The word “spirituality” originates from the Latin spiritus , which means “breath”. It describes an inner path, a way of feeling and expressing your existence. The term is often used to describe both our personal relationship with the divine (a religion or faith) and the mystic experiences that happen in between two lifetimes (near death experiences). Alternatively it can be defined as personal growth; becoming more aware of ourselves. Spirituality has no boundaries; one can find oneself within this realm at any stage of life or even outside of it.
Why Is Spirituality Important?
I believe that every person on earth either experienced times when they felt connected to something greater than themselves or wishes they could feel like that all the time. For some it is a memory, others only get glimpses and many feel like they don’t belong in this world at all because of their lack of connection to anything like that. Human beings are gifted with the ability to create an idea about something just by reading/hearing its name or seeing it in our imagination. We can do this for example with the cold winter weather , which doesn’t exist on Mars, but if you have read enough books or watched enough movies depicting snow then you will know what I am talking about when I say “cold winter”. That is why when we talk about topics related to spirituality it is so easy to imagine what kind of experiences might be waiting for us in between two lifetimes.
Have you ever looked up a definition of spirituality?
You know how sometimes a word holds so much meaning that it becomes difficult to encapsulate within the constraints of a text box? That’s exactly what happened when I tried. The best way I can think of describing spirituality is “that which relates to or manifests the spirit.” In other words, everything that has to do with our thoughts, beliefs, emotions and experiences in life—which are all contained within our spirit. Spirituality is basically an umbrella term for anything that pertains to your being on a deeper level than just your physical body. It’s also something we can practice alone or together with others in a group setting. And while it’s completely okay if you don’t have a specific religion or set of beliefs, there are thousands of religions and spiritual practices in the world that can help you discover it.
Who Is Spirituality For?
Spiritual practices have been around for centuries, so chances are high that at some point in your life you’ve already been exposed to them—regardless if you identify as being “religious” or not. Many people who practice a religion use spirituality as a way to connect with themselves and/or their higher power(s) on a deeper level, while others may choose to keep religion out of it all together. There’s no right or wrong answer here when it comes to how you should connect with yourself and what makes you feel good inside, but many studies show that spirituality can be a very positive thing for your mental health and well being.
For example, a 2009 study published in the Journal of Gerontology: Medical Sciences took a look at adults over the age of 55 who identified with a religion or spiritual practice and found that these people were 33% less likely to die during the six-year follow up period than their peers, regardless of other factors such as socioeconomic status, ethnicity, age and gender. So while it’s not guaranteed that you’ll live longer if you’re spiritual( since that would be pretty spooky), it does show that non-spiritual people may have higher rates of disease and illness . In other words? Being spiritual could help you lead a healthier life!
Another study from the University of Missouri-Columbia, which was published in the Journal of Religion and Health found that spirituality can be just as effective as other treatments for mental health issues such as depression, eating disorders and addiction. However, unlike treatment options like medication or therapy , connecting with one’s self and higher power(s) on a spiritual level doesn’t require much effort and can be done anywhere at any time—whether it’s meditating under a tree or attending church services. Plus, many spiritual practices don’t cost you anything to participate in; they’re completely free!
So really… the only thing you have to lose by exploring your spirituality is stress (and maybe those pesky addiction habits).
How Can I Get Started?
If you’re interested in learning more about your spirituality and how you can incorporate it into your life, try a few of these suggestions:
Types Of Spiritual Practice
What Is A Spiritual Experience? What Are Universal Laws Of Spirituality? What Does The Journey Of Spiritual Awakening Consist Of?
A spiritual experience is the moment you realize your spiritual connection and all of a sudden it might feel like you understand everything better. It can happen while listening to someone talk about their philosophy or visiting a particular place that has an impact on emotional level. All these things take us out of our heads and connect us with our feelings and emotions, which in turn connects us with something greater than ourselves. One should always ask themselves: what happens if I just immerse myself into that feeling for a bit longer, will it eventually lead me to the other side? How does one create their own spiritual practice?
What Are Universal Laws Of Spirituality?
The following laws are universal and can be applied to any situation – they might sound a bit preachy, but the truth is that the only person whose behavior you can change is yourself. When it comes to other people, who they want to be or who you think they should be will never be an exact match. What I am about to say might sound a bit cliché, but it’s worth repeating: “you cannot love someone else without loving yourself first”, this means that before you help others with their issues then make sure your own cup overflows. Don’t expect gratitude from anyone, we all know how we feel when we don’t get appreciated for our efforts and so does everyone else, but it’s never about that. Spirituality is all about mastering the mind and being at peace with yourself, which means not being concerned by what other people think or feel about you.
1) The Law Of Cause And Effect: “As you sow so shall ye reap”
Cause and effect are not a punishment or a reward for one’s actions, but a simple fact of life. When I use this law in life then I am telling myself that if I do something today then it will have an impact tomorrow/later on. In terms of spirituality it means that every moment we live through affects our future experience of life, just like seeds planted into soil can either grow into beautiful flowers or cut weeds depending on how we care for them.
2) The Law Of Relativity: “There is no reality except the one contained within us.”
What I love about this law is that it helps me to see all of life as a movie, where every moment can be compared to another one. It makes accepting things easy because all we need to do is find something else in our lives that resembles current situation and then just see what happens next. What if everyone at work hates my guts? Well, they hate everyone’s guts so… who cares! And if someone doesn’t like me anymore then there must be someone at work who likes me more than them. All we have to do is compare our latest experience with similar ones from the past and see how things might eventually turn out.
3) The Law Of Polarity: “Everything is dual, everything has poles, everything has its pair of opposites.”
The idea behind the law of polarity is that there are no black or white situations in life, but instead a vast range of gray areas where things can go either way depending on our perspective and intentions. In terms of spirituality it means that we should not get ourselves locked into believing that something is bad just because it currently seems like an obstacle. If I think about what would happen if I focused my entire energy on trying to get rid of this problem then sooner or later it will disappear from my life… but will another one take its place? What I do wrong when certain things happen in my life is that I am too quick to label them as bad, which makes me feel like a victim and this state of mind creates a whole new set of problems. If we have experienced something one way then the only thing we can do is expect it to be exactly the same going forward… but what if it isn’t? What if every time I think about it from another perspective, get upset by something else or get excited by another opportunity/meeting? The truth is that everything has its positive and negative aspects so next time you find yourself thinking about someone/something being terrible just remember how many things may look different from your point of view!
4) The Law Of Rhythm: “Everything flows, out and in; Everything has its tides; All things rise and fall; The pendulum-swing manifests in everything; The measure of the swing to the right is the measure of the swing to the left; Rhythm compensates.”
The law of rhythm talks about our experience with life being like a pendulum that swings back and forth between good/bad experiences. There are always ups and downs, but what matters is how we deal with them when they come because both high times and low ones are equally important for us personally. Just imagine if you could only appreciate one half of your life while ignoring other half, wouldn’t that be terrible? I remember when I used to get attached to certain feelings or try having fun without any care in my head about what will happen next, but now whenever I feel too comfortable or excited about something it feels like a signal for me to check myself and be more present. If we are constantly looking for happiness then sooner or later we will realize that things can never be exactly the same because after every high there has to be a low time waiting just around the corner.
5) The Law Of Cause And Effect: “Every cause has its effect; Every effect has its cause; Everything happens according to law; Chance is but a name for law not recognized; There are many planes of causation, but nothing escapes the law”
The law of cause and effect describes how every action in life always brings about certain consequences. This means that whatever you do cannot ever go unnoticed. If you are a kind person then people will treat you well or if you are an asshole someone else is gonna take advantage of that and walk all over you! This law allows us to realize that we can’t avoid problems in life by simply trying not to think about them because the fact is that they always exist no matter what. Understanding this frees up so much energy and it becomes very freeing for me personally when I stopped worrying about whether something bad will happen to me or not!
6) The Law Of Correspondence: “External reality mirrors internal reality; ‘As within, so without; As above, so below'”
The idea behind the law of correspondence is that our outer world is a reflection of our inner one. How we feel about ourselves will determine how we look from the outside and vice versa. I remember when I used to get bullied because of my looks it really made me feel insecure, but now these days if someone talks mean about me in front of my face I don’t even listen! You know why? Because if they judge you for something you cannot change then their opinion doesn’t matter anyway so there is no point wasting your time on them. Furthermore, this law allows us to realize that everything that happens with us either physically or mentally has its roots in our mind and thoughts. Sometimes when things go wrong without any logical explanation it just means that deep down inside we are not accepting life the way it is which results in us being unhappy about something.
7) The Law Of Perpetual Transmutation: “Nothing is stationary; Everything is in flux; Everything vibrates and oscillates; ‘May the reality of each be recognized in his neighbour.'”
The law of perpetual transmutation refers to how nothing remains the same for too long because everything around us goes through transformations all the time. You may think that you are always the same person, but when you look back at your life 5 years from now it’s possible that you will say to yourself “wow I was so different back then!” This allows me to appreciate my life more because I know that things could always be worse not just for me, but for everyone around the world.
8) The Law Of Polarity: “Everything is dual; Everything has poles; Everything has its pair of opposites; Opposites are identical in nature yet different in degree;”
The law of polarity refers to the idea that nothing is all good or all bad because there is always a little bit of light along with some shadows if you look close enough! Sometimes when I feel low I try to think about the opposite feeling so that I can better understand how lucky I am by comparing my life to someone else’s who might have it way harder than mine. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have everything ready for your dreams right now because if you keep focusing on what you don’t have then you might end up never making any progress at all. Life is like a book that has an infinite number of pages and new stories can be written anytime by anyone so there’s no point in worrying about the future because it hasn’t arrived yet!
Religion and spirituality
Religion and spirituality have their roots in different belief systems. Religion has its origin in supernatural beliefs of a certain group of people, while spirituality is based on the feelings individuals have about life and their surroundings. However despite these differences, religion may have an effect on spirituality by giving it strength which helps the individual develop his/her own personal views on certain aspects of life.
Religion may affect spirituality in both direct and indirect ways. By acting as a source of inspiration, religion may inspire individuals to develop their own sense of spirituality. Religion may also act as an aide in coping with difficult situations. For instance believing that the individual is protected by God or some higher power, might help him/her overcome his/her fears. Beliefs about life after death may also be an important factor in helping individuals cope with their fear of dying.
On the other hand religion may not always have a positive effect on spirituality, by imposing dogmatic beliefs which are sometimes contradictory to each other. This imposition might conflict with existing spiritual views which lead to resistance by the individual. In other cases where religion promotes certain beliefs which are not compatible with the individual’s personal views, this may lead to them feeling pressured into changing their views.
Religion and spirituality have certain overlapping concepts like love, justice, afterlife etc. These commonalities make it difficult to differentiate between the two. Religion is sometimes defined as a set of beliefs and practices to reach a spiritual goal, while spirituality is characterized as an individual’s connection with God or a higher power.