How to Be a Spiritual Alchemist in a Modern World
Even if you don’t consider yourself an alchemist, spiritual and personal growth are some of the best vehicles to add magic to your life. The trick is to focus on your inner life at least part of every day.
Our modern world affords us lots of benefits; easy access to information, basic needs, health care, travel, and the ability to easily contact and communicate with people from all over the world. One would think that all our modern conveniences would free up more time to focus on our alchemical practice and make spiritual growth easier than it was in previous centuries.
Unfortunately, all of the new technologies that make our daily lives less arduous has brought along with them a new problem: lots of distractions. In the past, people were distracted by the physical labor necessary to complete daily chores; now we are distracted by all the things competing for our attentions: hundreds of TV channels, the internet with all of its social media sites, stores with so many choices, and houses filled with possessions.
How do we live in this crazy over-filled modern world and yet have a thriving alchemical practice? While my spiritual practice could always stand improvement, I have developed a few strategies that help me to spend more time focused inward, giving my meditation and spiritual study the time it deserves.
Here are some of the strategies that work for me:
1. Start and end your day by going into your inner laboratory. When we start our day with news, music, TV, or other electronic diversions, we focus on the drama of society, and our days are guided by what the outer world finds important which is usually not a good thing. Hearing about murders, political drudge, and other disturbing or unimportant news doesn’t set us up for a good day or night. Plus, taking the time to meditate at least at the start and end of our day, gets us in the habit of seeking within and connecting with the vibrations of the alchemists of the past. We can benefit from the work they have already completed if we take the time to tap into their findings through meditation and study.
2. Get rid of clutter. Too much stuff everywhere draws on our attention. All of our possessions tie us to them. Invisible cords of energy link us to all the items we possess. Not that we can’t own items, but we shouldn’t keep around anything that we don’t love and use. Also, we need to let go of our attachments to our possessions and not let them possess us. Having a simple, clutter free home leads to having less clutter in our minds. We can focus better on our practice when we’re not constantly trying to clean and organize possessions that don’t mean that much to us.
3. Create boundaries in your social life. Spend your time around people who respect you and who have similar goals in life. Only go to events that you desire to attend. Don’t spend your time on activities that you don’t love. Limit time with people who tempt you to lower your vibrations with negative behaviors. Some people and activities aren’t good for your vibration.
4. Limit your time surfing the internet or watching TV. There are so many ways that we can waste time and set our mind off on paths that do not serve us and our spiritual growth. We need to be judicious of how we spend our time and what we feed our brain. If we want to transform, we need to limit “junk viewing.” We benefit from focusing on watching and reading material that pertains more to spiritual or intellectual growth. Watch shows that bring you joy, too! I love watching the Big Bang, but I don’t sit down and watch four hours of TV every night to numb out. I watch a little bit for enjoyment and then I move on to another activity.
5. Spend time alone. In quiet times alone, we learn more about who we are and what level of transformation we have reached. We have the time to let our emotions and feelings surface and fully feel them so that we can continue to grow and transform. If we always have to be around other people or have noise around us, we don’t spend as much time as needed with ourselves and within our inner laboratory as necessary for growth.
If we are judicious in how we spend our time and fill our living space, modern conveniences can support rather than hinder our growth as a spiritual alchemist. Balance is the key. Most of us don’t desire the life of a hermit or monk, but a little time within can make our outer lives more happy and productive.