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Wiccan Voices
with Crystal Blanton

Many times we are looking for ways to feel fulfilled within the confines of our lives and the perceived restrictions that are set before us. As we set out to seek spiritual growth, we are always looking for quantifiable ways of measurement. However, such a thing does not necessarily exist in the way we are looking for it.

How does one gauge spiritual growth? Is there such a thing?

Spiritual growth is not measured by the calibre of Wiccan books you read, the amount of research you have done, or the ways in which you call a deity. The only real way of calculating spiritual growth rests in the way you respond to life's landscapes and how your connection to a higher source is changing the quality of your life. This type of measurement is not on a scale of one to ten, ten being the best Wiccan or Pagan ever. Instead the magnitude of spirituality is seen over time through events as they present themselves in your life.

How many times have you walked into an event or spoken with someone online and the first thing she wants to communicate to you is her list of spiritual accomplishments or degrees? Often this amounts to finding personal fulfillment by riding on the tails of spirituality or religion. It is common for people to look to others for the acceptance that can only come from inside of themselves and from their Gods. This type of growth is hard to achieve, requiring patience and faith that things are as they should be in that moment. Taking this stance allows us to open to the possibilities that may manifest before us and gives us the possibility to alter our lives in ways that we consciously wouldn't be able to do.

I can think about growth all I want, but until I open myself and allow things to happen in my life, I am not going anywhere. If I were lucky enough to go where growth was possible, I would not be able to effectively recognize it or take it into my Higher Self if I was not open to the real possibility of what growth has in store for me.

Working in the counseling field I see this happening all around me. In reality life is filled with spiritual warfare, and we are learning to adjust to the many different currents life can present at any given moment. I see this same pattern among those in the drug and alcohol counseling and spiritual mentoring fields, as within myself. We are all reaching out for the knowledge to grow to a place where we don't have to struggle so much and can enjoy the life the Gods have put before us.

We do not know what growth looks like until we have achieved it and are able to look back at the strides we have made. Growth is the addict who is able to stay clean two days when one day didn't seem possible. Growth is the mother who is able to pay the rent while everything is going up in price except her income. Growth is the student who walks away from a fight, because he doesn't want to get suspended over being called "stupid." Growth is the person who is reading this article and wondering what he needs to do in his life to continue growing spiritually to enhance his reality.

If I were to sit with addicts on their first day of recovery and tell them growth is measured by the length of time they are clean, this would be an inaccurate way of evaluating growth. Will days clean truly indicate one's growth? The answer is no; there is no true way to evaluate spiritual growth that is traditionally quantifiable. For any particular person, growth could be staying clean, obtaining gainful employment, being with their children, developing spiritual practice, or many of the infinite possibilities the universe has to offer.

If you are with me so far, you might be asking where to go from here. It is easy… just surrender. Let go of what you "think" growth should look like and allow yourself to grow. Since we don't know what our future looks like there is no way to anticipate how we should be growing, and when we do that, we limit ourselves to ideals instead of possibilities. People find themselves stuck inside of a perception of what their life is instead of what it can become or what life should be and what it is not. This keeps us stuck in situations with the same jobs, relationships, housing, financial hardships or lifestyles as a result of these "ideals". If one can release the self-imposed restraints and allow oneself to move freely with spirit, one can grow in unimaginable ways unknown to everyone except the God and Goddess.

Spiritual Growth is one of the things we cannot control, so let's stop trying. Like everything in nature, "we grow where we are planted." Since I cannot control where I was planted nor can I control where I will branch out, I will just enjoy the water and sun which allows me to have life, knowing I am growing to somewhere.

Crystal Blanton is a trained and experienced Registered Addictions Specialist in the field of drug and alcohol counseling, which enhances her understanding of spiritual balance and how behaviour and perceptions affect our everyday lives. Crystal is a High Priestess and ordained minister with Family Wiccan Traditions International (FWTI) and Dance of the Spirit Moon Tradition. She is on the Executive Board of Directors for FWTI and is a student mentor. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and children and tries to read as much as possible.

You can contact Crystal Blanton via email or visit her website at www.crystalblanton.com or www.touchofamethyst.com.

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