To be inspired means to be in or dwell in your spirit. It is our natural state. Find out how you can learn to “live in the spirit” instead of from the Ego. If you can do this, it will change your life.
Discovering Your Shadow Self
Your shadow self is that part of your psyche, the unconscious or subconscious part of consciousness beyond the Ego’s confines. It’s where the Observer of our awareness lives. The spiritual self or shadow self is the person you have a conversation with inside your head.
Modern psychology often uses this term to describe the undesirable aspects of your psyche but not always. Psychologists like Carl Jung and Sigmond Freud described the eventual encounter with the “self” aspect differently.
Freud thought this aspect of awareness includes all unconscious thought. Jung’s definition includes everything outside of conscious thought. These ideas lead us to what the ancient sages call the spirit or shadow self.
The interpretation given by many Eastern sages is more balanced. Every object that stands in the sunshine creates a shadow. The shadow moves with the sunlight. So, an Eastern interpretation of the shadow self is comprised of the mark we leave on the lives and places we live. The shadow is our impact on the lives of others; it can be either positive or negative.
“Just as a candle spreads light in a darkened room, people who are living in the Spirit give off a higher energy that can bring light to our hearts and minds.” ― Dr. Wayne W. Dyer
“The Ego is only an illusion, but a very influential one. Letting the ego illusion become your identity can prevent you from knowing your true self. Ego, the false idea of believing that you are what you have or what you do, is a backward way of assessing and living life.” — Dr. Wayne Dyer
Distinguishing Religion from Spirituality
It’s important to understand that practicing religion doesn’t make you spiritual. Dogma, mythology, and superstition get in the way of living an authentic life. We’ll talk more about this later. It is living from the gifts of our spirit that helps us create an authentic spiritual life.
If you want to find your true spiritual path, you’ll need to your original state of innocence. Living an inspired, authentic life is true spirituality. We’ll talk about what gets in the way in a moment.
“When you’re inspired, you attract abundance.” — Wayne Dyer
The desire to live an inspired life is a noble aim. It does not mean sacrificing your freedom to become a religious acolyte. Nor does it mean focusing your effort on being a successful business person or climbing the corporate ladder. It means living a life that provides an example of one in touch with their spiritual center.
Walking Finding your spiritual path will help you in discovering your shadow self. It’s the part of our psyche that holds the secrets of our gifts and talents. Once you can access these tools, you will return to your natural state and begin living with inspiration.
The key here is focusing on tools that will help you explore your consciousness. Religion doesn’t do that. It provides the counterfeit of mythology and superstition to keep you a paying customer. Don’t fall for this classic bait and switch tactic. Find teachers who provide techniques and develop your own unique spiritual walk.
“All of us are different. That’s what makes us interesting and special. I don’t want to be anything like another person. I want to be totally myself and go against the grain, forge my own path. I’ve learned that being different is what makes you stand out. It makes everything so much more intriguing.” — Alicia Keys
An inspiring life is not a copy of someone else’s. It’s a unique journey that traverses new terrain and finds new landscapes. We live in the sunshine and shade, light and shadow, explore it all.
“My key to living an inspired life involves Embracing my history, Understanding the function of expectations and gently learning to have none, Recognizing the power of attentive and conscious choices. In all circumstances, I acknowledge this, in all things and all ways, I have a choice. My choice resides in my perspective. While I certainly do not control climate and markets and roadways and others, I do control myself and my response to all those circumstances. I do indeed.” — Mary Anne Radmacher
Living in the Spirit — Living an Inspired Life
Observe children playing; they are happy and content living in the moment using their imagination. They create an imaginary world and dwell in the innocence of the spirit. You can see their joy as they play. Their faces shine with vibrations of happiness and inspiration, which is our original state. It’s the state of our minds before we were subjected to the indoctrination of cultural programming.
“The internal dialogue is what grounds people in the daily world. The world is such and such or so and so, only because we talk to ourselves about its being such and such and so and so. The passageway into the world of shamans opens up after the warrior has learned to shut off his internal dialogue.” — Carlos Castaneda
Living an inspired life opens the door to the virtues of the spirit. The “virtues of the spirit” are not goals; they are the higher values possible for each of the nine basic personality types. Each personality type has its path and its own set of challenges.
“The fragrance of the heart is made up of the qualities and virtues of our spirit. Most of us have learned how to keep our hearts closed in a world that would trample all over us if we let it. Being open hearted today seems to require tremendous courage.” — Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, Osho
Presence is one common element that will help us move toward integration. Being present enables the real you to show up. We accomplish all of our inner cognitive work when we are present. Inner work helps us remove the programming to reveal the “virtues of the spirit.” What are these virtues? These are gifts of our ancestors locked in our DNA.
“Intuitive or inspired living means not just passively hearing the voice, but acting on it.” — Stephen Nachmanovitch
“The greatest wisdom is in simplicity. Love, respect, tolerance, sharing, gratitude, forgiveness. It’s not complex or elaborate. The real knowledge is free. It’s encoded in your DNA. All you need is within you. Great teachers have said that from the beginning. Find your heart, and you will find your way.” — Carlos Barrios
“Living in the spirit” is made possible when we connect with these virtues and allow them to shine. These virtues are the key to our original state.
What Gets in the Way
Our modern culture is a big part of the problem. The dominant culture wants us to forget our original state of innocence because it cannot profit from things they don’t understand and can’t control. How can it sell us anything if we are already happy and content? So, a lot of time and effort goes into advertising and social programming. All this programming makes living an inspired life impossible.
Our modern culture replaces this sacred inner space with commercialism and religion. But these are counterfeits. However, dogma is an inadequate substitute for the genuine experience of “living in the spirit.”
Our Ego often gets in the way of us living in the spirit. But, the Ego is not our enemy. It is a necessary tool for connecting our consciousness to our bodies. However, our culture misuses our Ego to control and sell us things. When we fixate on issues related to our Ego, we are easy to manipulate. We are more susceptible to self-hypnosis and group hypnosis manipulation tactics of organized religion and news media.
Regaining our Inspiration
We need to relearn how to indwell our spirit. Discovering our shadow self is key to this journey. We have different personalities and instincts, so the path is different for everyone. However, we can use the same tools to find the way. Several spiritual technologies can facilitate this process. We divide these tools into four major categories:
To become inspired, you must ignite the imagination and the love of play. How do you do this? Think back to when you played as a child. Start with the situation that made you happy and content as a child. Learning mindfulness meditation techniques will help you become present and aware. Perhaps spiritual exploration is where this venture will lead you?
Living an inspired life leads us to and allows us to live the higher virtues of our spirit. Removing the roadblocks to these virtues will enable us to move beyond the confines of Ego and the cultural narrative.
“Living in the Spirit changes your attitude, thinking, and ultimately your actions.” — Elizabeth George