There are definite long term benefits of working on your personal development as well as your spiritual growth. Often times our experiences don’t reflect a sense of progression from A to B to C, meaning it’s not exactly a linear progression. Even though sometimes we might think that nothing is happening, just the same our inner landscape is changing. If we have spent time and effort doing the reading, therapy, personal growth workshops, meditation along with the other endeavors involved in becoming our best self, we will have success. Now success may not look exactly like we thought it would, but if we can step back and notice how our lives have changed we can usually see a positive difference.
As a psychotherapist I’ve heard many times from clients that they thought all of their suffering would quickly disappear if they did all the “right” things. They said that they did their affirmations, went to psychotherapy, read the books, did the12 step programs, practiced EFT, meditated, prayed and still they felt sad or abandoned at times. Sometimes we all forget that when we are in pain it hard to see the larger picture. Remember this is progress not perfection. As we grow, change and mature our definition of suffering changes greatly. We actually feel emotional pain differently. What would have sent us into a tizzy or had us shut down now just needs a deep breath when it happens in order to feel OK.
The body, like the emotions, mind and spirit, experiences positive cumulative effects when we are more integrated. Deep memory of that integration when times are challenging will allow us to bounce back more quickly.
An example of the body remembering those cumulative effects is when I was younger I danced, sang and acted professionally. Because I’m a former dancer, my body responds more quickly getting into shape. I still have to have to discipline to go to the gym but when life gets in the way for awhile and I don’t have time to go to the gym, my body is very good about remembering how to move and my muscles remember what it is to be in shape. This is an example of how being in shape is cumulative over the years. Now as we age, the body may have a harder time finding the past effects in some ways. However, the older I get “getting in shape” emotionally and spiritually actually gets easier. This doesn’t mean we won’t sometimes have difficult feelings but we all gather our wisdom muscles if and when we do our inner work.
If we regularly weave into our lives doing a spiritual practice, continuing to engage our minds along with challenging our belief and emotional systems, living a content and balanced life is possible. Please remember you are worth the time. The culmination of the long term benefit is having more peace, happiness and more contentment.
Dr. Jennifer Howard is a licensed psychotherapist, healer, author, relationship counselor, and professional speaker with more than 20 years of experience in helping people make changes in their lives. She’s created a personal development plan and assists people in personal development and spiritual growth through her lectures, workshops, and her upcoming book, Changes That Last. She has offices in Huntington, Long Island, NY, and New York City, is a leading expert on spirituality and psychology, and is a former faculty of the graduate program of A Society of Souls and has appeared as an expert on numerous national network television shows.
Right now, Dr. Howard is offering a free downloadable MP3 of her recent lecture, "The Intelligence of the Heart" to anyone who subscribes to her free ezine. Along with the free MP3 members of the site can read articles written by Dr. Howard, gain access to the online Virtual Meditation Room with guided and visual meditations, and more. Visit DrJenniferHoward.com