Being someone who has been immersed in the spiritual community since my teens I can say that what I have found really fascinating is that there is this almost invisible line that is placed between life as a 'spiritual' person, and life as a 'normal' everyday person.
The most thought provoking thing that anyone has ever said to me on that note, was during a yoga teacher training class while I pregnant with my first child. I was in my mid-twenties. A fellow student said loudly "Well Ashleigh that will be your spiritual path coming to an end now that you are having a baby!" Her comment stunned me! On top of it being a rude and inappropriate thing to say to anyone during pregnancy, in earshot of everyone in a yoga class when no-one is meant to be judgy....gasssssssp, it really had my mind rolling. 'What if she is right?' 'What if my path is coming to an end?' ''What will become of the spiritual me?'
It had me thinking about life and spirituality. I reflected on some of what I had already observed from many of the often self righteous and 'higher than thou' people I had met and interacted with not only in yoga classes, but in other areas of the spiritual communities such as spiritualist churches, the school of natural health I attended, meditation classes and the mediumship development circle I was a part of. The air of it all was that we 'spiritual people' were above everything and everyone and being 'spiritual' meant that you were no longer a normal citizen of normal everyday life.....It was like THEM and US....WTF?! I questioned this all seeming hypocrisy, again and again as it made no sense to me. In my eyes, even at that young age, there was nothing more spiritual to me than actually living my life, expanding, growing and evolving in my experiences and interactions with people in my life. I, whether I was someone who was conscious of the meaning behind it all or not.
It became my mission to be different than most other 'spiritualists', as in, I wanted to show people that being spiritual didn't place you in a different life category, or that you had to start acting a certain way. It made me a rebel of sorts in some situations but I didn't care. I was proving my point! The fact I once wore a baseball cap during spiritualist meeting where I was demonstrating clairvoyance didn't make me less able to chanel information from another realm, even though the older members of our circle didn't seem to approve of it. To me it identified the hypocrisy even more as they preached about acceptance and non judgement, all the while I was being looked down upon as they spoke, because me, a young twenty one year old chose to wear a cap!....It was a pretty cool one with my name on the front I might add!! :)
Being spiritual doesn't mean you have to become all holy, wear weird clothes and cloaks and capes. You don't have to wear bells...or even ring them! You are not required to paint yourself, act in a pretentious way, chant, wear patchouli, burn incense, be religious, pray, be more psychic than others, and start judging everyone who are not 'as good or as awakened than you are', drink cacao, eat organic, vegan, vegetarian and whatever else might be associated with being spiritual, enlightened or awakened in any way.
While all of the list above can and will might help to focus your attention, and anchor your mind into believing you are connecting to some new consciousness way of living which IS HELPFUL, don't me wrong. Being spiritual is a state of mind, it's a matter of understanding your purpose, aligning with it and living it, making conscious choices and focusing your mind powerfully to your advantage to bring them into being. You do not even have to have an understanding of the hows or whys of Universal Law to be spiritual. You don't have to struggle, be a martyr, sacrifice anything or even be selfless to be spiritual. On the contrary spirituality in its truest sense is about you, your life and the choices you make that determine the path you walk and how much you grow and learn upon it. End of story.
If you know me, you will know that I am an expert in Tarot, and I don't mean in terms of using it as a tool for fortune telling, although, I could, and most certainly have done in the past. Honestly, now though, I have grown to realise that it is a meek way of meandering life in comparison to understanding Universal Law, and navigating your destiny with that tool in your box, so don't even bother with it now. And to put it bluntly, the fact that the Tarot is mainly associated with divination is a pretty lame understanding of what it truly represents.
What the Tarot really is, is a step by step representation of the possible stages of growth a Soul can attain during a human incarnation from it's birth into the physical world, until it's death, or re-emergence into non-physical. The major arcana section of the cards represents the stages of mental, emotional, psychological and spiritual growth that we can attain in a lifetime. The minor arcana outlines all the possible physical experiences we could encounter that influences the growth to take place. The last section of cards, the court cards, represents all the people we could interact with, and the relationships we encounter that will influence, encourage and enhance our growth.
Essentially, the physical world and all the relationships we experience in it are the grounds via which a Soul will live out life and grow as a result of it. The world is the Soul's school room and playground. So with that in mind, and back to my friends comment in our yoga class, how can it be that by having a baby i'd be any less on a spiritual path? It seemed to me that becoming a mother would only enhance my growth and development on many different levels. It did, and still does!
My daughter, my second child, has actually been the greatest influencer of life in terms of my understanding of our non physical power. She has been the fuel behind my desire to fully understand and harness the creative power of the mind, and put it into practice deliberately. She has been a great so called 'spiritual' teacher in my life, and I know she was born to me for that purpose. She even told me one day that she chose me and then flew into my body! That girl!!
Also, another interesting area of study I have enjoyed on my 'spiritual' journey was the school of tantra yoga. Most people associate tantric yoga with sexuality, but again, that is also a limited understanding of a small part of it. Essentially tantra yoga teaches us about how we can experience spiritual growth through the sensory experience of being in the physical world. Tantra yogis believe that it is their physical life experience that provides the grounds for their spiritual growth to enlightenment, while hatha yogis believe it is a distraction from enlightenment. I am in the tantra team!
I honestly feel that it is high time we redefine what it means to be 'spiritual' and honestly, if I had my way we would do away with the word all together because it is such a limited term. Like I said, the word spirituality denotes a separation of sorts between a the type of life everyday folk would live, and the type of life so called 'spiritual' people who may be more consciously looking to understand the deeper meaning of their existence. All people living in this life have the same creative potential. Whether you are conscious of it or not, the fact that you are here in this body, in this time and space reality right now as a living and breathing human being means your life is 'spiritual' and that you are a 'spiritual' being.
As I see it, spirituality is an old concept in the evolving consciousness of our world today. Soon there will be a time where we are unified in our understanding of our Soul and the creative power we hold at the seat of our consciousness in this world. If you have any understanding of the essence of one of the main and most powerful Universal Laws, Free Will, you will know that behind this law lies one of greatest powers in life, our ability to choose.
The fact that we have a choice means we are the master of our own destiny, we are not subjected to one predetermined fate. it is our choices that ultimately determine the path we take, and the path we take determines the opportunities for growth we encounter. We are so free to choose that even NOT CHOOSING in your life means you are still making a choice that will influence the outcome of your destiny.
The Universal Law of Free Will is the main law which supports the Souls journey seeking growth, evolution and expansion. The importance of the law of Free Will is closely followed by the Law of Attraction which is the second most powerful law we have access to use at will. This law attracts to us the experiences and outcomes we will live as a result of the thoughts we choose to think, the beliefs we choose to hold, and the words, actions and intentions we chose each day.
The Law of Karma deal with cause and effect, meaning every action and intention (cause) creates an outcome (effect) that we will then live and experience as a result of our choice and intentions. Contrary to what most people believe, I have grown to understand that we are not bound to our karma. The fact that through an evolution in understanding how our mind and our perception works to create our reality. the fact that we have the ability to change the way we look at things, and ultimately transform a negative situation into a positive one, can completely change the way we experience a situations, meaning we can transform relationships, past hurts, pains and traumatic situations by just a change of perception. This is powerful way in which we can evolve beyond karmic experiences, without actually having to relive them again and again till we learn and grow from it. This is a whole other subject that is fascinating to me. Redefining the law of karma as we know it in our world currently is something that is definitely on my writing list for another day.
We all have choices in life, those choices influence how we create our reality, and how our destiny pans out as a result. We are all living life this way whether we are a spiritual person or not. This is my point. It is through the living of life, and the pursuit of our destiny that we grow and evolve, and because of this life in itself IS SPIRITUAL and that's why I feel that it is time to take the idea of spirituality out of what we understand spirituality to be, and just live our life with conscious awareness of our power and purpose, then finally there will be no distinction between the idea of being a person that is living a 'normal', or un-spiritual everyday life, and someone who is living a 'spiritual' one.
No-one is better than the other because they are spiritual, and no one is holier than anyone else because of their rituals, practices, beliefs or actions. We are all equal in our potential because we are all energetic beings as well as physical.....moreso in fact. Because of our energetic source we all have access to the same creative power, knowledge of infinite intelligence and the same ability to connect with it. You can go even further as to live deliberately by it as you access, harness and understand the creative intelligence and power that flows through you always. In the end whether you do or not is up to you, but in the end it doesn't make you any less spiritual than someone like me who does.
Thanks for reading, and until next time......
Don't forget to be realistic & daydream often!