My understanding of what we define ‘Spirituality’ has been undergoing a major reconstruction. I’ve been looking at my spiritual path and spiritual practices, all that I’ve learned and practiced throughout the years, only to realize deeper truths and new understandings. Which ultimately, that’s what the spiritual journey is all about, right? If we remain closed and dogmatic, unwilling to look at our beliefs and practices, we’re kinda missing the point.
What I realize more and more these days, is that any path that is not rooted in Self- Love and doesn’t merge divinity with humanity, takes us further away from the truth. There are many reasons to why we practice what we practice, and we all start somewhere. I didn’t start on this spiritual path because I was interested in spirituality. My first dip in the “spiritual world” was Bikram Yoga. I was looking to burn some calories and get in better shape. I wasn’t seeking enlightenment or any of that, but I got hooked. Eleven years later, I’m still hooked, not on Bikram Yoga but on the Truth and what we call- our soul’s purpose.
One of my greatest gifts is the ability to commit to something and stick to it, I guess most people call it discipline. So ever since my first Bikram class eleven years ago, I’ve had a consistent practice of some sort- Yoga, meditation, chanting, visualizations, whatever is in the book of self-development and spiritual growth. I practice, teach and constantly curious about our existence and abilities as human beings. A devoted truth seeker you would say. What is changing for me dramatically these days is the reasons behind all that I choose to do and practice daily. WHY do I have a daily practice? WHY do I have a spiritual practice? WHERE is this taking me? Because if I’m doing something not knowing why I’m doing it, or if I’m going somewhere without knowing where I’m heading, I will most likely get lost.
In the past, I innocently thought that having a daily practice was what made me a better person. And it does, but that’s not where the practice wants to take us. On some level, there was a belief that by having a spiritual practice I’m showing the universe how great of a student I am. It’s not a conscious thing, and it does come from a very innocent place because we’ve all been trained to think that way. Oh boy, am I enjoying the process of destroying that belief… Waking up from the need to prove something to someone in the name of winning badges for outstanding spiritual behavior. That cannot be the truth of our being.
The effects any practice has- physically, mentally and emotionally help us overcome the human condition and dissolve anything that blocks us from accessing our greatest potential. There are physiological responses that take place in the body, in our brain, nervous system and down to our cells that affect our energy field. We build the strength and the power to dissolve old conditionings and belief systems while gaining confidence and self-worth. It’s important to approach the practice with reverence, understanding its effects and magnitude. It is not just another thing I need to do to be a good student in the “spiritual academy”. It’s not about that. Nobody is keeping score. Our soul is begging us to acknowledge the splendor we already are, and we get to taste that sweet nectar through our practice. Using our spiritual practice as a mean to either grandiose our ego or beat ourselves up because we think we can’t do it right, defeats the purpose. Instead of becoming a self- building tool, where we learn how to fully embrace and love ourselves, it goes straight into the ego building tool box. Again, we miss the very exact thing our soul, through our personal practice, is pointing us toward.
Our spiritual practice gives us the ability to be more in tune with ourselves, physically, mentally and emotionally. What I’m discovering is that the most direct path and the most loving path is the path that teaches us to feel all that arises. Nothing gets suppressed or denied because in order to heal we must feel. With the help of our personal practice, we build the strength and the courage to feel everything from beginning to end and not run away, judge or suppress any uncomfortable feelings or pain. I now value the path of celebration- celebrating the magnificence of our human experience in all of its facets and glory. Do I really benefit from a spiritual practice that keeps me in a place of denial, judgment, and duality? All this time I thought that spirituality is here to teach us acceptance, union, and unconditional love. What about applying all those qualities to ourselves and our human journey?
LOVING OURSELVES AND EMBRACING THE SHIT OUT OF OURSELVES IS THE MEDICINE.
And I mean ALL of it. Our glorious Human/Divine self.
It is the key, the door, and the doorway to what we call heaven. We seek enlightenment and liberation, using so many techniques and practices only to chase something that is already here. There is nothing wrong with having thoughts or an active mind. There’s nothing wrong with feeling sadness, depression, anger or anything else that in so many spiritual circles is seen as ‘lower vibration’. There’s nothing wrong with having desires, and being human in a physical body is not less than divinity itself. If our spiritual practice doesn’t merge our humanity with our divinity, if it doesn’t make us feel totally and completely in love with ourselves, giving us a sense of relief and acceptance, I would reevaluate my reasons for doing it. Anything we do that doesn’t strengthen our ability to love and embrace ourselves, doesn’t give us the permission to feel and think anything that arises without deeming it as wrong, is taking us further away from the source of our being. The source of our greatest bliss, joy, and abundance.
On a spiritual path, one might live under the impression that pain or any negative feeling is the opposite of joy. I know that was the case for me. We are taught to run away from it as fast as possible, never giving ourselves the permission to fully feel it. In reality, it’s the full immersion in any feeling that arises within us that brings us the bliss and the liberation we are so desperately looking for. It is not the “negative” thoughts and feelings that lower our vibration, it is the fact we judge ourselves and not allow ourselves to fully feel what arises that lower our vibration. Every time we repeat that pattern we affirm to ourselves that it’s not ok, and it’s not safe to feel. In a way, we are mimicking religious dogma calling it spirituality or the path to enlightenment, putting all kind of shiny ribbons on it. Bottom line, it’s the same bullshit. With all our great intentions and efforts, we are left with the same guilt, shame, low self- worth, disempowerment, self-denial and internal conflict we’ve been downloaded with through religion and social norms.
The concept of self- love wasn’t new to me. It’s almost an overused term, especially within spiritual circles. Loving myself, yes, I get it… But understanding a concept and actually applying it are two different things. As long as I was understanding the concept of self-love while simultaneously judging myself and trying to eradicate certain feelings, thoughts, and emotions, I was heading in the opposite direction. As long as there is an internal conflict, self- denial, self-judgment and harshness, the point of our being is being missed. Big time. Unfortunately, many of our spiritual teachings out there miss this exact point. If my spiritual practice doesn’t teach me to love my heart like I would love my own little child, if it doesn’t teach me to be more gentle and loving with myself and honor my humanity, I say no thank you.
So now, I interact with my heart as I would with a little child. That is becoming my spiritual practice. I still enjoy all of my other practices, but there’s a different approach. The WHY behind it has changed. It feels good and brings comfort and relaxation to my whole being. That little child lives inside each and every one of us, and it’s that little child who’s looking to get our loving attention rather than our judgmental, disapproving attention. When we give that little child inside of us the permission to have whatever experience it needs to have, assuring it (our heart) it is SAFE to feel and that it is supported, we transmute anything in our lives that hinders us from fully shining. Because love, and only love has the power to transform.
Feel into that for a moment. Giving yourself full permission to feel, think and be anything that arises naturally. Allowing yourself to FULLY feel. Doesn’t that sound like true freedom? Real liberation? We don’t have to act on everything that arises, but it’s ok to feel it. It doesn’t make us less than or spiritual failures. We can stop running away, stop putting so much effort in trying to change our feelings in the name of chasing bliss or the transcendence of the human experience. That is so exhausting.
Feel the big smile on your inner child’s face, the sense of relief.
Befriend your inner child. Befriend anything that arises within you. Befriend the infinite universe that lives inside of you. Befriend your pain as much as your bliss because feeling our pain is showing us the way to our greatest bliss, our greatest and best version of ourselves. Allow yourself to shine like a rainbow, where every color is welcomed. It’s the rain kissing the sun that creates such spectacular miracle. We are that rainbow, each and every one of us. We are every single color of that rainbow and the rainbow itself. We are the sun, the rain and everything in between. There is divine beauty here to behold and experience. Just keep allowing, keep welcoming what wants to be felt and seen. We are opening our hearts and repairing this precious relationship with ourselves, with our sweet innocence. That’s where our soul is pointing us to. Forgive. Surrender. Continue to grow and evolve. Make love your priority, starting with yourself and watch your life blossom and flourish like a magnificent flower.