Identify the calling
The urge of going on a spiritual journey originates from motivations deep within. At times, our pragmatical thinking struggles to justify why we should abandon a well-paid job, end a relationship, or act in ways that appear irrational within the context of our everyday lives. The rational mind cannot grasp the seemingly unreasonable motivations to leave or to break away from something that seems safe and solid. And this is because the calling to go is coming from the depths of the soul. The language of the soul is our intuition, the feeling of certainty through our senses that has no explanation, we just know it to be true.
Going on a spiritual journey
Depending on how developed our intuition is, sometimes we’ll not be aware of the deeper motivations for going on a spiritual journey. In this case, we may tell ourselves we are going on a trip adventure and end up finding ourselves on a spiritual journey. That’s exactly what happened to me, and I feel it is the majority of the cases with people. So, it is valid to understand the difference between a trip and a spiritual journey. When we find ourselves in a situation like mine, the way forward is to be like water and to trust the flow. Trust your soul is guiding you to the places, people, conditions, and experiences you must live.
When we are fully conscious we are going on a spiritual journey, our choices are inclined to find reclusion, to be with ourselves to find states of contemplation by turning off the outer stimulations, so we can hear messages of the inner voice.
Make a spiritual roadmap
The rational mind will make plans to construct a spiritual roadmap, but the whole aspect of spirituality is the confrontation with the unknown. For our life to change gears, part of the curriculum is to experience the unexpected, the soul is leading us to a moment of growth, and we are meant to stretch our comfort zone by encountering the edge of ourselves. With this in mind, our planning of a spiritual roadmap can only be seen until the limitation of our current mindset. Plan the starting point and make room for the unknown by sharpening the communication with your inner self to guide you to where you should be next.
Where to start on your spiritual journey?
The starting point of your spiritual journey might be hiking alone in nature, traveling to a remote location, joining a religious study group, starting a journaling or writing season, going to a meditation ashram, a vipassana, or a wellness retreat; experiencing a plant medicine or shamanic ceremony; traveling to spiritual hubs, locations all over the world know for its energetic qualities that attracts conscious communities; or simply going to a destination to practice your favorite sport or hobby. The starting point of your spiritual journey will be marked by a desire to engage in something that uplifts your spirit and makes you more connected with yourself.
Have the courage to embark on your journey
Courage is the act that ignites any individual journey and it is the hallmark of spirituality. Embarking on your spiritual journey requires courage simply because it comes from a place that breaks away from reason. Everything around you might point against it, but inside intuition is screaming loud at you saying is time to go – you just don’t know how or to where. And here is where courage is called, among trust and faith. If you pay attention to the details, you will notice the tone of the mystery weave in your journey from the very beginning bringing synchronities of all sorts. Your roadmap is the trail of breadcrumbs your soul is leaving for you. Follow it!
Life falls apart
Sometimes life falls apart and sets the beginning of a new cycle, new attitudes, new perspectives, new circle of friends, new everything… But we all know that before the new comes, the old must die. When life falls apart, change is inevitable, and this wave of change can often serve as a motivator, a pushing force, even when it initially feels like a lack of courage, that propels us into embarking on a spiritual journey.
7 Insights For Starting Your Spiritual Journey
1 – Identify the desire of your heart
The heart knows the way. Most of the time, our heart’s desires are categorized by our rational minds as unreasonable, childish, silly, grandiose, manic, you name it… Pragmatic thinking will judge all as unrealistic desires. Simply put: our heart is not our mind, so it will never grasp the profound inner motivations of such desires. The first big test to starting a spiritual journey is to overcome our inner critic, to learn when is the time to shut off the ego and to allow the heart to take the captain’s seat of our journey. A spiritual journey starts with the calling of the heart.
2 – Pay attention to philosophies, tools, or practices that intrigue you
A spiritual journey brings expansion of our being, which puts us in contact with the revision of our limiting beliefs and conditioning. During a spiritual journey a new construct is being built, we are reframing the understanding of ourselves and the universe we are part of. One of the guides of your journey will be the subjects you are curious to dig deeper into philosophies, tools, or practices that intrigue you.
In my case, I was curious about subjects of depth psychology, astrology, archetypes, symbolic language, and dreams. For two years straight I woke up in the morning, wrote my dreams, and started to develop my own self-analysis. Through this, I was able to navigate my inner life and I arrived at a deeper understanding of myself.
3 – Find the environment of best conditions for your spiritual development
If you are on a spiritual journey most likely you will be attracted to places that resonate with your moment of self-growth. However, it depends on your level of self-awareness to identify what is suitable, or not, for your moment. Finding the environment of your spiritual journey can be a tricky subject to identify due to a conflict of interest between multiple aspects of us that want different things. So, how to know what is the ideal place? Only our inner compass can answer this. Joseph Campbel would say “Follow your bliss”.
I decided on my spiritual journey destination because I liked the version of myself in that place.
In my journey, I was already living in Thailand for my spiritual growth. Then, I traveled to the island of Koh Phangan to spend one month. During this period all sorts of unexpected situations happened and I enjoyed some of the best experiences of my life. Then went came back to the North, where I was living at the time, only to pack all my bags and go back to Koh Phangan. I decided to live one season on the island simply because I liked the person that I was in this place. I liked that version of me and I wanted to bring more of it out. It worked for me.
4 – Initiations, going into a process of self-development
The heritage of old societies placed rituals and initiations as junctures of the development of the individual. What the modern world calls life trials or crises, the ancient man called initiations, a series of hardships that will bring forth the old aspects of the psyche and forge new ones. Initiations are part of any spiritual journey and they can take any form in disguise. It can be a relationship, a friendship, a religious practice, a ceremony, a training course… Some of the elements of initiation it has a clear beginning and an end, you face your ultimate fears, it exposes your shadows, you unlock a gift, and it’s marked by finding redemption.
Looking back on my life, I had a few life experiences that I took as an initiation. One in particular was in the form of a relationship based on the values of tantric philosophies. It lasted for 9 months (a very symbolic period), and it was the conduit for me to purge all my pain regarding self-love and self-worth. I lived through it, but it almost cost my life and my sanity.
5 – Need for deep conversations
The environment of your spiritual journey is the nest that will embrace you in the moment of life trials. A new perspective can only rise after an old one is demolished, but going through the demolition is the same as walking in the valley of your shadows or walking barefoot on fire. Finding help on spiritual books, or in a training course sometimes can be limiting. We need expression to ventilate our learnings and to put things into perspective. To ease this pain we turn to our community, our inner circle of friends and supporters in these troubled times. But, it is not any friend that can handle deep conversations. That’s why your environment is key for making progress by being among mindlike individuals that you can expand through deep conversations.
6 – An experienced authentic life vs. an imagined unauthentic living
We live in a society of image stimulation. The world is constantly generating images of how we are supposed to be, and conditioning us to find a role and play it like an actor in the movie of our unauthentic living. When we play a life role that is not rooted in who we really are, the result is that we cannot make sense of ourselves and end up not believing in who we are. The path of an authentic life is experienced living. We respond to life experiences by acting from our body of wisdom. We’ll not find a role model to play, we will trust our gut will act from our authentic self. We will become our own role models.
A spiritual journey on the path of self-discovery will lead to constantly being put in check to act from a place of authenticity, which leads to the confrontation of our vulnerable parts and breaking away from conditioning. So, if you think a spiritual journey means sitting in a cave and meditating all day, you are mistaken. The act of sitting in meditation is a valuable spiritual practice, but a spiritual journey includes real-life experiences that will force us to grow.
7 – Inner work, contemplation, and awareness
The birth of a new consciousness arises through the point of awareness. Awareness is our capacity for self-reflection and contemplation of the process itself. Is the ability to observe from an impersonal view. The raw material of our life experiences (pain, frustration, aspiration, disappointment, anger, etc.) will be transformed through the activities of inner work, which means looking within, contemplating how a certain situation made us feel, digging where it came from, observing our reactions, tracing our patterns, beliefs, and conditioning to break a cycle of old ways of being. This work softens us. It’s like water dripping and penetrating a rock. But it requires our utmost commitment to our personal development and solitude.
Identify your need to pursue a spiritual path
The need to embark on a spiritual journey can arise from various personal motivations and life circumstances. Some common reasons for pursuing a spiritual journey include:
- Self-Discovery: To better understand yourself, your beliefs, and your purpose in life.
- Inner Peace: At certain phases of life in life we might want to find inner peace, serenity, and a sense of calm amid life’s challenges.
- Growth and Transformation: A spiritual journey can be a channel for personal growth and self-improvement, leading to a more authentic and meaningful living.
- Connection to a Higher Power: For those with religious or spiritual beliefs, the journey may be a way to deepen your connection with a higher power or explore your faith more deeply.
- Healing and Coping: When life gets hard, we often turn to spirituality to find strength when facing a loss, illness, or trauma, to find solace and healing.
- Seeking Answers: It’s a way to seek answers to life’s big questions, such as the nature of existence, the afterlife, or the meaning of suffering.
- Embracing Mindfulness: A way to adopt contemplation, cultivate presence, and live in the present moment, surrendering to life as it unfolds.
- Overcoming Challenges: In some cases, spiritual journeys can help individuals overcome addictions, personal demons, or challenging life circumstances.
- Building Resilience: Spirituality can offer a source of strength and resilience when navigating life’s ups and downs.
- Community and Support: Joining a spiritual community can provide a sense of belonging, support, and shared values.
Your heart’s desire is the calling of the soul seeking expansion
Whatever your motivations for going on a spiritual journey, know that your heart’s desire is the calling of the soul seeking expansion. Sometimes we don’t find the time or the courage to break away from our everyday routine to embark on a journey, but that’s okay. I’ve been there too. Instead, fill your heart with faith and hope, and soon you will find yourself experiencing the journey you are meant to be.