Spirituality doesn't always have to be woo-woo

In order to experience everyday spirituality, we need to remember that we are spiritual beings spending some time in a human body.” Barbara de Angelis

Have you ever wondered, what is the goal of spirituality and personal development?

Am I supposed to never ever be bothered by anything again? Will I walk around in a blissful state all of the time? If I embrace spirituality will people think I am weird?

I can remember when I first started looking into concepts of spirituality and personal development, it seemed to me that I would no longer be able to feel, cry or carry depth of emotion – and that kind of turned me off. I wondered, “Am I going to be some sort of emotional zombie who is destined to discard their normal life, never enjoy drinking wine, hanging out with my friends and some of the finer things in life? Do I have to completely give up who I am now? Um, no thanks.”

I had a lot of preconceived notions – or maybe misconceptions – but, the fact that I knew that I wasn’t genuinely happy, kept me searching for a better way. What I have discovered through all my “research” is that the goal of spirituality and personal development – for me, at least – is freedom.

Freedom to be and live the way I have always wanted to live.

In becoming more “spiritual”, I can assure you, feelings such as anger, sadness and even frustration all still exist. The difference is that now that I understand and embrace ALL of my emotions, instead of having my emotions run me, I now get to choose how I want to show up and how to let go of my mistakes. The reality is that most of us forget we are human. We are going to make mistakes – we are going to scream, cry, screw up and say stupid things. That is just the fact. It’s just that we want to do less of the things that cause us to beat ourselves up or put ourselves in situations that don’t serve us.

Recently, someone told me that screaming at someone was not spiritual. And sure, it probably doesn’t fit the definition of how I want to show up on a daily basis, but it doesn’t mean I am not spiritual or on a divine path. What it means is that I am human and that I lost it. The key to personal development is what do you do with those human moments?

The old me might have beat myself up for days, hid in shame, stuffing down all those feelings and moving forward – only waiting for it to show up on a different day. The new me gets to see moments where I “lose it” as an opportunity. I ask myself now – “What did that moment teach me? What am I here to learn from that?”

Spirituality is also an opportunity to look at how, even though you may not have delivered the message the way you wanted, you still stood up for yourself.

Or perhaps, you get to love your humanness more and treat yourself with compassion for the mistakes you made. In the end, spirituality is about growth – it is about taking practical steps each and every day to simply do better than the day before.  It isn’t about building a spiritual persona, because, after all, isn’t that about just putting on another mask we show the world?

It’s about owning all of ourselves and choosing how we want to show up today. True spirituality comes when we take each moment and apply all the lessons we have learned so we can live more strongly and happily.

This week, I want to invite you to step into practical spirituality.

If the goal of spirituality is freedom – or happiness or peace or whatever resonates with you – what do you need to do this week to step more boldly into that space?

If you are holding onto anger, what is a healthy way you can express that anger? Would it serve you to write a letter, box, run, or clean your house (yeah – some people process anger that way)? Do you need to write out the lessons from your past mistakes? Maybe you need to be honest with yourself about your fears, judgments or beliefs? Whatever you choose, the key is to take one real step in the direction in owning your emotions and learning from them . . . practical spirituality.

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