The Top 10 Steps toward Spiritual Growth
by Diana Robinson, Ph.D.

There are many ways to seek spiritual growth and each of us must find the Way that is right for us. Without regard to specific religions, here are some suggestions.

This article sponsored by:

There are many ways to seek spiritual growth and each of us must find the Way that is right for us. Without regard to specific religions, here are some suggestions.

1. Make it a priority. The material world that we see, hear, and feel is always pounding at the doorways to our senses. The spiritual world is more subtle; it takes focus to notice that it, too, sends messages through our physical senses as well as our inner awareness.

2. Use it to manifest good, not to escape evil. It may seem that to do one is to do the other, but there is a difference in motivation. We develop strong links to what we focus on. If we focus on escaping evil, we will maintain our ties to it. If we focus on using our spiritual growth to manifest good, then it is our ties to the good that will grow.

3. Dump your baggage. There is a parable that says it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. One explanation is that after the gates of Jerusalem were closed at night there remained one small gate that could be opened to late travellers. For security reasons it was so narrow that it was known as the eye of the needle, and a loaded camel could not get through it. To get his camels through this gate, a merchant had to unload all the baggage from them. So must we unload our baggage, our beloved belongings, our sources of victimhood, our hurts, our perpetrators, our righteous wrath. We must unhook ourselves and be prepared to leave them all behind.

4. Quiet your mind. Difficult. Learn to meditate, to be calm, to quiet the mind and listen for the still small voice. Or for silence.

5. Remain aware of the earth and the nature around you. If we are a link between matter and spirit, we need to remain aware of both. The great religious leaders are all reported to have spent time in the wilderness, and most returned from there with their greatest messages.

6. Balance yourself within context. Awareness of something is not the same as attachment to it. Without attachment, remain aware of the contexts in which you exist. Contexts such as geographical, historical, social, cultural, familial. They are all there, they all have their effect on you. To be truly yourself, remain gently aware of the influences that tug or push at you, even while you choose your own way.

7. Maintain perspective and balance in the face of paradox. Certainty is a tether that will hold you down and connect you to fear, for there are few certainties in this life. There are many contradictions. Already you may have perceived contradictory steps within this list. Yet both are true. Accept that you cannot know everything, and that uncertainty is one of the few certainties. Become comfortable with it.

8. Converse with your Higher Power, by whatever Name. This does not just mean prayer. It means maintaining an awareness of what's going on around you and carrying on a mental conversation about it with your Higher Power just as you would with a physical companion, a passenger in your car. Add an occasional thank you when things go right, whether it is something as small as a traffic light turning green at just the right moment, or as huge as a beautiful sunset or a wish come true.

9. Do not ignore *special messages and postcards.* Postcards from God is a descriptive name for the unexpected events or scenes, usually found in nature, that have a profound message that is exactly appropriate to the time and your mood, often one of crisis. Notice, remember, and treasure them.

10. Look for and focus on the good, without judgment. The spiritual path is not a competitive event. No one on it is better, or further ahead than another. We are all where we are meant to be, learning lessons that need to be learned. Choose to focus on the positive, but withhold judgment on all else, for what appears negative to you, and therefore to be avoided, may be just what another needs to learn something important. Maybe even a lesson you have not yet learned.

About the Submitter: Submitted by Diana Robinson, Ph.D., who can be reached at, or visited on the web at ChoiceCoach.Com Copyright 1998, Coach U, all rights reserved.

Find Books Barnes and