The Complete Handbook For Spiritual Bad-Asses
Can you be spiritual and also be a total bad-ass? Clearly, as you’ve probably guessed from the title of this article, I think the answer is yes.
That’s because being a spiritual bad-ass entails exactly that: becoming the most bold and empowered version of you while very much holding onto your spirituality and overall Woo-ness.
The cool thing is that a spiritual bad-ass can look like almost anyone: a witchy online writer, a mom picking her awesome kids up from school or a budding online entrepreneur. It has nothing to do with the persona that you usually where! It’s all about what’s going on in your heart and soul.
Becoming a spiritual bad-ass will just help you become the best writer/mom/entrepreneur you can be!
So let’s dive in and show you exactly how to do it:
1. Love Yourself First
The amount of love you give yourself determines so much about your life: the amount of money you’ll allow yourself to make, the friendships that you’ll tolerate, the romantic love that you’ll let yourself have.
That’s why typically someone who is low in one area of their life is low in many. Their set point for love and self-respect is low and that translates into everything around them.
The truth is the love that you receive from the world around you is determined only by you. So if your love levels are low, then it’s time to start improving them from the inside out.
You cannot count on anyone else to give you the love you crave. That’s why learning to truly love and accept yourself is the hands-down the most bad-ass life skill you can practice!
2. Do Your Own Work
No one can fix you except you. No one’s coming to save you — and — most importantly, no one owes you anything! Ever. Your job in life is to make yourself happy and keep your side of the street clean. Everything else is out of your hands.
So you cannot rely on anyone doing the work for you: not your family, friends and definitely not your romantic partner! No matter how old, in love, or successful you become, you still have to pull your own weight in life. So if there’s an issue that needs dealing with, it’s time for you to get on with it instead of waiting for someone to stage an intervention.
3. Stop Comparing
Comparison-itis is an incredibly damaging mind-game to play!
Of course, it can be damaging to compare ourselves to an artificial ideal (aka images in the media or on social media). A photo never reveals the whole of the story, even though we are all too eager to believe otherwise.
But comparisons can be damaging in another way too. Many people fall into the comparison trap as a way to artificially prop up their own (low) self-esteem. “Oh I look better, dress better/ have a better job/relationship than X so therefore I must BE better.”
Propping your ego up at the expense of someone else only works until someone younger/richer/more successful than you comes along. And, trust me, that day WILL come! If the only way you can feel good about yourself is by making these false comparisons, you definitely have a lot of self-love work left to do.
4. Fill Up Your Own Cup
If you’re a spiritual type, you might also be a giver. I’m only shouting you out here because I am one of you! For example, historically, I give and give and give in my romantic relationships until there is literally nothing left to give.
It’s not cute!
And it was a TOUGH lesson to learn that I was the source of that problem. So I’m sharing it with you now to highlight exactly how selfish over-giving can actually be! When there’s nothing left of you, there’s literally nothing left. But it’s no one’s job to pump the brakes and cry for help but you.
You cannot pour from an empty cup. But it’s your job to keep your own cup from being totally emptied. That means loving yourself and setting proper boundaries.
5. Know Your Why
You can ask for anything you want in this world as long — as you’re clear on your why first. Otherwise, you might just be chasing down things that don’t really matter to you.
It sounds crazy at first but so many of our goals in life spring from external sources or our own outdated ideas. Maybe you don’t really want to be a doctor but you’re parents have conditioned you to think that for so long you no longer realize that the desire isn’t even yours.
Knowing your why is important because we all have limited time and resources in this life. It doesn’t make sense for anyone to try to live someone else’s best life! The only person you need to make happy is you. Those external or outdated desires don’t truly represent you and the sooner you realize that, the better.
6. Embrace Your Darkness
Even the most high-vibe spiritual person you can think of has a dark side. We’re all light and dark, conscious and subconscious. But that dark part of you will only have power if you let it; running away or refusing to face it will give it that power.
So it’s time to come face to face with yours rather than continuing to deny or hide it. Because the better we understand ourselves and our true motivations, the stronger we will ultimately become.
The funny thing is that your Shadow Self is seldom as terrible as you’ve made it out to be! Sometimes we’re all petty, unreasonable, irrational or jealous. It’s simply important to acknowledge those things so that you’re not ruled by them.
So just remember you cannot run from yourself and find yourself at the same time.
7. Cultivate Good Habits
Few people get excited about creating habits or forming new routines! But if you want to know what’s truly important to you in life, take a look at what you do regularly. Where you spend your time and money are huge indicators of where your true values lay.
If you’re constantly talking about getting in shape and but never actually going to the gym, maybe working out isn’t that big a deal to you. And that’s fine! So maybe it’s time to stop talking about it or to adjust your real-life routine to include exercise.
Either way, just talking about things or thinking about things doesn’t count for anything! If you really want the life of your dreams, you need to follow up the talk with action.
8. Make A Decision
The Universe is in a state of constant expansion and expansion is your natural state too. That means the only thing you are not meant to do in life is stand still and stagnate!
But I get it. Growth is often scary and sometimes we get overwhelmed by the options in front of us. But truthfully the answer is to just pick something, instead of endlessly debating the “right” choice. There’s rarely ever a clear black and white solution; just ones that are better than others.
So if you find out that you’ve chosen the “wrong” thing, at least now you know where to go next! Sitting around thinking the possibilities for too long doesn’t actually help you make the right decision. It just wastes your time — or worse, removes the option of choice entirely by allowing life to choose for you. So take a deep breath, dive in and just choose something.
9. Set Your Boundaries
You are never just a helpless victim of your own life! While some of the way others treat us is their fault, much of it is actually our own. That’s because we teach the world how we want to be treated. And if we’re not clear on our boundaries, then we can’t expect anyone else to be either.
Everyone has a unique set of boundaries — or hard limits — and figuring yours out is an important act of self-care. And that’s a two part process: figuring out how we want to be treated and then communicating that to the world around us.
Establishing boundaries might at first sound like you’re forcing the people around you to change who they are. But that’s not really the way it works!
Boundaries simply make you happier and your relationships stronger. Plus one weird side-effect of actually working on your boundaries is realizing how few boundaries you actually have! I guarantee you have a lot of preferences and ideals, but solid boundaries are actually few and far between.
10. Know The Difference Between Pleasure And Happiness
The pursuit of happiness is the reason we do many things in life. Of course, choosing happiness is a beautiful way to live your life!
But things can still get confusing here: happiness is often confused with fleeting pleasure. So if you want to create long-term (sustainable!) happiness, you need to get clear about the difference.
Are the things that you spend your time on bringing happiness or pleasure? Pleasure is often fleeting. It might feel good in the moment but later on it might create guilt or regret. And sometimes pleasure just gives us a way to avoid what we’re really feeling. Pleasure can just be another distraction but true happiness is ongoing.
Similarly, sometimes the things that bring us true happiness aren’t so pleasurable in the moment! Sometimes you need to do things that you aren’t currently that pumped about that will make you happy down the line. It’s important to be aware of that too.
11. Be Willing To See Things Differently
According to A Course In Miracles, a miracle is a shift in perception. And I know at first that sounds utterly ridiculous. When I want miracles, I want hellfire and brimstone! I want straight up irrefutable PROOF.
But here’s how this actually: a simple shift in perception means you’re also seeing the world totally differently. You’re open to an entire new world of possibilities and that’s an incredibly powerful thing.
So if you’re looking for a miracle, start by throwing out your old stories and ways of seeing the world. Be willing to be wrong. Be wiling to think DIFFERENTLY. And watch the world around you change accordingly.
12. Drop The Expectations
We all have expectations for our life: for the way we’re treated, for the way things should work. Expectations can be helpful tools (I’m a firm believer that your expectations create your energetic set point!) but only up to a certain point. Overly high expectations that go unmet are a breeding ground for the worse kinds of emotions: guilt, anger, shame, resentment.
While some expectations are useful, others are incredibly damaging! But living with your expectation hangover is totally avoidable.
To do this work, take some time to consider where your expectations originally came from. Did you decide you should be married by age 30 because that’s what you saw in some movie when you were eight-years-old? It’s shocking how long we carry around some of those life ideals, many of which were based only on our parents relationship or something we saw on TV! Then you end up feeling guilt or shame about some invisible milestone that you randomly decided on. But that expectation only exists inside your own mind! It’s not even based on reality.
So the next time you feel disappointment over an unmet expectation, sit back and examine where the expectation actually came from instead of mindlessly beating yourself up over it.
13. Know Time Is Fleeting
Take a look around you! No matter how good or how bad your current circumstances are, the one thing is guaranteed: everything is going to change. Your kids will grow up. You’ll graduate from school or your job will change. People will move on, move away or pass away.
No one can stop the inevitable creep of time but that’s totally okay! The past doesn’t exist anymore and the future doesn’t exist yet. You’ve only ever got the here and now so choose to really live it!
Allow the knowledge that you will never again be exactly here ever again give you gratitude and a sense of awe. Then be exactly who you are right now with all your heart and soul, because you’ll never be this version of you again.
(And thank you so much for sharing this beautiful current moment with me!)
14. Get Out Of The Blame Game
We’ve all been hurt, wronged, betrayed. We’ve all faced disappointment and heartbreak. That’s just a part of our human experience! (Some contrast is simply necessary to highlight the good in our life.)
But only you have the choice whether you can rise above it or not. Blaming people or situations for where you are right now just traps you in victim mentality — forever.
You need to honestly ask yourself: are you hiding from success and happiness by blaming those events?
Because using those disappointments as excuses for not being who you really want to be or where you want to be is a choice that you’re making.
Yes, you had some hurdles to overcome. And life doesn’t always give us a level playing field!
But at the end of the day only YOU decide whether those things will define your future. Playing the victim for a lifetime isn’t fun or productive, for anyone.
15. Your Beliefs Create Your World
The biggest obstacle you will ever face in life is learning how to manage your own mind. So many of the problems we see in the world actually originate inside of us! But the good news is that also means that we can change them.
Your beliefs and expectations about the world will literally show up in your reality, time and time again. So it’s time to start thinking consciously about what those beliefs actually entail. Do your beliefs truly serve you? What would happen if you twisted the knob and pushed your expectations just a smidge higher up the scale?
So if you want to expand your horizons, the first thing to do is start adjusting your own expectations and belief systems. Funny how that seems to work, just like magic.
16. Your Brain Believes What You Tell It
Your brain didn’t come with an instruction manual! So it’s very likely that you’re not using it to its full potential. You don’t have to be a slave to mindless chatter. You don’t have to live on an emotional rollercoaster. With care and attention, you can regain control of the ship! But it takes conscious effort to get there.
Start by practicing telling your brain what to think. Stop obsessing over things that don’t matter! Keep an elastic on your wrist and literally start snapping yourself out of it. It sounds too easy but it really does work!
You can also give your brain more exercise by practice thinking new thoughts: aka affirmations. If that sounds too woo woo for you, no worries! The basic premise still applies: repetition literally creates new neural pathways in your brain. So why don’t you start telling yourself that you love something that you normally don’t enjoy? Simply noticing your thoughts and consciously thinking the opposite thought can make a immense difference on your life!
None of these techniques are difficult but they do take effort! But why not give it a shot and see what happens?
17. Be Willing To Be Wrong
No matter how loving and enlightened you happen to be, disagreements will still happen with the people around you. But how you handle them can make all the difference to your own overall happiness.
The problem is that few people think about the way in which they argue. It’s not like we’re taught how to in school! And to make matters worse, our fight or flight instinct also fires up during these tense situations. A simple difference in opinion can make it suddenly seem like we’re about to lose the love we’ve worked so hard to find. We’re abruptly face-to-face with all our old issues: abandonment, shame, feeling unloved. So it’s really no wonder that we fight hard to hold onto what we have: our current sense of self.
But pitting ourselves against each other rarely results in a real winner. Yet we fall into arguments with unusual energy and passion. We somehow think that convincing the other person that we are right will shrink the emotional distance between us — and end the possibility of being alone or abandoned.
But that passion to win doesn’t do what we want it to. It actually completely backfires! Because if we are right, the other person is automatically wrong and that person wants to be right just as much as you do.
In reality, the truth is rarely black or white. It’s possible for you to both be right and wrong at the same time! And many arguments are simply not winnable. Instead of winners, we find only misunderstandings, confusion, unmet expectations.
Settling a disagreement should be seen as a matter of two people getting curious, asking questions and furthering their understanding of each other, not a fight to divide and conquer.
The incessant need to be right will lose you more in the long run than it will give you. This need will fool you into thinking that you have some sort of power whilst pushing away everything you value the most: friendships, intimacy and, ultimately, happiness.
We can control a whole freaking lot about the life we live! But there are still a few limits. Surrendering to the divine order of the Universe is a freeing feeling. You’re always exactly where you’re meant to be! Sometimes the only answer is to stop pushing or pulling and to just let the world happen.
This is especially important when it comes to other relationships! Everyone else has their own agenda and no matter how hard you try you cannot make anyone love you. If someone doesn’t love you (or respect you), then your job is simply to notice and act accordingly.
Surrender is a divine experience. It allows us to marvel in the magnitude of the world around us. After all, as smart as you are, you’ll never have a God’s eye view of the world! We have to accept that sometimes things aren’t meant to be or we’re just not ready yet! But that doesn’t mean you’ve done anything wrong or that your manifesting failed. Keep faith.
Forgiveness is one of the most important mental muscles you have. But it doesn’t come naturally and it certainly doesn’t come easily! So you need to practice forgiveness actively and often.
Forgive your mistakes. Forgive your past. Forgive those who hurt you, neglected you, taught you, raised you. It’s time for it to stop hurting you and the only way through is by forgiveness.
We’re all imperfect humans, fumbling our way towards what we think is right. It’s not always easy and it’s not always pretty. We make mistakes and we’ve hurt others too.
Bu as the adage goes, holding onto anger and resentment is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.
No matter how hurt you were or how right you think you are, staying bitter and angry only hurts you in the end.
So take a deep breath. Forgive them. Forgive yourself. And let it go.
20. Let Go Of The Past
We all have a past and in that past, usually there are a lot of things that we regret or wish we could change. But it’s important to know, that’s just a normal experience.
The only person who can make you continue to dwell on the past is you.
There’s no point in wasting time in your current reality obsessing over something you wish you’d done differently or over things that were unfair. Yes, those things happened to you and yes, they sucked. But obsessing about them won’t change anything!
Now that they’re in the past, you get to choose whether you want to spend the present moment thinking about them or not.
So choose wisely.
21. The Answers Are Always Within
While there are many spiritual teachers in this world, they’re really only there to point you in the right direction. They facilitate your journey. They allow you to uncover the right answers; but you are still doing your own work.
The truth is that everyone you meet is a teacher! And every moment holds a potentially life changing revelation.
So you don’t need to work hard to find true wisdom! You just need to start tuning back into you.
When you can calm your mind, you create space for that real wisdom to come through. You leave room for the magic to do it’s work! The incredible wisdom in your heart and gut might otherwise be overridden by that chatterbox brain of yours.
Quiet contemplation gives you space for the real answers to bubble to the surface. But they’ll never come out unless you allow them enough space.
As you can see, real spiritual bad-asses have to put in the real work of becoming self-aware and working on the areas that need some improvement. But this process is less about learning how to do something and more about stripping away the layers to become the most bad-ass version of you.
If this article resonated with you, then you’re probably a perfect candidate for my 1-on-1 coaching program, based on my Unfuckwithable framework. Or if you just want to read more articles like this, then be sure to sign up for updates over on my blog: The Aligned Life.