The Growth of Spirituality in Every Day Life
I was doing a demo in the old Wild Oats many years ago and people approached my table and asked about my presentation. I told them that it revolved around spirituality. Two separate people, upon hearing the term, immediately threw up their arms and said, “Oh no, I don’t want any part of that.” Apparently, there was a fear aspect to spirituality for these individuals.
A spiritual life is now often equated with higher health. It could bring a deeper relationship with the body, the self, others, nature, the ultimate being (of your belief system), and an overall sense of peace and connection. The consequence of success in any one of these areas, considering the butterfly effect, is a healthier and happier planet, beginning with any microcosm, anywhere.
Surprisingly, or not, there is still confusion over the meaning of spirituality. Fair enough – it comes in so many different packages, we must be careful not to define it too rigidly. Consider the age-old metaphor of a hanging mobile or a tree. There is one main structure representing spirituality, but off of that major structure hang different sections like branches. One branch is that of religion, from which hang many smaller branches. Many believe religion and spirituality are two different things. In actuality, some people experience their spirituality through religion, religion being one of the branches off the main structure of spirituality.
It is becoming common to hear it said that one is not religious, but one is spiritual. These folks are indicating another branch off the overall spiritual structure; possibly several branches with some semblance of interconnectedness. They have left organized religion behind and have ventured out on their own path. After all, when we are born, we do not choose our religion, our parents do. As we grow in personal experience, self knowledge, and self definition, we may make other choices that feel healthier and more authentic.
One of the biggest interests of the spiritually aware, or emerging, individual is the development and expansion of personal consciousness and universal awareness. Increased self awareness, recognition of a higher power(s), stronger connection to the whole, contribution to the oneness, connectedness to all realms, and radical acceptance of what is. There are many practices that cultivate these goals, from yoga, meditation, and mindfulness to various prayer practices and vision quests, and countless more.
Many have come to consider an emergence into a more spiritual way of life as a deepening. The consideration of ultimate purpose, life path and life lessons, spiritual or sacred contracts, past life influences, karma, soul longings, communion with higher powers or higher self, development of intuition, and so forth are all pieces of the spiritually emerging person’s puzzle.
Spirituality may also involve a very close connection with the Earth – its resources, its plants, animals, water, air, mountains, and deserts. Extended and varying communication with the Earth inhabitants may begin to evolve – animals, plants and trees, deities and even those from other realms such as fairies and elementals.
Spirituality is practiced in the inner cities and third world countries through countless acts of service, contribution, and kindness. Schools are set up, education is provided, funding is given, human connection is made – the spirituality of traveling, teaching, sharing, and assisting continues to increase.
Some people engage in their spirituality through ritual. They celebrate holidays, holy days, solstices, equinoxes, and moon cycles. They celebrate sowing and harvest. They light candles, have meaningful statuary around their home and grounds, engage in specific prayer practices or simply have every day conversations with Creator all throughout the day. They have favorite saints, deities, ascended masters, angels, ancestors, power animals, and guides that they connect with to accompany and guide them through life.
Some people engage in spirituality through art – poetry, painting, carving, music, prose. Through activating their chakras, they are inspired, enlightened, and invited to birth beauty in any way that moves them.
Most importantly, spirituality is the recognition of something greater than ourselves – we are all part of the whole. Every word, thought and action impacts all of us. The ways to engage in a spiritually enhanced life are countless – find your way and enrich your life. When you are healthier and more balanced – we all win!
Dory Dzinski is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Professional Life Coach in private practice in Collinsville, CT. She holds a Certificate in Spirituality as well as a Masters in Pastoral Counseling from St. Joseph College (now the University of St. Joseph). Dory has presented spiritually based education and trainings of many kinds since 1998. She is the editor and publisher of the Door Opener Magazine Online, a 30+ year old publication devoted to trainings and education in various forms of spirituality and holistic awareness. You can contact her through www.dorydzinski.com or www.dooropenermagazine.com; email: firstname.lastname@example.org and phone (860) 693-2840.