Have I Failed You?
You guys, I have a confession. Sometimes I feel so darn ineffective. For every client or student I help build the life they've been dreaming of, it feels like hundreds pass me by without a second glance. They may take a class from me or read an article I've written. They may even say they follow my teaching. But there's one single thing I look at to determine how effective I've been as a guide in their life. Seriously, one thing. Do they have a daily committed spiritual practice. Because if they don't, if they are still making excuses as to why they don't have the time, I have failed them.
If someone comes to me, they are seeking a better way of living. And they're probably pretty desperate to change, because they're willing to spend a reasonable amount of money and time to feel better. And here's the deal, folks -- I have a 100% guaranteed method for improving every aspect of your life. I call it the Lazy Man's Option. It is absolutely guaranteed to make you feel better, no matter what. It always works. It always shifts your perspective. It always connects you to the Divine. It always brings serious change to your life. Anyone can do it. It only takes 15-20 minutes a day. It is, quite simply, the fastest, easiest way to improve both your immediate mood and overall life. Why on Earth would we start anywhere else?! And yet, we do. There is a lingering tendency when life isn't working to try everything else first: changing relationships, getting angry, quitting jobs, buying things, eating things, drinking things. We tend to only go to spiritual practice when we are sure that nothing external will help, because we've tried it all to no avail.
The best thing we can do to live a life of substance, harmony and joy is to build that daily committed spiritual practice. Once life shifts and the going is good, KEEP PRACTICING! Douglas Coupland said it best. "If you don't have a spiritual practice in place when times are good, you can't expect to suddenly develop one in a moment of crisis." We practice so that we can handle the bumps in the road with ease, trusting that the Divine is in it all and that we truly are fine right where we are. We practice so that we have the clarity to hear the guidance of Spirit and to make the minor adjustments that will set us straight. We practice so that we never hit those depths of desperation ever again. And if we quit practicing when the going is good, then that practice and all the ensuing benefits aren't there to support us when the crazy moments come.
So please, help a lowly spiritual mentor feel good about her work. If you hear one thing I say in your entire life, if one thought gets through, let it be this: daily committed spiritual practice is the answer to all of your problems. It is the only answer you will ever need, because all of the answers flow from there. There's no substitute. There's no option. Let that sink in and start practicing affirmative prayer and meditation every single day. That's how I'll know I have not failed you.