Spirituality is a complex concept with no single definition; it means different things to different people. For some, spirituality is rooted in religious practice, but for others, it's about developing an individual connection with the universe and our purpose within it. Although there are many paths to explore and understand this connection, all spiritual practices hold one common theme: Self-reflection.
By looking deeply within us—to the essence of our being, we can gain new insights and understandings about our core values, passions, and beliefs and how they impact our behavior in the world around us. Self-exploration is an important component of any spiritual journey because it helps us understand ourselves more profoundly and make positive changes in our lives.
However, instead of looking within—our true source of power and contentment—we often look outside ourselves in search of happiness. We think that if we can get the perfect partner, job, or house, for example, then surely our lives will improve and make us happier. But this often leads to disappointment because these external sources are not reliable for lasting joy. Despite the well-known adage that "money can't buy happiness," we still feel the need to prove otherwise. Only after obtaining everything we believed would bring us the "good life" do we realize that our internal environment has remained largely unchanged. In fact, we may discover that we are less happy than before, despite acquiring more possessions or achievements.
So how do we create a spiritual practice that avoids dogma and instead follows inner wisdom or a higher power or purpose?
Letting go of our expectations and embracing uncertainty is a good place to start. I have found the more I surrender to life (aka non-resistance), the more life falls into perfect form and flow, and the more I practice opening up to unexpected possibilities, the easier it is for me to flow with life's curve balls.
Critical: Tips for being honest with and loving to yourself:
By listening to our inner truth—the voice that resides deep within—we can begin to understand our unique purpose in life. This is the true source of spirituality: a connection between ourselves and all that is which connects us and fuels us with a sense of purpose and belonging, and from that, we find authentic happiness, or as I like to call it, contentment and fulfillment.
The concept of finding true spiritual happiness is far superior to the superficial happiness that is sought by the ego. Whatever your spiritual practice, if generated from the heart and with love, you will feel more connected to the universe and all living things. The stars will begin to align for you and offer you moments of peace and clarity as you navigate life's highs and lows. You will become an observer of your internal world, gaining new insights and perspectives about aspects of life that once seemed impossible to understand. And most importantly, you will learn how to trust yourself—that inner voice that has been guiding you all along.