No matter what religion you adhere to (or don’t adhere to any religion at all), I want you to recognize that you ARE a Spiritual Being. Definitions of the term “spiritual being” can be found by the dozens online, but these aspects of the many definitions I looked up resonate with me, and I hope with you:
“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.”
French philosopher, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
Something within you knows, on a gut level, perhaps deep within your heart, or maybe unconsciously, that we perfectly imperfect human beings are made of more than just the sum of our thoughts, our feelings, and whatever life situations we’re dealing with at the moment.
Somewhere along the line, we forget just how magnificent we truly are, and we start believing that what we are is the sum of the roles we play, an accounting of our successes and failures, the opinions we’ve formed and held on to, and all the challenges and problems we need to solve as part of our day-to-day existence.
We are far MORE than just the sum of our parts – and we don’t realize that because we retreat to the realm of logical thought. We are trained at a very young age to pay attention to our thoughts, believe them and trust them when we could pay just as much attention – if not more – to our bodies and what THEY are telling us.
Consider the statements below and notice how they make you FEEL – notice your body’s reaction to them when you read them silently, and when you read them out loud. Affirmative statements like the ones below can and do have the potential to make a difference in every human life – but only if you USE them.
What does it FEEL like to be nourished? Comforting, warm, gentle, sensuous? Like after a good meal when all of your body’s senses are relaxed and happy and you’re feeling calm and taken care of.
I contemplate my life purpose. I determine my priorities and set meaningful goals.
The word “contemplate” means to think profoundly about something, to consider it at length – when considering your life purpose, the thing you were put here to do, paying deep attention would be a good thing. Following that with an examination of your priorities around that purpose, and setting meaningful goals to help you achieve your purpose make perfect sense.
I connect with the divine. I let go of my expectations and judgments.
Connecting with the divine means to reach beyond your current state of being – getting beyond the physical and your current environment, and reach toward the spiritual. Letting go of expectations is helpful to allow what’s there to be noticed without needing a grand gesture, so to speak, but instead listening for the “still, small voice” that is your spirit reaching forward to be heard.
I study inspirational texts. I browse online and visit bookstores to discover new insights and perspectives.
Reaching out beyond your current frame of reference empowers you to learn more, to see more, and eventually, to do more. Staying within our own comfort zones encourages stagnation. Growth can be uncomfortable, but it’s so worth it, because of what you gain in the process.
I create a quiet and sacred place at home where I can practice and explore my beliefs. I set aside time each day for my spiritual practice.
Whatever shape your spiritual practice takes – through reading, music, movement, or some hybrid of other methods, you deserve to give yourself the gift of time to practice and to explore your beliefs.
I take care of myself. Keeping myself fit and strong increases my capacity to work on my spiritual wellness.
Taking care of your physical body puts you in greater touch with it, and with the messages, that it wants to send you as you progress. You’ve likely felt the tightening in your stomach when something makes you uncomfortable or felt the beginnings of a headache when you feel overwhelmed – when you take care of your physical body, you’re more in touch with, and can hear the messages it’s trying to send you more clearly.
Looking beyond the physical – what’s right in front of us – is a necessary part of exploring spirituality and helps to increase our capacity for living a Spiritually Authentic life.
Our thoughts are important and they help make us who we are, but we must also intentionally “exercise” our spiritual muscles and be ready to reach beyond what we currently know and what we’re comfortable with in order to encourage and make room for growth – in many facets of our lives.
- In what ways do I nourish my soul/spirit, and am I intentional about this process?
- How can inspirational texts help me expand my spirituality?
- How would I describe my spiritual journey so far? What, if anything, do I plan to change about my journey?