On Spirituality

IMG_2795There’s a lot of talking these days about wanting/needing to be spiritual.

People have been going to great lengths to grasp what that might mean, how to be more in touch with whatever it is they believe in, how to bring calm and a new awareness into their lives while the world keeps on spinning like a top on autopilot. Some embrace new credos, others adopt new health regimes, maybe they get into recycling, or become organic mad, start meditating at the crack of dawn only to fall asleep 2 hours later on the bus on their way to work.

Why is it that whenever I’m asked what being spiritual means, I can’t help sensing fear and the attempt to make life “problem free” behind the question?

Many believe that if they pray hard enough, go “green”, donate to charities and hang out with their mother in law like the “bestest” of mates (despite having violent thoughts), they can prevent life from happening. They believe they could, somehow, control the unpredictability of life and be spared the pain that adversity always brings along.

I have bad news for the spiritual apprentice: just because you say your prayers before going to bed at night, or can breathe through one nostril only, or get to eat the latest super food from whatever forest(which your grandma was probably growing 40 years ago in her back garden)…none of that will prepare you for the battles of life. And most of all, none of that will come without the inevitable changes that life is made of.

So, what is being spiritual?

If you are one of those trying to embrace a new way to look at things, and are confused about how to go about and get yourself a shining aura, I’d say to wait before enrolling in anything that will have you waking at 4am to meditate, ditch all your carbs, speak as if the life had come out of you (why is it that all these “spiritual wannabes” always whisper when they speak?) and buy book after book hoping to gain one more secret on how to figure life out.

Next time life hits you in the face and you are about to react, attempting to protect the mental world you have created, observe yourself while you try and keep things from happening or figure out what to do because they did happen. Silently watch yourself as you are about to be drawn into your mind’s melodrama, become aware of the fear rising in your body because things didn’t quite go accordingly to plan.

Sit with the fear, feel it in every inch of yourself, hold its gaze and feel its breath on your face like a demon from the dark depths of yourself.

Watch it moving through you and disappear, because that’s what fear does when there is no fight over it, just acceptance. Acceptance of what life has brought, of the tricks your mind will always play and of how you have a choice not to get involved with it in order to keep free. When there is no resistance from your part, your fear will slide through you and your life will flow like water.

Then watch your spiritual path unfold and your soul expand.

By all means, find any suitable way to befriend your mind, eat as consciously as you can to keep energy moving through your body, go “green” and be your mother in law’s best friend. But most of all be willing to grow by “ not sweating the small stuff” no matter what: let that become your daily mantra. Small stuff, big stuff, let go of yourself with the sole purpose of choosing “happy” in the face of life’s ebbs and flows.

Maybe start with the small things first: as you watch yourself go through the day, become aware of what triggers a reaction in you. Is it the person sitting next to you on the bus who smells like they never washed in the last 2 years? Is it the screaming child wanting mummy’s attention on a Saturday morning while you are trying to cure your hangover with a much needed fry up in your local greasy spoon? Maybe someone at work stole your favorite pen (damn, you so should have written your name on it!!) or your husband forgot to put the rubbish out…again!

Watch yourself wanting to react and feel the pull of your mind tricking you in its endless “good or bad, right or wrong” games and then let it go.

It is a simple as that: you just let it go, period. No big words around it or arcane technique that comes from the higher realms.

And if you can let go of the smaller things, you will then want to let go of the bigger ones too, because the freedom you’ll be feeling inside will be stronger than life’s nuisances.

That is the core of spirituality.

Spirituality starts when you choose the now over the past and future, when you sit with whatever it is and let it glide over you like the ocean glides over the rocks.

Spirituality will have you push yourself out of your comfort zone so your soul can grow, be at the edge of life moment after moment, go beyond not matter how hard it is, risk it all for a moment of silent bliss.

May laughter be the travel companion on your forever unfolding journey,

Antonia Lyons

Ready to embrace a new way to be? Check my website www.antonialyons.com to find out how.

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