Living in the Spiritual Zone: 10 Steps to Change Your Life and Discover Your Truth

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9780757303241: Living in the Spiritual Zone: 10 Steps to Change Your Life and Discover Your Truth

You have the potential to create exactly the life you want and experience extraordinary results. By tapping into the spiritual zone, you can become empowered to take charge of your present situations, access your divine universal energy, overcome fear and self-sabotage, create financial freedom and meet your most cherished goals.

In this life-changing book, leading intuitive life coach, Gary Quinn, gives you practical tools, exercises and affirmations to transport yourself to the spiritual zone - a state that enables you to achieve the life you've always dreamed of. Quinn addresses everything from awareness about eating, breathing and exercise to practicing forgiveness and learning to love yourself. Quinn has helped thousands with his 10-step program and now he makes that program available to you. In Living in the Spiritual Zone, Quinn teaches that by accepting truth and offering forgiving, you can align yourself with an amazing power source- the spiritual zone-and create the love and miracles you've always wanted.

"Gary Quinn is a messenger of love and truth. Listen to him and watch your world shift."
Debbie Ford, The New York Times bestselling author, Dark Side of the Light Chasers

"Gary has written a very beautiful book with powerful, life-changing truths."
Lillian Too, bestselling author, The Buddha Book

Wonderfully practical guidance about how to make every day more blissful, peaceful and filled with blessings."
Doreen Virtue, bestselling author, Angel Visions

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

About the Author:

Gary Quinn is a life coach and author who has helped thousands of people around the world awaken and access their true power within. He is the founder of Our Living Center―Touchstone For Life Coaching Center in Los Angeles, CA.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Part One

How to Get to the Spiritual Zone

Waking Up Your Awareness

Just as you would have started planning your fantasy Italian vacation months in advance, so too have you been planning for this adventure into the Spiritual Zone―for your whole life. Everything you have been and done has brought you exactly to this point. Every thought, feeling and experience you have had has contributed to the whole of you that you are right now―appreciate them all with gratitude that they have brought you to a tremendous spiritual opportunity on this very page at this very moment. Regrets? Sure, you've had a few―you might have awoken and got here a few months or years or even decades earlier―but remember, please, that all mistakes are learning opportunities: once bitten, twice shy. So even your mistakes have directed you to this very moment―refining your path to your point of departure.

Consider that when you were born you were in a pretty sleepy state; in fact, you spent much more than half of each day sleeping. As you have matured you have grown more and more awake; your body probably only sleeps now eight or fewer hours a day―only a third each day. You have matured from a child concerned only with survival to a self-conscious adult concerned now with how to awaken even more consciousness in yourself. Instead of questing for food and shelter and love and sex and comforts as you have done during previous developmental stages in your life, now you are setting out on your quest for spiritual meaning―and all the magic that comes with it.

You are not alone on this journey. In fact, you travel in royal company. Preceding you on the quest have been the great mystics and philosophers and initiates, for this quest had once been reserved for the spiritual elite. Times have changed. Consider the changes to physical life during the past 200 years. Even in the most prosperous countries, human beings were living very simple lives in 1800: plowing by mule, reading by candlelight, writing with quills and sending letters by horseback. Yet even these recent ancestors were well on their way to the sweeping materialism that has captivated Western and world society today. Forget plowing and planting: we now buy our factory-farmed food ripe, picked, washed, irradiated, seasoned, preserved, pre-cooked, packaged and ready for the microwave. We watch movies and listen to books on tape; we communicate by e-mail at the speed of light.

The pull of materialism brings with it inherent dissatisfactions: we have lost touch, literally, with the earth. Think about this: how often does your skin touch soil? Except for our humanized house pets, we have also lost contact with the animal kingdom. Your great-great-great-grandfather's partnership with his mule as they walked together through fields was one of the most important cooperative ventures of his life. The pause to dip his quill into his inkwell enforced frequent thoughtful moments. I imagine there was a built-in connectedness to other beings 200 years ago that sustained the spiritual lives of our great-grandparents' grandparents.

Today, we feign a connectedness to the whole of life, trying to pretend that our broadband hook-up to the World Wide Web is in itself meaningful. Yes, we can e-mail friends and strangers anywhere in the world within a matter of seconds. Sure, this is a fantastic tool―but how many times, honestly, has it enriched your spiritual life?

I believe that the descent into materialism brings with it its balancing opposite: the quest for spiritual experience. This is the very quest that drives you and me to be here together now. No doubt this hunger for spiritual experience is widely present and growing. Look at book sales statistics: self-help books are the biggest growing sector of publishing. Look how the aerobics and workout craze of the eighties has been eclipsed now by yoga studios on every block; this is a perfect demonstration of how in a very short period we have grown from being (somewhat self-indulgently) focused on our physical selves to now demanding that our workout time feeds our spiritual as well as our bodily needs.

This is all to say that you are not alone on this journey to the Spiritual Zone. Human beings are traveling to the Zone in far greater numbers than ever before. Just as you can travel to Italy by air, land or sea, people access the Zone through a multitude of means―including study of books like this, lectures, meditation, numerous spiritual practices, yoga and prayer.

All of these include the requirement of self-study. Getting to know who you are better and why you are who you are will accelerate your readiness for our departure. This will be the focus of this chapter as we wake up our consciousness in light of our three primary human components: our bodies, our minds and our hearts.

Preparing Your Body for the Spiritual Zone

Our bodies are the temples of our spirits. If we don't feed the right things to our bodies, we won't be in alignment to stay tuned and receive the messages and guidance we need. We also won't have the energy and stamina to do the work we are here to do.

I know good health―diet and exercise―is critically important for me to keep clearly tuned in to my feelings and my guidance. As we have begun to awaken as a people, we have become more aware of the importance of healthy diet. We are told we will live longer and better lives. You know what? We will also live truer lives. We must feed our bodies appropriately so that they may serve our spiritual selves effectively.

What (and how much) we take into our bodies has a profound effect on our vibrations―the rate at which our nervous systems and cellular structure harmonize with the frequencies of the Universe. If we are dulled by alcohol or overeating, our sluggish vibration can contain only heavy energy. If we are wired on caffeine or sugar, our frenetic vibration channels only scattered energy. If we are poisoned by animal antibiotics and excess hormones, our bodies will be incapable of settling into the harmonious silence where our guidance is waiting. Remember my experience in Notre-Dame in Paris? I had been meditating quietly for three weeks.

Our appetites and cravings are established by our past mistakes (which set up metabolic, as well as psychological, expectations) and by tremendous commercial and cultural influences. Simple, detoxifying diets can purify us of these influences and expectations, clearing the opportunity for truth to let us know what our bodies need in order to house and accommodate our spiritual missions more effectively.

Rather than making us slimmer, sexier, more beautiful, popular or successful―as our media-driven consumer culture would have us believe―the real need for a healthy diet is to become awake and truly available to our spiritual purpose. Once we have taken a decisive step in this direction, our bodies will act in joyful service of our spiritual intentions―and we'll find old cravings and attractions will have lost their powerful appeal. There is an old saying: 'You are what you eat.' Well, truly, you are what you think, but how you think is greatly affected by what you eat. So let's start with diet.

Eating for True Health in the Spiritual Zone

The word 'diet' is loaded with associations of overweight people wanting to slim down, hoping that depriving themselves of some kind of food indulgence will make them trimmer, happier and more loveable. Diet books, too, are constantly making their way onto the bestseller lists. Yet obesity continues to plague the Western world. Why is this? What are people so hungry for that they continually and obsessively overeat?

I believe that the vast majority of overweight people are feeding themselves to numb the pain of their alienated lives. Our consumer culture has led not-so-awake people to think that the more and better material things they possess, the more fulfilled they will feel. Yet this is not the case. Many people eat to fill the spiritual void in their lives. Some of you who are reading this book with me now are overweight. Some of you have been eating to comfort the anxiety and alienation that are inherent in a culture that has made consumerism its idol. To you, my friends, I say welcome home.

In the Spiritual Zone you will experience a connectedness with and
a belonging to the unity of all of life. Your loneliness will evaporate as you learn to forgive your mistaken (and unconscious) beliefs about separation. Food will become true pleasure and sustenance instead of ­compulsion. In the Spiritual Zone you will recognize your deepest hunger as spiritual longing, and you will know that this longing is already satisfied.

If you were planning to spend your summer exploring the hill towns of Italy, you'd want to make certain that your body was prepared for the local challenges―the steep cobblestone streets, the world's best pasta and gelato on every street corner. You might do very well to eat healthfully for the few months prior to your departure, knowing that you are more likely to enjoy the trip if your body can keep up with your interests. Preparing for your Italian vacation is an opportunity to bring more consciousness to your diet. Italy pervades your thoughts; it's easier to pass up that second serving of chocolate decadence because you know by doing so you'll feel and look better by the pool. Planning for your trip has made you more awake to your actions. It has brought more consciousness into your day-to-day decisions. The anticipation of your trip is already impacting your life.

So what should you eat/not eat in preparation for the Spiritual Zone? There is going to be a different answer for each of you. Our bodily needs are different, but what we can each immediately do in preparation for the journey is to wake up to our eating practices. Make eating a conscious practice. This way, you will be more likely to eat only what you truly want. This heightened awareness can be applied to whole meals, snacks and even individual bites. By consciously choosing each bite that you take, you are welcoming that particular food into your body. It then becomes your sustenance, serving your health and all your capacities. As you enter into the Spiritual Zone, you will learn that, in awakened consciousness, every action, no matter how small, will intentionally support your end result.

There was a period when I was considerably overweight. I was numb and unhappy and half-asleep. Eating was my solace, but I did not particularly enjoy food. I barely even tasted it. I enjoyed the pleasure of the anticipation of each bite of cookies 'n' cream, but, to be honest, the moment each bite touched my tongue it mingled with regret. I didn't truly enjoy it; I didn't savor it. I swallowed it―gulped it, really―so I could get back to the pleasure of anticipating the next bite. Each of those ambivalent bites of high butterfat ice cream was swallowed with disdain and regret, more deeply damaging than even the richest hot fudge. I have since forgiven myself for this confused habit―it did serve to get me to where I am today, and for that I am grateful.

I share this personal example with you now to help wake you up to your own unconscious eating habits. Do you love your food; welcome it into your body as a source of nourishment and strength? Or do you resent it as you consume it, swallowing each bite with a big seasoning of negativity?

Now is the time to wake up to your eating practices. How? Here are some simple suggestions that will help you to bring consciousness to your meals:

 1. Shop consciously. Choose healthful foods that will nourish and sustain your body. Buy fresh produce. Avoid ingesting chemical fertilizers and pesticides by purchasing organically grown products, which are also generally grown more consciously. Consider a vegetarian diet; most animals, in addition to being potentially diseased, are raised on antibiotics and artificial growth hormones, which are passed on to unwitting human consumers of meat. As well, I believe meat products are filled with animal adrenaline, produced by the animal's profound fear at the point of its killing. Mad cow disease was a gift to the spiritualization of the English diet. Do be aware though, that not everyone can tolerate a vegetarian diet as some people cannot digest pulses or soy. The key thing, if you do eat animal proteins, is to choose organic, as far as possible. Avoid the regular use of sugar and caffeine: these hollow energy sources take your body on a roller-coaster ride of artificially induced highs and crashing lows. Experiment with a reduced wheat or wheat-free diet in order to feel lighter and more energized.

 2. Get to know your farmer. Today, many communities have farmers' markets and many in my country have community supported agriculture (CSA) programs where people come together and support local organic farmers by purchasing a share of the farmer's crop in advance and receiving a weekly box of fresh produce in return. A personal relationship with your farmer gives each bite you take more context. Even better―grow your own!

 3. Prepare your own meals. Allow cooking to become a ritual of nourishment. Imbue your food with your intentional consciousness by washing it, cutting it and preparing it carefully and beautifully with mindfulness. I believe lovingly and intentionally prepared food contains some of the life-force (chi) of its preparer; this is the profound gift of a fully conscious chef. Factory-made foods and fast foods are prepared by machines and doused with preservatives; be aware that the primary intent in their production is profit for the manufacturers' stockholders, not loving nourishment for you.

 4. Set your table beautifully. The ritual of setting flowers, candles, attractive dishes and cutlery and cloth napkins will awaken the intentional consciousness that turns eating into dining.

 5. Only eat sitting down―and never in your car! This will force you to be present with the meal in front of you. When eating (literally) on the run, driving or standing up, you are not giving your meal the time or attention it deserves; your consciousness is already on to your next activity. Your body deserves your full attention during eating; if you pay attention, you will be more awake to what you like, to when you are satisfied and how well you are being nourished.

 6. Say a blessing. A moment of recognition that your meal is a gift from the source of all of life reestablishes your conscious connection to all living things.

 7. Eat with others. Dining is a wonderful opportunity for communion. When we break bread with others we share ourselves as well as our food. This helps to heal the alienation that is so commonly experienced in modern culture.

 8. Be mindful of each bite. Consciously choose each individual bite as you select it from your plate. Eat it because you have decided you truly want it, not simply because it is in front of you. In this way you are imbuing each bite you consume with your awakened consciousness so that it can better nurture your bodily needs.

 9. Enjoy the taste! Swallow with conscious appreciation (not ­ambivalence or regret). You deserve the pleasurable tastes of your food.

10. Recognize when you are satisfied. All the above steps will help to awaken you to your eating process. You will soon be eating for eating's sake―pleasurably to nourish and sustain your physical body―instead of eating to numb pain or fill the void of alienation and loneliness. You will become increasingly able to detect your body's awareness that you have had enough, and then you will be happy to stop, feeling fully satisf...

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