I used to think that religion was for idiots and spirituality was for hippies. I was a teenager who wanted to believe that the only things that were real, were the things I could see. Perhaps I was spurred on by the fact that my brief stint with Wicca in the 8th grade did not bear the fruits I desired. More likely, being “atheist” was considered cool and I worked desperately to cultivate an air of calculated indifference on these matters. (I failed quite spectacularly at that, by the way. I care too much.) But more than anything, I felt abandoned and wanted to remain depressed.
Like anyone who naturally favors extremes, it was only a matter of time before I exhausted that and came to believe that a power greater than myself may indeed exist. The only problem was that no religion aligned with what I intuitively felt, leading me to believe I was probably wrong and/or crazy. After all, how does one express that there's a little voice inside me that tells me what to do without sounding like a total nut job? I slowly learned to cultivate that intuitive voice. And while I may have drowned that voice in alcohol or silenced it in favor of listening to a boyfriend, it remained there. Ever present. Ever full of love.
So, it’s no surprise that when a client recently told me that he didn’t believe in the concept of “God,” I told him he didn’t need to. It was clear that he already did.
I get it. I hate labeling shit. I don’t want to call myself anything. Defining myself as a woman, Indian, or lip-balm addict is too limiting. It’s virtually impossible to encompass the gut feelings, the love, the knowing, and the faith into a word that describes more than a belief system, but an inherent knowing that the Universe has my back. God, Love, Universe, the All Mighty Magical Sky Guy – it’s all the same.
Labels aside, spirituality is what keeps us going. Ever wonder what motivation comes from? The desire to honor your gifts and achieve your potential. That sounds pretty spiritual to me. Ever wonder why turning your back on yourself feels like getting hit by a truck? Because silencing your intuition is like hanging up on the Universe.
Admittedly, the paradox of faith is that the worst of times can bring out our best. A crisis can yield learning, transformation, and growth in unforeseen directions.
And yeah, those moments suck.
But a spiritual journey can’t be viewed moment to moment, it’s seen over time. It’s the ability to look back and say, “that problem was actually a gift,” or “I’m happy that relationship ended because otherwise I wouldn’t have met my husband.”
Ultimately, when we view spirituality as something outside ourselves or as a social construct, we negate its presence within us. Because every time you listen to your gut, you’re engaging in a spiritual practice.
Spiritual nourishment is just as important as kale & quinoa. Don’t question it or label it, just feel it and accept it. When you stop judging and start listening, that's when the magic happens.