The Spiritual Journey: 12 Steps for Navigating Your Life Path
The spiritual journey appears to be an evolutionary movement from ego, to soul, to spirit. In reality, it's the circular journey of re-membering and returning to who and what we already are. It's about awakening from the dream of separation. This article helps you find out which step(s) you're currently on in your life's journey to wholeness so that you can move forward.
“Spiritual awakening is becoming an increasingly common occurrence among ‘normal’ everyday people. Once the privilege of sages and saints, many are now seeking, and finding, enlightenment. But there is more to the spiritual journey than just awakening. Along the way to that ultimate goal, we have the chance, and the choice, to evolve.
Indeed, we must grow in addition to awakening if we want to know true wholeness....How do we grow? We can start by becoming more conscious wherever we are on the journey, right now. We don’t need to wait for awakening to transform us....What we do, and who we become, along the way to realization matters.”
-From The 12 Steps of the Spiritual Journey (Melody’s free ebook)
What is the spiritual journey?
The spiritual journey appears to be an evolutionary movement forward from ego, to soul, to spirit. In reality, it's the circular journey of re-membering and returning to who and what we already are. It's about awakening from the dream of separation.
From our human perspective, it's about shifting our attention from suffering to acceptance, from judgment to allowing, from success to significance, from disease to wholeness, and from powerlessness to empowerment. Ultimately, it's about shifting from a state of fear to a state of love.
How do you move forward on the spiritual journey?
As with any journey, it helps to have a map. The map I’ve drawn is a practical breakdown, or synthesis, of the many “paths up the mountain” to awakening. It consists of 12 steps that can be found in many esoteric teachings. These 12 steps correspond to the 12 chakras, the 12 signs of the zodiac, and Jung’s 12 archetypes, for example.
The map marks the terrain that all of humanity traverses, but it's not the terrain itself. How you experience the universal journey is as unique as you are. You will walk it according to your soul’s purpose, discovering the nooks and crannies of the lessons you're here to learn, and the wide open vistas of the gifts you're here to master and share with the world.
Where are you now in your journey?
By exploring the 12 steps & the 3 stages of the journey, you can begin to find your place on this grand evolutionary adventure to awakening. This is a brief listing of the 12 steps and 3 stages to assist you.
Stage One—Preparation. Strengthening the Ego.
1) SEPARATION—Just trying to survive & thrive. “I am alone.”
2) BELONGING—Wanting to fit in and be loved. “I’m part of a tribe.”
3) SELFHOOD—Rebelling & making changes. “I want to be free.”
4) COMMUNION—Finding compassion. “I accept myself & others.”
Stage Two—The Adventure. Healing the Soul.
5) SOVEREIGNTY—Enjoying authenticity & success. “I am secure.”
6) SEARCHING—Lost & seeking meaning. “There must be more.”
7) SURRENDER—Cultivating faith. “Not by my will alone.”
8) HEALING—Getting over the past & karma. “I am becoming whole.”
Stage Three—The Return. Merging Soul with Spirit.
9) GUIDANCE—Opening intuition & finding purpose. “I know my contract.”
10) CO-CREATION—Serving. “I use my gifts for the highest good.”
11) TRANSMUTATION—Mastering Laws & Forces. “I create multiple realities.”
12) UNITY—Awakening, Enlightenment. “All is one. I am THAT”
Navigating your life
These 12 steps appear linear, but in reality the journey is never so. A map is a two-dimensional image, while the journey is not. You'll inevitably encounter setbacks, retracing of steps, skipping over steps, traversing several steps at once, and many jumps back and forth. You may accomplish all 12 steps in one lifetime, or take several lifetimes to do so. Awakening, the wild card on this journey, may occur at any time.
Remember: the journey is happening now, and it’s important to fully embrace wherever you are on the path without resistance or judgment. All steps are vital. All steps are equal in importance. You are where you are, and the adventure of your life is unfolding beautifully, perfectly, and profoundly.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Melody is a teacher, author and freelance writer dedicated to assisting others with awakening and evolving their lives. She currently offers webinars, audio courses and recorded lectures on the spiritual journey to awakening and on finding one's purpose for this lifetime. Visit her website at http://www.melodylarson.com/