The word spirituality lacks a concrete, universal definition, which is what makes people so skeptical and put off by it. That, and non-spiritual people who claim to be uber spiritual to be cool. So what is spirituality?Arguably, it’s just the way in which you connect with yourself, your higher power, and others. But that’s much easier said than done. Connecting with each of these things is a job in and of itself and takes time and a regular practice to solidify. Let’s talk about how difficult and misunderstood actually being spiritual is. Spirituality isn’t a one and done type of thing, it takes dedication, and is a life-long, ongoing practice. Even when you’ve had an awakening, the process continues and you must work to maintain your spirituality.
It took me 11 years of ups and downs and hundreds of hours of meditation and self-reflection just to reach my first awakening, and they continue to come in cycles as long as I continue my practice of ceremony and self-awareness. Spirituality is very complex, but at its core it is connecting with your spirit, the spirit of those around you, and the spirit of the divine. At the same time, it entails detaching oneself from the physical, materialistic and achievement-driven world. This is perhaps one of the most difficult parts about practicing spirituality, because society has done such a good job of attaching the idea of happiness and self-worth to status, money, career, and what we have. Add social media to the mix, and constant comparison to misleadingly glamorous and seemingly perfect Instagram personas, and it’s a miracle that we aren’t all depressed and self-loathing.
Detaching from the physical and materialistic world involves distancing oneself from these types of influences, and today’s obsession with appearances and external markers of success and happiness. Unfortunately, that’s where most millennials draw the line, and seem more preoccupied with appearingto be spiritual on Instagram, than actually beingspiritual. Spirituality entails finding a much more substantial and worth-while form of happiness that comes from discovering and aligning with one’s true self, and self-love. Self-love can be a very difficult goal to achieve, but it starts with gratitude, and measuring your self-worth by internal and deeper markings such as how selfless, generous, intelligent, or reliable you are…what a good friend, brother, or co-worker you are and how well you treat others.
Unfortunately, the way society works, how nice we are doesn’t pay the bills and put food on the table, but once the basic needs of survival are met, true happiness rarely is measured in how many possessions beyond that one has. That’s why so many of us are depressed and seemingly lost, society tells us to chase a shallow and non-gratifying form of happiness. We’re on a hamster wheel trying to fix the internal with external Band-Aids of instant gratification and shiny Instagram-able things. That’s not what life is about, what we have is not what people will remember about us, that’s not how we impact others, it’s how we treat people and how we make them feel that leaves a mark. And to truly treat others how we want to be treated, we must love yourself. This comes with self reflection and conquering our internal traumas and demons, not buying a new car. When we truly love ourselves, loving others comes naturally and we’re able to love others as we love ourselves. How wonderful the world would be if we all loved our authentic selves and loved one another instinctually.
Now, the key to self-love and spirituality is loving our true self. Many of us don’t know who our true selves are. This is what takes major self-reflection and awareness. Our true self is us at our core, without any outside influences or superficial motives clouding our intentions. It’s who we would be and how we would act if we genuinely didn’t care or take into account what other people, or society thought or imposed on us. This is what we have to work to love, in order to be truly spiritual. It’s loving ourselves for our soul. Conversely, it’s also loving others for who they truly are and not what they have or their status.
We come to this world not knowing anything, and we embark on a journey to find our purpose and our true selves, and this is where real happiness lies, not in the materialistic consumer ideologies of happiness. Every day is a challenge to align our thoughts and actions with our true self, and we have the choice to do so with every moment that passes. This is true integrity—thinking, believing and acting from an authentic and pure place. This, too, is difficult, as every part of spiritual practice seems to be, but the pay-off of true satisfaction and happiness is insurmountable. When our moral compass and self-worth aren’t dictated by possessions and status, but by love of true self and others, we are being spiritual. When we are able to reflect on how we impact others and this world with our thoughts, words, and actions, and when that is how we determine our value, we are being spiritual.
Another major pillar of spirituality is energy work, i.e. using the energy in and around us to create a beautiful reality. Energy work goes hand in hand with the laws of the universe, and one must understand and abide by them to make the most of energy work. This entails manipulating energy to raise its frequency (or in laymen’s terms, turning bad energy to good energy), which in turn can change our circumstances through the law of attraction. The universal laws govern everything and include concepts such as the law of cause and effect, the law of vibration, and the law of universal oneness to name a few. Living spiritually means living our life according to these universal laws, which raises our ability to manifest things through energy work. The universal laws also help us understand how the divine plays a part in everything, and to see the art in everything around us. We are constantly creating and painting the masterpiece of our lives with our energy, and spirituality is about consciously co-creating this art with the divine. To do this, we need to shed our ego, and align with our soul, with our true self, so we can co-create authentically. By tapping into our true self, and tapping into the divine source, we can create the most beautiful reality through our energy work, and this is spirituality in motion.
I think we’re all aware that “spirituality,” meditation, and pretty sage sticks are trending, but truly spiritual people are surprisingly few and far between. Pop culture doesn’t seem to have a grasp on what spirituality really is. Living in Los Angeles, I’m constantly faced with people who I like to call “Instagram spiritual.” They’ll say they’re spiritual, collect all the cute paraphernalia, and pose for Instagram-able pictures of them smudging with a colorful wildflower sage stick, or practicing yoga in an Alo outfit, but when you talk to them there’s nothing spiritual about them, and it’s heartbreaking. They’re all about appearances, the appearance of being spiritual, and they are driven by materialism and superficialities. And I just want to scream from the rooftops, “spirituality isn’t just meditating and being vegan!”
But I digress…my point is that spirituality has nothing to do with the appearance of being spiritual, it’s much, much deeper than that. It’s not merely another label to hang onto your name—I’m a lawyer, I’m a dog-lover, I’m spiritual. It’s a dedicated practice of love, awareness, gratitude, and self-reflection. It’s aligning our energy and actions with the laws of the universe. It’s compassion, integrity, and human decency. It’s truth and selflessness. It’s walking in love instead of walking in fear, and measuring life by the good energy you put into the world, instead of the status and possessions you get out of it. It’s not about materialism, Instagram posts, likes, or seeking attention and recognition. It’s about detaching from the ego and superficial social norms, connecting with the divine energy in you and in every other living creature. It’s about being the light vs. being in the light. It’s about going inwards and connecting to our most pure self. It’s about our substance, our thoughts and our actions, not just being a pretty package with nothing inside. And lastly, it’s a life-long practice, a practice that if we all engaged in, would make the world a much, much better place.Browse Front PageShare Your Idea
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