My depth of my spiritual journey has been a surprise to me and likely others given my lifelong atheistic leaning. Raised by Chinese immigrants, religion or faith was never discussed; we prayed at the altar of academic achievement. Later in life my parents subscribed to the Buddhist philosophy, one which I might choose for myself if I ever felt I needed an organizing principle.
It’s hard to be completely divorced from religious influence in the United States. I would guess that most Americans are at minimum cultural Christians (is that a “thing”?): Observing Christian holidays in a secular way, and hearing about Jesus as “the correct” prophet and the Bible and the sacred text. I hear a range of views perspectives and varying levels of intensity from Christians. Over the years I occasionally went to church with friends out of curiosity, but frankly, mostly it left me pretty dry. Organized religion is just not for me, and from what I read, for an increasing number of others as well.
The problem with abandoning our faith systems, according to Joseph Campbell, is that organized religion can provide a sense of community and guidance on how to find a sense of purpose, be a good person, and live a good life. Who or what provides that if we’re turning away from faith and toward our electronic devices?
I have felt for some time now that the new religion of our modern times is science and technology. Perhaps that is why I was so drawn to positive psychology, the science of wellbeing. I’m becoming more certain that positive psychology will provide the practices that modern society needs to live a good life given the diminishing role of religion in our lives and society.
I felt pretty competent in living a good life, until I discovered I needed something more to get through that horrible year 2018 when my beloved husband and sister died. I knew that embracing a post-traumatic growth mindset would help, but even that felt insufficient so I decided to turn to the divine for support and inspiration.
I had no idea what I was getting myself into. It has been a wild ride and a beautiful journey.
The beautiful thing about being spiritual and connecting to Spirit, however anyone defines that, is that it’s individualized consistent with our personal beliefs, personality, and preferences. There’s no one right way to do it, and my personal practices have evolved over time.
Admittedly, it was fairly experimental early on. I had some rabbit holes and misadventures to explore. But it was quickly evident to me that intelligence and consciousness were there, once I decided to be open to discovering it.
Openness is the most important ingredient to being able to connect to one’s Spirit Guides. As a lifelong student of personal growth, and decades long coach for others on this subject, I know that when challenges feel insurmountable and we hit rock bottom, that being open to new perspectives and solutions is the only way to go. It makes perfect sense to me that big challenge can bring big growth, sometimes involving faith and spirituality.
Even still, given my life-long atheism and scientific training (I have a PhD in a laboratory-based science), you can imagine my skepticism, amusement, excitement, and interest. I once thought that everything could be measured and understood. By accepting first that I cannot understand everything made it possible for me to detect and explore the mystery of the divine.
The technique which was most helpful to me was when I took an online class on how to receive message from one’s Spirit Guide, Higher Self (soul), and Guardian Angel. I was surprisingly able to receive message right away with a fair amount of clarity. It does require a genuine openness to communicate with Spirit, combined with trust in what is being communicated to you. In essence, you start by asking to connect to your Spirit Guide, Higher Self, or Guardian Angel, and then you write down whatever words flow through your head while being very present during the process. If you’re not present, the message can come from our minds, which is more chattery and loud than the quiet and soft message that tends to come from Spirit.
Spirit messages are always loving and beautiful and supportive, and my first message from my Higher Self included a prayer to help guide me.
Spirit Guide help me to live this life with integrity and hope and good fortune. Help me to realize my full potential. Help me to be the person I am meant to be. Help me to understand the nuances of my path and mission so that I may live it fully. Help me to understand the riches that are available to me. Help me to know what I need and ask for it. Help me to find the truth and wisdom in every situation. Help me to find my bliss and others too. Help me to know what’s most important in a given moment. Help me to find the strength and will when times are hard. Help me to motivate others to do the right thing. Help me to finally make peace with myself and my shortcomings. Help me to know when to quit and move on. Help me to naturally become who I’m meant to be. Help me find the courage to raise the awareness of others to the beauty of Spirit. Help me to find the way to accomplish these goals. Help me to recognize when I am in the wrong.