When we think of putting first things first in our lives, we often consider practical, relational, or health-related interests; those things linked to our physical, mental, or emotional needs. If we can elevate the basis from which we determine our priorities to that of our spirit (true self, true nature), then our lower vibrational needs (physical, mental, and emotional) will be satisfied in ways, and to degrees well beyond those which would have occurred if we had made them our actual priorities. Operating on this basis requires either faith or direct access to universal consciousness. It also presupposes an awareness and acceptance of what spirit is.
So What Is Spirit?
Spirit, to me, is that part of us that exists beyond our thinking mind and human senses. It perceives inner things, things that are not part of the physical world, or generated by human thought or emotion. These things include higher love, joy, and peace; intuition, clairvoyance, and pure wisdom; some meditative or trance states, our observing self, and our awareness of truth (awareness of it, not thoughts about it). From a chakra perspective, the Heart, Throat, Brow, and Crown chakras are more purely spiritual, while the Root, Sacral, and Solar Plexus chakras are more connected to the physical world. They all interact as a system, and the lower chakras must be in relative balance for the higher ones to be. For example, the Root Chakra, representing survival-related needs, must be open, flowing, and relatively balanced before we can perceive and live from higher chakras. If are survival needs are not being met, or if negative emotions (e.g. stress, depression, or anxiety) create the illusion that these needs are not being met; then we will be stuck living our life as if it is a perpetual struggle for survival; and may not even realize it. We may believe that this is just how life is. We may never know that there is a broad, beautiful universe of great joy and fulfillment waiting for us right around the proverbial corner, or more accurately just above our life-limiting thoughts.
When our lives are literally in danger, we may be drawn into the stress response, or Survival Mode, by the brain. In the absence of a real threat, negative emotions can create the illusion that one exists; triggering the instinctual responses of fight or flight, creating the illusion that we are struggling for survival. The negative emotions generated by such situations limit our options and focus our thoughts on survival in the absence of a real threat. While in Survival Mode, we are unable to access the broader range of thoughts and possibilities needed to perceive our spirit. Any priorities we set while stuck here will reflect the illusion that our life is a struggle for survival, and will consequently reinforce our belief that it is.
When we have shifted out of Survival Mode, especially when experiencing positive emotions like happiness, satisfaction, and enthusiasm; we will perceive more of the available options from within the infinite range of coexisting possibilities. Our mind will be opened up to perceive as much as the human mind can see. This takes us up through the third chakra. Priorities established while in Safe Mode reflect the highest of those things human (non-spiritual), and reinforce a lifestyle around these mind-based things (ego and sense perceptions). Safe Mode priorities allow for superficial, egoic conditions of happiness and satisfaction, but are always subject to the instability of a sudden return to Survival Mode. This is because Safe Mode is still based on the Human mind, the human senses, and our interpretations/perceptions of material world experiences. Safe Mode is a prerequisite of Spiritual Mode, which, once attained, allows for a much broader, more continuous way of living life.
When we learn to access our spirit, and through it connect with universal consciousness, what we perceive comes directly from this broader source, rather than from the limitations of the human mind. The awareness of spirit is not a fluctuating dynamic of positives and negatives, like mind-based thoughts and emotions are. Spiritual awareness vibrates at frequencies above those perceptible to the mind. I believe the primary things we perceive in spirit are variations on themes of love, joy, peace, and truth. Of these, truth vibrates at the highest frequency. Therefore, if we are perceiving love, joy, and peace at the vibration of truth, they become true love, true joy, and true peace. When we establish our priorities from spirit, they are based on these things, and will reinforce our ability to live our lives from this higher perspective. All other lower level priorities, goals, and needs will be enhanced, superseded, or supplanted by the spiritual ones. When our priorities are based on spirit, they are based on love, joy, peace, and truth; and they shine the light of universal consciousness through us, into the material world. They model for others what is truly important. They support our ascension to higher consciousness. They encourage the development of humanity.
Photo credit: Roger Young