Updated: Nov 19, 2019
Spirituality is often spoken about in abstract terms. The experience of spirituality can manifest differently from person to person, but if we don’t somewhat define what spirituality is in basic language, we can be left yearning for something that we can’t quite articulate. Looking for something that may not be there. And missing what is.
At its core, spirituality is a practice of connection. First, building a connection with self. Then, rippling out, connecting both with others and our environment. Now, how we do that is a personal process and unique to each of us. But the most essential element is YOU. You create this path of spirituality and everyone’s path is different. It can be intimidating to think of creating your own path, and it’s often helpful to have support, so below are a few guideposts we can use as we start to build a relationship with our spirituality.
It’s accessible. Now. Try this simple exercise: take a moment now and place one hand on your chest. Take a slow breathe in, hold for a few seconds, and then let the breathe out. Repeat three times, noticing with your hand the rise and fall of your chest. What did you experience? You just connected with yourself through breathing; something your body does for you every moment of every day, most of the time without acknowledgement, keeping you alive. Connecting with your breath can be quite powerful, some compare it to coming back home and you have the opportunity to connect with yourself through your breath anywhere. Start with your breath and come back to your breath whenever you feel the need to connect with your spirituality.
It’s not religion, but it might go along with religion. Religion is seeking an external source. There is a higher power that you are devoted to. Spirituality is inwardly seeking a source. The connection, rather than beginning with a higher power, begins with you. From there, elements of spirituality include feeling grounded, present, supported, and secure. Some might combine spirituality with religion, but it’s not necessary to fully experience spirituality.
It’s unique to you. If spirituality begins with connecting to yourself, every person’s sense of spirituality is as unique as they are. We live in a society that constantly compares, and everything is documented on social media. But spirituality can’t be shown on a screen; it’s an experience you have to live.
It’s not about what you do; it’s who you are. Yoga retreats and hours of meditation are NOT required. Spirituality is innate, as humans we are born with a spiritual self. Some of us might find certain activities help us connect with spirituality, but no activity is required. Perhaps standing in the grass barefoot provides a feeling of connection with your spirituality. Some connect using rituals, such as having a space in your house with a comfortable place to sit, surrounded by books and candles to go each morning. It’s not the things that are important; it’s the feelings of connection they inspire.
All of us have the capacity to access our spirituality. The relationship starts with ourselves. Remember, it can be as simple as coming back to our breath. If we are living beings we have the capacity to connect, and in recognizing and appreciating that ability, we have the opportunity to begin to feel more spiritually connected.