When I say Spiritual, I am not talking about owning the most crystals, or being well read, or even any particular Spiritual path. When I say Spiritual, I mean experiencing Spirit.
Experiencing the undefinable force that moves through you. Science may have given us a new language to express our aliveness, but it is still Spirit that give us that spark of life.
While I believe that everyone is innately Spiritual (we all have the spark at this moment or you’d be dead), I believe that our awareness of Spirituality is something that we need to relearn in our current culture. There are so many things that we have surrounded ourselves with to distract us from this search – Facebook is a pretty major distraction at this time – that for many of us, our Spiritual journey – the seeking of the Spiritual in our lives – is still at a beginning point.
So how do you become more Spiritual?
It is like learning to be a creative being. We can learn the techniques, understand how this colour mix with this colour, or this line of music will work with this chord, or this movement will flow beautifully with the music; but ultimately, we must create our own artwork, sing our own song and dance the moves that are within our own heart. If we want to recreate another’s art, it may still look beautiful – but will there be the deepest inspiration within it on our part, if we are only following what another person did?
Becoming Spiritual means expressing your awareness of how Spirit moves through you, and around you. Only you can truly show yourself your deepest, most Spiritual self – the self that understands, sees, feels and experiences Spirit. But how do you do this?
Yes, these all look like great bumper stickers, but these simple words hold great learnings.
If I read this, and dance like this, and then rush over here and create a pendant, and then drum to the moon before meditating afterwards, and then chat to that friend about that experience I just had, and then – and then – AND THEN!
Goddess, I’m just exhausted thinking about all the things we fill out time with! SLOW DOWN! Let your attention focus entirely on that cup of tea your making. Feel your body’s every movement as you hang out the washing. Hell, let your mind actually read these words and JUST these words! Slowing down means throwing away the “multitasking” attitude we’ve developed, and just being aware of what we are actually doing at any given moment.
Once you’ve learnt to slow down, you may even want to pause or stop (ignore those “No Stopping” signs that we encourage ourselves to obey) and just be.
“Just be” you say – what the f#ck does that mean?!?!?
It means stop reading, talking, watching and even thinking. Stop trying to do something. In Buddhist-inspired mindful meditation, the aim is not think anything – to let the mind find a stillness and serenity that is not based on outside stimulus. It means that you stop looking out there for the answer, and you start in here.
While reading those books, listening to other people’s stories, and finding inspiration in all around you – keep a tab on how that all feels within for you. When something feels “right” for you, what do you feel? What does that knowing feel like?
A sense of calm and serenity?
An excited surge of unlimited energy and surety?
A triumphant “YES!”
A soft smile and a deep feeling of “aaaaah”
A bolt of inspiration lightening that causes everything to make sense?
It is different for everyone, and only you can figure out how it feels for you. I always wanted it to feel like the bolt of lightening, that rush of energy like something out of the movies with inspiration music surrounding me. Then I actually experiences a knowing, and I was still, like a glass lake where not even a breeze moves upon its surface. I felt everything stop for those few moments and I knew that what I had just stumbled upon was one of my deepest truths.
Yes, we are brought up to think very quickly, to retrieve “the answer” to any given question rapidly, to offer solutions to the problems we see. I suggest something different.
Ah! Hold it! Just be silent. A little longer. Keeeeeeeep quiet. You’re doing it! It isn’t so much that “not talking” is the important thing – it’s that when there is silence, we tend to want to fill it. With anything. And if we have no one to talk to, then social media allows us to “talk”. We start to see that talking is just a symptom of us being unable to still.
To experience the Spiritual, you might want to be tuned into it. For how can you possibly experience something as amazing, wonderful & awe-inspiring as the Spiritual moving inside you and around you, if you’re talking?
Yes, describing our experiences is important, but first you have to have that experience! And listening to what’s actually going on around you, and within you – as confronting as that can be – is an important step.
Remember when I asked you what your personal knowing felt like? Howe many of you went, “Well, maybe it’s something like this, or maybe its more like that, but I’m not really sure….how would I know?”
Only you can know. Others can offer ideas, experiences, journey markers and even anecdotes – but what’s happening with Spirit inside you is something that only you can experience. And in order to experience Spirit deeply, you must trust your experiences.
Trust that you’re grounded enough; strong enough; centred enough; open to it all enough. Trust that Spirit is in you. It is around you. You CAN experience it – trust yourself to do that.
Being open to these Spiritual experiences goes hand-in-hand with trusting yourself. Having trust is the boat, and being open to something is using the oar. You need both to navigate the current – the Trust Boat ensures that you are grounded in the current – the Open Oar allows you to move more easily within the current.
Now, I am a big believer in being open to new things, but also being discerning – I don’t get carried away in the shininess of a new thing if everything else inside me is telling me that this might not be the best thing for me. Within the boat, discernment becomes your balance – so while you’re rowing your way down that river, you’re also being aware of what might upset your balance, and not purposefully ignoring that inner knowing.
And as in all things – give it another go. Meditation didn’t work on Tuesday? Try again on Wednesday. Still not certain what your own inner knowing feels like? Keep trying different things until you do. Read poetry, listen to music, sit by the ocean, swim in the lake, lay on the earth, dig in the sand…there are so many ways, but they generally all have that same theme – they involve you experiencing the world around you. For as Lailah Gifty Akita has said: “The courage to try again is daring Spirit.”
As you explore your Spirituality – as you journey and discover how Spirit moves through you – ignore the need to “be better” than anyone else, or let yourself feel inferior to another experience’s. How can any other truly be superior to you, at how you experience Spirit?
They can’t. Experiencing your Spirit is something only you can do….but you must do it.