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August 6, 2022

“Things Die so they Can Grow”—5 Tips on How to Prevent Spiritual Burnout.

Photo by Wizard98 Photography on Pexels.

I have an extensive background in spirituality and the spirit worlds.

I have studied many religions and was initiated into several African Traditional Religions (ATR) that were passed through my lineage. I’ve mastered several forms of divination and healing modalities that come from across the diaspora. My most recent initiation was a ceremony that elevated me to an elder in my practice. I have dedicated my life to my priesthood.

I felt blessed and honored to be “chosen” by God to do this work. I took on the huge task given to me at my elevation ceremony. My orders were to start my spiritual house and teach the practice of Ifa, an African traditional religion, to many women, so they can pass the healing and wisdom down to their children, community, and beyond. I was up for the task, though I was well aware of the hard work ahead. Afterall, I have a lifetime of watching and learning from my elders who taught me. There was also the experience of having elders and teachers who were predators and scammers.

This road to spiritual enlightenment is tough terrain. I was determined to create a different experience for the women I would teach and initiate. I wanted them to have a safe space to learn and grow together in their spiritual practice.

Once I committed to doing the work, everything fell into place with a divine force. My daily practice requires great focus and determination. Therefore, every moment of my life was dedicated to preparing the women for their elevation. It required months of training—for some, it was years. Even with all the training, this work is a lifetime of study.

The training and initiation process is essentially the gateway to the expansion of consciousness. I was working on this endeavor seven days a week, teaching one-on-one classes with six to eight people a day. My lessons were intense and thorough. As time progressed, I had to change how I did things. I was growing tired. The constant psychic energy work was depleting. As I supported the initiates through their journey, there was a high level of trauma healing that occurs. Thankfully, my years of training and informed trauma response certifications afforded me the opportunity to effectively assist them.

Day in and day out, I was on the phone navigating people through their trauma. Repeating the same words over and over, I began to wonder if people actually heard my words or if were they just siphoning energy from me. I felt as if they were looking for me to get the magical answers from the spiritual realm on demand. I was expected to be a fixer and relieve them of accountability.

To be clear, that is not the job of a spiritual leader.

I don’t want that kind of “honor and love.” I wasn’t comfortable with this feeling. I was drained. I felt used. My physical body started feeling sick and tired. I was energetically and psychically drained. I didn’t want to speak to anyone. I stopped taking clients and I shut down. I couldn’t bear the thought of doing one more reading, one more ceremony, one more traumatic conversation.

If you are going to take on a huge position in spirit work, be sure to have solid initiates and support systems that know how to pour into you with the highest intentions when you are emotionally and spiritually depleted. I no longer have elders to lean on. The last set of elders I allowed into my life scammed and betrayed me. Was I surprised? No.

Unfortunately, ego, money, and deception are prevalent in the spiritual community. All I wanted was to create a spiritual house of women who were powerful spiritual warriors and healers who would come together and change the world, using our healing prowess to restore harmony in the world. I saw the vision. I knew it was possible. But as a spiritual leader, you will also learn that not everyone will be on that same page despite how many times they say they are ready to do the work.

After a year of nonstop work, I decided to take a hiatus. I needed to recalibrate my mind, body, and spirit complex. While on hiatus, I asked my spiritual team to show me what to do when I felt discouraged. How does a spiritual leader get spiritually fed? What happens when we are too exhausted to pray for ourselves? Where do we go? Most importantly, who do we trust?

Leaning into my practice and recalibrating my entire life is what saved me. I adopted a deeper meditation practice. I stopped asking my spiritual team for answers and went deeper into self. I prayed over myself and allowed myself to internalize all the guidance I was given through my meditation. I arrived at a place of peace with a new understanding of who I am and where I stand with my spiritual practice. I had to adopt a new set of boundaries and shift to a higher level of advanced consciousness so that I could rise above the heaviness that my practice created around me. I had to be still with myself so that my spiritual team could pour into me. Ask for what you need, and Spirit will deliver.

My spiritual team provided me with this guide during my hiatus. I share this with you in pure light and love.

1. You need support. We are aware that there is a problem with the leaders and elders in the spiritual community. It can be difficult to find elders who are trustworthy and have your best interest at heart. Seek out quality therapists who understand your spiritual path and friends who are in alignment with you. This takes time, trial, and error.

2. Your words hold the power of healing. Your use of language and emotion is attached to vibrations and frequencies. Out loud, with conviction, I asked my ancestors to bring me the wisdom I needed to do the work I was chosen to do. I did not ask for another elder or guru of any kind. I asked for my consciousness to be expanded at the most advanced level. I asked for clarity and peace of mind. I asked for all that needs to be revealed to me in this lifetime to be revealed in divine time.

I took time to sit in the cool river water. I laid in the cool waters and allowed my aura and crown chakra to be cleansed and reset in nature. I spoke affirmations over myself and called my power back to me daily. Your words hold power and shift vibrations. I do not hold back on my affirmations or how loud I say them.

3. Boundaries assure that our well-being does not become collateral damage. Maintain boundaries and be stern. I have had to reclaim my time and set stronger boundaries as the spiritual work continued to grow. The more my consciousness expanded, the intensity of the work increased. It became more demanding of my time. I was losing myself and the joys of my days were getting harder to find because I was so busy helping people with their problems. I was exhausted.

I was only able to answer calls, emails, barely attend Zoom calls, eat, and go to bed. I was feeling like a one-woman crisis hotline. I was heading steadfastly into a crisis of my own. Exhaustion set in and my health started to rapidly decline. My well-being was not nurtured, and no one was volunteering to nurture my soul. I had to change that.

4. Do not rely solely on spirit and abandon all common sense. I see this all the time with those seeking spiritual guidance and elevation. They learn a form of divination and become dependent on asking the spiritual divination tool for answers to even the most common sense questions. The most abused statement in spiritual work is “Spirit said so.” Do not fall into this trap. This is an imbalance of the mind, body, and spirit complex. We become addicted to tarot and divination systems to make decisions for us.

What happens when Spirit’s guidance doesn’t give you the results you desire? You become disappointed and want to blame Spirit and everyone else. I am here to tell you it is no one’s fault but your own. You abandoned all common sense and gave up your free will. This is why it is so important to have an intimate relationship with your higher self and your spiritual team. Discernment and balance will bring you peace of mind.

5. Things have to die so they can grow. Letting go in light and love is part of the spiritual journey. Adopt the practice of “Reflection and Release.” Pick a day each month to sit and reflect on every aspect of your life. Take the time to write out your accomplishments and shortcomings for the month. Look at what is working and growing, what areas need more attention, and what you need to release.

Write it all out. The list of things you need to release can then be placed where you can see it daily. Each day affirms what you have written. Beginning with “I release…” I love to prepare a simple salt bath where I speak what I need to release and wash my entire body in the salt water. Once I have released, I fill my spirit up with positive affirmations of self-love and optimism.

I had to change how I practice for my own sanity and inner harmony. I had to heal from the spiritual trauma and rebalance my life. For weeks, I had to isolate and cry it out. I was hurt, depleted, and felt abandoned by Spirit.

The reality is my spiritual team never left me—I abandoned my human existence for Spirit and the service of others. I created an imbalance that helped everyone else except me. Once I reclaimed my power, health, and peace, I rediscovered the joys of life and found new ones. I hold space for my practice, but I have a new perspective on how I use my time and energy. This newfound peace of mind allows me to fully nurture my human existence without abandoning my beloved spiritual practice.

For more guidance and spiritual advice, tune in to Coffee & Toast Morning Show with Awo Faleyewa on Anchor and Anchor by Spotify.


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