What does it mean to be “spiritual”?
That word gets thrown around a lot.
Sometimes spirituality can sound serious. Like when people talk about "mind training." That phrase can feel daunting and complicated.
Other times spirituality can sound airy-fairy, when people talk to angels, or leave food out for the little people.
For me, leading a “spiritual” life means committing to God but also to humanity.
In other words it’s about being in the world, aware and conscious, with a wide-open heart, while also deeply connecting to the one-ness, to God, to source.
In the decades that I've been studying and living this truth, I've discovered that there are 3 things you need to have a grounded, rich, soul filled life.
1. A Healthy Body
Have you ever tried to meditate when you’re sick?
If you have, then you know exactly why this is here.
It’s so hard to focus the mind and sit still when the body is aching, or out of alignment.
Care for your body.
Treat it like the temple that it is for it houses your soul on earth. AND it’s here with you on this journey the entire time.
Your body is your constant companion.
Eat healthy foods.
Treat your body with the love and respect it deserves.
2. Heal Your Mind
I don’t know one adult who hasn’t experienced suffering.
As Buddhism reminds us, this is one of the Four Noble Truths; life is suffering.
For some, this can be physical – starvation, deprivation, illness.
For all of us, it is emotional.
And here’s the dirty little secret: what you don’t deal with, your unconscious material, rules your life.
Be willing to examine that anger, lack of trust, anxiety or depression.
Often these symptoms hark back to unresolved issue from childhood. Common ones are: feeling unloved, abandoned or unsupported.
How can you release that old pattern or limiting belief?
Does it involve forgiveness, a frank discussion with someone, creating healthy boundaries?
What you don’t see has all the power. So make the invisible visible and walk through the pain.
Whenever I get scared of doing this, I’m reminded of a passage in A Road Less Traveled, by M Scott Peck in which he says:
“The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers.”
Pain can be the great transformer because it can push us to change, learn, grow and evolve.
It also helps us remember that we are not our neurosis.
We are in fact already whole and healed, perfect in every way. We just have to remember and re-align to that.
So be willing to ground yourself both in your physical body and your mind.
3. Maintain a Practice
Whatever it is that you are inclined to do: prayer, breath work, meditation, yoga, free dance, chanting, ritual, mantra…
Make it a habit. Commit to it every day.
It is the only way to truly shift and release.
Whatever you experience during meditation, eventually you will come back to this present, the here and now and to this body and mind.
That’s why it’s critical that your mind and body are strong and healthy. As you build your spiritual muscles and gain more power, you have to be able to hold it. This is why you need a strong physical and mental constitution.
What’s your favorite way to nurture your mind, body or spirit?