It is often said that to be truly healthy, a person must nurture their “mind, body, and soul.” The concept of a healthy mind and body is not one that is too hard to grasp, but that of a healthy “soul” may elude some people. The religious path is not for everyone, and while the notion of a soul or “spirit” may be closely linked to religion, they do not necessarily need to go hand in hand.
In the pursuit to continuously deepen her own spirituality, Michele May* finds a more enlightening focus on the placards of spiritual depth and meaning. She shares that, “Today, in the practice of religion […] obligations and rituals have become the focus, rather than the essence of why they were instituted in the first place.” She believes that, while many religions have allowed the meanings of their core scriptures to be “lost in translation”, spirituality remains genuine. Michele also claims that, “Spirituality encompasses all belief systems.” This essentially means that whether a person believes in a higher power or nothing at all, they still stand under the greater umbrella of our shared spirituality.
Yet for something as familiar as spirituality, we are often times lost in not what it should be, but on what it is. The idea of it seems more elusive the more one learns about it. For example, Michele stated that, from a spiritual standpoint, “Duality does not exist […] however, we live in a world of duality, and all are polarized to opposite ends.” It seems that spirituality in itself is broad and riddled with contradictions, and one of the marks of a true spiritual person is the endeavor to find peace in those contradictions.
Practicing spirituality everyday
While there are many ways through which a person can find their spirituality, Michele May centers herself on working towards possessing four key traits: An open mind, a change of heart, a sacred space, and a healthy body.
She elaborates on these, explaining that having “an open mind” in a spiritual context entails “travelling to new places and meeting people” as well as “seeking knowledge continually by reading books.” Having “a change of heart” suggests a willingness to challenge whatever beliefs one currently holds, and having “a sacred space” suggests inner prayer and meditation. On the other hand, having “a healthy body” is exactly what it sounds like, and simply means taking care of oneself, preferably through natural means.
These are all fairly common practices, some of which people do without any thought to their spiritual implications. Michele believes that it is not difficult to live a spiritual lifestyle, seeing as a person can deepen their spiritually through the most seemingly mundane activities, as long as it works towards their betterment as a person. There is nothing to lose in making a habit of these practices, and much to gain in terms of deepening one’s spirituality.
Oneness and wholeness
Though a timeless thread of unfathomable optique, understanding spirituality unveils a great deal of beliefs and doctrines that not only revolve on the physicality of what is, but actually lay great emphasis on the flux and calling of humanity itself.
To further comprehend the expanse of this truth, Michele May explains this through the lens of mankind’s oneness with nature and its coexisting dynamism. “All events that changed the course of our history were marked by special celestial events,” she explains. With the constant motion and expansion of the world, the celestial dance of stars and planets is largely influenced by the phenomenon of electric and magnetic fields known as electromagnetism – that the Earth, where man thrives, is swayed by the rhythms of these electromagnetic forces. Life is then understood to be a winding spiral, a cycle that reels itself continuously as one force, one unified momentum.
But where does the essence of spirituality come into play? “In spirituality, one continuously seeks to stay connected and be in harmony with all of creation.” Michele shares. Thoughts, words, and deeds are reflected upon to be purposeful and meaningful, making the experience of connectedness to oneself, to others, to nature, to God (whoever He may be in one’s religious belief) sacred.
She further expresses that through the recognition of our “connectedness” and our “oneness” and the knowledge that mankind is born of a single source or “source made-manifest” we realize our genuineness. This is where spirituality is set aglow.
A quest for depth
In a world with certain systems largely enamored by what is orthodox, such concepts like spirituality become harder and harder to grasp. One’s spectacle becomes limited to that which is physical and objective, leaving the breadth of vision to be half-blind. What is generally accepted does not necessarily become the only source of knowledge and in fact, is only a microcosm of what knowledge really is.
But the quest to discover and figure out what moves us deeply is an innate drive that emphasizes our growing need for passion and depth – one that we can only access if we choose to set our minds towards the bigger picture. Spirituality teaches us how to unravel this depth. To seek oneself and love one’s self unconditionally, where in the process, reality changes. “With that change comes the want and will to transform every aspect—emotional, psychological, physical, spiritual, and relational [this is holistic development].”
*Names have been changed to protect identities.