For many, the term spiritual means someone who is enlightened, old and wise, a good kindhearted open being!
While the above statement does speak to some of the typical characteristics associated with most people’s ideas of a spiritual person, there is also another side to this idea of being spiritual!
This second aspect to ‘what is spirituality,’ relates to the activities of the spiritual being, where we see the spiritual person as someone who meditates, fasts, practices silence and does not partake in sex, consumes alcohol or uses drugs of any kind, is able to heal themselves and others, and does so without regard for their own needs.
Again, while the above also represents another aspect of spirituality, this is NOT spirituality!
Both concepts of what people perceive of spirituality are simply representative of firstly what wisdom looks and operates like, and secondly what activities are attributed to them.
For a moment think about the idea of the martial artist? In the 1980/90s films where the true martial artist was depicted as the old Thin Oriental man with the long beard, bald head, meditating all day, right?
It was assumed that you had to be old and wise to master the arts, but modern fighting such as MMA (mixed martial arts) have shown people demonstrating martial arts moves in live competitions, moves that where only staged in movies!
Humans potential to perform feats of skill, speed and mastery have excelled beyond what most would believe possible,
It was seen that this level of skill took years of wisdom to attain, that you could not master your body to this level of mastery without first giving up all pleasures!
We know today that the above viewpoint is very outdated, because we are seeing proof today where martial arts excel beyond the new age of martial arts, ushered in by pioneers like Bruce Lee and Gene Lebell.
Another aspect of martial arts is the inner development of the mind and body, which is achieved through not how much meditation you undertake, but through the development of “the” human being in day-to-day life!
GSP (a famous MMA fighter) often speaks about being a true martial artist, stating that it has less to do with your prowess and more to do with how you live day to day!
The techniques of the martial arts does not make a person more of a martial artist than another, the amount you practice each day does not make you a better martial artist, and the speed of your kick does not make you a better martial artist!
What makes you better, is developing, evolving and learning life’s lessons, the practice of the techniques just makes you move better, quicker and become stronger, none of which make you a better human being.
In the same token reading a hundred books on martial arts whilst never practicing will not make you perform techniques with any skill!
My point here is that being a martial artist means that you practice the techniques, master the breathing, and spend time meditating and learning the way of the martial artist- the development of your being.
Becoming a spiritual master is the same thing, being spiritual is not about how much time you spend meditating; meditation is what you do, spirituality is who you are! And whom you are, every moment of every day when you are not in meditation this is what would allow to become spiritual. !
I have met many people whom think that they are evolved because they meditate every day, yet I have witnessed that the same people cannot think beyond their own needs, giving advice that they themselves would never follow!
Spirituality is not what you do for 30 minutes every day; it’s who you are at your worst and your best.
I remember reading a quote from MMA pioneer Ronda Rousey when she stated “I am training to be the best in the world on my worst day!”
We all know friends who give us advice that they themselves have never and will never follow.
Most people live the lie of authenticity, pretending to be in control of their emotions, maintaining good relationships with one self and others, being happy, yet studies have shown this to be very far from true.
The spiritual being is authentic, living each moment, responsible for the choices they make, knowing that they are the maker of their realities, making the best choices to support their dream every day.
Spirituality is definitely about how much wisdom you have But it’s also about living that wisdom in your actions, and we must remember that wisdom is not how many books you have read, its how many truths you live!
The true spiritual being learns from life’s lessons, not from the many books printed, they evolve from watching the mistakes they have made and learning to make better choices next time.
What makes us spiritual? Authenticity would be my first answer; the old axiom states “I am that I am” simply means what you see is what you get!
Our archetypes (symbols that identify aspects of our psyche) help us to understand what stages of our psychic development we are living.
Many young teenagers today are rebellious, tough minded (some may say ignorant) and very spirited- this would be the warrior archetype.
This person may be involved with gangs (the warrior has an army) and commit crimes (the warrior fights wars) yet the ones that reform their ways and become teachers by heading up gang related help camps have shifted from the warrior archetype into the teacher, leader, angel or mediator.
The spiritual being learns that as they evolve they use higher principles of their psyche which means their primary archetypes change to become what they are moving towards.
The spiritual being overstands, which means they are above the truth of any situation as they realize the reality of every situation!
The saying attributed to the person named Jesus “we should be fishers of men” explains that we are the catalyst, creating the effects, or what people know today as the ‘movers and shaker’ and ‘game changers’
The spiritual being impacts those around them into action, happiness, calmness, inspiration and love through being the antenna to all those things and the living example.
Holistic health guru Paul Chek phrases it like this “live it, then teach it!”
The above statement is very powerful and exemplifies the life lessons, you should not teach something you are unwilling to do for yourself, and you should not give advice you cannot follow your self.
Those that live and teach do so as leaders, not dictators, and yet we know the world today is full of people who do not walk the walk.
In ancient times, kings would enter battle with their army, leading the charge from the front, not from a boardroom or bunker like so many of today’s leaders.
I remember someone telling me that she would run into a burning building to save people, and I asked her “Have you ever done that?” she answered no! So I told her “ You can’t say that because you don’t know if you would, because you haven’t!”
Again, people live in ideals with regard to themselves, which is only good if we actually try to live up to those ideals.
Spirituality is the ability to see success in defeat and happiness in success, it’s the ability to not react to everything, but to instead respond through thought and process what is actually happening in real time to give a measured response.
Spirituality is first and foremost the ability to honor yourself by making choices that sustain your vitality and move you toward your dream.
The spiritual person lives their 4 doctors each and every day- by finding time for quiet reflection or introspection, moving their body enough to maintain strength, posture and flexibility, eating in accordance with their unique bio-chemistry and living their legacy.
No amount of prayer will make someone better than another, no amount of meditation will make someone healthier than another, but living each moment with purpose, clarity and peace will make you a spiritual person.
This truly is like a child taking in every moment and making the most of it enjoying the life experience.
Spirituality is honoring your space, time and choices first, and only then looking to support those around you that need your time, energy and support.
As Paul Chek says, “ You should only see as many people as you can be fully present with” because if you are tired, sick and in a state of stress, then you won’t be able to support those people anyway.
As we learn to love ourselves we become awakened by our personal power, self will and identity, we learn to say no when we need space and time, and to say yes when we can aid others because we want to, rather feel obligated to.
As we become more spiritual by connecting to our inner dialogue and loving what we hear, we also become sensitive to digestive, eliminative and respiratory concerns and make choices that support wellbeing.
In summary, though we believe the spiritual person must meditate, fast, be kind and loving, what we must realize is that these are aspects of their life and that they also honor themselves through self-awareness, giving them the ability to say no and yes because they value self first.
Spirituality goes beyond the activities you undertake, it’s the character that you are every moment of every day –living it and then teaching it!