6 Signs You’re Spiritually Disconnected

Australia

{Etsy photo by MeemsaEtsyPlace}

It’s not easily recognizable unless you already know the symptoms. But there’s an ache, a longing, a feeling of purposelessness that comes over you when you’re disconnected. It can happen to all of us from the deeply religious to the spiritual. Here are a few symptoms to watch out for:

  1. Emptiness. When you’re spiritually disconnected, there is a numbness and a feeling of hopelessness that permeates your being. It feels like you’re on automatic pilot. Every day seems like the next. Something’s missing, but you can’t quite put your finger on it.
  2. Meaninglessness. You’re busy. You’re getting things done. You’re successful. Your career has taken off. But if you’ve questioned why you’re doing what you’re doing, it could be a sign of disconnection.
  3. Relapse. You’ve been doing well, eating healthy, exercising, meditating. Suddenly, you find yourself shopping fanatically, eating mindlessly, and doing whatever you can to fill the emptiness.
  4. Irritability. You’re tired, grumpy and find yourself picking a fight with loved ones. Arguing temporarily gives you a sense of purpose. But long-term it’s draining you.
  5. Imbalance. You’ve lost the joy in your life. You’re working hard but have forgotten to play.
  6. Routine. Life used to seem mysterious, magical, memorable. Now it seems routine. You’ve lost the ability to be grateful, to see things with fresh perspective, to expect the unexpected.

Have you experience any of these symptoms?

In my next post, I’ll provide a few tips to remedy a lack of soulfulness.

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Keep Hope In Your Pocket

{Etsy print by JCSpock}

{Etsy print by JCSpock}

I admit I spend too much time worrying about the things that don’t end up even happening in my life. I worry about wasting time, but much of it is spent obsessing over the illnesses I have and the opportunities I don’t have.

Last night, however, I dreamed about possibility, hope and miracles. In it, I was told that everything we think we know about life is just the surface of what’s true. We grieve and bemoan our situation, for example, because we think it’s permanent. We allow logic to override miracle. We’ve grown too accustomed to computers and smartphones that tell us what is true instead of figuring it out for ourselves. And the weather? Trust your forecaster or Siri instead of just popping your head out the window.

As a result, intuition falls to the wayside. Hope no longer exists unless we have evidence to prove it.

Because something seems impossible or improbable we give up. But the whole notion of faith and miracle is dreaming up the impossible. If so, what we believe can be true is delivered to us on a platter.

Sounds easy, but the real struggle is challenging our old and jaded minds. We have to fight the fear of being vulnerable, being wrong, being disappointed.

We knew this as children. Every thing we absorbed then was magical. Do you remember it? But we let the pain and suffering of growing up wound us. Some allow it to wound them permanently.

If we can strip away the negativity, the paranoia, the obsessive need to know in this moment, we might return to that place of innocence, hope and joy. Instead of searching intently for a way to rid of your current ailment, let’s spend a moment in prayer and acceptance for what is so that we may lay open a door to possibility that everything. is. okay.

You won’t get that from the internet, a friend, your spouse, a sibling, or even a doctor. When you sit quietly or stand in the middle of nature, however, you will know it.

Do what you can with what you have and then surrender it and let it be. Life will happen regardless of how much you try to control it. But within those seemingly confining boundaries, there is and always will be hope. Trust in it. Hope is the armor of courage best used in battle. It will carry you through sleepless nights of worry, distrust, and panic. It is the only thing besides love that will help you through the unknown. And when you’ve landed safely on the other side, remember it. Remember that there is always a ray of light upon you just as you look back toward the shadows. It matters not what you go through, but where you’re focusing.

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Being Grateful Regardless of Your Circumstance

Today is my birthday. Usually when it comes around to the day, I’m worrying and anxious about what I’ll do. How will I make it PERFECT? Who will remember? How will I spend it? Or I’ll grieve over another year lost. How much time has passed. How I haven’t yet accomplished all the things I wanted to do by this age.

But today I say, “To hell with that.”

Life is a privilege, not our right.

I’m grateful today that I made it to this age. I’m grateful for the heartbreak I experienced and the hope. I’m appreciative of both the love I lost and the ones that I’ve gained.

I can look at all the things I haven’t yet accomplished and all the reasons why I should mourn this year or I can stand in the light of love and see all the beauty I’ve been given. And I can be grateful. So I chose that. And so I am.

When you look at your own life, do you see the cracks in the concrete as well as the flowers making its way through them? How often do you say, “Thank you” for my life instead of resentful for the life you don’t have?

My birthday wish is that we all learn to stop standing in the way of our own happiness and allow the love and beauty to flow through.

Will you choose it for you?

{Taken in an art gallery in Kapaa, Kauai. The reflection inside of the photograph makes its own art.}

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Day #1: Inspiring Myself

{photo}

Do you remember Bridget Jones’s Diary?

“Alcohol Units 6, Cigarettes 45, Husbands 0.”

This current attempt was inspired by the movie. But instead of dropping the alcohol, smokes and poundage, I’m on a path to inspire myself.

How?

By living a healthier, simpler, more meaningful life. Not as easy to calculate this one. But I’m going to try.

In addition to cutting sugar from my diet and eating more like my 5 year old rabbit, I’m also going to journal, do tai chi and meditate. Did I mention I’m going to try to do this daily?

As I write this I can feel myself hyperventilate. It’s not a small task. But a must if I’m going to heal myself and change my life.

I know we’re already 7 months into 2011, but everyone deserves a second chance. And no one needs it more than I. So much regret I have for nights I spent “drinking like a fish” as my cousin once described it. And scarfing down enough Ben & Jerry’s and slurpees to keep a classroom of kids hyper and jittery for a whole school year.

So I’m going to do it.

Anyone else want to join me?

It’s day #1 for me, but I’ve already cheated and started the program. So far, I’m realizing that before bed tai chi and evening meditation are both helping me to sleep. It’s getting myself to do it that’s hard.

So far I’ve already found ways to cheat.

Here’s your CliffsNotes cheat sheet. You know how they say, “hiking is just walking?” Well meditating is just sitting. And if sitting is too boring, lying in bed and visualizing a happy ending story to your life with your husband counts too. Be creative and the process could be a whole lot more fun.

*If you want to be part of the support group to meditate and write more, comment below. Lurkers and meditation wannabes welcome.

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5 Gifts to Inspire Others, Pt. 1

{photo credit}

This may not be the post you think it is.

There are a ton of blog posts now on what to get for a __________ (golfer, writer, mother, the person who has everything, etc.). But while those are all great and in good fun, I think it’s important to take this time to focus on something deeper.

Don’t you?

There are gifts that may not be shiny and new, but can have lasting value on one’s soul and can have a ripple effect on the lives of others.

With that being said, I thought it would behoove me to create a post for you unlike the rest of the crowd, that reminds us about the importance of what this season really represents-a time of gratitude, miracle, hope and giving.

A Christmas List to Inspire

1. Time.

I’m not talking about Gucci and Fossil. I’m talking about that precious, irreplaceable gift that can change someone’s life.

As a freelance writer, I know my time = money. If I’m spending it browsing stores online, I’m doing a disservice to my business. That’s time that I cannot invoice or exchange for an indirect path to money like marketing.

It’s like that, but maybe a million times more important to consider the precious time you have on this earth and who you want to spend it with.

Take one day in your life and then get a stop watch and time how much of your day is spent on the computer, TV, working vs. how much time you are spending with your loved ones. The number may surprise you.

Think about it this way. As a child, the one gift I wanted more than anything, wasn’t a new Barbie, a new outfit or a book, it was time spent with my mother.

2. Gratitude.

I’m guilty of not regifting this gift. Are you?

There are moments in my day when I think about my husband, for example. I think about how much he does for me and how much I appreciate him. Then time passes, I see dishes in the sink, and the gratitude? Like our leftovers, it goes down the drain.

If you want to give someone a gift that will last forever, thank them, thank yourself. Write down every moment, even seemingly insignificant ones, and you will be giving a gift of gratitude to yourself. Write it down in a card or tell someone you know and you will be doing both you and your loved ones a favor.

To be continued… Stay tuned for part 2 with gifts 3-5 here tomorrow.

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