Are you for health but don’t have time to eat healthy?
A world-changer but waiting to retire from your corporate Wall Street job before changing the world?
An environmentalist who doesn’t recycle?
Or maybe even someone who is “spiritual, but not religious?”
Which leads us to the question of what the heck is the “spiritual but not religious”?
Multiple choice question. “Spiritual but not religious” means:
A) You’re super religious but don’t want others to know it
B) Non-religious but use this phrase as a way to be politically correct and be socially accepted
C) Kinda religious when it’s Christmas time or someone dies
D) Not religious but spiritual enough to believe that if all this religious crap was for real and you found yourself in hell, you’d use the “spiritual, not religious card” to escape a life in purgatory.
“Is spiritual, not religious” a lame excuse?
It has become socially acceptable to say “spiritual, not religious” when asked what our religious preferences are. It also seems to be the politically correct thing to say.
With “spiritual, but not religious” we get to say that we’re connecting with ourselves, a higher power or God but not in any formal or scripture-based way. And we don’t really have to do ANYTHING to satisfy that label.
How do you end up becoming “spiritual, not religious?”
Did you grow up in a cult and get burnt out?
Did you grow up in a strict religious household where you were constantly warned about going to hell?
Did you grow up in a household where you were told to stay far away from God and march with your comrades when the revolution started?
Did you live a life of faith only to find a God who doesn’t listen to your prayers and continuously disappointed you?
Why get spiritual?
If you’re neither spiritual or religious, fine.
If you’re religious, all the power to you.
But if you’re the “spiritual, not religious crowd” I’m writing this for you. And asking you to get spiritual if in fact you consider yourself a spiritual person.
I’m asking you to get spiritual so —
1) You spend a part of your day focusing on your inner self and being, as you discover who you really are – your essence.
2) You’re able to deal with life’s problems and challenges better with inner strength and wisdom.
3) You realize that spirituality is a part of your personal development practice which allows you to be a better person to yourself and others.
10 Ways To get Spiritual for those without money for church coffers, time to attend religious services or tolerance for doctrines and dogma.
Let’s say you’re hell-bent on staying as far away from any and every religion, prophet, guru and sacred text. Then, try one of these practices for a few minutes a day to get in touch with your inner spirituality.
Stop saying you’re spiritual and get spiritual by:
1) Meditating for a few minutes every day. Close your eyes and focus on your breathing without trying to think about the world around. You’ll become more mindful of your breath and ultimately be able to observe your mind.
2) Attend a yoga class. Yoga may feel like a pure physical exercise. Yoga is actually challenging your body and mind and helping you make the connection between the two.
3) Listen to music which stirs your soul. I would just suggest doing this mindfully so you’re actually listening to the music instead of when you’re on the exercise bike, playing a game of Angry Birds on your iPhone.
4) Attend a gospel concert. Yes, they may be singing about God but you don’t have to ‘hallelujah’ about God. A gospel choir sings about God but also about hope, strength, self-belief and overcoming challenges.
5) Be silent. No, I don’t mean shut up as a spiritual practice. Oh, maybe I do. I say be silent and observe the silence. Embrace the silence. In the silence, you might even hear or find your inner self.
6) Watch your favorite televangelist. And no, you don’t have to pick the one that’s asking you to send in $5,000 to save your soul. TV preachers ain’t all bad and many preach about overcoming life challenges and finding your inner strength during life’s rough times.
7) Take a hike. When you’re one with nature, you can’t help but think about nature and before you know it, your connection with nature. Nature has a way of revealing your true self.
8) Watch a sunset or sunrise. Sure, this sounds like a recipe for a romantic getaway but also a way to uplift your spirit and soul. Glorious sunrises and sunsets may make you even start seeking a higher power.
9) Help someone. Yes, helping others can be a spiritual practice all by itself. The act of giving selflessly to others brings out your best and highest self. Helping a friend when they are overwhelmed, a relative who is struggling or an elderly person with a chore will help you make you feel a spiritual connection.
10) Send love out into the world. Sending out love is something that my friend Wendy Irene regularly writes about on her blog. This may be a little hippie-ish sounding advice you heard when sitting around the campfire at Woodstock. When feeling afraid, overwhelmed or worried for yourself or someone else in your life, feel love and illuminate love for a few minutes.
You don’t have to be religious to be spiritual. But if you think you’re a spiritual person or want to be more spiritually in tune, practice a little more spirituality in your life every day.
You’ll instantly feel the benefits of spiritual living; clarity, strength, compassion and connection.
For my book, Is God Listening?, about spirituality and resilience, click here.