Yoga. Visualization. Meditation. Self-help books. Master-mind groups. Energy healing.
Affirmations. Vision quests. Prayer. Inspirational quotes. Spiritual retreats. Journaling. World travel.
These are rituals, activities, and practices that can move us along on our journey of self-discovery and personal development.
But sometimes we get so caught up in the quest itself that we fail to notice we’ve already arrived.
Below are five principles to live by – and films to watch – as you strive to make positive changes and create your deepest wishes:
1. The answers are out there, and the answers are within you.
Spiritual teachers, professional mentors, life coaches and subject matter experts have much to offer, especially when you’re stuck in a rut.
But once you put them on a pedestal and assume they always know more than you do, you begin to tune out your inner wisdom and accept whatever they say at face value.
In your search for self-realization and spiritual awakening, remember that the best guru – for you – is you.
Watch Kumaré: The True Story of a False Prophet
2. You have the power to fix yourself, and you don’t need to be fixed.
Just when you thought you had it all figured out, you hit a bump in the road. Just when you thought you had settled for a mundane routine, you get hit with a sweet surprise.
Life is full of twists and turns. Some you will welcome and some you will dislike.
In your effort to maneuver through transitions, know that there’s nothing wrong with you as you harness your power to grow and transform.
Watch Touchy Feely
3. You can’t find your voice without solitude, and you need others to hear it.
Discovering your place in society often requires you to step out of it. Whether it involves walking in the woods, sitting by the ocean, or disconnecting from the Internet, solitude can help you tap into your deepest thoughts, find space to create, and reflect on your truest desires.
While it’s important to follow your individual path on your terms, you can rarely get through it without social interaction and human connections.
In your quest to find your own voice, understand that solitude is not the same as isolation. Spend time alone to see more clearly. Spend time with others to test what you see.
Watch Into the Wild
4. Be yourself from the get-go, and it’s never too late to reinvent yourself.
Knowing who you are, defining your values, and living authentically are essential to your personal freedom and fulfillment. Celebrate your individuality, capitalize on your strengths, and open up to your vulnerabilities.
But give yourself space to grow, transform, evolve and begin again. Let go of restrictive beliefs; shed outdated ideas; embrace different values; and set new priorities. If old notions about who you are keeps you small and dull, reinvent yourself to create a bigger and brighter life.
In learning to be yourself, acknowledge that some parts are worth preserving and some parts are ripe for change. Your past is not your present. Your present is not your future. Peel off the layers to gain access to your core self.
5. The key to a meaningful life is asking big, philosophical questions, and responding to small, ordinary ones.
Contemplate the meaning of life. Seek your life purpose. Ask, why am I here?
If you don’t stop to reflect on your personal mission, you’ll tend to just go along with the masses. You’ll buy stuff you don’t want. You’ll clutter up your space with crap you don’t use. You’ll engage in activities that you don’t enjoy. All in the name of fitting in.
At a certain point, though, you must put the questions aside, end the existential discussions, and participate in the world. Finding your life purpose matters — and it doesn’t. You simply choose deliberately, do what brings you true joy, and learn from the results of your day-to-day actions.
Watch Waking Life
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Photo by: Julian Jenson