I woke up to this question from someone today: “Curious what you mean when you say spiritual path?”

It made me realize that the term “Spiritual Path” wasn’t as well-known a topic as I had thought. I’ve spent the last 8 years in New York City – a progressive city that constantly pushes boundaries in every direction. Coming to New York from the suburbs of Philadelphia all those years ago, I would have had the same question. The Spiritual Path isn’t one you choose, it’s one you find yourself on when you start to question the validity of what you thought was true and what is actually true. Spirituality isn’t always about crystals and ashrams, it’s about finding your unique path in this world.

The Spiritual Path is one of a coming to an acknowledgement that we are sentient beings having a human experience and we are all here to help the world expand and grow. When folks wake up to this information they find themselves on a journey of seeking the meaning of life,  life’s purpose, and often too, a search and acknowledgement of their unique gifts and how they choose to share them with the world.

It’s a search of inner peace and coming to one’s truth: the experience is all the emotions – happiness, exhilaration, anger, confusion, rage, loss, deep sadness, fear… a lot of fear.

The fear comes from straying away from the norm. Straying away from what we are taught is “the right thing to do”, straying away from being good girls and boys and coming to an understanding that this world was not built to make us happy or our highest selves. Taking this path takes a lot of courage and bravery with your support system not always understand your choices, while you’re not understanding them yourself. But if you’re on the path, you know very well know, there is no other way.

For me it started with going to a sound meditation that changed my life forever: As the gong roared, I had a moment where I realized I had so many more choices than I ever thought possible. I realized I could do anything I wanted, and there was an invisible barrier that somehow I had looked at single everyday wishing to cross it and everyday said, nope I definitely can’t cross that line today or ever.

But you cannot unsee freedom and that day I told myself I would cross that line and I’ve crossed it now more times that I can count.

We can call that invisible barrier many things: expectations of other people, what I think I’m supposed to be doing, being good, generational trauma, toxic stress, illusion, delusion, stuck/stagnant energy, unsafe, irresponsible, risky, limiting beliefs, the matrix, your paradigm…

No matter what you call it, staying boxed in your cage of limits, will always result in the same thing: confusion, anxiety, depression, playing small, suffocating, repeating the same patterns, frustration, isolation, sadness, fear, disease, addiction, codependency, feeling crazy, obsessive thoughts, feeling like a fake, feeling dead inside, and thinking you are the only person in the world who feels this way…

The most simple way I can explain what these feelings are, is an abandonment of the self…

And the most simple way to remedy to this is to find who you are and live your life honoring that person everyday –

At first, it’s very uncomfortable to be yourself. You have to accept that you weren’t yourself because of invisible barriers and the beliefs of other people. And it’s not always easy to accept that to you were a simple choice away from happiness, that you could have avoided all that suffering if only you had followed your heart.

This road requires compassion and humility at its very least, several tissue boxes, and the acceptance that we – the people who tried to do everything “right,” everything we were supposed to do – actually know nothing at all about really living and enjoying life.

The information we have, is not always the information we need – so the spiritual path becomes a journey to finding one’s truth. To unlearning everything we thought we knew about our place in the world and allowing life it reveal itself step by step.

The longer you’re on the journey, the more you realize these seasons of realizations and cycles of coming to – the gift of honoring of the self –  it’s a lifelong thing…

And the quicker you learn how to shift, unlearn, & remember who you are – the easier this whole life thing becomes.

I have seen so many people struggle alone, reject their truth, afraid of their power, and deny themselves the chance to experience the greatness that they were destined for, and that is just the opposite of what we are here to do and experience.

The real work of someone on the Spiritual Path is to stretch – to step over the boundaries of what they were told was normal or acceptable – into the highest expression of themselves. As you shapeshift and peel back the layers, accepting the path and honoring your true desires, you’ll soon come to an understanding that your truth is actually exactly what you came here to do.

Image Credit: Austin Chan ig: @austin.chan