Happy June! It’s a rainy Sunday where I am and I have nothing pressing on my list, so I think I’m just going to rest today – journal, read, sip tea, zone out on Netflix.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my spirituality. I grew up in a very fundamental religion, with lots of rules, an angry God and, sorry to say, a lot of really judgemental people. I never lost my faith in God or a higher power, but I did lose my faith in organized religion.
There was a time when I was heavily involved in yoga – I even got certified to teach (though I never did). Yoga became my religion for awhile. My teacher was very spiritual and used all sorts of different belief systems in her dharma. One thing I remember her saying was that all formal religions center around a guiding higher power. What makes them different is the ways in which people build their belief systems around that idea of a higher power.
Up until that point, I’d thought I could not be spiritual unless I had a church. But I realized, for me, church can be anywhere I want it to be. It can be on a forest trail, in a comfy chair with my journal, on my mat in a yoga studio – spirituality can be very individual. I think at its core, spirituality is about connection, relationship with people and the world around us, knowing how we fit into the world (and believing that we DO actually fit into the world), and that belief/trust in a guiding higher power. For me, this looks vaguely like the following:
- Practicing mindfulness – giving my full attention to each moment, without judgment.
- Getting past my self-talk and listening for the voice of grace underneath.
- Living life on purpose – understanding my place in the world, finding the service I’m meant to give and giving that service with passion.
- Devotion to the study of anything that brings me a greater understanding of myself and the world around me.
- Letting go of things that don’t serve me well – anger, resentment, fear, tight shoulders.
- Working to leave a legacy that I’m proud of – service that, in some way (large or small), leaves the world better for my being here.
All of these things add up to a practice that I can work my life around.