What does it take for an Olympic athlete to win gold? The physical aspect of the sport can only take you so far. In the Olympic games, everyone is talented. Everyone trains hard. Everyone does the work. The one thing that separates the gold medalists from the silver medalists is simply the mental game. According to former Olympic gold medal-winning decathlon runner Bruce Jenner, "You have to train your mind like you train your body." He's echoing an athletic maxim that's practically a cliché: sports are 90 percent mental and 10 percent physical.
Therefore, can we agree then that a physical goal is conquered more effortlessly in the mental plane? What about a mental goal... like overcoming fear, depression, stress, or anxiety? Does it stand to reason then that a mental goal can be overcome more effectively and effortlessly in an even higher plane, namely the spiritual plane?
Even an eagle understands this simple concept of taking our challenges to a higher plane. An eagle won't try to overpower a snake on the ground. He will pick it up and battle it in the sky, where a snake becomes powerless without traction. When we learn how to take our battle to a higher plane, we have the power to overcome, because physical and mental challenges have no or little power or traction in this higher realm. Life becomes so much easier when we learn how to get beyond ourselves and our human limitations and surrender to that higher power where there are no limits, and everything is possible.
So often we try to solve our problems from the same plane as it was created. This is exhausting, takes much effort, and is mostly futile. Some people even look to a lower plane for answers! Example, We might try to solve our mental depression with a tangible substance from the lower physical plane which provides a 'bandaid' solution at best, without getting to the root of the matter. Folks who are more self aware, might understand that they have to change their negative thoughts to positive. This is a great start to raising our level of consciousness, as long as those thoughts eventually change into new beliefs.
How do we raise our consciousness to a new level, so we can overcome life's physical and mental challenges with greater ease? I talk about this in detail in my previous blog posts on this site (The Power of Belief, The Power of Detachment, etc), as well as in my recently published book. When we are energetically vibrating in the spiritual plane of love, peace, light, joy, it is impossible to have dark negative or fearful thoughts. "Perfect love casts out fear" 1 John 4:18. What used to be a problem in the lower planes no more has power to bind us or control us. Let's take addictions as an example as a lower plane challenge. Trying to battle a physical addiction from the physical plane is a never ending battle. We will have more success if we raise our consciousness to the mental plane with psychology programs, mind training, etc. However, as we rise further in faith/consciousness, addictions become effortless to overcome in the spiritual realm. Why? Because there is nothing to attach itself to... no traction. We have moved beyond the body to a place where attachments cannot exist.
Some folks believe that the physical, mental, and spiritual planes are independent of each other. The fact is that they are connected and interdependent. What shows up on one plane shows up on the other two by default. Example, if we are chronically depressed, it can affect all aspects of our life, from our physical health to our stalled spiritual advancement... unless we use our mental stresses as a tap on the shoulder or as a stepping stone to go deeper within.
I think a lot of us understand how this all works on a mental, theoretical, or even biblical level, but maybe not on a practicing spiritual level. We can either exhaust ourselves battling the many challenges of life, or we can watch them dissipate just by observing them from a higher level of consciousness. There is no fighting.
In summary, I hope we welcome each challenge as it arises in life, and view it as another opportunity to get to that higher plane where we can effortlessly accomplish our physical, mental, and spiritual goals.