Spirituality is a concept we hear a lot about these days, but you may not really be sure what the term means. That’s because it’s evolved quite a bit over the years. Once, the word referred to being religious. Whenever someone spoke of being spiritual, you could almost guarantee they meant they were speaking about their formal religion. These days, the term is more fluid. It extends to refer to any form of growth process aimed at reaching a higher consciousness. Spiritual activities of all types allow people to move toward becoming their best selves and to focus their intent on living a purpose-driven life. These activities can include meditation, yoga, research, fellowship, communing with nature and more.
The Importance of Spirituality
Spirituality brings a connectedness to the world around them that many people feel they are lacking. Engaging in these types of activities can help you center on your purpose, pushing you to move toward what is important to you in life. Spirituality can also help us to appreciate the here and now, as well as to notice the beauty in the world around us. Spiritual moments abound and are found nearly everywhere. Something as simple as appreciating the laughter of a child can be considered spiritual because taking note of it has led you to experience feelings, such as joy, that go beyond the mundane or the everyday. It’s easy to get lost in the daily tasks of survival mode. A spiritual study can help move your life beyond what simply must be done to get by. It can help you to truly live.
Ways to Embrace Spirituality
We’ll examine ways to become more spiritual in depth throughout the rest of this month, but I’d like to give you a few suggestions for how you can get started embracing spirituality right now. One of the best ways is to set aside time each day for yourself. If this goal seems too much or too indulgent, you can begin by at least carving out some time a few days each week to devote to yourself. Self-care, reading, enjoying a favorite hobby or pursuing a new interest are all activities you can engage in to help you feel renewed and to mindfully nurture yourself, making you a priority. It’s also spiritually rewarding to do good deeds for others. This can be as simple as taking time to visit an elderly neighbor who doesn’t see family often or by taking on a full-fledged volunteer campaign to help a local charity. When you work on behalf of those in need, you’re making a connection that transcends the everyday interaction. You could also take time each day to just practice gratitude, making a list of what’s good in your life and giving thanks. This act acknowledges your fortune to the universe and demonstrates your appreciation. There are so many other ways in which you can bring the spiritual into your daily life.
Spirituality Vs. Religion
Though the terms were once used interchangeably, spirituality and religion are seen by most to be two separate things. Spirituality can be an aspect that falls under the umbrella of religion. It’s part of what makes up a religious practice. But religion itself refers more to a formal and organized group or study that revolves around a common belief system, deity or deities. The purpose of religions is to spread their teachings, as well as to nurture a following that continues throughout generations. Spirituality is a bit more personally focused. It refers to the way an individual views her or his own belief system and pursuit of life’s meaning.
Hopefully, you now feel confident that you have an understanding of the concept of spirituality. It is a broad term that encompasses quite a bit. Ultimately, what’s important is the way in which you feel it pertains to you and your goals.