Well, what does it mean to you? My definition: When you hear, see, or feel something that resonates as truth. You can’t ignore its potency. It’s an unexpected ice bath for the soul. At your core, you know it is true. In that moment, you recognize the limitations of sight. You expand. Your field of view grows, if even slightly. The illusion shatters. And you can never unsee.
The shackles that once confined you loosen. Maybe you acknowledge that your previous beliefs were rooted in lies. Maybe they weren’t rooted at all. Maybe you never even considered it. When this happens over and over, little by little, you begin to discern the stories of society from your truth.
The belief system we create is like a little box we put ourselves inside of; we cannot escape because we believe we cannot escape.– Don Miguel Ruiz
I have friends of all walks and spiritual backgrounds. Some were raised strictly religious to the point of burnout. Several had beautiful encounters with religion and spirituality in early life. Others were raised atheist. A handful found religion in adulthood and fell in love. I was raised loosely religious and didn’t have a clear direction. I grew up going to Catholic church and went through First Communion when I was with my mom. When I was at my dad’s, we’d go to nondenominational Christian churches. As a child, which do you think I preferred? Singing, dancing, and playing, or sitting still as a priest spoke words I didn’t understand. No wonder I couldn’t shut up during Catholic mass. It didn’t hurt that my dad also let me have bottomless hot chocolate and marshmallows every Sunday.
All this to say – there are infinite paths. I don’t think there is a universal right way. Why does there need to be? We are all uniquely beautiful humans. For this reason, I love the word spiritual. The root of the word, spiritus, means breath. Breathe in. Breathe out. We do it thousands of times each day. It’s the essence of life. Spirituality, to me, is to awaken to that essence – whatever that means to you. To be in touch with your divinity. When I’m still enough, in the sweet moments of relief from an incessant mind, I can feel it. There is wisdom within me. There is truth. Then, I realize, it must also be in each of you. It’s in the flowers that bloom. It’s in the intelligent trees communicating through mycelial networks beneath the ground. It’s in the air we breathe.
When you know that the power that is Life is inside you, you accept your own Divinity, and yet you are humble, because you see the same Divinity in everyone else.
– Don Miguel Ruiz
My spiritual awakening began as a result of a chaotic mind. A mind that was ravaging my body and spirit through escapism. Finally, I went to therapy. After a few months, I listened to the voice that knew this therapist could no longer provide what I needed. The second woman I saw, Lorri, changed my life forever. She recognized my desire for connection and spirituality. She recommended books that might ignite my soul. Holy crap, did she nail it. I couldn’t get enough. I went on a rampage for knowledge. I read book after book and felt resonance in a way I had never experienced.
Since then, I’ve sampled another side of life. I developed a craving for meaning and depth. I’ve had intense spiritual experiences. I’ve also had bouts of escapism and too much alcohol. I’ve never forgotten for too long, though. Something within me awakened. Something that will always remain. The clearer I get, the more I want to feed that fire; the flame of my truest self. And the more I want to starve the stories and lies of a society that tells me I am not enough.
Namaste, friends. The light within me recognizes and honors the light within you.
*If you have varying perspectives, I’d love to learn and grow. Please share with a kind heart.
*The H stands for heck.