What is Spirituality?

Those that claim to be "spiritual but not religious" account for over 20% of the population in the United States. But what does the word spiritual really mean?

The word spiritual is used to describe that which relates the human spirit. It goes beyond the material. It is your connection to the divine, source energy, God, a higher power. No matter what name you give it, it feels the same.

It can come from a religion, from nature, or something else entirely. But everyone needs something to believe in, to connect to. Spirituality should be a personal thing for each individual.

You might even change beliefs a few times in your life which is great! I believe people should question things and expand their mind to allow for other viewpoints.

I was raised Catholic but it never sat well with me, and in my 30's I discovered Wicca and really resonated with that for many years. Now I have expanded and refined my beliefs to be centered around nature, energy and vibration. 

I realize some people out there may disagree with my definition of Wicca, but that’s the beauty of it. One of it’s branches is called eclectic, which means the practitioner considers themselves solitary, and follows whatever resonates with them. It’s generally considered the “religion” of nature.

I, among others, don’t consider Wicca an actual religion. It is not about worshiping a being who created you, it’s about worshiping the nature you were created with. It’s about honoring the God and the Goddess, the male and female energy of the Universe. It’s not about evil spells and sacrificing animals, it’s about positive intentions and respecting all living things, most of all the Earth itself.

The 5 elements that make up the points in the pentagram are Earth, Water, Air, Fire, and Spirit. You might have learned how Earth, Water, Air and Fire are the four elements of the physical universe. So it’s clear to see how Wicca is a natural practice, not man made or dogmatic.

Wiccans celebrate the equinoxes and the solstices, they celebrate the moon, the amazing energy of thunderstorms, and all other things about nature.

The negative stereotype against Wiccans is very unfortunate, since in my eyes, we all worship nature to some degree. It might be more subconscious in others, but I believe every human has at least once been in awe at nature and felt truly one with it.

This generally happens as a child then gradually fades as we age, only coming to a peak again as we are closer to death. This only shows even more how we subconsciously just KNOW we are a part of nature, we came through it and will return through it time and time again. 

Paganism is a broad umbrella term that is used to describe Earth-centered religions. There is another “religion” based on nature, and that is Pantheism. The name itself means that ALL is God, meaning the whole Universe. Pantheists are nature worshipers. Unlike Wicca, they don’t believe in many gods, nor do they perform rituals (although some probably do). Pantheism is mostly defined as simply reverence for the Earth and nature. The Native American tradition is also very nature-based.

We are Beings of Energy 

We know through quantum physics that what we perceive as matter is just energy vibrating at a lower level. Everything is energy, everything is vibrating on a cellular level.

This may be blowing your mind right now if you don't really study this field, but it is a foundational aspect of holistic health so it is important to understand. Your spirituality might even come from science, and that is ok too!

The body is the temporary physical manifestation of energy, the mind is what shapes us by directing our energy and attention on growth and change, and the soul or spirit is the life force, the highest vibrational aspect of us that never dies. Energy cannot be destroyed, it can only change form. 

Taking all this into account with everything I have learned, it makes the most sense to me to believe that we are energy beings incarnate on Earth in a body that we must take care of. Since the body is made of elements just like everything else in nature, it only makes sense that we align ourselves with nature as much as possible to stay healthy.

Nature Knows the Way

Living a lifestyle in tune with nature is something so essential to spirituality. Everyone feels it the minute the step into a forest or near water. There is a thing called forest bathing where just being in a forest for a certain amount of time brings you back to a state of balance, peace, and harmony. Nature heals us.

We have no idea how far gone we as a society have come, in regards to nature. We have no grounding connection anymore, most of us don't see the sunrise or the sunset (and some see neither!). We don't eat foods in season, which has an affect on our health.

Entire books have been written about this subject. It is massively underestimated how important nature is to us. We ARE nature. To separate ourselves from it seems almost criminal yet we continue to do it. 

A huge sign that humans have lost their way with nature and spirituality is the fact that ancient civilizations used to build temples that worked in harmony with the sun (Stonehenge, for one). Now humans barely even know what these sacred sites were used for! We need to get back in touch with the stars, with the sun, with our Earth!

Looking for some easy ways to put a little nature back into your life? You can;

  • Alter your schedule around so you can watch the sunrise and the sunset
  • Walk barefoot on the Earth for a minimum of half an hour a day (called Earthing, or Grounding)
  • Eat foods only in season
  • Sleep outside
  • Cook outside
  • Bring plants inside
  • Plant a garden
  • Take daily walks around your neighborhood, preferably near water or lots of trees
  • Go swimming in a lake instead of a pool (chlorine, yuck!)
  • Gaze at the moon and the stars every night (if it isn't cloudy!)

After integrating nature into your life more, you will start to feel something.Life seems to have more meaning when we expose ourselves to nature on a regular basis.No wonder our ancient ancestors were so spiritual, they were always outside!

How To Develop Your Spirituality

You may have stumbled on this website only interested in the health aspect, and don't feel like you have a spiritual bone in your body. That is ok! Or you may just have not developed it yet even though it is lurking under the surface.

For many years I focused on partying and going to movies, not giving much thought to any of this. But I always had an affinity for spiritual things without being full blown spiritual. I collected a lot of angel statues, tarot card decks, candles, etc. Those things are fine, but are really just tools, and anything can be used as a tool.

What really counts is that you feel a connection to whatever you feel is the higher power of creation. What really counts is that you love and respect all living things with a sense that we are all one.

What really counts is that you love and respect all living things with a sense that we are all one.

Here are a few of the things you can incorporate into your life to develop your spirituality;

  • prayer
  • meditation
  • journaling
  • going on a spiritual retreat
  • fasting
  • volunteering
  • creative activities
  • yoga

The Process of Awakening/Enlightenment

Awakening, or Enlightenment, is the slow process of evolving spiritually. It has many definitions and traits, and can vary from person to person. But everyone has the potential for full enlightenment, so there is no judgement on anyone who hasn't started the awakening journey yet. 

It sometimes starts with a major life event, usually bad. Some people have near death experiences, or lose everything they own, or suffer extreme emotional loss. These things can change a person's life and perspective almost immediately.

For others, it can simply be a slow casual process such as a natural inclination towards researching the truth about reality. The right book can be a gateway for someone.

Meditation and yoga can be good starting points. There are also many spiritual retreats around the world if you are looking for a more deeper immersion which would most likely give you better results.

It is pretty common for people to feel isolated when they are going through an awakening process. They are outgrowing their old life to the point that they no longer feel satisfied with certain parts of it. They may want to spend less time with the same people, doing the same things, and going to the same places.

It is also hard to find others to talk to about your newfound beliefs, experiences, and perspectives. Most people want you to stay you, and if you change so much that you aren't the same person anymore, this will no doubt cause problems with the people in your life who you have known for a long time. 

However bad as this sounds, this is a good thing. This is a sign that you are evolving. Humans were not meant to be stagnant. If you aren't growing, you're dying. Energy must keep moving for us to stay healthy. We should always go with t.he flow, and not fight what feels natural.

This is where trusting your intuition comes in handy. You should always go with your gut, and follow your heart. Pretty obvious, I know...but most people seem to go along with what everyone else is doing, think what everyone is is thinking, buy what everyone else is buying, etc.

Enlightenment requires a good dose of self love, so you can think for yourself and have the courage to evolve in the way that feels right to you.

Your vibe attracts your tribe!

Once someone is comfortable with their spirituality, their enlightenment, or whatever awakening they have gone through, the right people will find you.

This is where "your vibe attracts your tribe" comes from.

It is a fact that we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with. If you feel yourself not vibing with your usual scene, it means you are on your way up to a new one. Don't fight it. We can't evolve and change without some awkward growth spurts!

Spiritual Teachers and Gurus

Have you ever became addicted or obsessed with discovering new spiritual teachers? You’ll get into one and they lead you to another and before you know it, you  feel overwhelmed with all the information.

Some of it even contradicts each other, and you wonder which one is right. You want to believe all of them, but they don’t all agree, so you can’t. Well honestly…that’s ok.

I believe that the purpose of spiritual teachers is only to broaden your mind and spark thoughts inside of you. I don’t even believe 100% of what all of them say, I just go with what resonates with me at the time.

Maybe you don’t  agree with much of what one guru says, but there is a particular message that really means a lot to you at a certain time, then accept that.  You can take bits and pieces of different messages from different gurus and compile your own personal belief system.

I believe there is only one basic necessity when learning new teachings. I keep an open mind and consider the possibility that something is true, and then kind of forget about it, while taking the parts that I know I believe and live by those.

Then, maybe someday down the line I will hear that message again and maybe that 2nd time will do the trick. Or it might take three or four times, from different teachers perhaps, before I add it to my belief system. Or I might never subscribe to it, and that’s ok.

A huge part of spirituality is being your own guru. I think it says a lot about a person when they form their own beliefs rather than blindly accepting everything they hear. I believe spirituality is a personal “religion”. It’s a personal belief system made up of the parts that make sense to YOU.

All that being said, I still believe it’s a good thing to explore different teachers and take as much from them as you can.

Click here to the next page about finding your life's purpose.