Written by Sujata Shah
When you are on the spiritual path, life's mundane duties might seem like they are insignificant but there are practical things you must still take care of if you are going to maintain focus on spirituality. You risk the whole process going sideways when these life tasks become overwhelming and anxiety inducing.
Back in Budha's time, a person on the path would relinquish the responsibilities of everyday life and join a monastery. The monastic life was designed to relieve the monk of worldly duties. At the monastery, everyone had to work, sure, but you were given a task to do and you did not have to worry about earning a living, raising a family, or retirement planning. All you had to do at the monastery was follow the rules, do the work assigned to you, and worry about your spirituality. Today, however, we have the unique challenge of walking our spiritual path while also earning a living, raising a family, planning for the future, and contributing to society. It is a lot!
If you try to do this all on your own, you are bound to get discouraged and burned out. What you need is a trusted Life Team to help you keep those worldly responsibilities under control so that you can focus on things truly important to your soul.
These are the professionals you need on your Life Team in order to navigate your worldly responsibilities:
Accountant - The person who will do your taxes and keep you out of trouble with the IRS while you are off on your journey
Financial Planner - Sure financial matters seem superfluous when you are out there searching for the meaning of life but you still have to plan for the future so you need to have a trusted financial planner who will look out for you and ensure that you have enough to live on.
Dentist - Digestion starts in the mouth and having a clean digestive track is the first step to a healthy body so always have a dentist who keeps your teeth cleaned on a regular basis.
Primary care physician - Whether you believe in traditional medicine or alternative medicine, you should have a trusted practitioner who knows your history and is available to see you when ailments are small. This way you can make sure your body is always functioning properly. Remember, you need a healthy body to keep all of your energetic channels open.
Psychotherapist - Processing emotions on the spiritual journey can be daunting, a psychotherapist or someone you can talk to openly is a huge help and even though you might not need life-long therapy, it is good to know someone you trust.
I am sure there are many others you could think of
but this is a good starting point. My Life Team
also includes my hair stylist who came up with a strategy to help me stop coloring my hair and allow my authentic self to shine. She did this even though it meant she would make less money. She truly had my best interests at heart. Your team might look very different based on what you need.
Once you are on the spiritual path, like-minded people will show up in your life but you need to know how to recognize them when they appear. You will know these people when you meet them because there will be an instant shared vocabulary for recognizing the spiritual significance of regular life events. The adage, 'the teacher will appear when the student is ready' might sound like a cliché and too simple but this will happen when you are ready.
Being on the spiritual path does not mean you can give up all of your responsibilities, unless of course, you are joining a monastery. Consciously building a Life Team to support you so that you can focus on the things that are important to you will give you the time and confidence to walk the path without stress and anxiety.