By Kathy Caprinoellia

I’ve spent years developing a spiritual life that is both deeply meaningful and practically useful to me in my life and work. This was no easy feat for me. I had to cast off all the religious doctrine and dogma that was thrust on me as a child. All of it left me believing that organized religion espouses concepts that are, in many cases, antithetical to a true understanding of divinity and spirituality. Organized religion is often so off-base – pushing us toward negative and personally diminishing beliefs that are in total opposition to what (I believe) God or Love truly represent.

In my quest for a spiritual life that works for my day-to-day life too, I found myself taking a very large and long detour, falling into the trap of believing that positive, spiritual thinking and a shift in energetic “vibration” would get me out of my troubles. So here’s what I’ve learned. If you want real life change, start with positive thinking but end with action.

Gypsy fortune-teller uses a crystal ball to foretell the future

The Law of Attraction means “like attracts like” – your positive (or negative) energy and thoughts will attract more of same. But understanding that is not enough to turn your life around. Trust me on this one.

Here are several excerpts from Breakdown, Breakthrough (from Chapters 14 and 15) on what it takes to develop a rich, purposeful and authentic spiritual life that works for you:

Relax, It’s Not All Up to You

Many of us were raised with the American ethic of personal achievement and the need to conquer. We were given the notion that it’s up to each of us, individually and solely, to hack out the life we want, sometimes crushing others (and ourselves) to get it. After many years of struggle and despair, Laura discovered that her life wasn’t all up to her.

She found more powerful help-her belief in a higher power, a universal energy that connects her with herself and the world around her. This energy elevates her above her individual capabilities and knowledge. Laura accessed her higher power by going inward, listening quietly and patiently to hear her soul speaking.

Others find their higher power through religion, spirituality, healing, energy work, meditation, praying, or serving others. I’ve found my connection to a higher power by casting off all of the rigid doctrine I was taught that felt false. I reconstructed a working concept of spirituality that feels right.

I believe in an all-loving universal energy that flows through and connects of us. Some call it God, others call it Love. Whatever you call it, if you connect with your higher power in a way that resonates for you, life changes. When you hear the sound of your own soul whispering to you, you’ll know it in a second. There will be no doubt. You will be changed by the love, tolerance, lightness, optimism, and surety that you hear there, inside of you.

It doesn’t matter whether you choose to meditate during your train commute, take walks, garden, do yoga, sit on the beach, rest in a sanctuary, or write to your angels. What’s critical is that you find a way to quiet your mind, soothe your body, and tap into your vast inner knowledge and power, daily. But accessing it isn’t enough. Once you hear your inner wisdom, follow it, and act boldly.

Get Help from Others and Your Higher Self

Coaching and energy healing helped Karen get in touch with her spiritual side in a life changing way. She found help from her coach and healer, as well as from her spiritual voice and practices. These aids grounded her in a new reality of calm, balance, and acceptance.

Many women find strength and solace by getting in closer touch with their spiritual being. There are many helpful ways to find your spiritual self. Spiritual beliefs and practices that connect you more fully to yourself, enhance your self-respect and compassion for others, help you feel your own power and divinity, and appreciate the vastness of human experience are highly beneficial.

But many of us were taught religious beliefs that hold us back and simply don’t ring true. I know I was. And I threw the baby out with the bathwater. If this statement strikes a chord, I encourage you to seek out new spiritual beliefs and practices that feel right to you. Keep the baby! Find a way to connect to your spiritual side, and to something more expansive than your individual self. Doing so brings great perspective and peace of mind.

When I began to search for spiritual concepts that would bolster rather than frustrate me, I found a fascinating book, Conversations with God, by Neale Donald Walsch. I devoured it in one night. For the first time in my life, I felt like I was home. I finally read in print spiritual ideas that feel right, beautiful, loving, and true. I was overjoyed.

Since then, I have continued to build spiritual beliefs that support and nourish me. Connecting to your spiritual side, hearing your inner voice, and living from the knowledge you receive will get you closer to your values and priorities, soothe you, and set you in a positive direction with courage and power.

Now here’s the rub – concepts such as The Law of Attraction as described in The Secret, or even those from my beloved Abraham-Hicks group (who’ve written many powerful books such as Ask and It is Given), can be totally misconstrued, and when they are, these concepts, and living by them as your exclusive guiding force, can be very damaging to your life.

Why? Because you can be lulled into inaction and a false sense of security in believing that just by changing your thinking or making key vibrational adjustments, you’ll do enough to generate the results you want and need to see in your life.

I’m here to tell you – it’s simply not true. The Law of Attraction isn’t going to bring you want you want, unless you take empowered action – focused, commitment, growth-inducing ACTION. Sitting on your couch eating bonbons and thinking positively – hoping for change but not doing anything – is a recipe for disaster.

If “The Secret” isn’t working for you – if you’re still struggling, stuck, desperate, confused, overwhelmed, the answer isn’t for you to keep doing what you’ve done. Einstein said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, and expecting different results. Yes! The answer out of your problems is to get help, shed what is keeping you stuck, and then take action – different and more empowered and focused action than you’ve ever taken before.

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