Your road through life is long and paved with uncertainty – it is, therefore, vital that you try to pack as many of the following items in your spiritual suitcase as possible.
Each of them will come in handy from time to time as your journey progresses; they will help you transition into someone who more regularly acts from their higher self.
You may find that you are missing some items to begin with, but these can be acquired along the way. Others may start small, but grow over time, and some will require ongoing effort to hold onto.
So without further ado, let’s begin our list…
1. Self Love/Respect/Acceptance
You are a tiny miracle in a vast, expansive cosmos. You are beautiful, you are talented, and you are capable of great things.
I know this about you without ever having seen, met or spoken to you. But do you know this of yourself?
Learning to truly love, respect and accept yourself is not easy; it most definitely falls under the umbrella of things you have to nurture and fight for on a daily basis rather than something that is just acquired.
I have put this first on the list, however, because it is so intricately woven throughout the rest of the items. By showing love, respect and acceptance inwardly, you are better positioned to utilize and benefit from everything else.
Once you are able to love yourself, you can begin to live an authentic life. Love can allow you to speak and act with honesty and integrity so that you may be the person you truly are instead of the one you want the world to see.
Too often we try to mask our authentic selves in order to maintain a front; we seek to hide our struggles and project a false appearance control.
But, by doing so, we become unable to form deep and meaningful connections with other people and the world itself. We become pseudoselves – fictional characters acting out a life with little of what’s true and genuine on display.
What’s more, it takes a great deal of energy to be someone you are not, so packing authenticity in your spiritual suitcase relieves this burden and returns that energy to you for other uses.
Living your life with authenticity requires that you open up and express who you really are and what your heart feels. Without question, this puts you in a vulnerable position.
But you cannot run from this vulnerability if you want to be true to yourself. While you will sometimes experience hurt because of your openness, it will also enable you to experience joys beyond those you could ever hope to have while keeping your guard up.
4. Acceptance Of Risk
Tying in closely to the concept of vulnerability is that of risk.
There is no getting away from the fact that life is uncertain – nobody can accurately predict what the future may hold. Shying away from this fact means shying away from risk, and when we do that, we put limits on what we might experience, achieve, or become.
I’m not suggesting that you ought to go out and make reckless decisions with your safety and wellbeing. What I am saying, however, is that you sometimes have to step into the unknown with the confidence that, whatever happens, you will come out the other side ok. There is always a risk of short term pain and suffering, but there may also be long term happiness and satisfaction.
Speaking of pain, it is not something that you can avoid, whatever path you take through life.
That’s why it is important to have some painkillers with you at all times. I don’t mean this in the literal sense of carrying around some drugs in your bag, but rather a collection of little things that can help alleviate any emotional suffering you may experience.
Examples might be uplifting music on your phone, photos of family and friends, affirmations to say to yourself, memories that you can think back to, or something else entirely.
Having a supply of these painkillers won’t prevent hurt from occurring, but they can hasten your recovery from it.
When you experience emotional hurt or pain, it is usually because you have suffered a perceived wrongdoing. Often the responsibility for this will lie with another person or persons.
At this point, you have two choices: you can either choose to blame them or forgive them. By apportioning blame to them, you tend to only heap further misery onto yourself – after all, you may feel angry and aggrieved, but you cannot force this feeling onto them. In fact, they might not even realize the hurt that has been caused.
The more sensible approach is to practice forgiveness. Such an act is more for you than it is for them – it allows you to accept what has happened and move on from it. Without forgiveness, you will never be truly free of the hurt that was caused.
Further Reading: How To Forgive Yourself: 17 No Bullsh*t Tips!
Forgiving someone is the first step to overcoming the hurt they have caused you, but if they continue to do so over and over again, you might need some scissors in your spiritual suitcase.
These enable you to cut the chords that bind the two of you together and, thus, prevent them from ever hurting you again.
Such chords are typically both physical and emotional and the process may not be quick or easy, but knowing when to let go of certain people in your life is crucial if you are to enjoy long term contentment.
It should come as no surprise to you that it may also be necessary to cut certain items, objects, or belongings out of your life in order to grow spiritually.
I’m sure we’d all like to be able to flick a switch and become more connected to our higher selves, but it’s rarely ever that simple.
For most of us, growth and change do not happen overnight, but, instead, require an extended period of time.
That’s why, as you walk along the spiritual path, you must have patience in abundance. Even when you do achieve positive change, there is no guarantee that it will be permanent – it is not uncommon for lower self habits to creep back in.
You should not get angry with yourself when things don’t happen as quickly as you’d like; in fact, anger will only hold you back. Simply remind yourself that you are moving in the right direction most of the time and that any setbacks are temporary.
Alongside the understanding that growth takes time, you should also remind yourself again and again that it also takes hard work.
Affirmations, meditation, cutting negative people out of your life, reading a book, even reading this article – they are all activities that help push you that little bit further along the road to contentment.
Don’t underestimate the importance of taking consistent and meaningful action and try to forge a willingness to do just that.
Changing long-held thought processes is possible – your brain is, after all, able to rewire itself – but not without a commitment in both time and effort. So put persistence firmly into your spiritual suitcase if you want to see yourself progress.
Your journey will inevitably see you interact with countless other people, but it is still yours to make and yours alone.
You must be willing to take responsibility for the path you take, whatever may come of it. In some way, shape or form, you will have a degree of influence over the outcomes of many of the events in your adult life – to think otherwise is to blame others, and I have already discussed the futility of such an approach.
While it is true that some things will be completely out of your control, even then you are responsible for the way you react to them.
Taking responsibility for your actions and the subsequent consequences is a sign of mental and spiritual maturity.
In life, we all experience a mixture of the good, the bad, and the ugly, but our focus is too often at the negative end of the spectrum.
Being able to express gratitude when good things happen is a vitally important trait of more spiritually conscious people. Instead of taking things for granted, it is wise to actively thank the universe (or God if you wish) for the positive things in your life – and there is always something positive to be thankful for!
Even when you’ve had an awful day, you should still be able to come up with numerous things to be grateful for. Losing your job can be hard to deal with, for instance, but maybe you have good health and a loving family to come home to.
You don’t have to totally ignore the bad things that happen, but don’t ever lose sight of all the good that you are blessed with.
12. Acceptance Of Others
As you begin to evolve in a spiritual sense, you may look at other people and wish the same for them. What this quite often results in, however, is a desire to convert or cure others, but this actually hinders your own growth.
While you may be trying to help them from the goodness of your heart, you will have to accept that not everyone is in the same boat as you. Some people just aren’t mentally ready to make major changes in their lives and others don’t even want to.
Remember: you are only in control of your own life and destiny. You can certainly talk about the journey you find yourself on, and this may naturally make others more curious, but don’t tell them that they are wrong to be living the way they are – after all, you were once living that way too.
Instead, be aware of the many differences we all have from one another and respect them. You have to accept people as they are and not form a mindset of superiority – after all, this wouldn’t be a very ‘higher self’ response would it?
Something that ties in quite nicely with my previous points about accepting others is the concept of unknowing. In short, we essentially know very little for sure and, instead, merely assert our opinions on things based upon our current level of understanding.
Instead of living in fear of the unknown, you need to embrace it and accept that there are some things that you simply will never know for sure. When you do this, you will start to feel your anxieties diminish.
Furthermore, the admission of unknowing will put you in a better position to interact with people whose views differ from yours. You will no longer see them as a threat and you will be more able to accept them as they are without the desire to change them.
The two previous points about acceptance and unknowing are also closely related to the state of emptiness.
While it may not be visible to the naked eye, everyone – you and I included – carries around with them an impossibly heavy weight. This is the weight of our past and of the projections we make into the future.
But because of this baggage, we struggle to see the world as it really is. Our vision is clouded by our preconceived ideas of how things should be and this influences our thoughts and actions to a large extent.
Releasing this weight and emptying yourself of the burden it represents is no easy task. You may never be able to detach yourself completely, but through concerted, conscious effort, it is possible to approach a state of emptiness when you go about your everyday life.
This means that you can face situations and people without prejudice or unconscious bias. Being able to see things afresh in this way means you can act based on what you see in front of you, not what has gone before it.
15. The Now
I can’t talk about emptiness without also talking about living in the now – after all, the present moment is all there really is.
In a sense, they are one and the same. When you truly live in the now, you do not consider your past or future and this is precisely what it means to be empty. They are paths into one another.
I have separated them here because I wanted to emphasize the letting go of preconceptions with regards to emptiness, while the purpose of living in the now is slightly different.
It is true that a mind empty of thoughts is one that is in the now, but the emptying of the mind creates a vacuum into which the true nature of reality is pulled. Thus, being in a state of now-ness means that you experience the world fully and without limits.
No longer do you look, but not see; rather, you become as one with the world. You begin to feel the heartbeat of reality, the true nature of life, and it is a beautiful feeling.
16. A Mirror For The Mind
One of the most effective strategies for loosening the grip that your lower self has on you is to observe your own thoughts.
When you look at your physical self in a mirror, it allows you to observe the outward appearance that the world sees, and by looking into a mirror for your mind, you can observe the inner environment too.
When you watch your mind work, when you monitor the thoughts that pass through it, you can begin to identify those which have their roots in the ego.
When you perform this act without judgement and without emotion, you instantly begin to weaken the ego. You are able to identify lower self thought processes, see them for what they are, and choose not to act upon them.
While you should not try to repress such thoughts as they occur, once they have done so, you can choose to let them flow on through and out of your mind again. In this way, the ego loses its influence over you.
As a child, you have very little choice but to put complete trust and faith in someone else to look after you. Yet, as we grow older, the degree to which we trust other people drops.
As you walk along your spiritual path, you will encounter many people and many situations in which the instinctual reaction is one of mistrust. The lower self will see them as a threat; it will be on guard against any potential attacks – physical or emotional.
And yet, through trust, you can be relieved of a great deal of fear and anxiety and allow yourself to have faith in the other. You will have to practice a high level of emptiness as I talked about a little earlier because it is often your preconceptions of people and situations that prevent you from acting on trust.
When you feel more able to trust, you feel less threatened, and you begin to show your true self to the world. When trust is lacking, you are more inclined to hide the vulnerable parts of you away so as not to exhibit weakness. But, as mentioned, vulnerability is often a pre-cursor to great joy and a richer, deeper experience of life.
18. The Ability To Say No
The demands of modern life are great – you can literally fill every single second of your waking day with activity should you so wish.
And yet, just because the possibility is there, you won’t always want to take it up.
At some stage on your spiritual journey, you may encounter the feeling that you ought to go out and live every moment as if it was your last. This can lead to an overwhelming inability to say no to people.
You may think that the experiences you share with others are what life is all about – and there is some truth to this – but spiritual growth has just as much to do with the experience you have inwardly, with yourself, and as yourself. If saying yes to something means you are unable to be your true self, it will, in fact, hinder your growth.
So, at some point in time, you have to know when enough is enough. Turning down an invite needn’t be a rejection of that person and, similarly, saying no to an opportunity that comes your way doesn’t always mean you’ve missed out.
19. The Ability To Say Yes
On the flip side, you have to know when to say yes if an opportunity that feels “right” comes knocking.
That trust I spoke about earlier is important here; not only trust in other people, but trust in yourself, to believe that you are capable of getting through anything if you put your mind to it.
This includes trust that you can cope with any pain that may result. After all, taking an opportunity does not always mean it will turn out as you’d hoped.
While it is not always obvious when you ought to say yes or no, there is one guiding force that you can always turn to for help.
We all have intuition – it is something very personal that tends to express itself as a feeling on your insides. Once you have taken on all the relevant information about a situation, your intuition is probably your best guide as to whether or not something is right for you.
You see, while the logical part of your brain can try to weigh up the pros and cons, intuition is part of the much more powerful unconscious mind which has even more information at its fingertips with which to reach a decision.
Further Reading: Are You A ‘Sensing’ Or An ‘Intuitive’ Personality Type?
21. A Bed
As simple as this may sound, I can attest to the power of a good night’s sleep and, conversely, to the overwhelmingly negative influence of stress on our bodies and minds.
A tired and stressed mind is a feeding ground for the lower self and you will almost certainly not feel spiritual when it has control.
Awakening is a very apt word for the spiritual journey because when you wake up naturally, you do so because you are fully rested. To awake in the spiritual sense, you also need to be fully rested and relaxed.
This is why you should pack a good night’s rest in your suitcase as a matter of priority. And for the times when stress builds up, don’t neglect to tackle it through the many ways open to you.
22. A Phone
Having a support network or community around you for both the good and the bad times is a powerful enabler for spiritual growth.
Yes, it is true that nobody else can make your journey for you, but that isn’t to say that you always have to travel alone. We are social creatures and eons of evolution have embedded a need for connection within us.
Whether this is a tight group of friends or a close-knit family, when you feel a sense of belonging truly and deeply, the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. Together you can tackle problems than an individual would struggle with, and you can also experience joy greater than that of a lone wolf.
So don’t be afraid to pack a phone in your suitcase to keep in contact with those people who matter most to you.
23. A Book
Throughout your spiritual journey, many questions will inevitably enter your mind; what’s the logical course of action when this happens? Read a book, of course.
Much in the same way that you learn science or mathematics from a textbook, books from the self help aisle are not something to be viewed with scorn and doubt. Many are written by accomplished spiritual and academic authors and you can genuinely expand your mind by reading them.
In fact, there are so many books in this genre that it is possible to find one tailored directly at the problems you may be struggling with. Don’t underestimate the power of such books as healers and teachers.
24. A Notebook
While books written by others are extremely valuable, there is also a strong argument to say that the best book you read could be the one you write yourself.
By this, I mean that you can journal your experiences, your thoughts, and your feelings, and then read back over them to ensure that anything you learn about yourself is not simply forgotten over time.
You can identify bad choices, mistakes, unhelpful thought processes, and anything else that you think might be holding you back. You can also keep track of all the positives too, because these are equally as valid when it comes to learning from the past.
Writing things down in this way is also therapeutic – it can actually help soothe your troubles and quiet your mind.
25. A Stopwatch
We all have impulsive moments and quite often they can get us into trouble. Anger is the most common manifestation of this and, in the heat of the moment, we may say or do things that we later regret. It could also relate to reckless decisions made without due consideration.
That’s why it is sensible to carry a mental stopwatch around with you so that when you think you may be about to act out of impulse, you can use it to count to 10 before doing so.
You’d be amazed at how effective something so simple can be at preventing you from heading down a path you really don’t want to go down. It allows you to think clearly and logically, while listening carefully to your intuition (which is not the same as impulsivity I should add).
That completes the list of things I think you most need when treading a spiritual path. As you may have noticed by now, there are natural links between many of the items; this should come as no surprise since they represent the workings of the higher self.
By packing your spiritual suitcase with these – and other – items, you create a resource that can see you through any and all things you may encounter in life. They will aid you as you seek personal growth and they will enable you to realize every drop of potential that you have.
Keep this list close at all times and refer back to it again and again to ensure that you always retain these most essential of items.