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Spiritual, what does it mean?

by Agata Dzierżawa
A graphic spiritual showing the head with Marylin Monroe instead of the eye.

To be a spiritual being.

Hmmmm… so you are a spiritual being, at least you are somebody again. Even if you are not too sure what it means yet, at least you have something to hold. Maybe you have discovered it a bit earlier than in the second half of your life, but only now it is just getting to have a matter to you. But what does it actually mean? You heard something, but you are not sure if you understand it.

It sounds quite serious and mysterious. Maybe it even scares you a bit. There is nothing to be afraid of. It doesn’t bite, believe me.

Why are you afraid of spirituality?

Do you react with a rash at the mere sound of the word, “spirituality”? Do you associate it with a freaked aunt, who has some stones in her bra, draws mantras, sleeps with a cat, dances about a full moon around a bonfire with as well-freaked as her friends and who solves all family problems with tarot readings and incensing the house with sage?

In this article you will learn :

  • What spirituality is.
  • The difference between spirituality and religion.

Or maybe you associate it with this weird couple of vegans, with a strange twinkle in their eyes, who has never had a permanent job, lives in a van, feeds with air, gathers magic mushrooms and herbs in the forest, constantly speaks using unintelligible words and practicing yoga each morning, don’t you?

If so it’s time to change your concept and stop ignoring the existence of spirituality.

Spirituality definition.

There is no one definition of spirituality. It means something different for each of us because we are all spiritual beings. Spirituality is a part of who you are. It is whatever you feel it is for you.

The path to spirituality starts with curiosity. It is possible only when you think about the existence of the world and starts asking the right questions. There is no right or wrong way to approach spirituality. What’s important is to recognize that the journey is the prize, in itself is a value.

Spirituality and religion.

Traditionally spirituality is equated with religion, but they are not the same. The need for transcendence, in other words, faith in God, or another higher power created a need for religion.

Spirituality contains elements of religion, but it is a bigger concept with multiple perspectives.

Nowadays we split spirituality from religion. Religion is a set of organized beliefs and practices, usually shared by a community or some group of people. While spirituality is more and individual practice and has to do with having a sense of peace and purpose. Spirituality is your inner truth, not a set of written recommendations, truths and principles.

Unfortunately, more and more often religion is blamed as a reason for intolerance and division on the world, in contrast, a spirituality which an open attitude and universalism. Today’s spirituality is rather a result of seeking self-understanding and connection with the universe than the will of living in accordance with decalogue or longing for all-powerful god.

From a broader perspective, it is a feeling of connection with something bigger than yourself, harmony with the universe.

It is a universal human experience.

It touches each of us. One of the most beautiful aspects of spirituality is that it can be experienced differently by everyone. It therefore takes many different forms and dimensions.

For some people it is seeking for a higher sense of life, a need for self-realization, reaching maturity, connection with beauty, nature, goodness, art, creativity. For others, it is an ability to celebrate love as a relation, not just feeling. Yet for others, it is a celebration of connection with their own body, through meditation, exercises, or sex.

It is a source of internal well-being and happiness.

Studying the nature of the internal mind and focusing on the current moment, mindfulness.

To develop spirituality, we don’t have to depreciate the value of mind or abnegate body. Downright opposite. Caring spirituality in yourself is as important as a healthy diet, physical activity, and building healthy relationships. Finding time for connection with something meaningful in life has a higher purpose in life and asking extensional questions only enhances your connection with something bigger than yourself. It gives life a sense.

Ways of expressing spirituality.

The way you express your spirituality depends on your personal, family, and cultural experiences.

You don’t have to follow the institutionalized religion in order to have a fruitful spiritual life. And it doesn’t imply, that you reject your tradition.

Some people are afraid of spirituality because they think it is against their religion. But it is not true. You already have a faith and spirituality is really more of a depending on your faith.

For many, religion does not seem like a viable option, and they may be afraid that spirituality means religion, but it is also the wrong approach. It is more an inner process of becoming clearer on what brings meaning and purpose to your life. Spirituality is an alignment of your mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual parts into one. It means that your relationships work better, that your job is in alignment with your soul and is meaningful to you, and you are living more connected with your true purpose.

Spirituality is a search for meaning, for purpose and direction in your life.

It is a foundation for your living, a path to live in light of the larger context. It fulfills your need for alignment with something bigger than just your body and mind.

When your mind depends on external reasons for happiness, your happiness will be unsteady, unreliable, impermanent, like eternal causes are. Spiritual practice but aim for internal happiness to achieve something more stable.

Today’s popularity of spirituality shows that the material side of life and consumptions are not enough for us anymore. It shows that we would like to reach beyond the limitation.

What does spiritual mean for you?

Believing that there is a world beyond the material world. Work on your inner life, mental and emotional state. Hope to learn about yourself, to gain a certain level of self-knowledge. Empathy, compassion and an open heart.

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