A Walk Along My Spiritual Path
I want to share with you my favorite resources that I picked up along my spiritual journey. These books, teachers and coaches kept me growing spiritually as I defined my place in the world. This journey began around the age of 25. Now, 38 you can only imagine the ride one overly curious, care free gal has taken to step into the woman she always knew she was destined to be.
There are so many books, teachers, yoga styles, and lifestyles it can draw anxiety to anyone exploring a new spiritual practice. Even if you have been in the wellness world for a while, it can be overwhelming with all the new age hoopla out there changing every week.
Your friend is trying something different so you hop on her bus to realize it’s just not your thing. You hear that you should read this book, go on this retreat, practice this type of yoga. You hear terms such as Kundalini Yoga, Transcendental Meditation, Chakras, Vedic Astrology, Doshas we might as well be speaking another language. All you desire is to feel connected to your higher self. To receive guidance and answers from the people that seem to, well have the answers.
I was first drawn to Nichiren Buddhism when I planted my roots in Santa Monica, California back in 2005. I just so happened to live next to the world headquarters at the time. I was very curious and drawn to the building that was along my running path. And to my surprise, my roomate was a practicing Buddhist. That is how my spiritual journey began, chanting Nam Myoho Renge Kyo. I studied the scriptures from the Lotus Sutra and read a handful of books by Buddhist philosopher, peacebuilder, educator, author, poet and current president of SGI, Daisaku Ikeda. We all know Buddhism is a way of life and I am forever blessed to have connected with this practice as my first spiritual encounter.
After a couple of years, I was craving a pathway to connect deeper with my self. Instead of chanting outwards, I wanted to sit quietly and go within. I learned about meditation through my yoga practice. I quickly dove into yoga and a few months later was in the vortex mountains of Sedona on a yoga teacher training where I was exposed to an endless love affair of yoga philosophy, Ayurveda and vedic astrology.
The Sutras by Patanjali, Bhagavad Gita and Swami Satyananda Saraswati books, Kundalini Tantra and Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha were amongst my yoga teacher training books. During this time in Sedona, I was introduced to my all time favorite yoga book, Autobiography of a Yogi which expanded my mind to what manifestation, mind, body, spirit, and yoga was all about.
I was blessed to go back home to California and whenever I felt out of wack, I would visit the Self Realization locations that Yogananda speaks about in the book (my favorite location). THIS is the book I gift people over and over again.
Throughout the years, my yoga philosophy and education grew from teachers like Osho to B.K.S. Iyengar, David Frawley, Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa and so many more. Also, my own yoga teachers I have personally practiced with have inspired me is so many ways to explore myself as a teacher.
As I entered my 30's and started to shed my 20's mindset, I began exploring spiritual self-help books. During these years, as one experiences everything under the sun, I was granted wisdom from teachers/authors; Pema Chodron, Abraham Hicks, Marianne Williamson, Gabby Bernstein, Dan Millman, Paulo Coehlo, Brene Brown and Michael Singer to name a few.
Books, blogs, workshops, trainings, all of it matters and makes you better. But, what I recently learned as I was mentioning to my healer that I want a mentor, a teacher. I'm craving more education. I'm craving to learn more to expland my own knowledge and work. She reminded me that, yes great go get that education, go online and dissect that pose, learn more on the level of experimenting with foods for your body and become an expert in Sanskrit. But, know that the real knowledge, the real trust, the real wisdom is within yourself which you have always had. Stop looking outside of yourself for the answers, they are all within. It is different to want to better yourself in your job, in your practice and learn that way, BUT, a big BUT here, you must realize that the answers the deep-rooted answers are already within yourself. Most likely they are just hidden under the piles of (insert word here).
“Change is not something that we should fear. Rather, it is something that we should welcome. For without change, nothing in this world would ever grow or blossom, and no one in this world would ever move forward to become the person they’re meant to be.”
There are so many amazing teachers out there ready to smother you with their experiences, knowledge and love. If a teacher really resognates with you and seems to enter your path over and over again, this must mean you are destined to learn something from them. But know, the deepest, darkest questions you want answers too will only come from your inner guides and the universe.
"Nobody is coming to save you!"