11 Signs You Need A Spiritual Detox & How To Make It Happen, by Rebecca Butler

MGB  |  I recently had a night where I just couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t blame it on the baby, though I was tempted to. I was up. Grinding my jaw. Worrying. Sleep would come mercifully here and there, but it was never deep and truly restful. I know what this means, I thought to myself. It’s time for a spiritual detox.

Just like the body, the soul needs occasional, mindful cleansing. We’re barraged by media of all kinds, and it’s all too easy to consume spiritual junk food.

Are you aware of when you might need a spiritual detox? In other words, are you aware of when you’re feeding your spirit too much junk for the soul to feel good?

Just in case you aren’t following, here are some spiritual junk food items that you can become addicted to:

  • Endless Facebooking
  • Constant patrolling of TMZ’s Twitter feed
  • Compulsive digging into the latest from Perez Hilton
  • Grand Theft Auto 5
  • Binge-watching Netflix

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with these “junk food” items in moderation, but it’s possible to go overboard. The result can be toxic to your soul.

Here are some signs you might need a spiritual detox:

  1. You find yourself scrolling through your newsfeed seeking negativity. Misery loves company.
  2. You open your mouth and spew sarcasm unintentionally. You try to be more mindful when you speak, but you can’t seem to help yourself.
  3. Your friends don’t want to be around you.
  4. Your heart hurts. Or worse, it doesn’t. You are numb.
  5. You find pleasure in other people’s misfortunes. (Again, misery loves company.)
  6. Happy people piss you off. You don’t even want to hear the word “joy.”
  7. You don’t sleep well. You’re having bad dreams and catch yourself grinding your jaw. A lot.
  8. You keep finding yourself in circumstances where you feel like the victim.
  9. You shy away from prayer, meditation, anything inspirational.
  10. You are bored — all the time.
  11. You can’t even remember the last time you took a walk, watched the sunset or sunrise, walked barefoot in the grass, or felt the summer breeze on your face.

Here are a few ways to engage in a spiritual detox. Remember, please do so with compassion. Above all else, be kind to yourself. We are all doing the best we can, and everyone wants to be happy and free from suffering.

1. Surround yourself with people who make you laugh and genuinely make you happy.

Laughter is good for your soul. Seek the company of those who make you feel light and buoyant. Don’t question why you enjoy someone. Just enjoy them.

2. Uplift others.

When you feel downtrodden, it can be helpful to find the things you enjoy about others and to offer that feedback liberally. It’s important to remember that the things we see in others are also reflections of ourselves. Find a way to connect with and uplift someone. Attend a yoga class, read a blog, take a spin class — reach out to your favorite wellness warrior and uplift them. You’ll feel better almost instantly.

3. Try shifting your addiction to kindness.

Kindness is a drug. When you extend, witness or receive an act of kindness, your body releases serotonin, an endorphin. As cliché as it may be, practice a random act of kindness. You’ll feel delicious in doing so.

4. Make time and space to develop a meditation practice.

Meditation soothes the soul. There are incredible sites and courses to lead you through meditations if you don’t already have a meditation practice. Turning inward is a beautiful way to clear away the muck of spiritual junk food. Listening to your internal wisdom is a quick path to shedding that which does not serve you.

5. Get in touch will all of your senses.

Go outside. Enjoy the summer weather. Move, sweat, breathe. This will bring you into a visceral experience of the magic of this life. And it is so worth it.

6. Seek something sacred.

Turn to joy. At our essence, our foundation, we are spiritual beings who share a human experience. Sometimes the heaviness of our human experience can weigh us down. It’s important to remember that you are more than this physical body. You are expansive consciousness incarnate. As such, you can find and experience joy even within difficult circumstances. You mindfully start training yourself to start looking for the gift in the moment. Like anything worth practicing, it can be difficult at first. Over time, it becomes simple and easy.

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Daily Words of the Buddha ~ September 04, 2014

buddha radiant
Evaṃ bho purisa jānāhi:
pāpadhammā asaññatā.
Mā taṃ lobho adhammo ca
ciraṃ dukkhāya randhayuṃ.

Know this, O good one:
evil things are difficult to control.
Let not greed and wickedness
drag you to protracted misery.

Dhammapada 18.248

The Dhammapada: The Buddha’s Path of Wisdom,
translated from the Pali by Acharya Buddharakkhita

Daily Chabad ~ “Soul-Body Bonding,” based on letters and talks of the Rebbe, Rabbi M. M. Schneerson

swirly head

The human mind despises the body that houses it,
but the soul has only love.

The mind would soar to the heavens,
but for a body that chains it to the earth.
The mind would be consumed in divine oneness,
but for the body’s delusion of otherness,
as though it had made itself.

But the soul sees only G‑d.

In that very delusion of otherness,
in that madness of the human ego,
even there, the soul sees only G‑d.

For she says, “This, too, is truth.
This is a reflection of the Essence of all things,
of that which truly has neither beginning nor cause.”

And so she embraces the bonds of the body,
works with the body, transforms the body.
Until the body, too, sees only G‑d.

Basi LeGani 5712

Daily Chabad ~ The Path of the Humble

owl talking

If we were truly humble, we would not be forever searching higher paths on the mountaintops. We would look in the simple places, in the practical things that need to be done.

True, all these places lie in a world of falsehood. With only a little more light, we would all realize that none of this is really necessary.

But the soul that knows its place knows that the great and lofty G‑d can most be found in the simple act of lending a hand or a comforting word in a world of falsehood and delusions.


Elul 3, 5774 · August 29, 2014
Based on letters and talks of The Rebbe,
Rabbi M. M. Schneerson

Reshimat Nefesh Hashefeilah, cited and elucidated in
Likutei Sichot, vol. 16, p. 41ff.

 

Daily Chabad ~ On Soul Repair

lightening in field
How will you fix a soul?

A soul doesn’t need fixing. It needs to be uncovered.

Blind yourself to its muddy crust. Dig deeply and deeper yet, sift through the darkened embers, search for a spark that still shines. Fan that spark until a flame appears, find the mitzvah that will serve as its oil and wick. Until all is consumed in the warmth of that flame.

For empathy is the redeemer of love, and love is the mother of all good deeds.

Hayom Yom, Sivan 1; Tanya, chapter 32
Tammuz 20, 5774 · July 18, 2014
Based on letters and talks of the Rebbe, Rabbi M. M. Schneerson

DAILY CHABAD …

Perfectly Flawed
On INNER ENGRAVINGS

Upon every person’s soul there are words written and words engraved.

The words that are written are not of the essence of the person — they come to the soul from the outside. Therefore, they may fade and fall away, perhaps to be replaced by other words.

The words engraved are of the soul itself — just as engravings are no more than the form of the stone. When the soul finds quietude, those words are there. And when the soul is in turmoil, or soiled by experience, those engravings need only be cleaned and uncovered. But they can never be torn away.

Those words engraved upon your soul, they are also engraved in a holy fire within the depths of the Soul of All Things. They are the same words that Moses heard and inscribed on stone and on parchment. And at times, when you immerse in the words of its sages, and you allow it entry to touch your soul, you may hear those words resonating inside.

Kabbalah ~ On The Term “Selem”

soul and magic

“Our first encounter with the term ‘selem,’ [image] of course, is in the narrative of man’s creation … ‘In the image of God He created Him’ (Gen. 1:26-27). The nature of this ‘image,’ though, is not sufficiently clear…The Kabbalists often introduce an additional verse, ‘For in the image man shall walk’ (Ps. 39:7), to show that the ‘selem’ is an integral part of man on earth. What then is the ‘selem’ in their conception. There is a basic assumption that two elements diametrically opposed by nature cannot exist together without some mediating entity. This also goes for the ‘nefesh’ [soul] and body…In Neoplatonic teaching and in ancient religions we find mention of an intermediary astral body; in the Kabbalah, the term ‘selem’ is borrowed to speak of the same idea. Thus we read in the Zohar: ‘When a man begins to consecrate himself before intercourse with his wife with a sacred intention, a holy spirit is aroused above him, composed of both male and female. And the Holy One, blessed be He, directs an emissary who is in charge of human embryos, and assigns to him this particular spirit, and indicates to him the place to which it should be entrusted…When the soul descends in order to enter this world…the holy image stands by it until it goes out into the world. When it does out into the world the image is summoned for it and it accompanies it and grows with it…And man’s days exist through the image, and are dependent on it.’ Thus the ‘image’ accompanies man all the days of his life … The ‘selem,’ then, is sometimes identified with a shadow accompanying man. In that sense, the ‘image’ constitutes the principium individuationis [principle of individuation], the individual and unique element in each person.”

– Moshe Hallamish in “An Introduction to the Kabbalah,” p. 274-275

The Dark Night of the Soul

Dark Night of the Soul is a term used to describe a specific phase in a person’s spiritual life. It is used as a metaphor to describe the experience of loneliness and desolation that can occur during psychic or spiritual growth.

 The term and metaphysicality of the phrase “dark night of the soul” is taken from the writings of the Spanish poet and Roman Catholic mystic, Saint John of the Cross, a Carmelite priest of the 16th century.

 Dark Night of the Soul is the name of both a poem, and a commentary on that poem, and are among the Carmelite priest’s most famous writings. They tell of his mystic development and the stages he went through on his quest for holiness.

 Spiritual purification is a process in which the soul is opened to receive the light of God. As it does so, it lets go of the darkness, that of all worldly attachments.

 This emptying of the spirit, known in later centuries as kenosis, literally meaning self-emptying and can be very painful and entail profound suffering for those to attached to the material world.

 Everything that links us to the realm of human perception and its way of being, needs to be expurgated. Saint John of the Cross elucidated to this process in that all who embark upon the spiritual path shall endure, and likens it to a dark night of the soul, in which the human spirit slowly transforms into a vessel for the divine.

 The “dark night” can generally be described as a letting go of our ego’s hold on the psyche, making room for change that can bring about a complete transformation of a person’s Way of defining his/her self and their relationship to God.

 In the Christian tradition, during the “dark night,” one who has developed a strong prayer life and consistent devotion to God suddenly finds traditional prayer extremely difficult or unrewarding for an extended period of time.

 The seeker may begin to feel as though God has suddenly either abandoned them, that their prayer life has collapsed, or they may begin to feel that perhaps God doesn’t even exist.

 But rather than being a negative event, the dark night is believed by mystics and others to be a blessing in disguise. The individual is trained to grow from a vocal or mental prayer, to a more contemplative prayer from deep within the soul.

The Dark Night comes in two phases: a first the “Night of the Senses,” and the second “Night of the Spirit.” Both are seen as the ultimate test of one’s faith and spiritual understanding.

 The Dark Night of the Soul is the ultimate expression for the adept seeker. It details the often difficult journey of estranged spiritual despair to a blissful reunion with the Holy and the Divine. –
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 Peace be with you.