Your spirit is what remains when you strip away everything else that you think you are.
It is the very core of your being; the seed from which you grow; the spring from which you drink.
Yet, sometimes this seed lies dormant and this spring runs dry. You lose touch with the part of you that is most real, most authentic.
Every single second of modern life is packed full of distractions that leave you stressed, anxious, and disconnected from your sense of purpose and meaning.
Beneath it all, your spirit sleeps deeply – too deeply.
You feel it. I know you do. I feel it too. The nagging itch that can’t be scratched; the thirst that can’t be quenched; the yearning that you can’t quite put your finger on.
These are the messages sent to you by your sleeping spirit. It compels you to reach within and awaken it from its slumber.
It wants to show you a different way to live; a more peaceful way that travels with the flow of existence, rather than swimming against it like you do now.
It sounds great, doesn’t it? But how do you wake something which has been asleep for so long?
Answer: you do it gradually. Near-death experiences and other extreme events aside, the spirit is most effectively woken by peeling back the many layers that cover it.
These layers are the mental constructions that consume our every waking second. They are the thoughts, the fears, and the endless noise – both internal and external – that fill our minds.
It may sound counterintuitive, but one means of ridding yourself of these mental layers is to ask questions.
Yes, such questions will get you thinking, but they will also help you to identify things that are preventing you from connecting with your spirit.
The following 5 questions should be asked often – multiple times a day if appropriate.
Question 1: Is This Really Me?
When things aren’t going how you’d like them to go – or even when they are – you can ask this question.
The aim is to help you surrender the misconceptions surrounding who you are. These include the idea that you are your thoughts, your emotions, your circumstances, or your body.
When you really sit and contemplate those things, you begin to realize that you – the real you, the you that has existed since birth and will exist up until death (and possibly beyond) – are more than what you think you are.
Conversely, you are also LESS than what you think you are.
Right now, you equate YOU with all of those things we just mentioned: thoughts, emotions, circumstances, a body.
Yet none of these things are fixed; none of these things are permanent. So ask yourself this: if these things are ever-changing, can they really be me?
Can my anger at being blocked on the freeway be me? Can my thoughts and worries about anything be me? Can my possessions or my bank balance be me? Can my graying hair and failing eyesight be me?
And if these things are not me, who am I? What am I?
Those layers we spoke of earlier, the ones that suppress your spirit and keep it asleep, they are the things you wrongly believe you are.
The question, “Is this really me?” becomes a tool that you can use to loosen each of these layers and eventually remove them one by one.
The less you identify with these layers, the more you begin to identify with the real you that has slumbered for years, decades even.
Question 2: What Can I Let Go?
This follows logically from the previous question. If there are things that block my spirit, can I let them go?
Sometimes this is something you can do directly when experiencing an emotion or thinking a thought. You can identify it as a temporary creation that is not who you are, accept that it happened, and then say goodbye to it.
It sounds simple. It is… and it isn’t.
Thoughts and feelings feed off each other, and they can be difficult to release during the event.
Don’t beat yourself up if you get caught in the moment. It happens. Show yourself some compassion and understand that you can still let go of something after it has happened.
Let go of the regret, let go of the guilt, let go of the need to be perfect. Life is messy – thoughts and emotions especially so.
On a larger scale, ask what aspects of your life might be preventing your spirit from waking up.
Are you unhappy in your job? Are there relationships that leave you unfulfilled? Are there responsibilities that weigh you down?
Maybe you can forge a plan to change your life in ways that will see these things disappear. Or if they have to remain, perhaps you can find ways to live in harmony with them.
Whatever it is you resent, know that the very feeling of resentment is not a part of you. It is just another thought-emotion storm that consumes your energy, which, in turn, prevents your spirit from waking.
Your expectations – let them go too. Have dreams, work toward them, but don’t let yourself be defined by the outcomes. Some things work out, but most things don’t. You either accept it or punish yourself for it.
Let go of your material desires. Look around you – what possessions do you have that do nothing but burden you? Are you drowning in clothes? Are you dependent on electronics? Is your attic or garage packed full of “things” that never see the light of day?
Get rid of them. Give them to a worthy cause. Relinquish your grip on them and their grip on you.
Whenever you buy something new, let go of something old. Keep your life – and your mind – open and uncrowded.
Your spirit needs space in which to move and thrive. To create this space, let go of anything that currently fills it.
So much of our lives are seen through the lens of our views, beliefs, expectations, and desires. None of us ever experience a true, untainted vision of reality.
You can, however, move in the right direction by regularly asking whether you are keeping an open mind toward things.
The spirit does not judge, it has no preconceptions about what should be. It simply embraces what is.
By being open-minded, you grow more in tune with your spirit and you encourage it to come out of hibernation once more.
So, whatever circumstances you find yourself in, and whatever ideas or beliefs you are being exposed to, don’t let your past taint your response.
In other words, don’t let all the things you’ve been told, or the experiences you’ve had, prevent you from letting in new ideas and new ways of doing things.
This doesn’t mean you have to give up your critical thinking skills, but it does mean you have to be willing to accept that there are other ways to act, live, and think.
Stubbornness, inflexibility, intolerance – these will only serve to suppress your spirit, for they are its antithesis.
Openness, willingness, enthusiasm – these are the mental characteristics that flow from the spirit, and they can flow to the spirit if you adopt them.
Question 4: What Would 4-Year-Old Me Do?
When we are young, we are almost entirely driven by our spirit. We have a pure, unadulterated view of the world and are completely open-minded to experiences and possibilities.
Then, as we get older and our minds fill with fears, worries, prejudices, misunderstandings, and all those thoughts that we take to be real, when they are, in fact, constructions of our own minds and egos.
So, to reawaken your spirit, you can ask what your younger self would do in your given situation, or what they would think regarding a particular topic.
What would they say and how would they act when they encounter others? Would they embrace them as fellow human beings, or view them with distrust?
Would they delight in the simplest of pleasures and squeeze every last ounce of goodness from their day, or complain and ruminate over a lack of… well, everything?
The innocence of your youth can be channelled when you see the world through your childhood eyes.
The sense of awe, the curiosity, the willingness to connect with other creatures and the wider world; these all act as alarm clocks for the spirit, stirring it from its sleep.
Question 5: Whom Do I Serve?
Your spirit is your connection to the greater whole.
Whether you believe the link is a physical, energetic one, or a more conceptual, ideological one, your spirit is at the heart of it.
With this in mind, the question of whom you serve is perhaps not as odd as it sounds. After all, the connection is two-way, and to receive from without, you must first give from within.
When you act, you should do so with the consideration of who is affected by your actions, and whether the effect is positive or negative.
You should aim to be a source of positive influence by serving others, helping them, showing them love, compassion, and kindness.
You needn’t surrender your personal boundaries either. No one is going to appreciate a kind act or word that occurs through some misguided compulsion for self-sacrifice.
But when your own spiritual vessel is replenished, you should be willing to pour from it to help fill someone else’s.
And your actions needn’t directly involve other people. The choices you make every day affect countless lives across the world, whether it’s choosing fair trade bananas or opting for bee-friendly produce.
Just remember that your spirit is an outward facing conduit between you and the rest of the universe. Serve others and you will be served in kind.
This indefinable presence in our lives – our spirit – is something that needs caring for, something that needs prompting, something that requires our awareness.
Right now, we live in a time where our individual and collective spirits are put into a form of induced coma. We have turned our backs on them in favor of more ego-driven impulses.
It doesn’t have to be this way. All over the world, spirits are waking up and they are ready to rouse others.
Are you prepared to open your curtains and let the morning light shine in?