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As I await the biggest change in my life, the way I feel, how I feel is unexplainable. I am scared, excited, nervous, unsure of what is to come. The anticipation to see someone that God used you to create is unfathomable. To love someone so deeply, someone you never have met displays an unconditional love you never knew existed”

You may be thinking, what is this quote all about? Why are we starting off with this? Well, this quote is from me and I wrote it on 8/8/2017 at 12:49am, the night I awaited my son’s arrival in the hospital. The anticipation, the anxiety I felt was immense because I was about to transition into another phase in life.

I would like to highlight Two focal points here, which is transition and transformation. Life has a funny way of happening. My life, our life is one big spiritual journey. Each step, each phase, is something different, something we may have never expected. 

In general, a spiritual journey describes the process of a person embarking on a quest to deepen their knowledge, understanding and wisdom about themselves, the world and/or God. It’s important to highlight that the spiritual journey doesn’t necessarily mean you have a belief in God. Rather, the phrase can refer to a person seeking to lead an intentional and conscious lifestyle in order to gain various insights about themselves and life.

The beauty of the spiritual journey is that it can have so many interpretations. The spiritual journey is also unpredictable. Therefore, the fear of the unknown is something that most of us have difficulty dealing with. This is why it is important for us to practice mindfulness, self-care, and self-awareness. People, places and things may come in and out of our lives but one thing is certain, at the end of the day it is always us vs us. Throughout this journey our competition will always be with ourselves. We spend too much time worrying about others and trying to conform to a certain belief system that we begin to lose ourselves in the process. This ideology is problematic. 

So how do we practice mindfulness during this journey? How do we cope and proceed through life at various points of our spiritual journey? Well, while everyone is different, I’d like to highlight some “areas of focus” if you will to assist in your ongoing spiritual journey.

Consciousness:

 From a place of lack of self-awareness, something wakes up and we recognize that we have some choices. We are going with the crowd, but we are starting to awaken. The mind is becoming more active and new possibilities are emerging

Preparation:

Now we recognize the opportunity to free ourselves from the herd and jump over the fence to freedom. This takes courage. We have to sacrifice the perceived safety of the crowd to open to more individual opportunities. As we prepare to take charge, fear starts to lose its hold.

Knowing and Possessing Our Power

This is where it starts to get interesting. Now we get our first taste of freedom as we claim our right to live the lives we were born to live. The mind is expanding further now as we explore new possibilities. At this point, we enjoy the benefits of independence. Free from the herd, people often do uncharacteristically different things at this stage. They may start to dress differently, travel, change jobs, develop new interests, and change behaviors.

What Are You?

Exploring freedom leads to a deeper exploration of who we are. This is when people begin to experience soul searching and recognition that the truth lies within, in the power of our hearts and souls. It’s the time when we bridge the gap between the restrictions of the physical plane and expansiveness of the spiritual plane. We are preparing to make the ultimate paradigm shift into a new way of being in the world, but don’t know where we are going.

Expression of our unique selves:

Expressing of Our Unique Selves:

As we embrace ourselves as spiritual beings, we rise to a new level now, onto the spiritual plane. Now we are guided by the truth in our hearts. This stimulates a desire to express our deeper purpose and share our greatness with the world.

Knowing Our Potential

Our integration of this creative reality includes mastering our thinking and ways of being on the spiritual plane. Becoming more aware of the big picture now, we recognize how our actions can have a positive impact on larger numbers of people.

Transformation:

Now we complete the process of becoming fully functional as creators of the lives we were born to live. We are highly aware now of what we create from the inside out with our minds and our hearts. We know how manifestation works and how our thoughts and feelings are responsible for the results we are getting in our lives. Lastly, we are learning to live in harmony with the laws of the universe and reaping the rewards of our efforts on the journey

These areas of focus are only self-reflective concepts and guides into what our spiritual journey may encompass. Everything circles back around to the practice of mindfulness and ways to become more aware of who we are. It will look different for each one of us, but again, that’s the beauty of our unique spiritual journey

In conclusion, my son was an unexpected gift, and this indeed was part of my spiritual journey. I didn’t plan for it nor did I see it coming almost 3 years ago. But it taught me a very valuable lesson about unexpected transition. Throughout this journey, understand that we must first and foremost be kind to ourselves. Life is marathon, not a sprint. 

As the great Bruce Lee once said “Empty your mind: be formless, be shapeless like water. Now you put water in a cup, it becomes the cup. When you pour water in a bottle, it becomes the bottle. When you pour water in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Water can drip and it can crash. Become like water my friend. “


Brandon Wiley

Brandon Wiley is the Founder and Executive Director of a non profit organization called OpenedEyes that focuses on identity and diversity awareness. He is also a Licensed Professional Counselor at the Erie VA Medical Center . He received a B.A. in Psychology from Gannon University, as well as a M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. He is an advocate for social justice and believes in a world that is all-encompassing and inclusive of each and every one of us. Brandon was also featured as one of the top 40 Under 40 in the Erie Reader magazine in 2016.

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