Let's just cut right to it, what is spirituality and why should you care? It's a fair question. Because let's face it, spirituality is EVERYWHERE. People are coining it, selling it, packaging it, and ramming it down your throat. They want you to believe that if you aren't following some new spiritual path, well, may God have mercy on your soul. Haha, I love it! Fear and shame. Our two old friends that control the masses.
But that is not spirituality. Spirituality is...wait for it...FREEDOM WITHIN. Simple, rich, beautiful, exciting, brilliant, loving, vulnerable, freedom! You don't have to get it from anyone. You don't have to buy anything. You don't have to stop eating Double Stuf Oreos. Spirituality is simply freeing a deeper part of yourself. Think of it like never seeing a sunset in person. You've only seen a sunset on a 28 inch television screen. It's pretty. No doubt. But flat. Then one day you decide to hike to the top of a mountain and for the first time you can see hundreds of miles of breathtaking beauty. And then...the sun sets, right in front of your eyes, kissing the earth, while colors of radiant light pierce your heart. Speechless. The depth is so vast that it's difficult to believe life could be so intensely alive! That's spirituality.
Now, how you do it, why you do it, who you do it with, is all up to you. But heed these words, any teacher or teaching that relies on fear or exclusionary principles should be engaged with caution. For me personally, I love philosophies that teach openness. That encourage experimentation. And above all are adamant about self-reliance and personal development independent of any one teaching or philosophy. Essentially, a kick to the butt telling you, "Ok, you've learned, now go DO! Into the jungle with you. Go conquer!"
With that said, spirituality gets a bad rap because the term is so ridiculously broad. A lot of people associate it with airy fairy, exclusionary, dread locked, cave dwelling, unrealistic, followers. And I'm sure somewhere that's true. It exists. And you may dig that but if you don't, realize that that generalization is like saying all 322 million Americans think Batman is the best superhero. I mean, they should because he rocks and is the bestest...ever... but it turns out some like Superman, Wonder Woman, and still there are others that don't even care about superheroes. And that's ok. Spirituality is no different.
The key to a good spiritual practice is that it ADDS to life. It takes nothing away. If any teaching detracts from the experience of life, on this planet, with your family and friends, run! Run as fast as you can. Life is meant to be fully experienced and firmly rooted on this big wacky ball called Earth. And by allowing freedom within, i.e. spirituality, life really kicks up a notch. Love is deeper. Joy is fuller. Experiences are richer. Thoughts are clearer. And overall it becomes a heck of a lot more fun.
Can I still eat chicken wings? Have a nip of scotch? Watch rated R movies without mom's permission? YES! We aren't trying to be pious martyrs. We are human. We are huge, mistake making, free willed, vibrating energetic beings. We get to be relentless pursuers of awesomeness within ourselves! We are explorers of a new world. I get all giddy just thinking about it. And it means choice over reactions, suffering, and control by others. It means you get to choose YOU! Vibrant, loving, feeling, laughing, crying, experiencing, YOU! We are the last frontier. Explore it. Cherish it. And by all means, find your sunset!
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