The importance of balancing spiritual and material in manifestation practice – Part 1

There are many spiritual teachers who would argue that abundance is our birthright and desire is the positive driving force behind much of our growth and development. There is a HUGE trend in spiritual teachers running workshops and courses on manifestation and abundance. In fact, my upcoming vision board workshop technically falls into this category. For details, click here. However, in my own experience, although true that we can create whatever we desire, I’ve also found that may not be the best thing for the growth of our soul and/or, it may come with unwanted and/or difficult lessons and attachments if we aren’t careful.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t believe that we must all be living in caves or hobbit houses to be happy or that we should deny ourselves luxuries however, I think it’s important to consider what it is we are wanting, why we are wanting it and the impact that wanting has on our lives. This series of blog posts is designed to prompt you to analyse deeper, your wants, needs and desires. They will assist you in the process of manifesting your ideal life in a way that accounts for all aspects of your being focusing on what makes you happy.

When we start to break down the components of our day and the impact our desires can have on our relationships (both with ourselves and others), it’s possible to see their detrimental effects both on living beings and the environment. It seems that the more concerned we become with the material, the less attention we are able to pay to the spiritual and this applies not just to the wider world but also our own bodies. Yogic and other spiritual traditions teach the importance of equanimity over responding to aversion and desire to transcend the senses so we can experience that, which exists beyond it – our spiritual nature. That means noticing your salivation in response to the advert for Haagen Daaz ice cream (and the hot dude holding it) and resisting the urge to nip to the shop for a tub of it – yes, sex sells.

In real terms, if we are spending an hour to an hour and a half getting ourselves ready to work in the morning – choosing an outfit from the ever exploding wardrobe, going through an ever extending beauty and skincare regimen, endless hours of online shopping – a basic necessity to be able to meet the demands of the children to own all the latest gadgets – how much time do you have left to actually play with them? Are you bingeing on yoga because you’ve noticed it makes your body look and feel amazing and enables you to pat yourself on the back for being so spiritual enabling you to feel much superior to your other friends who prefer the gym or horse-riding? Do you really believe you haven’t got time to bake a cake for your best friend’s birthday? Have you been cutting bedtime stories short because you got home late? Or maybe you’ve avoided talking to one of your friends even though he’s going through a massive crisis because you are too tired and stressed out with everything that’s going on in your own life? Events to organise; solicitor’s papers to deal with; the list goes on…

Additionally, the society we live in emphasises the physical over the spiritual. From getting that degree certificate to having a good-looking partner or a great paying job, the pressure starts before we even get to school. This pressure to succeed is further enhanced by facebook as we are bombarded daily by images of friends and acquaintances living their ‘perfect’ lives. Even the need to be living a healthy, ethical existence can become an added pressure as we increase our expenditure on health supplements such as wheatgrass and chia seeds and worry endlessly about the origins and processing of our food. We’re coming to believe that a juice a day will help you live longer better even though there are plenty of examples of people in their 90s and over who are still perfectly active, fit and healthy even though they wouldn’t know the difference between a green juice and pond water.

There’s the ego again!

If we’re not careful, our egos get carried away with what being spiritual means and before you know it, we’re lecturing others on how to be spiritual; the irony being that this ego driven behaviour in itself is far from spiritual. Do you find yourself wondering for example, how someone can teach yoga if they aren’t vegan and yet, if you dug into your own life and really inquired into the belief, “if they aren’t doing x they can’t be spiritual” you might well understand that actually, holding that belief in itself is not spiritual because it is a judgement which keeps you separate from ‘them’ and enables you to feel a sense of superiority somehow. This holds true for nearly every judgement we make and dissecting and extinguishing these judgements is the quickest way we can bring ourselves into a place of peace – as once gone, we see no reason not to extend love and acceptance to all seeing reflections of ourselves in everything and everyone. Read Part 2 in the series here