Let us talk about something we know but don’t necessarily trust: our spiritual nature. When we sense ‘oneness’ we experience it as spiritual. This is an understanding we are usually graced with during rare moments in our lives. It is often experienced as bliss, without boundaries or separation, or by simply sensing ‘love’.
Today we meet the words ‘spirit’ and ‘spirituality’ more often through media, books, or movies. Without going into reasons why our need for spirituality is increasing, here we will take a look at how we can reduce obstacles that keep us from knowing we are spiritual beings.
Most of us have lost touch with this truth and only receive occasional reminders. It is hard to trust that we belong; that we are an expression of love and consciousness simply by being here. We have to work hard to regain this confidence by seeking different ways of removing obstacles that create separation in our lives.
What creates this separation, first and foremost, is our personality that we nourish, build, and strengthen over our lifetime. It is the result of beliefs and values that are handed down through generations of our families, religion, and culture. This is why some of the most beautiful experiences happen when we meet people from ‘other’ backgrounds and suddenly find ourselves filled with connections which are not impacted by our conditioning. Something naturally expands in us, an intuitive curiosity and openness, which allows us to receive more than usual. It is an expansive and healing experience when boundaries and differences fade and truthful connections take their place.
One of the greatest challenges we face as ‘spiritual beings’ in this life is to feel at home in ourselves and cultivate trust in our godliness. To many, this may sound too esoteric, but strengthening that natural bond in ourselves and to that which is beyond us is important and requires effort. Often we may be numb to the disconnection we feel because our way of living provides us with endless ways of not processing our fears of loneliness or meaninglessness. We are busy distracting ourselves but in moments of silence, for many of us, doubts arise about worthiness and belonging. And exactly at these moments we disconnect and move on with our day.
To embark on a healing journey, which brings us closer to our natural state, requires a certain level of maturity and responsibility. We need to be ready to face our falseness and conditioning in a way that doesn’t result in self-pity but rather an acceptance and an urge to grow beyond the protective shield of pain and suffering.
Here are a few ways that bring us closer to ‘oneness’. Each one represents a microcosm of its own that requires practice and nourishment and is likely to confront us with inner resistance. Yet these are healing practices that allow stepping out of the illusions we carry.
Slowing down allows us to feel. Our mind is fast in understanding but our feelings are not. In fact, a feeling takes up to 7 times longer to be grasped by our mind than a thought. Slowing down our movement, speech, taking conscious breaks while talking and walking are ways to embrace our environment and absorb life. The opposite is analogous to driving a car at high speed. We have solely focused on the road ahead, but miss the surrounding scenery. Driving a car so fast keeps us limited in what we notice. However, slowing down expands our perception and heightens our awareness.
Respecting our bodies
We are swamped with advertisements and products to enhance our bodies and physical well-being. But do most of us actually know how to be in reverence to our body and to appreciate it as something magical? We learn to look at our body in terms of appearance and performance and miss its’ connection to our heart and soul. By looking at how we treat our bodies, we can learn a lot about how much we value ourselves. What is important to me? What makes me valuable? Taking time to breathe and feel our breath is a useful method for connecting to our limbs. Meditation is perhaps one of the best physical practices to take on for cultivating self-respect and understanding.
Acceptance is the deep understanding of why things happen and letting them happen. It is humbleness towards life. Accepting ourselves as we are, gives us power by letting go of control.
We easily get attached to ideas, theories, and models. We mostly seek to understand in order to gain control. However, staying with the mystery of the unknown is a doorway to true understanding. It requires us not to be married to any beliefs but to take every understanding with curiosity and willingness to look for more. Our nature drives us to find answers, but since we cannot see the inevitable absolute truth, we need to stay open to being ‘surprised’.
Speaking honestly is a core value we grow up with, but over time we learned that speaking the truth and being authentic carries a high price, at times even exclusion or humiliation. We became experts at hiding different parts of us for the sake of ‘acceptance’. Deep down we are well aware of untruthfulness and things we don’t allow ourselves to share. Parts of us go into hiding and this very repression creates a deep split within us. The practice of speaking our truth is liberating and is an expression of self-love as it shows acceptance of the diversity living inside us.