Myth #5 - To be spiritual means to be wealthy beyond measure. If you aren't wealthy then you aren't aligned with the highest vibration of the Universe.
Let's get real for a second. Who doesn't want to be financially secure? Of course it would be great not to have to worry about paying the bills or if an emergency comes up. Some of us are there; others aren't.
I see a lot of spiritual teachings that go something like this - you're not spiritual if you're not living a laptop lifestyle. You're not manifesting enough. You're not vibrating high enough.
In short, you're not enough. Yikes!
This is spiritual materialism at its core. Chogyam Trunpa wrote a book in the 1970s called "Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism". He wrote that we are often "deceiving ourselves into thinking we are developing spiritually when instead we are strengthening our egocentricity through spiritual techniques."
Spirituality, or the pursuit of it, has become commercialized. Indigenous cultures are increasingly romanticized. Traditions from foreign countries are seen as "right", "better" and "the way". Then there's the 'laptop lifestyle' phenomenon - where you put in a few hours of work and you'll be a millionaire in a matter of minutes.
Besides, is it really plausible to work at the beach all the time? The Internet connection can't be that great - too many coconuts in the way.
There are people making millions from the rest of us - by selling a false sense of enlightenment that costs a fortune.
Spiritual enlightenment is a very personal & individual journey. Make purchases as you see fit but the minute someone tells you the only way to receive from the Universe is to give someone money, stop.
Think about it for a minute. Remember all of those disgraced televangelists who said if you give to their church, you'll be blessed but in the end, they bought planes & boats & cars? Same thing.
So what now? Find your own way to connect to the Universe. Listen to your own inner voice & intuition. If it doesn't feel good or land for you, don't do it.
Myth #4 - Mindset is everything. Having the right mindset is the only way to a better, enlightened high-vibration spiritual life.
Sometime last year, I had a discovery call with a money mindset coach. At the time I wanted to see if mindset work would help me out of a financial jam. The call was going great... until I found out her fees. When I explained that I couldn't afford that kind of money, I was promptly told that I could manifest the money if I really wanted and I clearly had abundance/money issues.
So when asked to pay someone the money I'd normally use for food, clothing & shelter, I was instantly blindsided & somewhat offended! Here was this person who said they were spiritually minded; constantly talked about how the Universe was continually blessing them with riches... only because they made a business out of taking people's money in exchange for a series of PDFs & videos.
How often have you been told you don't have the right mindset? There's only a certain few that have the secrets to the one right mindset that you need to have for eternal life.
Have you ever stubbed your little toe? You know that super-annoying pain you feel that eventually subsides? If you had the "right" mindset you wouldn't feel that pain. It'd just be something you'd dismiss as in the way of your destiny. Or you could say "Ouch, dammit!", feel the pain then move on.
Mindset is something that's been packaged and sold to us as the cure-all - I should know. When I first decided to become a coach I wanted to be a mindset coach. I changed my mind (pun fully intended) when I realized I couldn't do that for someone else & certainly not get paid for it.
Yes, mindset can be important. Yet it gets to be problematic when you're being judged for your mindset. It can never be 'bad' because then you'll never get what you want.
It's also problematic when 'mindset work' doesn't allow for you to express a full range of emotions. Ever find yourself what's considered a "negative" thought and immediately punishing yourself for it? Get off that train stat.
Go with your gut whenever you see any kind of mindset content. What does it tell you? If your gut feels sketchy, then run for the hills. If not, then help yourself.
Your gut won't let you down - even when you think it will.
Myth #3 - In order to manifest your desires, you have to attune yourself to one vibration - a higher vibration.
Manifestation. Man alive, I see this ALL the time. I remember watching Oprah when she first introduced The Secret to the world. So I got myself a copy of the movie. I cried - I won't lie to you. At the time it seemed like The Secret was the answer I'd been looking for. All I had to do was think my desires into existence... sweet candy!
So I did that. I prayed. I visualized like a crazy person. I hoped against everything holy, green & good that the Universe would deliver. All I got was $12 that I won from a lottery scratch card.
Naturally, I was devastated. Didn't I do it right? What happened? I searched fervently online for the answer. I found a bunch of things ranging from casting spells to debunking The Secret. I read the book The Secret was based on. I watched videos, read blogs... nothing seemed to get me closer to what I desired. Of course, since nothing wasn't really going right in my life at that time anyway, this was just one more thing I failed at. And that hit me HARD.
Fast-forward to the present moment. I have seen how people can make a holy fortune telling others how to manifest their desires. We're told we have to be on the (air quotes) 'right/highest vibration'. We're told that the Universe ONLY responds to positivity and any hint of negativity will send the Universe packing. Best of all, to be spiritual is to be uber-wealthy and spend your days on the beach living a 'laptop lifestyle'.
Oh, help us all. Where do I begin to unpack this?
I've learned two key things about manifestation:
1. Ask the Universe for what you want, then let it go.
2. The Universe is divine love - nothing more, nothing less.
Once I understood these two things, I began to see a massive difference - the biggest being that I wasn't in this perpetual self-punishing purgatory. I've manifested things I wanted, things I needed and experiences that have taught me valuable lessons on my journey.
Understanding exactly what the Universe is also changed everything. We, as humans, have labelled the Universe. We call it 'high vibrations", "low vibrations", "love or above"... we humans have created this experience - not the Universe. Do you think the Universe shows up to us & says, "hello there, I'm a low-vibration so ignore me today please & thank you"? Not a chance.
The Universe just is. I call it love... divine love, even. I still ask the Universe for what I need. I always receive an answer - whether it's the one I want or not.
So the next time someone says to you that you need to invest thousands to learn how to manifest, say no thank you. You already know how to manifest all that you want. You are ultimately responsible for your life. Your life is made up of a series of choices.
Just ask the Universe for what you want & say thank you for what you receive.
There - done & dusted.
Myth #2 - To be spiritual, everything about your life must be bathed in love & light.
I'll bet you ten pennies you've seen the "love & light" phrase kicking around in the online spiritual community. When something catastrophic happens in the world, we immediately send them love & light. When someone is going through a rough patch, we send them love & light.
So let's dig a bit more into this love and this light. Are we actually sending these people love? What kind of love? Chew on this for a minute - by sending love and light, we're actually telling these people to gloss over what they're going through. We're saying to them - just stay positive. Never mind your trial - just ignore the bad and focus on the good.
This is problematic for a whole host of reasons but here's the biggest one: this phrase doesn't allow people the space to really express and experience the full range of human emotion. (#boommoment)
Love and light is spiritual bypassing - full stop. According to John Welwood, spiritual bypassing is the "tendency to use spiritual ideas and practices to sidestep or avoid facing unresolved emotional issues, psychological wounds, and unfinished developmental tasks." Put it this way - it's a free pass to not feel your darkness; to not face your shadow side.
I can't even begin to express just how dangerous this is. Yes, we can always send love to our fellow man. However, it's actually a good thing for our fellow man to express every single emotion that comes up. Emotions just are - they're neither good or bad. This good or bad label is something we as a collective came up with.
Besides, who wants to feel 'bad'? It sucks! It hurts! It makes you do things you wouldn't otherwise do (i.e. eat 4 containers of double chocolate brownie espresso shot cookie dough ice cream). This emotion could be your greatest teacher. Instead of wishing it away, go through it - ice cream and all. Sit with it. Feel it. Experience it. Learn from it. Then let it go.
Now for the "light". The light is usually shimmering gold-tinged white light that comes down from the aether. You can call upon this light to bathe yourself in it; surrounding your physical body in this warm light to shield yourself from whatever's bothering you in the world.
I was listening to a podcast the other day and heard this brilliant quote - "we want the light but not the heat". Talk about a #recordscratchingmoment! We so want to be surrounded by this eternal light but are we truly ready to see everything that the light hits? I say no. This light is blinding. It makes you see EVERYTHING... even things you didn't want anyone to see... like that zit on your nose that you hope no one points out... until someone does.
Here's the deal - you are a whole, complex and beautiful human being. Give yourself permission to experience ALL of your emotions when they come up. The Universe is love. The Universe is light. It's always there - it doesn't dry up when you have a bad day.
I've said this before and I'll say it again: the Universe isn't going to spank you if you have a "bad" day. Life is a series of highs, lows and calm. The ocean isn't always perfectly still; the sun doesn't shine on us 24/7.
Don't be afraid of the dark and certainly don't be afraid of what the light shines on.