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Are We There Yet?
By Art Ramsay, Ph.D.

 How many times have you been asked by your child “Are we there yet?” during a trip somewhere; especially a long one? Or, even have asked yourself the same question during “trips” of various kinds. The “trip” I am referring to here is one of spirituality. We all begin this journey of “enlightenment” at some stage of our lives as humans here on planet earth.

 We go through various stages of being enlightened about a variety of things throughout our lives, since the word itself means “full comprehension of a situation”. The most important “stage” as mentioned above is knowing who you are as a spiritual being. Thus, once you truly know who you are, enlightenment is experienced at a higher level or vibration.

 When I first began to become aware that something else was going on besides the day to day hum drum of life, I like many others, thought that I had a “there” to get to. Once I got “there” I would be enlightened and would be blissful and wise. Well, that journey started a quarter of a century ago, and I am still not “there”.

 Just as you might respond to a child about the question of getting “there”, wherever that is at the time, many times in the past decade I have thought I was on the threshold of enlightenment; and when I completed this next spiritual practice I would be there. What I wound up doing is working with a particular spiritual practice or practices, and when I wasn’t experiencing “there” I went on to something else. I am sure many of you can relate to that state of mind.

 What I have known for years, but never really brought into my life completely was that “there” does not exist. We are on a journey of enlightenment; everyday, even every moment, enlightens us in some way as our journey continues. In fact, the “journey” never ends, because there is no “there” as I said earlier.

 If there is no “there” to get to then what is the use of expecting some outcome or result from our spiritual practice? Think of your journey like a hike in the forest; each step reveals something new, giving you a chance to uniquely experience the moment. This is what life is about during our spiritual practice.

 What you may or may not experience during your walk in the forest is similar “obstacles” or learning events that you experience in your daily life. As you may have read in earlier articles, every day, even every moment is an opportunity to learn more about yourself and the lifestyle you are living; even your hike in the woods.

 Even after 25 years of spiritual practice I still fall into habitual ways of living each day. Granted, I am able to recognize the “lessons” easier than those who are not as aware of them; it is still not simple. Our habits can be very powerful task-masters. Awareness of them gives us the key to eliminating the ones that are keeping us stuck in a rigid way of living.

 If finally getting “there” is realized as not attainable, then we can move into a mindset of “living in the moment” so the “journey” is more important to us than a place to end up. We can only become aware of how our journey is proceeding when we pay attention to what occurs throughout our day. This takes focus, mindfulness, and the willingness to do whatever is necessary to eliminate what is not working.

 Except for a few friends and family members who bought my first book and began receiving my newsletter years ago, the rest of you joined voluntarily due to your interest in its spiritual/self-help aspects. Thus, the latter group of those reading this may have been practicing spiritual methods before the others.

 By now (May, 2013) most of you, even the first group, are aware of spiritual practice due to reading my articles, so the above suggestions may not be too much of a task. Whether spiritual practice to change your life, once you admit it needs changing, seems daunting or not, it is the only way you are going to make the changes to smooth out your spiritual journey or life in general.

 If you need suggestions about spiritual practice and ways to do it, you may want to read several past articles in the area that seems most needed for your particular lifestyle. It is never too late or too early to start. In fact it is almost imperative in this new cycle of time we have just entered.

 

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