Healing as a

Spiritual Journey

+ The 6Ds of Spiritual Development

“The wound is the place where the Light enters you.”
Jalaluddin Mevlana Rumi - مولوی

I believe that true healing only happens when we decide to heal on all the levels of mind, body, emotion, spirit, and soul.

Once we see health as being about more than just physical symptoms and out body, somehow, we enter a deeper more aware level of living, and living well. In essence, though we may not use the language, we embark on a spiritual journey. Some may just touch its edges, others may dive in or be drawn in.

If you decide to take your health and your spiritual life seriously, the process may become like unlearning old knowledge and habits, and developing new knowledge and skills and ways. It may be worth being aware of the stages of learning.

Stage one Unconscious incompetence


You’re living life on auto pilot thinking you know it all, that your ways are THE ways.

You’re probably oblivious to what’s going on around you.

But you don’t know what you don’t know.


Stage two Conscious incompetence


Life gives you feedback – telling you your way isn’t quite working

You realise there is a better way – just don’t yet know what it is

But you decide to inform yourself


Stage three  Conscious competence


You have new information, you are developing new skills perhaps.

You know what you’re doing, but it’s early days.

So you keep your eye on the ball, pay attention to what you’re doing and the results


Stage four    Unconscious competence


You are now so good, it’s second nature to you

You’ve developed new habits, you probably now work intuitively


But if you take your eyes off the ball you may miss the signs that tell you you have slipped back to stage one


Another way to put all this is to use a slightly different model


1. You are asleep

Similar to stage one above

You’re living life on auto pilot thinking you know it all, that your ways are THE ways.

You’re probably oblivious to what’s going on around you.

But you don’t know what you don’t know.

You’re likely to play the victim, assuming you don’t have the power or ability to change your life. Blaming, neuroticism, fear, and lack of fulfillment are common side effects of being "asleep."

At some point, you realise you’ve been living life on automatic  pilot and decide to stop.  Enough is enough. Or perhiaps life may deal you a huge wake up call. But even with such a nudge, we don’t just wake up – there is a process of awakening.


2. Your Awakening

Sometimes we awaken, fall asleep, awaken again. We become aware that what we don’t like in life, eg being overweight, the weekend hangovers that rob us of quality time etc, we finally wake up and start asking ourselves why that keeps happening, why do we keep going round the same old dumb mountain.


We begin to learn that our experiences aren’t random, they’re not just happening to us, that we are responsible so we start looking for answers, informing ourselves. We connect the dots and recognise that life is about learning and connecting with the truth of who we are. We have a lot of realisations — some exciting and perhaps some which are difficult to deal with.


3. You Integrate


 You realise that new knowledge is in and of itself not enough; you need to apply it, test it out, get feedback that tells you how you are doing. This is the phase or stage where you make things happen.


Awareness and new knowledge and taking action are not enough for transformation. You cannot bring about the new whilst holding on to old ideas, beliefs, thoughts, and ways. So they will need to change too. That may mean letting go old stories of victimhood, rejection, abandonment and replace with new programming. You most likely will need to do the courageous emotional work of healing old issues so they no longer define you or hold you back. You may need to work with a skilled therapist, consider hypnotherapy, emotional freedom technique.


You may find that various patterns keep repeating in your life; this is the Universe’s way of giving you opportunities to get the changes as right as possible for the new you.


4. You Accept

Acceptance is unconditionally accepting who you are, acknowledging that you do what you do with the knowledge, awareness, and experience at any given moment. And when you know differently, you can do and be differently. You are still you but just more authentically you than ever before.

You realise you have choices – to sleep through life, or to live it vibrantly.

You step into being happy with yourself, and with choices, no longer slave to old habits and patterns.

5. You serve


Some people go through life at the asleep stage thinking “this is all there is.” Life is about – me, me,me.


As they step into awakening, they realise there is more to life and so a process of a learning and experimenting begins and life is more about “me and you.”


But phase five is bigger still, it’s about “we” – and your role in supporting and changing the lives of others for the better. If you are going to take from life, consider what you give. This is when we feel called to share our passions, our knowledge, our desires, the love we feel. But don’t rush into this until you feel ready and equipped. Be patient with yourself. Heed the “call” that takes you in directions you had never thought of before.

Love is what we are born with. Fear is what we learn. The spiritual journey is the unlearning of fear and prejudices and the acceptance of love back in our hearts. Love is the essential reality and our purpose on earth.

Marianne Williamson


Every phase is rich with learning opportunities, and may help to lend structure and substance to your unique spiritual journey, so take it easy and be grateful for whatever phase you’re in.


Keep in mind that you may go  three steps forward and one back, you need to or choose to repeat the phases multiple times; just when you thought you’d “got it” life happens and tells you that, like peeling themonion, there are some more layers to be uncovered and discovered, a problem area may keep surfacing eg being able to forgive or say sorry, a new insight inspires further self-discovery, and the ore you resist dealing with these, the more the opportunities will come for you to do so!

The 6Ds of Spiritual Development

“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favour all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way. I have learned a deep respect for one of Goethe's couplets:
Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it.
Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it!”

  William Hutchison Murray


The 6Ds

  1. Decide – you need to decide you desire to and will henceforth develop and lead a spiritual life.

  2. Dedicate – you need to make a commitment to yourself, to find or develop your own spiritual pathway and to dedicate time to it in order to develop yourself; it is not something for when you feel like it, for Fridays or Sundays only. It is a way of life which informs how you behave with others, what and how you eat, your sleep, how you relax, and how you move in this world. It is not something you just DO but it is how you BE, how you ARE in the world. Find dedicated rituals and reminders – ie dedicated times of prayer, visualisation, meditation, meal blessings, routine times in nature, or whatever your practices become. Begin small and grow. Don’t try to do too much all at once. Dedicate yourself to joy!

  3. Detach and let go - if we desire to move forward in our lives, it means letting go – of negative beliefs and thoughts, ways and behaviours, your envies, jealousies, unforgiveness, selfishness, and fears. It means ceasing to tell your victim stories of how bad life has been and so still is. If you become aware of old automatic defences and patterns, simply notice them and release, do not attach to their energy or let them energise you. Practice the art of detached observation.

  4. Discipline – to create change in our lives, we need to consistently focus on what we desire. If you focus on the past, you will either recreate bad memories and so bad feelings, or good memories and so good feelings. But that’s all the will be and you will be stuck in the past. Line in sand Now you start to tell the new story of how you desire your life to be. Discipline yourself to the new story till it becomes reality. As you focus on the future, notice if you are anxious – and deal with it. Focus on what makes you excited, inspired.

  5. Discern - seek moment by moment to discern whether you are living life from your Higher Self or your Lower, ego Self.  Keep discerning between the two and let your Direction be that of the Higher Self. Ask yourself whether what you intend is selfish, self-serving OR is it selfless, soul-inspired? The former is the route of criticism, negativity, comparisons, scattered energy and judgement; the Higher Self is of Love, a peace-based energy and carries no judgment. When we are at peace, we can heal. Keep scratching and you won’t.

  6. Dharma – is a key concept with multiple meanings in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism (an Indian religion.) Hinduism describes dharma as the natural laws of the universe whose observance enables humans to be at peace, contented and happy, and to avoid dishonour, deterioration, and suffering. Christians have the Ten Commandments. So it is moral laws combined with spiritual discipline that guides one's life. It means living life on purpose.  On purpose, we become fulfilled, whole, healthy, and complete. How do you find meaning and fulfilment in ways that are natural to you? If you were to listen your ten commandments, the points on your own moral compass that guide you through life, what would they be. How do you best serve and contribute to the world?