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Where to Go When You've Stumbled Into Spirituality

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For some of us the path to spiritual awakening, exploration and growth involves ashrams, India, relinquishing material goods, quitting jobs, leaving family, selling houses, jungle treks, Ayahuasca, hallucinations, mystical experiences, and some pretty radical lifestyle transformations before - if ever - returning to the secular world. Drastic? Usually. Exotic? Most certainly. Possible for most of us?

Forget about it.

For the rest of us, the path to spiritual awakening, exploration and growth is just pretty uneventful.

The Accidental Seeker is for the regular people, leading unglamorous average lives, whose hearts and souls hunger to experience more. When that hunger arises, whether we know it or not that elusive part of our selves that is core to every being living the human experience is waking up.

We are, after all, multi-dimensional beings: physical, mental, emotional, and yes, spiritual. Yet until quite recently in our collective history, we've focused more on the first three than the last. Heck, it took us about 50,000 (or much longer according to some) years to conquer just the physical world, and several centuries thereafter to reach the various ages of creative and intellectual expansion, like the Renaissance, the Age of Enlightenment, the Industrial Age, Information Age and so on.

Emotionally we're even younger, still deciphering how our own wiring and programming works and how to master it (which is why I adore Malcolm Gladwell's books) lest it continue to master us. When it comes to spirituality, for the most part we've relegated it to a box called "religion" and there it stays (and for the majority, still does).

Now a growing minority of us find ourselves wanting to experience the intangible, and organized religion isn't fitting the bill. We want answers to big questions that man-made theology doesn't provide. We seek a direct - not translated - experience of the divine within ourselves; within our own lives. We seek the ultimate experience of our true essence. When our hearts and souls cry out for this, even though we may not be consciously looking for it or even passively thinking about it, something sparks.

So we become Accidental Seekers. At least that's what I call it, because that's what happened to me.

When you stumble into spirituality you don't go looking for Spirit (God/Universe/pick your term), Spirit finds you. It happens when you least expect it. It comes in forms you couldn't possibly imagine and wouldn't likely choose. Like the classic Buddhist proverb says, "When the student is ready, the teacher will appear". The teacher - or the catalyst which leads you to a teacher - can be damn near anything or anyone (including - as in my own very embarrassing case - a sexy yoga instructor an entire generation younger than I). No wonder we trip all over ourselves!

So if you've wandered or are stumbling into spirituality - into waking up to a new aspect of yourself -- it's okay. It'll throw you off guard, maybe even throw you for a loop, and certainly throw you out of your comfort zone (but that's the point!). At first we don't know this, we resist it, or both. Here's a tip: keep walking even if your steps are uncertain and your direction unknown. The route will get easier and it will get harder, but the good news is along with way you'll become comfortable with the twisting and turning of the path (more on that here). In the end, I guarantee you the journey is worth it.

Plus, you're not alone. You stumbled over here, didn't you?