By Stephanie Van De Ven
How many times have we tried searching outside of ourselves for happiness, love, and acceptance? We choose to spend countless hours at the mall, or countless hours trying to find the perfect new outfit, piece of jewelry, or whatever our guilty pleasure is– and it’s a fantastic thrill for a few days, until it wears off… then what?
We continue on this energetic roundabout, wondering why this isn’t helping, and question how come we just don’t feel better? It’s because we are choosing not to search within ourselves to tap into our inner guidance and spirit.
Have you figured out what you’re replacing spirit with?
For me? I was shopping all the time, spending my dollars where I shouldn’t – and convincing myself that if I purchased the latest crystal, rock, gemstone, spiritual mala bead, necklace, yoga pants, or positive affirmation accessory, that I would somehow be more spiritual! I honest-to-goodness convinced myself of that. What was I thinking!?
I wasn’t even happy!
It was a classic case of sensory searching and spiritual deprivation… that is – trying to find happiness with (other) things, instead of within yourself, within your spirit.
What worked for me?
- Donate-feel-great. I donated the bulk of my clothes in my closet, and shoes (which was VERY hard to do), to a local charitable organization that resonated with me. I thought I would be devastated. I wasn’t – in fact it was the opposite. I was elated. I felt peace. I was providing families who had nothing coming to Canada, with clothing to wear. I didn’t know them, yet I felt connected to them all.
- Write-it-out. I consciously chose to write down as many reasons as possible why I was shopping so much. What was it about the experience, the pleasure, the aftermath, that seduced me so much? My list was pathetic. It was materialistic. I didn’t like reading it back. I was embarrassed. It helped! It was cathartic! Then I provided a solutions list for myself.
- Sol-YOU-tions. I made a secondary list; (I love lists) and on this particular list, I gave myself solutions to the crummy feelings I had on my “reasons list” above. For example: Reason: Shopping allowed me to kill time when I felt lonely.
Solution: Meditation and doing yoga with a friend, OR alone, actually helped bring me peace and fulfillment.
Result: Connecting with spirit. Finding myself. Learning more about myself. Feeling great.
The more I committed to doing yoga and meditation, and listening to myself, instead of the dogmatic views and opinions of others – the happier I became. Now let me be clear here – it didn’t just take three steps to becoming happier and peaceful. It took a lifetime of learning, being open, and trusting that all is how it should be. BUT – the steps I took were exactly that; steps, in the right direction, for self-reflection and self-care.
I want to commend you on reading this, and if you’re nodding in agreement, it means you are ready to really search out what your soul needs, and make a shift. Sometimes it just takes a little pivot to change your view, and sometimes that’s all you need.
Here are some things to consider when you decide to shift (if you haven’t already):
- Be patient with yourself. This is a process. An architect doesn’t design in one day. Your journey can’t be complete in one day either.
- Understand YOU. What makes you sad, what makes you happy? Align with what makes you happy, which also doesn’t mean stomping on people or things that don’t. It means putting yourself in situations where you FEEL happy; regardless of the situation.
- Toxicity. Are there toxic people or energy suckers in your life? The more you grow vibrationally, the more positive vibrations you will attract. The energy suckers will suck somewhere else!
- Fulfill your dreams and desires. Do you love art or music? Do you love sports? Love it. Do it. If it’s your passion, enjoy it. If it’s something you want to make a career out of, try it!
- Don’t live a life of “what-if’s!” Living in fear is no fun. Instead, live in joy. Be brave. Leap! You can do it!
- Beckon the cheerleaders in your life. Let them know what you are doing! The more people you have on your side who genuinely care for you – the easier it will be to accomplish goals, shifting, and more!
- Join groups on Meetup.com, Facebook support groups, or other online sites. Be connected. Go meet people who have the same vibrations as you! Energetically align yourself with your tribe. Who is your tribe? Find out, and stick with them.
You know, sometimes reading articles about “what you should do” can be great. You learn something, and you retain some new and useful information to apply in your life. But—do you read articles and blogs, close the magazine or laptop, and take no action? I admit it. I do. I love reading, I love being inspired. Then what? How do I actually take the next step?
Here’s where you have some self-reflecting to do. I would like to encourage you to write down your action plan on how you are going to start going within. What action items are you going to take to replace sensory searching with spiritual shifting? Create five (5) action items. Give yourself a due date. Tell a friend you’re doing it. Make yourself accountable. Write down how you feel. Explore your soul.
It will be the best shift you’ve ever had!
Stephanie Van De Ven is a spiritual single mom, and lifetime lover of writing since she was little. Her passion is writing, and her mentors include the late Dr. Wayne Dyer, as well as her favorite uncle in Amsterdam, who introduced her to the world of spirit very early in her life. She’s intuitive, meditates as often as possible, and loves yoga. Find her online at: thebirdybooks.com. Her favorite quote: “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” The late Dr. Wayne Dyer