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Tourist Traps and Truth Walks: Part 2

Jul 11, 2008
In Part 1 of this article, we learned how we are all guilty of being lured by Tourist Traps - on vacations and on our Truth walks. No matter how disappointed you may be by your ventures with New Age products that are all hype and no substance, you can benefit from these adventures. Just try applying three tips we've learned from our vacation tourist traps that will help you as you maneuver your way through the Tourist Traps in your Spiritual Journey.

Tip #1: Recognize Tourist Traps for What They Are!

There's actually nothing wrong with Tourist Traps ~ they are just being what they are supposed to be: designed to separate you from your money in exchange for some kind of reminder of your trip. We are actually real suckers for tourist trap kinds of places! But we've learned from years of experience to clarify our goals as we stroll through them. We typically go with the intent of simply enjoying the visit, with a strong intention NOT to buy anything. That way, we can laugh at the tacky stuff, ooh and ahh over the gorgeous but overpriced stuff, and totally ignore the ridiculous junk. We can walk in and out without any judgment or guilt. After all, we realized it was a Tourist Trap when we went in! And some places that appear to be Tourist Traps can actually be a wonderful surprise once you get inside.

On your Spiritual Journey, it is important to be able to identify Tourist Traps for what they are, as well. Occasionally they are so well disguised that they seem to be part of the journey, when in fact, they are the biggest traps of all. The best way to recognize Tourist Traps on our Spiritual journey is to have very definite goals! Set intentions that are clear and specific. Then, when something comes along to distract you, the first question to always ask is, "This is interesting, but - How will this assist me in my journey toward this goal?" If the answer is it won't, you are aware it's just a Tourist Trap, dressed up like something spiritual!

Tip #2: Know your personal temptations!

It's always interesting when you are with a tour group, to observe what people purchase! You look at some people's souvenirs, and wonder what they were thinking! Of course, they may be thinking the same thing about your buys! We all have our own temptations! When we realize what our temptations are, we can be very focused when entering a Tourist Trap, to prevent impulse purchases.

Along our spiritual life journey, we have similar personal temptations those concepts that hook us before we realize it. Even Charles and Myrtle Fillmore (Unity's founders) had to deal with this! Listen to what Myrtle admitted, as recorded in Torch-Bearer to Light the Way (pg. 7): "I had always reserved the right in the privacy of my own mind to judge if certain person's lives accorded well with their professions. It is the hardest to overcome of all the errors I am trying to outgrow-to withhold judgment."

Once we recognize what our particular spiritual tourist trap temptation is: negative thinking, gossip, judgment, spiritual "addiction" (going from one spiritual practice to another, always looking for the next emotional high); judging; etc. - then it is much easier to overcome it.

Begin paying attention to what your tempters are; what is it that takes up your time, and creates an illusion of separation between you and Spirit? Pay attention, and then create a campaign to refocus your thinking, and avoid those tempting Tourist Traps!

Tip #3: Be aware that sometimes you can actually discover a real gem in the midst of a Tourist Trap!

Getting real, there are times we simply cannot avoid a Tourist Trap. We find ourselves placed there, and just have to handle it. If we keep our eyes open, it is amazing incredible what we can find there! Here's an example. We were part of a tour group visiting the beautiful city of Pisa. Following the initial group tour, everyone was on their own, with instructions to meet back up at a certain time, at a designated area. We got done a bit early, and found ourselves waiting for everyone else. As you can imagine, there was a full-fledged, bigger-than-life Tourist Trap right at our designated meet area! We meandered in, recognizing it for what it was, and confirming our commitment to avoid giving in to our temptations! We spotted a rickety little bookshelf filled with dusty touristy-type statuettes of the Leaning Tower, Moses, and other tourist spots. We were giggling over them, when we chanced to get a glimpse of color mixed in with the dust. Low and behold, we pulled out an amazing statue of dancers, going for about $10 American money! Of course, we walked out with this great buy

As you find yourself trapped in situations you'd describe as Spiritual Tourist Traps, keep an eye out for the gem: the lesson you can take from it; the chance to practice a principle; the good you can create from it. Then you can leave feeling, as we did, that you got away with a deal, and grew spiritually in the midst of a land mine!

On this spiritual journey we call life, you are going to run into all kinds of Tourist Traps, designed to create within you an illusion of separation from Spirit. Just recognize them for what they are, be very aware of your personal temptations, and always be on the lookout for the gems! We affirm safe and joyful travels!
About the Author
Drs. Bil & Cher Holton are Spiritual Leaders at Unity Spiritual Life Center in Durham, NC, where they practice positive, practical, progressive Christianity. Visit their website at Unity Spiritual Life Center and sign up to receive a complimentary 4-week e-course.
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