Since the very dawn of time, shamans and spiritual people have gathered, usually in a circle, to meditate, focus and pray. Every culture, in every corner of the world has done this. And, if you have ever attended any kind of spiritual gathering you know the peace, tranquility and inner healing that takes place in these gatherings.

Many years ago, I went to the reservations of Northern Canada and sat in what they call "sacred circle." It is Sacred because we gather to pray for peace, love and understanding. When I arrived in Australia in the early 1990s I offered the same gatherings, and in all cases, we shared the wisdom and I offered the teaching stories, but it was simply the act of gathering, passing the "Talking Stick" and sharing that brought about the healing.

Recently I returned back to North America to visit with the Elders and reconnect. So much has changed, and I promise I will write about it in more detail. As many of you know, traditional people are under pressure for their land and water, and this was the same conflict I witnessed all those years ago. Yet, despite the fact that things are definitely more challenging, the one common request, EVERY elder made to me was for us to once again gather and focus on the light.

John Lennon once said that life is something that happens while we are busy making plans. Wise words! I have to truthfully declare, hand on heart, that every plan, dream and fantasy I made for my life has never worked out  -- thank heavens, the angels and every little fairy! 

Like so many of us, my ideal “dream” life included a successful journalism career with several Pulizer prizes, along with perfect children, endless romantic dinners, walks on the beach with Mr Hunky and of course lots of travel to romantic destinations. Now I just laugh at those little daydreams because what actually did happen was so much better than anything I could dream up. 

Some people believe in fate. They believe lives have been pre-planned by a higher force. Others believe we have an inner power that can be harnessed through meditation, journaling and making a “vision board” of your life-dream. With enough work, perfect life dreams can be awakened into actuality. That may well be true, but I had never heard of such processes. Instead I settled on using my intuition and it served me well.

Every person in this world is in the process of waking up spiritually. Everyone; there are no exceptions. Of course we each wake up at different times, under various circumstances, and at various speeds. This does not appear to be fair, because there are those who have sudden revelations and awaken very rapidly and seemingly without stress; yet there are others who keep “hitting the snooze” button on their wakefulness and slumbering;  and even others who try valiantly to remain awake and yet get hooked in again and again. 

We are all on this journey. Therefore one of the best things to remember is to have compassion and kindness to others who appear to be so asleep or so totally unaware that they appear to have lost their divine spark. They haven’t of course, they can’t of course, but it can appear that way. Dealing with others who appear to be asleep to their inner truth is always challenging, particularly when this occurs in within families or within close relationships. 

We live in challenging and changing times, so very different from our parents and certainly our grandparents. There is no "one answer" to spirituality because we are each on our own journey. When you remember that and connect into your guidance you will always follow the right path for you. We fall off track when we listen to others rather than the heart. This is why we hear of people joining cults or going off to fight for God. You can be sure that they have been brain-washed to cut off their guidance.  It is vital to keep your feet on the ground and know that there are no quick shortcuts --  Here are my four guidelines. 

.....are you a Spiritual Materialist? Perhaps you think you know.. but perhaps you are wrong! This is a question every person must ask themselves and be very, honest and forthright about their answers.

Whilst most of us walk the journey of life trying our best to live in light there are those who believe that because they attend a meditation circle or offer (or receive) psychic readings, or do yoga that this activity is automatically "spiritual" and that they are, therefore, growing. Sadly this is not always the case. In fact "spiritual" people are often more likely to be "stuck" than the regular person who simply tries to be more caring and loving in his or her community.