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The key to spiritual development

Through a roommate of a friend of mine I came into contact with books about 'personal development' when I was 18. Books by Tony Robbins on neuro-linguistic programming, Dale Carnegie on friends and relationships, and Napoleon Hill on sexual and creative energy.

I found it very interesting to finally go into depth and be able to share and talk about this with people. For example, Tony Robbins taught me to anchor a feeling to a physical movement, so that you can evoke the feeling at any time. Dale Carnegie taught me what to say and do to be liked by others. And Napoleon Hill taught me how to attract financial wealth by firm belief in it.

However, it felt forced to me. The 'tricks' they taught me and the script I could use. It was like I was going to polish my personality to get what I wanted. My head was spinning.

Six months later I read a book by Eckhart Tolle about the power of the Now. That we are not our personality but the underlying consciousness. It immediately resonated and like a small child I looked around in amazement. I was no longer full of thoughts but could be fully present in the now.

Precisely by letting go of the personality and all thoughts about it, a feeling of freedom arose. Of surrender in the moment. And in it I found the childlike joy I had suppressed all along. Suddenly I didn't need anything anymore, I could just be. That became my new base. A weight was lifted from my shoulders.

Spirituality for me is about this; that you can live in the moment. That you are not drawn back by the past. If you can internalize this insight, you can slowly heal and resolve the past by looking at the themes that need attention. More importantly, you no longer confuse the present moment.

White lies, putting yourself down, not letting what you do match what you say and vice versa, unconscious language. They are all examples of how you sabotage yourself and disrupt the present moment. It takes you out of the joyous moment and continuously feeds self-doubt. Distraction by suppressing your core.

Only by being honest and real with ourselves and others can we develop further. By knowing our intentions behind our words and behavior and taking responsibility for them. By being open to our feelings and listening to our body. The basis of spiritual development and thus the raising of consciousness is truth. The more truth you can apply in your life, the more free you become.

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