“Spirituality is a living practice…It’s everywhere you go, though you can’t see it. And you won’t find it in a book,” Mastin Kipp writes (ironically?) in his first book, Daily Love: Growing into Grace, out on September 9.
But if the modern-day guru and creator of the popular inspiration and inner life website The Daily Love insists you won’t find personal enlightenment even in pages penned by him, he does want to share the lessons he’s learned on his own path—to help you further discover yours.
To do that, he’s filled his book with stories of how he found “grace” and shares his personal struggles with overcoming drug addictions, bulimia, and what he calls his attitude problems, like being self-righteous. But in the end, he says, it’s not about him—it’s about you.
“The worst outcome for me is you read this book and you do nothing,” he says. “Every limiting belief or excuse I’ve ever heard is bullshit.” (Tough love, guys.)
We spoke with Kipp, who gave us these five lessons for spiritual growth from his book that he says catapulted him into the next phase of his spiritual path. Here’s how they can do the same for you:
1. Don’t expect a guru to change you. Kipp says you should look to spiritual leaders for inspiration but take care not to idolize them and put their message ahead of your own path. “We cannot look to our mentors as our source of power. Instead we must look where they are looking, and find our own answers,” writes Kipp.
“One thing I’ve noticed, in being someone that people go to for this type of inspirational material, is that there’s a pattern, you look up to people like me or Gabby [Bernstein]. It’s not about me…but its all about you. You have to look to what inspired them,” he explains. “I was inspired by George Lucas and the Star Wars film [and] that’s what led me to Carl Jung. I would have missed that if I made George Lucas my higher power.”
2. When you are open to life’s unexpected blessings, you are led to what you need. When Kipp first learned about Caroline Myss, author, tough-love teacher, and personality-type expert, he was actually asking a girl for her phone number. Instead, she handed him one of Myss’ CDs. “Caroline Myss was delivered to me in the vessel of a beautiful woman who did not want to date me. I wanted the girl, but I got the lesson instead,” he says. “If I had been attached to the fact that I didn’t get the girl, I would have missed this beautiful lesson.”
3. The hardest, most painful part of your life might end up leading you somewhere powerful. “I got my start in Hollywood at age 19. I developed a drug addiction and started drinking heavily—[it] brought me to a point when I was on my knees. Why was I shown all of this incredible potential if I was supposed to be a bump on the street—which is what I thought I was?” Kipp says. “Hollywood brought out the worst in me…but I’ve come to believe that I was being prepared for who I was to become.”
4. If you want to be happy, give, give, and give more. “If I could somehow figure out how to make serving other people and being loving my driving need, my whole perspective, and my whole life, would change,” writes Kipp. “I had been in survival mode for so long it was difficult to focus on anyone but myself. But I realized that if I didn’t take my focus from ‘me’ to ‘serving others,’ my life would never genuinely change.”
5. Be an active participant in your spiritual growth. “People who achieve at the highest level design their circumstances,” Kipp says. Instead of focusing on how you don’t have enough time or resources, focus on being a “creator” and shaping your own transformation. It certainly worked for Kipp. —Molly Gallagher