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The Journey to Inner Peace - Are You a Spiritual Shopper?

This week we share a guest post from blogger & Transformational Coach, Suzie de Jonge. Enjoy :)

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I was born in the 1960s in Australia, a time when going to Sunday school was one of the highlights of the weekend; not particularly because it was so exciting to be instructed in religion, but because we got the chance to wear our prettiest dresses, white socks with lace frills and shiny black patent leather shoes.  My memories of those Sunday school lessons are pretty faded now, just vague images of sitting in a circle of children being read a Bible story or coloring book in pictures of Jesus, Mary and the disciples.  

The first school I attended was Methodist, which looking back now was kind of odd, as my mother was Catholic and my father was Syrian Orthodox! I lived in a very multicultural city where my classmates at the all-girl school I attended comprised nationalities and faiths from all around the globe.  I love the innocence of children, I wish we could all be like that now.  We didn’t care what part of the world each other came from and what church we worshiped at.  

We didn’t understand the difference between Methodist, Jewish or Catholic – we just liked to play together and have fun as kids do.  

Time marches on, life happens and as with a lot of people, it is not until life-changing events occur that you begin seeking something outside of yourself for answers.  For some it may be in the form of negative external crutches like excessive alcohol or compulsive shopping, while for others it is looking for support and guidance from something “out there” in the ether. Something to try and make sense of what is happening in their lives.  

As I journeyed through my teen and early adult years, I must admit that spirituality was not something at the forefront of my life.  My first experience with searching for answers “out there” (or to quote transformational teacher/author Dr. Barbara De Angelis, “spiritual shopping”1), was when at 30 years of age, my then husband walked out the door with no warning, leaving me with a 5-week-old baby.   Of course, with my world turned upside down I needed answers, and not being able to get them from the physical world, I hoped that I may be able to get them along with some inner peace from the spiritual world.  I had chosen to get my daughter baptized, and as part of the experience I needed to attend a church service prior to the baptism ceremony.  

I was kind of excited because I thought, this is it, I will walk into the church, the clouds will part and suddenly I will find the inner peace I so desperately needed!   Unfortunately, it was not that simple. I did not just walk into the church and have that “aha” moment, I sadly left just feeling more dejected and helpless.

Satgura Siva Yogaswami Quote

The second major time in my life I went “spiritual shopping” was when I experienced a nervous breakdown following immense pressure I had put on myself.  At that time, I needed something to help me relax as well as something to cling onto, to give me hope that there was an end to this deep hole I found myself in.  I went online and googled “meditation classes” in my area, and as luck would have it, I found the perfect one for me.  I took to it like a duck to water and from there on the world of personal development became my new best friend.  I did every course I could find on self-healing, self-help, I read books, watched videos, listened to podcasts, signed up for online courses as well as attended live workshops and even got instruction in Transcendental Meditation.  

In the process, I spent thousands of dollars and had hoped once again that these outside things would give me the answers I was searching for.  However, in effect, I was again being a “spiritual shopper” and although I did glean helpful snippets of bits and pieces I could put into practice, the end result was that I became totally overwhelmed with all the information and differing opinions, rather than finding the internal peace I was so desperately searching for.

So how did I come to find inner peace and define my own relationship with spirituality?  After going through all these different times and experiences in my life and much soul searching, I finally realized in the end that there was no “out there” that could give me the answers and inner peace.  Yes, religious instruction, meditation, self-development and being open to all the different forms of spirituality around can be of great benefit, but for me personally, I needed to look INSIDE myself instead of looking OUTSIDE and to others for external validation and answers.  That is where I found my own inner peace.  It didn’t have to be as complicated as I was making it; it was really very simple. 

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Now when I find myself in a situation where something is challenging me, I take myself somewhere quiet, either sit restfully, meditate, or take myself outside into the fresh air.  Even if the answer doesn’t come to me straight away, I have at least put myself into a peaceful state where I feel I can cope better.  I know now that the answers are all inside me.  I also understand that you really cannot change the external world or other people, but you can change how you perceive the world, how you perceive others, and how you perceive yourself.  


I wish you that same inner peace, xoxo


1 “Soul Shifts”, Dr Barbara De Angelis.

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Suzie de Jonge is a Transformational Coach and the founder of Beautifully Selfish. She supports women who are ready to rebuild their lives, their careers and sense of self. To learn more, click here.

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