It was never my desire to get spiritual. That stuff is for whacked out hippies, which I am definitely not. Don’t get me wrong, I do like some alternative stuff. I’m all for eating quinoa and kale with a side of activated almonds, washed down by a glass of coconut milk kefir… However, spirituality was definitely not for me. After all, I am a very conservative, well-educated professional.
Oh how life likes to tease us!
My first introduction to all this came when I was working a fly-in fly-out (FIFO) job, up until around 5 months ago. This job had a pretty intense roster, 21:7. For those who aren’t familiar with a FIFO lifestyle, this means generally a 12 hour day for 21 days straight, living in a camp somewhere remote, then fly home for 7 days of rest. Whilst I loved my job, I was plagued with guilt.
For the past 2 years I was leaving my very gorgeous and patient boyfriend each month to work and earn (a lot of) money. He was amazing throughout this time and supported me emotionally as he knew it was my dream job. He had made it clear from the start he didn’t want a long distance relationship but obliged (because he’s gorgeous and that’s just what he does).
I did love my job, but my priorities were changing. It was no longer all about career for me, I wanted more from life. I wanted a successful, fulfilling relationship and a future with him and to one day start a family. FIFO was just not going to cut it. For the last year I tried to find a job in the same town as him it just hadn’t happened. I was getting stressed.
Guilt combined with feelings of failure resulted in hardcore stress.
I was even getting headaches from not breathing! I know it sounds insane, but I inadvertently was tensing up so much I was stopping myself breathing properly. We all have our little weird tendencies 😉 My psoriasis was in overdrive and I was starting to resent my job.
I had heard that yoga is good for stress. So I downloaded a little App that had guided yoga practices that I could do in my camp room. This was good. I was loving yoga time.
I then starting to look up meditation; meditation follows yoga, right? And then I started meditating. But not just after yoga, sometimes during the day too! Every time I started a freak out, I sat back from my desk and started breathing deeply (oh meditation, it’s just so easy!). Once I had cracked meditation it seemed I opened Pandora’s-box of spirituality.
Spirituality had scared me at first.
After being raised in a very religious household I repelled at even the slightest mention of religion. The concept of God was a conversation I did not want to be having, for fear that there, a)was one and b) I would have to do something with that knowledge, i.e. go to church. After a conversation with one of my sister’s, she posed the idea to me that spirituality wasn’t about religion There is no dogma to spirituality, there is no special way of being.
Check out my post on the difference between religion and spirituality (tip: you can be both!).
Spirituality is about you and your relationship to the divine. Simple.
“The divine”, such a delightful and ambiguous word. This is the best part, you see the divine is an open concept; there is no wrong understanding. Every religion has their own idea of what this means, and you probably are familiar already with some of these. You can use another word for the divine if that resonates better with you, like God, consciousness or higher self or power. I like the term higher power, it works well for me.
Essentially whatever the term you use refers to a higher power, but not necessarily an entity separate from yourself. You see, the divine is in us all.
“Being spiritual has nothing to do with what you believe and everything to do with your state of consciousness.
― Eckhart Tolle
Most are only familiar with the physical as we tend to see only with our eyes. But there’s a lot more going on that’s not always visible. This may sound a little far fetched, but just consider electricity. Just because we can’t see it, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. We can feel it and see its power. Spirituality is a similar concept to this.
Spirituality is something that’s often debated and commonly misunderstood. Many people (including myself) confuse spirituality with religion and so bring pre-existing beliefs about the impact of religion to discussions about spirituality.
Why is spirituality important?
Spirituality is also used as a way of gaining perspective, recognising that our role in life has a greater value than just what we do every day. It can separate a person from dependence on material things and establish a greater purpose.
Developing a spiritual practice is an individual thing. What had the greatest impact on changing my views on spirituality were the writings from Eckhart Tolle, specifically The Power of Now. I recommend this book to anyone looking to learn more about spirituality and finding your purpose.
I’ve learned to connect to my intuition and listen to its guidance.
I respond to how I feel, not how I think. When I decided to quit my FIFO job, without having another one lined up, it seemed like a crazy move. My parents and partner all advised me against it, yet somehow I knew it was all going to be ok. This feeling was reinforced by my oracle cards, which also suggested an “ocean related” job would be in store for me. (My educational-background and training are all entirely land-based. I had zero marine/ocean experience.)
Two weeks after pulling the pin, I got a call from a company in Gladstone in response to a job I had applied for a couple of months earlier. This company was entirely marine-focused. A few days later I had been offered the job. The perfect job, came up at exactly the right time. If this was a one off experience I would have chalked it down to being lucky timing and all a coincidence but a few similar things have happened like this it’s too hard to ignore.
Your spiritual life includes your spiritual practices, like prayer, and your spiritual journey to get closer to your God or higher power, but it also includes your everyday interactions with other human beings.
Your spiritual practice though is entirely up to you. If prayer feels right for you, pray; if not, don’t. There’s no wrong or right.
For me, spirituality was instrumental to my healing as I began to better understand my body, intuition as well as my greater purpose.
I was no longer a powerless victim in the world, but a hugely power being with unlimited capability.
Because I was stronger mentally I have been able to give love and compassion more freely to others.
Once I was happier and less-stressed, my body begun to heal. I told you mind, body and spirit were all linked!
French philosopher and priest Pierre Teilhard de Chardin profoundly said.
It allows me to live fearlessly. And to make manifest the purpose of my creation. And I will be bold enough to say I know for sure it’s the greatest discovery of life: to recognize that you’re more than your body and your mind.
Spirituality helps you understand yourself better. Who you are and why you matter.
Spirituality says that even if you think you’re limited and small, it simply isn’t so. You’re greater and more powerful than you have ever imagined. A great and divine light exists inside of you. This same light is also in everyone you know and in everyone you will ever know in the future. You may think you’re limited to just your physical body and state of affairs — including your gender, race, family, job, and status in life — but spirituality comes in and says “there is more than this.”
Some resources that have helped me:
Yoga Studio for Apple users. Available for $4.99
The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle