We hear it all the time—people are frustrated with spirituality.
They are frustrated with fake marketing, sexy yoga poses, and food that tastes bad and isn’t actually good for you, all being touted as “spiritual.”
But why are we even calling these things spiritual? Drinking kombucha or going to a music festival are not spiritual in any way.
The term spiritual means connecting to the part of yourself that is spirit. This can be done anywhere, anytime, while dressed in any clothes, eating any food, and having any emotion.
Spirit is everything—so we can be doing anything and still have a spiritual experience.
But when the word spiritual is used to fuel a constant push for the capitalist machine, it just doesn’t feel that good. What we need to remember is that just because the way spirituality is being marketed to us might not feel good, that shouldn’t be a reason to turn away from activities or choices that bring us the spiritual healing and connection we desire.
Yoga is not one thing these days—and probably never was. It’s the same with meditation. Using these terms in a blanket, stereotypical way doesn’t do us any service.
Both yoga and meditation bring us closer to our bodies, breath, and sense of spiritual being, but this experience can be had while wearing any clothes or being in any location—even though big business would like us to forget this.
We can tap into our wiser heart and mind at any time, and ask: What choice is best for my spiritual growth at this moment? The answer will have nothing to do with buying a book, getting a 10-punch pass at a yoga studio, and eating or not eating certain foods. Instead, it will probably mean doing something hard and brave.
All emotions, responses, thoughts, and experiences are part of being spiritual. They are the expression of spirit moving through us. Spirit is infinite and when we recognize our innate connection to something bigger, we feel infinite as well.
Let’s not get lost in the hype that “being spiritual” translates to a style of dressing and talking, or a circle of people we surround ourselves with.
Our most spiritual moments often occur when we’re by ourselves, seeing where our hearts hurt, and admitting to ourselves that our pain is real, without any excuse or blame. It is in these moments that we draw on our spiritual perspective and commit to moving through this material, human world with the most loving effort we can muster—even though it is hard.
In these moments, we have no doubt that we are innately spiritual without having to exert any effort.
But then, when we are bored, watching TV, or caught up in some emotional drama with family or friends, we start to doubt ourselves. We can’t remember if we are actually spiritual or if we were just faking our way through it.
Doubt is normal, but all we need to do is get quiet for a moment, touch into the sense that we are part of an infinite system of spirit and form every moment of our lives, and remember again that spirit isn’t something we believe or do not believe; it is something we are—all the time. And this will always have to be done within the realm of others trying to make a buck or being focused, selfishly, on their own goals.
The circumstances for embracing our own spirituality will never be smooth and easy, which is great because smooth and easy rarely foster spiritual warriorship. But challenge does. When we face challenges, face the depth of our grief, it is often then that we awaken our deepest need to be in touch with something beyond our body and identity. And that is our spirit.
Don’t let the capitalist marketplace dictate your connection to spirit. Our own spirituality can not be monetized. It is free and here forever—just for us.
Author: Ruth Lera
Editor: Nicole Cameron