Why Being Spiritual Can Get You Nowhere
Dana is a lady who is totally dedicated to her spiritual work. She knows all about Indian spirit guides, angels, crystals and is a Reiki Master 'amongst other things. She takes every opportunity to help anyone 'a kind, lively and passionate woman.
With little concern for her own wellbeing and financial situation she will generously give advice, treatments and time. The fact that she is struggling with her health, her finances and is in an unhappy relationship doesn't ever deter her from her spiritual mission. When we met a few weeks ago and she was stressed and unwell, I invited her to come to one of my courses at a special rate.
She pondered for a while and then said to me, that she thought right now, my work wasn't 'spiritual' enough for her. Her interest was in spirit guides, heavenly energies and helping others and what I was offering was 'only' about self. I respected her opinion and left wondering what it is that people consider to be truly 'spiritual'.
My hunch is, that her definition is a very literal one; to do with 'spirits' and being in touch with what descends from the heavenly realm, rather than what creeps out from the grotty, stressful confines of this crowded planet.
Without wanting to interfere with any higher purpose or show disrespect for someone else's journey, I do want to challenge this strange, almost childlike and wide-spread notion of spirituality. So many healers, therapists and counsellors concentrate all their energies on the 'higher' and 'better' aspect of life, that they seem to completely forget that they have a body, a mind and very earthly needs.
I believe that to really successfully work with those 'other' energies, we have to fulfil our own needs and master our physical existence first 'or at least simultaneously. Otherwise spirituality becomes nothing but an escape mechanism, a displacement activity and another trend to follow.
Have you ever heard of Abraham Maslow's 'Hierarchy of Needs'? Maslow was a prominent psychologist who coined the phrase of 'self-actualisation' in the 1950's and developed a concept of how a person evolves to the highest level of being, spirituality and self-fulfilment.
According to this 'Hierarchy of Needs', although the ultimate and highest level is the spiritual, the most fundamental needs must be met first. To simplify, if someone is constantly struggling to meet their most basic requirements of food and shelter, it's unlikely that they will put much thought into their education. They're busy just surviving.
It seems to me that the concept of spirituality is often misunderstood. To some, it's more like escapism from the trials and tribulations of life. They cling to rituals and strive for something higher and better, without first having mastered the basic levels of existence. We reach for the stars without first standing firmly on the ground. How can that work?
Being spiritual is not about escaping the real world, it isn't about renouncing physical needs and the fact that we are human. The real art of spiritual being is not to transcend being human, it is to achieve understanding and harmony between all aspects of who we are. Once you have that harmony of body, mind and soul, then you can truly tune into and use the higher realms.
People at peace with themselves exude calm confidence, happiness and tolerance. They are generally healthier, more resilient and successful than those who find day-to-day life too mundane to deal with.
In my work of helping clients to lead the lives they want to lead and release limiting beliefs, fears and traumas that have held them back so far, I like to be practical, down-to-earth and light-hearted because to me that's the perfect antidote to all the heaviness of theoretical concepts. Spirituality has to be practical as well 'it has to make us and those we encounter happy, healthy and in harmony with who we are. Otherwise you will feel as though you are doing every possible spiritual thing you can and are still getting nowhere.
Wishing you balance, harmony and healthy happiness.
And by the way, although the person is very real and the story true, I have chosen a different name.
About the author:
Annett Tate helps people achieve ultimate wellness and health. She teaches Emotional Freedom in her EFT seminars and shares her thoughts, inspiration and advice at Stress2Bliss.com