I have been trying to cultivate a spiritual existence for many years. Lately, I have felt a need to return to the things I know for sure as I chart my path. There are things I know, but may not always do. They are the things I say but may not always live. These are the things that make deep down sense. These are the things I see when my eyes are shut. These are the things I hear through noise.
I got to thinking about messages that have meant something to me over the years.
I thought about an episode of Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday. Oprah was talking with “next-generation spiritual thinkers” Gabrielle Bernstein, Mastin Kipp, and Marie Forleo. Their energy and warmth immediately drew me in. In graduate school, I was introduced to the idea that we become part of an academic lineage, Oprah made the point on this show that these thinkers were part of a rich lineage of spiritual thinkers. Their spiritual insight, void of cynicism and judgement, reminded me of my need to fight negativity. Their passion reminded of the power in following our truth. Their practical approach to spirituality renewed my belief that I could actually live more spiritually. One segment of the show was focused on how to become more spiritual in our day-to-day live.
Each thinker offered their thoughts on how we can lead more spiritual lives.
Gabrielle Bernstein broke down her response into three steps: be open to spiritual assignments; pay attention to spiritual assignments; and show up for spiritual assignments. To reiterate, spirituality is rooted in openness, awareness, and action. She believes we live at an important time and we must do the work. She also related, “difficult moments are the moments in which the stuff comes up that needs to be healed.” (I found that particularly thought provoking.)
Mastin Kipp looked to Joseph Campbell in his response. He quoted Campbell saying, “We are not looking for the meaning of life, but rather for the experience of being alive.” Kipp then invoked the Campbell quote, “Follow Your Bliss.” Kipp explained that living spiritually is about paying attention to moments of engagement, moments of flow when the clock stops. Kipp also connected spiritual living to being of service to the world. Founded in love, this connection is the heart of what it means to live spiritually.
Marie Forleo provided the last response to this question. She clearly stated that gratitude is the foundation of spiritual living. She asserted that gratitude changes us on a cellular level, and that when we are grateful we are aware of and receptive to miracles in our lives. She then explained that being present is also important to spiritual living. Her last point focused on passion; specifically, the importance of finding our passion and bringing passion to everything we do. Make the bed with passion. Stir your coffee with passion. I think Forleo would say there is a connection between passion, intention, and spiritual living.
I take several points from the wisdom of their words.
- Just Do It
Each thinker, in their unique way, stressed the idea that spiritual living is action focused on creating more love in the world. Spirituality is both the inward action of self awareness and the outward action of sharing love. By being present, grateful, joyous, and serving others, we are living spiritually. Spiritual living can start right now. Spiritual living can begin with a positive outlook, a simple decision, a small step, and an intentional act of love.
- Think Big
The thinkers talked about big concepts in manageable ways. Openness. Bliss. Passion. These concepts are easy to forget when my dishes need to be done and a work deadline has me up and 3:00 am with sweaty palms. These concepts may seem pie in the sky and irrelevant. I would argue these ideas are profoundly relevant. Spiritual living is rooted in the big ideas that speak to my soul. The trick is practicing their application in my day-to-day routine, during those times when I would rather spit tacks than respond lovingly, when bliss seems impossible, and when I am so far from my highest self that I don’t even recognize who that self might be. Perhaps the answer can be found in the big impact of simple action.
- The World Needs Spiritual Living Right Now
The thinkers words were urgent. They spook of the urgency and importance of living more spiritually. We must live in ways that heal our world. There is a great amount of work to be done. I believe that with every fiber of my being. We each have a role in making the world more loving and peaceful. There is a connection between living our highest truth and changing the world. In essence, we can create miracles when we live our truth.
Do you consider yourself spiritual? What does being spiritual mean to you? Where do you find spiritual insight? What are some of the spiritual questions that come up in your day-to-day life? To whom do you turn for answers to spiritual questions?