I was listening to a podcast by Abiola Abrams called “How to develop your intuition”. She has a spiritpreneur podcast and I highly recommend it if you’re interested in doing spiritual-things as an entrepreneur. It’s pretty awesome.
I was delighted to see that many of the things she spoke about were things that I have already incorporated into my life.
Things such as meditation, learning how to listen to your gut, becoming really still when you need a flash of insight, asking a question at night before falling asleep and then expecting the answer in the morning. That sort of thing.
However Abiola began to talk about something that I had never heard about before.
She mentioned that this idea originally came from Napoleon Hill’s book, “Think and Grow Rich.”
In fact, rumor has it that this was something that was heavily edited out of his book when it came out in 1937.
Basically, you imagine the people – living or deceased – that you admire the most and invite them to be on your council to help you get answers to any question you may have.
Abiola talked about having a council that consisted of Oprah, Maya Angelou, and Wayne Dyer, among others.
I decided to do more research on this and see how I could assemble my own spiritual council. After all, there are times when we just want to ask and have someone tell us the answers, do we not?
I will say, the first time I tried this, the council members seemed almost “flat.” It takes 2-3 sessions for them to start taking on a life of their own, but the insights I’ve gained as a result of these sessions have been pretty profound.
Forming a Spiritual Council
The first step in forming a spiritual council is to make a list of all the people throughout history, famous celebrities, spiritual leaders, other movers and shakers, friends, relatives or family members that you greatly respect.
I began with a list that kept growing and growing and growing.
Most of the sites I consulted on creating your own spiritual counsel said to select anywhere from 5 to 10 people whose characteristics most closely emulated what you would like to see more of in your own life.
For example, a person could consult Warren Buffett in matters of money. The Dalai Lama could be part of one’s counsel (counsel = advisor) for spiritual matters.
If you’re a woman, notable women might have a seat at your table. Well honestly, this could apply for the guys, too. Having a balance of male and female energy is always a good thing.
Whomever you decide to have as part of your council, you want to make sure that it’s a good mix of people, all known for certain characteristics that you want to develop in your own life.
After nearly a day of research, I’m afraid I couldn’t come up with a list of 5-10 people.
My list is nearly 20 people!
However, I learned that while Napoleon Hill originally had just a small number of people in his council, he eventually expanded it to somewhere between 50 and 60 people!
I figured starting out with my big list – all people I admire for various reasons – would just have to do.
There are so many I admire.
Below is my own list of folks that I think could make a powerful council along with the characteristics that called to me about each person. Some of them are living and some are historical figures:
- Harriet Tubman = courage + freedom + tenacity
- Gandhi = equality + discipline + enlightenment
- Mother Teresa = champion of the downtrodden + prayer + meditation
- Maya Angelou = poetry + female power + triumph + writing
- Abraham Lincoln = equality + unity + leadership + courage
- Frida Kahlo = art + power to the people + girl power + courage
- Deganawida = peacemaking + love + spirituality
- Minerva Mirabal Reyes = standing up for what is right + courage
- Obama = triumph + diplomacy + courage
- Oprah = triumph + success + girl power
- Paulo Coehlo = writing + spirituality
- Dalai Lama = wisdom + enlightenment
- Thich Nhat Hanh = spirituality + enlightenment
- Rigoberta Menchu = perseverance + peace + speaking out for what is right
- Richard Branson = business + money
- J.K. Rowling = creativity + writing
- Napoleon Hill = writing + business + wealth consciousness
- Harry Belafonte = music + persistence + champion of the downtrodden
- Sacajawea = women’s worth + independence + adventurer
- Sitting Bull = premonition + poise
Preparing for your spiritual council meeting
Since I have so many people I revere, I usually choose 5-6 people who will be part of my council meetings beforehand. These folks will have expertise on the question that I have.
Occasionally, I will include someone on the council who doesn’t have the exact expertise called for. These people can have a left-field perspective that can really help in the solution-making process.
The best time to “call a council meeting” is either during meditation or before bed at night after everyone else around you has gone to bed and you can sit in the dark, where you’ll be undisturbed.
You need to have an “agenda” – the reason you’re calling the meeting in the first place. Pick only one question or topic. More than that can confuse things.
It’s also a good idea to have a notepad next to you in case you need to write ideas down.
If you’re meditating, however, it might be a good idea to wait until you’re finished with your meditation session and then write everything down that you learned.
Avoid using technology immediately after a meeting: the energy in technology can disrupt that “flow” state in which you’ll find yourself and also the higher energy that you create as a result of looking within.
The question or topic can be about anything that you need an answer to, but just make sure to limit it to one thing.
Examples of questions include: What should I do with my life? What can I do to improve my business? What is the most important thing I need to know right now?
Meeting with your spiritual council
Here, you’ll close your eyes and imagine a meeting room – in any style and size you like. But imagine all the members of your council filing in and finding their seat.
Except you also imagine that you’re the leader of this meeting and you get to sit at the head of the table (or room, etc.).
At the beginning of this meeting, welcome everyone and immediately pose your question.
Now, give all your council members a chance to respond. Some may choose to respond, and others may not, depending on how relevant the question is to each member. Still, others may communicate with you non-verbally by sending messages, symbols or imagery.
Do not let the meeting adjourn until you are satisfied with the solution and the answers. If you don’t have a good answer, ask your council members to keep at it.
It will take a few meetings, but the different personalities of people will begin to come alive in your meetings. In fact, they may begin to argue and discuss in a way that you never knew could be possible – all inside your head!
The one thing that scared Napoleon Hill
As Hill conducted his meetings, the characters really began to develop personalities in tandem with how they are or were in real life.
He reported on how Abraham Lincoln always liked to arrive late to the meetings and would slowly wander around until he found his seat.
These characters seemed so real and took on such vibrance and interest in his questions, that animated discussions and arguments sometimes occurred in these meetings.
This frightened Hill so much that he did not call council meetings for several months after this first happened.
However, one day he decided to just “go with it” and try again.
In one form or another, famous people throughout history have used this technique in various forms.
Another notable person was Walt Disney. He would “close his eyes and daydream” until he came up with a solution that meant he had a powerful, original and creative idea for his next project.
My experiences with this
I learned about this technique only a short time ago. But I have been working with it some during my morning meditations.
I have had 3 or 4 council meetings now.
Before I talk about the meetings themselves, I’ll just share that having these meetings in the mornings is better for me. I’m a “the lights go out and I fall asleep” kind of person, so evening meditation or calling spiritual council meetings at night doesn’t really work for me.
I’ve tried it and I promptly fall asleep and forget my question, or I have trouble visualizing my council members.
During my morning meditations, I’ve asked several questions. I’ll share one with you.
I asked what the next steps should be in my business development with regards to this site.
One day I called Obama, Coelho, Rowling, Oprah, Hilary Clinton, and Branson to my meeting. I figured there would be a great mix of leadership, courage, business expertise, girl power, spirituality and wisdom to forge a balanced response.
And an incredible response I got!
From that meeting I heard the following:
- Stay consistent and persistent
- Keep doing what you’re doing
- Keep pumping out beautiful things
- As I grow in my online business, I will meet and find the people I need to help me
- Stay strong
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help
- Stay open to opportunities
While these responses aren’t groundbreaking and embrace the notion of common sense, each person at my council table took the time to think and respond.
I asked this question probably the second time I held a council meeting. I know that my council members are still “new” and they’re “developing their characteristics,” but I’m already amazed at the insights that these folks share.
Now, I know that this is all going on in my head. But there is scientific evidence, as well as spiritual evidence that this kind of visualization is extraordinarily powerful.
Why not try it?
Update on the Tree of Life journal
Y’all, I’m psyched!
I finally was able to upload the files to CreateSpace yesterday.
While I normally publish on Mondays, when I get the proof and approve the book for publication, I will create a special blog post on that.
Email subscribers (not via WordPress as I cannot send files that way) will receive the first couple of pages as a gift on Sept. 1.
Anticipated date of publication: Thursday, August 31.
As long as I can publish this by August 31, I will fulfill the requirements for the LIFE Project intentions for August.