The term spirituality or being spiritual is being used quite frequently these days, but what exactly does it mean and how does it relate to life?
Many people like to tell others they are a 'spiritual' person probably to let them know they are not materialistic or superficial and that they 'get it'. That's fine if we all understand and agree on what we're talking about.
Traditionally being spiritual signified having an attachment to religious values, or matters of the spirit, rather than material or worldly interests.
More recently it has also taken on to mean reaching higher levels of consciousness using meditation, yoga and similar practices.
I consider spirituality to be a state in which we are connected to God, Nature, each other, and the deepest part of ourselves.
Why is spirituality important in our lives?
In order for us to function fully, all aspects of ourselves must be balanced. Our mind, body and spirit have to be in harmony with each other.
We cannot focus on the material and neglect the spiritual. People may think that being spiritual is difficult and demanding, but that is not the case.
How is that spiritual?
It is spiritual because when you are immersed in, and deriving pleasure from it, it touches your soul and connects you to the artist and creation itself (God).
You experience spiritual moments when you walk through the woods and connect with nature, walk along a beautiful beach, or when you see the sun set.
You experience a spiritual connection with others when you work together to reach a common goal, such as raising funds to help those in need, playing on a sports team, being in a musical band or orchestra, or anything that involves teamwork and cooperation with others.
When we are in tune with God, Nature, each other, and ourselves, we are being spiritual. There are so many wonderful ways that we can make, and take the time, to "connect".
⇒ Promotes healthier relationships. People who practice spirituality are typically more interested in having good relationships and being connected to others. According to research done by the American Psychological Association, religion or spirituality has positive impact on romantic/marital relationships and child development. They found that spiritual beliefs or behaviors generally strengthen marriages and influence relationships and positive interaction with family members.
⇒ Helps lessen stress. In her book The SuperStress Solution, Dr. Roberta Lee writes that people who are spiritual use their spirituality to cope better with life. She importantly writes:
"They're better able to cope with stress, they heal faster from illness, and they experience increased benefits to their health and well-being. On an intellectual level, spirituality connects you to the world, which in turn enables you to stop trying to control things all by yourself. When you feel part of a greater whole, it's easy to understand that you aren't responsible for everything that happens in life."
Being aware of, and cultivating spirituality greatly
contributes to our overall joy and happiness. It's never too late to
develop it further and enjoy the benefits it brings.