneness

A spiritual person understands that everything in creation is intricately interconnected and so, lives with the golden rule of life: Do unto others what you would have done to you. You see yourself in others – not only people, but animals, plants and in fact, the whole planet.

Spiritual growth is not something that you can rush. As my Guru, Swami Chinmayananda said:

It is not a revolution but an evolution

Evolution is slow, but sure. It happens like a trickle of water that slowly, and very gradually, pools to form a lake over many, long years.

To begin to grow spiritually, you don’t have to do different things but rather, do things differently.

In other words, it’s not what you do but how you do what you do. Your attitude and responses to life are what matters.

Growing spiritually is not an activity that you can fit into your schedule.

You have to color your daily life with a spiritual vision

A spiritual vision

This means doing what you normally do, except now, you strive to:

  • always remember that we’re all One and,
  • keep inner peace as your highest goal.
  • be gracious, giving and forgiving

For instance, you are looking for parking at the mall on a busy Saturday afternoon just weeks before Christmas as it is now. Cars are circling around and around looking for a precious spot, like the last two players circling the remaining chair in a game of musical chairs.

After 10-15 minutes, you decide to drive to the very far end of the parking lot, thinking you’ll just wait there in a quieter place until someone leaves. In a few minutes, you spot a woman walking to her vehicle. You gently step on your accelerator and quietly, follow her to her minivan. You wait several more minutes in anticipation of her exit.

Then, just when she vacates her spot, and before you can reach it, another driver suddenly appears from another direction and swiftly grabs it away from you.

Your first instinct is to yell and scream at the other driver.

But then, your conscience kicks in and reminds you of your goal of inner peace and oneness.

“Ok, ok, but that just wasn’t fair!!” you rebut.

You are right – the other driver was selfish and inconsiderate.

But then, you think about the fact that you can only be responsible for your responses – not another’s. You can’t expect others to change or behave the way you feel they should, even if you are right.

So, as a spiritual being focused on your inner peace and growth, you take a deep breath, calm yourself and graciously let it go.

You tell yourself that the other driver also deserved a parking space and that you will find yours in just a few more minutes.

Don’t sweat the small stuff

image showing words that ask will this matterPersonally, when faced with little trying situations, I project myself into a time in the future and ask myself: “Will this matter to me tomorrow, next week, next month, next year – in 5 years?”

It puts things into perspective immediately.

Have you noticed how so many things that bother you don’t really matter anyway? You can’t do anything to change them or stop them from coming.

But you can stop feeling like a victim and empower yourself with choosing a peaceful response instead of reacting in anger.

I have demonstrated just one way you can incorporate your goal of inner peace and growth into your daily life. Do you have a story or idea that you’d like to share? I’d love to hear from you.

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Manisha Melwani

Manisha Melwani is a teacher and the author of, "So You're a Spiritual Being–Now What?" She offers spiritual and wellness solutions for life and stress management. She teaches classes in personal growth, stress management and meditation. She is based in Richmond Hill and Markham, Ontario. Contact her for more information or to have her speak to your group or organization. She also offers private counselling sessions in person or on-line.
Manisha Melwani

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