Article first appeared in Prediction Magazine, April 06, page 52.
Flex Your Spiritual Muscles
Spiritual development is much talked about today, yet few really realise its true meaning. I sometimes hear my clients say “I am more spiritual than so and so,” or “I want to be really spiritual, so I am going to spend time in an Ashram with a guru”. From experience, I can tell you that it is actually very simple! It is about awareness, about opening up to ever changing views and realities of the world we live in. Being flexible is the first attribute (or requirement) of spiritual development, for if we believe that our view of life is complete then there is nothing to develop at all.
In the past, being afraid (or lazy) to venture into the kitchen and discover my own creative culinary skills, I spent most of dinner time with my close relations in London where most of the conversations revolved around food: what are we going to eat tomorrow, what shall we make for the Eid, was this meal as good as the last time we had it.. etc. This is probably typical of any Eastern, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean or Oriental family. The menu was restricted to few rich and scrumptious dishes, which were rotated over a period of time- but I can honestly add were not terribly healthy! Over a recent gathering and during another food conversation, I suddenly realised how far my attitude and taste about food have changed. Now, most evenings I am at home cooking and preparing my own dinner; venturing into new flavours, international cuisines and organic and healthy alternatives. Particularly fish- something I loathed when I was very young and swore would never eat.
Strolling around Fish markets, was something my father enjoyed when we were growing up, where my sister and I insisted on staying in the car loathing the smell of the fish. During a recent a recent short break in Venice, however, I found myself marvelling at what was on offer in the local fish market, and taking photographs of all the various ‘fruits of the sea’ noting colours and shapes.
This change in attitude mostly came about due to conscious effort on my behalf to be flexible and open to what life has to offer and trying not to judge any new change. My preference in other aspects like music, books, movies and art have also changed as I learnt to accept change and welcome it for offering a different perspective to what I used to before. More often than not, I hear myself saying “this is what I feel or believe, at this moment in time”.
Let’s Get Flexible
Perspective changes with new experiences. Here are few pointers:
Visit a familiar or favourite place, and try to spot three things you never noticed before. Listen to your favourite music, and see if you can feel what the music is about; and write down what you get. Try new food or dish that you would not have considered doing so in the past. Try to name or remember three things that your feelings have changed about; between you in the past when were a child, and how you feel about them now. Choose to watch a programme you do not usually do, or a book in a field that you normally do not.
Note that quoteAs we grow up, we need to shed old beliefs and perspectives taking our awareness to the next level. A favourite quote of mine is by St. John: “when I was a child, I spoke as a child; I understood as a child, I thought as a child- but when I became a man, I put away childish things”
Â© Sahar Huneidi
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