If you'd told me 15 years ago that I'd be talking about things like the Universe and Source and Energy and Vibration, I would have laughed myself off the porch. (Assuming I was on a porch.) Then I would have told you to get lost, crazy person, because I was done with all things spiritual.
I'd left a religion that had never felt like home to me, and I was determined to stay blissfully agnostic until the end of my days.
However. About the same time, I started teaching yoga. Not woo-woo yoga but the physical practice of yoga where it was all about power and strength and holding poses until your hair started to bleed. It was a bit intense. I think I needed to do that to soften me up for the next lesson I was supposed to learn.
That lesson was, I am still very much a spiritual being.
I tried to hide from it. I tried to ignore it. But there was always a scratching in the back of my mind that there was so much more to this world than just living and dying. As I studied yoga teachings and Eastern philosophers, I found an unexpected interest in the lessons of connection, of one-ness, of light, and of love. And I learned religion has nothing to do with spirituality.
To me, spirituality acknowledges that there is something bigger than all of us, something much more meaningful. That there is a stream of well-being covering this universe and all we need to do is step into it. Religion tries to take that knowledge and create rules and exclusions around it, but there are no rules for spirituality. There are no punishments, no worthiness, no judgments. It's just you, living a life based on love.
Fifteen years ago, the idea of living a life based on love would have had me throwing up in the petunias. I was not sentimental or lovey-dovey and a love-based life seemed like when your thighs stick to a fake leather couch, leaving you super uncomfortable and confined.
But a love-based life is the greatest thing ever. Once I realized that we are all one, that the only division we have is man-made, things began to change. My mindset began to lean toward kindness. I found myself being much more understanding, thoughtful, caring, and, yes, even loving. I could feel love for total strangers. I loved butterflies. I loved trees. I loved the people in my life more than I ever had before - totally without judgment or expectation.
That's what spirituality looks like to me. And my life is so much lighter. The path might not look the same to you. It doesn't have to. But each step I've taken toward love has made me happier, more hopeful and much more tolerant to some of the bullshit I see every day. (Yes, that's a judgment. I'm still working on it.)
Baby spiritual steps. A little one each day.
If you'd like to start your own spiritual journey, reach out to me at peri@LandLCoaching.com. Lets travel together.
Peri Kinder is the owner of Life & Laughter Coaching. She's a happiness coach, yoga and meditation instructor, and award-winning freelance writer.