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Spiritual Events - Beware of Overconsumption

During this back-to-school period, I am very inclined—and you possibly are as well—to participate in many activities related to overall health and spirituality. There is something for everyone: courses, workshops, conferences on running, yoga, dance expression, creative writing, communication with the soul, energy healing… in short, the offering is immense, and it is easier to get lost rather than being able to find yourself. I am not against these events; on the contrary, I organize some of them, and I am convinced that countless people are strongly inspired to change their lives for the better, including myself. What I’m saying is that with an offering as abundant and diverse, it is tempting to believe that by attending many events in a short period of time, you will be magically freed of all your ills and worries. I’m sorry to tell you that this is rarely the case. Spiritual awakening and overall health involve a process that requires time and discipline.

These workshops, courses, and conferences suggest different ways for you to get to know yourself better—and that’s good—but be careful not to get too caught up. Life moves at great speed, and it is vital to take time off. Stop filling all your free time. Learn to live with empty free time, give your nervous system the gift of not doing anything. Some would say “luxury to get bored”; I prefer to say “time to reconnect with the self and life.” People are so used to being overstimulated that they have difficulty sitting still and enjoy doing nothing. Yet, this is an important key to a balanced life.

One Simple Trick to Refocus, Relieve Stress, and Cultivate Inner Peace

Close your smartphone, and sit quietly and alone outside, ideally in nature. Breathe the ambient smells, listen to the birds singing, and carefully watch the trees, colours, lights, and shadows. Feel the temperature of the air on your skin, and feel the wind in your hair. Be in union with what surrounds you, without judgment, in complete harmony. Simply be present with what is in the moment, without waiting for anything in return. Let nature help you empty your thoughts, and gradually bring about inner silence, stillness, and contemplation. Soon enough, you will feel all the benefits: physically, emotionally, spiritually, and mentally.

Before you register for events, make sure that you regularly book free time. If you are occupying this time slot with an activity, it is not free! Once you have taken a lot of empty free time, this will create within you the space you need to better understand what will be shared with you in the events which you will have carefully selected and in life in general.

Have a zen back-to-school!