The unfolding of life and spirituality is constantly evolving and shifting depending on surrounding perspectives. For most of the population, success is measured by concrete results and worldly possessions that can often feel shallow to the soul, regardless of whether they are aware of it. In the most straightforward example, the road offered by society follows a cookie-cutter design as if we were machines on a conveyer belt destined for overnight processing and shipping. Sometimes this belt moves so fast that the dreams we think we hold are confused with the mere expectations of a world at large. Although different, this can also be said for the spiritual path where teachers and practices might cloud your soul’s direction sincerely wishes to pave. While there is no right or wrong way to enjoy life, there is what feels aligned and in tune with you. Why follow someone else’s ideologies on spirituality when your path might mean something entirely different for you?
What is spirituality?
The same way society might make us believe we need to take that 9 to 5 office job with health benefits is the same way our ego might trick us into holding onto spiritual crutches. The fact of the matter is spirituality is a sacred mountain with many viewpoints and perspectives. In my experience, spirituality has been a channel of connectivity and communication with myself, nature, and worlds unseen.
The word “spirit” comes from the Latin word for “breath” and means the thing that animates life. To be spiritual is to connect with this essence of life. How you choose to interact and relate is entirely up to where you are on your journey as well as your own soul’s urge.
I’m still surprised at the rate at which people believe spirituality and religion are the same things. In fact, most are turned off to the idea of spirituality due to traumatic experiences with the church. Religion and spirituality are two different entities that have overlapped throughout the centuries. Where religion is a set of organized beliefs governed by rules and order in a group setting, spirituality is more of an individual process that has more to do with inner peace. Granted, there are spiritual aspects to religion. However, spirituality does not require religious practices or beliefs to exist.
What does it mean to be spiritual?
The idea of what it means to be spiritual has become clouded under glossy life coach packages and trendy fitness wear. While each spiritual tool brings forth a unique value, we must remember we need nothing outside of ourselves. Perhaps the most spiritual thing you can do isn’t going to a yoga class twice a day or saging your face, perhaps it is more subtle than anything physical.
If spirituality is something you are just beginning to discover or are in the midst of a spiritual awakening, this is the perfect time to design your own spiritual path toward the guru within. To be spiritual is to honor and recognize a force greater than just ourselves and the perceived reality we see. It is to be in tune with the subtle energies all around us in whatever way resonates most with our being.
As you open up and delve into your spirituality, you’ll cultivate your definition while realizing the different meanings all point to the same destination-love and unity.
How do you come to follow the spiritual path?
Whether you are new to spirituality or have been on the path for years, there is most likely a moment you can look back on that inspired your devotion in the first place. For some, triggering global events can shake up worldviews and inspire a new side of questioning and truth-seeking. For others, spirituality whispers to them during the loneliest moments of a dark night of the soul. For me, it was a mix of deep longing as a little girl where I knew there was so much more than what was being offered at face value. This led me to explore different paths like tarot reading and reflective journaling. As I entered high school, I fell off this path only to be beckoned again as I entered college. Regardless of how you received the invitation, the spiritual path can be seen as a call to adventure sung from the deepest parts of our being.
When first starting out, you might feel called to read books on spirituality or attend a workshop to help guide your heart with the mind. The spiritual path might present itself to you through different teachers as you find yourself with many questions. However, as you continue, you’ll begin to realize it’s not so much about what the rational mind needs but rather what the heart knows. Trusting in our path and surrendering to the stillness allows for the spirit of the heart, your inner guru, to speak directly to you.
What are the different types of spiritual paths?
There is no cookie-cutter shape to follow when walking this road. Be discerning of anyone who tells you what to do or how to do it as the only way to enlightenment. The spiritual path can open up new doors for those who are brave enough to step through, and only you will know what is true for you.
There are several upon several different roadways along the spiritual journey. When first starting out, you might feel called to some of the more popular practices and philosophies like yoga or meditation. Perhaps you might even opt to work with a spiritual teacher when the time is right. In my experience, the spiritual path has brought me to meet incredible souls, travel to sacred sites, challenge limiting beliefs, and recognize the extraordinary in the mundane.
Acknowledge the wonder in daily synchronicities
The spirit realm is always talking to you. I repeat, the spirit realm is ALWAYS talking to you. The more you open up to the subtle nudges, the less validation you’ll seek from material reflections. One of the most effortless ways of interacting with divine communication is through daily synchronicities. Maybe you notice a repeating number when you look at the clock or stumble upon a feather along your walk.
A big part of the spiritual path is grounding and integrating the lessons we learn for an embodied human experience. I noticed synchronicities appear more often the more I devoted my attention to higher levels of consciousness through yoga, meditation, and creative outlets.
The more we focus on the extraordinary, the more open our vision becomes to see and receive messages from spiritual beings.
Whenever you notice a synchronicity occur, allow yourself to celebrate and honor it. This cements your radar to attract and recognize these moments consistently. Synchronicities are one of my favorite interactions with spirit because it allows me to live in this integrated state of wonder as much as I open myself up to it and you can too.
Cultivate a spiritual practice that nourishes you
Yoga and meditation seem to be the poster children of the spiritual path-rightfully so. However, there is a multitude of spiritual practices that you can flow through to connect to the higher forces of light. When it comes to cultivating a spiritual practice that honors your unique spiritual path, it is important to answer what calls to you. If you’re curious about working with crystal bowls or learning more about energy healing, there is something there for you. You’ll also realize you don’t need any tools or materials to cultivate your practice since everything you need already resides within. However, as you start out it may be helpful and even fun to get to connect with spirit by intentionally working with tools.
Regardless of what you’re spiritual practice looks like for you, the core component lies in showing up for yourself. My kundalini teacher would always tell me 80% of the work is in just showing up. Once you consistently show up to your spiritual growth, everything you do is attuned to what you need at that moment.
Taking the space to feed your soul is one of the best things you can do, and as your cup continues to fill up, you’ll notice your spiritual wellness increase.
Create a spiritual community and connect with like-hearted people
As you progress along your spiritual path, you might notice a shift in the activities you choose to participate in as well as the people you surround yourself with. Of course, this doesn’t mean you need to shut everything out and go live in the desert. It might just mean you are ready to connect with a community that is on a similar path as you.
The spiritual journey can feel lonely when we dive deep into the layers of our hearts and soul awareness. While we are never alone, connecting with people who have experienced similar moments instills light and strength when things feel sticky. At the same time, it is enriching to share your radiance with others who are on a shared vibration and frequency. You’ll find harmony in maintaining relationships with those who you have always known as well as the family you meet along your spiritual progress.
Follow your passions. They are calling you
There is a lot to be said about living a life with passion, for it is the guiding force in constructing meaning and purpose. However, without recognizing our desires, it can become challenging to find the direction of our inner compass. While it is foolish to believe we have control over any of this, there is wisdom in answering the calls leading us to a divine direction.
Whether you’re feeling called to finally leave your job and start your own business or take up that new hobby, embodying your passions is one of the greatest steps you can take along your spiritual path. Not only are you doing what brings you joy, but you’re tending to the spaces within that feed from this loving nourishment. These passions and callings of yours are paving the path with you.
The tidbits above are just a few of the actions and tools that have helped me along this journey, and I find it helpful to stay fluid and open to different ways of experiencing this magnificent life. The spiritual path can often make little to no sense at times. After all, there is no size fits all on this ride, and that might be the most breathtaking aspect to realize. Having a spiritual practice and tools to help navigate challenging moments is only an extension of the heart inside your chest.
Deep down, we know exactly what we need to honor our healing and spiritual evolution. Sometimes it takes slowing down and appreciating the beauty that surrounds you to fully take in the messages your soul has to share.