​Are you seeking greater happiness?
​Want to strengthen your willpower?
 
​Periodically, we all feel a need to turn the tides in our lives. While this inner change is met to happen daily, we can all use a little help. In this article, learn how to use global energies to support you during times of transformation.
 
Ever wonder why there are so many times of the year when certain religions are called to purify and sacrifice for spiritual growth. With some simple research, I've discovered that these rituals are not just for those of a particular faith, but anyone can tap into these movements for personal development.
 
In some traditions, personal transformation and character development times are often done in community. It is a time to "plough and sow" and to exemplify greater devotion to a God, so practitioners can reap benefits of joy, enhanced will power and greater connection to the divine. The annual time of purification for Christian is often called lent. In Islam, which uses a lunar calendar, it is the 9th month of year. Called Ramadan, this time of purification is May 27 - June 24, 2017. In Jewish tradition it is also the 9th month of their calendar year, Chislev, which comes around November/December.
 
Whether or not you've been initiated into these system, you can use those times of the year for powerful inner cleansing work. When we commit to personal transformation, we take decisive action to change parts of ourselves which no longer serves us or may be holding us back. By consciously doing these personal sacrifice, cleansing, charity, refraining from vices, and certain purification rituals, we align with energies of change (Mother of 9) and make a commitment to reaching higher levels of the self.
 
While you do not have to practice any of the these systems to feel the energy that comes with those dates and times of year, it is important to respect those religious and to avoid claiming connection unless you have been initiated into them and are abiding by their rules.
 
​Benefits of Including this in Your Practice:
​Fasting, detoxing, and cleansing has been used throughout ages for healing our mind, mind, spirits. There are numerous benefits, but the most valued is one which can align you with your divinity. ​Sacrifice has also been proven to help us on a scientific level too. Learn more here: http://brainworldmagazine.com/the-benefits-of-self-sacrifice/
 
If you are sensitive enough, you will pick it up the change in the spiritual atmosphere as some of my friends would say. I sometimes hear, "ok, something is really different." " I feel I am in a vortex." Some people feel their crown chakra is wide open to receive new light but they don't know that to do about it.
 
Here's are some simple ways you and your family can ride the waves of change in seasons regardless of your spiritual traditions.
 
1. You can start by simply recognizing these are times to plough and sow your character using a personal chisel called behavior modification. It is not a time to try to change or judge others.  If you have any vice which has prevented you from your joy, use Lent, Ramadan, or Chislev times of the year for deep and profound character development. Your behavior during those 25-30 days can help transform you and align you closer to the person you are here to become. But do not take this lightly. You are required to make real sacrifice. Don't just go the easy route. 
 
2. To avoid "spiritual colonialism" a term I first heard from Yeye Omileye (//www.yeyeosun.com), just observe these days privately in your home and community. Avoid faking connection with systems you are not a part of out of respect and of course character building. Instead, simply create your own ritual and system based on your unique practice, devotions and rituals. No one will prevent you from aligning with religious dates without claiming connection to any of these systems.  The dates belong to all of us. The sky cover us all. While each religious systems do not own the dates or the movement of the stars - they do own claim to the names, so avoid using those. Its also wise to take time to study the stars and understand WHY these dates are so important throughout millennium.
 
3. No need to complicate this with tons of ritual so you eventually you lose tract of the meaning and purpose - to alter yourself for the better. Dedicate those days to one or two simple things. It may be detoxing, fasting, charity work, refraining from vices, positive affirmations, clearing your home and environment, mending fences with relationships, healing, and so much more. Choose something you can do alone or as a family if your family is willing. I recommend not doing it publicly if this is your first time. Character development is personal change. We tend to behave differently when we think "others are watching." This is core work, not vanity work.
 
4. Most religious groups, offer prayer during this time as well. I encourage this practice, but instead of "begging" style of prayer, I prefer and recommend we use positive affirmations and affirm positive changes and see yourself having resolved whatever we desire to transform. You may choose to focus on the God of your understanding. This is a personal and private choice. 
 
5. Don't just focus on self. While this is a time for personal development, it is an excellent time to focus on peace within but also in your family, community and on earth. First recognized that peace begins with you, so if you are in conflict, this world will reflect it. Focus on reaching a higher of peace within and project it out to those around you. This one thing alone can do wonders in our world.
 
6. Lastly, don't forget in all these traditions, the last day is a day of celebration. Lent ends in Mardi Gras, so celebrate, celebrate, celebrate. Celebrate with a feast, dance, music and with loved ones. Keep the lessons learn BEYOND your sacrificial days.  Remember the changes you made are met to be lasting, not just temporary.  You may find your self development brings new and renewed good into your life.
 
By Irmina Tutu Ulysse
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