Published in Elan Woman Magazine, May 2011 Issue By Candice Christiansen
My journey towards spiritual enlightenment has been quite an adventure. As a seeker, I have always been drawn to experiencing a deeply profound connection to my spirit, that part of me that mirrors God.
In my early 20s, I spent a majority of my free time exploring various types of Eastern philosophy and Indigenous Cultures as a means of connecting to God. I read numerous books by spiritual gurus, including Wayne Dyer, Eckhart Tolle, and Deepak Chopra; I attended various healing workshops and Native American ceremonies, walked labryinths in silent prayer, and practiced meditation and yoga.
The missing component during that time in my life, however, was spiritual and emotional maturity, the surrendering of my ego, and a committed daily practice. I was a crisis meditator to say the least, only calling on the divine when I felt desperate and out of control (i.e. when I was facing divorce, or struggling with losing my job). By the time I was in my mid-thirties, I had determined that based on the current results in my life, my approach to spiritual enlightenment was not working for me. I may have been a seeker, but I was looking in all the wrong places.
Then, in the fall of 2010, my life took an amazing turn. After a very stressful year professionally, I decided to take a break and get rejuvenated. I attended a Deepak Chopra event called Synchrodestiny: a 5-day spiritual retreat at the Chopra Center in Carlsbad, California.
Synchrodestiny significantly altered the course of my life. I had the honor of sitting with 100 other guests in an intimate setting with Deepak Chopra, listening to him share his humble wisdom about connecting to one’s spirit, the divine, and experiencing one’s pure potential on this earth by doing a special meditation.
During our five 30-minute daily meditations, I started to notice a pattern: I was being guided on a spiritual journey every time I closed my eyes and sat in silence. For the first time in my life, I felt at home with myself; I was no longer seeking my spiritual connection from the outside. I finally felt the profound internal connection to my spirit that I had always desired.
Upon returning home from California, I took Deepak’s challenge to meditate for 21 days. By 42 days of meditation, I saw my whole world shifting in the most incredible ways. In February of 2011, I returned to another event at the Chopra Center. This time I was invited with several other guests from Deepak’s Sages and Scientists Symposium to attend a private dinner party at his home with his family!
Today I inspire others by sharing the tools I have learned about finding inner peace and sustaining a divine connection. I offer my clients tools for finding their own daily spiritual practice through meditation, breath-work, present-moment exercises and guided imagery and yoga.
Having a spiritual connection is possible with patience, and consistent practice. Here are some simple tips:
1. Daily Meditation. Start with 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes in the evening (the intention is to practice a 30 minute total meditation twice daily). Meditation is about embracing any thoughts that arise and returning to a quiet state. An effective tool for quieting the mind is to silently repeat the universal sound “OM.”
2. Journaling: Writing our wishes, hopes, dreams, and desires allows our hearts and spirit to go wild with expression. Let your inner child speak!
3. Yoga Practice: Find a gentle practice to allow your body to release the beliefs that have become trapped in your body by gentle yoga movement 2 or more times per week with regular exercise. Our mind and body are truly connected.
4. Walking in Nature: Nature is alive and a part of the Divine. We can find answers by connecting daily to the earth’s elements.
5. Silence: We live in a world where noise has become the norm. Creating silence allows us to find our own answers. A powerful way to connect to the Divine.