Ever since I embarked on this path a few years ago, many people have asked me- WHAT does it mean to be spiritual? HOW do you get there? Do you NEED to go across the world and live out of a backpack to find it or study Tantra or meditate, or do yoga, or study with healers or read spiritual books or go to church or ecstatic dance or get tattoos of sanskrit or read Rumi with passion or…or…or any of those things, all, none of them?
Good questions, and in all honestly, the answers probably depend on the hour, the day, the week, the month, the year that I am asked. Sure, I’ve done a lot in the past few years to ignite my connection to the Divine, the All Knowing, the Universe. Notice- I still don’t put ONE name to it. Because the name changes, morphs with each day, with each emotion that I dwell and live in and each pull of the great Void that I feel on a daily basis. It’s ever shifting, ever flowing, ever changing. And thus, the WHAT changes constantly too. So to know WHAT spirituality is all about, you need to surrender any ideas of WHAT it is that you are connecting to or WHAT it is you are trying to achieve or accomplish through this connection…. There is so much more I can go into regarding the word “spirituality.” Hell, I could write a book on it, and maybe someday I will. But I think to start out, it isn’t so much about the word itself, but what it represents- a true connection to something greater than what we are on our own.
And then comes the all important HOW (this seems to be the one people most want the answer to, and NOW…) HOW do I get there, HOW do I be that person- yeah that person, that one sitting over there with that glow on their face and smirk like haha, I figured it out. We all want to know so badly HOW to do something. That’s why there are million How-to books out there, from fixing a sink to fixing a broken heart. Sure it might work for fixing the sink, but every heart is different and each pain it has felt unique- so shouldn’t our path to fixing it be unique as well? I think so at least.
So then, HOW?
In my opinion, the HOW comes through the heart. Whatever is going to work for your heart, your essence of who your are, that’s where you start. As Pema Chodron so eloquently puts it- Start where you are. Everything else will simply flow from there if you set your intention to it.
I suppose there are lot of places to start then, Lord knows I’ve tried quite a few….
So then comes that next question of- Do I NEED to do those things too? To do the Tantra, meditation, yoga….etc etc. Maybe. Maybe not. I can’t answer as to what is going to set your soul on fire.
For me, it started years ago with studying Tantric philosophy (which is not all about sex, in fact barely about sex, like so many Americans like to believe. Though that part is certainly fun too….) Then it took me 10 years to find a yoga teacher who brought those ideas I had studied to life, so that I could begin to see clearly just who I was and what I was looking to gain in my connection with the One. From there sprung a whole slew of things that I tried, some that worked, some that failed. I even went as far as going across the world and practically giving up all my belongings back in the States to try to find it. But that’s just me. I tend to operate in extremes and jump right in and go for it. For you it could be simply just cleaning out your closet to donate, or taking 5 minutes a day for yourself, and yourself alone. Or connecting with your partner or your children or walking down the street & noticing the trees. Anything will do, as long as it resonates with you, with who you are and with what works for you to start to see the beauty all around you…
SO it all comes down to this- You are only going to find that connection when you are being yourself – the full messy, raw, dirty, funky, authentic lovely human self. When you are this, you do the things that you most appreciate, and then you’ll begin to see the beauty in everything else out there too. And then- well and then you’ve found that connection to the Source that we all crave and hunger and yearn for.
And you can’t get any more delicious than that.