It's both a blessing and a curse that spirituality has become popularized. On one hand it means more people across the world are waking up to their true nature. Unfortunately, it also means lots of misinformation.
At the end of the day, spirituality is about living life fully. It's about waking up to the truth that you're in there, aware of your thoughts, aware of your emotions, aware of your body.
It's about recognizing that you're the most beautiful being to ever walk the face of the Earth, and that there's a place deep inside that remains untouched by the chaos of everyday life.
Before I begin, let me state that this post is in no means intended to trivialize spirituality. However, I do aim to convey that spirituality does not have to be a mystery. It's not something only accessible by a select number of special people. Everybody, regardless of age, religion, and race, can access this dimension of being.
So here are five practical ways that you can become more spiritual today.
1. Stop hoping for things
How many times do you catch yourself hoping that something turns out a particular way?
I hope it doesn't rain. I hope she shows up on time. I hope they give me a raise. I hope I don't get sick.
What you're really doing with hope is saying that you're only going to be okay if a certain outcome arises. If anything else should happen, you're not going to be okay.
We all know how little control we actually have over reality. Hope is almost always a recipe for disappointment.
This doesn't mean you should lose hope for the future. It has nothing to do with being pessimistic. Rather, it means stop hoping for specific outcomes to make you feel okay.
If you're really going to hope for something, you might as well hope for joy, hope for peace, hope for love. Behind everything you're currently hoping for is really the same thing. You just want to be okay.
2. Ditch your expectations
Like hope, it's second nature for us to walk around carrying unwritten expectations.
When we buy our coffee, we expect it to taste good. When we see our significant other, we expect them to be in a good mood. When we drive to work, we expect everybody to drive how we think they should drive.
Inevitably, just like with hope, reality has a way of manifesting in a way we didn't expect. When this happens, naturally, we get frustrated. At this point, how can you blame yourself for getting upset? You had this expectation, and it wasn't met. Of course you're mad.
The way I recommend getting around this is to not create expectations at all. Catch yourself every time you're heading somewhere or about to do something. A fantastic time to practice this is before meetings at work.
Ask yourself, am I carrying any expectations of how this should go? If so, let me let go of those here and keep an open mind.
3. Check in with your body
When is the last time you took a moment to actually feel the sensations in your body?
Say you're hungry and your stomach is growling. Have you sat with that feeling for a moment and just felt it? No thoughts, no story, just the sensations.
You could try right now. I recommend feeling the sensations in your hands. Stop what you're doing, close your eyes, and feel the life energy swirling around in your hands. What is it like to just notice what that feels like, without attaching any thoughts?
Checking in with your body is a great way to drop into the present moment, a space we rarely inhabit, yet ironically are always in.
4. Pause before you react
We all get triggered. Most of us walk around like loaded guns. Someone says the wrong thing, and that's it. Game over. We're now a lost cause, spewing anger, hate, or sadness back into the world.
I don't blame us. We carry around so much trauma from our past. Of course we get triggered.
But there is a moment when we have a choice. We can learn to watch the reactions that take place within. When we watch - when we become aware - we can choose to pause before we react.
It's in that moment - between the second something triggers us and the second we react - where we can choose to pause and relax.
That pausing, that easing up of tension, is one of the most spiritual things you could do. Meditation is great, but the rubber meets the road in real life when the driver cuts you off, or even worse, when you lose a loved one.
In those moments, can you pause before your trigger takes you over? Just a quick pause and relaxing of your body can go a long way.
5. Ask yourself on a daily basis, "Who am I, really?"
We go through life carrying this narrative that forms our personality. Our names, where we grew up, our childhood traumas, our careers, and our ambitions. At the end of the day, these are all constructs. They're thoughts, they're fluff. They're not really you.
You have a personality, but who is the one aware of your personality? Who is the one in there that knows you have a personality?
Think about all that you could take away from your life without taking you, the center of it all. You could change your name. You could ditch your career. You could relinquish all things. Heck, you could even amputate parts of your body. After all of this, what's left? What's the one thing that if you took it away, you wouldn't be there?
The answer is, of course, your consciousness. Take that away, and you're not there. It's lights out.
By asking yourself on a daily basis, "Who am I really?" you practice returning to your true nature, your eternal self, and away from all the stuff that comes and goes.
Are you up for trying any of these techniques? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.
Live with substance!