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It could be that there are a number of things, if they have been allowed to build up, but there will be a biggest one at the forefront. It is one and the same. Once one is conscious and aware of feelings, one becomes increasingly aware of ever-increasing subtleties of emotion, as well as inner intuition.

And therein lies the lesson. Feeling inside, and then doing what needs to be done. You see, if one is in a situation that is causing them to be unhappy, even if one is conscious and facing and dissolving the arising emotion, this will never be enough if there is some action that one should be taking but for whatever reason they are not doing so.

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Avoiding taking the action simply means more emotion is always being created. So one is in effect creating their own hell whilst at the same time demolishing it, like treading water: working hard but getting nowhere. So, as well as being conscious and aware, especially when times are difficult, one should always endeavour to see if there is any action that needs to be taken.

It may be a phone call, a letter, looking something up, even having a difficult conversation, or making a huge life change. Whatever it is, until the intention is in place to take the required action, the emotion will remain. And the situation can change at any moment. As the emotion is being dissolved, at some point there will usually be the knowledge as to what action needs to be taken in order to resolve the situation totally.

When there is not this knowledge, then no action is required at that moment in time. But keep watching…. It can be that simply making the decision to carry out a certain action will be enough to dispel the emotion. This is of course fine. If the situation changes again simply from one making a decision to do something, and it seems that no action is now needed, then that is great too.

It does, however, require an increasing amount of self-honesty, to follow through and live a conscious and honest life. Practice being aware, as often as you can. Pay particular attention to the above when faced with an emotional situation. Look continuously within for any indication that some action needs to be taken.

I hope the above makes sense. There is no failure here. Nick Roach is a spiritual teacher who teaches enlightenment and self-realisation in the simplest and most direct way possible. Find him at NickRoach. As we wade more deeply into the spiritual life, becoming more of who we truly are, a wholeness falls into place and pieces of our lives become less separated.

We begin to live an everyday spirituality.

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Three ways to facilitate that journey, in my experience, center on silence, community and a regular spiritual practice. For me, cultivating silence and reflection has been crucial. This is the place I quiet myself for attuned, authentic listening to Spirit. Silence can be spent in meditation, prayer, mindfulness or merely being in that liminal, receptive space.

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Quakerism has taught me so much about the need for and graciousness of turning inward. They call it centering and there are a number of methods for this process. Whichever you practice, remember to be gentle with yourself. As much as we are built for contemplation, we are also are wired for stimulation.

As an artist, I am visual, so imagining my thoughts as stray clouds or ships passing through and letting them go has been extremely beneficial. I notice and let them pass, not getting ensnared and, when I do, not punishing myself. Other means can be to focus on the breath or a mantra short meaningful phrase or word and returning to each as a reminder. Centering prayer is a freeing way of just being in the silence. The silence can be a place of mere being, where we recharge, imagine, connect with the Divine, empty or fill ourselves.

It is magical and necessary. Often, this is where I receive insight into my life and spiritual nature. The silence is always available, it is we who must make the effort to slow down and still ourselves. The only thing richer than experiencing silence myself, is doing so corporately, which is the essence of Quaker worship.

There is power and energy in being, meditating and praying within a group. Community keeps us accountable, nurtures, teaches, encourages and pushes us toward wholeness. Even the challenges of other people can smooth our rough edges. Spiritual friendship or companionship, one-on-one relationships, also offer community and the opportunity to safely explore who we are, what we question and mirror for one another the way forward. Positive community creates energy, unites and bonds us. Adopting a regular spiritual practice serves to ground us in a dizzying secular world of over-commitment and isolating technology.

That practice need not be daily and can vary. A practice or spiritual discipline reminds us who we are and how very thin the veil is between worlds.

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My own practice has vacillated over the years and included fasting, journaling, devotional reading, lectio divina slow, sacred reading , centering prayer, labyrinth walking, yoga, mindfulness and even prayer as I swim laps. Movement has a way of easing the mind. Walking in nature and running work well for some people. Meditating on an image, icon, mantra or passage are other ways into genuine communion.

Enjoy Your Journey: Our Quest for a Deeper Relationship with Christ

The same is true of journaling, where often, the questions of my heart are answered. As in any practice, I must burn off the everyday by setting my intention and, layer by layer, letting the outer world melt. That may mean stream-of-consciousness writing, walking, swimming or several rounds of postures before I can center, attentive to the divine within. At times, I am not able to center and others, instantly transported. These three means of cultivating spirituality often overlap, intersect and intertwine. Occasionally, I enter silence with companions, often moved to journal, create a piece of art, am lead to a particular passage or must take a walk outside.

by Waller, Alyn E

However, there are also times I feel so out of the flow that almost nothing seems to reset my path, but I persevere with silence, community and a practice anyway having learned that God is there no matter what I may be experiencing in the moment. I find comfort in silence, a spiritual practice and when accompanied in my most dark, desperate times. Routinely, they open me to a way of living centered on my spirituality, calling me to return when the world lures me away and reminding me who I am.

Cathy Barney is a trained spiritual nurturer, artist, writer, blogger and founder of a non-profit arts exploration for at-risk 4th-6th graders in her neighborhood. She also hosts small groups, workshops and retreats as creative outlets and spiritual nourishment. I prefer to speak of the awakening of human consciousness, rather than speak about how to become more spiritual.

One can be more and more spiritual, and yet not be awake.

The Quest - Engage in Dialogue with the Lord

What do I mean by awakening? Most of us live almost exclusively within the world of the mind. This means that we are always in the past or future and our thoughts never stop.

A Beginner’s Guide to Exploring Spirituality

Our sense of ourselves is defined and limited by our past, including all the limiting beliefs from childhood. The world of the mind is illusory in nature. It is based on memory and imagination. It is not real, and yet to the extent that we believe that it is real, we are lost in a world of illusion and we do not realize it.

With awakening, we open fully into the present moment, which is the doorway to love, truth and oneness.