We intuitively know there is something more to life than material things. Things break, they get stolen, and we quickly lose interest in them. But we can’t escape from life. Obligations and deadlines don’t cease just because we’ve decided to become "spiritual".
Spirituality means changing your perception
The first step of any spiritual path is the acknowledgement that we don’t need to change our circumstances as much as we need to transform ourselves. We realise that working on the inside is a better investment than working on the outside. This is a radical shift in perception.
Most people look for the cause of problems in the external world. They believe that if things, events and people were different, they would be fine. When we awake spiritually, we know better. Spirituality teaches us to take a step back; we develop the reflex to look inside first.
Practising spirituality is completely different from any other type of practice. It is not about acting enlightened, or about doing something "saintly". The aim of any spiritual practice is to transform human beings, to bring them to a new way of being. An enlightened life can flow from that, but it isn’t forced. It emerges naturally from the wisdom within. Spirituality is not about doing, it’s about being.
Spirituality involves non-reaction
Take a minute and look inside yourself; you’ll notice a lot of reactions taking place. As soon as some thought or sensation arises, a reaction takes place. You might feel desire, aversion or even neutrality. Everything is judged, and this pushes us to act. Spirituality teaches us to introduce a dimension of space in this reactive process. We do this by being aware, by looking at what’s going on inside. If we’re aware of the reactions, we’re not caught in them. This is the key to inner freedom.
Spirituality is completely inclusive. It doesn’t see things as “good” or “bad”. It goes beyond that, and sees the true nature of phenomena. Practising spirituality allows us to think and act from a clear point of view. Instead of being predictable and reactive, we act in accordance with our deeper wisdom. We stop being determined by circumstances.
Practical effects of spirituality in different spheres of life
In family life, spirituality helps us to let go of our expectations and see our family as it is, not as we would like it to be. By introducing openness into our family, we help everyone, including ourselves, to grow as unique and authentic human beings. By giving our full acceptance and compassion to our family members, we provide them with a baseline of self-confidence and trust that most people are sadly deprived of.
Business and work
In our business and work, spirituality tells us to trust our inner intuition, and this opens our mind to new and exciting opportunities. We stop looking for excuses when we fail. We quickly learn and accept the lessons bad results have to teach us. We develop a genuine relationship with our partners and associates. Our whole work environment is enriched by our presence, which translates into better performance.
In personal finance, spirituality teaches us to operate from an abundance mentality, not a scarcity one. Instead of being anxious about our financial situation, we feel grateful for what we already have. We enjoy a healthy relationship with money and, instead of seeing it as risky, we see the immense opportunities it provides us. If money is lacking, instead of being paralysed by fear, we take lucid actions from a place of clarity. This positive mindset empowers us, and helps us enjoy a wealthier and freer life.
In education, spirituality teaches us to be autonomous and to work on ourselves. Knowing ourselves well, we’re aware of our weaknesses and strengths, and can use this knowledge to our advantage. We don’t hesitate to benefit from every learning opportunity, and develop strong confidence in our ability to succeed. We know we can grow. Our minds are less concerned with trivial stuff; we let go of anxiety and let our profound creativity shine through.
In relationships, spirituality helps us to open, to go beyond our insecurities and to consider others as valuable and unique human beings. By leaving our expectations behind, true, open and authentic relationships can develop. We operate from the heart rather than from the mind. The heart doesn’t try to control anything; it understands and accepts beings as they are. It doesn’t see the weaknesses and strengths of others as a problem. It sees them as fundamental richness.
Spirituality offers us the most empowering mindset there can be: change is possible and accessible to everyone. When we practise spirituality, we take responsibility for our actions and work towards a better version of ourselves. Circumstances can’t be used as an excuse; our destiny is determined by who we are and what we do. We are here to grow, and everything can be used as an opportunity for growth.
Spirituality is your most precious friend. It aligns perfectly with daily life and empowers you from the inside. When you practise spirituality, problems are often solved before they even start; where others see blocks, you see opportunities. You see right through situations.
This article first appeared in the September 2015 issue of Complete Wellbeing.
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