Here are five types of spiritual teachers, and five ways to channel that power.
BY JENNIFER LONGMORE — In the realm of spiritual leaders there are all kinds: one-on-one mentors, crowd instigators, retreat leaders, genuine sages, and more than a few well-intentioned wannabes or ill-intentioned quacks. The young people who challenged the status quo and toppled Mubarak’s autocratic rule in Egypt. The smiling old woman the neighborhood children see lovingly tending to her garden every spring. Even the televangelist broadcasting his flashy brand of hope to millions. If they influence others on some spiritual level, they probably count.
But a spiritual leader isn’t always someone else. If you have divinely touched or inspired someone in your life — and I guarantee that you have, whether or not you were conscious of doing so — then you, too are in the running. Want to develop that spiritual leader inside you? Go ahead, but before you can inspire others you must become an inspired leader for one person: yourself. Once you are pumped for your own journey, others will be pumped when you guide them on theirs.
Spiritual leaders take many forms. Do any of these sound like you?
The hero with five faces
The connector feels passionate about connecting souls with each other because of a deep feeling that certain folks are meant to meet. This isn’t a “me-me-me” leader, but someone content to sit back as people discover and thrive with each other.
The teacher is someone that everyone comes to for guidance about how to do something (and will experience change as a result). Some of the people we have featured on Soul’s Code, including Tony Samara and Byron Katie, seem to have that certain peaceful aura that others flock to for instruction.
The wisdom-keeper always seems to be at the right place at the right time. Everyone seeks out this person for insight and enlightenment. The wisdom-keeper could be a teacher (see above) or someone whose unique perspectives influence others in much smaller and still meaningful ways, like the old man sitting next to you on a bus, the eccentric child down the road or even your shrink.
The nurturer loves others until they are strong enough to see the love within themselves (so that they can, in turn, nurture others). Again this brand of “leadership” is entirely selfless. It takes special insight to see the potential in others and help it flourish.
The catalyst is the higher-profile kind of spiritual leader, rare but with the potential to be very influential. Are you the next Martin Luther King Jr.? You might not know it, but people might be attracted to you when they need a catalyst to ignite change in their lives.
Do you see a theme here? Each of these roles—and there are many more—is the flame that lights another’s candle. What makes these roles more expansive, rather than just a fortunate fluke, is when we become conscious of our impact and own our role as spiritual leader by way of whom we consistently attract.
5 secrets of high-impact gurus
Once you own who you are, then you can become more conscious of your spiritual leader. Next, if you’re ready to align your energies toward spiritual leadership, these tips will help you along:
1. HUGE vision. See yourself where you would like to be five years from now. Whom are you impacting? Whom have you become? What have you created? How does it feel to be in this vision?
2. Powerful intentions. Allow yourself to become crystal clear about how you want to feel in your inner world and what you wish to create for yourself and others in your outer world. Then begin a daily practice of intentionality. How will your day unfold? What will you attract to yourself? How do you want to feel? How do you want others to feel in connection with you? What do you wish to create?
3. Clear strategy. Examine your vision, then break it down so that you begin with the first logical step that will get you there, and then the next, and the next. I find it helpful to create a 12-month plan of what seems the most fitting to move me closer to my larger vision. Remember: it is always about the journey, not the destination!
4. Positive support. You can create a certain level of impact as a spiritual leader on your own. But I can share with you that it is much more joyful, easy-breezy and effective to have positive support, especially if you want to make a greater impact. This may include social support, family support, collegial support, and mentorship. Take inventory about the level and quality of support you have right now, and ask yourself what additional support you need to move you to the next level.
5. Inspired action. What is one action that you can implement right away to move you that much closer to fully aligning yourself to your spiritual leadership?
Jennifer Longmore, Soul Journeys Empowerment and Enlightenment Coach, is an international healer, speaker, guest expert, contributing writer and founder of the Soul Journeys School for Spiritual Studies. For more than 15 years, she has awakened thousands of clients, just like you, to their soul purpose, through high-level private sessions, group coaching programs and certification classes so that they can live their most joyous path and create an spiritually and financially abundant and joyous path.
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