There usually comes a time in your life when you look outside of yourself for guidance that will help you navigate the world. Questions like, "Who am I? Where did I come from? Where am I going? What is my place in this world?" often start to surface when you are in your 30s and 40s, after you've settled out of your more carefree 20s. To find that guidance, you may devour books on topics that interest you, or befriend somebody you feel is older and wiser than yourself. You may take a pilgrimage to a country you feel fits with the type of consciousness you want to achieve, or attend retreats and seminars and join local groups that are focused on your interests. All of these actions are wonderful ways to help you find what you are seeking.
It is wise, however, to remember that only you
have the answers and only you
can make the best decisions for yourself. All the answers you seek are within you already; trips and retreats are simply actions taken to help you remember. I've always said you do not have to go to India or some faraway land to find who you are. Everyone has a different path and a different way of getting to the same place. You need to take the path that feels right to you. In other words, don't do what the other woman is doing—her path is best for her.
Finding yourself is what the journey of life is about. Few people know at and early age who they are and how they want to be in the world. Your life process and the choices you make along your journey help you experience things about yourself that can lead to your next move in this journey of self-discovery. At this stage in our evolution, humanity tends to want things now—and if there is a pill for it, well, all the better. Some things cannot be rushed—and your spiritual evolution is one of those things. Each experience is a building block...one step leads to another. Can you stop and appreciate where you are right now?
The process of seeking knowledge and wisdom can send you on quite a journey. You may start by wanting to know more about who you are, perhaps by finding out where you came from. Wanting to know your family history or the origins of your family can help paint a picture for you in which you see yourself. The age-old question of nature versus nurture is a hunger in all of us, and having the knowledge that you may have the same interests as your great-grandparents can be very grounding and nurturing. Once you feel like you have roots, it can be easier to explore concepts and new realities that you might not have been interested in before.
Another part of the process of seeking knowledge and wisdom may lead you to find a guru. If you have been curious about a church, you might want to attend, or—if you already go to church—visit a different one that has always intrigued you. Weekend seminars and retreats can be useful, as can reading books on spirituality and perhaps exploring alternative healing methods.
These are all wonderful things to do as long as you check in with your center first before you start working with somebody directly. Ask yourself: Does this feel right to me? How does this person make me feel? Do I trust this person? What do other people say about their experience with this person? More important, do you feel in control in the environment? Do you feel safe? Are you being asked to do things that don't feel right to you...or to give a lot of money? Remember that you don't need to spend a lot of money to embark on a spiritual journey. Books can be found at the library, and many cities have authors and lecturers that speak on a donation basis. At DailyOM, we have many online courses that are available for very little money. Journaling and meditating are free and can be done in your home or on a bus. Your local park can act as a vacation spot, and your imagination can take you anywhere.
When you find yourself hungry for a deeper meaning in life, don't ignore the call. Start small, start slow and see where your path takes you.Get this week's homework assignment