I want to let you in on a secret: saying “I do” to Spirit can reward you in myriad ways and get you back on track after a major life change or upheaval. I have devoted a large part of my life to talking about spirituality and living it as an example to others because of all the benefits I draw from it. This article will be an attempt to reveal some of the ways that the same magic can rub off on you.
First, you should know that I came to spirit in a very dramatic way (one day I just might find the courage to share it on this blog) and it wasn´t like a hobby that I just took up out of boredom. Let´s just say that my soul woke me up not by whispering into my ear, but by throwing me off a building- and my subsequent trips to psychics, bookstores, crystal shops, and alternative therapists were emergency measures. Like Humpty Dumpty, I was very broken- I was in a place I had never been before and I needed a lot of help finding my way around. I can say without a doubt that entering the world of spirit gave me an emotional and psychological wellbeing I never even knew was possible.
Your story might be quite different. But usually people come to Spirit, or Spirit calls them, out of some deep dark place. There´s a great quote by Leonard Cohen, “The crack is where the light gets in”. Sometimes we need to be near rock bottom before we are ready to embark upon a path that we would otherwise never have considered. I know stories of numerous people who´ve told me how the tugging of their soul brought them to seek out a new spiritual tone. There were questions and doubts and feelings that just couldn´t be pushed down anymore. And once they were addressed and allowed to blossom, these people claimed that a feeling happier and a “more meaningful existence” were the most visible results.
So the first question I´m going to ask is, “Are you happy?” Or do you find yourself every now and again entering some sort of phase where you question your life, your relationships, your career, your lifestyle, your habits? While you may think this is just another psychological phase similar to a mid-life crisis or the big 3-0, it can also mark the beginning of your initiation into spiritual adulthood. These types of questions come from your Spirit. It is your soul´s way of getting you to notice it.
But let´s start with something a bit lighter. I have to say it, I can´t hold it in anymore. Do you know how much you are missing out? Do you? Do you?
We are physical beings with limbs and organs and skin and bones; we are mental beings with a brain that enables us to create and analyse, do math, communicate, and even contemplate ourselves; we are emotional creatures who cry during films and help others in need; and….. Wait, is that it? Are we really only 3-dimensional creatures? Where does the soul come into play?
There´s nothing much about spirituality on TV or in school, unless we´re talking dumping our coins onto a plate and blindly reciting prayers (not the same). Naturally there is information about spirituality (on the internet, for example) because it exists as an idea. It´s just not prevalent in our society. We are not conditioned through media or even through our families to contemplate our divine nature. As westerners, we are, rather, mass-hypnotized into shopping and screwing and eating and playing. But not so much into philosophizing or questioning our values or being charitable. There´s a whole other world out there! Another dimension to the human experience and many people are completely oblivious to it. Now I ask you, don´t you think you might be missing out on something?
I´m not trying to make you repent or go all puritan on you. That´s not what you are missing and actually the whole idea of Spirituality is often misunderstood. I´m not talking about religion or following some sort of order with saints and prayers and all that jazz. Nor am I saying you have to move to an ashram, walk to Santiago de Compostela, stop drinking coffee (like some hard core Mormons) or quit reading fashion magazines. The dimension that you are missing out is YOU. A secret you. Another layer of you. It is a mysteriously deep, eternally evolving, entirely private inner sanctuary. It is the place where you get to really know who you are and indulge in all sorts of “me time”. And there´s only one real pre-requisite. You have to spend time there.
The secret garden that comprises spiritual practice will leave you wanting more. Imagine being able to converse with a part of you that always knows best, that refreshes you each time you visit it and that makes you feel more “human”. The appeal of turning inwards never really registered for me on a conscious level until much later on. I saw the benefits and that kept me chugging along, through obstacles and dramas and mini-crises of emotional healing that are par for the course. For the purpose of this article I have been analysing spirituality critically, looking for reasons why I like it so much. I like the privacy that my spiritual life offers. I go into a world that no-one knows about, no-one else can enter. Only I know what my values really are, what my life lessons are, how I perceive what is going on around me, how I choose to behave in any given moment. These are all private moments that make me feel much more connected to myself. I am discovering what makes me tick, I am celebrating what I have learnt by contemplating it and applying that knowledge towards future interactions and situations. I´m having my own little “me” party on an invisible level and as a result I am gaining wisdom about the human experience, which is very elevating.
I would call the “secret garden” component of spirituality its unique selling point. It enables you to deepen your personality and hone it, and honing your personality is what life is all about. Conscious evolution and striving to be “one with all that is” does not mean discarding the personality. That´s why it´s so challenging. Spirituality is not about killing the ego off and becoming a generic saint with no unique energy signature. We know this because life after death experiences and contact with departed souls have shown that the personality is transcendent of time and space; it survives death and it is part of the soul. Besides, what would be the point of individual existence (as opposed to collective) if personality had no merit?
I do not want to get overly esoteric at this point. The thing is, learning to meditate and contemplate life´s moments is not hard at all, and that´s where you should begin. It is one thing for me to write about it and another for you to experience it and discover the momentum it carries for you as an individual.
Where can meditation lead you? To increased creativity, for one. When you learn to relax and put the conscious mind away during meditation, you open yourself up. You can draw connections and inspiration from a deep space that is not fettered by mundane thoughts and logical, linear assumptions.
Secondly, learning to contemplate and ask questions about your relationships, about your feelings, about where things originate and why things might be the way they are (whether from a spiritual or psychological angle) offers you incredible perspective. Perspective that literally can change your life for the better and bring you more understanding of what you are doing on this planet at this time, which in turn teaches you how to let go of unhelpful thought patterns or conditioning and to go with the flow of your life. This alleviates anxiety, depression, feelings of helplessness and anger that normally accompany control issues.
The next part of this post will go further into the advantages of a spiritual life by looking at how one can begin this type of questioning and contemplation. I will be using personal examples to show you exactly how spirituality, in all its very organic, human facets can improve your quality of life in very tangible ways.
I hope you enjoyed reading this article as much as I did writing it. If you would like to see an article on a specific topic or question you may have, please feel free to leave a comment. I´ll do my best to give you a thoughtful answer as soon as I can.
Have a great week,