The toughest journey is the journey we call life. And as travelers, we’re all different. Some of us are curious and excited, others are weary and reluctant. But despite our differences, for each one of us, this is our very first journey. Whatever the end might be, this will be our most epic journey ever - the journey of our life.
The most difficult part of this journey is that at every point we must stop and ask for directions to find answers to life’s challenges. And this is often not easy. As unanswered questions pile up, we feel helpless. Like trying to read a menu in a language we don’t know. Sometimes, the dishes on the menu have numbers and pictures, often they don’t.
At these low points in our life, we’re vulnerable, confused and often have no one to turn to. Love, loss, betrayal, unfulfilled ambitions, loneliness, bereavement, destiny never runs out of things to throw at us. But it is how we respond to these challenges that defines our future. Is it possible to face them with courage and the conviction that there is a light at the end of a very dark, winding tunnel?
Absolutely. Because we already know the answers.
Let me elaborate. What if each one of us, deep down inside, in the recesses of our mind knew everything there was to know. What if every experience, every answer and every knowledge was already there within us, hidden, untapped. And one human life, was too short to reach into the vastness of that knowledge and bring it all out. But those that have made a difference, saints, healers, scientists, doctors, Samaritans, entrepreneurs, wise people, found a way to connect with a part of this knowledge. They found answers that changed the world and people’s lives. It is by tapping into this knowledge that they found the strength to cope, be happy and to heal.
Our whole lives are spent looking in all the wrong places for all the right answers because we’re always looking outside, never inside. But as many spiritual people have discovered, we don’t need to go anywhere or ask anyone for answers. Our spiritual self knows everything and it is waiting to be asked!
Why is it that during a meditative state, we find a way out of our troubles and it seems like the universe was telling us what to do. We feel more a part of the universe at that point than we ever have. But the answer came from inside us, as though it was always there. Sometimes, this voice inside is so wise, so calm and sure that it seems that knowledge is almost borrowed. But as we grow in spirituality and discover our spiritual self, such experiences will seem less alien.
There are many of us who share the belief that all knowledge is inside us and that we are not alone. Instead we are a part of that majestic and beautiful force that created the universe and is pregnant with all knowledge. So, the first step, towards the discovery of our spiritual self, starts with faith and a positive attitude. What could be better than that! This journey of self-discovery is long but if we are patient and open, good things will happen.
As we walk the tightrope in life, bringing spiritual and emotional balance is about knowing when to be active and when to be passive. Since there is no change without action, we must seek out or create the changes that we want to bring out in our lives. But there are also moments when we must be passive. These are moments when we reflect inward and try to listen and connect with the world that it inside us. Or as some people say, try and listen to what the universe is saying. The only way to reach there is to first block out the noise around us.
How do we block out the noise? Different strokes for different folks. Some people, meditate, others chant or pray. But setting aside enough time, every day, for this passive activity is important. This alone can pull us away from the chaos that is blocking us from discovering the wisdom inside. We must learn, unlearn and keep searching and exploring to peel away till we get to the core. And slowly, like a humble student we will begin to reconnect with our inner self and grow in its light.
Meditation is one of the ways that can empower us spiritually. It introduces in us a certain mindfulness that helps us get clues to unravel the mysteries of life. It produces no miracles, (though some might claim that it does) but with daily practice the haze lifts, little by little. How much of this haze will lift, how far we can train our eyes to see inwards, depends on our efforts and karma. And patience.
There is no better time than now to begin this journey if we are looking for a stronger emotional and spiritual self. All we need to do is to find fifteen minutes to sit down quietly in a corner, breathe and calm our mind. Begin today, begin with a small step, because every small step counts. Even the tiniest stone, when thrown into a massive lake, creates a ripple.
About the author: Shefalika is a freelance writer/ copywriter from New Jersey who has been writing since the age of 8. She grew up in the Kumaon Hills in India, where she learnt to listen and talk to Nature. Green for her is the color of peace and nothing in life is more important than peace. And kindness. This is what she teaches her two boys because this is all that matters. Other things that matter to her are meditation, yoga, traveling and finding similarities among people and cultures, because all of us came from the same place.