Balancing the spiritual and material in manifestation practice: Part 2

How spiritual are you?

For the most part, most people who know me, would not consider me to be a materialist in any way shape or form however, in the last year and a half, since I decided to leave the UK and head for Spanish soil, I have had the blessing of receiving a couple of important lessons from the universe (delivered somewhat harshly). What I’ve discovered is that when we shift our focus to the spiritual; connections we make with each other and our animals, we become more connected to ourselves and a state of peacefulness becomes more pervasive as we remove the pressure to achieve. Suddenly, living in the moment becomes far easier but if that moment is uncomfortable, it makes sense that we would attempt to distract ourselves with something physical.

As with everything, I can now see shades of both the materialist and the spiritualist in my make up just as all exists within everything. The more we are able to do this, the more the labels we attach to each other become meaningless. As we recognise aspects of ourselves in others, the boundaries and barriers around us begin to fall and we begin to question the beliefs which hold us separate. You see its easy to attach the label materialist to someone spending lots of money in Topshop or someone who likes wearing designer labels but have you ever noticed how self-important many Whole Foods punters can be? I too was guilty of similar getting my feel good buzz every time I got home with a box from Bristol’s Better Food Company. Spain has managed to force some of this out of me. Our local supermarkets do not stock fair trade – it isn’t in their vocabulary and we don’t have a car right now to be able to travel further.

Additionally, the lack of availability of many of the more luxury food items I consumed in the UK along with a severe lack of funds has pushed me to seek cheaper alternatives so that now, unless it has come directly from our garden (which is currently abundant with herbs and vegetables), it isn’t organic. As a side note, although I detest the supermarkets and the methods by which much of their produce is engineered, I am also aware that there is deception within the organic and ethical food industry. Here in Andalusia for example, it is fairly easy to get a farm certified as organic, even if there are farms surrounding it using pesticides or it has had pesticides on the land within the last five years. Additionally, when olives are taken to the mill, they are mixed with olives from lots of different farms and olive oil is often mixed with other products such as peanut oil to make it taste smoother without this being mentioned on the label. This has led me to adopt an, “I do the best I can with the means I have” attitude.

Finding balance is key

More and more evidence points to the importance of a healthy mind as key to our health, happiness and longevity. Dr Gabor Mate’s research indicates that living in-authentically can actually speed up the progression of chronic and terminal illnesses. He says, “Live authentically. Being nice will kill you!” Other significant factors affecting our health – more so in fact, than how we treat our bodies physically – is the effect we have on them emotionally through our relationships, support networks and cultural belief systems. Dr Mario E. Martinez’s research demonstrates the mind’s ability to wound and heal the body.

“Dr Mario E. Martinez is a clinical neuropsychologist. In 1998 he developed his theory of Biocognitive Science based on research that demonstrates how thoughts and their biological expression coemerge within a cultural history. Academic science continues to divide mind and body, as well as ignore the influence cultural contexts have on the process of health, illness and ageing. For example, cultures that support growing older as a positive development associated with increased wisdom and abilities have higher numbers of centenarians living healthier lives, than cultures that view ageing as a process of inevitable deterioration.

If you’re finding that your blood pressure is going through the roof because you’re struggling through rush hour to get to the health food shop for that carton of almond milk, perhaps it’s time for a review.

After all, the Fulani tribesman live predominantly on dairy as their life is spent as part of a nomadic herd of cattle and they have zero problems with their health and Dr Martinez’ research shows that the stress of dealing with the journey will far outweigh the health benefits of the almond milk!

To summarise, it is important to discern what dreams you are attempting to manifest and the motivations behind those dreams. Some questions to consider…

  • Are you attempting to carve out a new identity for yourself or are you genuinely moving in a new direction? 
  • There is a difference between archetypal abundance and social success. Which one are you trying to manifest?
  • Can you deal with the pressures associated with some of the decisions you make?
  • Do you feel good when you start moving towards the things you are attempting to manifest?
  • Are you being kind to yourself?
  • When you dream, do you focus on feelings you want to create or things? If it tends to be ´things´what happens when you shift your focus to good feelings?

TIP: When I find myself focusing too much on what I don’t have, I go looking for my animals because connecting with them reminds me what I do have. This also helps me with my personal relationships – they remind me of the importance of the tactile bringing us back to the body.