The blog below is a snippet of the Chapter 'A Spiritual Life' from my book.
A Spiritual Life
A Spiritual life is a trained mind to see the good in everything. Positivity is a choice. The happiness in your life depends on the quality of your thoughts. Dr.A.Scott
What is Spirituality? There are many definitions, a few are listed here:-
Spirituality - Involves the recognition of a feeling or sense or belief that there is something greater than myself, something more to being human than sensory experience, and that the greater whole of which we are part is cosmic or divine in nature. Dr Maya Spencer - Royal College of Psychiatrists.
The quality of being concerned with the human spirit or soul as opposed to material or physical things. - Definitions from Oxford Languages
Christina Puchalski, MD, Director of the George Washington Institute for Spirituality and Health, states that "spirituality is the aspect of humanity that refers to the way individuals seek and express meaning and purpose and the way they experience their connectedness to the moment, to self, to others, to nature, and to the significant or sacred."
According to Mario Beauregard and Denyse O’Leary, researchers and authors of The Spiritual Brain, “spirituality means any experience that is thought to bring the experiencer into contact with the divine (in other words, not just any experience that feels meaningful).”
A Spiritual life
We are spiritual beings, living in a human body and as spiritual beings, our thoughts determine our happiness. Our thoughts determine how we live our lives and what we put in and demand of our bodies.
It is our spiritual life that cares for our mind, body and soul (if we allow it). Many of us do not realise that it is our mind, thoughts, belief that determine how we live. In the last chapter, we note that our beliefs determined how we perceived and acted or reacted to any given situation, whether we met it at face value or reached for a pre-learned ethos to allow us to deal with the issue at hand.
As a spiritual being, living in a human body, we instinctively know what is good for us and what may be bad for us. We are aware of the damage stress has on the mind, body and Soul. We are aware of what is good for our body, mind and soul. As the Soul cares for us holistically, we will be alerted through the use of intuition.
Whether you believe there is something greater than yourself, which is cosmic or divine in nature, instinct and intuition will be used. Instinct and intuition are innate traits of something warning or guiding us. That something is the 'spirit' part of us.
Instinct is just 'knowing to' suck as a baby, to cry, to be afraid of falling etc. Instinct is present from birth. Intuition is 'knowing that' something is wrong, something is right, something has given you an uneasy feeling. Intuition develops as you grow physically and spiritually, to a point where you begin to trust and or rely on your intuition.
I propose that we live a spiritual life, but I hear you have a few questions! “Why live a spiritual life?” The mere fact that you ask that question tells me that you are not living a spiritual life and would have nothing to lose by trying it. Living a spiritual life allows you to live a stress-less life, a life that is more pleasant, a happier life. People around you will subtly want to know how you be you!! I won't go on … Next question please. “Being spiritual sounds like living like the Dalai Lama” Far from it, without giving away my age, I remember watching Iyanla Vanzant on Oprah's 'Change your life' series. In which she used a house to explain our state of mind and rooms we visit along our life's journey, the basement she said is when we are depressed, living in a woe me mindset, she goes through the house as we raise our mindset, knowing our worth and standing on our own two feet. When she reached the floor beneath the attic, she claimed that she lived there, a place where she knew her worth, knew where she was going in life and how to get there. She knew the type of person she wanted in her life and most importantly she knew the type of person or people she didn't want in her life. In other words, she appeared to have it all worked out and had room to grow. I say grow because there was another room above the one she resided in, that was the attic. Vanzant said that most people lived on the level of the house she lives on, but the humans who lived in the attic were named Jesus, Mother Teresa, Dalai Lama. Iyanla states that she can not live in the attic as she loves 'shoes'! In other words she is an ordinary person with ordinary wants and needs.
Eric Ho (A Yogi) Believes that you should have what you want, when you want it. Being Spiritual shouldn't stop you from owning 'nice' things, living in big houses and having wealth, he certainly does.
Living spiritually has you walking and talking from a peaceful, happier place than most. Living spiritual has you viewing life from a 'higher' prospective than others.
So let's live a Spiritual life, no I will rephrase that, You should live your spiritual life, as my spiritual life will be different from your spiritual life. There are only a few things we will have in common on this spiritual journey, I will come to those later.
To live a spiritual life you will need to become SELFISH! This is hard to comprehend, I know, especially for many females, as we, for the most part are very giving and nurturing by nature. You will need to gather information about you. Ask yourself, “what do I want my life to look like, in respect of how I live my life?” Here's an example. Person A may say 'I want to enjoy life with my friends and family. I want to enjoy my job and what I do for a living, which should be reflected in my wage. I want a loving Partner.
Person A seems to be a fun loving individual who wants to enjoy life, their friends, family and what they do for a living. Living a spiritual life will set the foundations of living that life. Person A will have to become selfish in respect of weeding out anyone who does not allow them to be at peace. Living a spiritual life will allow Person A to steer away from drama or anyone who may cause them stress. Person A would like to enjoy what they do for a living and be content with their pay for this work. Living spiritually would ensure that they are causing no harm to themselves, by working too hard, too long hours for pay that only allows them to make ends meet. Living spiritually would also ensure Person A did not work in a toxic environment. A spiritual living person would ensure (as much as they could) that their work/job cause no harm to others! Sometimes we have the mindset that we need a job, we get though the interview, we are offered the job and we begin to work for the money to pay the bills, the rent/mortgage, for food etc... A spiritual living person would firstly trust that they would be offered the right job for them, they may also do a little research into the company they intended to work for, noting that it does not harm others, for example paying workers in third world countries minimal pay with poor working conditions. Research would also rule out cruelty to animals. The job chosen would be one of want not need.
Person A states that they want a loving partner......again, as mentioned earlier, a person living a spiritual life will ensure that most of the people in their lives encourage peace, so the loving partner is a forgone conclusion as they wouldn't settle for anybody less.
All the above seems easy! Not so. It will take you some time to ensure that drama filled friends and family members are kept at arms length. Once you begin to become selfish, in regards to your peace, your drama-less or stressless life, others will realise that you have changed and some will act accordingly. It is said that we teach people how to treat us. I believe this to be true. As you will find, after a some time of not entertaining friends and family members' drama filled phone calls or drop by's to chat, they will begin to get the picture that you are no longer their sounding board. Now, let's be clear, I am not saying that you tell your friend or family member to stop calling you with their drama, care has to be taken, especially if you have filled that role in their life for some time. What I am saying is that you have to make yourself less available, here you will begin to consider self (selfish) you will begin to notice the effect of listening to someone who goes on about the negative aspects of their lives, you will note the amount of time spent soaking up that persons' woes and how you feel after the visit or phone call. Once you have done that, you will find a way to discourage the amount of calls or visits.
An unemployed spiritual person will still ensure that the company they are to work for is in their best spiritual interest, they will trust that they have made the right choice. Being spiritual will not stop workplaces being toxic and Person A would need to find ways to avoid any work issues keeping them up at nights....As with any toxic environment, one should to try and change it or change themselves....This could mean leaving, the experience would be chalked up to experience and an investigation into what was learnt about ones self. Again it is about self care (selfish). So now Person A spends less time with mourning Mary, and woe me William, they have more time to spend with friends and family members who are more optimistic about life and with work being a place they have chosen, I can see the benefits of Person A living a spiritual life. Person A will begin to attract like minded people into their life.
Person B wants to reach a certain career level and financial goal, later getting married and living in a nice big house. Person B can also live a spiritual life, but first certain questions need to be asked, as with Person A , one has to know their self. Person B would need to ask themselves, why did they choose the career path they are on, was it chosen for them? A spiritual living person would choose a career that gives them satisfaction and or a sense of purpose, the hard work needed to reach a promotion or the next level will be welcomed. A spiritual living person wouldn't be over stressed by the climb. Person B states that they would like to reach a certain financial goal, again as a spiritual living person, one would ask, why do you want to reach this particular financial goal? The answer would identify whether they are reeving off the spiritual path or not. A higher financial level to show others that s/he 'has made it' would be the thoughts of a person who is living from 'without' as opposed to living 'within' out. Wanting to be married and living in a nice big house, does not discount a spiritual living person, why shouldn't we all have what we want. If getting married and living in a big house is for 'show', for others to assume that they are rich and living a 'good life' this would not be living a spiritual life, as they would be thriving in order to project a certain self.
A spiritual living person, is a self that may have a big house, a marriage a huge amount in the bank, but the reason for wanting these material and financial objects is not for 'show' but for self, (selfish) a self that perhaps can help others, a self that can build something greater than they would be able to, without the objects mentioned. Most of us want to be financially comfortable, most of us want to live in a nice house, some would like a big house. One would need to consider what they would be prepared to do or loose to get these objects. A spiritual living person, starts the process of gaining wealth with only honourable intentions.
From what you have read above about living a spiritual life, one can come to the conclusion that a spiritual life is being somewhat selfish in regards to their peace and state of mind. In regards to money, job and livelihood, the spiritual living person would ensure that the company or type of work undertaken lived up to their personal, ethical and moral standards. Note that Person A and Person B did not go out and heal the sick, turn water into wine, gather up orphan children and care for them or win the Noble Prize for peace. They just carried on their daily lives ensuring that their peace of mind was at the forefront of everything they did. They considered each environment they entered, whether that was with family, friends or work colleagues, to ensure that they were not soaking up negativity or causing harm from what was said or in deed.
Can you imagine meeting Person A or B? How do you think you would feel after meeting them? As I mentioned in the chapter named Meditative, A person who is happy with their life and their responsibilities is often a joy to be around, in any situation, wanted or otherwise. They would have a different take on life, than most. Consider person A or B running late for work! Now consider person A or B missing the train or in traffic, in a queue at the supermarket or as someone who has returned to their car to find a dent in the rear passenger side door! How do you think they would react? Bear in mind that we all have human traits and being spiritual doesn't stop you jumping up and down and using a few choice words! But consider how long person A or B would remain angry? The reason for the questions is to alert you to the fact that a spiritual person is an ordinary individual, but lives their lives from a place of peace, calm and learning. Whether that's dealing with spilt milk, toxic work environments or people they invite into their space.
Obviously, there is more to living a spiritual life than following the examples of Person A and Person B, perhaps by following the teachings of the eight fold path and ensuring that we make use of our intuition, we can then feel confident that we are on the right path. We are spiritual beings living in a human body, if we ensure that both are considered in every interaction, our lives will be enriched exponentially.
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