What does it mean to be spiritual?
Please think about this and what it means to you on a purely personal level.
In the “meme spirituality” omnipresent in today’s frenetic swirl of social media and in the catchy click-bait that lures curious readers into the online spiritualist magazine, we are teased into sizing ourselves up against all the “others” out there.
In the throes of the frenzy, we’re presented with: “Ten ways to tell if you’re an old soul,” or “Are you highly evolved? Take this quiz and find out.”
I recently received an email newsletter in which the so-called prophet tells his target audience that “five percent of us are evolving at a higher rate than the rest.”
I deleted that one without reading.
What pains me is what I see as the apparent need for us to differentiate ourselves, to see ourselves as somehow as better than, and to do so in regards to our level of spirituality.
We want to identify with the enlightened, with the more evolved, with the higher. We want to be part of the club.
This doesn’t feel right.
I believe that right now there are many different vibrations of human experience in the mix. I believe that, in our daily lives, we will find that we are attracted to those with whom we resonate on a soul level. If we are kind and good, we will find others who are kind and good with whom to associate and support. If we are focused on learning and growing, we will find others who are learning and growing with whom to associate. If we are open and caring, if we are healers, if we are caretakers, if we are cultivators, we will find others like us and we will work together.
The key word is together.
Our lives should not be about being brighter in a way that we outshine others. That should not be the focus of our spiritual existence. Our lives should be about being brighter and drawing others into the light. If they want to come, they are welcome.
If they do not, that is fine. Maybe they’ll want to come later. Maybe they won’t. What others choose, honestly, is not our concern. Our concern is to live as best we can.
And I believe that part of that is resisting the temptation to label ourselves as superior in the process.
In the game of life, there is no “Most Spiritual Player” trophy.
We strive to be mindful—after all, “mindfulness” it’s the catch-term of 2013-2016, and I love the idea. But being truly mindful is about personal awareness of ourselves and what is around us so that we can offer compassionate, responsible action and response. It’s about embracing who we are: the light and the dark, the yin and the yang, the spiritual and the human—embracing every aspect of ourselves while we consciously work to improve.
I don’t mean until we feel, beyond reasonable doubt, that we are most definitely one of that “ultra-spiritual” five percent. I mean that through the process of understanding yourself as a loving and loved, inspired and inspiring, developing and developed human. And it is a ongoing process, no matter what your soul’s purpose or age is here among the incarnating throngs.
I think that being mindful is about understanding the bigger picture of life and the whys of it, and finding peace—not about sizing yourself up against all the other “less inspired” —in the doing of it.
I think that being mindful is recognizing ourselves as both teachers and students. Always teaching, always learning. The best teachers don’t cordon off a handful of the select and disregard the others. The best students don’t ever rest on the premise that they already know it all.
Being mindful is simply not about memes or apps or tattoos, the right pair of yoga pants or how much more spiritual you look (or actually are) than the girl on the mat next to you at 6am Vinyasa. That’s a whole other story, and I think David Gelles did a nice job of presenting his point of view in his March 19, 2016 New York Times piece: The Hidden Price of Mindfulness Inc.
So let’s try, today, not to bite the bait of social media. Let’s try, today, not to feel the need to categorize ourselves on the A team. Let’s try, today, to just be. Let’s be gracious while we’re being big and bright and loving.
Let’s be inclusive in our spiritual practice. Let’s think of ourselves as part of the whole.
Because we are.
Remember: We are all Source. Source is all of us. There’s no exception. And there’s no MSP award.
Author: Marit Fischer
Editor: Renée Picard
Image: aap Joris at Flickr