Maybe Now Is the Time to Become More Spiritual.
You have probably heard others speak on being ‘spiritual’ or being focused on developing their ‘spirituality,’ but exactly what does the term mean and how can it enhance your life?
While there is no single, widely agreed upon definition of spirituality, scholars tend to define it as condition achieved by engaging in meaningful activity, personal growth, or blissful experience. Spirituality refers to a process of re-formation of the personality, mind, and of course, the spirit.
Webster defines the spirit as the inner quality or nature of a person or the force within a person that is believed to give the body life, energy, and power.
Centuries ago, being spiritual signified having an attachment to religious values, or matters of the spirit, rather than material or worldly interests. However, in modern history, the definition of spirituality has expanded to mean reaching higher levels of consciousness, such as when using meditation, yoga, and similar practices.
Others consider spirituality to be a state in which we are connected to God, nature, each other, and the deepest part of ourselves.
Despite its nebulous, ever-evolving definition, spirituality is important in our lives.
To fully function as a human being, the various aspects of ourselves must be in balance — our mind, body, and spirit have to be in harmony with one other. It is hard to focus on your career when you are stressed out over a personal relationship. That personal relationship suffers if you are not physically or mentally healthy. As you can see, balance is necessary to achieve harmony in each facet of your life. We cannot successfully focus on any aspect of our lives and neglect the spiritual.
Being spiritual is neither difficult nor demanding. In fact, it can be quite simple.
You are being spiritual when you listen to a beautiful piece of music, when you are captivated by an amazing work of art, or when you are reading an inspirational book or poem.
Exactly how is that spiritual you ask? Well, were you immersed in it? Did you derive some pleasure from it? Did it touch your soul? Did you connect to the artist and/or the creation itself? Then it was spiritual.
You can experience a spiritual moment while walking through the woods and connecting with nature, by walking along a sandy seashore, or by watching a sunset.
You also can experience a spiritual connection working with others to work toward a common goal, like volunteering or raising funds to help those in need, or playing on a sports team, while performing with a choir or a musical group, or anything that involves teamwork and cooperation with others.
These acts — tuning in with God, nature, each other, and ourselves — are being spiritual.
There are a few things you can do starting now to be more spiritual in your life.
Make time for yourself…just yourself.
Restore your spirit and revitalize yourself by listening to relaxing music. Read inspirational literature (or more blogs here on the WOYN site.) Book a soothing massage or even a quick a Mani/Pedi.
Reach out and help those in need.
The Dali Lama is quoted as saying, “If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.”
When you lend a hand to someone else, you grow spiritually because you are connecting with humanity. Volunteer as a big brother or sister, coach a youth sports team, serve on a committee at your house of worship or in your town, or donate to the food shelter. Every little bit helps.
Practice gratitude… celebrate the ‘good stuff.’
Each morning reflect on all the various things you have to be grateful for in your life. Acknowledge how fortunate you are for family, friends, and all the opportunities placed on your path.
Observe your world.
Be more aware. Become responsive to your environment. Be conscious of yourself within your environment. Enjoy the colors and smells of nature around you. Enjoy the feel of rain falling on your face and the wind blowing your hair. The revitalizing, fresh state of awareness you will experience is spiritual.
Be more expressive.
Pop diva Madonna said it best, “Express Yourself!” If you don’t already engage in some form of artistic or expressive activity, what are you waiting for? It’s time to expand your brain’s right-side function. Learn to dance, sing, play a musical instrument, or take art lessons. We all need to balance the logical, linear aspects of ourselves, so give the left-side brain a rest.
Recognizing and refining your spirituality helps to create a much-needed balance in your life and a sense of purpose. Take a moment, look at your daily schedule, and identify ways you can nurture your spirit.