Spiritual practice is something we fine tune as we go along in life. We learn what works and what doesn’t. But there are a few aspects that we must always be consistent about in our practice.
Ernest Holmes said in The Science of Mind that “Perfect belief is the beginning and the end of all good mental work.” Makes sense to me, but that can be tricky to achieve. Perfect belief, of course, means the absence of doubt. Perfect belief and doubt cannot exist in the same space or they’ll cancel each other out. Perfect belief results in perfect practice. Perfect belief and practice are what most of us aspire to build up to. How can we do that?
Holmes offered something about that as well, and these are the aspects that must be consistently practiced. “We should work, not with anxiety but with expectancy; not by coercion but with conviction; not through compulsion but in a state of conscious recognition and receptivity….obstruction is the result of a ‘hang-over’ of belief from past years…”
We should work our spiritual practice not with anxiety but with expectancy. Well, we get the part about anxiety. Anxiety never attracts more of what we desire, but only what matches our feeling-based thoughts swirling around in that emotion. Anxiety may happen before our spiritual practice, but when it happens during and after our practice, it’s a clear indication that doubt is stronger than faith, at least temporarily. But what about the expectancy aspect? What are we supposed to expect? We are, first, to expect the Law to work as it’s designed to, which means to align with and match what we feel, rather than solely what we say we want. It’s up to us to remove any knots in that thread. And, we are to understand that what we want cannot contradict the highest good, or it won’t be fulfilled. So even though we can and are meant to make a specific request, the safest thing to ask for and expect is for our highest good and the highest good of all involved to be fulfilled. Then we need to trust that.
We should work our spiritual practice not with coercion but with conviction. Well, you can’t actually coerce the Law of Attraction (Manifestation). That’s not how it works, but we sure do give it a go fairly often. We end up roiling our own energy when we do that. Conviction isn’t that easy either, because again we’re back at facing the fact that any doubt we have is stronger than our trust in Source’s ability to provide the highest good for all involved. But a belief in the Truth of how the Law is set up to work with us and for us, that level of conviction, puts us in harmony with the Universe and in flow.
We should work our spiritual practice not through compulsion but in a state of conscious recognition and receptivity. How often, especially when stressed, do we then get “serious” about our practice? We then become like the wolf in the childhood story of the three little pig—we huff and we puff and we try to blow the undesired whatever from our life through affirmations and so on. A calmer way is to practice conscious recognition about cause and effect. There’s a great deal of discussion about this, but for the purpose of this conversation, let’s say that sometimes the effect we experience is directly caused by us through our feelings, thoughts, words, or actions. Then there are times when “shift” happens and we cannot find a way to point the finger in our direction. At those times, we need to realize it is now up to us to get directly involved with cause and effect from that moment on and find something we can align our thoughts and feelings with that leads us out of darkness and into light. And at that point in time, we must become receptive to what’s presented to us, for us, and through us and go from there.
Obstruction is the result of a “hang-over” of belief from past years. What an effective mental image those words create of something we all experience. Beliefs and practices of the past that never served us well but are still carried by us certainly feel like a hangover. We don’t perform at or feel our best. We struggle to be clear and articulate in our moments and overall life. If you’ve never had a hangover, you won’t understand how the person doesn’t function at full capacity or how long it takes for the person to feel like himself again. The more we let go of beliefs from the past that never served us or no long do the healthier and stronger we feel. Plus, the more we then open up to what we’re truly capable of feeling and accomplishing.
How we practice life and our spirituality do more than overlap, they are one and the same. This time, instead of focusing solely on the spiritual practice when you now reread the key part of Holmes’ quote, focus on these words as a practice for life as well: “We should work, not with anxiety but with expectancy; not by coercion but with conviction; not through compulsion but in a state of conscious recognition and receptivity.” It’s a good practice, one you’ll appreciate.
Practice makes progress.
© Joyce L. Shafer
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Joyce L. Shafer is a Life Empowerment Coach dedicated to helping people feel, be, and live their true inner power. She’s author of “I Don’t Want to be Your Guru, But I Have Something to Say” and other books/e-books, and publishes a free weekly online newsletter that offers empowering articles. See all that’s offered by Joyce and on her site at http://stateofappreciation.weebly.com